The little tropical paradise of Sri Lanka is full of wonder and excitement. From mysterious ancient ruins and beautiful landscapes to exotic wildlife and cuisine, there is much to see and do in Sri Lanka. We list out the top 5 things you have to do during your holiday in Sri Lanka.
1. Climb Sigiriya
Once the home of King Kashyappa, the rock fortress of Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just 180 km from the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya once stood towering over the enemies of King Kashyappa. Built on top of a mountain it was considered impregnable and provided a 360 degree view of the surrounding country side.
Climb the stone steps of the 600 ft fortress, past what was once a carving resembling a lion’s mouth to find the ruins of a forgotten kingdom at the peak of the mountain. The Sigiriya frescoes still stand with its preserved drawings of beautiful maidens.
The polished rock known as the mirror wall stood so that the king could see himself as he walked by. Since the abandoning of the rock after the death of the king, visitors since the 8th century have left messages and poems that can still be seen today.
The gardens at Sigiriya are considered one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Divided into 3 distinct blocks. If you manage to make the climb to the top the view of the surrounding area is breathtaking and makes for some great shots.
2. Go Whale Watching in Mirissa
Sri Lanka is considered to be one of the best places in the world to experience whale watching. Particularly Mirissa. Apart from its beautiful beaches we highly recommend taking a boat to experience whale watching. The season for whale watching are from the month of November to the month of April.
Witness the largest mamal on earth, the Blue Whale as well as fin whales, sei whales, sperm whales, orcas. You will also get the opportunity to witness the ever friendly dolphins. We highly recommend preparing for choppy waters if you’re not too confident travelling by boat.
A once in a life time for most, Whale watching in Sri Lanka is a magical experience and rightly made it on to our list.
3. Enjoy some authentic rice and curry
A local favorite, rice and curry is a must try when holidaying in Sri Lanka. Cooked using coconut milk and an array of spices, Sri Lankan rice and curry is packs a flavorsome punch. However we should warn you that it might be a little too spicy for some but this can be easily avoided by requesting your chef to hold off on the chilies.
Stop by at any local restaurant while in the island and they are guaranteed to serve rice and curry. Enjoy a unique culinary experience and if you’re lucky enough you might be able find a cooking class where you could try your hand at cooking your own rice and curry.
If you’re on the lookout for some authentic rice and curry in the city of Colombo we recommend you visit Raja Bojun at the Liberty Arcade or Nuga Gama Restaurant at Cinnamon Grand Hotel.
4. Go on safari to Yala National Park
Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s second largest national park. Out of the five blocks the park has been segmented into two are available to the public. 300km away from the commercial capital of Colombo, Yala offers wildlife lovers an amazing safari experience.
Yala is home to a large herd of elephants (300-350) and has the highest density of leopards in the world. Amongst these magnificent creatures you will also be able to witness many other mamals such as the sloth bear and wild water buffalo.
The park is also home to 47 species of reptiles 18 species of amphibians and 21 species of fresh water fish. Out of Sri Lanka’s major national parks, Yala has the highest probability of visitor’s witnessing threatened species that cannot be view anywhere else in the world, therefore making it on to our list as the national park to visit.
5. Visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura
The ancient city of Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka’s third kingdom ruled by proud Sinhalese kings and queens. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city of Anuradhapura was the center of Buddhism in the country.
Walk along the old streets as you pass magnificent structures that still stand today as testament to the engineering capabilities of ancient Sri Lanka. Covering an area of 40 square kilometers, there is much to see in Anuradhapura. Learn about the ways of life in one of the strongest economical capitals in South Asia.