What if I told you that there was a virtually undiscovered island with endless beaches, herds of elephants, amazing surfing, really cool trains and ancient ruins to explore? Sri Lanka has been a bit overlooked by travelers flying overhead to somewhere exotic, but lately has resurfaced as a remarkably uncrowded and affordable destination.
Years of war and natural disasters have kept this gem out of most travelers’ plans. Now that the war has ended and tourism has recovered from damaging tsunamis, I’m dreaming of this exotic island for an “off the beaten path” vacation.
Very few places have the culture and depth of Sri Lanka. There are eight Unesco World Heritage Sites packed into its roughly 25 thousand square miles. If you love to hike and uncover ancient cities, you’ll have over 2000 years of cultural ruins like temples and palaces. Visit Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa the royal capitals of Sri Lanka to see wherethe kings lived and ruled. When you tire of the cultural adventure, you can go on safari at Yala National Park parks where you’ll see leopards, water buffaloes, hundreds of bird species, and as I mentioned earlier, elephants. Thousands of elephants roam the island.
Sri Lanka has incredible beaches. Plan a relaxing stay at Arguam Bay, the village for A+ surfing, beautiful lagoons and the dunes of Panama.
When you’re done with the beach, head out for new adventures up in the hills. Take the train for one of the best ways to see the island’s beauty. When you arrive, make sure you visit green tea plantations, the tiny village of Ella, rain forests and waterfalls. There are 103 waterfalls on the island for your camera to love.
Have you visited Sri Lanka? Add your tips and favorite places to go in the comments section.