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Where do we start with Sri Lanka? From its patchwork of green tea plantations to its golden beaches, and its crumbling ruins to its mouth-watering curries. It’s hard to narrow down the best things about this beautiful isle – but we’ll give it our best shot. Take a look below to discover our top ten highlights for Sri Lanka.
1. Wilpattu National Park
Take in the sights at Sri Lanka’s largest National Park for an unmissable experience. The natural rainwater lakes and rich plains attract amazing animals such as deer and water buffalo. If you’re lucky, you’ll even do some leopard spotting (see what we did there?).
2. Cultural Triangle
Sri Lanka’s famed cultural triangle encompasses ancient monuments, royal cities and Buddhist temples and was once the bedrock of early Sinhalese civilisation. While your experience will vary depending on how long you stay and how much you explore, there’s no denying it will always be one to take your breath away. You can even take in the sights on two wheels as you peddle by bicycle through the crumbling ruins.
For a truly authentic Sri Lankan experience, a visit to the rural community of Digana is a must. Our three-day trip lets you roam amongst the rice paddies and rainforest, teach English in a local school and amble past the water buffalo in the wetlands. A world away from the bustling city of Kandy, Digana offers the perfect immersive countryside retreat.
4. At Home in Kandy
The foodies amongst us will know just how divine and delectable Sri Lankan food is. Why not learn to cook a real Sri Lankan curry just like the locals in our 3 day cooking experience tour? After all, we often find that the best travel experiences are those where you learn something new- plus you can road-test some recipes on your friends and family back home!
5. Train journey through Ella
For us, it doesn’t get much better than hopping on a train and watching the glorious scenery whiz by. One of our favourite experiences in Sri Lanka is sharing a train carriage with the locals on a journey through the countryside, towards the emerald tea hills of Ella. The green scenery will have you feeling no less than awestruck.
6. Unawatuna Beach
Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful beaches and Unawatuna does not disappoint! Famous for its turquoise waters, it’s a heavenly place to stay if you’re craving barefoot beach walks, dips in the calm blue sea and a plate of freshly caught fish.
7. Yala National Park
If you’re after a real wildlife adventure then you’ve come to the right place. Monkeys, elephants, leopards; if you’re lucky enough, you’ll see them all! Our trip to Yala takes a slight detour via the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe National Park where you can watch orphaned nellies being cared for at feeding time.
8. Sinharaja Rainforest
Ready to explore one of Sri Lanka’s last remaining rainforests? Twitchers take note because Sinharaja is home to over 200 species of breathtaking birdlife, not to mention plenty of exotic insects, lizards, and verdant green canopies. The sights and sounds you’ll experience here simply can’t be put into words!
9. Kosoga Turtle Hatchery
The Kosoga Turtle Hatchery is a conservation project which was set up to protect nesting turtles (and their eggs). Whilst rare, if you’re fortunate enough, you might get to witness the unforgettable moment where dozens of baby turtles waddle back into the sea. As cute as they may be, don’t forget to be a responsible tourist and give the turtles plenty of room. Yes, that means no touching.
10. Adam’s Peak
Believed to be home to the Sacred Footprint of Buddha, travellers come from far and wide to follow the pilgrimage hike to the top of Adam’s Peak. Witnessing the sunrise across the picturesque, mountainous valleys is not only an unforgettable experience but also very romantic. Honeymooners, take note.
For even more Sri Lanka travel tips, head to our travel guide below.
Take a peek at our top itineraries
From 15 days / 14 nights (flexible)
Sri Lanka, Colombo - Negombo - Wilpattu National Park - Ancient Capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa - Outskirts of Kandy - Ella - Sinharaja Rainforest - Mirissa - Colombo