Plan your next journey to an island full of magical landscapes, epic mountains, misty tea estates, sparkling waterfalls, golden beaches, and endless natural beauty. Sri Lanka is a serene and rich cultured island you must add to your travel journal. Sri Lanka offers a lovely experience that makes your journey a memorable one.
Visit this great vacation destination to see mountains, gardens, parks, beaches, inspiring spots, historical and cultural places, peaceful religious sites, adventure activities, fantastic diversity wildlife, and magnificent marine sanctuary. Here are some of the best attractions you must visit in Sri Lanka.
Pigeon island national park is one of the best Marine Sanctuary in Sri Lanka. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka. Many of the 100 species of corals and 300 coral reef fishes recorded around the Trincomalee area are found in the national park.
Location: 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Trincomalee, Eastern Province
Best Time period to visit: May – October (Best in June) (8:00am – 5:00pm)
Things to do: Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Speedboat Ride, Swimming, Windsurfing (When there is enough for the waves)
Check out more on: Pigeon Island National Park
Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion’s Rock) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District. Sigiriya was built by King Kashyapa and it is included as a World Heritage site. This ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The Sigiriya site contains the ruins of an upper palace located on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes, the lower palaces clings to the slopes below the rocks. The frescoes are created during the reign of Kasyapa. Eighteen frescoes have survived to this day. These unique ancient paintings are celebrating female beauty and have incredible historical significance. The Mirror wall is painted with inscriptions and poems written by the visitors of Sigiriya.
Location: Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province,
Best Time period to visit: Any day of the year (7:00am – 5:00pm)
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Meemure is a small village in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, located 324m above sea level and hidden amongst the mountains. The village itself receives abundant water in the form of waterfalls that have their sources in the evergreen forests of the Knuckles.
Location: located near the border between Kandy District and Matale District in the Knuckles Mountain Range.
Best Time period to visit: Any day of the year (Not in heavy rainy days)
Things to do: swimming, stream sliding, confidence in jumping in natural water pools, Jungle trekking to the hidden waterfall, Hiking, Camping
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Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is one of the best and the oldest formal gardens in Sri Lanka. It attracts 2 million visitors annually. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants, and palm trees within 59 hectares (146 acres).
It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture. The most important specimens of the garden include palms, some of which are planted in impressive avenues.
Location: Peradeniya are about 5.5 km to the west of the city of Kandy
Best Time period to visit: Any day of the year (8:00am – 5.30pm)
Check out more on: Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya
Flying Ravana is Sri Lanka’s first-ever mega dual zipline, located amidst the luscious green estates of Ella. It exclusively designed for adventure enthusiasts who prefer a not so ordinary hillside experience. Swing through the trees with the greatest of ease on this adrenaline-charged longest zipline in South Asia.
The two-wire zipline stretches for more than half a kilometer, slides at 80kmph and offers a bird’ s-eye view of the beautiful hills of the island. This fantastic experience offers a bird’ s-eye view of the beautiful mountains of the island, and all combine to make this experience memorable for life.
Location: Ella – Passara Road in Ella
Best Time period to visit: Any day of the year (9:00am – 5:00pm)
Things to do: Zipline Adventure
Check out more on: Flying Ravana Adventures
Ravana Falls is a popular sightseeing attraction in Sri Lanka. It is a part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary. This waterfall measures approximately 25 m (82 ft) in height and cascades from an oval-shaped concave rock outcrop.
The falls are quite impressive, and you can climb over some of the rocks to get a closer look. It is a good place for swimming but be safe as the rocks are slippery. Ravana Falls is a 3-tier cascading waterfall that gushes down a rock face, creating rock pools along its path. It currently ranks as one of the widest falls in the island.
Location: Ella (6 km (3.7 mi) away from the local railway station at Ella)
Best Time period to visit: Any day of the year (Not in heavy rainy days)
Things to do: Enjoy Splash time, Swimming
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Yala National Park is one of the most visited wildlife sanctuaries and second-largest national park, located in southeast Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public. Yala National Park is forming a total area of 1268 sq km of scrub, light forest, grassy plains, and brackish lagoons and wildlife.
It’s home to wildlife such as leopards, elephants, and crocodiles, as well as hundreds of bird species. A variety of butterfly species can see in the park. The common bluebottle, common lime butterfly, crimson rose, common Jezebel, and common Mormon are the common species.
Location: Palatupana, 12km from Kirinda. The distance from Colombo to the entry point of Palatupana is 305 km.
Best Time period to visit: Any day of the year. (6:00am – 6:00pm)
Things to do: Wildlife Safari
Check out more on: Yala National Park
Turtle Watch Rekawa is located in Tangalle, southern coast, Sri Lanka. Turtle Watch was founded by the Turtle Conservation Project, which offers opportunities to watch many species of sea turtles coming on to shore to lay eggs.
Five out of seven of the world’s marine turtle species are found in Sri Lanka and come ashore in Rekawa to lay eggs, including green, loggerhead, hawksbill, olive ridley, and leatherback turtles’ nest here all year round. Full moon days between January and April – July are the best time to spot Sea turtle.
Location: Tangalle, southern coast
Best Time period to visit: January, April – July (8:00pm – 1:00am)
Things to do: Turtle Watch
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Hikkaduwa beach is one of the most beautiful beaches located on the south coast. It is well known as one of the best-surfing sites and best Coral Sanctuary in Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa is also a home to some of the best coral gardens in Asia. The coast extends for just four kilometers outwards. In terms of size, it covers about 102 hectares. Among the corals that grow here, there are elkhorn, table, staghorn and brain corals, all of them being hard coral species which form the very foundations of the reef.
Location: Hikkaduwa, Southern Province, about 17 km (11 mi) north-west of Galle and 98 km (61 mi) south of Colombo.
Best Time period to visit: April – November
Things to do: Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Glass-bottomed boat rides
Madu lagoon is a very wide and a beautiful lagoon in Sri Lanka. It is in the wet zone of Sri Lanka with a high biodiversity. 70 species of fish, 31 types of reptiles, and 50 kinds of butterflies are just some of the colorful array of wildlife that inhabits this abundantly bustling eco-system.
Location: located 80 kilometers from Colombo in Balapitiya, along the country’s southern coast, within the Galle District of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka.
Best Time period to visit: Any day of the year. (6:00am – 9:00pm)
Things to do: Madu River Boat Ride, Fish Therapy
Check out more on: Madu River Safari