From going Whale Watching in Mirissa to hiking in the mountains, from the exotic beaches to the wildlife trips, from the hills to the waterfalls, Sri Lanka is truly the ‘Wonder of Asia’. Thrill seekers and sightseers of all stripes converge in this exotic place. We are all running on the treadmills of life, pause and soak in the beauty that Sri Lanka has to offer.
Sri Lanka experiences tropical climate and is made up of very characteristic dry and wet seasons. The average temperature normally ranges from 28 – 32 degrees Celsius. The coldest months are December and January while the warmest months are April and August. Due to its equatorial and tropical location, Sri Lanka is affected by the monsoons a whopping four times a year.
Galle – An endless charm that will keep pulling you back for more. UNESCO has declared it as a World Heritage Site. This is jewel of a historic city which is best explored by walking. This walled archipelago is standing straight since the 16th century. It has witnessed the Portuguese, Dutch and British era. The 300 year old Galle fort is the throbbing heart of Galle and is the biggest existing fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Sitting atop the Galle Fort is the Lighthouse or Pointe de Galle Light which was erected in1938.
Mirissa – If you want a slice of tropical bliss, then you should add Mirissa in your itinerary. Not only it’s a surfing hotspot but its azure waters are utterly inviting. You cannot resist its breathtaking sandy beaches. If you are fortunate enough, you might catch a turtle come ashore to lay her eggs. I asked my friend who just returned from a Sri Lankan trip, whether she went Whale Watching or not and in response I got …say a plenty of angry emojis. Well the bottom line is, if you are in Mirissa, Sri Lanka, you better go for a Whale Watching expedition. It’s an experience of a lifetime. Or be prepared to be flooded with messages with angry emojis. Choice is yours! Also include Stilt Fishing in your itinerary.
Arugam Bay Beach – The Arugam Beach can be simply called the Surfer’s Paradise. The vast sandy beach is a major attraction to swimmers and surfers alike. It has got excellent waves. This beach is sure to spellbind you. You can go surfing in its three main points, which are Main Point, Whiskey Point and Peanut Farm. Afterall, it features in the world’s top surfing destinations, so don’t commit the mistake of not visiting this beach.
Bentota – Bentota is to the south west of Beruwela . It is an immaculate stretch of golden sands lined with palm trees. That’s Bentota Beach for you. The soft sands and the gentle breeze will create an aura around you and your loved one .The views will mesmerise you. Let the wind blowing from the Indian Ocean, encircle you and your beloved and make it an experience to remember. Adventure seekers can indulge in some Windsurfing and Sailing.
Unawutna – South Sri Lanka has the most beautiful beaches and Unawutna is one of them. The turquoise water, palm trees, breathtaking sunsets makes it a traveller’s paradise. Unawutna is a half circle beach which is no more than one kilometre. Watch out for turtles laying eggs along the shore. This is also popular among scuba divers, as they get to see many wrecks of sunken ships. Enjoy a swim, snorkelling or surfing in Unawutna beach.
Tangalle – This hushed beach is perfect for travellers longing for tranquillity and peace. It’s your perfect panache for beating the blues that you have been suffering lately. Take a dip in the ocean, read, listen to music or play beach balls. The waters little rough so better stay away from it. Tangalle lies in the furthest southern tip of Sri Lanka.
Trincomalle – Around 257 kms from Colombo and to the east coast of Sri Lanka, lies this spectacular beach of Trincomalle. Trincomalle is one of the natural deepwater harbours in the world. Go for snorkelling or diving for shipwrecks or kite surfing or whale watching, or just get that perfect tan, Trincomalle beach has it all. The inviting crystal clear waters are sure to attract you.
Nuwara Eliya – Sitting at an elevation of 1890 meters above the sea level at the foothills of Mount Pedro, it takes pride in being the highest city in Sri Lanka. Lovingly called as Little England, this lush green place is wrapped up in history. This quaint little hill station is full of British relics. This ‘evergreen’spot has an abundance of Flora & Fauna. Nuwara Eliya has a lot to offer. You can relish fresh strawberries, walk along the beautiful Hakgala Botanical Gardens, go trekking through the Horton Plains..Careful! You have reached the ‘World’s End’. No just kidding. The ‘World’s End’ is where the plateau comes to a sudden stop and drops 1,000m straight down
Ella – Board a train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella. Ella is a relaxed town amidst marvellous Tea Gardens. It lies east to the Horton Plains. Ella is decked with breathtaking waterfalls. Like Nuwara Eliya, Ella also provides a lot of spectacular things. Hike up to the Little Adam’s Peak, stroll along the world famous Nine Arch Bridge or take a dip at the Diyaluma Falls which is the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka or Ravana Falls.
Sigiriya – This beautiful fortress is situated in between Dambulla and Habarane in the Northern district. This red stone fortress seems like a ‘Castle in the Sky’ for its gigantic appearance. It rises 600ft from the ground. UNESCO has listed it as a World Heritage Site. You should find out about the frescoes, its Mirror wall and all the history related to it which will give you valuable an impact.
Polonnaruwa – The ancient ruins of this panoramic garden city was designed by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. Polonnaruwa sprawls over a huge area and has three coextensive walls, irrigation structure, statues and stupas, tombs and temples. Sacred Quadrangle, Royal Palace, Swimming Pool and Audience Hall are the four main spots to visit.
Anuradhapura – The ancient city of ruins is now a World Heritage Site. This city is situated north of Colombo. This sacred city is believed to be cut from Buddha’s fig tree- the ‘tree of enlightenment’. It is surrounded by palaces, monuments and monasteries. Anuradhapura is an opulent collection of numerous architectural and archaeological wonders. One such wonder is Ruwanweliseya, which is the third largest stupa of Sri Lanka towering over 175ft.
SriPada – Adam’s Peak-Sri Lanka’s most noticeable pyramid shaped natural landmark peeks through the hill country. The climb to the peak is normally undertaken at night so that one can reach the summit by dawn and can view the sunrise. This gorgeous mountain lies about 32 km southwest of the city of Hatton and 40 km northeast of the city of Ratnapura . Needless to say, the picturesque views that the surrounding offers will surely take one’s breath away. SriPada means sacred footprint. SriPada is popular for being the only mountain in the world where four major faiths- Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians worship.
Seetharaman Temple – The location of Seetharaman Temple is believed to be the site where Sita was held captive by Ravana. It is nearly 5 kilometresfrom Nuwara Eliya.
Waterfalls – Sri Lanka is the best place for waterfalls hoppers
Diyaluma Falls – This scenic Falls is the 2nd highest waterfalls in Sri Lanka. This is the ideal spot for a full day adventure. Tell your driver to drop you at Makaldenya Junction on Poonagala Road, which is above the Falls and then hike down to it. You will get to see lots of long grass and natural pools all through the hike. Fall hoppers will surely enjoy jumping from one pool to the next lower levelled pool.
Baker’s Falls – This falls is named after the renowned British explorer, Sir Samuel Baker. This waterfall is flanked by pink-purple Rhododendron and verdant ferns. Baker’s Falls is Sri Lanka’s one of the widest waterfalls that gives rise to many streams as it comes down. This beautiful waterfall is situated at Horton Plains. The waterfall gives a step like impression. Baker’s Falls is also popular because of deafening noise that is produced by the water beating the large rock formation at its foot.
Bambarakanda Falls – Bambarakanda Falls drops from a height of 795ft. A narrow zig zag road goes up towards the fall till it comes to sight. It is the tallest waterfall of Sri Lanka. The lush green forest in the majestic Kalupahana Area surrounds this waterfall. Bambarakanda Falls is a total bliss for the photographers. This fall is set in the precipitous pine forested slopes of Badulla District.
Rawana Ella – In the misty mountains of tropical Sri Lanka flows the scenic Rawana Ella or Ravana Falls. It gushes down from an oval shaped concave rock offshoot. During the dry season, the waterfall may not flow at all but during the wet season, the cascading waterfall looks like an Areca flower. Absorb the pleasure of this waterfall by “under the belly of the beast”. Ravana Falls is one of the widest waterfalls of Sri Lanka.
Bopath Ella Falls – Located in the Ratnapura District of Sri Lanka, this falls resembles the shape of a leaf of ‘Bo’ tree or the ‘Sacred Fig’. To get a good view, one has to wade through a river and climb over rocks. The area of the falls is surrounded by lush green forest. Don’t forget to take a dip in the soothing waters of the pools. Bopath Ella Falls is formed from the tributary of Kalu Ganga.
Dunhinda Falls – A spectacular waterfall which drops from a height of 60 mets from a v’shaped summit of a cliff. Dunhinda Falls drops with such a force that it creates a mist surrounding it. It is near to Badulla town. The beauty of this falls is enhanced during the rainy season.
Laxapana Falls – Laxapana Falls is formed near the convergence of Kehelgamu Oya and Maskeliya Oya. With so much greens all around, one feels that one has been transported to a different world altogether. This is a must visit in your itinerary. If you wish to get closer to nature, then this is the place to be. The rhythmic sound made by the fall of water calms your senses. Laxapana Falls is extremely photogenic. Remember to go to the bottom of the waterfall not only for the natural pond but also because any falls is best experienced from the bottom.
St Clair’s Falls – St Clair’s Falls is also known as the ‘Little Niagara of Sri Lanka’ or the ‘King of Waterfalls’. St Clair’s Falls composes of dual cascade of different water sources. Hidden away among the hills, it provides a spectacular sight. It has a closesness to the Mlesna Tea Castle, St Clair. The trek through the luxuriant tea bushes offers an invigorating walk.
Bomburu Ella – Breathtaking views and cool weather will be your constant companion in the trek to Bomburu Ella. Perawella Falls is another name for Bomburu Ella. It is the widest waterfall in Sri Lanka. An assortment of 10 waterfalls makes up Bomburu Ella. According to some, Bomburu Ella is the most scenic waterfall.
Devon Falls – Devon Falls can be viwed from a well constructed roadside viewpoint. This is a marvel of a waterfall which is surrounded by rich green hills and a castle.The renowned Mlesna Tea Center is just on the opposite side of the road so it gives you a good reason to enjoy a piping hot flavourful tea and enjoy the captivating view. Devon Falls has got its name from a coffee planter, Mr.Devon who owned a plantation near the waterfall. Devon Falls has a serpentine shape.
Sri Lankan Cuisine
Fish Curry and Mixed Rice – If you are an avid traveller as well as a foodie, then indulging in local food surely tops your list. Savour a Fish Curry and Mixed Rice and excite your taste buds with the unique flavours of rice, seasonal vegetables and fish. It’s not only tasty but healthy also.
Devilled Sweet and Sour Fish Curry – Sri Lanka have many different devilled dishes. This one includes a deep fried fish in a mouthwatering sweet and sour sauce. Enjoy this dish with fried rice or a paratha and you won’t be able to stop licking your fingers.
Shopping – Shop till you drop!
Odel – For a mind, body and soul experience visit Odel. Odel boasts the widest variety of establishments and stores to be found in the city. You will find department stores, international brands, luxury brands and top stores. A first-rate shopping arcade, with an outstanding selection, where you can find fashion and accessories, jewellery, beauty products, designer goods, footwear, household goods and items, sports, gourmet items, etc., and you will be sure to find whatever you are after here.
Mlesna Tea Centre – Mlesna was born out of passion in the year 1983. Now 20 years later, it takes pride in having 3,000 products. This unmatchable Tea Junction has the widest range of Teas from Green Tea to Black Tea to Jasmine Tea to Apple Blossom to Early Grey and many more. Mlesna has a team of expert Tea Tasters, Blenders, Packagers and Quality Controllers who work tirelessly to bestow the world with the Tea that is ‘Naturally the Best’.
Nightlife – Waiting for tonight?
ZAZA Bar, Casa Colombo Hotel – If you are looking to let your hair down then this laid back bar is your ideal destination. The bar has large outdoor and indoor seating facility coupled with a big screen for watching sports or other events and entertaining performances. Be sure to avail their Happy Hour which provides one for one drinks and tapas from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Also this is a relatively inexpensive place. So come down with your friends and enjoy to the fullest while sipping an Arrack Sour.
Bally’s Casino – It is the largest Casino in Sri Lanka. Bally’s Casino is strategically located. The entry is free. Bally’s Casino boasts of more than 100 gaming tables, 50 slot machines, an avant garde VIP lounge, Hi-End dining options and a spa to pamper yourself to the fullest.
Some important points are jotted below:
- Hotels – You can put up in homelike guesthouses or treehouses, hostels, backpacker inns or any swanky resorts or hotels depending upon your choice and budget.
- Transport – When in Sri Lanka, try to avail trains, tuk tuks or buses. They are aplenty in number, cheap and easily available and also because it is the most attractive way to move around. Be cautious to negotiate the price beforehand when hiring a tuk tuk.
- VISA – Apply for a VISA if you wish to visit Sri Lanka.
- It is advisable to drink bottled water.
- Please note that Muslim hotels are not hostels.
- International dialling code for Sri Lanka: +94. (2496)