Sri Lanka Travel Guide


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Things To Do In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a land of shopaholics, foodies, honey mooners as it never let travelers feel down. It is a blend of soul satisfying attractions which leaves a great impression on the minds of tourists. Explore it with our Sri Lanka Holiday Packages.  
Try Different Spa Therapies
A trip to Sri Lanka definitely calls for getting away from the grind and the best way to unwind is a grand treat at the spa. When it comes to the Sri Lankan resort town of Bentota, the most alluring thing to do is trying different types of spa therapies. Countless number of hotels and resorts that dot this town offer a range of services – from aroma therapy to reflexology and from fish spa to ayurvedic massages. So, do give yourself enough time to loosen up and rejuvenate while in Bentota. In fact, you could also plan your itinerary in a way that you can stay at a spa resort and enroll in a long duration detox, wellness or yoga program.
Take Part in Trekking/Walking Trail

Going for a morning or evening country walk in rural Sri Lanka can be a truly enjoyable experience. Nature lovers must not miss out on going for a trek across the paddy fields, blissful byways and far-flung places of the region of Bentota in the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is an ideal way to enjoy the sunset, see migratory birds, visit the century-old ‘Katukoliha temple’ and wander around while connecting with the rural Sri Lankan people, their lifestyles and culture to experience the countryside in all its glory. There are many professional groups that offer guided one-day treks and longer expeditions. You may also consider hiking near the Madu River and visiting the Kosgoda turtle hatchery.
Indulge in Activities Like Scuba Diving, Surfing and More
While soaking up the sun and swimming in the clear blue waters is blissful on the beaches of Bentota, adventure enthusiasts should also explore other water sports. Snorkeling and diving is a mesmerizing experience in the Sri Lankan waters whether you are a novice or an expert. As you swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, you will spot tropical fish, coral reefs and seaweeds. There’s also banana boat rides and jet skiing which are a lot of fun for people of all ages. Bentota offers the perfect weather, almost all year round, for wind surfing too. Indeed, the water sporting options are endless at this quaint beach town.
Cruise Through the Mangroves
Amongst a range of outdoor activities and water sports, a typical Sri Lankan adventure that you can embark upon in Bentota is a river safari through the mangroves. Hop on to a boat to observe wildlife in their natural habitats. As you travel beneath the mangrove canopy, surrounded by forests and river tributaries, take in the beautiful sights and natural sounds, only to spot some water monitors, crocodiles, water snakes and birds. It’s true, you may go not expecting much but come back feeling thrilled after cruising through some of the greatest mangrove foliage that you will ever see.
Visit Cinnamon Island

Sri Lanka is known to produce a majority of the world’s best quality cinnamon, of which the Cinnamon Island produces some of this finest quality spice. Picture this – a cinnamon plantation dating back to the early 1900s on a tiny, charming island – it’s quite a wonderful experience being here. In an hour-long excursion, visitors can learn the techniques of producing and harvesting cinnamon, witness the processing of cinnamon and know about all about cinnamon’s uses. Watch the outer layer of the bark being scraped off, the inner bark being cut away and a cinnamon stick being folded as a final product that we see in shops. For a true-blue local experience, visit the home of a local planter and enjoy a cup of fresh cinnamon tea.
Hit the Casinos

If there is one thing that you absolutely cannot miss out on while travelling in the Sri Lankan capital, it is visiting the casinos. A night at the casino will lighten up your mood and lift your spirits. In terms of games, you can try your luck at Baccarat, Poker, Blackjack and Roulette amongst many others. If you are not up for the games, you can spend the night partying since most casinos have great music, sometimes even live music or DJs playing, and restaurants which serve great beverages and meals. Some popular casinos in the city include Bally’s Casino, Casino Marina and The Ritz Club.
Catch a Glimpse of Colombo in an Open Deck Bus Tour

There’s a lot to see in the largest city on the island of Sri Lanka and the best way to do it is taking an open deck bus tour. These tours provide a good balance of colonial history, modern city life, religious landmarks and natural attractions. Being a guided tour, you can rest assured to get to know all that you need to as you explore everything from the ancient Dutch and Portuguese settlements, the bazaars of Pettah, the national museum and the pristine beaches, to name a few popular destinations. You may also opt for specific heritage tours or night tours.
Take a Tea Tour

Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth largest producer of tea. The tea from here, famous across the world as Ceylon tea, includes some of the finest single origin tea as well as unique fruit blends. The tea drinking culture too is very strong in the country. So, when in Colombo, it makes perfect sense to go for a tea tour. There are umpteen options to choose from – be it tour operators, tea estates, factories – there are many group as well as private tours that you can take. Visiting a smaller tea garden will be a more intimate experience while a bigger factory will show you a more modernized fashion of manufacturing tea – irrespective of what tour you go on, scintillating aromas and tea tasting is guaranteed to leave tea lovers feeling elated.
Explore The Magical Beauty of The Island from an Air Plane

Break away from the mundane and opt for an air plane ride to see Colombo is all its splendor. See the waters, the temples and even the Parliament as you take this unforgettable ride. There are quite a few tour operators that offer this exciting activity which is memorable for people of all age groups. A bird’s eye view of Colombo is sight to behold – don’t forget to carry your camera!
Enjoy a Boat Ride at Beira Lake

This is a huge lake in the city centre which lights up beautifully in the night. Contemporary and urban Colombo is visible across South Beira Lake and yet the place emanates a sense of peace and quiet. It was constructed sometime during the 16th century by the Portuguese. Boating on this scenic lake is a popular thing to do in the city of Colombo.

Refresh Yourself with an Orange Coconut
The coastal city of Colombo, like Sri Lanka, offers many different food and beverages that you must try. One such item is the orange coconut, locally known as the king coconut or the thambili. Its water is tastier and sweeter than the water found inside the regular, green tender coconuts. This is a street eat found abundantly and you must remember to relish it to the fullest during your time in Colombo.
Ride on a Bike through Tea Plantations
Galle is a city on the south-western coast of the country, most popular for the Galle fort. It offers many enthralling bike tours, combining the joy of cycling and appreciating Sri Lanka’s natural beauty. The various cycle trails take you through many tea plantations. There are also cinnamon and rubber plantations along the way, presenting a great insight into the process of harvesting these plants and spices. You may consider opting for guided tours for a thoroughly fulfilling experience or even wander about on your own – the terrain is overall easy and bike friendly. A bike ride is the best way to photograph the countryside, pause for tea tasting and observe the traditions and culture of local people.
Experience Water Sports like Scuba Diving, Snorkeling and Surfing

In Galle there are plenty of places where one would love to go for a dip, sit by the shore, drink some orange coconuts or beer and simply unwind. But it also has great beaches to feel adventurous and try your hand at water sports like surfing and diving. About half an hour outside of Galle is Hikkaduwa, the most popular surf town, Unawatuna, another beach town in Galle, is also popular amongst surfers, especially beginners as the waves aren’t too big but yet fun. You could also indulge in scuba diving and snorkeling in Unawatuna. The Galle waters will most definitely tempt you to go for the plunge! 
Go Canoeing

A unique way to appreciate the fascinating landscapes as well as flora and fauna of Galle is by cruising in canoeing boats. The best place to do this is by taking a trip to Unawatuna, the beach town in Galle, where you’ll love the countryside – there are innumerable rivers, reservoirs, canals and lagoons. A guided canoeing excursion will allow you to explore this natural beauty as well as the culture of local people. The landscapes keep changing from lush green to marshy and habituated by prolific wildlife including birds and reptiles. So, paddle on and be ready to be exhilarated by breath-taking views.
Explore the Maritime Archaeology Museum
One of the popular and peculiar experiences in Galle is visiting the Maritime Archeology Museum. It is a small museum but very informative – on display here are artifacts of maritime life such as models of boats, artillery, relics, statues and many other videos and presentations that, for example, demonstrate old fishing techniques or how tsunamis occur. In fact, the museum got damaged in the 2004 tsunami but was restored and reopened to the public later.
Spot Whales and Dolphins
The south-western coast of Sri Lanka, which is where Galle lies, presents the best chances to watch whales and dolphins as you cruise the crystal clear waters. In an otherwise relaxed and leisurely vibe of Galle, spotting blue whales, killer whales, dolphins and sea turtles adds a thrill factor. You can choose from big cruises, to private or group tours and the durations vary according to what you pick. Ideally, your tour guides will recommend venturing into the ocean waters early in the morning to see sea animals frolic.
Visit Parrot Rock

Located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka and about an hour’s drive from Galle, Mirissa is s small touristic town known for its vibrant nightlife. Parrot Rock is rock point on the Mirissa beach which presents some of the most stunning views of the beach and has a couple of benches where you can relax after reaching up. The climb is fairly easy but you have to walk through waters and hence be mindful of the tide and water levels.
Snorkel at Turtle Bay
Snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities in Mirissa give you a chance to see the rich and unique sea life. Between December and March is the popular tourist season and if you are blessed with good weather and a low-tide, you should not miss out on heading out to Turtle Bay. Located at the southern end of Mirissa, Turtle bay is the best spot to get lucky to swim with wild sea turtles – it is only recommended to go here during low tide as the ocean completely swallows the shore at high tide. So, if you are there on a day when the water is still, you should hire a mask and a snorkel and delve into unforgettable laps in the waters with turtles.
Visit the Tea Factories
The central province is the main region where Sri Lanka’s export-quality Ceylon Tea is produced. Kandy, which is situated in this Central Province, has abundant tea plantations, which were planted by British colonizers after realizing that the town offers just the right conditions for growth of fine tea. Take a tea tour to marvel at the scenic beauty of such tea fields and inspect the manufacturing process in a factory that leads you to tasting perfectly brewed varieties of famous Ceylon tea. If you speak to locals, they will be more than happy to give you a tour. You may even consider making a leisurely visit to the Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane, 3 kms from Kandy for a stronger dose of history.
Watch the Traditional Kandyan Dancing
Seeing a loud, vibrant and gyrating Kandyan Dance performance is an interesting experience. The one-hour long Kandyan dance performance is rather elaborate, with traditional costumes and performed to percussion only. It is a visual treat and if legends are to be believed, it originates from an exorcism ritual – an all night ceremony in the honor of God Kohomba. Many temples in Kandy even have a special columned pavilion or space designed for rehearsals and performances by resident dancers and drummers. This traditional and religious dance form is now very much aimed at entertaining the audience, comprising dance routines and costumes from across the country.
Learn About Spices at a Spice Garden
Apart from the fabulous Ceylon tea, Sri Lanka is well known for producing many spices; most of which are exported to global markets. Within Sri Lanka, Kandy is the best place to visit spice gardens to see, learn and buy high quality spices. It is interesting to learn about the plants, see them grow in their simple habitat, and know about their traditional uses and medicinal benefits. There are many spice gardens in and around Kandy and a tour of one of these will include sampling some cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper and even oils amongst many other things. Cut-off from the city-life, visiting a spice garden, especially with a local guide, is a tranquil and aromatic experience.
Take an Elephant Ride
Riding on an elephant in the wild is an incredible experience. In the jungles of Kandy, you get the chance of being close to the majestic animal, riding on its back while enjoying the lush greenery around. These mighty animals are trained and handled by experienced mahouts. It is also a great way to observe the rural lifestyle in the villages and observe animals in their natural habitat. You could spend as much time as you wish around these mammals as they go about their business, bathe and feed them or just picnic in the surroundings.
Hot Air Ballooning in Dambula
Located two hours away from Kandy, Dambulla is a Sri Lankan town in the Central province. Here, hot air ballooning is the most popular outdoor activity which attracts scores of tourists from world over. The Kandalama Lake is the take-off point and the flight, preferable to be taken in the early morning, lasts for an hour. During this hour you get a bird’s eye view of Dambulla and Sigiriya, which is an ancient rock fortress. The views are nothing short of spectacular – you can see green paddy fields and jungles beneath, dotted with various heritage sites and if you’re lucky you can also spot animals like elephants and water buffaloes. Gliding like this in the air is the most memorable way to see the landscape of this town in Sri Lanka.
Relish Strawberries at Adma Agro Farm
Nuwara Eliya was famously called ‘Little England’ by colonialists because it looked and felt like Britain – its cold climate presents perfect conditions for lots of fruits to grow, the most abundant being strawberries. No trip to Nuwara Eliya is complete without a visit to the Adma Agro Farm’s outlet that serves fresh goodness of strawberries. They offer strawberry milkshakes, juices, jams, pancakes, ice creams, strawberry pizzas and chocolate coated strawberries! You should also visit their farm to pick fresh strawberries and eat them off the plants.
Walk Around the Tea Estates
Sri Lanka is famous for producing some of the best tea in the world and for tea lovers there can be no better treat than taking in the aromas of pure Ceylon (Sri Lankan) tea. The city of Nuwara Eliya is situated in the hills of Central Sri Lanka and there are hundreds of acres of tea plantations thriving in its cool and moist weather. Pedro Tea Estate is one such popular tea estate which allows guests to walk around the plantations and learn about the details of growing and processing tea. All in all, you just cannot leave the upcountry town of Nuwara Eliya without engaging in the ritual of visiting a tea estate and tasting some tea.

Capture The Indian Blue Robin at Victoria Park

Bird lovers from all over the world visit Nuwara Eliya to spot some of the most beautiful endemic and migratory birds. And you need not go far – grab your binoculars and go for a peaceful walk in the Victoria Park, located within the city, to spot birds such as the Kashmir Flycatcher, the Indian Pitta and the Indian Blue Robin apart from many more endemic species. It is a paradise for wildlife photographers to capture these attractive looking birds. There’s also the Galway’s Land Bird Sanctuary, a dense montane forest not too far from Victoria Park, which is home to some very rare bird species.

Go for Fishing/Boating at Gregory Lake
Whether you imagine a blanket of mist to cover yourself with, gleaming and placid waters or a palpable silence to sit by, the picture-perfect Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya has it all. For a half-day excursion, a visit to the Gregory Lake is a must or you may even consider living in one of the hotels close to the lake. You can hire a row/paddle boat or water scooters to explore this picturesque lake. If distracting splashes of water is not what you fancy, going fishing, planning a daytime picnic, cycling along the shores or even meditating by yourself in the backdrop of this lake is a completely relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Visit the Winter Market
NuwaraEliya is famous for shopping at its winter market, which is known as Bale Bazarlocally. It is popular among locals and tourists alike as it offers a hugevariety of high-quality yet affordable clothes for the cold temperatures. Manypeople make a trip here to stock up on their winter wear before going tooverseas countries. It is a good idea to make a stop at this lively market,especially if you are visiting Nuwara Eliya when the weather is particularlycold and you aren’t carrying all your winter essentials. It is a great place tofind steal deals, so make sure you bargain your way through to find the bestwinter gear.
Thrill Yourself with Water Sports Activities
Located on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee is a port city set on a peninsula. It is quite far off from all other popular Sri Lankan tourist destinations but a true haven for water sports enthusiasts. The Indian Ocean offers way too many exhilarating options – from whale spotting in the months of May and October to deep sea fishing and from scuba diving to kayaking and jet skiing. The region is a deep water harbor and you can expect to spot stunning blue whales, bottlenose dolphins and spinner dolphins amongst others when you go whale watching and expect to catch species like marlin and mackerel when you go fishing. Adventure sports like kayaking, diving and skiing are seasonal so do pick your dates carefully to make the most of your time in Trincomalee.
Go Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
Amongst the most exciting water sports in Trincomalee, snorkeling and scuba diving get your pulse racing like no other. In this beach town, Pigeon Island is the most popular place to indulge in these activities thanks to the diving site’s rich marine life and coral reefs. You can expect to see angelfish, butterfly fish and turtles among others. The island was named after blue rock pigeons to which the island was home. It also forms a part of the Pigeon Island Marine Sanctuary. You should plan to live near the Pigeon Island in Trincomalee if you are big on diving and snorkeling – it not only promises a stay with breath-taking views but some serious adrenaline rush.
Explore the Beach on a Motorbike
The best way to explore the beaches of Trincomalee – like the Pigeon Island, Nilavali and Uppuveli is by renting a bike. This means that you will not have to constantly bargain with the tuk-tuk guys every time and you can easily navigate all nearby places as you please. Don’t worry about driving safety as there are hardly any big vehicles on the road – it’s mostly just tuk-tuks. These beaches give you a sense of escape from reality – they are pristine white and untouched by heavy urbanization and pollution. All in all, motorbikes are easily available and best way to go beach hopping in the paradise of Trincomalee.

Happy Travellers

Sri Lanka Tour
Sri Lanka Tour

Sri Lanka Tour

Enjoyed the Sri Lanka trip and company of all of you was like an icing on the cap. Please do remain in touch. Special thanks to DISHABEN for all her sincere efforts 
Nice to have company of all of you during the last 10 days during the Sri Lanka trip which we will always cherish. Special thanks to Dishaben as our group leader and assistant who has performed her job in an exemplary way with all human dedication...
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Ahmedabad   Travelled in   April
Region: India   |   Tour Type: GIT   |   Theme: Group Tour     Read All

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