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Six Senses of Stunning Sri Lanka: The Top Reasons to Visit Now

March 24, 2017 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean for its golden beaches, inclusive cultural sites and lush tea plantations, Sri Lanka is being heralded as the next big ‘hot spot’ destination, and accordingly, visitor numbers have grown rapidly over the last few years. With beauty and culture around every corner, Asia travel experts Insider Journeys have compiled their top reasons to visit this magical country.

  • Abundant wildlife

It’s possible to spend the night surrounded by elephants, deer and leopards in Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park. Tented safari camps allow visitors to get up close with the park’s abundant wildlife. The wildlife reserve protects 44 species of mammals and has the highest density of leopards anywhere in the world.

Not all animals roam the land. The tropical beach resort of Mirissa has a mighty neighbour hiding in the waters off its coast; a pod of Blue Whales has made this town one of the best places to spot the largest mammal in the world. Dolphins and orcas are also known to frequent the area.

  • Immaculate sandy beaches

Famous for its tropical climate and with 1,600 kilometres of coastline, Sri Lanka is a year-round beach holiday destination. Many remain lesser known gems that are still uncrowded and pristine while others offer a full range of water activities including windsurfing, kayaking, scuba diving and yachting.

The country’s infamous stilt fishermen are found on southern beaches near Galle at Weligama and Uawatuna, while newer beach resorts are being built in the east along the coast between Passhikutah and Trincomalee. With bustling activities along the western coast, Bentota is one of the country’s most popular stretches of beach, where palm trees line the coast and turquoise water laps the sand.

  • Rainforests and tea plantations

Wet and warm all year around, the lush rainforests in the southwest have amazing fauna and flora including hundreds of species of frogs and a thick canopy of 150 types of trees.

No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without travelling by train from its cultural and religious heart, Kandy, to the colonial tea centre at Nuwara Eliya. After chugging through scenic fields of sugar, tea estates and waterfalls, it’s worth spending the night in a charming Heritance Tea Factory, a unique heritage hotel on the Nuwara Eliya hilltops.

  • Ancient ruins and historic temples

Historical relics are abundant across Sri Lanka, making it the perfect destination for those intrigued by the past or in search of the perfect photo opportunity.

UNESCO World Heritage-listed city Anuradhapura is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and was Sri Lanka’s capital for more than 1,000 years. Home to ruins that are archaeological and architectural wonders, several of which remain in use as holy places and temples today, it’s also the site of the most popular Buddhist locations in the country, Mihintale, a mountain peak where Buddhism began in Sri Lanka.

Just south of Anuradhapura is Sigiriya, a Rock fortress which dates back to the fifth century.  Considered the Eighth Wonder of the World, the fortress can be climbed by the fit and adventurous or enjoyed from the ground.

Located in Kandy, a sanctuary for traditional Sinhalese culture, the Temple of the Tooth is another must visit, enshrining the most sacred Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha.

  • Sumptuous Cuisine

Sri Lanka’s cuisine has a rich history; inspired by numerous international influences over 3,000 years, it incorporates elements from the Dutch, Portuguese, English, Arabs, Malays, Moors and Indians. With staples like seafood and aromatic curries, rice, rotis and hoppers, vegetables and spicy sambols, there are vibrant tastes aplenty.

  • Mesmerising cities

Sri Lanka’s main towns and cities are a picturesque and colourful melange of scenic spots, each with their own pace and vibe.

The increasingly cosmopolitan capital, Colombo, retains some of its ‘garden city’ legacy while also home to significant religious and historic monuments, and the colourful and chaotic Pettah market. By contrast, Galle is the charming, laid back coastal city with restored Dutch colonial-era buildings and café-lined quaint cobbled lanes. The city is best known for its historic fort perched next to the Arabian sea.

To celebrate the interest in Sri Lanka, Insider Journeys is offering 10% off all Sri Lanka Small Group Journeys with its 9-day Taste of Sri Lanka from $2547pp* and a 15-day Sri Lanka Discovery from $4005pp*.

The 10-day Sri Lanka Explorer private itinerary also includes a special offer of a dinner in Kandy for two including bottle of wine and a cooking class in Galle.

* Prices per person, twin share. Sales dates: 15 March 2017 – 30 April 2017, Travel Dates: 1 May 2017 – 30 March 2018. Conditions apply, see

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