Holidays to Sri Lanka are perfect for those who like their beach-lazing with a side order of dazzling culture.
Sri Lanka promises an unforgettable blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. Whether you seek relaxation on pristine beaches, a journey through ancient history, encounters with wildlife, or a tea-scented escape to the hills, this tropical paradise offers something for every traveler.
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Time to Visit
November - April (South & West) | May - October (North & East)
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Yala National Park Safari
Yala National Park Safari is a combination of a National Park and a Strict Nature Reserve. The Park consists of almost 130,000 hectares of strictly protected land, comprising light forests, grasslands, lagoons and scrubs. Of the 5 blocks that make up Yala National Park Safari, 2 blocks are currently open to the public.
Yala National Park Safari is located in the South-Eastern area of Sri Lanka, with its fringes hugging the Indian Ocean. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and was then designated as a National Park in 1938, returning harmony to the area after being used as a hunting area for the elite classes during British rule.
Yala is home to some of the most famous mammals, with Leopards, Elephants, Crocodiles Jackals, Sloth Bears and Spotted Deer to name but a few of the 44 mammal varieties found here. Further to mammals, Yala is a sanctuary for around 215 bird species that grace the skies and forest floors with an array of colours and sounds.
You will be met early by your naturalist guide for a day of whale spotting. You will set out across the azure sea with the clear and crisp early morning breeze to keep you cool. The naturalist on board will be a fount of incredible facts about local marine life making the expedition an intense ‘Marine Nature Watch’, experience. Continue out to sea and hopefully encounter the mighty giants of the sea, the Blue Whales, Sperm Whales, Killer Whales and several species of dolphins between 20 – 40 nautical miles from the coast. Sightings of other species of whales and dolphins are not uncommon and will be a special treat.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site, a spectacular Rock Fortress, is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. The most impressive facets of the unique complex are the Water Gardens, the Frescoes of beautiful maidens, the Mirror Wall with ancient graffiti, the Lion platform and the Summit of 1.6 hectares, which was completely covered by buildings during the period of Sigiriya’s glory. Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 A.D), the “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200m from the scrub jungle.
A mighty 600 ft high rock-fortress of a 5th century King is famous for its entrancingly beautiful frescoes which are found in a sheltered pocket of the rock. One cannot fail to marvel at the masterful execution of the sinuous forms of these women (originally 500, of which only 19 remain today). The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a huge crouching lion, carved from the rock- today only the paws remain. Remains of the handsome royal citadel are on the summit.
Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla Cave Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located in the north central province. The Cave Temple dates back to the 1st Century BC, and is actually a complex of 5 caves that was first used as a refuge by an ancient king. Upon regaining his throne he commissioned spectacular carved images into the rock within the cave. Later kings further improved on these images and today the caves contain more tan 150 images of the Buddha, with the largest being over 15 metres in length.
Cave inscriptions from the 2nd Century BC are found and on the walls are many paintings most of which belong to the Kandy period (early 19th century). This temple is a perfect location to view evolution of ancient Sri Lankan art and is an important historical site due to the amalgamation of the material from many eras.
Colombo City Safari by Tuk Tuk
Embark on a safari of Sri Lanka’s Commercial Capital, the city of Colombo all the while enjoying the unique experience of a tuk tuk ride. A bustling metropolis in the western province of the island, Colombo is popular for its world class hotels, restaurants and shopping. Hidden within the city are colonial gems and cultural sites waiting to be explored by you! A city tour with an edge, not to be missed during your stay in Colombo.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Colombo City by your friendly tuk tuk driver before being whisked away to a Hindu Kovil, there on proceed to the floating market in Pettah, The good market (Open on Saturday only), and drive down the busy 2nd Cross Street and Main Street before stopping for a complimentary seasonal juice at the popular Sadew Juice Bar. From here its time to continue on your journey to the Dutch Hospital Precinct where you have the option of enjoying a sunset and tea experience. Later try some complimentary hoppers (a local delicacy) at the popular Taste of Asia restaurant before visiting the revered Gangarama Temple. End the tour with a visit to Indipendence square before being safely dropped back at your hotel.
Last Kingdom of Kandy
The ancient kingdom of Kandy is home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha as well as Edwardian buildings, a king-made lake, a nature reserve and exciting shops.
As the second largest city of the island and the capital of the Central Province, Kandy has grown from being a medieval kingdom to a friendly, busy city set in forested hills and surrounded by tea plantations and close to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya. As well as the Temple of the Tooth, there are many Buddhist monasteries and Hindu places of worship to visit, and cultural dance performances to watch.
The city of Kandy comes alive during The Kandy Esala Perahara which is usually held during the month of July or August is a significant event to both Sri Lankan’s and Indians. The month of the Perahara is considered to be the time when ritual performances to divinities are held to obtain rain for the cultivation of crops.
Lotus Tower Colombo
Colombo Lotus Tower also known as “Nelum Kuluna” in Sinhala is the tallest skyscraper in Sri Lanka.
Now it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city of Colombo. Standing at a height of 356 metres this tower is the tallest in South Asia, the 11th tallest in Asia and 19th tallest tower in the world.
Besides being a transmission and communicating tower it also serves various leisure activities. There are banquet halls, shopping malls, hotels with suites, restaurants, museums, auditoriums and much more for you to explore in the tower. There is a revolving restaurant at the top which provides a scenic views of the city. It completes one rotation every 90 minutes
Minneriya National Park
Between Habarana and Polonnaruwa are the scrub forests of the Minneriya National Park. A haven for sambar deer, toque macaques and leopards, the park is now a world renowned destination site. This is due to the fact that on the shores of Minneriya’s nearly 2000 year old man-made lake the world’s largest gathering of elephants takes place. This spectacular sight occurs within the boundaries of the Minneriya National Park during the dry season from July to October. With nearly three hundred elephants gathering every evening it is no surprise that its ranked highly for being one of the world’s best wildlife spectacles. The ‘Gathering’ (as it has come to be known) is a result of the lack of waterholes during the drought. Unable to receive their daily intake of water the elephants make their way to the Minneriya tank making it an event not to be missed.
Ahangama Stilt Fishing
Embark on a culinary and cultural journey in Ahangama Sri Lanka where you will witness pristine beaches and the indigenous lifestyle of a villager. Participate in stilt fishing and try your hand at catching different types of fish, which will be the main dish for lunch or dinner Enjoy a feast of unique Sri Lankan recipes made with fresh ingredients and witness the villagers demonstrating their talents such as finger weaving and artisan household item making Immerse yourself in the traditional Sri Lankan lifestyle, savor the flavours of organic, healthy dishes, and experience a cultural journey filled with natural beauty and traditional methods of cooking
Neduntivu ( Delft Island )
Explore Delft Island on a unique tuk tuk tour and discover the beauty of this hidden gem off the coast of Sri Lanka See the famous Delft Island ponies, roaming freely on the island, and learn about the rich history of the Dutch colonial period as you visit the remnants of the old Dutch forts and ruins made of corals End the tour with a delicious crab curry lunch, made with the freshest ingredients, and savor the flavors of this beautiful island This tour offers a unique blend of history, culture, and nature, making it a must visit destination for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka
Embark on an enlightening journey through the bustling streets of Jaffna, a culturally rich city in Sri Lanka. Start by strolling through the historic old market, where vendors sell an array of goods, ranging from fresh produce to handmade crafts As you navigate through the winding alleys, take in the sights and sounds of daily life in Jaffna After a leisurely walk, stop by a local salon and treat yourself to a traditional head massage As you make your way through the new market, sample some of the delicious local snacks and produce, each with its unique flavour and texture This city walk offers a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse culture of Jaffna and is sure to leave a lasting impression
Udawalawe National Park
Spanning over 30,000 hectares. Established in 1972, the park is a sanctuary for a wide range of wildlife, with its main attraction being the large population of Asian elephants. The park's diverse ecosystems, including grasslands, marshes, and forests, provide a conducive environment for various animal species, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors can embark on thrilling jeep safaris to explore the park's terrain, giving them the opportunity to observe elephants, sambar deer, wild boars, water buffaloes, and an array of bird species in their natural habitat.
The park's centerpiece is the Udawalawe Reservoir, which not only acts as a water source but also serves as a picturesque backdrop for the park's scenic beauty. The reservoir's calm waters attract numerous bird species, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching enthusiasts. From majestic eagles to colorful kingfishers, the avian diversity is truly captivating.
Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home
Established in 1995, is a unique facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of orphaned elephant calves back into the wild. Operated by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, it serves as a haven for these young elephants, providing them with shelter, medical care, and an opportunity to learn essential skills for survival. Visitors to the transit home can witness the remarkable sight of baby elephants being fed and cared for by dedicated caretakers. The facility's primary objective is to reintegrate these elephants into their natural habitat once they are capable of living independently.
Colombo Food Walk
A Colombo Food Walk is a culinary journey through the bustling streets of Sri Lanka's capital city Discover the vibrant and diverse flavours of Colombo's food culture as you stroll through local markets, sample street food, and visit traditional eateries Experience
the sights, sounds and smells of the city, learn about the ingredients and cooking techniques behind the dishes, and gain a deeper understanding of Sri Lanka's rich and fascinating food heritage Join a knowledgeable guide on this immersive food adventure
and indulge in the delicious flavours of Colombo A perfect way to discover the city, its culture and its food
Polonnaruwa, located in the heart of Sri Lanka, is a captivating destination renowned for its rich historical and cultural heritage. As the second ancient capital of the island, Polonnaruwa is a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts tourists from around the globe. With a history spanning over a thousand years, the city is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders.
Travelers to Polonnaruwa are treated to magnificent ruins of palaces, temples, and statues, showcasing the architectural brilliance of the ancient kingdoms. The iconic sites such as the Royal Palace, Gal Vihara, and Polonnaruwa Vatadage leave visitors in awe of the artistic and engineering prowess of the bygone era. Exploring the vast complex of ruins on foot, cycling, or hiring a local guide enhances the experience, providing deeper insights into the historical significance of each structure.
Polonnaruwa is a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the wonders of ancient Sri Lanka.
Nine Arches Bridge (Ella)
The Nine Arches Bridge in Sri Lanka is a remarkable architectural marvel that attracts visitors from all over the world. Located in the picturesque town of Ella, this bridge was built during the British colonial era and is a testament to the engineering prowess of that time. The bridge spans a lush green valley, surrounded by verdant mountains and tea plantations, creating a stunning backdrop. Its unique feature is the nine arches that give it its name, each intricately designed and blending harmoniously with the natural surroundings. Tourists often gather at the bridge to witness the sight of trains passing through the arches, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. The Nine Arches Bridge has become an iconic symbol of Sri Lanka's history and beauty, and a visit to this enchanting landmark is an essential part of any trip to Ella.
Coconut Hill, Mirissa
Coconut Hill Viewpoint in Mirissa is a breathtaking spot that encapsulates the true essence of Sri Lanka's coastal beauty. Perched atop a small hill, this hidden gem offers panoramic vistas of the turquoise Indian Ocean, picturesque palm-fringed beaches, and lush tropical greenery. As the name suggests, the viewpoint is adorned with swaying coconut trees, adding to the allure of the place. Visitors can relish the awe-inspiring sunset views, casting a golden glow over the horizon, while feeling the gentle sea breeze on their faces. The serenity and tranquility of Coconut Hill make it an ideal spot for nature lovers, photographers, and those seeking a moment of solitude. It's a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the enchanting coastal town of Mirissa in Sri Lanka.
Tea Plantations of Nuwara Eliya
Nestled amidst the picturesque hills of Sri Lanka's central highlands, Nuwara Eliya is renowned for its breathtaking tea plantations. The region's cool climate, at an elevation of 6,000 feet, creates the perfect conditions for cultivating tea.
Stepping into Nuwara Eliya's tea estates feels like entering a verdant paradise. Vast expanses of lush greenery stretch as far as the eye can see, forming a patchwork of meticulously manicured tea bushes. The landscape is dotted with tea factories, where the leaves are carefully processed to produce the world-famous Ceylon tea.
Visitors to Nuwara Eliya can indulge in immersive tea plantation tours. These tours provide insights into the tea production process, from plucking the tender leaves to their transformation into fragrant tea. Guided walks through the emerald tea gardens offer a chance to witness the skilled tea pluckers in action and learn about the nuances of tea grading.
Nuwara Eliya's tea plantations are a testament to the region's rich heritage and the artistry involved in creating the world's finest teas. Exploring these idyllic estates is an unforgettable journey into the heart of Sri Lanka's tea culture.