Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Things To Do In Sri Lanka

Colombo City

Colombo City - A kaleidoscopic collage of different colours and cultures intersected by bustling markets, picturesque gardens and buildings that run the spectrum from regal to ramshackle and back again, Sri Lanka’s capital city of Colombo is worth a visit for anyone who craves a dash of chaos and urban cosmopolitanism in a primarily rural country. Brush up on your knowledge of Sri Lanka's history with a visit to the National Museum, where art, carvings and statues dating back to 1877.

Sri Lanka Beaches

Sri Lanka Beaches  - the oceans around Sri Lanka can be quite rough making swimming difficult. All the beaches operate a flag policy that guests should take seriously. Generally, the best time to swim in the sea on the West Coast is between February - May and on the East coast between August - October.

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park - situated 30km from Anandhapura the park offers a fantastic opportunity to view leopard in the wild, plus water buffalo, sloth bears, spotted deers and a variety of birds and reptiles. We suggest staying in Ulagalla and visiting the park at sunrise or around 3pm, out of the heat of the day, as this is the best chance of spotting leopard.

Anandharapura Ruins

Anandharapura Ruins - The majestic Anuradhapura Ruins encompasses ancient brick towers climbing skywards over ornate pools, vast dagobas and crumbling temples; not yet completely abandoned, several of the sites remain in use as active temples and holy places.

Dambulla Caves

Dambulla Caves - Home to Sri Lanka’s famous cave temples, the ancient town of Dambulla is steeped in romance and spoilt in its variety of astonishing sites and intriguing activities. Hike up the rock face to the cave temples, view recreations of cave temple art in the Dambulla Museum, or peruse the bustling produce market. Once used as refuge by King Valagamba when he was exiled, before he turned them into temples on his return. Their interior is now gilded, hence their nickname: Golden Rocks.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of the most impressive sites in Sri Lanka offering magnificent views from the top. The citadel built around 500 AD, offers a remaining series of frescoes situated above a speiral staircase half way up the rock, at the summit sits the remains of the royal palace.

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park - located just 10 minutes outside of Habarana, the park forms part of the elephant corridor and large numbers can be found at certain times of the year during their migrations, normally this is between July and October, peaking in August and September.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa - offers the finest collection of Sinhalese art and architecture.

Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island National Park, Trincomole - Just off the shore of Trincomole, Pigeon Island National Park (named due to it being a breeding ground for rock pigeons) boasts beautiful rock pools to splash in, paths that meander through stunning undergrowth and an underwater life second to none. The island is known for its snorkelling and diving excursions which give you a chance to see the tropical plants and creatures that call Sri Lanka their home.

Temple of Sacred Tooth

Temple of Sacred Tooth, Kandy - houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – purported to be the tooth of Buddha, it was brought to the city of Kandy in 1542 and sits inside a palace complex next to Kandy's lake.

Kandy Perahera Festival

Kandy Perahera Festival - One of Asia's most spectacular festivals with huge processions of decorated elephants, Kandyan drummers, dancers and acrobats.

Kitulgala White Water Rafting

Kitulgala White Water Rafting -  adventure white water rafting trips can be organised in Kitulgala, where the film Bridge over the River Kwai was shot; larger families could even divide into groups and have a little friendly competition!

Kandy to Nuwara Eliya by Train

Kandy to Nuwara Eliya by Train - a fantastic opportunity to travel by train (4.5 hours) and view spectacular scenery, waterfalls, tea plantations and glimpses of Adams Peak mountain.

Nuwara Eliya Tea Plantations

Nuwara Eliya Tea Plantations - Perhaps the most landscape changing feature of the nation’s colonial heritage, Sri Lanka’s tea plantations sprawl across the hill country comprising a fertile green landscape that is breathtakingly scenic. Venture through their winding trails together, and make sure you try the tea that has long been renowned as some of the best in the world. Trek along the endless, undulating tea plantations, or challenge yourselves with a more demanding mountain hike.

Horton Plains Walks

Horton Plains Walks - Explore the mystic Horton Plains together and absorb the strange, ethereal beauty of their undulating landscape, cross stitched by tufty grasslands, glassy lakes and patches of forest and lying in the shadow of some of Sri Lanka’s highest mountains. Boasting a diverse birdlife, if you arrive at dawn or dusk you may also catch glimpse of wild boar, sambar deer or wild boar roaming in the misty meadows.

Uda Walawe Elephants

Uda Walawe Elephants - Sprawling across a vast 30,821 hectares and encompassing the large Uda Walawe Resevoir, the Uda Walawe National Park is Sri Lanka’s premier wildlife destination, and the best place to see herds of elephants, sambar deer and wild buffalo roaming free across the plains. Leopard are rarely spotted.

Galle Fort

Galle Fort - The Dutch fort at Galle is one of Sri Lanka’s shining relics of its colonial legacy. Lined with colonial Dutch and English style houses in narrow alleyways, it is easy to forget that you are on an island in the midst of the tropical Indian Ocean as you wander round and admire the astonishing architecture.

Whale Watching

Whale Watching, Mirissa - both Blue and Sperm whales can be found just a few miles off the south coast of Sri Lanka. The best time to go is when the sea is calmer, normally between January - April, trips normally start early in the day from Mirissa Harbour, 45 minutes from Galle.

Mangroves & Nature, Aragam Bay

Mangroves & Nature, Aragam Bay - A patchwork of mangroves and islands intersected by tranquil waterways, the Pottuvil Lagoon near Arugam Bay, boasts monkeys, lizards, crocodiles, kingfishers, eagles, peacocks and even the occasional elephant! Cruise along the rivers on the mangrove eco-tour and gaze out over a lagoon environment that is both serene and captivating.

Bururuwagala Buddha

Bururuwagala Buddha, near Yala - A short distance south of Wellawaya (near Yala National Park), an unassuming side road will lead you to the awe inspiring rock cut Buddha figures of Bururuwagala. Dating all the way back to the 10th century, the figures belong to the Mahayana Buddhist school and is over 15 metres high.

Yala Leopard Watching

Yala Leopard Watching - Yala is one of Sri Lanka's most visited national parks and offers a great chance to view leopards, elephants, sloth bear, crocodiles, buffalo and a variety of birds. The best time to view the leopards are sunrise or from 3pm, after the heat of the day and we suggest to stay at Cinnamon Wild.

Alternative Indian Ocean Countries