Explore Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
A vibrant paradise

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. Timeless ruins, endless beaches, rolling surf, stirring mountains, verdant tea plantations, oodles of elephants, soulful Buddhist monasteries, fun trains, and welcoming people, make Sri Lanka irresistible. The country has no shortage of beautiful spots of natural, historic, cultural importance, each more picture-perfect than the next. Vacationing in this rich cultural island located amidst lush greenery is truly refreshing. 


Popular cities: 

  • Colombo 

  • Kandy

  • Galle 

  • Trincomalee

  • Jaffna 

  • Nuwara Eliya

  • Anuradhapura 

Countries
Sri Lanka
Climate
Sri Lanka's climate is tropical and consists of distinct dry and wet seasons. The north and eastern areas get the rain between October and March, while the southwest and west of the country gets rainy between April and September. The best time to visit the west and south coast is between December and March, while the best weather on the east coast is between April/May and September.

  • January — Dry
  • February — Dry
  • March — Dry
  • April — Dry
  • May — Wet
  • June — Wet
  • July — Wet
  • August — Wet
  • September — Wet
  • October — Wet
  • November — Dry
  • December — Dry
Things to do
City Life
Colombo is a perfect melange of urban amenities and vibrant indigenous and colonial history. The country has been a colony of the Netherlands, Portugal, and British. All these colonial cultures can be seen in the architecture and their influences tasted in the food. Lotus Tower, South Asia's tallest freestanding structure offers splendid views of the beautiful city and sea. Viharamahadevi Park, Galle Face Green, Pettah Floating Market, and Bere Lake are some of the best places in Colombo to relax. The Old Town of Galle displays a perfect amalgamation of European architecture and South Asian traditions. The marvelous fortifications that the town houses are best explored by wandering the streets on a bike. Galle Dutch Fort and Galle Fort Lighthouse are prominent attractions of Galle. Nestled between imposing mountains and verdant peaks, Kandy is home to some of the best places of Sri Lanka. The city is mainly known for spirituality and a tranquil atmosphere. Kandy Lake and Kandy View Point situated in the Rajapihilla Mawatha offer scenic views of the city. To enjoy one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, hop on a train from Kandy to Ella or Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya is worth a visit for its unique natural beauty. Exploring the tea factories is the best way to learn everything there is to know about the process of tea production. Pedro Tea Estate is one of the most famous places to visit here. Other places of interest in Nuwara Eliya include Lake Gregory and Victoria Park. Trincomalee is well known for its beaches. Fort Frederick, Kanniya Hot Springs and the Hindu Temple of Koneswaram are other major highlights of this city. Jaffna, a quaint town located on the northern tip of Sri Lanka, is known for its predominant Tamil population. Sangilean Thoopu, Jaffna Library, Jaffna Fort, and Casuarina Beach, are some of the major highlights of this city. Jaffna is also famous for its beautiful temples, including, Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, Keerimalai Naguleswaram Temple, Maruthanarmadam Sri Anjaneyar Temple, etc.
Heritage/Historical Places
Anuradhapura is one of Sri Lanka's ancient capitals that today offers an insightful look into the country's rich history. Bodhi Tree, Jetavanarama Dagoba, Anuradhapura Moonstone, Twin Ponds and Ruwanwelisaya Stupa are prime attractions. Exploring Polonnaruwa's ancient structures will transport you back in time. It's dotted with ancient remains of shrines, stupas and palaces. Each of these remains is blessed with a glorious past of their own. The  Quadrangle, Royal Palace, Rankot Vihara, Audience Hall, Council Chamber of King Nissankamalla, statue of Parakramabahu and Lotus Pond are some highlights of this sacred site. Sigiriya, located near the town of Dambulla, is a huge rock formation that has been carved into a palace. The absurdity of its construction will leave you spellbound. Much like Machu Picchu, the palace complex sits atop a 660-foot rock with sheer walls. With several carvings and ancient painted frescoes, Sigiriya is a memorable place to explore. Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, Royal Palace of Kandy, Independence Memorial Hall, and Degaldoruwa Temple are some of the prime historical sites in Kandy.
Museums

The National Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum, uses multiple types of media to display the rich cultural and natural heritage of the country. The National Museum of Natural History in Colombo exhibits the country's incredible natural history. Several plants, fish, amphibians, insects and animals that are exclusively endemic to the country are displayed here. In addition to them, you'll also see skeletons and fossils of ancient and extinct species. Some other important museums are National Museum of Kandy, Colombo Dutch Museum, International Buddhist Museum, and Colombo Cricket Museum. 


Nature & Adventure
Yala National Park, located on the island's southeast coast, is renowned for leopard safaris. The park is also home to a large population of Asian elephants. Besides the amazing fauna, Yala houses varied environments and ecosystems. You can explore tropical rainforests, vast grasslands, marine and beach environments, all in one place. One of the most memorable experiences you can ever have in Sri Lanka is the World's End on the Horton Plains. Baker's Fall is another beautiful place to visit in the plains. A Tuk-tuk ride to the plains from Nuwara Eliya is the best way to reach this marvel. Sinharaja Forest Reserve, situated in the Southern Province,  is a protected World Heritage Site under UNESCO. With its vast number of endemic species of birds and animals, this reserve is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. If you seek adventure then hiking the mountain ranges of Knuckles and Hanthana is one of the best things to do. Pigeon Island National Park, located near the coast of Nilaveli, is one of the most beautiful marine parks of Sri Lanka. It boasts exotic coral reefs and tranquil white sands. Tea plantation tours are one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka. Colombo is adorned with a green carpet of aromatic tea and herbal plantations. You can even taste different brands of tea after manufacturing directly from the factory. Tea cultivating lands of Nuwara Eliya and Giragama are extremely famous as well. Adam's Peak is topped by a sacred rock formation that drives a lot of pilgrims every year. After a joyful hike to the top you can see the rock with a mystical footprint-shaped indentation connected to different mythological stories. St. Clair Falls in Nuwara Eliya, Mahiyanganaya Sorabora Lake and Bambarakanda Falls in Uva Province, Minneriya National Park and Wilpattu National Park North Central Province, Udawattekele Sanctuary in Kandy, Bundala National Park in Southern Province, Horton Plains National Park in Nuwara Eliya are some of the other places in Sri Lanka that showcase extraordinary natural beauty.
Wildlife

Udawalawe National Park is a large wildpark situated in the southern part of the country. It is one of the best places in the world to see elephants in their natural habitat. You can also spot leopards, crocodiles, wild buffaloes, deer, monkeys and more. The park is also ideal for bird-watching.Dehiwala Zoological Garden near Colombo is one of the oldest zoos in Asia. It boasts nearly 3,000 different animals. As the zoo is involved in animal exchange programs, you can see exotic varieties of mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes, reptiles, and marine invertebrates. The Pinnawala Zoo is also a great place to visit to see some diverse species of animals and birds. 


Beaches

Hikkaduwa Beach, located near Colombo, is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It offers a plethora of water-sports, including, bodysurfing, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. In fact, it's considered as one of the country's best surfing areas. Located just off the shoreline, the Hikkaduwa National Park houses the amazing Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary. Another beach famous for its surf breaks is the Arugam Bay. At the east coast, Public Beach, Uppuveli Beach, and Nilaveli Beach are the famous beaches in Trincomalee. Other popular beaches are Unawatuna Beach, Mirissa Beach, Kalkudah Beach, Negombo Beach, Tangalle Beach, and Bentota Beach, among others. 


Places of Worship

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a holy Buddhist shrine in Kandy. Housing the legendary Buddha tooth, this World Heritage Site is one of the most important shrines of Sri Lanka. Gangaramaya Temple, located in Colombo, is a beautiful Buddhist temple complex. You can view the temple's most sacred relic, a lock of Buddha's hair and a sacred tree around which the complex was built. Red Mosque, formally known as the Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid, makes quite a statement with its bright red and white stone minarets topped with onion-shaped domes. Its Indo-Saracenic style architecture makes it one of a kind.Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla, also known as Dambulla Cave Temple, is made with a massive granite outcrop. It houses beautiful paintings which show the majestic manifestation of the first sermon of Buddha. The Golden Temple Buddhist museum is worth exploring as well. Lying by the Beira Lake, Seema Malaka Temple in Colombo is a beautiful piece of art. Some other beautiful places of worship in Sri Lanka are Mahamevnawa Monastery, Bahiravokanda Temple, St. Anthony's Church, Galmaduwa Temple, Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Vihara, and Lankatilaka Temple. 


How to spend time / how long will it take?
You can make the most out of your trip to Sri Lanka in 8 to 10 days. Spend a day in Colombo to explore its prime attractions. Move north to Jaffna, spending a day or two in the city to explore the cultural diversity of the country. At the east coast, spend a day in Trincomalee enjoying some amazing time at its serene beaches. From here go to the central province to explore the Cultural Triangle’s Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya in two days. While you are in the Central region you might want to climb Adam’s Peak from Nallathanniya Village. Spend a day or two in Kandy exploring its beautiful attractions. Take the train ride to Nuware Eliye and enjoy some breathtaking views on the ride. Spend a day or two in Nuwara Eliye exploring the Pedro Tea Estate or other tea plantations, as well as the beautiful Horton Plains National Park. End your trip in Galle by spending a day exploring its historic sites.
Cuisine
  • Sri Lankan cuisine is centered around many varieties of rice, as well as coconut. Seafood also plays a significant role in the cuisine. Some of the must-try dishes are Asmi, Sour fish curry, Kottu, Kukul mas curry, Lamprais, Appam, Polos, and Parippu, among others.
Costs
  • While meal prices in Sri Lanka can vary, the average cost of food is LKR 250 (USD 1.25) per meal.
Visa
  • Indians can get Visa on arrival
  • Other nationalities may or may not require a Visa
Season to Visit
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

Typical Duration to Visit
  • 8 - 10 days

Known For
  • Stunning Beaches
  • Travelling by Train
  • Colonial Legacy
  • Shopping
  • Hills
  • Temples
  • Wildlife
  • Tea Plantations
Areas to Visit
  • The Cultural Triangle for cultural sites of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla & Kandy
  • The eastern coast for beaches of Trincomalee and offshore Pigeon Island
  • The West Coast for Colombo City, beaches & lagoons
  • Nuwara Eliya & Ella for tea plantations
  • National Parks of Yala & Bundala in Southern Region

tripDarwin.com

(Darwin Travel Tech Pvt. Ltd.)