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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 13, 2018
Headline for Places to See in Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka's Sightseeing Highlights
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Places to See in Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka's Sightseeing Highlights

Sri Lanka, also known as the 'teardrop of the Indian Ocean' is a sunny tropical island just south of India. Here are some of the best spots to sight-see during your time in the country.

1

Adam's Peak

This mountain, which soars over 7,000 feet above sea-level, is one of Sri Lanka's most famous attractions. It showcases the marriage of different cultures and religions found in the country. The mountain's English name, Adam's Peak, derives from Christian and Islamic faith. Adam's Peak also goes by the name of 'Sri Pada', which, in Sri Lanka's native language of Sinhala, translates into 'the Sacred Foot'. Its Sinhalese name refers to the iconic imprint that visitors will observe at the peak of the mountain, which is in the shape of a foot. Followers of Buddhism believe this mark to have been made by the Buddha. Conversely, Christians and Muslims believe it to be the footprint of 'Adam' from the Bible and Quran, respectively. Hindu's also lay claim to this footprint, believing it to have been made by Lord Shiva. In this way, Adam's Peak has become a sacred symbol for all the religious communities that live on the island.

2

Yala National Park

Calling all wildlife lovers! Sign up for an animal safari at Yala National Park. You will see animals and birds such as monkeys, elephants, sloth bears and peacocks. The highlight of the park is the rare Sri Lankan Leopard which you will be able to catch a glimpse of from your jeep if you are lucky. A wildlife safari is a great group activity, so gather your fellow travellers, charge your cameras and head off on a guided tour into the heart of the park. Don't forget your sunglasses, hat and sunscreen, as it can get blazing hot when you are under the midday sun.

3

Arugam Bay

Fondly known by surfers worldwide as Sri Lanka's surf central, Arugam Bay, which is situated on Sri Lanka's south-east coast, offers some of the best surfing spots in the country for rookies and pros alike. So what are you waiting for? If surfing is your thing, this is one place you should definitely visit in Sri Lanka.

4

The Cultural Triangle

The trifecta of cities that form the three points of Sri Lanka's celebrated Cultural Triangle consists of the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Kandy. The area also includes the historic capitals of Sigiriya and Dambulla. All of these cities have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The triangle is located in the heart of the island, in Sri Lanka's Central Province, and within it, are many popular places to see in Sri Lanka. Examples of such attractions include the iconic Sigiriya Rock, also known as Sri Lanka's 'Fortress in the Sky', and the Dambulla Cave Temple. Being one of the island's tourist hotspots, the ancient cities in the region boast several hotels and resorts by well known hospitality brands such as Uga Escapes and many others.

5

Bentota

Bentota is a popular beach town south of the commercial capital of Colombo. It has been beloved by local and foreign tourists alike for decades and offers a vast range of resorts and bungalows to stay in. Known for its great beaches and the myriad of water sports activities on offer, Bentota is a must-visit for those who want to enjoy the perks of vacationing on a tropical island. While you're there, try out water sports activities such as jet skiing and parasailing.