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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Best things to do in Sri Lanka – A vacation you'll never forget
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Best things to do in Sri Lanka – A vacation you'll never forget

From the picturesque mountains to the relaxing beaches to get up and close with elephants in their natural habitat, Sri Lanka is a vacation that'll remember for the rest of your life.


Elephant watching

Elephants are a large part of the Sri Lankan culture as the Sri Lankan elephant, a member of the Asian elephant family is endemic to the country. You'll see that elephants are integrated into many aspects of the Sri Lankan lifestyle where ever you go; the royally decorated elephant that leads the Esala Perahara (The festival of lights) being one of the best examples. Udawalawe National Park, a national park located in the Uva province of Sri Lanka is one of the best places to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The park is home to more than 400 elephants and is also a great place for bird watching.


Yala National park

This is one of the most visited parks that is home to a massive collection of animals and birds. Sri Lankan sloth bear, Sri Lanka junglefowl, wild water buffalo, spot-billed pelican and the Loggerhead Sea Turtle are some of the animals that you can spot here while taking part in a safari at the Yala National park. The Sri Lankan leopards are the main attraction that attracts both local and foreign tourists to the Yala National park. The Yala national park is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in the country and is also home to about 125 different types of birds making it a great place for bird watchers too.


Whale Watching

Sri Lanka was featured on BBC's documentary about sea life: Ocean Giants and is famous for being one of the best places in the world for whale watching. November – March is the best time to go whale watching as there is a very high probability that you'll spot one. In addition to whale species like the Pigmy whales, sperm whales and the killer whales you'll also be able to spot other sea life like flying fish, Riso dolphins, greenback turtles and bottle nosed dolphins while whale watching. Mirissa, Trincomalee and Kalpitiya are places you should try out for whale watching.


Explore the beaches

Sri Lanka has lots of beaches to choose based on what you're looking for. Tangalle beach, for example, is a great place to visit if you're looking for peace and quiet as there aren't many people around and the clear blue water is great for sea bathing. On the other hand, there is a plenty of things to do in Kalutara, Bentota and Galle: some of Sri Lanka's more crowded and exciting beaches. Luxury beach hotels similar to AVANI Kalutara Resort serves as the perfect starting point to explore the surrounding cities that offer its visitors to engage in beach sports, visit handicraft shops and even go snorkelling.


Explore Kandy

The hill capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy was the last capital of the kings of Sri Lanka before it was invaded by the British in 1815. It is home to one of Sri Lanka's most revered temples: The Dalada Maligawa (The temple of the tooth relic). The Esala Maha Perahara (the festival of light) that happens during the month of August is when the entire city comes to life with bright lights and colourful displays of various types of dancing styles where the sacred tooth relic is paraded around the Kandy city. The Kandy Lake is a great place for a morning stroll and is only disturbed by the noise of street vendors and vehicles passing you.