Travel to Sri lanka has returned to the travel radar following its turbulent civil war era. From eco-lodges to immersive cultural experiences, this island nation offers something special for everyone!
Road conditions across India make driving relatively straightforward, though be prepared for slower traffic in towns and villages. If you want to make quick progress between destinations, hire a private taxi driver.
Sri Lanka provides travelers with everything they could want – be it hiking stunning mountain ranges, exploring former colonial tea plantations sites and heritage sites or hunting waterfalls; relaxing on world-class beaches or embarking on wildlife safaris; discovering ancient temples or getting lost in an intricate maze of narrow canals – Sri Lanka delivers on all fronts!
No doubt the charm and spirit of Sri Lanka has been altered by recent events; nevertheless it remains open for business and 2023 offers an amazing window for travellers to visit this amazing island nation. All must-see attractions, with the exception of Dambulla Cave Temple, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa being somewhat quieter. Restaurants and hotels operate as normal with food (albeit slightly more costly due to currency depreciation) still tasting delicious!
Sri Lanka stands out among beach destinations for its long stretches of white-sand beaches and impressive cultural landmarks like ancient temples and UNESCO-listed ruins – making for a dream holiday!
Unawatuna Beach is an idyllic beach destination and an ideal getaway for sun worshipers and watersport enthusiasts. Swaying palm trees line its golden sand, while beach bars and hotels add to its relaxing ambience.
Mirissa Beach Town lies at the southernmost point of Sri Lanka and provides an ideal setting for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. Mirissa also serves as an excellent location to view dolphins up close, while offering charming boutique hotels like The Owl and Pussycat Hotel that offer romance through brightly decorated rooms and quirky designs.
Sri Lanka packs an incredible wildlife punch despite its smaller island size, featuring majestic wild elephants during safari drives at Yala and Udawalawe and blue whales off Mirissa coast (Nov-mid April) during boat tours.
Trincomalee offers great opportunities for snorkelling with turtles and sharks; observe them laying eggs on beaches around Kosgoda; don’t miss a visit to Sinharaja forest – one of Sri Lanka’s last remaining tropical forests!
Sri Lanka offers numerous national parks and reserves that provide fantastic wildlife tours, with the best ones taking visitors on guided walks through Yala forest in search of leopards, as well as visiting Elephant Transit Center or going hiking in Sinharaja.
Food on the island is varied and frequently connected to culture. Celebrate Christmas with a slice of nutty, spiced semolina cake called love cake or sip some refreshing, lightly alcoholic drink made from fermented coconut water harvested from those with bright orange husks (king coconuts).
Negombo’s seafood restaurants offer delectable butterfish and succulent prawns that melt in your mouth, as well as tempting local vegetable curries, sambols and relishes; many also provide pure vegetarian menu options.
Sri Lanka is famous for its tea production and you can visit Nuwara Eliya to gain more insight into this process. A wide range of fresh fruit is also readily available – from strawberries to exotic rambutans and even the unique wood apple!
Sri Lanka is home to an increasing number of eco-lodges that provide visitors with an immersive cultural experience while giving back. Wellness travel has also become more prevalent over recent years and Sri Lanka offers plenty of ways to nourish both body and soul.
Ella and Nuwara Eliya are must-see stops when traveling through central Sri Lanka, especially at Happy Horizon Homestay, offering stunning mountain views, clean amenities and warm hospitality from friendly hosts.
Outside of high tourist areas, much of Thailand remains underdeveloped and may not meet your standards as a traveler; expect unpaved roads, limited English, and less convenience stores than you are used to. Before arriving, make sure that you contact your government’s travel authority for their latest advice on travel advisories and any required vaccinations.