Why Visit Srilanka?

Hikkaduwa

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Hikkaduwa is haven for underwater delight situated 98 km of Colombo. The Hikkaduwa beach is highly scenic long stretch of sandy beach with a great number of hostels, restaurants and bars and impromptu beach parties offers a holiday for odd celebratory weekend in a conservative island brimming with culture. Boast its superb waves for surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. The once popular and marine sanctuary found on the coast of Hikkaduwa which offers an abundance of multi-layered colourful corals and astounding shoals of fish is on the verge of extinction. The site of the famed coral garden can be explored either by snorkeling or riding on a glass bottom boat.

 

Mt. Lavinia

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About 12 km of Colombo is Mt. Lavinia, a beach with colonial touch surrounding which lies alongside a wind swept headland jutting into the waters of the Indian Ocean. It is a great picnic and bathing spot with sand in its softness and pristine blue water. The name Lavinia reminds of a secret love affair between a British Governor and a local damsel who used to meet at the Governors House built in 1805, which was now converted into the famous Mount Lavinia Hotel.

 

Galle

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Delve into the Remnants of the Past. Another worth seeing spot is the Fort of Galle, the vestige of the island’s colonial era. Wander along the remains of the Portuguese fortifications or explore the 300 year-old Dutch Fort. Its massive ramparts surround the promontory that forms the older part of Galle, and shelters within its walls are well built Dutch houses, museums and churches. Nearby, is a sliver of a beach suitable for a dip, though most travellers prefer to head along the coast to the fine beaches at Unuwatuna, Weligama and Tangalla. The city has a lot to offer, not just the fort and museums and at least 3 days of stay is needed to see most (if not all) of this colonial heritage.

 

Yala National Park

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The Ruhuna (Yala) National Park is one of the largest national parks in the Country with 103,882.9 hectares. It is situated 300 K.m. south of Colombo on the southeast shore of Sri Lanka. This National Park has several habitat types such as forests, scrub lands, grass lands, lagoons, beaches and other wetlands. This is the most visited national park of the country and its main attractions are Elephants, Leopards, Sloth Bears, Crocodiles, migratory and resident birds. Most appealing is the overall 'feel' of undisturbed jungle. Big rock formations, Tanks, Beaches and the Lagoons amplify the scenic beauty. A safari jeep ride will take you to close encounters with the wild beasts and to the beauty of the park and make it an unforgettable experience of your life.

 

Negombo

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On the north of Colombo lies Negombo, a bustling fishing town with golden sands bathed in tropical sunshine and kaleidoscopic variety of sails provided by the floating boats on the deep blue ocean. Negombo is a paradise for seafoods where much history has been witnessed. Remnants of the Dutch era adorn the beach of Negombo along with the fishing villages which sprinkled in the area.

 

Polonnaruwa

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The 2nd largest city in north central province. But it is known as one of the cleaner and more beautiful cities in the country. The greeny environment, amazing ancient constructions, Parakrama Samudraya (a huge lake built in 1200 A.C.), attractive tourist hotels and most importantly nice people with hospitality, always attracted local and foreign tourists. One recent scientific observation is that of its climate changes. Historically Polonnaruwa had a tropical climate most of the year, although it was occasionally chilly in December and January. But in recent years the rain and chillyness has been increased noticeably. Although this is surprising to some people, it is more enjoyable for tourists.

 

Dambulla

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Of all the cave temples in Sri Lanka, the five caves that form the Raja Maha Vihara at the village of Dambulla, by far is the most impressive. Dambulla is about 12 miles south west of Sigiriya, on the Matale-Anuradhapura Road. The largest cave carries some 48 statues of Lord Buddha alone, with statues of some Hindu gods, (Vishnu and Saman). The statues of the Hindu gods date back to the 12th century, when Hinduism took root in Sri Lanka and started influencing the arts. The history of the caves themselves dates back to the 2nd or 1st century B.C., when King Valagam Bahu who was escaping the invading army that drove him out of Anuradhapura, took refuge in these caves.

 

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Pinnawala (elephant orphanage)

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Orphanage and breeding ground for wild elephants which is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle. It is very popular among local and foreign tourists. The main attraction is the opportunity to observe the bathing elephants from the broad river bank as the herd interacts socially, bathing and playing.The orphanage is open to the public daily, and all admission fees are used to look after the elephants. Visitors to the park can view many different aspects of the care and daily routine of the elephants, such as bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding of all other elephants, and bathing.

 

Nuwara Eliya little england

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A good escape for those who miss cool breeze in tropical Sri Lanka at any time of the year. Blessed with salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery, local tourists flock to this town in their 'season' from March to May when it is the hottest duration for the town, April being the busiest. There are many activities for tourists including visits to tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and of course exploring the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus. One of the distinctive features of Nuwara Eliya's countryside is the widespread growing of vegetables, fruit and flowers usually associated with temperate Europe. This "Little England" is covered with terraces growing potatoes, carrots, leeks, and roses, interspersed with tea bushes on the steeper slopes.

 

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

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Located in south-west Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the country's last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. There is much endemic wildlife, especially birds, but the reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka's endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians.

 

Kithulgala Forest Reserve

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The Kithulgala forest is a secondary rain forest situated beside the Kelani River, one of our longest rivers. There is a tributary flowing through the forest to this river. The forest reserve has a high biodiversity. Though it is mostly secondary forest, it's faunal and floral diversity is very similar to a primary forest. Wild boar, Toque Macaque, Purple faced leaf monkey, and Barking deer are some of the interesting mammal species.
Among the interesting bird species Red faced Malkoha, Ceylon Blue Magpie, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Frog Mouth and Layard's Parakeet are outstanding

 

Horton Plains National Park

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The Horton Plains National Park is the only national park situated in the wet zone of the country and falls within the Nuwara Eliya district. Situated 2300m above sea level this national park has different climatic conditions and habitat to all the other national parks. Almost all life forms in Horton Plains are adapted to the high altitude conditions. There are a lot of endemic flora and fauna found in the plains itself. The endemicity among fauna is comparatively high. Bear Monkey (race of the Purple Face leaf Monkey), Sambhur and Leopard are some interesting mammals. One would also find several endemic hill country birds in the Horton plains national park.

The panoramic scenic beauty of the hill country could be witnessed within the park. The famous "World's End" and "Bakers Falls" are major attractions. The Kirigalpotta, second highest peak and the Thotapola, third highest peak of the country are also situated in the Horton plains.

 

Udawalawe National Park

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Udawalawe National Park is situated in both intermediate zone and the dry zone. Udawalawe park is adjacent to the Udawalawe reservoir and Walawe river. The extent of the Udawalawe park is approximately 30821 hectares and is situated 170km south east of Colombo. This park lies between Rathnapura and Moneragala districts. Though rain forests, scrub lands, and teak plantations are the habitat types of this park, grasslands with tall grass and occasional trees and bushes decorates the land for the living herds of wild Elephants. Udawalawe, is probably one of the best places to see wild elephants in Sri Lanka!

 

Arugam Bay

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Arugam Bay, is a tiny fishing village 32 km south of Pottuvil, repute as a surfer's paradise before the area became risky due to incidents in and around Pottuvil and on the roads leading to it. It has long, empty beaches and a wide lagoon serves as refuge to copious bird species.

Arugam Bay which offers the best setting for discerning visitors with its stretch of sandy beaches is a popular tourist destination for water sports, wind surfing, surf riding, snorkelling, scuba diving and bird watching.

The Lahugala National Park for elephants, historical sites such as the Magual Maha Viharaya, Mudu Maha Viharaya and the Kudimbigala Viharaya and the Kumana Bird Sanctuary are some of the prime sites for tourism in the East.

The East coast stretching over 300 kilometres rated as the best sea coast in the country is one of the main tourist attractions. The East coast season spans from April to October.The tourist season in the Eastern Province begins in April and continues up to November. The annual tourist arrivals in Arugam Bay are over 2,500.

“The number of tourists visiting the East can be increased with better infrastructure and hotel facilities”, Guide said.Roads, electricity, water supply and other infrastructure facilities will be developed under the Nagenahira Navodaya program.Arugam Bay Travels and Tours will receive an award for responsible tourism at this year’s World Travel Mart at the ExCell Exhibition Centre in London.

 

Weligama

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Weligama, home of the famous stilt fishermen captured the perennial charm of the south coast. The palm trees leaning over the shade waves lapping at sandy bays form the picturesque scenery on this drive. Off the shore is an islet wherein the French Count built his dream house.

Situated about 4 km southwest of Weligama is a beautiful small rocky beach which is calm, relaxing and almost unexplored. Known as a paradise for water sports and bird watching activities, Mirissa can be considered as one of the most beautiful beach in the world. Long deserted and hot but has a breathtaking, red-orange hued sunset. An ideal place for snorkeling with its crystal clear blue water teems with interesting marine life.

Arugam Bay, is a tiny fishing village 32 km south of Pottuvil, repute as a surfer's paradise before the area became risky due to incidents in and around Pottuvil and on the roads leading to it. It has long, empty beaches and a wide lagoon serves as refuge to copious bird species.

Batticaloa known for its singing fish and picturesque lagoon is situated at a distance of 314 km from Colombo. It was the first Dutch foothold in the island in 1602.

 

Trincomalee

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Trincomalee, the beach in the eastern city has one of the best natural harbors in the world. Located 257 km from Colombo at the mouth of Mahaweli Ganga, Trincomalee is an ideal refuge for sun lovers with its fine natural harbour and shallow beach that goes up to half a mile into the sea. Off the coast are the whale sanctuary and the Pigeon Island, a breeding ground of the blue rock pigeon. Trincomalee offers not only a stunning beach but also all kinds of water sports.

 

Unawatuna

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Sri Lanka is gilded by more than a thousand kilometers of beautiful tropical beaches on its southern, western, eastern and northern shores. The idyllic setting of sandy coast lines with swaying palm trees bending over the golden sand lapped by blue waves and corals are paradise for beachcombers. Visitors will always find a beach with sunshine and calm seas with its well-roasted rainfall pattern that keeps half of the island’s beaches rain-free year round.

Unawatuna voted as one of the most beautifu beaches in the world. A beautiful stretch of beach in the south winding its way through stretches of coconut land with amazing colours of turquoise, blues and greens in the sea. It is considered to be one of the safest beaches in Sri Lanka as it is protected by a reef.

About 2 km away towards Matara from Galle, the Unawatuna Beach has a serene surrounding and an excellent location to enjoy the tropical beauty in virtual recluse. An ideal place for swimming and snorkeling as well as bird watching, this sleepy peaceful cove offers a wide range of accommodation scattered around the nearby village, though luxurious places are few minutes drive from the beach.

 

Batticaloa

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Batticaloa known for its singing fish and picturesque lagoon is situated at a distance of 314 km from Colombo. It was the first Dutch foothold in the island in 1602.

Situated at a distance of 314 km from Colombo, Batticaloa is famous for its `Singing Fish' and picturesque lagoon. On full moon nights a faint but distinct musical sound rises from the lagoon waters. This is attributed to a noise emanated by a kind of fish found in the lagoon. A Dutch Fort near the lagoon is another tourist attraction.

 

Bentota

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Bentota is another major beach resort of the island situated in the west coast. With its stunning wide sandy beaches, shallow water, abundance of coral reefs and ecology it offers a great ambiance for relaxing as well as dynamic holiday any time of the year. There are numerous numbers of hotels with awesome beach fronts such as Taru Villa, River House and Club Villa. Other places to see at Bentota is the popular fresh water lagoon which is known as a water racing location and just a few km away is the Brief Garden built by Sri Lanka's foremost architect, Geffrey Bawa.

 

Bundala

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Engage with Nature at Bundala National Park. Get in touch with some of Sri Lanka’s other residents, faunas at Yala West. This is one of the few Sri Lankan national parks still open to travellers. The park is a mix of scrub jungle, dry grasslands and sand dunes, and is in the country's south-east; it's a particularly good place to see elephants. There are also bears, deer, jackals, leopards, squirrels, wild boar, monkeys, buffalo and wild peacocks. It is also a best place to observe the species of crocodiles in the country. The main attraction here is the birdlife, particularly the waders. It's best to hire a jeep and driver in Tissamaharama and be in place near a waterhole at dawn or dusk. Note: Yala West is closed in September and usually part of August and October too.

 

Hikkaduwa

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Indulge in Resplendent Island of Hikkaduwa. Unwind at Hikkaduwa, the island's most developed beach resort and an ideal place for nature lovers. It has an array of accommodation, good restaurants and pleasant cafe-lined beaches. A good snorkel at the delightful and accessible coral sanctuary, scuba diving at a number of wrecks in the bay, excursion by glass-bottomed boats and pretty good surfing are some of the great things to enjoy at Hikkaduwa. There are also plethoras of handicraft shops serving the tourist whims and a Buddhist temple, close by the lake are copious birdlife worth seeing as well as numerous other attractions.

 

Kandy

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Admire the Grandeur and Opulence of Kandy. Chill out at Kandy, the Hill Capital of the Sri Lanka, and the historical bastion of Buddhist power. It is built around a splendid lake set in the hills. Kandy is a mirror image of the harmony and multiplicity of the people and culture of Sri Lanka. The most prominent attraction is the octagonal Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth), houses Sri Lanka's most valuable religious relic - the sacred tooth of Buddha. Other sights include the small but first-rate National Museum, the scenic Peradeniya Botanic Gardens, and the Udawattakelle Sanctuary, a peaceful haven for birdlife. There are also loads of exquisite walks around Kandy, one of which leads to the Mahaweli, where you may see elephants being bathed. The Kandyan Art Association & Cultural Centre beside the lake has worthy displays of local crafts and an auditorium that features the graceful and rhythmic performances of Kandyan Dancers.

 

Matara

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Enjoy a Sunset in a Coconut Grove. Sri Lanka has 1,340 km of sea shore, and most of it is stunning and distinctly impressive. A tranquil, white sandy cove, next to a jagged promontory with thundering waves beating against the granite boulders. Few miles up or down the beach, is a picturesque fishing village, with rugged sea going "oru", a craft akin to an oversized canoe with a history going back to Inca times, dries on the beach. If you happen to be in the area of Ahangama, or Weligama, near Matara, the southernmost city in Sri Lanka, about 160 km, from Colombo, you might be in for a unique sight - the famous stilt fishermen of Weligama (get ready with your camera for you won't find this anywhere else in the world) and the off shore islet Taprobane, where the dream house of French Count de Maunay was built.

 

Tea Plantations

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Discover the Tea Plantations. When in the land of the most famous tea in the world, one simply cannot afford to miss a tour around one of the many Tea Plantations in the area. High Grown Ceylon Tea, preferably in the unblended form, with its reputation as the "best tea". Of course, to experience that pleasure, you must go to the central tea country of Sri Lanka. Most of the tea estates welcome visitors to introduce the process of making the well known Ceylon Tea

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Anuradhapura

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Marvel at the Splendour of Anuradhapura. Don’t miss seeing the ruins of Anuradhapura Sri Lanka's first capital, the far-reaching and most important ancient city of Sri Lanka. The captivating ruins such as the bell-shaped stupas built of small sun-dried bricks, sculptures and the ancient drinking-water reservoirs, which is an evidence of advanced civilization. It became a capital in 380 BC and for over 1000 years Sinhalese kings ruled from this great city. Its imposing remains were discovered in the early 19th century and have been in the process of restoration since then. They lie to the west and north of the modern town of Anuradhapura. There’re lots to see in the area besides the ruins, such as the Sacred Bo-Tree, the Thuparama Dagoba, the Jetavanarama Dagoba numerous museums. The best way to explore the area is by bicycle.

 

Sigiriya (lion's rock)

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Explore the Wonder and Beauty of Sigiriya. Don’t miss the amazing Lion rock fortress of Sigiriya, standing regally overlooking the luscious green jungle surroundings. The Sigiriya is the best preserved city centre in Asia from the first millennium with fusion of culture and nature. Built in the 5th century AD to ward off a feared invasion, positioned atop a 200m (656ft) high rock, and at the height of its glory must have been akin to a European chateau plonked on top of Uluru. Here are water gardens, 5th century rock paintings of well endowed damsels, a 1000-year-old graffiti, a couple of enormous stone lion paws and tremendous views.

 

Colombo

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Stroll Along Colombo. Colombo is the island's largest frantic boisterous - and just a bit crazy city. Here is a number of fascinating sights waiting to be explored. The Fort, clock tower, the president's residence (or Queen's House), colonial buildings, the Cinnamon Gardens, the Pettah and cricket fans should pay a visit to the half kilometre promenade, Galle Face Green. The National Museum, the Art Gallery, the city's many mosques, churches and Buddhist and Hindu temples are also worthwhile. Don’t miss the island’s fauna at Dehiwala Zoo. The main attraction here is an afternoon elephant show. The closest real beach here is at Mt. Lavinia, some 10km south of the city, but also worth wandering across to, especially if you want to go swimming when here.

 

Adam's Peak

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Journey to the Holy Adam's Peak. During the season between December and May, pilgrims converge to climb the 2243m (7362 ft) Adam's Peak or Sri Pada. At the top is a enormous "footprint", claimed by Muslims to belong to Adam, who stood there in repentance of his sin in the Garden of Eden. Disregard the Buddhists believe that there is the mark of Buddha left during his final legendary visit to Sri Lanka or that Hindus hold the print to have been made by Lord Shiva’s world-creative dance, the fact remains that it is has been a mystic pilgrimage destination for over 1000 years. The view from the peak at dawn is enough to stun the most cynical agnostic into a state of reverie. It takes about four hours to climb to the top from the town of Dalhousie.

 



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