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Beaches in Sri Lanka
Mount Lavenia
Mount Lavenia

Mount Lavinia is a residential suburb ,famed for its "Golden Mile" of beaches, it has often been a hot spot for tourism and laid back nightlife. It is one of the most liberal regions in Sri Lanka and plays host to the island's annual gay pride, including the famed Rainbow Kite Festival.

Mount Lavinia is steeped in history. The city's name is built up around the original residence of Sir Thomas Maitland who was the Governor General of Ceylon from 1805-1811.

Bentota
Bentota Beach
Facing the Indian Ocean, a tropical lagoon and a major river Bentota offers water sports possibilities nowhere else to be found.Apart from swimming, body-surfing or diving in the sea, you can jet-ski, windsurf, parasail or enjoy a romantic river safari on the river and lagoon.
Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is one of the earliest tourist beaches of Sri Lanka ,famous for its sandy beaches and superb waves for surfing. Your itenaries at Hikkaduwa may include hiring a glass bottom boat for coral viewing, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving or simply relaxing in the beach.


There are many hotels and guest houses to suit any budget with varying quality and comfort.

Unawatuna
Unawatuna
Unawatuna
Unawatuna
West coast of Sri Lanka,  Unawatuna is a popular tourist destination is a also a breeding ground for turtles. Legend says that Unwatuna was created from a piece of earth from Himalaya, that had fallen from Hanuman in the Ramayanaya epic.


It is a very calm  and a beautiful beach and an excellent location to enjoy the tropical beauty in relative recluse. Ideal for snorkelling and swimming. There are some coral reefs to be explored


Unawatuna offers a wide range of accommodation scattered around near by village, but for more luxurious places are few minutes’ drive from the beach. The beach side bars and restaurants are in abundance.

Polhena
Polhena is a beautiful beach in southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka. Travellers can enjoy safe swimming scuba diving and snorkelling because of the natural swimming pool created by coral reefs.
Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay Surfing
Arugam Bay Surfing
Arugam Bay Surfing
Lovely Arugam Bay (aru-gam-beh) is the east coast’s most traveler-friendly destination. It’s basically a single laid-back strip of beach accommodation. From April to October it has the best surfing waves in Sri Lanka, but Arugam Bay is also a great place to unwind, eat seafood and enjoy a mellow party scene.
Trincomalee - Nilaweli
Trincomalee Beach
Nilaweli Pijun Island
Nilaweli Pijun Island
Trincomalee is a port city on the east coast of Sri Lanka, about 110 miles northeast of Kandy. The city is built on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours. It is one of the main centers of Tamil speaking culture on the island. Trincomalee is a natural deep-water harbor, which is rated as one of the finest of its kind in the world. The beaches are used for surfing, scuba diving, fishing and whale watching.. The city also has the largest Dutch fort in Sri Lanka. The city is also known for the sacred hill of three ancient temples.
Wildlife
Kalpitiya - Dolphins
Kalpitiya - Dolphins
Kalpitiya - Dolphins
Arugam Bay Dolphins
Kalpitiya a stretch of land 150 kilometres North of Colombo is skirted by sea on one side and lagoon on the other. There are many islands - small and large formed within both sea and lagoon. These islands are a treat to see as most of these, especially the ones by the lagoon, are covered with green mangroves.

Kalpitiya developing rapidly as a tourist destination and will become one the most sought after destinations in South Asia soon. Fourteen unspoilt islands basking in the sun rimmed by the blue waters of the Indian Ocean and wide sandy beaches await to be discovered by the discerning visitors in all its glory.

There about 22 species of core mangroves found in Sri Lanka. According to botanists, out of the 22, some very rare species are found in habitats in these islands. One such find in the island is locally known in Sinhala as “Rathambilla” is an endangered species. Even without botanical interest, vegetation on the islands is a treat for the lay visitor who values nature at its unspoilt best.
Pinnawala
Pinnawala
Pinnawala
Pinnawala
See baby jumbos wondering around their cramped foster home or bottle fed and bathed by their human foster fathers at Pinnawala, about 90Km from Colombo towards Kandy is the home to some 60 or more elephant orphans. A place you will really enjoy and never forget. Most orphans are accustomed to their curious human visitors are harmless.

Started in 1972 the Elephant Orphanage was relocated to at the present site in 1975 Bathing time at Ma Oya just in front of the orphanage is sharp at 10.00am and 2.00pm. Feeding time is about an hour earlier.
Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains,one and only mountain National Park in Sri Lanka, height of more than 2000 m. also only one in which visitors are permitted to tour on foot. SriLanka”s second and third highest mountains namely Kirigalpotta and Thotupola respectively are found within the borders of the park. Leopard, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer and wild boar are the most common large mammals in Horton Plains. Endemic Bear Monkey, Rusty- Spotted and Fishing cats, Otter, Black napped hare and Giant Squirrel are among other mammals. Many species of endemic & threatened rats & shrews are also found in the park.
Yala
Yala
Yala
Yala
Elephants are the most often-spotted inhabitants of the vast Yala National Park in the southeast of Sri Lanka, east of Matara, but they share the reserve with 130 different species of birds and other creatures like sambhur, spotted deer, sloths, crocodiles, monkeys, wild boar and porcupines. There is also a small population of leopards. The park is somewhat remote, the nearest town being Tissa, and is situated about 190 miles (305km) from Colombo. Yala is also dotted with a number of archaeological sites, like the Magul Maha Vihara ruins, dating from the 1st century BC.
Wilpattuwa
Wilpattuwa
Wilpattuwa
Wilpattu is one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka Located in Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. The park consists of dry-lowland forests, scrublands, open grasslands and coastal belt. Elephants, leopards, sloth bear, water buffalo and spotted deer are among the large mammals. You will also find abundant birdlife such as painted storks, white ibis, open bills, Whistling teals, spoonbills, cormorants and kingfishers. Apart from them serpent eagles, great racket tail Drongo, Malabar pied hornbills, crested hawk eagles & Sri Lanka junglefowls are commonly seen.
Wasgomuwa
wasgomuwa1
wasgomuwa2
Wasgamuwa National Park was originally declared as strict nature reserve in 1938 and then change to a national park in 1984. The park lies within central and north- central provinces. The total park area is 39,322 ha.Park consists of rain forest, dry mixed evergreen forest, grasslands and wetlands. Wasgamuwa is one of protected areas where Sri Lankan Elephants can be seen in large herds. It is also one of the Important bird areas in Sri Lanka.
Udawalave
Udawalawe
Udawalawe
Uda Walawe lies South of the central hills of the island, and it surrounds the man made reservoir of Uda Walawe, which is part of the park. It is a mixture of a teak plantation, scrub jungle & grassland. The dry season is best to watch the many herds of elephant that roam the park; which is usually between May & September.
Kumana
Kumana
Kumana

KUMANA NATIONAL PARK is a well-known bird sanctuary where a multitude of birds breed and roost.  One of the most significant features of the park is the ‘Kumana Villu’ - a 200 hectare natural swamp lake, fed by the ‘Kumbukkan Oya’ through a half mile long narrow channel.  It is at this mangrove swamp that many water birds nest in May and June.  Regular sightings include pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets and little cormorants.  The very rare black-necked stork has also been spotted at the swamp.  Besides the prolific birdlife, Kumana is also home to some of the mammals found in the larger YALA (West) park, such as elephants and leopards.  The vegetation in Kumana consists mainly of mangrove trees, kumbuk trees and the karan fern, as well as the open marsh area. 
For bird watching enthusiasts, this park is an ‘absolute must’.

Bundala National Park
Bundala is an important wetland sanctuary that has been recognized under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, but it has always been less visited than Yala. It shelters some 150 species of bird within its 62-sq-km area, with many birds journeying from Siberia and the Rann of Kutch in India to winter here, arriving between August and April. It’s also a winter home to the greater flamingo, and up to 2000 have been recorded here at one time. At most times you can see wild peacocks crossing the road. As well as sheltering a small population of elephants (between 25 and 60 depending on the season), Bundala provides sanctuary to civets, giant squirrels and crocodiles.
Singha-Raja rain forest
Singha-Raja rain forest
Singha-Raja rain forest
Singha-Raja rain forest
The last major undisturbed area of rainforest in Sri Lanka, this forest reserve occupies a broad ridge at the heart of the island’s wet zone. On most days the forest conjures numerous rain-clouds that replenish its deep soils and balance water resources for much of southwestern Sri Lanka. Recognising its importance to the island’s ecosystem, Unesco declared the reserve a World Heritage Site in 1989.


Sinharaja (Lion King) is bordered by rivers: the Koskulana Ganga in the north and the Gin Ganga in the south. An old foot track that goes past the Beverley Estate marks the eastern border, close to the highest peak in the forest, Hinipitigala. Towards the west the land decreases in elevation.

 

The reserve comprises 18,899 hectares of natural and modified forest, measuring about 21km east to west and 3.7km north to south. It was once a royal reserve, and some colonial records refer to it as Rajasinghe Forest. It may have been the last redoubt of the Sri Lankan lion.

Peradeniya - Botanical Gardens
Peradeniya - Botanical Gardens
Peradeniya - Botanical Gardens
Peradeniya - Botanical Gardens
Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, the finest of its kind in Asia , the largest of the botanical gardens of Sri Lanka ,is located in close proximity to the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is renowned for the collection the variety of Orchids, and has more than 300 varieties of Orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palms trees attach it is the National Herbarium. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture
Hill Country
Kandy
Dalada Maligawa
Dalada Maligawa
Dalada Maligawa
The Royal city of Kandy, Sri Lanka’s hill capital, Kandy, is situated about 500 meters above sea level. This capital of the Central Province is renowned for its culture and beauty and is a sacred city to all Buddhists since the “Dalada Maligawa” (the temple of the sacred tooth relic) is located in the heart of Kandy town. The Esala Perahara, a cultural pageant venerating the tooth relic of Lord Buddha, is a spectacular parade which goes on for ten nights in the month of August.


Bandarawela
Bandarawela
A lively place with a pleasant atmosphere and the colorful markets and bazaars of the Highlands. The 50-km-car route from Nuwara Eliya here (on the B 810) is beautifully landscaped (rice terraces). The 300-year-old Dowa cave temples with a 4-meter-high Buddha figure is found in this city.
Nuwara Eliya
Hill Country
Hill Country
Hill Country

Blessed a with salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery; it's hard to imagine that Nuwara Eliya is only 180 Km from the hot and humid Colombo.

Nuwara Eliya (City of Lights), also known as 'Little' England', was the favourite hill station of the British who tried to create Nuwara Eliya into a typical English Village. The old brick Post office, country house like hill club, with it's hunting pictures, mounted hunting trophies and fish, and it's strict formal dinner attire; the 18 hole golf course, race course etc., all remind you of 'England'.
Ella
Ella
Sri Lanka is liberally endowed with beautiful views, and Ella has one of the best. The sleepy village is nestled in a valley peering straight through Ella Gap to the plain nearly 1000m below, and across to the coast where, on a clear night, you can see the Great Basses lighthouse. And as if the views weren’t enough, Ella is surrounded by hills perfect for walks through tea plantations to temples and waterfalls.
Historical Cities / Cultural Triangle
Anuradhapura
For over 1000 years, Sinhalese kings – and occasional South Indian interlopers – ruled from the palaces of Anuradhapura. It was the most extensive and important of the Sri Lankan royal capitals, but its size and the length of its history, and the length of time since its downfall
Dambulla - Rock Temple and Caves
Dambulla  - Rock Temple and Caves
Dambulla  - Rock Temple and Caves
Dambulla  - Rock Temple and Caves
Dedicated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991, Dambulla Cave Temple (or the Golden Temple of Dambulla) is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Situated in Dambulla, Sri Lanka in a region which includes more than 80 caves, Dambulla Cave Temple features 5 well-preserved caves, each of which houses ancient statues of the Buddha and historic artwork depicting the Buddha's life.  The Dambulla Cave Temple grounds also features a functioning Buddhist Monastery dating back to the third and second centuries B.C.
Kandy - Dalada Maligawa
Dalada Perahara
Dalada Perahara
Dalada Perahara
The Temple of tooth or Sri Dalada Maligawa is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex which houses the only surviving relic of Buddha, Temple of tooth, which is venerated by Buddhists. The relic which situated Temple of tooth is played an important role in the local politics since ancient times; it’s believed that whoever holds the Temple of tooth relic holds the governance of the country, which caused the ancient kings to protect the Temple of tooth with great effort. Kandy was the capital of the Sinhalese kings.
Kelaniya Temple
The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is one of the most sacred worshipping places of the Buddhists of Sri Lanka since it is a site made hallowed by the visit of Lord Buddha. In the past Kelaniya itself was a large city and the Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya was one of the largest and one of the most beautiful temples of Sri Lanka.
Polonnaruwa
Plonnaruwa Vatadageya
Historical City of Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa Buddha Statures
Historical City of Polonnaruwa
Historical City of Polonnaruwa
Historical City of Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa lies 216 km northeast of Colombo, 140kms northeast of Kandy and 104kms southeast of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka's medieval capital (11th - 12th Century AD) is a well-preserved city of ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. The majestic King's Council Chamber, the Lotus Bath, the Lanka Thilaka Viharaya, the Gal Viharaya (rock temple) and the statue of one of Polonnaruwa's great kings, Parakramabahu, are a few of this capital's memorable sights. The Sea of Parakrama - a vast 12th century man-made reservoir dominates the city. Although it is nearly 1000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura, and in much better repair. Moreover, the monuments here are located in a more compact area, and their development is easier to follow.
Sigiriya
Sigiriya
Sigiriya
Sigiriya
Sri Lankan architectural tradition is well portrayed at Sigiriya, the best preserved city centre in Asia from the first millennium, with its combination of buildings and gardens with their trees, pathways, water gardens, the fusion of symmetrical and asymmetrical elements, use of varying levels and of axial and radial planning.

The Complex consists of the central rock, rising 200 meters above the surrounding plain, and the two rectangular precincts on the east 90 hectares and the west 40 hectares, surrounded by two moats and three ramparts.

The plan of the city is based on a precise square module. The layout extends outwards from co-ordinates at the centre of the palace complex at the summit, with the eastern and western axis directly aligned to it. The water garden, moats and ramparts are based on an 'echo plan' duplicating the layout and design on either side. This city still displays its skeletal layout and its significant features. 3 km from east to west and 1 km from north to south it displays the grandeur and complexity of urban-planning in 5th century Sri Lanka.
Adventure / Sports

Recreation & Other Attractions

Sri Lanka is an ideal place for adventure seekers. The island country offers excellent adventure sport facilities. One can enjoy windsurfing, diving, snorkeling, rafting, canoeing,cycling,camping and trekking in Sri Lanka.

May to September is the best period for surfing in Sri Lanka as the winds are strongest during this period. Arugam bay on the east coast is Sri Lanka's best beach for surfing. Other beaches famous for surfing are Hikkaduwa on the southwestern coast and Bentota on the western coast. Surfing gears such as surfboards, boogie boards, and wetties can be hired in the shops beside the beaches.

There are several dive sites along Sri Lanka's coastline where one gets an opportunity to see fantastic marine life such as corals, ship wrecks, myriad tropical fish, coral fish, angle fish and puffer fish. Hikkaduwa and Tangalla on the west coast, Unawatuna on the south coast and Nilaveli on the east coast are wonderful places for scuba diving and snorkeling. The best time for diving and snorkeling on the west coast is from November to April and on the east coast is from April to September as the seas are calmest during this period.

Sri Lanka has hundreds of rivers and small streams that originate from hills and offer excellent water sports facilities. Some of the rivers such as Kelani River in Kitulgala, southwest of Kandy, are very popular among tourists for rafting purposes. Popular sites for canoeing are the Kalu Ganga (Black River) and the Kelani Ganga.


Cycling arguably offers the best way to explore Sri Lanka, traveling by bike is a great way mix with local people and gain acess to their world. Wilderness camping in Sri Lanka is the most exciting way to stay overnight in nature. It is a memorable experience in the greenish environment with a tropical climate.
Ayurveda, Meditation & Yoga
Whether it is Ayurveda, Meditation or Yoga, you will enjoy the best of it in Srilanka.It comes with a total solution offer of healing ,not just of the body but of the mind and soul too.
Spice gardens
From the mountains to the coast, in cities or out in the country, the aroma of Sri Lankan spices is never far away. It lingers around the village huts, the luxury spas in five star hotels, the food stalls along the beach and most of all in the lush gardens A visit to a spice garden in Srilanka would be a fascinating experience
Village visits

Village life in the countryside is fascinating and extremely sociable. The houses are provincial and each village tends to be inhabited by entire family generations. One can pass some relaxing days in Sri Lankan countryside.

Gem mines

The island of Sri Lanka has a long heritage for gem-mining and trading that dates back some 2,000 years. Sri Lanka has earned its namesake as the "Island of Gems," or "Gem Island" (Ratna Dweepa), with its abundance of corundum gems, chrysoberyl and alexandrite, garnet, moonstone, peridot, spinel, topaz, tourmaline, and zircon.A visit to a gem mine would be a memorable experience.
Special Events
 
 
Kandy Perahera is one of the biggest Buddhist celebrations of the year. The festival is held every July / August for 10 nights culminating with the midsummer full moon in the hill capital of Kandy. (Read more)
 
Srilanka's surf beaches, where first-class waves for all levels of surfing abilities. Peaceful surroundings and un-crowded beaches are some of the assets of the Sri Lankan coast. (Read more)