Why You Should Visit Sri Lanka
Famed for its golden beaches, mountains of tea and rugged forest, Sri Lanka has recently labelled the top destination for 2019. An island blessed with wildlife, history and cultural beauty, Sri Lanka is known to be one of the few countries that can be enjoyed by anyone who visits it, as it offers a range of activities and excursions no matter where your preferences lie.
Sri Lanka is a small island nation located south of India, on the Indian Ocean. Being an island, you’re constantly surrounded by the beautiful sea on all sides, giving you constant access to some of the most breathtaking golden coasts. The tropical island enjoys fairly hot and sunny weather on most days, however, owing to its geographical location in proximity to the equator, one must expect bouts of rain as well. Sri Lanka has two main monsoons which bring about heavy thundershowers. The highlands are cooler than the rest of the country, with temperatures that drop to 2 degrees Celsius on the coldest nights. The east of the country, possibly due to large expanses of barren land is generally more hot and humid compared to the western stretch of the country. The ideal time to visit the western area is from December to March, and the eastern side from April to September. Although the country can be enjoyed throughout the year, there are some activities like whale watching or surfing that are best done during the prime months based on weather patterns.
Blessed with numerous natural attractions, there are many things to do and see here. Sri Lanka, though small in size offers its visitors plenty of beach, sun, sea, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, national parks, jungles, rainforests, city and rural life, exotic flora and fauna and overall a terrific atmosphere. Sri Lanka has 26 protected national parks that are home to a wide range of exotic animals and birds; endemic and migratory. The island’s Big Four should not be missed when visiting the country. Be sure to look for the leopard, sloth bear, elephant and when you’re cruising the southern seas, the beautiful blue whale. Sri Lanka is known to be the only country in the world where you can see the largest animal in the world and the largest mammal on land. Nature and wildlife lovers will especially love the rich biodiversity in the country; as you’re never too far from the wild charms!
Top 05 National Parks in Sri Lanka
- Yala National Park
- Wilpattuwa National Park
- Minneriya National Park
- Hortain Plains National Park
- Udawalawa National Park
With lagoons, waterfalls, rivers and lakes, rest assured a world of tropical wonder lies within and around these water bodies. The blue seas off the coast are blessed with a plethora of marine life. The tropical waters off Mirissa and Trincomalee are home to over 5 different types of whales and 2 types of dolphins. On a whale watching and dolphin cruise, you’ll be able to see sperm whales, blue whales, bryde whales, spinner dolphins and more! Diving and snorkelling are two of the most popular water-based activities around the island as the coral reefs are thriving with life – you’ll be able to see turtles, reef sharks and a variety of colourful fish.
Type of Whales In Sri Lanka
- Blue Whale
- Sperm Whale
- Bryde Whale
- Killer Whale
- Fin Whale
The island’s jungles and rainforests are mostly protected so as to protect and preserve the range of flora and fauna that thrive here. The hill country of the island, with its cooler climate, observes a mountainous terrain. Here, you can climb rugged mountains, stroll through botanic gardens and tea estates, hike to the edge of some stunning peaks and more!
Besides natural attractions, the country is also home to some of the world’s most fascinating man-made attractions. The stunning Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a vision of modernity and history – built by a king looking to escape. The ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are packed with history and ancient wonder as they were the country’s first capital cities when ruled by monarchs. The Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, the last monarchical kingdom of the island, is one of the most treasured Buddhist shrines in Sri Lanka as it is believed to hold the canine tooth of the Buddha. For history buffs, there are a number of museums that offer you a great insight into the country’s past, from the time kings ruled the country to when foreign invaders like the Portuguese, Dutch and British took controlled the island until it gained independence in 1948
There are 8 World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka; a mix of natural and manmade structures such as the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Cave Temples, ancient cities of Kandy, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, Galle Fort, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Central Highlands which includes Horton Plains, National Park. Six of the UNESCO protected sites are cultural while the last two are of natural importance.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, sports, relaxation, nightlife, shopping or anything else, the country has something to offer everyone! From surfing the seas, hiking tallest peaks, chasing waters and navigating through rapids while white water rafting to relaxing on the beach, shopping at one of the swankiest malls or taking a walk back in time as you explore the historic gems of the island, there is much to see and do here.
Sri Lankan people are iconically known to be some of the friendliest and kindest people, constantly smiling and willing to help anyone! The locals observe a very simple lifestyle, especially those in the countryside. The country is famed for its traditional Sri Lankan hospitality which is believed to be warm and welcoming. Sri Lankan food is packed with flavour and spice, taking you on a cultural adventure! Ever since the British brought down tea to the country and planted it in the hills, Ceylon tea has prospered year after year. The iconic Ceylon tea is one of the country’s most significant trademarks and one of the largest exported items. While in Sri Lanka, you can tour tea factories and tea estates while learning the art of how tea is plucked, processed and packed before being shipped! The country also uses natural ingredients for ayurvedic therapy – the four main ones being cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and cardamom. Ayurvedic treatments are an age-old method of healing.
Travellers to the island have the option of choosing from simple B&Bs to luxury resorts and hotels. There are an endless range of restaurants of various cuisines from around the world, shopping outlets to cater to every kind of shopper, and many entertainment facilities, especially within the city from casinos to cinemas.
Sri Lanka, though small in size, has a big heart that is evident across many of the locals. With great value for money, the island also offers peace, tranquillity and freedom to all those who visit.
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