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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 27, 2020
Headline for Top Five Amazing Sights in Sri Lanka – Spellbinding Spectacles!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Five Amazing Sights in Sri Lanka – Spellbinding Spectacles!

To take a trip to Sri Lanka is to discover an island paradise full of historic, cultural and natural wonders. If it's your first time to the island, these sites are amongst the country's most captivating attractions well worth adding to your sightseeing itinerary.

1

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

An iconic sight and one of the foremost attractions in Sri Lanka, the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress is often referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Towering to a height of nearly 200 metres, the rock is not only great to photograph, but climb up as well. On a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will come across ingeniously designed water gardens, captivating frescoes on the rock face and the Mirror Wall with its ancient inscriptions and writings. The summit can be reached by heading up a staircase between two massive lion paws; at the top, you will find the remains of the royal palace set amidst breathtaking views.

2

Yala National Park

While there are many national parks in Sri Lanka, Yala is easily one of the most popular for one very good reason; it is known for having the highest leopard density on the planet and is where you can see these majestic predators roam wild and free. Of course, leopards are not the only creature you have a chance of spotting in Yala. On your safaris at this sanctuary, you may also come across elephants, crocodiles, sloth bears, water buffaloes, fishing cats and toque macaques, not forgetting a great many bird species too.

3

Sinharaja Rainforest

A UNESCO World Heritage Site that nature enthusiasts will love to explore, the Sinharaja Rainforest is a rich storehouse of flora and fauna that are endemic to the island. This forest reserve has also been designated as a World Biosphere Reserve and is a hotspot of biodiversity that can be witnessed when staying at a nearby eco hotel. Sri Lanka is blessed with diverse birdlife too which can be seen at this rainforest while staying at properties the likes of The Rainforest Ecolodge - Sinharaja. Among the endemic birds, one can spot here are the Sri Lankan junglefowl, yellow-fronted barbet and Layard's parakeet.

4

Nuwara Eliya

Tucked away amidst the mountains, Nuwara Eliya is referred to as "Little England"; it is so named not only because of the cooler climate, but also the English countryside-like landscapes and the British bungalows, remnants of colonial times. There is much to see while exploring Nuwara Eliya; attractions include the picturesque Gregory Lake, Victoria Park and Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, while excursions to nearby waterfalls and tea estates to learn about Ceylon Tea make for unforgettable experiences.

5

Unawatuna Beach

Your trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without a visit to the beach! The south coast has for long been a popular place for beach-hopping fun and one of the shorelines definitely worth heading to is Unawatuna Beach. Set amidst a tranquil bay, the sun-drenched sand nestled between palm trees and azure waters is the perfect place to just sit back, work on a tan or have a lazy dip in the Indian Ocean.