Sri Lanka, our dear neighboring country has opened its doors for travelers and it’s time to add another stamp to your passport!
With its varied topography from hills to beaches, warm friendly people with smiling faces, historical and cultural attractions, numerous festivities taking place throughout the year, herds of elephants roaming around in the wild and much more – Sri Lanka has been rightly named as ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, because of its richness and uniqueness.
Explore the places where Buddhism bloomed in the earliest of times and walk down the UNESCO Heritage Sites, hike up the lush green hills and relax by the golden beaches while savoring the grilled seafood platter, get into the mud with the elephants and play for endless hours, meet the Sinhalese communities and contribute meaningfully while traveling across the country.
Let’s find out why you must consider traveling to Sri Lanka for your next international vacay!
1. It still remains an undiscovered country!
Sri Lanka is still an offbeat destination and most of the beaches are still unexplored by Indian travelers. Most people think about Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos while planning their backpacking trip across Southeast Asia, thus, Sri Lanka is often skipped and missed. The country, as a matter of fact, still holds on to the old world charm and the adversities of commercialized tourism haven’t hit it hard yet. Lying between the more trodden parts of India and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka’s history, culture, and natural beauty are undeniably alluring.
2. Interesting culture & friendly people
There’s no denying that our travel experiences are always enhanced by human interactions, and while traveling abroad, meeting warm people and experiencing their culture is surely something to look forward to. The Sinhalese folks are extremely friendly and they’ll always be keen to step out of their way to help you. The local guides will keep you entertained with their stories and folklore. The cultural amalgamation of Buddhism and Hinduism is incredible in this country, and you’d get to witness the beauty of it in the art and architecture that dates back to centuries.
3. There’s so much packed in so little!
This island country is too small to accommodate all that’s there – and you’d probably fall short of time exploring everything it has in the store! There are about eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the 2000-plus years of culture can be discovered at ancient sites where legendary temples boast beautiful details even as they shelter in caves or perch on prominent peaks. There are gorgeous colonial fortresses, breathtaking train journeys through lush forests, incredible hiking trails alongside tea gardens, and safari tours that’d offer you a chance to encounter leopards!
4. Endless beaches that are still uncrowded!
Dazzlingly white and often untrodden, the gorgeous beaches ring the island so that no matter where you go, you’ll be near a sandy gem. No matter whether you’re in a mood to enjoy soaking in the sun while listening to the faint sound of the waves crashing against the shore or wish to feel the adrenaline rush and conquer the waves while surfing – you’d get to do it all here in Sri Lanka! A paradise for beach-lovers, you can simply break open a coconut, gently sway on your hammock with your favorite book in hand, and just plunge into the water.
5. Tickle your tastebuds with the local delicacies
When we think of Sri Lankan food, the first thing that would probably come to our mind is rice and curry with coconut flavors. But there’s much more in store for you – Sri Lankans have a variety of dishes with an amazing blend of spices and local fruits and vegetables. Their signature delicacies range from differently cooked rice to spiced meat and an array of desserts. You’d also be amused to know that the Sinhalese cuisine is highly influenced by the colonial flavors, adding a twist to the taste. Needless to say, for travelers, it’s like a grand feast to satiate all the senses!
6. Indulge in volunteering for turtle conservation
What can be better than spending some time at the turtle hatcheries and volunteering for the conservation program with the locals? Being a part of the Turtle Conservation Program in Sri Lanka, you’d get to live by the beaches and make a difference to support the sea turtle ecosystem in a positive manner. What is beautiful about the project is that people from all across the world come here to feel the joy of giving, learning, and teaching. It would be a wonderful experience, that’s highly recommended for animal lovers.
7. Get closer to nature and witness wildlife in its natural habitat
One of the best things about Sri Lanka is its vast diversity when it comes to wildlife. Even though Sri Lanka is a tiny island, it still manages to house 7 national parks which shelter a plethora of animals. Not only will you get to spot leopards and elephants, but you’ll also find some of the rarest species of birds while paving your way through the lush rainforests. And it just doesn’t end there – some unique creatures like dolphins and blue whales can also be spotted in the waters around Galle & Mirissa.
8. The weather is perfect throughout the year
Well, there’s no particular ‘season’ to visit Sri Lanka and the weather almost always remains consistent. Being a tropical country, the sun shines throughout the year and a tinge of humidity always lingers in the air. The days are usually hot but the nights get equally pleasant. You can avoid the months of July and August when the monsoon season hits the South and West – but even then, it’s absolutely beautiful as everything is dressed in various shades of green. However, December to February is the best time to explore this gorgeous country.
9. It’s meant for all kinds of travelers!
Sri Lanka is undoubtedly a budget-friendly destination and caters to every tourist’s budget. Right from a shoestring budget to a lavish one, you can take in the best of the island country at practically any cost. You can manage to travel to almost every place by public transport, stay at hostels or AirBnBs that are pretty affordable, eat at local restaurants and fulfill your backpacking dreams! On the contrary, those who wish to indulge can book luxurious stays at some of the opulent resorts spread across the country, hike a private car and enjoy a relaxing holiday while traveling extravagantly.
10. Feel the adrenaline rush as you indulge in adventure sports!
Last but not the least, Sri Lanka is also a ‘must visit’ destination for adventure lovers. Be it trekking, surfing, snorkeling, or scuba diving – everything here is just sorted. Hike or trek around virgin rain forests or spice gardens and tea plantations of the country, go for a scuba diving session and behold the charm of colorful marine life, swim past shipwrecks, or spot dolphins – you’ll get to do all of it here! Other than these, you can also go for rock climbing, hot air balloon rides, and more!
If you’ve traveled to Sri Lanka and experienced something unique that I’ve missed out on, do let me know in the comments below. And in case you’re still comprehending where to go next, think no more! Pack your bags and head off to this breathtaking country, ticking things off your travel bucket list.