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Visit Sri Lanka

Dangling off the tip of India like a lush green teardrop, Sri Lanka is an island drenched in colour and culture. Whether you are exploring its gorgeous beaches, soaking in the ambience of its ancient temples or trekking through tropical rainforests, a new adventure lies around every corner.

Fishing, Sri Lankan style

Colombo is the bustling but friendly capital, an easy place to find your rhythm and take in the colonial architecture. To the southwest lies the charming city of Galle with its iconic fort and wave-lashed ramparts, while the beaches of Hikkaduwa offer popular resorts and endless miles of beach-bum paradise. 

Head west and up into the mountains for the cultural captial of Kandy, famous for its sprawling tea plantations and laid-back mountain vibe. A breathtaking train trip across the belly of the island takes you to the the east and some of Asia’s finest nature reserves, where wild elephants outnumber people and remote swathes of tropical beach beckon the weary traveller.

Sri Lanka was heralded by the explorer Marco Polo and subsequently visited by successive waves of Indian, Malay, Arab and European traders. Still, many of its beaches remain undeveloped (for now) and are a refreshing change from the overly-touristic resorts found elsewhere in the Indian Ocean. 

Sri Lanka is fast becoming a magnet for international surfers. Arugam Bay, or "A Bay" for short, is a favourite amongst travellers. It’s got waves for all levels, whether you’re a newbie or a pro. Beachfront cafés rent boards at an affordable price. 

A frames at A Bay

This island, while fairly new on the tourism scene, has more than 2 000 years of recorded history. The glories of this early Buddhist civilisation are a source of great national pride for its Sinhalese; it was one of the earliest strongholds of Theravada Buddhism. Meanwhile in the north, the Tamil population has a thriving Hindu culture that has its roots in India. 

Spotted in Sri Lanka

Learn more about Sri Lanka’s complex history at the ancient ruined city of Anuradhapura (a Unesco World Heritage Site once populated by as many as 10 000 Buddhist monks), or Kandy’s Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Then climb to the top of the ancient citadel of Sigiriya, in the country’s Central Province – this massive rock fortress is one of the country’s most important historical and archaeological sites.

The beauty of Sri Lanka is its size. Wether you are checking off World Heritage Sites (there are a staggering eight packed into the country), looking for a wildlife adventure, or criss-crossing the country by train, everything  is close at hand.

Underwater treasures
Best for:

Active Travellers; Backpackers/Budget Travel; Beach Bums; Nature Lovers; Religious Travellers

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