10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a relatively small yet incredibly diverse nation. It is an outstanding destination for great adventures, good food and pure relaxation. This country is a teardrop shaped island off the southeast coast of India that is bursting with cultural heritage like you wouldn’t believe. Its cuisines are mouthwatering with spices and influences from countries from around the globe. There are numerous ancient cities to visit, and no matter where you turn you will see spectacular wildlife, lush green tea plantations and an innate sense of luxury. It’s no surprise that Sri Lanka is on everyone’s bucket list.
1. Miles of stunning beaches
Sri Lanka has no shortage of beautiful beaches. There are long, golden-speckled beaches and small beaches with white sands. Some have a slow vibe and others have lively party vibe. The west and south coasts are where you’ll find the best of the beaches with golden sand, coral reefs and palm trees. Swim, surf, watch fishing boats return from the daily catch or spot ‘stilt fishermen’ perched on poles over the water. On the south coast, the fine sands of Galle and Weligama beaches are backed by gently swaying palm trees and have a good selection of accommodations.
2. Best place to see the Asian Leopard
Yala National Park has the highest density of leopards anywhere in the world. It means you have higher chance to see these magnificent cats than anywhere else. Wildlife can be elusive; a two to three-day safari usually bears some leopard sightings. For the most reliable wildlife sightings, it’s best to visit Yala during the dry season from February to June.
3. Archaeological wonders
Sri Lanka’s history dates back an estimated 35,000 years. It offers a unique chance to see museum-quality statues and artifacts in-situ. Pilgrims from around the world embark on a spiritual journey and attend ceremonies in magnificent dagobas and monasteries in ancient Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy which are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
4. The Largest Mammal on earth, the Blue Whale
The waters off Sri Lanka are home to our planet’s biggest creature, the blue whale. In addition to these grand creatures there are mischievous spinner dolphins leaping in the waves. The whale watching season in Mirissa runs from November to April.
5) Delicious and plentiful seafood
As an island, Sri Lanka is blessed with large fishing grounds filled with the most delicious bounties of the Indian Ocean including tuna, shrimps and prawns, crabs, lobsters and more. Have them cooked anyway you want – grilled, fried, poached – and served to your beach front table!
6) Tea Plantations
British colonists planted the first tea bush in 1867 resulting in the world-famous Ceylon tea. The emerald-colored tea plantations cover the Hill Country. Travel by car or ride the train for the scenic journey from Kandy to Ella, you may see tea pickers dressed in colorful saris. The pickers deftly harvest the tea leaves, tossing them into sacks hanging from the crowns of their heads. Learn about tea, enjoy tea tasting and savor the fresh, highland air and beautiful scenery.
7) Highest density of elephants in Asia
Asian elephants are found here in a higher density than anywhere else.
Nothing beats seeing herds of elephants firsthand in their natural habitat. Be amazed at their immense size, intelligence and majesty as they stride across the river or amble through the forest. An experience that is surely the highlight of any journey. There are more than 5,000 elephants and you can see them at various national parks like Udawalwe and Yala, and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
8) Nesting Sea Turtles
Five out of seven species of sea turtles come ashore here to lay their eggs at night, making Sri Lanka an ideal spot for turtle watching. Mirissa beach is one of the best turtle watching areas for visitors in the southern part of the island. You may be lucky enough to see baby turtles hatch and flip-flop down the beach to the sea. The best time for turtle watching is from January to April.
9) Positive vibes for relaxing
Sri Lanka’s vibe is much more laid-back than its giant neighbor, India. This emerald island is small enough to get around easily and yet possesses a rich heritage and abundant natural attractions with relaxed, easy-going peoples. Sri Lanka is well suited for those who want to enjoy a slower, more relaxed pace.
10) Up and coming luxury hotels
New luxury hotels have been springing up all over Sri Lanka, providing travelers with ever more options for comfort. Some offer a touch of traditional elegance and aristocracy, while others offer luxury amidst a natural environment. Among them are the 98 Acres Resort & Spa in Ella and the Jetwing Blue in Negombo near Colombo.
(Courtesy of 98 Acres Resort & Spa in Ella)
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