Everyone goes to Hawaii and Mauritius, but the real deal of a truly wholesome tropical vacation lies in Sri Lanka! The small island country is just north of the equator and off the southeast coast of India – being only 240 km, you can experience all of its sights that will entice your senses and adventure abounds. You can relax on golden beaches, trek through rainforests, have special moments interacting with wildlife like elephants, leopards and more. Head over to the tea-covered hills that envelop you in an exotic aroma, revisit history in the Buddhist ruins and go on to explore Sri Lanka’s exciting local cuisine, centuries old culture and traditions, art and culture, as you are welcomed by her warm people and reside in the best accommodations. Now doesn’t that already sound like the best holiday ever? We went ahead and curated a Sri Lanka bucket list just for you –
This is on the top of our list and on top of Sri Lanka too! The views from the top at Sigiriya are breathtaking to say the least! You’ll see a giant rock fortress, carved in the shape of a lion that rises out of the jungle as you climb and reach closer to the top – one of the most beautiful tropical hikes.
The Largest Elephant Gathering
Elephants are an iconic symbol of Sri Lanka – you cannot miss these happy creatures while on your trip! Minneriya NP is a great place to spot these magnificent animals. From June to September there is “The Gathering” that happens – an annual meeting of that is known to be the largest wild gathering of Asian Elephants who come together for a drink, to bathe and look for a potential mate. Other places to find them are the Yala National Park, Udawalawe and Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary where you can play with and feed orphaned elephants – a guaranteed way to fill your heart with joy the size of an elephant.
Tropical Sun And Sand
Sri Lanka is known for its white sand stretches and big waves making it a thrill to enjoy surfing, water sports, snorkeling and more. It is also home to serene sunsets that you can watch while sipping on fresh coconut water or while enjoying fishing with the local fisherman on stilts!
Buddhist Ruins and Temples
Wander around the ancient city of Polonnaruwa – a world heritage site where kings used to rule. Here you’ll find the Gal Vihare complex which are four massive images of Buddha all carved from a single slab of granite showcasing intricate skill and artform. The impressive Dambulla Cave Complex is home to a temple built under a huge rock which is still holds a strong belief among locals and tourists. Each of the caves are filled with spectacular Buddha statues and paintings making it a museum of the golden era of Buddhist art in Sri Lanka.
Tea in the Highlands
Sri Lanka has one of the world’s best tea plantations thanks to the cooler climate in the hills and the lush green covers of the highlands. You can stay in the highlands and enjoy a wonderful time sipping some of the best teas, visiting plantations and learning about some of Sri Lanka’s colonial past making it an enriching experience for your palate and your mind.
Wonderful Wildlife And National Parks
The southern part of Sri Lanka is the preferred hang out spot by Blue whales where they swim relatively close to shore. Mirissa and Dondra are the best places for whale watching and the season ranges from January to April when the whales swim between the Bay of Bengal and the Western Indian Ocean.
Sri Lanka is also home to turtles who love the southwestern coast and come ashore to lay their eggs. There are several turtle hatcheries along the coast that you can visit to learn more about the conservation and protection of the species. If you are lucky you might even catch the baby turtles breaking out of the eggs and waddling towards the water – a beautiful miracle.
Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world so you will certainly see them on this safari. It is located in the dry zone of the country meaning that it is open all year and offers various other activities when it’s not leopard safari season – never a bad time to have an adventure at Yala National Park which is also home to sloth bears, peacocks, crocodiles, spotted deer, a huge range of birds and more.
Local People And Culture
The local people of Sri Lanka are warm, friendly and treat visitors like family. They enjoy entertaining guests and will go out of their way to make your visit happier. Sri Lankans always have a smile on their face and love their community, traditions and festivals – ask them about those things to learn about Sri Lanka from the best source there is. Sri Lankans speak English so you can navigate around with ease and they will always offer to help you without hesitation.
Temple Of The Tooth:
In the heart of Sri Lanka there is a city called Kandy where you will find the Temple of the Tooth. It is one of the most cherished spots of the country because it has the tooth of Buddha himself who is the most worshiped figure in the country. The tooth is in a golden casket and there are so many stories surrounding it which makes it one of the most unusual yet interesting temples in Sri Lanka.
Travelbay are Sri Lanka’s experts and can provide their pre-made tour itinerary or curate a special tour just for you ensuring the best time which is tailored to your needs with none of the planning worries thanks to their ever-present customer service team. Travelbay will take care of the day to day plans and make all the necessary logistical bookings (even a personal tour guide if you wish!) so that you can have a seamless experience at affordable prices because vacations are meant to be relaxing and what better way than to have someone take care of it all for you.