Best things to see and do
Sri Lanka is a beautiful Island south of India. It offers picturesque highlands with tea plantations and great hiking options. Furthermore, Sri Lanka is characterized by a rich culture, amazing food, well preserved temples, palm fringed beaches and great surfing conditions. Sri Lanka is no longer an insider tip and can partly get very crowded around the sights of the Central Highlands and along the south coast. Anyways, there are still more quiet parts to be discovered especially in the east and north. Sri Lanka is more expensive than India but still considerably cheap. Hostels or homestays can be found at most places. Keep in mind that due to the monsoon the driest seasons are from December to March for the west, south and Hill Country, and from April to September for the Ancient Cities region (central north) and the east coast.
• South Coast: There are great beaches, party places and surfing conditions around. In general, the more you travel to the east the more quiet it gets. Hikkaduwa for example is a very popular spot for all kinds of tourists (from backpackers and surfers to upmarket resort guests) whereas the village of Tangalla is (still) much less visited. Only to name two surfing beaches Weligama Bay is a big and popular surfing beach while the Beach of Bonavista northeast of Unawatuna is smaller and quieter. One of the most beautiful beaches to relax is little Hiriketiya Beach about 10 kms west of Tangalla. If you are a diver don’t be disappointed by the coral and marine life around here. Go for some wreckdives instead!
Tip: For wildlife lovers, I recommend to visit Bundala National Park instead of Yala National Park which is overcrowded and the chance of exotic animal sightings (like elephants) is much lower there.
• Hill Country: This beautiful part of Sri Lanka offers breathtaking landscapes. Without doubt, the train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella belongs to my favourite experiences. But you should also consider to hike through the amazing tea plantations, visit Adam’s Peak and World’s End.
• Ancient Cities: If you are interested in culture, lost cities and temples, this is the place to be. The region can be explored as a loop trip or you can stay in a central place such as Sigiriya and start several day trips from there.
• The East: If you want to avoid tourist masses, check out the beautiful east (and north) of Sri Lanka. The most popular place here, especially for surfing, is bustling Arugam Bay but if you are looking for lonely beaches just head a few kilometers north or south.
10.04.2017 - Chris