For a historical and cultural holiday, make Sri Lanka your next vacation destination. The kind of sightseeing tours & activities you will experience in this island nation will be as diverse as can be, especially because its landscape is a mix of arid lands, rainforest, highlands and sandy beaches.
It is also home to ancient ruins that date back to more than 2,000 years ago, and temples that house sacred relics of the Buddha. Suffice to say that your vacation will be most unforgettable in Sri Lanka.
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Top 10 Reasons Why You Must Visit Sri Lanka
1. Cultural Heritage
This island nation has six archaeological UNESCO world heritage sites, which pretty much say a lot about its cultural depth – the sacred cities of Anuradhapura and Kandy, the old town of Galle and its fortifications, the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya, the golden temple of Dambulla, and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve.
These exclude other cultural attractions that are not world heritage by standard, but are just as deep in culture and heritage.
Nearly everywhere you turn, you will see dagobas, which are dome-shaped structures, temples, and carvings done on the mountainside, cliff face or huge rocks. Each of these structures and creations bear symbolism that are vital to Sri Lanka’s way of life.
2. Ramayana Trail
The Ramayana is a great Hindu epic that tells a story about King Ravana whose desire for Lord Ram’s wife, Princess Sita, turned out to be his downfall, turning him into a demon king.
Based on the sites linked to the main characters of the story, the Trail of Ramayana was born. At the moment, there are 50 sites included in the trail, which will take you all around Sri Lanka, learning a different chapter of the story every time.
Imagine standing right where Princess Sita was held captive, or that place where Lord Ram and King Ravana battled it out.
3. Beautiful Beaches
Being an island nation in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, where you can engage in all sorts of watersports, and a spot of whale, dolphin and turtle watching.
Mirissa comes highly recommended because of Dondra Point, the take-off point for whale and dolphin watching. It also has a white, sand beach with plenty of nearby accommodation.
If you prefer somewhere less crowded, you should head out to Kalpitiya in the Puttalam district that remains remarkably untouched by tourism to this day. Of course, you can’t expect it to have the amenities other beach resorts can offer.
Other must-visit beaches are Alankuda Beach, Kalkudah & Passekudah, Trincomalee and Nilaveli Beaches, and many others. In Sri Lanka, you can have a beach-hopping holiday.
4. Adventure and Special Interest Tours
With its vast and diverse landscape, there are many things to do and adventures to experience in Sri Lanka, whether on land, sea or air.
On land, you can go rock climbing, mountain climbing, hiking, trekking, cycling & mountain biking, 4WD Adventures and NASCAR racing. See the whole of Sri Lanka from the top aboard a hot air balloon.
And if you want to get wet and wild, you can go diving, surfing, water skiing, whitewater rafting, kayaking & canoeing, and fishing.
Sri Lanka also offers special tours, such as a visit to all its wildlife preserves, temple tours, camping, rainforest expeditions, agro tourism, visit to tea plantations, and healing tours that involve staying in Ayurveda camps for yoga, meditation and massage.
5. Whale & Dolphin Safari
Time your holiday right, and you could spend your entire Sri Lankan vacation whale and dolphin watching. Head out to Dondra Point in Mirissa from December to April, in Kalpitiya on November to March, and in Trincomalee from June to December.
Among these take-off points, Kalpitiya is where you have a chance to see pods of 1000 dolphins, along with a few whales, if you get lucky.
6. Sri Lankan People
The warmth and hospitality of the locals would make any tourist feel right at home. As a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious society, everyone is different and yet all the same.
The Veddahs are Sri Lanka’s indigenous people, while the Tamils and Sinhalese are its main ethnic groups. There is also a good mix of Muslims, Chinese, Malays, Kaffirs from Africa, the European traders Burghers and other ethnicity that make up smaller communities in the island nation.
7. Tea Plantation & Spices
Did you know that you can taste authentic British tea in Sri Lanka? Being under British rule for a long time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that tea planting became part of the nation’s history and culture.
With many tea plantations all over the island, you can even go on a tea tourism, where you get to see the tea plantations and how tea leaves are made, and then get a taste of British and Sri Lankan tea.
Like tea, a wide range of spices are also cultivated and grown locally. In fact, they are one of the most popularly exported products from Sri Lanka. These include Ceylon cinnamon, Cardamom, pepper, cloves, vanilla, and nutmeg and mace.
8. Sri Lankan Food
Most people describe Sri Lankan food as similar to Indian cuisine, but with their own twist.
A buffet is likely to consist of rice, and a wide range of curries that are not only colorful, but also vary in terms of potency. If you want to enjoy an “explosive” lunch, choose the hottest of curries available.
Wildlife tours is one of the most popular things to do when in Sri Lanka, what with the nation’s many reserves and conservation areas.
Elephants, in particular, are abundant in the area. There is an annual event called The Gathering where hundreds of elephants migrate from one national park to another.
Sri Lanka is a major garment exporter, so expect to see beautiful and high-quality fabrics and fashionable items in bazaars and shopping centers.
There are also local and handcrafted fares that will make great souvenirs. These include batiks, gems, spices, tea, brassware, and masks that are historically distinct in Sri Lanka. Shopping in Sri Lanka takes on many forms.
There are plenty more amazing things to do and see in this island nation that a 2-week holiday in Sri Lanka won’t be enough.
More Reasons Why You Must Visit Sri Lanka
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