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Top 5 tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

Updated on September 8, 2013

In one of my previous hubs I talked about the top five must see places for tourists in Sri Lanka. Selecting the top five from hundreds of locations is no easy task which is why selecting the top five attractions is a bit easy task. For a small country the geographical diversity found in Sri Lanka is quite amazing. Withing three hours you can go from beautiful beaches at 35C to spectacular mountain ranges where the temperature is around 16C. Below are the top five tourist attraction in Sri Lanka

  • Sunbathing / Sea bathing
  • Elephant watching
  • Wild life safaris
  • Visiting historic places
  • Visiting waterfalls/Botanical gardens

Sunbathing is very popular among European tourists
Sunbathing is very popular among European tourists

Sunbathing / Sea bathing

Being an island Sri Lanka is blessed with a beautiful coastline and it has one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in Nilaveli and one of the top surfing beaches in the world in Arugam bay. Sunbathing and Sea bathing is very popular among European tourists because the relative lack of warm weather and beautiful beaches in Europe. It is definitely one of the most attractive activities especially for Scandinavian visitors. It is also attractive option for people who are visiting for a short stay , there are plenty of beaches in near the main city Colombo and a weekend in a beach resort is an unforgettable experience for most tourists. You can check out few popular beaches in Sri Lanka but keep in mind that adequate facilities for sunbathing and sea bathing is available in most places in the country.

Elephant back rides are very popular among tourists
Elephant back rides are very popular among tourists

Elephant watching / Elephant back safaris

Another favorite attraction among tourists this is very popular among European tourists as well as US and Canadian visitors. I suppose they don't have Elephant in there countries but whatever the reason there is a whole industry that is built around Elephant watching. Without doubt the best place to watch Elephants in semi wild life conditions is the Pinnawela elephant orphanage. There you can view elephants very closely as well as participate in feeding baby Elephants etc. "Ath athuru sevana" is also a place similar to this where you can get very close to elephants. If you want to see them in natural conditions in the nature reserves then Udawalawe and Wasgamuwa are the most famous for Elephat watching. You can read more about places to watch elephants in Sri Lanka.

Wild Life safaris are another popular attraction among tourists
Wild Life safaris are another popular attraction among tourists

Wild Life Safaris

There are lots of nature reserves in Sri Lanka and wild life safaris are very popular among tourists. Without doubt the most famous national park is the Yala National park which is famous for leopard spotting. Deer , wild boars , buffaloes , peacocks . eagles , crocodiles and elephants are found in almost any national park. The hard to spot animals are the leopard and the bear with bear being the hardest to spot animal.A wildlife guard is provided with every Safari so you can get a detailed explanation about the animals behavior and also they will guide you to places where wildlife is abundant.

Visiting ancient cities and seeing ruing is another popular tourist attraction
Visiting ancient cities and seeing ruing is another popular tourist attraction

Visiting historic places/ ancient cities

Sri Lanka is a country that has a written history spanning more than 2000 years and during that time there were few cities that were used as capitals and visiting those ruins is another very popular tourist attraction. In fact these ancient cities are among few of the must visit places in Sri Lanka. Without a doubt the most visited ancient city in Sri Lanka is the Sigiriya rock fortress which is famous for its gardens , frescoes and the irrigation system that still amazes experts. Other famous cities frequently visited by tourists are Anuradhapura , Polonnaruwa and Kandy. Most of these are world heritage sites and some of the temples and dagobas are still preserved carefully and they are a site to behold.

St' Claire's one of most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka
St' Claire's one of most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka

Visiting botanical gardens/waterfalls

As I mentioned before Sri Lanka is a country where you can go from the hot sunny weather in the beaches to the cool mountain weather in a matter of few hours and for tourists from middle east the most attractive thing is the beautiful gardens and waterfalls in the mountain regions. Sri Lanka is blessed with some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Asian region and they make quite a spectacle especially during the rainy season. The botanical gardens in Peradeniya is visited by nature lovers as well as scientists because of the wide array of flowers and trees available in the garden. There are special tours especially made for viewing waterfalls and you want be disappointed by the site of those beauties.Devon falls , St' Claire's falls , Bambarakanda falls , Dunhinda falls , Bopath falls , Bakers falls and Diyaluma falls are few of the famous ones. Another famous destination in the mountains is the Worlds End in Horton plains. This is a very high mountain peak where you can even sea the coastline in a clear day.

Best Tour Guides about Sri Lanka

Hundreds of things to do

With the end of the thirty year old civil war tourism is booming in Sri Lanka and there are hundreds of more activities you can do in Sri Lanka. Below are few more activities you can do while you are in Sri Lanka

  • Take the city bus tours , there are double deck buses which goes around the Colombo city area which takes you around most of the important places
  • Visit the museums and the art galleries in the Colombo city
  • Visit the famous shopping malls like Majestic city , Liberty plaza which is popular among tourists because of the cheap but high quality products
  • Go canoeing and white water rafting , Kithulgala being the most famous for that
  • Visit Turtle breeding centers or watch turtles laying eggs under the moonlight

The list of activities can go on , simply put Sri Lanka is a paradise where you can be overwhelmed by the number of activities available to you. So come and enjoy.


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