Paradise is perhaps the best word to describe Sri Lanka, a serene, tropical island of golden beaches and blue waters. Famed for the amazing diversity of culture, the natural beauty of the landscape and a complex history dating back to 543 BC, this country is truly amazing. Coastal beaches merging into jungle and the hill country with peaks reaching a height of 2400 meters. You will find terraced tea plantations, waterfalls and lakes, unspoiled palm-lined beaches with coral reefs, rice paddies, wildlife parks filled with animals in their native and much more on your tours of Sri Lanka. On your tour of Sri Lanka you can choose from a variety of activities from lazing on the beach to diving in coral reefs, observing the wildlife, mountain hikes through tea estates or wandering through the ruins of ancient temples and palaces...
Tourist Attractions in Sri Lanka
The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka offer a cool climate. You can find mountain slopes covered with acres and acres of tea with its fragrant aroma mingling with the fresh air. Nuwara Eliya, a wonderful hill resort to tour, resembling little English village, it is nestled among the mist covered central hills. Road leading to this hill station winds through miles and miles of 'green carpet' of tea bushes where tea pluckers are seen busily picking the 'bud and two leaves' that go to form the most popular brew in the world, the 'Ceylon Tea'. The 18 hole golf course is very popular with the locals and the foreign tourists. Hakgala Botanical Gardens a few kilometers away is an added attraction that you can visit on your Sri Lanka tours.
Beautiful waterfalls cascading down the mountain slopes enhance the beauty of the hill country. The geographical formation of the Island with the central highland sloping down to the coastal plains has resulted in several rivers and streams starting from the central region flowing down the hilly slopes in a radial pattern, creating beautiful waterfalls in several places in the hill country. Ramboda Falls (100 metres) is seen on the way to Nuwara Eliya. Devon (86 metres) and St. Clair's (73 metres) are two waterfalls seen close to Nuwara Eliya.
Horton Plains is the island's last remaining mountain forest spread in 3,160 hectares It is located in a plateau high up on the hills at an elevation above 2000 meters. Take a pleasant walk of about 5 km in a vast expanse of grassland interspersed with little streamlets and craggy trees leading to an awe inspiring edge called the 'World's End'. It is a sheer drop of over 800 metres sloping down further away over mist covered treetops fading into the distant sea offering a breathtaking yet the most beautiful sight in the entire country. The jungle bordering the grassland abounds with wildlife. Among the animals that can be seen on your Sri Lanka tour are the leopard, sambhur, barking deer, wild boar and monkeys. Horton Plains is a bird watcher's paradise.
Sri Pada 2,243 metres High Mountain in the southwest corner of the highlands not only provides natural beauty but also offers a sanctified place of veneration to people of all faiths. It is called Sri Pada, as it is believed that it bears the footprint of the Buddha. Christians say it is the foot print of Adam and call it Adam's peak. Thousands of pilgrims of all faiths climb this mountain during the pilgrim season (December to May). Watching the sunrise from the summit is an unforgettable sight.
Sri Lanka Beach Tours
Sri Lanka is never out of season for a beach holiday. Over one thousand kilometers of palm fringed sandy beaches encircle the Island. The beach resorts in the West Coast, South Coast and the East Coast are the most popular. You can enjoy a dip in the warm waters and relaxing on the sandy beach on your Sri Lanka tour. The West Coast stretches northwards from Mt. Lavinia a southern suburb of Colombo. Mt. Lavinia and Negombo are the best-developed beach resorts in this region.
The beach resort of Mt. Lavinia is eleven kilometers south from Colombo along the road to Galle .The Sea is safe for bathing and is a popular bathing spot with clean sandy beaches. The name Lavinia reminds of a secret love affair between a British Governor and a local damsel who used to meet at the holiday house of the Governor that stood on the spot where now the Mt. Lavinia Hotel is located.
The major beach resort in the West Coast is Negombo. The wide sandy beaches and the clear emerald sea are the major attractions of Negombo, a traditional fishing town. Besides the beach, the fish market is worth visiting where busy trading of a variety of fish including prawns, crabs and seer takes place in the mornings. The most popular fishing craft is the outrigger canoe called oruwa dug out from a huge log and is seen in large numbers in the Negombo lagoon.
The southern coastal belt is the most popular and comes to life mainly from October through April when the monsoon moves north east and the sea becomes calm with blue skies. It is an ideal place to spend the winter vacation. The main beach resorts are at Beruwala, Bentota and Hikkaduwa having several beach hotels with their exclusive beachfronts. Another interesting stretch of beach in the south is Unawatuna. An hour's drive from Colombo along the south coast will take the visitor to Beruwala that marks the beginning of the South Coast Beach Resort. Beruwala is the first Muslim settlement in the Island established by the Arab traders as far back as the 8th century. There is a famous Muslim mosque at the beachhead close to one of several lighthouse erected along the Sri Lankan coast.
Hikkaduwa ,99 km. from Colombo, offers underwater delights with a marine sanctuary abundant with rare corals and tropical fish. Explore the underwater world of colorful corals and beautiful shoals of fish by either snorkeling or taking a ride in a glass bottom boat. Four kilometers south of Galle and 120 km. from Colombo is Unawatuna, a beautiful stretch of beach. The road leading south from Colombo passes through the Southern Beach Resorts winding its way through stretches of coconut land. Along the drive, you could spot a man high up in the air crossing from tree to tree on two ropes tied tightly to the trees like a tight ropewalker in a circus. He is a 'toddy tapper' getting about his daily chores tapping the sap off the tender inflorescence of the coconut trees that is used to distill Sri Lankan Arrack and other alcoholic beverages. From April to October, the East Coast comes to life. It is one of the best stretches of beach over 300 kilometers long with tourist resorts in Nilaveli, 16 km. Nilaveli is a prime beach resort in the East Coast. It is ideally suited for sun bathing, sea bathing and diving. A few meters off shore are a small rocky island good for snorkeling.
Horatio Nelson, the British admiral of the 18th century had on arriving at the Trincomalee harbour described it as the finest harbor in the world. It is a beautiful natural harbor been in use from the days of the early Sinhala kings. The old Portuguese/Dutch Fort reminiscent of the colonial rule of the Island has the year 1676 inscribed above its entrance by the Dutch. The British subsequently named it Ford Frederick.
Kalkudah & Passekudah are very fine beaches in the East Coast. Kalkudah Bay is a 2 km. long wide stretch of beach well protected from the monsoon by the off shore reef. Passekudah Bay is another wide beach 4 km. long just south of Kalkudah. The combined area of Passekudah and Kalkudah is an ideal stretch for bathing, windsurfing and water skiing. Either snorkeling or taking a ride in a glass bottom boat can explore beautiful shoals of fish. Like most other coastal townships, Batticaloa was under Portuguese and Dutch rule. A Dutch Fort stands close to the Batticaloa lagoon. The most famous attraction of Batticaloa is its 'Singing Fish'. On full moon nights, a faint but distinct musical sound rises from the lagoon waters. This is attributed to a noise emanated by a kind of fish found in the lagoon.
Cultural Heritage Tours in Sri Lanka
The Cultural triangle is an area of valuable historical sites. These include the areas of
Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya.Tour these ancient capital cities based at
Giritale and Anuradhapura.View the panoramic sight of Giritale tank. The city tour of the Polonnaruwa include sites of Gal Vihara rock sculptures depicting various moods of Lord Buddha,relic houses of thuparamaya and thivanka built for the worship. The city of Anuradhapura known as the sacred city of Sri Lanka contains the oldest documented tree in the world still growing. Ruwanweliseya the gigantic white dome with a pinnacle as high as pyramid and nine storied Brazen palace built by a king in the 12th century.
An excursion to Mihintale would include the site where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in 247 B.C. This is a monastic city of caves, temples and ruins. Sigiriya, the other site in the Triangle, is a Rock Fortress that was turned into a palace with a beautiful Garden by King Kashyapa.This has been named the 8th wonder of the world and contains some beautiful frescoes of heavenly maidens in addition to beautifully laid out garden pools and fountains. Dambulla, situated close to Sigiriya, is a historical site with a Rock Temple that has 200 frescoes depicting the previous births of Lord Buddha.
Kandy is romantic city that you can tour on your Sri Lanka tours. During the months of July / August, a beautiful pageant known as the "Esala Perahera" is performed on the streets of Kandy. Kandy was the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka before falling into the hands of the British. A tour of the Holy City will fill you with an entrancing atmosphere where visits to the 'Dalada Maligawa' - the Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, the Upper and Lower Lake Drive, the Arts and Crafts Centre and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya will be of interest. Andy is the shopping center for tourists and is famous for Batiks and handicrafts. A Cultural Dance Pageant held each evening provides much entertainment.