Things to do in Sri Lanka
Things to do in Sri Lanka
There is a wealth of interesting things to do in Sri Lanka, including visiting the cultural triangle with its lost cities and ancient sites, the Temple of the Tooth and the Hill country; spotting wildlife, relaxing on the coast and exploring the island’s colonial history.
Read the following Sri Lanka travel guide to find out more.
The Cultural Triangle
The sacred cities of Anuradhapura and Sigiriya, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa and the Golden Temple of Dambulla together make up Sri Lanka’s famed cultural triangle. This picturesque region, situated to the north of Kandy, is an ideal setting to discover Sri Lanka’s cultural and religious history, lost cities, ruined palaces, cave temples, striking murals and centuries-old frescoes.
A trip to the cultural triangle is essential for any first-time visit to Sri Lanka.
Kandy, once an impregnable fortress, was the capital of the last Sinhalese kingdom. Today, this bustling city is Sri Lanka’s cultural centre and home to the country’s holiest site, the Temple of the Tooth. The popular Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage is a short drive away from Kandy.
The Hill Country
One of the most scenic regions of the country, these verdant rolling hills, soaring peaks, dramatic ravines and fertile tea estates are home to the attractive villages of Nuwara Eliya and Hatton. With brick- and stone-built houses, rose gardens, and beautiful lawns, the villages have in many ways retained their old colonial style.
The region is also home to Adam’s Peak, one of Sri Lanka’s most significant landmarks. At more than 2,130 metres above sea level, the holy mountain offers spectacular trekking and walking opportunities.
Yala National Park
Punctuated with rocky outcrops, thorny scrublands, small patches of riverine forests and dry grasslands, the beautiful wildlife reserve of Yala is Sri Lanka’s second largest national park. Renowned as the park with the highest density of leopards living in the wild, Yala is also one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see Asian elephants, sloth bears, hanuman langurs, golden jackals, crocodiles and many migratory birds in their natural habitat. Leopard sightings have increased over the years, so visitors with a keen eye may be lucky to catch sight of the park’s most elusive inhabitants.
A Unesco world heritage site, Sinharaja Forest Reserve is arguably Sri Lanka’s most important region of biodiversity and a key part of local legend and folklore. The narrow walking trails that cut through the undulating terrain of the country’s last remaining primary tropical rainforest offer visitors the opportunity to glimpse endemic birdlife, rare amphibians and mammals.