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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka – Adventures in an Island Paradise
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka – Adventures in an Island Paradise

The island of Sri Lanka is as diverse as its population and visitors have a chance to experience beach getaways, mountain hideaways, exotic wildlife and more. Here are some of the best places to visit.



Located along the west coast of Sri Lanka, Negombo is fast becoming the "go to" place for beachside adventures. Blessed with golden sands and sun soaked coastal tranquillity, this seaside city offers the perfect escape by the Indian Ocean in which to experience laidback island life. The active kind can look forward to some snorkelling, kite surfing and even head off on diving expeditions. Known as "Little Rome" due to its many Roman Catholic churches that date back to the Portuguese colonial period, Negombo also features the Dutch Canal where one can take a leisurely cruise and enjoy a different perspective of the city.



Of course, no trip to Sri Lanka is complete without a visit to the famed south coast. Bentota is the water sports hub in the island and offers the perfect combination of both chilled out beaches to thrilling water sports be it in the sea or river. Waterskiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing and body boarding can be enjoyed, while deep sea fishing and taking a cruise along the Bentota River are amongst the other things to do. Sri Lanka has much to offer when it comes to fun in the sand and surf which can be experienced here.



The elusive Sri Lankan Leopard is one of the most majestic of predators and if you want to catch glimpses of this spotted beauty then there is no better place than Yala. One of the most popular national parks in the island, it can be easily visited by way of safaris organised by local tour operators like Walkers Tours. While it features wonderfully diverse landscapes from scrub jungles to coastal stretches, the main draw is the wildlife. Apart from leopards you also have a chance of seeing elephants, sloth bears, mugger crocodiles, water buffalos, toque macaques and over 200 species of birds including endemic and migratory varieties.



From the heat to the heavenly hills, Kandy lies nestled in the mountains of Sri Lanka and provides a whole different experience for visitors. This once ancient kingdom is steeped in history and in the heart of the city, you will find the Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic, the focal point of the annual Kandy Esala Perahera (procession). The main town which is centred around a lake has a more modern vibe with plenty of shopping and dining options, while you can also visit ancient Buddhist temples, enjoy a day out at the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens or even trek through a forest reserve known as the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary.



Rising proudly above the landscape, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular places to visit. Impressive as well as awe-inspiring, this marvel of human ingenuity was once part of a mighty kingdom and features unique water gardens as well. Those making their way up Sigiriya will come across beautiful wall frescoes referred to as the "Sigiriya Maidens" and when at the summit, one can look forward to some breathtaking vistas of the surroundings.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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