Sri Lanka Tourism will open for Tourists from 23rd January, 2021
Sri Lanka Government will reopen international Airports for tourists starting from 23 January 2021.
Recently over 560 Ukrainian tourists arrived to Sri Lanka under a pilot project that was implemented from 29 December, 2020 onwards as part of the Government’s plan to start the tourism industry in order to support the economy of the country impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that 12 main tourist attractions have been introduced as hotspots for foreign tourists after the pilot project.
1. Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa)
2. Yala National Park
3. Minneriya National Park
4. Udawalawe National Park
6. Dambulla Royal Cave Temple
7. Peradeniya Botanical Garden
8. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
9. Horton Plains
10.Sinharaja Rain Forest
11. Mirissa Whale watching
12. Salusala- the State-owned handloom enterprise
All tourists should take PCR test and should follow the health and safety protocols outlined by the Government.
Further Minister Ranatunga instructed to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to coordinate these visits and take further action in accordance with the health guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
Sri Lanka Travel with Kids
Do you Plan to travel Sri Lanka with Kids?
Sri Lanka is home for big number of elephants. Kids would love to enjoy lovely moment of elephants, specially baby elephants. Every moment of an elephant is amazing and lovely to see. How they bath in water, eat & drink, walking with families, playing, this and that everything is amazing. Minneriya national park is the best place to see elephants. Udawalawe national park, Udawalawe elephant transit home, Kaudulla national park are some of best places to see elephants in Sri Lanka. And some rural villages like wellawaya, Handapanagala, Habarana also best place to see lovely moments of wild elephants in natural habitats
Kids love to see leopards and lovely moment of them. Leopards are very attractive and you must be lucky enough to see leopards in jungle. Sri Lanka is home for leopards and many more members of cat family. Yala national park and Wilpattu national park is the best place to spot leopards in Sri Lanka.
Travel Sri Lanka with Kids, Both kids and monkeys are lovely and funny. Kids may be very busy looking at one million and one funny activities of baby monkeys. Polonnaruwa – Anuradhapura – Sigiriya is kingdom of monkeys. Monkeys can be seen in many parts in of Sri Lanka.
Overnight at Bubble House Tent
Bubble House Tent is an amazing experience for kids, even for adults in Sri Lanka as it is surrounded by amazing nature, beaches and shine sky and stars at night. Kids can enjoy amazing moments in top of mountains – beaches – vegetations under the stars in bubble house tent.
Pristine beaches of Sri Lanka is one of best attraction of kids. Kids love to spend days playing, resting relaxing and enjoying beach – sun – sea and sand. Nilaveli beach, Pasikuda, Mirissa, Tangalle, Bentota and Thalpe are few best beaches in Sri Lanka, specially for kids and families.
Kids would love enjoy boat tours in Sri Lanka, in beautiful rivers and lakes, even in clam sea. Sri Lanka offers amazing boat tours both in down south area and country side. This journeys are adventures for kids and safe. Kids can enjoy amazing atmosphere surrounded by nature and wildlife.
Scuba diving is one of upcoming adventure trend for kids in Sri Lanka. Kids can learn techniques of diving through theory in the classroom, followed by basic skill training in the shallow house reef. Then can start diving from 2 m deep to more levels in the sea with time and experience. Sri Lanka is the best place to start diving life which would be an amazing experience of life time.
Kids love to take-part in few indoor activities specially in Sri Lanka. Carrom is one of favorite game of kids during their stay in hotels. And also kids love chess games and other indoor activities in kids clubs and few indoor sports like table tennis, badminton.
Unique accommodation trends in Sri Lanka
Bubble House Tent
Spending days in bubble house tents is one of most amazing experience in Sri Lanka. May be you stay on top of mountains next to stars with your lovely partner, may be on pristine beaches of Sri Lanka and also in the jungle with wildlife. No matter where you are, it is an amazing experience you ever get in lifetime, specially in Sri Lanka.
Luxury Boutique Hotels
Stylize luxury boutique hotels with amazing atmosphere, furniture, architecture, luxury amenities, personalized service are booming trend in Sri Lanka. There are number of Boutique hotels with different themes, most of locations are amazing and unbelievable. Best part is most of luxury boutique hotels are in untouched location where you could enjoy freedom – privacy and luxury lifestyle.
Camping on Mountain Tops
Camping on mountain tops makes your holiday more unique and adventures. Sri Lanka has number of mountain tops where people do not reach often. Camping on mountain tops is becoming a new trend in Sri Lanka. This experience is mostly enjoyed by hikers, trekkers and adventure lovers.
Road Trips Caravan
Caravan road trips are one of most amazing experience all over the world. Here Sri Lanka offer this amazing experience for first time in the history. Sri Lanka was not popular for caravan road trips so far. Anyhow this has become a upcoming trend in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is very safety country for international tourist and people are friendly and hospitable. Country has so many beautiful location and attractions to visit and spend days in your own caravan.
Stay in Local Home Stay
Check into a local house, eat what they eat, drink what they drink, see how they cook, share beautiful memories of life. Walk in their gardens. Have a great time and experience real lifestyle of Sri Lanka. Local people are very friendly and hospitable. Houses are bit small but well arranged and clean. Prices are not high and reasonable. Time you spend in local homestay will make your journey amazed and memorable.
Authentic Sri Lanka – Where to explore real life style of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is one of unique destination where local people have their own way of living, they are really different from entire world around may be from unique and rich culture more than 2500 years old interact with Buddhism. The livelihoods of people are very simple, mainly based on agriculture and primary economic activities. There are few cities where already commercialized, but most parts of the country still based on agriculture and rural style of living.
Places to explore rural lifestyle and traditional style of living
Wellawaya is one of most rural village in Sri Lanka. People are very simple, honest and hospitable. The family bonds are amazing and very strong. Local people live in small houses, may be build with simple raw materials found from nature. They grow their own foods in paddy fields and wild chena. Women are basically taking care of household activities alike cooking, looking after children, maintaining home garden where males are busy with agricultural activities. The area is full of amazing nature, flora and fauna, wildlife, birds, mountains, tanks, water reservations and many more. Local foods are very tasty and cooking techniques are amazing and very simple. The best part is people have to protect their vegetation from wildlife during night time, specially from elephants and wild pig. So people stay in “pela” at night. It is amazing to see natural habitat of wildlife during night time. People has their own traditions and customs which makes a community very beautiful.
Dabana is a very rural area of the country, where is the home for “Vedda people” who are the minority indigenous group of people in Sri Lanka. They are very very different from local community. They have their own way of living. Everything is very unique to them. Even they have different law within their community. Different customs and traditions, art and dance, food habits, livelihoods, festivals, ethics and many more. Just simply there are unique human beings on planet earth.
Heeloya is another rural village still owns the real authenticity of Sri Lanka. Heeloya is the highest village in the country, located next to Knuckles mountain range. People and their livelihoods are very simple and nice. Local foods, vegetation, atmosphere, customs and traditions are amazing.
Haputale is a small tamil village in hill country. Cool climate, amazing views across mountains and tea plantations are unforgettable. Local tamil people, smiling children are really nice – simple and honest. Working in tea plantations, vegetation are main livelihoods of people. Local tamil foods are very tasty. Tamil customs, traditions and festivals are very beautiful and attractive. Evening is very nice in Haputale with tamil songs playing around and cool climate with mist.
Places to explore history of the country
Take a stroll back in time as you walk through historic ruins of buildings, Buddhist shrines, kingdoms and cities! Anuradhapura was one of the most notable ancient capitals in Sri Lanka and has been marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Anuradhapura offers curious travelers an insight into the island’s rich history and diverse culture. The ‘sacred city of Anuradhapura’ is believed to be home to the Sri Maha Bodhi, a sapling taken from the main Peepal Tree in Bodhi Gaya, India, under which Lord Buddha was said to have attained enlightenment. Some of the other significant places to visit are the Ruwanweliseya; a pristine, towering, Buddhist shrine, the Abhayagiri Monastery; found around 109 BC, a stunning 2m Samadhi statue of the Buddha carved during the 4th century and the wondrous Kuttam Pokuna; ancient twin ponds.
Polonnaruwa was the second ancient capital city of Sri Lanka, after the fall of the Anuradhapura Kingdom.This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers travelers an escape from modern civilizations and transports them to one of the oldest planned archaeological cities in the country. The city was made famous following the ‘Monkey Kingdom’ movie that was released displaying the wild inhabitants of the ancient city. While exploring this medieval town, make sure you visit the largest man-made rainwater reservoir known as Parakrama Samudraya, a 3.5m high statue of King Parakramabahu the Great, the Royal Palace and audience halls, the Potgul Vehara, Shiva Devale, the Lankatilaka and many other ancient monuments and structures.
Dambulla & Sigiriya
Dambulla and Sigiriya are two of the most popular, historic towns in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya is famed for its dramatic Sigiriya Rock Fortress built by a patricidal king who dreamed of building his palace in the sky and his kingdom around it. The immaculately designed, advanced water gardens, the beautiful frescoes of deities adorning the rock face and the stunning panoramic view from the peak are some of the main attractions at Sigiriya Rock. Dambulla is iconic for the Dambulla Cave Temples, home to a plethora of images and statues of the Buddha.Less than 30 minutes from each other, Sigiriya and Dambulla are the stunning historic attractions in the country.
The last ancient capital ruled by the kings, the city of Kandy is nestled between lush mountains. Considered as the cultural capital of the island, the city is also protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. Home to the most religious temple in Sri Lanka, the Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, it attracts worshipers and tourists from around the world. Embekke is one of best place showing architecture and arts of Sri Lanka. Gadaladeniya, Lankathilaka temple, Kandy museum has many evidence of history of the country.
Art & Dance of Sri Lanka
Kandyan Dance / Udarata Dance
This dancing style is origin from Kandy up country and unique to Kandy.
This is one of spiritual event and dance in up country. This dance is done with the belief of good health and prosperity.
This dance are origin from down part of the country in ancient era, specially from coastal area. Through this dances and events people expect health, wealth and prosperity of the country. There are many customs, traditions and beliefs connected with these dancing.
Wooden mask are created by local people and it is considered as symbol of Sri Lankan arts & crafts, wooden mask industry is highly popular in Ambalanthota and down south area of the country.
This painting belongs to ancient era of king Kashapa, and still you can see in ancient kingdom of Sirigiya. There are many more beautiful paintings all over the Sri Lanka. Specially in temples, kovils, ruins of ancient kingdoms and museums.
Authentic Festivals in Sri Lanka
Sinhala Hindu New year
Sinhalese New Year, generally known as Aluth Avurudda in Sri Lanka, is a Sri Lankan holiday that celebrates the traditional New Year of the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka. It is a major anniversary celebrated by not only the Sinhalese people but by most Sri Lankans during second week of April. There are lots of customs and traditions that could only see in Sri Lanka during Sinhala and Hindu new year.
Vesak, also known as Wesak, Buddha Purnima and Buddha Day, is a holiday traditionally observed by Buddhists, lots of religious activities are taken place all over the country. Beautiful vesak lanterns, decorations and thoran makes the festival more attractive.
Diwali, Deepavali or Dipavali is the Hindu festival of lights, which celebrates the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after 14 years. Sri Lankans celebrate this event and many festivals, decorations could be seen all over the country.
The Kandy Esala Perahera also known as The Festival of the Tooth is a grand festival celebrated with elegant costumes and is held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This an amazing event in Sri Lanka which shows the uniqueness of rich culture and country.
Top 5 trekking routes in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an small island in the Indian ocean very rich with its own mountain ranges, landscapes, waterfalls, rivers, golden beaches, wildlife, birds, bio-diversity and endless nature. And also this miracle island is rich with both natural and man-made world heritage sites, culture and history, amazing human creations, traditional lifestyle of people and many more. Sri Lanka is one of best destination for trekking and hiking for worldwide tourists. There are many trekking destinations in Sri Lanka and following are top five trekking routes.
Knuckles Mountain Range
The Knuckles Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, in the Districts of Matale and Kandy. The range takes its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif which resembles the knuckles of clenched fist when viewed from certain locations in the Kandy district. Whilst this name was assigned by early British surveyors, the Sinhalese residents have traditionally referred to the area as Dumbara Kanduvetiya meaning mist-laden mountain range. Knuckles Mountain Forest Range covering an area of approximately 21,000 ha is a part of the Central Highlands World Heritage site, declared in 2010. Though it is a part of Central Highlands it is well separated by Mahaweli river valley from the sides of South and east and Matale valley from the west.Knuckles Mountain Forest Range consists of a range of vegetation types that have resulted from diverse climatic and topographic conditions. Among these are the humid tropical lowland semi evergreen forest, tropical sub-mountain humid evergreen forest, montane grassland (patana) and pygmy forest. The complexity brought to the area with vegetation types is further increased by range of modifications made to the landscape by people since the British colonization.
Knuckles Mountain Forest Range supports a rich biological diversity with 128 species of birds, 20 species of amphibians, 53 species of reptiles, 15 freshwater species and 31 mammal species. All species are not equally distributed throughout the range. Their distribution depends on multiple factors such as food availability, availability of nesting sites etc. that vary with climate, elevation and land cover.
Trekkers could enjoy both knuckles peak hike which is 16 kilometers both ways and knuckles waterfall trekking which is 09 kilometers both ways. The best time to start trekking is 06.30 am and overnight stay at camping site would make the journey perfect trill and adventures.
Hiking & trekking in Devil’s Staircase trail to Ohiya
The track through the Devils Staircase is one of the most popular hiking and jeep tracks in the hills of Sri Lanka. The difficulty levels and the spectacular view of the green mountains of Sri Lanka has made this a hikers paradise but only the most ardent hikers will undertake this 15 km hike. Generally hikers choose the Bambarakanda Rest near Bambarakanda Ella Falls as the starting point to the journey if they wish to start the journey from this end. This trail goes over old dilapidated estate roads through many estates. This trail ends on the Ohiya – Horton Plains road around the halfway distance from Ohiya Railway Station to the Horton Plains Entrance.
There are no markers along the route, therefore it’s advised to use a guide if attempting the journey for the first time. The route has number of folks and they could easily divert you from the original path. The trail is 15 km long from Bambarakanda and would take approximately 7 hours to complete the hike. The two most popular points on the route is the “V cut”, a channel cut through the hill to allow the road to pass through. You will come across this after entering the Udaveriya estate. Passing this, the road will go across a stream which creates the tallest fall in the country, the Bambarakanda Falls.
The best time to start trekking is 07.30 am at the Bambarakanda trail head. Once you reach to Ohiya you can spend overnight at small local guest houses or local homestays near by enjoying natural beauty of hill country and comfortable climate.
Hiking/trekking to Kirigalpoththa Mountain via Horton Plains.
Kirigalpoththa is the 2nd highest Mountain of Sri Lanka after Pidurutalagala. With a peak elevation of 2,388 meters above sea level. Kirigalpoththa is the highest point in the Horton Plains National Park and also the highest peak accessible to the public. This 7km trail (one way) will take around 5 1/2 hours of trekking, hiking & mountaineering challenges. Attempting Kirigalpoththa is for the daring adventurers only as the conditions can be treacherous due to the difficulty of the terrain and weather. For every eight people who have reached the summit, one has always never reached the summit. A single & a slightly overgrown path snake through grassy plains, cloud forest, bog & finally steep rock surfaces. Sri Lankan Leopard & Sambur are the bigger wild animals you may sometimes come across; if you are lucky, you may even encounter a few endemic bird species as well. Horton Plains National Park in Pattipola is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100– 2,300 meters (6,900–7,500 ft.) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) from Ohiya, 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) from the world famous Ohiya Gap/Dondra Watch and 32 kilometers (20 mi) from Nuwara Eliya.
The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains. Stone tools dating back to Balangoda culture have been found here. The plains’ vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest, and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan Sāmbhar deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. Forest dieback is one of the major threats to the park and some studies suggest that it is caused by a natural phenomenon. Horton Plains is located on the southern plateau of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. The peaks of Kirigalpoththa (2,388 meters (7,838 ft.)) and Thotupola Kanda (2,357 meters (7,733 ft.)), the second and the third highest of Sri Lanka, are situated to the west and north respectively. The park’s elevation ranges from 2,100–2,300 meters (6,900–7,500 ft.). The rocks found in the park belong to the Archaean age and belong to the high series of the Precambrian era and are made up of Khondalites, Charnockites and granitic gneisses. The soil type is of the red-yellow podzolic group and the surface layer is covered with decayed organic matter. Best time to start trekking is at 06.00 am as usual.
Trekking to Lipton Seats from Haputale
Lipton’s Seat is the most famous viewpoint where the man himself, Sir Thomas Lipton used to look over his tea plantation and host tea parties with his guests. Lipton’s Seat is the highest observation point located on the hills of Poonagala, near the Dambatenne Tea Factory. For the best view, visit before 10.00 am. Tea and vegetable plantations, endless views across south coast, smiling school children and amazing nature en-route makes you amazed.
Best time to start journey is 6.00 am with the sunrise, this route is amazing through tea plantations, local village, vegetations and endless views. This trekking is 15 km one way from Hapulate.
Trekking to Little Adams Peak and Ella Rock
The small hill town of Ella has gained popularity over recent times thanks to its stunning vistas and jaw dropping mountain silhouettes. Hiking and trekking to some of the most beautiful view points are a popular pastime here. Mountains such as Worlds End, Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak are a few of most popular names in the town. There are several small accommodation types to cater to the travellers that venture here. Ella can be accessed via train, car or bus. Weather in Ella is mostly great, as it’s cool in the mornings and evenings, and gets hot by midday.
Little Adams Peak
Deriving its name from its big brother, the sacred mountain Adam’s Peak, Little Adam’s Peak is 2243m above sea level. The trail to the mountain is fairly average and would require you to have a medium level of fitness. With marked paths, you’ll have to clamber through some narrow rocky areas to reach the summit. The view from the peak is definitely worth the arduous climb. The ideal time to start your hike is either in the morning or late evening, when it isn’t to hot. Approximately it will take around one and half hours of time for both ways.
The iconic Ella Rock is a mesmerizing view point that gives you an unhindered view of the mountain silhouettes and the villages below. Loved by hikers and nature enthusiasts, conquering Ella rock during your stay here is an absolute must!
Best time is to start early in the morning at 6.30 am to enjoy sunrise and it will take two hours of time to complete trekking both ways.