The Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an irresistible mix of pristine beaches, colonial heritage, impenetrable forests and magnificent temples. Enjoy an exciting adventure on the emerald island that includes temple hopping, white water rafting and antique shopping on our Sri Lanka packages.
With its varied weather, its always a good time to visit some part of the island. The best time to visit Sri Lanka, however, is during winter to enjoy the Buddhist and Hindu New Year celebrations. We also recommend making Esala Perahera a part of your Sri Lanka travel planning. Held in Kandy at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the festival is one of the biggest in the country.
The island is affected by both the southwest and the northeast monsoon which means it’s always raining somewhere on the island. Sri Lanka experiences sunny, tropical climate throughout the year with warm, toasty beach days and clear skies. The months of January to March are perfect for trips to the hill country while August is great to head to the beaches.
The capital and largest city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is also the city with the most colourful history. With lovely colonial mansions, sprawling parks and sandy beaches, Colombo is the perfect place to begin your Sri Lanka sojourn. Visit the candy cane like Red Mosque, the bustling Pettah Market with its chaotic alleys and great bargains, Independence Memorial Hall, Beira Lake and the National Museum of Colombo. The city has seen the rise and fall of many colonial powers including the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British and that influence is apparent everywhere you look.
One of Sri Lanka’s most popular seaside resorts, Bentota is known for its pristine beaches, luxurious hotels, turtle hatcheries and watersports. A magnet for foreign tourists and Colombo residents looking for a weekend getaway, Bentota is a quiet town with a storied past. Galapata Vihara is a Buddhist temple that dates back to the 12th century with a maze of tunnels built underground that make for a great afternoon. Head to palm fringed Bentota Beach for a day of sailing, snorkeling and soaking up the sun. You could also visit a turtle hatchery that cares for ill and endangered turtles or cruise through the mangroves of the Bentota River.
Called “Little England” for its rolling hills and cool climes, Nuwara Eliya was founded English civil servants and planters. Less Lankan jungle and more English highlands, the popular colonial haunt for fox hunting, elephant polo, and cricket is still popular for tourists trying to get far from the madding crowd. The town’s colonial cottages, Tudor style inn and 18th century Post Office make for a delightful trip back in time.
Said to be the land of the mythical King Solomon, Galle is one of Sri Lanka’s more picturesque cities. Ruled in turns by the Portuguese, Dutch and then the British, the Galle cityscape is dominated by the Galle Fort. Built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, the fort has stood the test of time and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the fort and All Saints Church, Meera Mosque, and pretty, colonial mansions as well as quaint cafes and colourful bazaars.
While not as glamorous as the safaris at Yala and Udawalawe, Bentota has a charm of its own. Enjoy a balmy afternoon cruising on the Bentota River, spotting crocodiles, snakes, monitor lizards, monkeys and rare birds. For a break from the action on the beach, nothing beats a river safari. This is one activity that should be on the top of your Sri Lanka travel planning list.
Any Sri Lankan travel guide to the highlands of Nuwara Eliya would be complete without a guided tour of a tea plantation. The hills surrounding the town are draped with hundreds of plantations and factories producing some of the finest tea in the world. Stroll through the plantations, watch how tea is produces, pick a few leaves and sip some delicious Sri Lankan tea in what will be one of the most enjoyable days of your Sri Lankan holiday.
Recommended by nearly every Sri Lanka travel guide, this one will be one of the most unforgettable moments of your life. The coast along the town of Bentota is littered with scores of turtle hatcheries where turtle hatchlings are kept before being released back into the ocean. Head to one of these hatcheries and see turtles, young and old, paddling in little ponds. At dusk, join the conservationists at the hatcheries as they set the adorable baby turtles free on a Bentota beach. Watching the hatchlings flop across the beach as the sun sets behind them will be, we promise, a sight to remember.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sigriya is an ancient fortress that dates back to the fifth century AD. While its most in ruin today, this imposing citadel find itself in every Sri Lanka travel guide. the hike up the steep rock will take you the palace ruins and promise incredible views of the plains below.