Encircled by beaches and enriched by history, Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But beyond the beautiful coastlines, verdant landscapes and timeless ruins, this tropical isle has much more to offer for every kind of taste.
Covered with lush forests and surrounded by golden beaches, Sri Lanka packs an extraordinary variety of places to visit with more than 2,000 years of recorded history. The remarkable achievements of the early Sinhalese civilization can still be seen in the sequence of ruined cities across the island.
With varying climates and geography packed into a small island, Sri Lanka offers a wide range of adventures from surfing and scuba diving to hiking and trekking.
- Capital city
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- Sri Lankan
- Sinhalese, Tamil, English
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Rising from the central plains, Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization.
Galle is a historic city that is a delight to explore on foot. It is an exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums.
Home to a famed point break that many regard as the best surf spot in the country, Arugam Bay is a popular destination offering beachfront houses, oceanside restaurants and surfing vibes.
The Dambulla Temple
One of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that has been in use for over 22 centuries, The Dambulla Temple houses 157 statues of Buddha, along with many paintings on the ceilings and walls in a series of five caves.
Buduruwagala is a prominent Buddhist heritage site. This temple is unique because of its seven sculptures carved out of rocks, belonging to Mahayana Buddhist tradition.
Ceylon Tea Museum
Abandoned for more than a decade, the Ceylon Tea Museum was recently refurbished and has exhibits on tea pioneers James Taylor and Thomas Lipton.
Peradeniya Botanic Gardens
Once reserved exclusively for Kandyan royalty, the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens is home to a fine collection of orchids, royal palms, cannonball fruit trees and a 40-metre high Burma bamboo.
Udawalawe National Park
Udawalawe National Park covers over 30,000 hectares of grasslands and is home to herds of elephants, wild buffalo, mongooses, deer of the sambar and spotted varieties.