Sri Lanka, the small exotic island nation, has got something for everyone. Pristine nature, golden beaches, ancient cities, diverse flora and fauna, exhilarating safaris, colourful culture and adventure sports; every single thing makes it matchless. It is a lovely combination of marvellous discoveries with 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 15 national parks, lush tea estates spread in about 5,00,000 acres, botanical gardens in 250 acres, 25,000 water bodies, 350 magnificent waterfalls and a culture as old as 2,500 years. Sri Lanka is rightly called the Isle of Serendipity and you cannot escape the magical attraction it holds.
Natural wonders - spectacular and blissful
Unspoiled natural beauty abounds in Sri Lanka. Its central highlands are full of mighty mountains, lush green forests, majestic waterfalls, vibrant beaches and exotic tea gardens. Verdant tropical forests, mountains, white stupas, reservoirs, giant statues of Lord Buddha are major attractions in the North Central Valley of the Kings. The northern part is dotted with outstanding Hindu temples, whereas on its western coast, its capital Colombo presents a rich colonial heritage and culture.
Heritage cities – showcasing the ruins of a glorious past
Sri Lanka with a history of more than 3,000 years boasts of some of world’s most ancient cities housing splendid townships, monasteries, temples, palaces, hospitals and theatres. The ancient city of Anuradhapura was founded around fifth century BC which is revered among Buddhists throughout the world. During its glorious period; palaces, temples, monasteries, big houses, pleasure gardens, shops, bathing pools and wooded parks adorned the city remains of which are still present. The fifty century AD fortress Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its beautiful frescoes, mirror walls, water, boulder and terraced gardens. Polonnaruwa with its fabulous irrigation systems which are still useful for areas in and around it and Digamadulla with its agricultural and spiritual history deserve a special mention. Elaborately carved palaces, temples and houses adorn Kandy built during the Kingdom of Kandy.
Beaches - glittering and pulsating
The sunny beaches of Sri Lanka are paradise for beach revellers providing them ample opportunities for activities like windsurfing, kayaking, yachting, water skiing and scuba diving. Visit any of its southern beaches - Tangalla, Beruwala, Mirissa, Bentota and Unawatuna - and simultaneously explore the beaming coral reefs and golden sandbars. Arugam Bay on its eastern coast is a coveted destination for surfing enthusiasts, whereas Uppuveli beach is loved by sun seekers. The beaches at Negambo lagoon on the western coast are popular among local as well as foreign tourists and known for lobster harvesting.
Wildlife - rich and fascinating
Considered as one of the top five countries in the world with rich biodiversity, Sri Lanka is home to 91 species of mammals - Asian elephants, sloth bear, leopards, sambar and wild buffaloes to name a few. Red slender loris, Toque macaque and Purple-faced langur are some rarest mammals of Sri Lanka. Blue whales, sperm whales and lively dolphins among 23 other species of cetaceans are found here. With 433 bird species and 106 species of amphibians, Sri Lanka is a heaven for wildlife enthusiasts. Bundala National Park, Yala West (Ruhuna) National Park, Uda Walawe National Park, Wasgomuwa National Park, Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve, Horton Plains National Park and Wilpattu National Park are best choices for a perfect wildlife tour.
Adventure sports - unleash the craziness
If you are an avid adventurer, Sri Lanka will not disappoint you. Snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing are most popular beach sports among tourists. Don’t miss the opportunity to have one of the best diving experiences in its oceans which have plenty of coral reefs, unusual fishes and ancient wrecks. Besides, white water rafting, Kayaking and canoeing are also available. The mountains in Sri Lanka provide hiking and trekking opportunities to travellers. Adrenaline junkies can also opt for rock climbing and waterfall climbing.
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