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Sri Lanka

This mesmerising and magical island nation south of India has a diverse landscape ranging from rainforests to highlands and sandy beaches kissed by tropical seas which is a beach lovers paradise.

Heritage

With 3000 years of history Sri Lanka has a rich heritage and this has been well recognized by UNESCO in declaring ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Sigriya, the temple at Dambulla, Dutch fortifications at Galle, scared cities of Anuradhapura and Kandy, Sinharaja forest reserve and Central highlands as World Heritage sites. Its vast and diverse culture is unique which contributes to its identity that includes a lot of customs and rituals. One of the most prominent features is the colourful festivals where religion plays an important role and is one of the main attractions on the island. Hospitality is inbuilt in the culture making it one of the friendliest countries to visit, so what are you waiting for…pack your bags on set out on an un-forgetful journey to get a firsthand experience what it has to offer.

 
Beaches 

1600 kms of palm fringed coastline baked to perfection is an ideal destination to the beach bums. Windsurfing, kayaking,, water skiing, scuba diving, yachting or just lazing around, you have it all here. The popular beaches in south are Beruwala, Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Unawatina, Weligama and Tangalla, while in the west which is north of Colombo is Negambo with its lagoons famed for lobster harvesting. You can also discover the beauty of Uppuveli beach and Arugam Bay on the east coast. Alan Kuda beach in the North Western coast is the point for off shore whale and dolphin watching. One of the best features of the beaches here is that no matter which time of the year you go, if it’s raining on one coast, it’s sunny on the other, which makes it a year around beach holiday destination.


Hill Stations   

Though famed for its beaches the central hills of the country differs from its coastal area with misty mountain peaks, picturesque waterfalls , lush tea  gardens along with soothing cool climate which rejuvenates your body and soul into a state of dreamy atmosphere while enjoying nature at its best. Nuwara Eliya also referred as “Little England” situated among verdant tea plantations at an elevation of 1990 meters above sea level is one of the most attractive town in the hill region and also boasts of the best golf course in Sri Lanka. Adams Peak at 2243 meters is an amazing example of eco tourism popularly known for preserving Sri Pada, the sacred footprints of the divine power. Along the route is Ratnapura, south east of Colombo with an alluring view of nature. Ella, a place for peaceful retreat is a picturesque town with rolling hills, thick forest cover and lush greenery. Kandy on the way to Nuwara Eliya offers some of the most enticing views throughout the year which makes it a perfect gateway for a romantic holiday to escape from your humdrum life.

 Wildlife

It would be interesting to know that the world’s first reserve, Mihintale was created in the third century BC and conservation has received royal patronage ever since, now there are around 100 areas of protected land in Sri Lanka. Yala National Park with a combination of fresh water, marine, scrub and woodland areas in the South East is a good location for leopard, mammal sighting and bird watching. At Udawalane National Park elephant sighting is virtually guaranteed even if you go on one game drive. Other well known reserves are Wasgomuwa National Park, Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve, Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks, Horton Plains National Park and Wilpattu National Park. Get to see the ever elusive leopard and bring out the wildlife enthusiast in you.

Experiences

Sri Lanka has a wide range of experiences to offer for all age groups, trekking around Adams Peak, horse riding in Dambulla, Sigriya or Nuwara Eliya, cycling across the Benota Bridge through the local villages, diving at Unawatuva or Weligama, rock climbing around Avissawella or Kandy, deep sea fishing around Bentota for Snappers, groupers or tuna, hot air ballooning around the cultural triangle, whale watching at various areas, four wheeling over rugged terrain in a 4 WD, tea tasting at Sir Thomas Lipton’s bungalow at Haputale with champagne brunch followed by visit  to Lipton’s first factory or stay in the tea plantation heritage bungalows. Ride on railways from Colombo to Galle, Colombo to Kandy or Kandy to Ella across the most scenic landscapes from the tea gardens and paddy fields to that famed coast line. Take a walking tour of Pettah which is a hotbed of local merchants selling everything from textiles to spices. You may even try the unusual experience of cave tours to see some of the prehistoric caves in the rugged mountains.

Cuisine

This island of curry and rice offers an abundance of incredible dishes which gives you an opportunity to feast on its rich, melting pot cuisine. Some of the dishes you should never miss are Fish Ambul Thiyal (sour fish curry), Kottu Roti (Sri Lanka’s hamburger), Kakul Mas Curry (chicken curry), Parippu (dhal curry), String Hoppers, Pol Sambol (coconut relish) or taste the famed “Wood Apple” with a hard shell and pungent aroma as a fruit or juice. To sum it up “it’s a beautiful country with an outstanding cuisine…….worth a visit!”