Sri Lanka is regarded by many travelers as one of the most exciting and interesting destinations in the world. Basically, it is a great melting pot of history, culture and attractions, which means that it is an amazing place to explore.
So, which are the ‘Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka’ for a Sri Lanka Holiday?
Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka
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Known for having great beach resorts in the southern and south-western coastal belts of Sri Lanka, Bentota offers access to great shores with crystal-clear and warm waters.
With a plethora of hotels and facilities for tourists, the place offers the perfect location for extended beach holidays.
If you love water sports, it also brings in more pleasures that you will not find anywhere else.
Beruwala is also a prime beach resort in the south-western coastal belt of Sri Lanka, specifically located south of Colombo.
This place offers access to the fishing village of Aluthgama, which is just next to the country’s most famous beach resort, Bentota Beach.
Aside from a beach that is great for swimming throughout the year, Beruwala offers fantastic water sports, such as wind surfing, water scooter rides, water skiing and parasailing. It also offer deep-sea fishing and scuba diving opportunities.
This place has ruins which are among most evocative sights in South Asia, where you can see a rich collection of architectural and archaeological wonders, including crumbling temples, soaring brick towers, ancient pools and enormous dagobas that were constructed during the rule of Anuradhapura in the country.
Today, a number of these sites are still used as temples and holy places, where frequent ceremonies are held, making Anuradhapura a vibrant place.
Here in Dambulla, you will find the really old Buddhist cave temple, which is actually composed of five adjacent caves that are filled with colorful statues carved into the rocks, with the first one created more than two centuries ago.
As for the largest cave here, it contains 16 Buddha statues standing and 40 sitting.
Take note that the caves are deeply spiritual places, which comprise a complex that is still functioning as a temple, which means that you have to take off your shoes, cover your shoulders and knees, and be respectful in general.
5. Sigiriya – 8th Wonder of the World
Sigiriya – This rock fortress is basically an enormous solidified volcanic mass that was briefly turned into an ostentatious military residence by a king ages ago.
Features of this site include remains of an epic ground-level summer garden, massive man-made moat, immense mirror wall, ancient rock wall paintings and ruins of a royal residence.
6. Arugam Bay
This lovely bay is home to a famous point break that is regarded as the best surfing spot in the country.
And if you are not a surfer, the place offers a lot of holiday conveniences and activities, such as beachfront guesthouses, ocean-side restaurants and water-based sports.
7. Bundala National Park
This park holds international importance as wintering ground for migratory birds in Sri Lanka, harboring about 197 species of birds, with the highlight being the greater flamingo.
Before it was re-designated to a national park in 1993, Bundala was originally a wildlife sanctuary that became the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site.
The national park was also designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2005, making it the fourth of such place in the country.
Once called the Garden City of the East in the 19th century, Colombo city is fast emerging as top destination in Sri Lanka.
The legacy of this city’s colonial roots is still intact, which you can see along its boulevards.
One of the most popular attractions here is the Fort, which has been restored, the Pettah brims, which is brimming with markets, and the Galle Rd, which is getting more attractive with new hotel complexes, especially at the seafront.
Moreover, the city’s cosmopolitan area is sprawling with stylish museums and restaurants, where you can get great local food.
9. Hikkaduwa Coral Reef and Sandy Beaches
The fun coastal town of Hikkaduwa was the first of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches to be discovered by tourists in the 1960s.
Today, diving and snorkeling in its clear waters are among the primary past-times along its shores and are considered as the most environment-friendly means of seeing the place’s colorful reef and exotic marine life.
The wide and fine beaches here are definitely safe for swimming whole year round and are surrounded by impressive coral reef running just offshore.
Aside from these activities, there are also many shops that sell gems, jewelry, masks, antiques, batik and other items that add spice to life at this beautiful destination in Sri Lanka.
This place attracts tourists with its dolphins and kite-surfing. As you can see, huge schools of dolphins are often seen playing and jostling in the offshore waters, which is an experience that you will have up close via boat safaris.
If you like to dance through the waves, then you can do some kite-surfing here, where there are constant strong winds.
In fact, Kalpitiya is considered to have the best kite-surfing conditions in South Asia.
Kandy is known for having skies with stubborn mist clinging to its hills that surround its beautiful lake at the center.
The hills here are decorated with colorful houses and hotels, and the urban area is buzzing with spontaneous street markets, restaurants and transport stations, with culture and history being on tap.
The city is also known for the Esala Perahera festival, which is celebrated every year for 10 days.
As the capital of Sri Lanka in the past, Polonnaruwa is an amazing site to explore to imagine yourself being at the height of its power in the old times or re-discover its lush tropical vine-covered ruins from the early colonial times.
This place is basically a beautiful and fascinating destination that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
13. Wilpattu National Park
This is one of the oldest and the largest national parks in Sri Lanka, which is known for its leopard population.
14. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Located in northwest of Kegalle in Sri Lanka, The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka was established by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department in 1975.
It is spread out in a 25-acre coconut property that adjoins the Maha Oya River, with the aim to provide protection and care to orphaned elephants in the country’s jungles.
Today it is one of the top attractions for travellers visiting Sri Lanka.
Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka
There you have it. When planning for a Sri Lanka vacation, make sure you have these top places to visit in this beautiful country!
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