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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 4 Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka – Explore the Pearl of the Indian Ocean
Joanna James Joanna James
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4 Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka – Explore the Pearl of the Indian Ocean

Although a small island, Sri Lanka has a multitude of attractions. Be it the colonial architecture, the ancient ruins from the 10th century or the mesmerizing beaches; there is something for everyone.



If you are looking to engage in thrilling watersports on the glistening Indian Ocean, then there is no better town to be at than Bentota. Whether it is extreme watersports such as parasailing and Para-cycling or a relaxing kayaking trip around the lagoon, Bentota has you covered. The town is also home to some of the best beaches on the island and the silky white sands make an excellent place to tan yourself. If you want a change, drop in at the turtle hatchery which houses 5 out of the 7 turtle species. Bentota is also home to a seventeenth century fortress that makes for beautiful viewing.


Nuwara Eliya

Fondly nicknamed "Little England", Nuwara Eliya and its virtually untouched beauty offers visitors a mesmerizing peek into the hill country. Standing a thousand nine hundred meters above the sea level, it is in close proximity to many waterfalls and is home to some of the best hiking trails in the country. It is the capital of tea production and the hauntingly beautiful Horton Plains plateau is an hour's drive from the town. Lake Gregory is in the heart of the city and one can try out exciting activities such as jet skiing. Just brace yourself for the icy waters!



A city with a history ranging back to the third century, Anuradhapura plays a major role in the history of Buddhism as well as of the country. The beginnings of the city happened after the planting of a fig of the Buddha's fig tree. The old city is home to a large number of massive dagobas that expertly highlight the brilliance of ancient Buddhist architecture. The city was also home to many Kings of the country and hence one can find the ruins of many palaces and other monuments like ancient pools that existed for over one thousand three hundred years. They were later abandoned due to invasions in the tenth century. The old city is probably the most evocative of sights in the country or even South Asia.



Located about forty kilometres from the capital of the country, Kalutara gives you an excellent glimpse into the rich and vibrant culture of Sri Lanka. It is home to the Kalutara Bodhiya, which has a branch of the original Anuradhapura Sri Maha Bodiya. Pilgrims constantly frequent it and the magnificent structure is the first thing anyone sets their sights on as they enter the town. If you are looking for colonial architecture drop by at the Richmond Castle. Constructed back in 1896, it is a forty two acre estate that was built for a governor. The mansion is well known for its eye catching architecture that perfectly blends together both Colonial and Indian styles to deliver a unique architectural masterpiece. Richmond Castle thoroughly deserves to be one at the top of your list of things to do in Kalutara. Accommodation is quite easy to find with plenty of nearby hotels and resorts such as the AVANI Kalutara Resort.