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SRI LANKA HOLIDAY TIPS

40 Places to see in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is not only suitable beach holidays but also for all other branches of the tourism industry such as adventure holidays, nature holidays, cultural tours, and health tourism. This article is about 40 best places to see in Sri Lanka based on the reviews that we received from our past customers.

40 best places to see in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is one of the most popular destinations for holidays in Southern Asia. This tropical island is only 65,610 square kilometres in extent but endowed with the immense amount of natural and man-made attractions. The beautiful beaches around the country are more than 1300 km in length and it is the fascinating tourist attraction on the island. But, Sri Lanka is not only suitable beach holidays but also for all other branches of the tourism industry such as adventure holidays, nature holidays, cultural tours, and health tourism. This article is about 40 best places to see in Sri Lanka and covers some of the most important places to see in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka inherits one of the most ancient cultures in the world and it is dating back to many thousands of years. The archaeological sites in the north-central province of Sri Lanka hold the evidence of these great cultures, which flourished on the soil of Sri Lanka. Engineers and artisans of the modern era are astounded to see the palaces, dagobas, temples, gardens and many other artistic works archived by the ancient people of Sri Lanka. Following is a list of tourist attraction in Sri Lanka, which is most popular in Sri Lanka.

What are the best 40 places to see in Sri Lanka?

  1. Anuradhapura
  2. Polonnaruwa
  3. Dambulla
  4. Galle
  5. Kandy
  6. Sigiriya
  7. Trincomalee
  8. Jaffna
  9. Colombo
  10. Kataragama
  11. Bentota
  12. Arugam Bay
  13. Batticaloa
  14. Beruwala
  15. Kalutara
  16. Hambantota
  17. Hikkaduwa
  18. Kalkudah
  19. Kalpitiya
  20. Mirissa
  21. Negombo
  22. Nilaveli
  23. Pasikuidah
  24. Unawatuna
  25. Horton Plains
  26. Bundala national park
  27. Yala national park
  28. Udawalawe national park
  29. Knuckles mountain range
  30. Minneriya national park
  31. Sinharaja nature reserve
  32. Wilpattu national park
  33. Madu River estuary
  34. Kitulgala
  35. Ella
  36. Adams peak
  37. Ratnapura
  38. Nuwara Eliya
  39. Pinnawala elephant orphanage
  40. Bandarawela

Historical and cultural places to see in Sri Lanka

Visit Anuradhapura
Jetawanarama of Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura tops the list of places to see in Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura takes the first place on the list of 40 best places to see in Sri Lanka due to its historical importance. Anuradhapura is the most historical city of Sri Lanka and the foundation of Anuradhapura is dating back to 3rd century BC. Today Anuradhapura is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most important archaeological sites in the island with thousands of artefacts attributed to the ancient civilization of Sri Lanka.

Best time to visit: Anuradhapura is a year-round holiday destination and a pilgrimage site. However, this dry-zone historical site gets its highest portion of rainfall from April to November. There can be heavy rainfall in the month of November, December, January, February and hide the part of the city with water.

How to reach: Anuradhapura is 200 km from Colombo. One can reach Anuradhapura by road, rail and air.

What to see in Anuradhapura:  Anuradhapura is an archaeological zoo with many hundreds of historical, crumbling monuments.

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Buddha statue at Gal viharaya

Historical city Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is coming under the second place of this 40 best places to see in Sri Lanka. It is another historical city that earned the status of UNESCO world heritage. Polonnaruwa is the 2nd most ancient city of Sri Lanka and consists of hundreds of ruins of Buddhist temples, palaces, gardens, parks, hospitals and many other monuments.

Best time to visit: Polonnaruwa is a year-round tourist attraction and a popular pilgrimage site. However, this dry-zone historical site gets its highest portion of rainfall from April to November. There can be heavy rainfall in the month of November, December, January, February and hide the part of the city with water.

How to reach: Polonnaruwa is 229 km from Colombo. One can reach Polonnaruwa by road, rail and air.

What to see in Polonnaruwa:  Polonnaruwa is an archaeological site with many dozens of historical, crumbling monuments.

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Dambulla golden cave temple

Ancient temple Dambulla

Dambulla is a popular city in the country due to the Dambulla golden cave temple. This historical site is a Buddhist temple built in 1st Century BC. This UNESCO world heritage site is one of the most historical cate temples in the world. The temple is consisting of 5 natural caves and these caves harbour a large number of Buddha statues, god figures and paintings.

Best time to visit Dambulla: there is no particular period to visit Dambulla cave temple and it is an all-year-round tourist attraction. However, from November to April, it might get some frequent rain.

How to get there: Dambulla tucked away from Colombo and you have to make the 4 hours journey from Colombo and driver over 150km to reach it. This tourist site is located near Dambulla town, on the Dambulla-Kandy main road.

What to see in Dambulla: Dambulla is a Buddhist temple with cultural and historical value. It hides 150 Budha statues and many other sculptures, as well as a large number of ancient paintings, are drawn onto its ceiling and walls.

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Galle fortress

Places to visit in Sri Lanka – Galle Fort

Galle is a city in southern Sri Lanka and lies 118 km from Colombo. This ancient city was called Gimhathiththa, but later the name was changed to Galle, after the arrival of Portuguese in 1505. Galle was a flourishing city in the past and it was a trade emporium in the region. A large number of merchant ships plying to west from east to west and vice-a-versa called onto the natural port of Galle to exchange goods. Today it is an important tourist hub with a large number of tourist arrival.

Best time to visit Galle: there is no particular period to visit Galle However if you plan to stay there for a long time and like to see the sunshine every day, it is best to avoid travelling to Galle from May to October. This is the rainy season for Galle and frequent afternoon rain is possible. If you just casual visitors and like to the site then there is no particular period visit it.

How to get there: Galle in southern coast is a major town and it is connected with all corners of Sri Lanka. It is very convenient to reach Galle due to its location on the Matara-Colombo main road. It is 145 km from Colombo to Galle and 45 km from Matara to Galle.

What to see in Galle: Most important tourist attraction of this coastal city is the Dutch built ancient port (1656). It also attracts a large number of leisure seekers or beach holiday lovers.

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Tooth relic temple is one of the most important places to visit in Sri Lanka, which is the mecca for Sri Lankan Buddhists

Kandy is among the most sacred places to visit in Sri Lanka

Kandy is a cultural city with a blend of colonial heritage and natural attractions. The city lies about 500 meters above sea level and shows a great contrast in terms of warm climate conditions prevail in the low-country of Sri Lanka. There is a large number of natural and historical attractions within the borders of this UNESCO world heritage site some of them are the tooth relic temple, Udawattekele sanctuary, Royal botanical garden.

Best time to visit Kandy: there is no particular period to visit Kandy, However, Kandy is a city with high rainfall and dense foliage. It is coming under heavy rain during the south-west monsoon from May to October.

How to get there: Kandy is the major town in the mountains and it is connected with all corners of Sri Lanka. It is very convenient to reach Kandyas it is centrally located on the island. Kandy is the transport hub of Sri Lanka. It is 122 km from Colombo to Kandy and it takes around 3 hours to reach on regular traffic.

What to see in Kandy: Kandy means the culture, history and it is the stronghold of Buddhist culture. You can find many dozens of historical Buddhist temples in Kandy and also many structures built by the British.

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Sigiriya rock fortress

Places to visit in Sri Lanka – Sigiriya

Sigiriya is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. The history of Sigiriya is dating back to 5th century AD and the fortress was built by King Kashyapa. Sigiriya attracts a large number of tourist every year and included in most Sri Lanka road trips. Sigiriya is not only important as a historical site but also as a place to explore Sri Lanka’s rich natural wealth, due to a large extent of natural forest cover in the region.

Best time to visit: Sigiriya is located within the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, it is sharing the same weather pattern with all other historical monuments in the dry zone. This historical site gets its highest portion of rainfall from April to November. There can be heavy rainfall in the month of November, December, January, February and hide the part of the city with water.

How to reach:  The distance from Colombo to Sigiriya is merely about 176 km. One can reach Sigiriya by road, rail and air. However, it is very convenient to reach Sigiriya by road and air while train transport cannot be recommended due to the unavailability of frequent Sigiriya bound trains from Colombo.

What to see in Sigiriya:  Sigiriya is one of the oldest landscaped gardens with many historical constructions, dates back to 5th century AD.

East coast and Trincomalee

Trincomalee is the holiday hot-spot in eastern Sri Lanka. The city has a fascinating blend of nature, culture and history. The city was largely abandoned by travellers around the world in the past due to the deteriorated security in the region. But the entire east coast became a safe holiday destination since the ending of the civil war in 2009. Today the tourist traffic is heading to the east coast beaches because it is one of the best places for memorable Sri Lanka beach holidays.

Best time to visit: Trincomalee is located on the east coast and it is the capital of the east coast of the island. Trnocolamee is a city with a mixed culture, where you see many religious and ethnic groups such as Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslims. Trincomalee is coming under the influence of Nort-east monsoon. Trincomalee gets its highest portion of rainfall from April to November. There can be heavy rainfall in the month of November, December, January, February.

How to reach:  The distance from Colombo to Trincomalee is 265 km via Habarana. One can reach Trincomalee by road, rail and air. However, it is very convenient to reach Trincomalee by road and air while train transport is also a viable option and it is also a convenient way of reaching Trincomalee.

What to see in Trincomalee:  Trincomalee is a beach holiday destination with a large number of religious monuments.

Northern capital of Sri Lanka – Jaffna

Jaffna is the northernmost city of Sri Lanka. Jaffna was an isolated city in the recent past due to the political unrest in the area, today it is free from the terrorist grip and safe place for travellers. There are many historical and natural attractions in Jaffna such as Kadurugoida temple, Nagadeepa.

Best time to visit: Jaffna is located on the north coast and it is the capital of northern Sri Lanka. Jaffna is a city with a mixed culture, where you see many religious and ethnic groups such as Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslims. Jaffna is coming under the influence of Nort-east monsoon. Jaffna gets its highest portion of rainfall from April to November. There can be heavy rainfall in the month of November, December, January, February.

How to reach:  The distance from Colombo to Jaffna is 392 km via Anuradhapura. One can reach Jaffna by road, rail and air. However, it is very convenient to reach Trincomalee by road and air while train transport is also a viable option and it is also a convenient way of reaching Jaffna. The northern railway line abandoned for many years during the north-east was, which ended in 2009.

What to see in Jaffna:  Jaffna is predominantly a Tamil city and it is the Tamil stronghold of Sri Lankan Tamil community. A large number of Buddhists temples, as well as Tamil religious institutions, are scattered in Jaffna.

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Colombo city

The colombo-the commercial capital of Sri Lanka

Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and most populated city in the country. Colombo is named as a garden city of Asia due to its extensive green cover among the high-rise concrete and iron structures. The city has a rich historical past and there is a large number of places in the city with historical and cultural importance.

Best time to visit: Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and located bordering the western coast of Sri Lanka. Colombo is coming under the influence of south-west monsoon and it gets heavy rain from April to November.

How to reach:  Colombo is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus, train or plane.

What to see in Colombo: Colombo is predominantly a Sinhalese city and it is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. A large number of religious sites, historical monuments, as well as many tourist attractions derived from the colonial ear can be seen here.

The temple of warrior God-Kataragama

Kataragama is the most popular religious site in southern Sri Lanka. Kataragama is visited by Buddhist as well as Hindu devotees. The temple is visited by many hundreds of devotees during the annual Esala ceremony that takes place in the month of July. A large number of Hindu and Buddhist devotees are hed to Kataragama in order to make an offering to God Kataragama, which is a regional god and be lived to be able of fulfilling the good wishes of devotees.

Best time to visit: Kataragama is located on the south coast of Sri Lanka. South coast is coming under the dry zone of Sri Lanka and annual rainfall between 1500 – 2500 mm. Kataragama receives heavy rainfall from November to April and rest of the year comparatively dry.

How to reach: Kataragama is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus, or plane. The distance from Colombo to Kataragama is 300km and train viable option to reach Kataragama as the southern coast railway line is not extended up to Kataragama.

What to see in Colombo: Kataragama is a religious site with Kataragama temple, Kirihara. There are many other tourist attractions in the south near Kataragama.

Beaches as places to visit in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island in the tropics and Sri Lanka boasted to have more than 1300 km stretch of pristine sandy beaches. The coastal belt is the most important tourist attraction on the island and visited by millions of visitors every year. Many beaches are among the best places to see in Sri Lanka, I’m not able to put all of them here but below is some of them.

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The golden mile – Bentota Beach

By far Bentota is the most popular beach resort in the country and the majority of tourist traffic heading to Sri Lankan beaches are anchoring here. The beach resort lies 103 km from the south of Colombo international airport.

Best time to visit: Bentota is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka. West coast is coming under the wet zone of Sri Lanka, where the annual rainfall measured to be between 2500 – 5000 mm. Bentota beach receives heavy rainfall from April to November when the south-west monsoon is at its full force.

How to reach: Bentota beach is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus, train or plane. The distance from Colombo to Bentota is 103 km and can be reached in 2 hours by bus, taxi or train. Bentota beach is located on the Galle-Colombo main road.

What to see in Bentota: Bentota is the most popular beach resort on the island and it offers a wide range of saltwater activities for its visitors. Same times there are many historical and natural attraction near Bentota beach allowing guests to scratch a bit of Island’s history, nature and nature.

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Surfing on the east coast

The surfing paradise on the east-Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is the surfing paradise on the island and most suitable for beach holidays from April to November. Arugam Bay is tucked along the eastern borders of Sri Lanka and the distance to Arugam Bay from Katunayake is 325 km.

Best time to visit: Arugam Bay is located on the east coast and it is one of the leading surfing spots on the island. Arugam Bay is a leading beach holiday destination and attracts a large number of beach holiday lovers and surf enthusiasts. But is it a highly seasonal beach holiday destination and the best time to travel to Arugam Bay is from April to November.

How to reach:  The distance from Colombo to Arugam Bay is338 km via Kandy. One can reach Arugam Bay by road, and air. However, it is very convenient to reach Arugam Bay by road and air while train transport is not a viable option because the railway line is not extended up to Arugam Bay.

What to see in Trincomalee: Arugam Bay is the most popular beach resort on the east coast and it offers a wide range of saltwater activities for its visitors. However Arugam Bay is the surfing paradise on the island hence it is most popular for surfing.

The calm quiet beach- Batticaloa

Batticaloa is another popular beach holiday destination in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka lies few kilometres northward from arguable. Best time to travel to Batticaloa is from April to November the rest of the year these beaches are isolated due to the rain.

Best time to visit: Batticaloa is located on the east coast and it is one of the leading beach resorts in Sri Lanka. Batticaloa is a leading beach holiday destination and attracts a large number of beach holiday lovers every year. But is it a highly seasonal beach holiday destination and the best time to travel to Batticaloa is from April to November.

How to reach:  The distance from Colombo to Batticaloa is 319 km via Dambulla. One can reach Batticaloa by road, rail and air. There is a well-maintained railway track from Colombo to Batticaloa and enables you to reach this east beach resort with convenience.

What to see in Batticaloa: Batticaloa is one of the most popular beach resorts on the east coast and it offers a wide range of saltwater activities for its visitors. You can also visit many historical monuments and religious sites in Batticaloa.

The oldest moors settlement-Beruwala

Beruwala is another popular beach holiday destination with historical value. Kachchimale mosque and Kande vihara are the 2 most important historical places in Beruwala. The palm-fringed pristine beaches with torque water tempt any travellers to spend some time on these beaches. The best time to travel to Beruwala is from November to April.

Best time to visit: Beruwal is located next to the popular Bentota beach resort on the west coast. Beruwala is also coming under heavy rain during the south-west monsoon (April-Nov) like Bentota and other beaches on the west coast. Beruwala beach receives heavy rainfall from April to November when the south-west monsoon is at its full force.

How to reach: Beruwala beach is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus, train or plane. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 93 km and can be reached in 2 hours by bus, taxi or train. Beruwala Beach is located on the Galle-Colombo main road.

What to see in Beruwala: Beruwala among the most important places to visit in Sri Lanka and it offers a wide range of activities for beach holiday lovers. Watersports, visiting historical monuments, religious site, boating and exploring rainforest are some of the things to be done here.

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Swimming with turtles

Kalutara for pristine beaches

Few kilometre further north-ward from Beruwala lies Kalutara beach resort. The distance from Colombo to Kalutara is merely 50 km and 1-hour drive. Even though Kalutara is not as popular as Bentota as a beach holiday destination, the pristine beaches of Kalutara also attract large number o sun worshippers every year.

Best time to visit: Kalutara is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Kalutara is also coming under heavy rain during the south-west monsoon (April-November) like Bentota and other beaches on the west coast. Beruwala beach receives heavy rainfall from April to November when the south-west monsoon is at its full force.

How to reach: Kalutara beach is well connected with all parts of the island due to its location on the Galle-Colombo main road. Kalutara is located between Colombo and Galle before Bentota when you drive from Colombo. Kalutara can be easily reached by bus, train or plane. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 43 km and can be reached in 2 hours by bus, taxi or train.

What to see in Kalutara: Kalutara among the most important places to visit in Sri Lanka and it offers a wide range of activities for beach holiday lovers. Watersports, visiting historical monuments, religious site, boating and exploring rural villages are some of the things to be done here.

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South coast serene beaches Hambantota

Located at the southernmost tip of the island, Hambantota has torque waters and one the most beautiful palm-fringed wide beaches of the island.  The tourism industry is not well developed in the area like many beach resorts in the country, due to the lack of tourists. The long-distance from Colombo identified as the main reason for its unpopularity as a beach holiday destination. There are many evident shortcomings in the resort such as lack of accommodation facilities for luxury seekers, lack of service providers for activities etc.

Best time to visit: Hambantota is located on the south coast of Sri Lanka. Hambantota is coming under the arid zone of Sri Lanka, usually, most areas in the south coast are in the dry-zone but only a few areas such as Hambantota and Tanglee are categorized under arid-zone, where the annual rainfall is at the minimum on the island. Hambantota gets heavy rainfall during the north-east monsoon (April to November).

How to reach: Hambantota beach is well connected with all parts of the island due to its importance as leading cities on the south coast. Hambantota can be easily reached by bus or plane. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 255 km and can be reached in 4 hours by bus. The train is not a viable option to drive to Hambantota as the railway track is not extended up to Hambantota.

What to see in Hambantota: Hambantota is among the most important places to visit in Sri Lanka and it offers a wide range of activities for beach holiday lovers. There are many other things to do in Hambantota such as visiting temples, visiting historical monuments and visiting national parks.

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South Coast beach

Hippie beach Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa emerged as a beach holiday spot in the early days of Sri Lanka tourism. Today Hikkaduwa is famed for its accommodation and other services suitable for budget travellers. Virtually Hikkaduwa can accommodate any type of budget with a wide range of accommodation facilities. 

Travellers can find cheap accommodation facilities such as dormitories to high-end luxury accommodation at Hikkaduwa. But Hikkaduwa is most popular as a budget holiday destination and a large number of backpackers are gathering here every year. If you go to west coast beaches or southern coast beaches you should never miss the Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary. This is one of the best places to discover the rich coral reefs and sea creatures in the sea.

Best time to visit: Hikkaduwa is located between Bentota and Galle on the west coast. Hikkaduwa is also coming under heavy rain during the south-west monsoon (April-Nov) like all other beaches on the west coast. Hikkaduwa beach receives heavy rainfall from April to November when the south-west monsoon is at its full force.

How to reach: Hikkaduwa beach is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus, train or plane. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 134 km and can be reached in 3 hours by bus, taxi or train. Beruwala Beach is located on the Galle-Colombo main road.

What to see in Hikkaduwa: Hikkaduwa is among the most important places to visit in Sri Lanka and it offers a wide range of activities for beach holiday lovers. Watersports, visiting historical monuments, religious site, boating and exploring rainforest are some of the things to be done here.

Isolated beach Kalkudah

Kalkudah is most popular as a beach holiday destination on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Kalkudah is largely unexplored and neglected by travellers in the past. The beach is located 193 km from Colombo. The best time to travel to Kalkudah is from April to November.

Best time to visit: Kalkudah is located on the east coast of Sr, just south of Trincomalee. Kalkudah is a leading beach holiday destination and attracts a large number of beach holiday lovers every year. But is it a highly seasonal beach holiday destination and the best time to travel to Kalkudah is from April to November.

How to reach:  The distance from Colombo to Kalkudah is 294 km via Polonnaruwa. One can reach Arugam Bay by road, and air. However, it is very convenient to reach Arugam Bay by road and air while train transport is not a viable option because the railway line is not extended up to Kalkudah.

What to see in Kalkudah: Kalkudah is one of the most popular beach resort on the east coast and it offers a wide range of saltwater activities for its visitors. However, Kalkudah is a surfing paradise on the island hence it is one of the most popular for surfing.

Dolphin watching in Kalpitiya

Emerging holiday spot Kalpitiya

Kalpitiya is the newest addition to the beach resort list of Sri Lanka. Kalpitiya is lying 163 km north-ward from Colombo. Kalpitiya not only popular as one of the best places for whale and dolphin watching. There are a large number of travellers gathering here for whale watching during the north-west monsoon (From April to November). Kalpitiya is the most popular beach holiday destination in Sri Lanka for kitesurfing.

Best time to visit: Kalpitiya is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka just north of the International airport and Negombo beach resort. Kalpitiya is the northernmost beach resort on the west coast of Sri Lanka and can be easily reached from the airport. Kalpitiya is also coming under heavy rain during the south-west monsoon (April-November) like all other beaches on the west coast. Kalpitiya beach receives heavy rainfall from April to November when the south-west monsoon is at its full force.

How to reach: Kalpitiya beach is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus or plane. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 170 km and can be reached in 3 hours by bus, taxi.

What to see in Kalpitiya: Kalpititya is becoming a popular beach holiday destination on the island. Kalpitiya offers plenty of option and isolated beaches for a mesmerising beach stay and it also offers a wide range of activities for beach holiday lovers. Whale watching, dolphin watching, kitesurfing, surfing, wildlife exploration, boating and exploring rainforest are some of the things to be done here.

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Whale watching in Mirissa

Whale watching paradise Mirissa

Mirissa is another unpopular beach holiday destination in southern Sri Lanka. Mirissa lies 154 km from Colombo and it takes around 4 hours to reach this idyllic beach resort from the airport. Mirissa has one of the best beaches on the island, but it is visited only by a few travellers. Mirissa is most important as a whale-watching spot. Mirissa is included in most Sri Lanka trips but not as a beach holiday destination but also as a whale-watching destination.

Best time to visit: Mirissa is located on the south coast of Sri Lanka south of Galle. Mirissa marks the beginning of the ring of south coast beaches of Sri Lanka. Mirissa is also coming under heavy rain during the south-west monsoon (April-November) like all other beaches on the south coast. Mirissa beach receives heavy rainfall from April to November when the south-west monsoon is at its full force.

How to reach:  The recently opened southern expressway enables the visitors to reach Mirissa with convenience within a 2 hours time from Colombo airport. Mirissa beach is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus, train or plane. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 170 km and can be reached in 3 hours by bus, taxi.

What to see in Mirissa: Mirissa is a popular beach holiday destination on the island. Marissa offers plenty of option and isolated beaches for a mesmerising beach stay and it also offers a wide range of activities for beach holiday lovers. Whale watching, dolphin watching, surfing, wildlife exploration, boating and exploring rainforest are some of the things to be done here.

Gateway to the Sri Lankan beaches Negombo

Negombo is primarily a beach holiday destination in the west coast of Sri Lanka and lies 30 km from the Colombo city and 10 km from the airport. This fancy coastal town is the shortest gateway for travellers, especially for foreign travellers, who wish to have a short vacation in the country.

Best time to visit: Negombo is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka just north of the International airport and Negombo beach resort. Kalpitiya is also coming under heavy rain during the south-west monsoon (April-November) like all other beaches on the west coast. Negombo beach receives heavy rainfall from April to November when the south-west monsoon is at its full force.

How to reach:  Kalpitiya is on the west coast of Sri Lanka and can be easily reached from the airport and Colombo city. Negombo beach is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus or plane and train. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 37 km and can be reached in 1 hour by bus, taxi and train.

What to see in Negombo: Negombo is a popular beach holiday destination on the island and it offers plenty of option and isolated beaches for a mesmerising beach stay and it also offers a wide range of activities for beach holiday lovers. Surfing, swimming, fishing, wildlife exploration, and exploring Negombo lagoon are some of the things to be done here.

East coast paradise Nilaveli

Nilaveli is another beach holiday destination in the east coast of Sri Lanka. This is one of the best beaches if you look for a Sri Lanka beach holidays from April to November. Nilaveli is a coastal town lies 280 km from Colombo. This coastal town has wide sandy beaches with warm waters of the Indian ocean. The Nilaveli marine sanctuary is just a few hundred meters away from the mainland and provides top-notch diving and snorkelling experience for travellers, who are heading to the east coast.

Best time to visit: Nilaveli is located on the east coast of Sri Lanka just north of Trincomalee. Nilaveli is a leading beach holiday destination and attracts a large number of beach holiday lovers every year. But is it a highly seasonal beach holiday destination and the best time to travel to Nilaveli is from April to November.

How to reach:  The distance from Colombo to Kalkudah is 280 km via Dambulla. One can reach Nilaveli by road, rail and air. However, it is very convenient to reach Arugam Bay by road and air while train transport is also a viable option.

What to see in Nilaveli: Nilaveli is one of the most popular beach resort on the east coast and it offers a wide range of saltwater activities for its visitors. Nilaveli also offers many other interesting activities such as surfing, diving, whale watching, sunbathe and swimming.

Surfing on the east coast

Places to see in Sri Lanka-Pasikudah

Pasikudah is an ideal base to explore the pristine beaches of Sri Lanka. The town lies bordering the Indian ocean and it is located 30 km from the major city of Batticaloa.

Best time to visit: Pasikudah is located on the east coast of Sri Lanka south of Trincomalee. Pasikudah is a leading beach holiday destination and attracts a large number of beach holiday lovers every year. But is it a highly seasonal beach holiday destination and the best time to travel to Kalkudah is from April to November.

How to reach:  The distance from Colombo to Pasikudah is 297 km via Polonnaruwa. One can reach Pasikudah by road, and air. However, it is very convenient to reach Pasikudah by road and air while train transport is not a viable option because the railway line is not extended up to Pasikudah.

What to see in Pasikudah: Pasikudah is one of the most popular beach resort on the east coast and it offers a wide range of saltwater activities for its visitors. However, boating, fishing, surfing, sun and sea bathing are some of the activities here.

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Places to see in Sri Lanka-Unawatuna

Unawatuna is one of the best beaches on the island and the top-rated beaches in the world. Unlike most Sri Lanka beaches, where the travellers can go for a swim only during the dry season, in Unawatuna, you can swim throughout the year.

Best time to visit: Unawatuna is located on the south coast of Sri Lanka coast just next to Galle. Galle marks the end of the ring of west coast beaches of Sri Lanka, which starts in Kalpitiya. Unawatuna is coming under heavy rain during the south-west monsoon (April-November) like all other beaches on the south coast. Therefore the best time to visit Unawatuna and have a nice beach holiday is from November to April.

How to reach:  The recently opened southern expressway enables the visitors to reach Unawatuna with convenience within a 3 hours drive from Colombo airport. Unawatuna beach is well connected with all parts of the island and can be easily reached by bus, train or plane. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 144 km and can be reached in 3 hours by bus, taxi.

What to see in Unawatuna: Unawatuna is a popular beach holiday destination on the island. Unawatuna offers plenty of option and isolated beaches for a mesmerising beach stay and it also offers a wide range of activities for beach holiday lovers. Whale watching, dolphin watching, surfing, wildlife exploration, boating and exploring rainforest are some of the things to be done here.

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Minneriya national park is the most popular wildlife reserve in the central province and has a large collection of wild animals. This is one of the best wildlife reserves to spot wild elephants in Sri Lanka.

National Parks and Reserves

Sri Lanka has many dozens of national parks, wildlife reserves and rain forests. These national parks have teamed with a large number of Fauna and Flora, and give memorable wildlife experiences for its visitors.

Magical cloud forest Horton Plains

Horton plain’s national park is considered to be one of the greatest game parks in the country. Horton plains national park is the only wildlife reserve that offers a walking safari in the country. This quintessential national park is dominated by endless grasslands and patches of cloud forests. The park is very rich with Faun and flora, where the nature lovers can see a large number of endemic fauna and flora species.

Best time to visit Horton plains national park: this natural jewel can be visited at any time of the year. However, there are specific times to visit during the day. The best time to visit the national park is in the morning and afternoon. Early morning is not suitable and late afternoon is not very suitable due to the concentration of mist.

How to get there: Horton plains national park is tucked away from Colombo and you have to make the 6 hours journey from Colombo and driver 200 km to reach it. This tourist site is located near Nuwara Eliya town and sits on one of the highest peaks on the island.

What to see in Horton plains national park: Horton plains national park is one of the most valuable natural assets on the island. Horton plains is a super-biodiversity hotspot and offer top-notch wildlife experience. Here you can witness a large number of Fauna and Flora species and most of them are endemic to the island.

Bird paradise Bundala National Park

Bundala national park is located bordering the Yala national park and Indian ocean. The park is a major attraction of dry zone of Sri Lanka. Bundala is most popular among the bird watchers. Here you can see thousands of birds in the months of November, December, January, February and March.

Bundala is the southernmost destination of bird migration path heading to equator from the northern hemisphere. Therefore, thousands of migratory birds, that departs from Europe, during the winter season to a warm country, anchoring here for 5 months, making it very colourful birding destination in the region.

Best time to visit Bunadala national park: Buindala national park is popular as a place to spot birds and it can be visited at any time of the year. Bundala national is coming under North-east monsoon and experiences some rain from November to April. The best time to visit the national park is in the early morning and afternoon. Other than birds the visitors also can see wild elephants, leopards, bears and many other animals here.

How to get there: Bundala national park is tucked away from Colombo and located on the south coast and you have to make the 5 hours journey from Colombo and driver 260 km to reach it. This national park located near Yala national park.

What to see in Bundala national park: Bundala national park is one of the most valuable natural assets on the island. Bundala national park is a biodiversity hotspot and offers top-notch wildlife experience to its visitors. Here you can witness a large number of Fauna and Flora and most of them are avian fauna species.

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Sri Lankan leopard

The Leopard paradise Yala National Park

Yala rank among the best places to spot leopards in the world, due to the high concentration of leopards in a small geographical area. Yala is the most popular wildlife reserve in southern Sri Lanka and Yala is the most popular safari destination on the island.

Best time to visit Yala national park: Yala national park is the most popular wildlife reserve on the island and it can be visited at any time of the year. However, Yala national park is closed for a brief period every year and visitors are not allowed to enter the park during this period. The closing period of the park decided by the park authority and announced just before the closure. You can go for alternative national parks during this period such as Bunadal and Udawalawe.

Yala national is coming under North-east monsoon and experiences some rain from November to April. The best time to visit the national park is in the early morning and afternoon.

How to get there: Yala national park is tucked away from Colombo and located on the south coast and you have to make the 5 hours journey from Colombo and driver 300 km to reach it.

What to see in Yala national park: Yala national park is one of the most valuable natural assets on the island. Yala national park offers top-notch wildlife experience to its visitors. Here you can witness a large number of animals species such as leopards, wild elephant, sloth bear and crocodile.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Sri Lanka highly irrelevant, when it comes to planning a holiday package because even you plan for a 7 days Sri Lanka tour or shorter holiday package,

The elephant gathering at Udawalawe National Park

Another popular wildlife reserve in the island and lies near the west coast of Sri Lanka. The Udawalawe national park is the most popular wildlife reserve to spot wild elephants. If you have planned your beach holiday on the west coast this is the nearest wildlife reserve for you and can be visited in a day tour.

Best time to visit Udawalawe national park: Udawalawe national park is one of the most popular wildlife reserves on the west coast of Sri Lanka and it can be visited at any time of the year. Udawalawe national is coming under South-west monsoon or summer monsoon and experiences some rain from April to November. The best time to visit the national park is in the early morning and afternoon.

How to get there: Udawalawe national park is tucked away from Colombo and located on the west coast and you have to make the 5 hours journey from Colombo and driver 160 km to reach it.

What to see in Udawalawe national park: Udawalawe national park is one of the most valuable natural assets on the island. Udawalawe national park offers is a place for a top-notch wildlife experience. Here you can witness a large number of animals species such as wild elephants, deer, buffalo and crocodile.

Knuckles Range paradise in the mountains

Knuckles is one of the most important patches of a patch of rainforests in the country. There are many trekking paths through the forest and a large number of local as well as foreign travellers are heading to knuckles every year.

Best time to visit Knuckles mountain range: Knuckles mountain range is one of the most popular wildlife reserves in the central province of Sri Lanka and it can be visited at any time of the year.

How to get there: Knuckles mountain range is located near Kandy and i is 160 km from Colombo. The drive from Colombo to knuckles mountain takes around 4 hours.

What to see in Knuckles: Knuckles mountain is one of the most valuable natural assets on the island. Knuckles mountain predominantly place to explore a wide range of flora species.

Minneriya National park for a bit of wildlife with history

Minneriya national park lies in the central province of Sri Lanka with close proximity to the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. The park is visited by a large number of foreign travellers because Minneriya national park is one of the best places to spot wild elephants.

Best time to visit Minneriya national park: Miineriya can be visited at anytime fo the year, however, it receives a high rainfall from April to November and some areas of Minneriya national park coming under flood during this period. main rainy season in Minneriya is from April to November.

How to get there: Minnerioya national park is located near withing the cultural triangle near Sigiriya and Habana and it is 190 km from Colombo. The drive from Colombo to Minneriya national park takes around 4 hours.

What to see in Minneriya: Minneriya is one of the most valuable natural assets on the island and which is one of the best places to spot wild elephants. There are many other wild animals can also be spotted here such as jackal, wild buffaloes, monkey and crocodile.

Sinharaja rainforest

Sinharaja Nature Reserve-the Gondwana rain forest

Sinharaja is the last remaining primaeval rainforest of Sri Lanka and the most valuable patch of rainforests in the country. It is located on the west coast fo Sri Lanka and it harbours a wide range of Fauna and Flora.

Best time to visit Sinharja rainforest: Sinharaja rainforest can be visited at any time of the year, however. Sinharaja rainforest park is coming under the wet zone and much of its rainfall resulted through south-west monsoon from November to April.

How to get there: Sinharaja rainforest is located near the west coast of Sri Lanka. It is 158 km from Colombo and the drive from Colombo to Sinharaja rainforest takes around 4 hours.

What to see in Sinharaja: Sinharaja rainforest is a super biodiversity hotspot and most of its inhabitants are endemic to the island. Sinharaja is one of the best places to spot a large number of avian Faun species and much of it is endemic to the island.

3 Days In Sri Lanka

Wilpattu National Park spotting leopards

Wilpattu is the biggest wildlife reserve in the island of Sri Lanka and located in the central province of Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is one of the best places to witness leopards.

Best time to visit Wilpattu national park: This north-west coast wildlife reserve is under the influence of north-east monsoon and it gets a lot of rain from April to November. However, the national park can be visited at any time of the year because the rain takes place mostly in the late evening and night.

How to get there: Wilpattu national park is located near the north-west coast of Sri Lanka, and can be easily reached from Colombo and Katunayake international airport. The distance from Colombo is 170 km from Colombo and the drive from Colombo to Wilpattu takes around 4 hours.

What to see in Wilpattu national park: Wilpattu national park is a popular wildlife reserve to spot leopards. It has a large number of big cats along with many other animals such as elephants, crocodile, jackal and wild buffaloes.

Sri Lanka Boat Trips

Exploring mangroves at Madu river estuary

Madu Ganga is a Ramsar wetland and has international importance. Madu river safari is one of the most popular activities among the travellers who based on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Madu Ganga river safari allows you to explore the rich riverine vegetation of Sri Lanka and see a large number of bird species such as the cormorant, herons, fish eagle etc.

Best time to visit Madu River estuary: Madu River is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka the main rainy season of the area is from April to November and rest of the year dominated by dry weather. However, Boat tour at Madu estuary can be done at anytime fo the year as the train takes place mostly in the evening or at night.

How to reach: Madu River estuary is well connected with all parts of the island due to its location on the Galle-Colombo main road. Madu River estuary is located between Colombo and Galle bear Bentota beach resort when you drive from Colombo. Madu River estuary can be easily reached by bus, train or plane. The distance from Colombo to Beruwala is 123 km and can be reached in 2 hours by bus, taxi or train.

What to see in Wilpattu national park: Boat tour at Madu river estuary is the most important activity available for travellers. 2 hours boat trips take you through the mangrove forests and many other viverrine vegetations. The tour also allows you to visit one of the 64 islands in the estuary, where you visit a family that engaged in growing cinnamon.

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water rafting Kitulgala

Adventure sites

Although Sri Lanka is not a leading holiday destination for adventure activities, the island has hundreds of places that can be effectively used for adventure activities. Sri Lankan central province harbours many mountains, rivers, waterfalls, rainforests with optimum settings for adventure activities such as mountain climbings, rock climbing, trekking, whitewater rafting, waterfalls abseiling and many more.

Places to see in Sri Lanka-Kitulgala

Kitulgal ais the playground of adventure lovers in Sri Lanka. This remote adventure holiday destination lies  100 km from Colombo. Various adventure activities such as trekking, white water rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, waterfall abseiling, caving can be performed here.

Best time to visit Kitulagala: Kitulgala is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, the main rainy season of the area is from April to November and however it gets a lot of rain during rest of the year as well. However, white water rafting, kayaking and rain forest exploration along with other adventure activities can be done at anytime fo the year as the rain takes place mostly in the evening or at night.

How to reach: Kitulagala is well connected with all parts of the island due to its location on the Nuwara Eliya-Awissawella main road. Kitulagla is located between Nuwara Eliya and Awissawalla. Kitulagla can be reached by road or air and the train is not a viable option.

What to see in Kitulgala: Kitulgala is a place for Nature lovers with patches of forests, mountains, huge rocks, rivers and waterfalls. Kitulgala is a popular place for adventure sports such as whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, trekking, rock climbing and waterfalls abseiling.

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Places to see in Sri Lanka-Ella

Laidback city of Ella attracts a large number of holiday lovers from all around the world. Ella is most popular as the backpacker’s paradise in the mountains and Ella attracts mostly the young travellers that are travelling on tight budgets. Ella is a popular Adventure holiday destination can travellers can perform many adventure activities such as trekking, mountain climbing, rock climbing.

Best time to visit Ella: Ella is coming under the wet zone and receives high rainfall mainly from April to November. However, Ella can be visited at any time of the year without any seasonal difference.

How to Reach: Ellas is located towards the southern part of Sri Lanka central mountain range, just south of Nuwara Eliya. You also can reach Ella via Nuwara Eliya – Thanamalvila road if you start the journey from the south coast. It is 225 km to Ella from Colombo and a little bit more than 100 km from south coast cities such as Hambantota.

What to see in Ella: Ella is a place for Nature lovers with patches of forests, mountains, huge rocks, rivers and waterfalls. Ella is a popular place for adventure sports such as mountain climbing, trekking, hiking, and rock climbing.

Adams peak

Temple in the sky – Adam’s Peak

Sri Pada is a multi-faceted tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Ada’s peak or Sri pada is better known as the holy mountain of Sri Lanka is a religious site, archaeological site, adventure site and a Nature reserve. Adam’s peak is the 3rd highest mountain of Sri Lanka and local pilgrims climb the mountain to worship the footprint of Buddha. The upward journey takes around 5 hours. For foreigners, the trek is a light-adventure and it allows them to experience the rich natural wealth of peak nature reserve.

Best time to visit Adams peak: Unlike most other tourist attractions and activities available on the island visiting Adams peak is highly seasonal. The season starts in November and lasts until April next year, parallels to the dry season on the west coast.

How to Reach: The distance from Colombo to Adams peak is 153 km and the drive takes around 3 hours.

What to see in Ella: Adams peak is the 5th highest mountain of Sri Lanka and a place for Nature lovers. breathtaking scenery from the mountain is the most welcoming reward for the travellers. Adams peak also a pilgrimage site where a large number of Buddhist devotees are gathering to worship the footprint of Budha.

Green capped mountains in Ratnapura

Ratnapura is the most important gem producing city in the island and the city is popular for Gems and Jewellery. For the tourists, Ratnapura is important as a destination to explore the rich natural wealth of the island. Ratnapura also accommodates top-rated sites for many adventure sports such as trekking, white water rafting, Kayaking, mountain climbing. Ratnapura is one of the gateways to the most important rainforest of Sri Lanka, Sinharaja rainforest.

Best time to visit Rathnapura: Ratnapura can be visited throughout the year, however, it receives heavy sudden downfall from November to April.

How to Reach: The distance from Colombo to Adams peak is 87 km and the drive takes around 3 hours, road and air transport available and no trails to reach Ratnapura.

What to see in Ratnapura: Ratnapura a nature holiday spot with a large extent of tropical forests. Trekking, hiking, rainforest exploration, visiting historical monuments and visiting temples are the popular activities here.

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Places to see in Sri Lanka in the Mountains

Sri Lanka mountains reside in the middle of the island and harbour many dozens of important places to see in Sri Lanka. Historical monuments, Rivers, lakes, cascading waterfalls, mountains and many other interesting sites are to be found here.

The centre of tea country – Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya sits at the elevation of 1800 meters above sea level and popular as a holiday destination with healing climate. It is one of the most popular places to see in Sri Lanka mainly for local travellers. Nuwara Eliya is the most loved holiday destination among the local travellers. The city is most picturesque during the months of April May and June parallel to the flowering season of Nuwara Eliya.

Best time to visit Nuwara Eliya: Nuwara Eliya can be visited throughout the year, however, it receives heavy sudden downfall from November to April.

How to Reach: The distance from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya is 176 km and the drive takes around 4 hours, road, train and air transport available.

What to see in Nuwara Eliya: Nuwara Eliya is a mountainous terrain with breathtaking scenery across its green-capped mountain and valleys. One sees a large number of waterfalls, rivers, streams, mountains, tea plantations and patches rainforests can be seen here.

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Elephant orphanage Pinnawela among one of the best places to see in Sri Lanka for most travellers

Elephant orphanage is another tourist attraction on the island, where you can see a large concentration of Asian elephants. The experience at Pinnawala is somewhat different than the experience you get in a national park. Here the travellers see only the tamed elephants.

Best time to visit elephant orphanage: elephant orphanage can be visited throughout the year, without any seasonal difference.

How to Reach: The distance from Colombo to elephant orphanage is 94 km and the drive takes around 3 hours, road and air transport available and one can even use trains to get there however there is a small detour on the road if you travel by train.

What to see in the elephant orphanage: elephant orphanage is the place to see the largest herd of tamed elephants in the world, which is a collection of wild animals been brought to Pinnawala from the jungle due to various reasons such as fatal wounds, being orphan, and ageing.

Places to see in Sri Lanka-Bandarawela

The second most popular holiday destination the mountain with healing climate after Nuwara Eliya. This is the best alternative holiday destination for Nuwara Eliya, where the travellers can find more affordable accommodation than in Nuwara Eliya.

Best time to visit Bandarawela: Bqandarawela is another all year round upcountry holiday destination with healing climate. However, the best time to visit Bandarawela is from April to June, this is the main flowering season of bandarawela and therefore beautiful colourful flowers can be seen everywhere.

How to Reach: The distance from Colombo to Bandarawela is 200 km and the drive takes around 5 hours, road, rail and air transport available. The train is the best way of reaching bandarawela this train trip considered to be one of the most scenic train journeys in the world.

What to see in Bandarawela Sri Lanka: Bandarawela is a mountainous terrain with breathtaking scenery across its green-capped mountain and valleys. One sees a large number of waterfalls, rivers, streams, mountains, tea plantations and patches rainforests can be seen here.

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Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity)

This blog is all about travelling in Sri Lanka, I am trying to illuminate my readers with a wide range of information related to Sri Lanka travel. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need more information. Furthermore, we can organize your holiday package or any travel related requirement in Sri Lanka. Please contact us on admin@seerendipitytours.com... read more