Travel in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a delight for tailor-made travel - it's one of those places where 'something for everyone' means quality for everyone, too. A global biodiversity hotspot, the island has outstanding National Parks that are home to hundreds of noteworthy species.
Sri Lanka's diversity is as impressive underwater as it is on land, with impeccable diving and snorkelling just off shores that are lined with beautiful beaches. Beyond the parks and sand, you'll find intriguing cultural regions dense with sacred sanctuaries and ancient settlements, and temperate mountain plantations within easy reach of bustling historic ports.
Where to travel in Sri Lanka
You’ll fly into Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. This multi-cultural hub is the island’s most urban area, and worth pausing in to enjoy good food, interesting architecture and Sri Lanka’s best shopping. From here, most first-time visitors head north, to an area known as Sri Lanka’s ‘Cultural Triangle’, which contains five of the island's seven UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Its sixth is on the way there - the sacred city of Kandy, founded in the 14th century and still thriving in its beautiful temperate mountain setting. The seventh is far to the south - Galle, a bustling coastal fortress where you can stay in boutique hotels that date from Colonial times. In between lies Tea Country, a high-altitude region of lush plantations and stately planters’ houses, many now restored as elegant accommodation for visitors.
The rest of the island is packed with National Parks, nature reserves and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Yala NP is famous for its leopard population, and Uda Walawe is considered to be the premier place to observe Asian elephants on the Asian sub-continent.
Reasons to love Sri Lanka
- Sri Lankan wildlife is fantastic! With so many National Parks protecting vital habitats, Sri Lanka’s animal, bird and reptile kingdoms are thriving.
- Year-round sunshine - there’s always somewhere sunny on Sri Lanka, thanks to its unusual dual weather system - with hundreds of miles of simply gorgeous beaches.
- It’s a UNESCO-fest! You can witness the island’s ancient history with your own eyes, thanks to its well-preserved selection of impressive cultural sites.
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Population: – 20.5 million
Capital: – Colombo
Currency: – Sri Lankan Rupee
Language: – Sinhalese, Tamil
Religion: – Buddhism
Perfect straight ‘off the peg’ or as a source of inspiration allowing us to start with blank canvas. You decide.
Explore Sri Lanka's highlights
Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu is the largest of Sri Lanka’s National Parks, and protects a healthy leopard population, as well as elephants, sloth bears, crocs, cobra, pythons and turtles, alongside many bird species including spoonbills and the elegant large white egret. Receiving a fraction of the visitor numbers seen at the more famous Yala, it's a great choice for wildlife enthusiasts looking to avoid the unsightly jostling for position (and potential harmful behavior) when leopard is spotted.
One of Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Galle often tops many a visitor's ‘travel wish list’ and rightly so. Old Galle and its 17th century fort are charming and delightful to explore and rich in its heritage and culture. Home to some of Sri Lanka's most innovative restaurants (without the accompanying glitz of many of the eateries in Colombo), Galle makes an excellent base from which to explore Sri Lanka’s south and west coast.