Destinations

Trincomalee

Also referred to as ‘Trinco’ by many, this is a historic port city in the Northeast with one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The beaches here have very shallow waters which makes it possible to walk in the sea. This has made snorkeling, diving and swimming popular activities among visitors. As a way of enjoying the majesty of the sea without getting in, whale watching is starting to gain popularity in this area. There are historic landmarks such as the fort and temples (both Hindu and Buddhist) here. For many adventure enthusiasts, Pigeon Island which is offshore of the town Nilaveli would be a great place to visit.

Arugam Bay

This which is a part of Sri Lanka’s Southeast coast is considered a surfer’s paradise. Even if you are not into surfing, the relaxed setting of Arugam Bay will surely satisfy anyone wanting a nice warm vacation. With many oceanside guesthouses and restaurants, it would be a great idea to rent a scooter or tuk-tuk and explore the area. You could also go to the beach and enjoy the day by swimming and working on your tan. If all of this seems too demanding you can always get in a hammock and just relax and let the hours pass by.

Sinharaja

Sinharaja Forest Reserve which is regarded as a biodiversity hotspot is situated in the Southwest lowlands of Sri Lanka. This tropical rainforest is home to many endemic species of fauna and flora and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Many of the plants and animals such as birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians are considered rare or endangered. The reserve consists of many ridges and valleys along with a network of streams. This is a must-see for any naturalist or nature lover who travels to Sri Lanka. If you do visit here make sure you keep your eyes peeled while traversing through the forest. The most mysterious creatures here will hide in the shadows of the rainforest.

Adam’s peak

Adam’s Peak is one of the most important mountains in Sri Lanka. It belongs both to the Sabaragamuwa Province and Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is an important pilgrimage site for the locals due to the presence of what is believed to be the footprint of Lord Buddha. The best time to climb the mountain is between the months of December and May. The mountain is also called Sri Pada and Samanala Kanda. Hikers and pilgrims generally start their climb in the late afternoon to make their way to the top to catch a breathtaking view of the golden sunrise.

Dambulla

Situated just over three hours away from Colombo, the city of Dambulla and its outskirts belong to the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. It is home to a stunning cave temple complex that is filled with age-old paintings, rock carvings and statues. You can spend almost half a day admiring the rock caves of the temple. In addition, Dambulla is in close proximity to the two rocks Sigiriya and Pidurangala. Sigiriya which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the eight wonders of the world. Another popular attraction close to the Dambulla town is the Minneriya National Park where a unique gathering of a large herd of elephants can be witnessed.

Knuckles

The Knuckles Mountain Range, named so due to its shape that resembles the knuckles on a human hand, is situated across the Kandy and Matale Districts. There are a number of rocks and mountains belonging to the range that are idea hiking locations. One such unique hike is to the top of Duwili Ella. This area which consists of a cascade of waterfalls that are dispersed like dust is a favorite among seasoned hikers. In addition, there are also other places such as the Lakegala Rock and the Nitro Caves to be explored within the range. A protected forest patch also belonging to the Knuckles range provides refuge to a large number of floral and faunal species.

Pinnawala

The Pinnawala town is home to one of the most endearing locations in the whole of Sri Lanka – the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Those who visit this orphanage get the opportunity to watch baby elephants drink milk, have some fun feeding fruits to the animals or watch them enjoy their bathing time in the river. The Pinnawala Open Air Zoo is another exciting destination in the town. The zoo is home to a large range of mammals, reptiles and birds who are allowed to roam freely in open areas. It is a great place for the entire family.

Horton plains

Horton Plains is a protected area and a National Park which is home to the charming Sambar Deer and other species such as the leopard, as well as a wide variety of migratory and non-migratory birds. The park is just over 30km away from the Nuwara Eliya town, pass Ambewela and Pattipola. The road from Nuwara Eliya to Horton Plains is filled with beautiful views of pine forests, railway tracks, small ponds and the extending fields of the Ambewela Dairy Farm. It is perfect for a slow drive or even a trek. The park also provides the pathway to a number of different mountain peaks and waterfalls such as World’s End and Seetha Ella.

Ramboda Falls

Ramboda falls is situated in the Pussellawa Road on the way to Ramboda Pass. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka that forms a twin with the Dunsinane fall. The waterfall is ranked as the 11th tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. A trip to the site can be made from Nuwara Eliya. It is a great location to capture some beautiful pictures and enjoy a nice bath in the water body at the base. There are a number of hotels and rests in the area if you wish to stay for more than a day.

Delft Island

Located in the Palk Strait, southwest of Jaffna, this island named Delft by the Dutch and IIha das Vacas by the Portuguese is locally known as Neduntivu. A visit to the island offers you the chance to enjoy long walks on white beaches that are fringed with a large number of corals, experience hundreds of wild ponies roaming freely and also the opportunity to witness some unique monuments of archaeological importance. The Dovecotes, Baobab Tree, Giant Footprint and the Growing Rock are some of the sites at the island. This isolated island is a perfect getaway from the Jaffna town for those who like some sun, sand and a lot of ponies.

Roomassala

Roomassala is yet another beautiful site on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It is a mountain that has been famous from ancient times due to the many legends associated with it. It is a few minutes away from the main Galle-Matara road and is accessible via bus, car or cab. You find a number of other interesting places on the way to Roomassala which includes the Vivekarama Temple and the Japan Peace Pagoda. The Roomassala beach which is also in close proximity to the mountain is one of the famous bathing and relaxing spots in the area. A trip to Roomassala will offer you a hike, some time in the sand and sun along with the chance to experience the culture of Sri Lanka.

Ratnapura

Ratnapura is the capital city of the Sabaragamuwa Province and is famed across the country as the main centre of the gem trade in Sri Lanka. The Gemmological Museum is one of the main attractions in the area. In addition, there are a number of temples and Hindu Kovils within the town including the Sumana Saman Devalaya and the Kajugaswatta Temple. The Kalthota Duwiliella Falls is also a great place to visit during your time in Ratnapura. The town is home to a national museum where many elements of cultural and historical significance to Sri Lanka can be found.

Kitulgala

Beautiful Kelani River in Kitulgala area covers 5 major rapids and 4 minor rapids providing excellent conditions for White water Rafting. White Water Rafting at Kitulgala gives an opportunity to enjoy the stunning tropical scenery of the region. This adrenaline filled adventure sport is suitable for first time rafters and experts alike. However, white water rafting is for anyone above the age of 10 years and you need to wear adequate safety gear. Kitulgala is situated on the Colombo – Nuwara Eliya Road. Other than White Water Rafting, range of adventure activities can be done in the Kitulgala area including stream slides, rainforest walks to see waterfalls, waterfall abseiling and mountain biking. The Academy Award-winning film “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was filmed on the Kelani River near Kitulgala, although nothing remains now except the concrete foundations for the bridge.

Kumana

Located in the southeast corner of Sri Lanka, Kumana National Park is renowned as bird sanctuary where large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds can be seen. From May to June, many water birds nest in the mangrove swamps surrounding the 200-hectare Lake Kumana Villu. The species inhabiting this area include pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets and little cormorants. Also, the very rare black-necked stork has been spotted here. Besides the abundant birdlife, Kumana is
home to many mammals such as elephants and leopards.The Kumana Bird Sanctuary, located within the boundaries of Kumana National Park, was declared a protected area in 1938, and it is rated as one of the most important breeding grounds for birds in Sri Lanka.In Kumana, there are about 20 shallow lagoons and lakes that have a major contribution to the abundant birdlife. The wetland zones are surrounded by dry zone tropical thorn forest, whereas inland forests consists mainly of Manilkara hexandra, known as Palu in Sinhalese. Also a wide range of aquatic plants, trees and reeds is found in Kumana. A total of 255 species of birds, including the very rare black-necked stork, have been recorded in Kumana.