Sri Lanka, situated in the Indian Ocean just south of India is a country with ancient roots.
Its documented history began more than 3,000 years ago although pre-historic human marks have been discovered here and are dated to be more than 125,000 years old.
It is an island nation that has been visited by tourists since the 4th Century when the Chinese travellers came. Marco Polo followed and is said to have declared Sri Lanka the best island of its size.
Sri Lanka is popular for its ancient Buddhist history which includes a 5th Century citadel called Sigiriya. Buddhism has preferential treatment in the country’s Constitution. It is the religion adopted by more than 70% of the people with more than 6,000 Buddhist monasteries around the country.
There are two capitals in the country. One is ancient and mostly honorific – Anuradhapura. One is new, commercial and modern – Colombo. Both have plenty to offer, but Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and usually attracts many visitors. The British, Dutch and Portuguese have influenced this part of the world. Their legacy can be seen in architecture, mostly in the Dutch Fort of Galle and in the Victorian architecture of Little England (Nuwara Eliya).
Sri Lanka is visited also for its natural landscape. Tropical forests are home for migratory birds, elephants, leopards and dugong. If you are looking for wildlife, visit Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Yala National Park and Wilpattu National Park. The diverse species of plants and animals is unique. Hundreds of species of birds, endemic species of trees, mammals and butterflies can be spotted here. The parks take up hundreds of kilometres of Sri Lankan land and are the pride of the country.
The people of Sri Lanka also take pride in their spicy curry. They say it is the hottest curry in the world, so pay attention and take your time – it is indeed very hot!
The local culture has many festivals and celebrations where you can taste local food and drinks. For example, Nawam Maha Perahera is a festival that takes place every year in February. Decorated elephants are walked through the streets of Colombo and dancers, drummers, acrobats and musicians accompany them. For gourmands, World Spice Festival is what you need. It takes place every year in October in Colombo. This festival brings to Sri Lanka the best local and international chefs to celebrate the indigenous spices and cuisine of the country.
Sri Lanka is an exotic place with ancient history, beautiful landscapes and exciting culture. Welcoming and always ready for guests, Sri Lanka is still the best island in the world for its size.
Now you’ve got some great ideas for your trip, don’t forget to arrange travel insurance as soon as you’ve made a booking. Get a quote today or call one of our friendly team on 1300 819 888 to discuss your requirements.