Once we have been invited to discover Sri Lanka this yr it was a simple choice to go. For one, Sri Lanka was a brand new unexplored nation for us and we all the time love seeing new locations. Secondly, Sri Lanka sounded and appeared downright unimaginable filled with hospitable individuals, tasty meals, and distinctive landscapes. There are such a lot of issues to do in Sri Lanka it’s onerous to maintain this record brief, we undoubtedly have plans to return as we barely scratched the floor of what this nation has to supply. Listed here are a few of the highlights to get you began!
- 1 Issues to do in Sri Lanka
- 1.1 Historic metropolis of Sigiriya & Pidurangala Vihara
- 1.2 Historic metropolis of Polonnaruwa
- 1.3 Ruins of Yapahuwa
- 1.4 Yala Nationwide Park
- 1.5 Udalawale Nationwide Park
- 1.6 Kaudulla Nationwide Park
- 1.7 Horton Plains Nationwide Park & Baker’s Falls
- 1.8 Go to a Native Market
- 1.9 Sri Dalada Maligawa / Sacred Temple of the Tooth
- 1.10 Dambulla Cave Temple
- 1.11 Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple
- 1.12 Benefit from the Seashores in Mirissa
- 1.13 Sri Pada/Adam’s Peak
- 1.14 Arugam Bay
- 1.15 Attempt Ayurveda in Sri Lanka
- 1.16 Journey the practice from Kandy to Ella
- 1.17 Galle Fort
- 1.18 Knuckles Vary
- 1.19 The place to remain in Sri Lanka
- 1.20 Plan Your Travels to Sri Lanka
Issues to do in Sri Lanka
Historic metropolis of Sigiriya & Pidurangala Vihara
Of the various issues to do in Sri Lanka, ruins are fairly excessive up on the listing. Guests ought to make some extent of exploring this unimaginable prehistoric treasure. The Sigiriya Rock Fortress, although a little bit of a journey from the town of Colombo (a few four-and-a-half hour drive, to be actual), actually earns its maintain. It’s a UNESCO heritage website atop an unlimited rock overlooking the encompassing valley.
Sigiriya, although courting from the primary millennium, was constructed very elaborately given the time interval. As an alternative of simply ruins, what stays in the present day are preserved items of what originated as a spot of worship in addition to a fortress. King Kashyapa selected the location to turn into the brand new capital metropolis; it stands on a rock formation almost 650 ft off the bottom. The identify means Lion Rock in Sinhalese, and its gateway consists of a stone lion carved into the aspect of the big rock. It’s not simply recognized for its measurement, although; historic frescoes and a few of the oldest landscaped gardens on the earth are among the many plethora of issues to discover.
Just some kilometers to the north is Pidurangala Vihara: a Buddhist temple set on an equally giant rock with a big sleeping Buddha statue. Each websites are simply doable inside the similar day.
Historic metropolis of Polonnaruwa
There’s arguably little that’s cooler to a traveler than historic ruins, so understanding that the traditional metropolis of Polonnaruwa is assessed extra as an historic kingdom is certain to have you ever planning a visit right here. Thought-about the nation’s medieval capital, it turned such when it was found that it sat upon a few of the most fertile grounds within the area.
Among the many many attributes that draw vacationers right here is undoubtedly the Palace of King Parakramabahu. The ruins point out that in its time it was imposing and grandiose, totaling seven tales and richly adorned. The construction even had a drainage system, indicated by the dazzling royal tub simply down from the palace pillars nonetheless standing immediately.
Ruins of Yapahuwa
One other outstanding metropolis in medieval Sri Lanka, Yapahuwa is situated within the northwestern province. Just like Sigiriya, Yapahuwa was a capital metropolis for a time and is constructed a lot the identical – as a citadel-like construction carved atop an unlimited rock. Whereas it was a palace, it additionally served as a army fortress to discourage invaders. This may be seen within the dichotomy between the options nonetheless standing in the present day – the grandiose staircase versus indications of previous battle defenses.
A number of clues exist that trace that this was previously a Buddhist monastery, together with a stupa and a cave-like shrine with Buddha carvings.
Yala Nationwide Park
Once you’re looking for what to do in Sri Lanka a safari must be on the record! Nationwide parks make up a big portion of Sri Lanka’s terrain. When the wildlife is so totally different from many different areas of the world, nationwide parks grow to be one of many coolest issues to do in Sri Lanka. Many listed here are devoted to conservation and eco-research. Yala Nationwide Park is amongst them, having turn into a wildlife sanctuary in 1990 and since then, striving to be a spot the place animal safety is prioritized – notably elephants, leopards, and aquatic birds.
Yala Nationwide Park is probably the most visited in Sri Lanka and is a well-liked place for wildlife watching. Wild elephants generally roam the park, and it’s right here that the most important focus of leopards on the earth could be discovered; nevertheless, there’s additionally a powerful lineup of reptiles, birds, and amphibians. Waking up early is vital to having a superb safari expertise, particularly in Yala. The park is understood for getting extraordinarily overcrowded and hording round animals – which isn’t cool.
Udalawale Nationwide Park
Like Yala, Udalawale Nationwide Park was established primarily for conservation functions. On this case, for the precise purpose of supporting, rehoming, and defending wildlife that was displaced by the development of an enormous reservoir on the Walawe River – particularly waterfowl and elephants.
Alongside the elephant inhabitants – together with conservation efforts to rehabilitate child elephants – there’s a lengthy record of mammals in Udalawale, like leopards, civets, wild boar, langur monkeys, and extra.
Vacationers are drawn to this nationwide park for a mess of causes. Birdwatching is in style because of a big inhabitants of species within the park, and jeeps will carry guests across the park to identify the native wildlife – simply make certain to inform your information what your pursuits are!
Kaudulla Nationwide Park
Slightly below 200 miles outdoors of Colombo, Kaudulla Nationwide Park is one other pro-conservation park. It’s notably recognized for its chook conservation and has been labeled a crucial location for avian conservation and safety.
The park is particularly fashionable for elephant sightings, with some vacationers reporting seeing over 250 in a single tour. Watching elephant households work together and care for his or her younger has been a specific spotlight for a lot of who’ve traveled to Kaudulla.
However it’s not simply elephants; alongside the standard fauna like leopards, boar, buffalo, and enormous water birds, the park is among the few that’s residence to the gray slender loris, endangered on account of human intervention, which incorporates retaining the loris as a pet or for tourism cruelty.
Horton Plains Nationwide Park & Baker’s Falls
What’s higher than a nationwide park? A nationwide park that boasts all the things from waterfalls and cliffs to a various array of nationwide wildlife. Hortons Plains Nationwide Park is situated within the highlands of mid-southern Sri Lanka and is sure to attraction to hikers and adventurers from far and large.
Because of the altitude of the park – located on a plateau – it’s the supply of many essential rivers within the nation. It’s altitude additionally provides it one of many nation’s hottest points of interest: World’s Finish is a sheer cliff with an instantaneous drop of round four,000 ft. Although steep and harmful, it stays a much-visited a part of the park and presents unparalleled views of the area’s lovely setting.
One other prime attraction you’ll need to cross off your record when you’re right here is Baker’s Falls, a ravishing waterfall situated alongside a river tributary. Throughout germination season, the world’s rhododendron bushes are in full bloom.
Go to a Native Market
Sri Lanka has some significantly superb meals – however you gained’t discover it on the grocery retailer. Be sure to go to an area market when visiting, they’re in nearly each time. It’s right here you’ll discover freshly caught fish and coconuts galore!
Sri Dalada Maligawa / Sacred Temple of the Tooth
It appears an odd factor to construct a temple round a tooth, but when that tooth had belonged to the Gautama Buddha, you’d in all probability do the identical. The Sacred Temple of the Tooth is a Buddhist temple situated within the metropolis of Kandy. Although its exterior seems easy, it’s nonetheless putting in its personal means, because of contrasting pink roofs and shiny white stone partitions.
Inside, the interiors include ornately carved wooden and stone painted shiny colours, serving as a shocking however welcoming distinction to the straightforward however strong exteriors. When you’re capable of go to throughout Esala Perahera (some of the well-known Buddhist celebrations on the earth) you’ll have the privilege of seeing the 10-day parade, and a procession of fireside dancers, musicians, drummers, and an extended line of elephants follows behind.
Being a Buddhist temple, footwear are prohibited, so be sure you pack a pair of socks for the burning, sun-baked pavement.
Dambulla Cave Temple
It’s fairly onerous to limit an inventory of issues to do in Sri Lanka to fewer than 20, however excellent news for vacationers— Sri Lanka appears to haven’t any scarcity of World Heritage websites; the Dambulla Cave Temple is one other one you’ll be able to add to your listing.
Situated 45 miles north of Kandy, the complicated is the oldest and best-preserved cave complicated within the nation. The rock through which it sits towers 160 meters over the plains under and over 80 caves have been recorded thus far. A lot of the main points of interest are concentrated in 5 fundamental caves, together with Buddha statues in addition to statues of varied deities.
As if the origin of the Buddha wasn’t sufficiently old to quell your historical past cravings, the caves right here have been as soon as house to prehistoric Sri Lankans; burial websites with human stays as previous as 2700 years have been recognized.
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is a Buddhist temple constructed on the sting of the Kelaniya River and located roughly seven miles outdoors of Colombo. It’s simply top-of-the-line locations to go to in Sri Lanka! Because of the religious perception that Buddha himself got here to the situation and managed to quell an oncoming struggle, the temple is particularly sacred, thus probably the most necessary Buddhist worship websites in all of Sri Lanka.
The unique temple construction – probably courting from prehistoric Sri Lanka – was partly ruined numerous occasions all through its historical past, whether or not from invaders from the south of India or Portuguese militant forces through the age of Portuguese colonialism. On account of these separate destructions, the edifice right now was erected in 1927, although elements of the unique construction nonetheless stay.
Detailed carvings and impressions, enchanting structure, and each historic and trendy murals depicting the Buddha’s life tales make this a captivating perception into Buddhist worship in Sri Lanka.
Benefit from the Seashores in Mirissa
The small fishing village of Mirissa is a well-liked vacation spot for vacationers after seashores, yoga, and browsing. It’s one of many fundamental seashore locations in Sri Lanka and the city is filled with yoga studios and hip cafes geared in the direction of foreigners. We haven’t been to all of the seashores in Sri Lanka, however are informed by properly seasoned Sri Lankan vacationers it’s the most effective seashores in Sri Lanka. It’s the right spot to observe the sundown and loosen up with a coconut in hand. That is additionally the leaping off level for a lot of whale watching excursions. I personally didn’t like our whale watching tour and wouldn’t advocate partaking within the exercise.
It’s far too many boats full of vacationers chasing after a pod of whales (or in our case – only one). I couldn’t assist however assume this needed to disrupt their pure conduct. Apart from that, it may possibly take anyplace from one hour to eight (or longer) to catch a glimpse of 1. In our case, we went out three hours to sea, chased the whale for twenty minutes, and went again to Mirissa. Seven hours later we left hungry and drained from our very early get up name.
Sri Pada/Adam’s Peak
Hikers and outside fanatics assemble – this one is for you. Adam’s Peak is likely one of the highest mountains in Sri Lanka, with a complete altitude of over 7,300 ft. A big impression within the form of a foot – generally known as Sri Pada – has lengthy been believed to be the footprint of the Buddha departing from the height on his third and ultimate go to. The location is taken into account among the many holiest of Buddhist worship websites and attracts hundreds of pilgrims each season, who will endure a grueling, hours-long hike to the steep peak to pay their respects.
Don’t fear, there are sights alongside the journey; midway up the path, you’ll find the Peace Pagoda, inbuilt 1978 for prayer and meditation. Whether or not or not you select to cease, the sight of the plains under that awaits you once you attain the height makes the journey value it.
Whereas most of the issues to do in Sri Lanka contain exploring temples, roaming nationwide conservation parks and trekking, you’ll be able to’t deny that there’s one thing universally interesting about gentle sand seashores and deep, fiery sunsets.
Arugam Bay is a coastal village on the japanese coast of Sri Lanka, about 200 miles from Colombo. Although its inhabitants is essentially Muslim, there are rising numbers of worldwide expats. Deliver your surfboard if in case you have one; the place the world’s revenue was largely reliant on fishing, it now relies upon extra closely on tourism from browsing, because of high quality waves and breaks within the area.
There’s a ton of traveler-friendly actions, reminiscent of yoga, moped rental, safaris in Kumana Nationwide Park, and extra. Deliver your sense of journey, as a result of Whisky Level has rowdy Friday nights with plenty of dancing and music – or there’s all the time the Mambo’s seashore events.
Attempt Ayurveda in Sri Lanka
Ayurvedic drugs is among the world’s oldest holistic therapeutic techniques. Developed hundreds of years in the past in India it’s based mostly on the assumption that our well being is dependent upon the stability of the spirit, physique, and thoughts. There are particular remedies in the direction of sure well being issues, however the general aim is to advertise good well being throughout.
Siddhalepa Ayurveda was one among our first stops on our Sri Lanka tour and we liked studying about this entire course of, together with getting full physique massages and coverings. In case you’re into well being and wellness it’s one of many prime issues to do in Sri Lanka – plus it’s set alongside a stunning seashore.
Journey the practice from Kandy to Ella
Sri Lanka is well-known for its beautiful, scenic practice rides that cross from one main metropolis to a different, passing by means of lush greenery and unique countryside. The practice experience from Kandy to Ella is far the identical and is persistently thought-about the most effective scenic rides within the nation.
Seven hours in size, and passing between two main cities, the practice passes via lovely terrain similar to sloping tea terraces, waterfalls, tiny villages, and inexperienced valleys. Regardless of which finish you begin at, seize a snack from a vendor on the stations, who are sometimes promoting recent reduce fruit, do-it-yourself curries, or snacks like papadums.
Although each Ella and Kandy are value seeing, it might be correct to say that the practice experience itself is an attraction. Whereas an ideal a part of driving the practice is assembly and hanging out with different vacationers, chances are you’ll not have the ability to tear your eyes away from the window.
Many issues to do in Sri Lanka appear to be UNESCO World Heritage Websites, which means that you simply’re just about assured to see one thing unimaginable. The Galle Fort is a fortress first constructed by the Portuguese within the 16th century on the southwestern coast of the nation. Although upon its preliminary completion it was fairly easy, it has undergone detailed modifications a century later by the Dutch; as a result of fixed cautious maintenance, continues to be in wonderful situation given its age.
The fortification was initially made with mud and sticks. However since its Dutch renovations within the 17th century, it gained many new additions, together with a church, a mosque, a Buddhist temple, a lodge, a clock tower, and the Previous Dutch Hospital.
Since there’s a lot to see rolled up into one attraction, this can be a very in-depth perception into what life might have been like almost 400 years in the past. Don’t overlook to stroll across the city of Galle after you see the fort. It’s obtained loads of distinctive eating places, cafes, and boutique looking for everybody! Was a spotlight of our entire journey to Sri Lanka!
Situated not removed from the town of Kandy, the Knuckles Vary mountains is a much-loved place for trekkers and campers, as a result of a various terrain that features grassland and mountainous terrain in addition to waterfalls and streams. The very best level of the mountains (thus named as a consequence of their resemblance to a clenched fist) stands at over 6100 ft and sits engulfed in a cloud forest.
Trekkers are more likely to spot wildlife on their journey; wild boar, monkeys, porcupines, and mongoose are discovered right here – together with many sorts of lizard.
The place to remain in Sri Lanka
Cinnamon Wild Yala
We stayed right here once we have been on safari in Yala Nationwide Park. Though this lodge isn’t contained in the park, it’s fairly darn shut and there are wild animals on website. We beloved how snug and reasonably priced the rooms have been and it’s solely steps away from the wild coast (see picture above).
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The Hikka Tranz lodge is about proper on the southern coast within the city of Hikkaduwa. It’s solely a 30 minute drive to Galle and an hour to Mirissa. We beloved the meals right here and large pool!
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Cinnamon Grand Colombo
By far probably the greatest lodges in all of Colombo. We stayed right here three nights and completely liked our keep. Rooms have been spacious and cozy and the employees are absoltely pleasant. We espcially loved the complete service cafe within the foyer and the sushi on the buffet.
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Plan Your Travels to Sri Lanka
We depend on a couple of trusted web sites that assist save us time and cash when reserving motels, flights, and automotive leases. Take a look at a few of our most popular companions under.
- Want Transportation? See one of the best methods to get round Asia right here.
- Journey Insurance coverage: We by no means journey with out journey insurance coverage with World Nomads. Natasha is a little bit of a fear wart and would moderately keep protected than sorry. World Nomads gives unimaginable versatile and nice plans!
- Water: The water in Sri Lanka isn’t drinkable.
- Information Ebook: Typically it’s good simply to have an actual guide in your palms when touring. We advocate the Lonely Planet Sri Lanka guidebook.
- Adapter: Ensure you discover a good common adapter just like the one I’ve to maintain you charged. In any other case, you could wrestle to seek out one when you land.