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What Are the Benefits of Visiting Sri Lanka?

The island nation of Sri Lanka offers something for every type of traveller. Those who love the outdoors can hike in its UNESCO-listed mountain ranges and experience the tea plantations and waterfalls.

Wildlife lovers will find paradise in the country’s safari national parks where they can see elusive leopards, elephants and exotic birds.

1. Unique Cultural Heritage

One of the greatest things about Sri Lanka is its rich cultural heritage. It’s home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that showcase the country’s long history and culture. You’ll see stunning ancient temples, visit sacred religious sites and even participate in festivals.

Sri Lanka was a former Dutch, Portuguese and British colony so you’ll notice splashes of their influence throughout the country. You’ll also find many local customs, traditions and beliefs that are unique to the island.

Another thing to note about Sri Lanka is its incredible biodiversity. You can witness wild animals in their natural habitats which is a truly incredible experience. It’s an absolute must if you are a nature lover. You can also explore a range of wildlife-rich national parks.

2. Exciting Adventures

Whether you are into nature or prefer the buzz of the city, Sri Lanka will have something for everyone. This compact country boasts beaches, rainforests, mountain trails, and UNESCO-listed cities.

Throughout the island, you’ll find plenty of wildlife including leopards and elephants. Many of the national parks have safaris that let you see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

You can also trek through the misty mountains of Nuwara Eliya and Ella and visit a tea plantation to learn more about this iconic beverage. And if you are an ocean lover, Mirissa is your place to witness the wonder of whale and dolphin watching in their natural habitat. They are an incredible sight to behold. And you can help make a difference by choosing responsible whale watching tour operators.

3. Stunning Landscapes

Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or prefer to lounge by the pool, Sri Lanka has something for everyone. Nature lovers will appreciate the country’s pristine beaches, UNESCO-listed mountain ranges with misty hiking trails and stunning waterfalls, and its swath of tropical jungles that harbor exotic wildlife.

Whale watching in Mirissa is a popular activity that gives visitors the opportunity to observe majestic whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. The early morning boat ride and anticipation of seeing these large animals is an experience you’ll never forget, check this site out.

If you love trains, taking the Colombo to Ella train journey is a must-do. You’ll be able to enjoy a picturesque scenery of sloping hills covered with tea plantations while travelling in comfort. You’ll also be able to spot British colonial-era railway stations and the Instagram-famous Nine Arch Bridge along the way!

4. Authentic Food

Visiting the country is all about immersing yourself in the culture. The locals are friendly and welcoming and it’s not uncommon to be offered a king coconut from someone in the street or have a chat about cricket with your tuk-tuk driver.

Being a pluri-religious society, Sri Lankans are familiar with many different religions and you’ll often see temples and stupas scattered across the island. The country is also home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites which offer a unique glimpse into the past.

When it comes to food, locals love their comforting cuisine that consists of curries, rice and spicey vegetables. A favorite is lamprais which is a Dutch Burgher dish that consists of a scoop of rice, mixed meat curry, two frikkadels (Dutch-style beef balls) and blachan (shrimp paste). The ingredients are wrapped inside a banana leaf packet and then steamed.

5. Friendly People

The people of Sri Lanka make it one of the most welcoming and friendly countries you can visit. Whether you’re meeting friends for dinner or sharing an afternoon tea with your local tuk-tuk driver, the warm smiles and welcoming spirit of the locals will leave a lasting impression. They are especially welcoming to foreign travellers and will be happy to share their country’s culture with you. A great ice breaker is to talk about cricket, as this is the national sport and something that many Sri Lankans are passionate about.

The tropical climate in Sri Lanka means that there is a high risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, Dengue Fever and Malaria. Be sure to take precautions, including carrying bug spray and wearing long sleeves and pants.