Sri Lanka is an island located in the Indian Ocean and is also called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. It is a Southasian nation with a tropical climate and year-round tourism activities. Sri Lanka was recently selected as the best country to travel in 2020 by CNN Travels. It was also named the best country to travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet. It is very rare that someone has not heard of Sri Lanka. But even if you are that person, you will definitely put Sri Lanka in your must-see places after reading this. And Also I have given an itinerary for you in the end. and click here to get a customized itinerary. Click here to join with me to get my free advice and helps with your questions
A little bit about Sri Lanka’s history
Sri Lanka was not disclosed until merchants of various countries started passing through. Sri Lanka was just a hub of rest for them to travel to another country. While this was happening for long, people began finding merchantable natural resources in Sri Lanka. This tiny island became a world-class island for tea, rubber, coconut, gems, and many spices after people found out about the abundance in the country. Today, Sri Lanka is among the top places of any traveler’s bucket list.
What makes Sri Lanka special?
Sri Lanka is unique among other countries for many reasons. Climate, food, hospitality, culture, and history are among the reasons why Sri Lanka Tourism has become a happening place. Throughout the year, at some point in Sri Lanka, there is a festival happening every month.
Feel all climates within a few hours’ rides
Sri Lanka is a dynamic island which has many climate differences around it. You can experience different winds, cold, and sunshine, all on one ground. When it is 32o — 23o in Colombo, you will find Kandy, which is 80km far from 23o — 19o. When there is such a massive contrast, you will still find Nuwara Eliya, which is the central part of the island, colder, at only 20o — 10o. Such versatility is only available in Sri Lanka, which makes it extremely special.
Fascinating Train rides
Sri Lanka has one of the most famous train rides of all time. Even though getting a seat on these rides is a bit tough, the train ride to Ella is one of the most popular tourist activities, where they get to experience the unending green carpet of tree plantations on both sides of the road. Lookout from the window to experience the beauty passing you by while munching on some Sri Lankan chili fritter is just mesmerizing. You get different vendors hustling their way through at every station with local fruits, isso wadey (prawn cutlets), and corn.
The blue seas
Let’s talk about the ocean. Sri Lanka has gotten its fresh air from all four sides from the Indian Ocean that holds the island together. Many parts of Sri Lanka have breathtaking beaches, which are always welcome by Sri Lanka tourism throughout the year. You get lonely beaches with golden sand to the busiest beaches with parties, food, and music. Whatever you choose to see, beaches in Sri Lanka are everything you have heard beautiful to be.
Surf the turf all day long
Different parts of Sri Lanka have various surfing spots that you can utilize throughout the year. Mirissa, Arugam Bay, and Weligama are among the top places for surfing and diving. Sri Lanka tourism has taken a leap with surfing and diving as it possesses many qualified surfing and diving schools in these locations. Licensed professionals are available to take any adrenaline enthusiast to the sea, to experience the waves beneath the feet.
Mirissa and Whalewatching
Once upon a time, people visited beaches to laze around and experience the breeze and sand. Then; it became the discovery of the biggest sea creatures on the planet, the whale. It was founded that waters around Sri Lanka are home for many humungous sea creatures, even the sperm whale. Now, whale watching has become a must-do in Sri Lanka tourism. Every morning during the season, boats leave for Mirissa to watch whales as they show off their magnificent selves off the waters.
Cultural highlight: Kandy Procession
Kandy Procession is the most important cultural event that takes place in the central part of Sri Lanka, Kandy. This procession happens between July and August every year and lasts for more than two weeks. This is also called the festival of the Tooth, where the ceremonial tusker carries the sacred tooth relic of Buddha around the streets of Kandy. This is accompanied by music, drumming, dancing, and whip crackers which make colorful scenery to watch. Locals and tourists rush to Kandy during its season, just to get a glimpse of this beautiful event. Kandy Procession 2020 will begins on June 26th to July 6th in 2020.
Main exports: Tea, Rubber, and Coconut
Without a second guess, Sri Lanka takes the first place for the world’s finest teas. Tea, rubber, and coconut are Sri Lanka’s significant items to export to the entire world. The quality of tea and rubber, which Sri Lanka supplies to the world, is matchless. One of the reasons why Sri Lanka tourism is so prominent is its tea. Tourists visit various tea plantations, tea estates, tea tasting spots, and tea centers to see, experience, and taste the refreshing leaf called Tea. Rubber factories, too, have become a tourist spot as they are able to see the rubber’s entire process.
Sri Lanka has world-class gemstones underneath the soil. The city called ‘Ratnapura,’ which means the City of Gems is most famous for gemstones in Sri Lanka. People from all around the planet come to Sri Lanka to see and buy these fantastic precious stones. The legendary Royal Ring worn by Princess Diana is also made of a deep blue sapphire from Sri Lanka. The stone was found in a mine 35 years ago and was originally a 32-carat uncut gem.
Wildlife and animal kingdom
Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka is strictly protecting the wildlife and animal kingdom in Sri Lanka. Flora and fauna in the national parks of Sri Lanka are mostly endemic and rare, even on the island. Sri Lanka tourism always focuses on taking tourists to famous national parks such as Yala National Park, Udawalawa National Park, Minneriya, and Kumana to watch the birds, elephant herds, and many more. Nature lovers from all over the world enjoy the unending chirping of birds and magnificent elephant herds in their natural element.
Waterfalls and rivers
Famous waterfalls and rivers in Sri Lanka include Mahaweli river, Ravana Falls, St. Claire’s Falls, Kelani River, and many more. The mesmerizing cascades of waterfalls on rocks and bounces down to ponds in the central part of Sri Lanka. These waterfalls are a true miracle of nature, and Sri Lanka possesses more than 200 recorded waterfalls which tourists and locals love alike.
Eat your heart out
Sri Lanka is famous for many things. Food is one of the main reasons why tourists visit Sri Lanka, apart from nature. The versatility in Sri Lankan food is beyond this world. From honey rings to the spiciest chutney, Sri Lanka calls for a lovely treat. Wherever you go in Sri Lanka, you will always find something interesting to eat. Savory and spicy rice and curry are to die for, and a local Custard Apple Juice (Anoda Juice) is a must-have.
Majestic, timeless ruins
Sri Lanka was under seven kingdoms in the past, ruled by various kings. Ruins of these castles, including the world-famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress, are more than eye-catching. The richness of culture and history is depicted clearly through the statues, stupas, palaces, and other historical monuments in cities like Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Dambadeniya.
Tourist activities in Sri Lanka
This tiny South Asian Island comprises more than 150 tourist locations with over 400 sightseeing places. Not only is it famous for nature, but it is also known for its rich culture, hospitality, food, entertainment, and exciting adventures. White water rafting, whale watching, surfing, diving, hiking, sightseeing, and shopping are among the popular tourist activities in Sri Lanka.
Some of Main Tourism Destinations in Sri Lanka.
Located in the heart of the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura is a mystical destination that can literally speak to your soul. The sacred city of Anuradhapura was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1982 by UNESCO. Classified as one of the greatest civilizations of its time, well-preserved ruins in this city date back to the 4th Century BC. The imposing Dagobas and monasteries that remain from its heyday still come to life with religious ceremonies.
Arugam Bay is situated on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka and is located between Batticaloa and Yala. While fishing is the predominant occupation of its residents it has also gained fame as a surfing spot among tourists. In addition to the several quality breaks, the lagoons, beaches, temples and Kumana National Park all add to the charm of this laid back destination.
The city of Batticaloa situated on an island on the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka is a commercial hub for that region. Remnants of colonial rule still add to the charm of this destination which offers visitors a wonderful marine habitat with its lagoons and unparalleled scenery of islands that are connected by bridges. This destination is also known as the “land of the singing fish” due to the musical sounds that are produced by a species of aquatic life in the Kallady lagoon, particularly on moonlit nights.
This coastal town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is known as a scenic beach location among tourists. Bentota may not have many ruins or places of historical importance but it more than makes up for that with the beach frontage offered to its visitors. Easily accessible by rail or road this coastal town is a lovely stop to relax and enjoy the tropical shores of this island.
Colombo which is a blend of cultures, religions, and socioeconomic classes is the commercial and administrative hub of Sri Lanka. This port city was favored by merchants of the ancient era due to its strategic positioning along the East-West sea trade routes. Colombo retained its status as the commercial capital of the country after independence from the British but also retains some of its architectural heritage from the Portuguese, Dutch and British. There are most likely to be remnants of influences from ancient Indian, Geek, Persian, Roman, Arab and Chinese traders who frequented this harbor city that may be visible to the discerning eye.
Dambulla which is famed for its rock cave temples is also the vegetable distribution hub due to its strategic location. This town which boasts of ancient temples and natural attractions such as the rose quartz mountain range and ironwood forests is within the cultural triangle. With sites that date back to the 1st century BC, this is certainly a place that is bound to catch the interest of many a visitor.
The tea covered hills and the beautiful scenery in this laid-back town is as refreshing as a cup of fresh Ceylon Tea. Enjoy the beauty of nature and the skill of railway engineers in years gone by as you admire the rail route in this location in Sri Lanka.
The city of Galle featured prominently during the Dutch colonial period as is evidenced by the Dutch Fort which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site in Sri Lanka. While its natural harbor has contributed to its recognition as the southern capital it offers its visitors a range of attractions including an international cricket stadium, maritime museum, and religious sites. This city was one of the coastal towns that where devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and notably, the Dutch fortifications held up in the face of the unprecedented waves that ravaged this coastline.
Habarana is a convenient location from which to visit Sigiriya, Dambulla, Minneriya or Polonnaruwa and is a good point at which to break the journey when traveling from Colombo or Negombo to Trincomalee or Batticaloa. The area now boasts a wide range of hotel accommodation including some very luxurious options. With a great selection of natural and cultural attractions to choose from, this destination is bound to provide adequate activities to hold its visitors interest.
Haputale is home to some of the islands' most picturesque waterfalls and offers its explorers cooler climates and dramatic vistas. Perfect for walking and hiking, you can also take in the view from Lipton’s seat as you continue on your exploration.
The northernmost city of Sri Lanka is Jaffna, which offers its visitors many interesting sights and sounds that are unique to this location. Being the closest point to Southern India this location understandably exhibits a strong cultural and religious influence from South India. Jaffna offers its visitors a selection of pre-colonial, colonial, religious and natural places of interest to explore in addition to the experience of its culture and cuisine.
A relatively new addition to the tourist destinations in the country, Kalpitiya is a coastal destination on the Northwestern coast of the island. Consisting of 14 islands this area is a rich marine habitat with bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes, and vast sand dune beaches. A popular destination for whale and dolphin watching it is also catching on as a good place to indulge in kite surfing.
Kandy is the cultural capital of Sri Lanka which has the distinction of being the last Sri Lankan kingdom and the last British capital. This city is situated on the shore of a beautiful artificial lake and still exhibits the British influence in its architecture and city planning. Located within the city of Kandy is also one of the most venerated Buddhist temples which houses a relic a Lord Buddha. With such a rich cultural and religious background Kandy is understandably immersed in tradition and customs which still influence the day to day lives of its residents.
The lush green landscapes of Kitulgala, surrounding wooded hills and swift-flowing river make this the perfect place for adventure enthusiasts to indulge in white water rafting, trekking, mountain biking, and camping. The unmatched beauty of this location made it to the silver screen as a location for the filming of the ‘Bridge on the River Kwaii’. Kitulgala also offers nature enthusiasts an opportunity to sight some elusive and endemic species of birdlife.
Mirissa is a small coastal town that is located almost at the Southern tip of the island and is gaining ground as a destination due to its unmatched natural beauty. Known as the largest fishing port in the South Mirissa is gaining ground as a tourist hot spot with its selection of beach frontage accommodation options and beach centric nightlife.
Mount Lavinia which is located to the south of Colombo is the only location that offers beach frontage and access within Colombo city. This destination is therefore popular among tourists who wish to enjoy the tropical beach atmosphere while in Colombo. A wide range of hotel accommodation options, entertainment, and food and beverage outlets make this a popular spot to experience the island atmosphere. Its landmark is undoubtedly the Mount Lavinia Hotel which was originally a Governor’s residence.
The traditional fishing town of Negombo is located on the West Coast of the country. Its close proximity to the Colombo International Airport undoubtedly contributed to its popularity as a beach destination among tourists. While the beach and image of the quaint traditional fishing craft are often symbolic of this destination, the rich biodiversity of its lagoon and mangrove swamps have brought a fresh interest for this destination. Colonial heritage mixed with religious and cultural influences make this a unique destination in this island.
Founded by Samuel Baker, Nuwara Eliya’s climate made this a favorite retreat among the British civil servants and planters. The strong colonial influence in Nuwara Eliya is visible in the architecture which lends to its Old English Town atmosphere. The journey to Nuwara Eliya past lush green tea plantations and breathtaking waterfalls is as picturesque as the sights and sounds within Nuwara Eliya itself with its cottage gardens, charming old buildings, golf course, and the peaceful lake Gregory which adds to its character.
Ohiya is a destination of unmatched natural beauty where views that extend as far as the south coast greet the visitor on a clear day. This small rural village destination offers 360-degree views of lush green vegetation, interesting trekking, and hiking trails and the tallest waterfall in the country. Certainly a destination for nature enthusiasts the place offers a refreshing change from the built-up environment that most visitors are used to.
Polonnaruwa which is the 2nd most ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka consists of the new town and the ancient royal city. Located within the North Central Province the ancient city of Polonnaruwa is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This ancient trade and agriculture hub has many ruins that would capture the interest of the visitor. While the sheer size of the ancient man-made tank continues to wow its visitors the natural beauty of this destination has also brought this location to the limelight as the backdrop for Disneynature’s “Monkey Kingdom”
Located to the southeast of Colombo Ratnapura is synonymous with the industry of precious stone mining. This destination which is located on the banks of the Kalu Ganga is also known for its low country tea plantations and rice paddy farms. Ratnapura also provides a convenient stopover for visitors who wish to explore the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawalawe National Park, Kitulgala and Adam’s Peak.
Sigiriya which is an ancient capital of Sri Lanka is located in the Central Province and is associated with the rock fortress and palace complex. While these ruins are incomparable with any others seen in the island access is somewhat challenging as it requires quite an energetic climb to the summit of the rock. The thick jungle cover and lush greenery that surrounds this massive column of rock create stunning contrast.
Tangalle is a coastal town along the southern coast of Sri Lanka and is located between Matara and Hambantota. It’s a fishing port that is enclosed by a natural reef and boasts of sandy beaches. Its importance to the Dutch is visible in the remnants of this colonial period. It’s a beautiful beach destination with religious and natural attractions located in the vicinity.
A former capital in the 3rd century BC, this town is located on the southern coast. With beautiful Stupa’s in the midst of paddy fields and ancient tanks that were integral to the irrigation system, this destination offers a glimpse into this ancient southern capital. This is also a convenient location to be based in for visits to Wirawila, Bundala and Yala national parks as well as the sacred town of Kataragama.
Trincomalee which is located on the East coast of the island gained prominence as a major seaport for international trade routes. Colonial heritage, places of religious significance and a range of natural attractions that include white sandy beaches add to the lure of this eastern city. The crystal clear waters in this destination are equally enticing and add to the chances of spotting some of the many species of whales that frequent the Indian Ocean.
This coastal town on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka is equally accessible by rail or road. A working fishing village the sight of fishermen bringing in their daily catch is just as welcoming as the expanse of palm-fringed beach that offers the sun, sea and sand enthusiast the perfect holiday destination. This is an ideal spot to have a relaxed and easy paced break.
Visit the pearl of the Indian Ocean to make a memory of a lifetime!
If you are a nature lover, a food lover, a fun lover, or a traveler, Sri Lanka is the best place to visit as you can enjoy everything under one soil. Sri Lanka tourism is based on its rich culture and hospitality. People from all over the world love the fantastic hospitality offered by locals whenever they visit the country. It is unbelievable to see so much in so little. The magnitude of forests, herds of elephants and other species add color and class to the country, making it the best state to visit. Sri Lanka tourism focuses on giving the best services and experiences to its tourists as it is in their nature. Sri Lanka is more than land; it is a fantasy land in real life, a paradise on earth.
Lastly I will end up with a itinearay which can Explore Sri Lankan lifestyle and more as you journey through this island one step at a time. If you want to create any kind of customized itinerary you can get my assistance any time. Also I can arrange a English, Chinese, French, or German speaking Travel Guides and a vehicle too as you wish. Click here to get my assistance.
Airport — Negombo — Anuradhapura — Sigiriya — Kandy — Knuckles — Nuwara Eliya — Ella — Tissamaharama — Sinharaja — Colombo — Airport (Suitable for Groups or Individuals)
• Experience nature and culture at its best with this tour which allows you to take in the views at your own pace on foot or cycling
• Physical challenge
DAY 01: ARRIVAL TRANSFER TO NEGOMBO
Arrival at Colombo International Airport and transferred to your selected hotel in Negombo. After a brief rest explore Negombo on foot/cycle before returning to your hotel for the night
- Start your exploration on foot or cycle through the fishing town of Negombo and discover the remnants of colonial heritage as well as the traditional and modern fishing methods used to bring in the catch
DAY 02: NEGOMBO — PUTTALAM — ANURADHAPURA
After breakfast leave for Anuradhapura, the 5th century BC capital of Sri Lanka. Enroute to Anuradhapura visit a clay tile factory in Dankotuwa, the Holy Cross shrine, and Munneswaram Kovil in Marawila, St Anne’s shrine Talawila and the salterns in Puttalam.
Check in to your hotel of choice for the night in Anuradhapura.
DAY 03: ANURADHAPURA & MIHINTALE
After breakfast take a cycling tour of the archaeological and historical sites in Anuradhapura city. In the afternoon visit Mihintale and climb the rock to enjoy the view from the top. Return to your hotel in Anuradhapura for the night.
DAY 04: ANURADHAPURA — POLONNARUWA — SIGIRIYA
After breakfast leave for Polonnaruwa and take a city tour of this ancient capital. In the afternoon climb the Sigiriya rock to view the Sigiriya rock fortress and palace complex. Proceed to your hotel of choice in Sigiriya for the overnight stay.
DAY 05: SIGIRIYA — DAMBULLA — KANDY
After breakfast explore a village near Sigiriya on foot. While on your exploration visit an organic vegetable farm and experience the traditional farming methods practiced by the farmer. Enjoy a home-cooked lunch at the farm before leaving for a visit to Dambulla. After your climb to visit the Dambulla rock cave temples proceeds to Kandy in time for the cultural dance show and check in to your hotel of choice for the night.
DAY 06: KANDY — KNUCKLES
After breakfast take a city tour of Kandy which includes visits to the Peradeniya Botanical gardens. Enjoy the bird’s eye view of Kandy from Upper Lake Drive before heading for the Knuckles Range for your overnight stay.
DAY 07: TREK THROUGH KNUCKLES
After breakfast takes a trek through the Knuckles Mountain Range. Return to your accommodation for the overnight stay.
DAY 08: KNUCKLES — NUWARA ELIYA
After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya and check in to your hotel of choice. Visit a tea factory and take in the beautiful scenery along the way. In the afternoon take a city tour of Nuwara Eliya before returning to your hotel for the night.
DAY 09: TREK THROUGH HORTON PLAINS
Take a packed breakfast with you as you proceed for a trek in Horton Plains. After your trek proceed to Ella and check in to your accommodation for the overnight stay
DAY 10: EXPLORE ELLA ON FOOT
After breakfast leave for the Ella Rock for a hike. After your hike, take a drive to Mini Adam’s Peak from where you will trek your way towards the Nine Arches Railway Bridge. Return to your hotel in Ella for the night.
DAY 11: ELLA — TISSAMAHARAMA
After breakfast visit Buduruwagala Temple on your way to the hotel of your choice in Tissamaharama. Take an afternoon safari in the Yala National Park and return to your hotel for the night.
DAY 12: TISSAMAHARAMA — SINHARAJA
Take a packed breakfast with you as you leave early morning for your bird watching tour in Bundala. After your bird watching tour ends proceed to Kataragama. Your visit in Kataragama will include sites such as the Kataragama Maha Devalaya, Kiri Verehera, Ul-Khizr Mosque and the Archaeological Museum. Leave for Sinharaja and check in to your hotel of choice for the overnight stay.
DAY 13: SINHARAJA — COLOMBO
Take a picnic breakfast to enjoy during your morning trek in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Proceed to Colombo and check in to your hotel of choice for the overnight stay.
DAY 14: DEPARTURE FROM COLOMBO
Your tour ends this morning after breakfast and your transfer will be provided to the airport in time for your departure flight.
Alternatively, you can choose to extend this tour with a stay at any of the options available in Sri Lanka.