Intrinsically Sri Lanka
For a small island, Sri Lanka offers diversed options for the explorers, hobbyists, nature lovers, thrill seekers, tea aficionados, etc. Sri Lanka's attractions include ancient cities, biodiversity hot spots, phenomenal beaches and tea plantations.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The Golden Heritage
With a history spanning over 3000 years, Sri Lanka was once a land of kingdoms of Sinhala royal dynasties and ancient kings are credited for building planned cities, stunning palaces and monasteries intricately carved and modelled out of stone, breathtaking reservoirs, verdant gardens and ponds, intriguing monuments and works of art. Abandoned and forgotten with time amidst the soaring jungles, the ruins of those glorious past are now World Heritage Sites.
- Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
- Ancient City of Sigiriya
- Sacred City of Anuradhapura
- Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications
- Sacred City of Kandy
- Golden Temple of Dambulla
Biodiversity Hot Spots
Identified by the environment activist group Conservation International (CI) as one of 25 biodiversity hot spots in the world, Sri Lanka is also home to 2 ecological World Heritage Sites.
- The Sinharaja Forest Reserve
- The Central Highlands
Sri Lanka has 751 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles of which 21.7% are endemic, and over 3314 species of vascular plants, of which 26.9% are endemic. Mammals include the Asian elephants, sloth bears, leopards, sambars, wild buffaloes, red slender loris, and purple-faced langurs. Cetaceans ruling the waters surrounding the country, makes it one of the best locations for whale and dolphin watching.
Leopards in National Parks
Mostly pristine beaches on a 1,340 km coastline
With a coastline stretching nearly 1,340 km, the island’s pristine and palm fringed beaches are ideal for just lazing around or more thrilling adventure sports like wind-surfing, water-skiing, surfing, sailing, scuba-diving (including wreck-diving), snorkelling, speed-boating and banana-boating.
On the west (north of Colombo) is Negombo lagoon, its beaches are favoured by locals and foreign visitors and the lagoon famed for lobster harvesting. The southern beaches include Tangalle, Beruwala, Mirissa, Bentota and Unawatuna offering options of chic boutique hotels, glowing coral reefs and gentle sandbars.
The most known among the eastern beaches and surfing aficionados is Arugam Bay – a laid-back town with a distinct lack of commercialisation.
Ceylon tea, which the world identifies Sri Lanka with, was introduced to the country in 1847 by James Taylor, a British planter. and accounts for 2% of GDP, contributing roughly $700 million annually. It employs, directly or indirectly, over 1 million people.
The humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall of the country’s central highlands provide a climate that favours the production of high-quality tea. There are Ceylon black, green and white tea, the latter being highly priced.
Sitting in the observation deck of an old, colonial British train is a novel experience as it slowly winds its way up the hills along tea plantations and women picking at tea leaves. The temperatures drop the higher it gets, and as the mist rolls in… it’s magic.
Tea plantations in Central Highlands