Destinations

Sri Lanka's most popular destinations, summarized.

 

 

Colombo

Colombo (English: /kəˈlʌmboʊ/; Sinhalese: කොළඹ Kolamba, pronounced [ˈkəlɐmbɞ]; Tamil: கொழும்பு, translit. Koḻumpu) is the commercial capital[3] and largest city of Sri Lanka. According to the Brookings Institution, Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million, and 752,993 in the city proper. It is the financial centre of the island and a popular tourist destination. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to the Greater Colombo area which includes Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the legislative capital of Sri Lanka and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is within the urban area of, and a suburb of, Colombo. It is also the administrative capital of Western Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. It was the legislative capital of Sri Lanka until 1982.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Kandy

The Sri Dalada Maligawa or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex which houses the tooth relic of the Buddha, a tooth, which is venerated by Buddhists. The relic has played an important role in the local politics since ancient times, it’s believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country, which caused the ancient kings to protect it with great effort. Kandy was the capital of the Sinhalese Kings from 1592 to 1815, fortified by the terrain of the mountains and the difficult approach. The city is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, in part due to the temple.
Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily ritual worship in the inner chamber of the temple, in annual rotation.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya (Sinhalese: නුවර එළිය [nuwərə ɛlijə]; Tamil: நுவரேலியா) is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its name means “city on the plain (table land)” or “city of light”. The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. It is at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is considered to be the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is known for its temperate, cool climate — the coolest area in Sri Lanka.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura (Sinhalese: අනුරාධපුරය; Tamil: அனுராதபுரம்) is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province, Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It was the third capital of the Kingdom of Rajarata, following the kingdoms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara.
The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the centre of Theravada Buddhismfor many centuries. The city lies 205 km (127 mi) north of the current capital Colombo in the North Central Province, on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Yala

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park(block 1) and Kumana National Park or ‘Yala East’ for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Udawalawe

Udawalawe is an important habitat for Sri Lankan elephants, which are relatively easy to see in its open habitats. Many elephants are attracted to the park because of the Udawalawe reservoir, with a herd of about 250 believed to be permanently resident. The Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home was established in 1995 for the purpose of looking after abandoned elephant calves within the park.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Kumana

Kumana National Park in Sri Lanka is renowned for its avifauna, particularly its large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds. The park is 391 kilometres (243 mi) southeast of Colombo on Sri Lanka’s southeastern coast. Kumana is contiguous with Yala National Park. Kumana was formerly known as Yala East National Park, but changed to its present name in 5 September 2006.
The park was closed from 1985 to March 2003 because of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam) attacks. It was also affected by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.
Kumbukkan Oya forms the southern boundary of the national park. Some 20 lagoons and tanks support the extensive birdlife of the national park. The lagoons are shallow with depths less than 2 metres (6.6 ft). Kumana villu is subject to occasional inundationwith seawater. The elevation of the area ranges from sea level to 90 metres (300 ft). The mean annual temperature is 27.30 °C (81.14 °F) and the area receives 1,300 millimetres (51.18 in) of annual rainfall.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Pinnawala

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northeast of Kegalletown in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawala has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 88 elephants, including 39 males and 49 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala.
The orphanage was founded to care and protect the many orphaned unweaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province, about 17 km north-west of Galle and 98 km south of Colombo.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Galle

Galle (Sinhalese: ගාල්ල; Tamil: காலி) is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the administrative capital of Southern Province, Sri Lanka and is the district capital of Galle District.
Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Trincomalee

Trincomalee (English: /ˌtrɪŋkoʊməˈliː/; Tamil: திருகோணமலை Tirukōṇamalai; Sinhalese: ත්‍රිකුණාමළය Trikuṇāmalaya) also known as Gokanna,[1] is the administrative headquarters of the Trincomalee District and major resort port city of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. Located on the east coast of the island overlooking the Trincomalee Harbour, 113 miles south of Jaffna and 69 miles north of Batticaloa, Trincomalee has been one of the main centres of Sri Lankan Tamil language speaking culture on the island for over two millennia. With a population of 99,135,[2] the city is built on a peninsula of the same name, which divides its inner and outer harbours. People from Trincomalee are known as Trincomalians and the local authority is Trincomalee Urban Council. Trincomalee city is home to the famous Koneswaram temple alluded to in its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai and is home to other historical monuments such as the Bhadrakali Amman Temple, Trincomalee, the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall and, opened in 1897, the Trincomalee Hindu College. Trincomalee is also the site of the Trincomalee railway station and an ancient ferry service to Jaffna and the south side of the harbour at Muttur.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Koggala

Koggala is a small coastal town, situated at the edge of a lagoon on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in Galle District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. Koggala is bounded on one side by a reef, and on the other by a large lake, Koggala Lake, into which the numerous tributaries of the Koggala Oya drain. It is approximately 139 kilometres (86 mi) south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 3 metres (9.8 ft) above the sea level.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Mirissa

Mirissa (Sinhalese: මිරිස්ස) is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in the Matara District of the Southern Province. It is approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 4 metres (13 ft) above the sea level. Mirissa’s beach and night life make it a popular tourist destination. It is also a fishing port and one of the island’s main whale and dolphin watching locations.Mirissa is the largest fishing port on the south coast and is known for its tuna, mullet, snapper and butterfish. In 1980 the first tourist accommodation was built however it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that tourism to the town started to dramatically increase.

Attractions
Mirissa beach
Whale Watching
Sri Sunandarama Temple

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Negombo

Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, on the west coast of the island and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is the largest city in Gampaha district and it is the is the fourth largest city in the country after the capital Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna. It is the second largest city in the Western province after Colombo. Negombo is also the administrative capital of the Negombo Division. It is one of the major commercial hubs in Sri Lanka with about 128,000 inhabitants within city limits.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Kalutara

Kalutara or Kalutota is a large town in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is also the third largest urban area in Western Province after Colombo and Negombo. Kalutara is a scenic resort town.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Bentota

Bentota is a coastal town in Sri Lanka, located in the Galle District of the Southern Province, governed by an Urban Council. It is approximately 65 kilometres (40 mi) south of Colombo and 56 kilometres (35 mi) north of Galle. Bentota is situated on the southern bank of the Bentota River mouth, at an elevation of 3 metres (9.8 ft) above the sea level. The name of the town is derived from a mythical story which claims a demon named ‘Bem’ ruled the tota or river bank.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Unawatuna

Bentota is a coastal town in Sri Lanka, located in the Galle District of the Southern Province, governed by an Urban Council. It is approximately 65 kilometres (40 mi) south of Colombo and 56 kilometres (35 mi) north of Galle. Bentota is situated on the southern bank of the Bentota River mouth, at an elevation of 3 metres (9.8 ft) above the sea level. The name of the town is derived from a mythical story which claims a demon named ‘Bem’ ruled the tota or river bank.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Nine Arches Bridge

The Nine Arches Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in Sri Lanka and is one of the best examples of British railway constructions when Ceylon was yet a colony of the British Empire

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Ravana Ella

The Ravana Falls is a popular sightseeing attraction in Sri Lanka. It currently ranks as one of the widest falls in the country.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Ella

Ella (Sinhalese: ඇල්ල; Lit. “water fall”; Tamil: எல்ல) is a small town in the Badulla District of Uva Province, Sri Lanka governed by an Urban Council. It is approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft) above sea level. The area has a rich bio-diversity, dense with numerous varieties of flora and fauna. Ella is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations. The town has a cooler climate than surrounding lowlands, due to its elevation. The Ella Gap allows views across the southern plains of Sri Lanka

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Mini Adams peak

Mini Adams peak is the closest and easiest hike in Ella. You will get to the entrance in about 15 min walk from Ella town. Otherwise you can take the bus towards Passara or a tuk tuk.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Horton Plains

Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Ohiya, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the world famous Ohiya Gap/Dondra Watch and 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Nuwara Eliya.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

World's End

Twenty miles south of Nuwara Elyia is the Horton Plains National Park, which is most well-known for its amazing viewpoint called World’s End.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Bakers Falls

Baker’s Falls is a famous waterfall in Sri Lanka. It is situated in Horton Plains National Park on a tributary of the Belihul Oya. The height of the Baker’s waterfalls is 20 metres

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

The Knuckles Mountain Range

The Knuckles Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, in the Districts of Matale and Kandy. The range takes its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif which resemble the knuckles of clenched fist when viewed from certain locations in the Kandy District. Whilst this name was assigned by early British surveyors, the Sinhalese residents have traditionally referred to the area as Dumbara Kanduvetiya meaning Mist-laden Mountain Range (Cooray, 1984).
The higher montane area is often robed in thick layers of cloud. In addition to its aesthetic value, the range is of great scientific interest. It is a climatic microcosm of the rest of Sri Lanka as the conditions of all the climatic zones in the country are exhibited in the massif. At higher elevations there is a series of isolated cloud forests, harbouring a variety of flora and fauna. Although the range constitutes approximately 0.03% of the island’s total area, it is home to a significantly higher proportion of the country’s biodiversity. The isolated Knuckles range harbours several relict, endemic flora and fauna that are distinct from central massif. More than 34 percent of Sri Lanka’s endemic trees, shrubs, and herbs are only found in these forests.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Pitawala 'Pathana'

Pitawala ‘Pathana’ is a unique grassland found in the Knuckles Conservation Forest, Sri Lanka. This pathana has a great ecological value.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Sembuwatta Lake

Sembuwatta Lake ( sinhala: සෙම්ඹුවත්ත ) is a tourist attraction situated at Elkaduwa in the Matale District of Sri Lanka, adjacent to the Campbell’s Lane Forest Reserve. Sembuwatta Lake is a man-made lake created from natural spring water. Alongside the lake is a natural swimming pool. Sembuwatta Lake is believed to be 9 m (30 ft) to 12 m (39 ft) deep. Currently the lake belongs to the Elkaduwa Plantations and produces electricity for the nearby villagers.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Polonnaruwa

Poḷonnaruwa is the main town of Polonnaruwa District in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. Kaduruwela area is the Polonnaruwa New Town and the other part of Polonnaruwa remains as the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay (Tamil: அறுகம் குடா), known locally as “Arugam Kudah”, is a bay situated on the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s southeast coast, and a historic settlement of the ancient Batticaloa Territory (Mattakallappu Desam). The bay is located 117 kilometres (73 mi) south of Batticaloa, 320 kilometres (200 mi) due east of Colombo, and approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of the market town of Pottuvil. The main settlement in the area, known locally as Ullae, is predominantly Muslim, however there is a significant Sri Lankan Tamil and Sinhala population to the south of the village, as well as a number of international migrants, largely from Europe and Australia. While traditionally fishing has dominated the local economy, tourism has grown rapidly in the area in recent years. Arugam Kudah’s literal Tamil translation is “Bay of Cynodon dactylon”. Tourism in Arugam Bay is dominated by surf tourism, thanks to several quality breaks in the area, however tourists are also attracted by the local beaches, lagoons, historic temples and the nearby Kumana National Park.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Riverston

Riverston is a very popular landscape among both locals and foreigners as this is a wind gap it is amazing how the cold breeze flows with you. if you want you can climb towards the tower. It was misty yet the weather wasnt very cold. You cant see the person in front of you when its really misty, but then again it is a very much of a nature loving experience.It is a picturesque destination

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Lion Rock Sigiriya

Sigiriya, considered by some as the eighth wonder of the world, consists of an ancient castle used by King Kashyapa of the 5th century AD. The Sigiriya site has the remains of an upper Sky Palace sited on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the Mirror Wall and the Sigiriya Frescoes, the lower palace that clings to the slopes below the rock, and the moats, walls and gardens that extend for some hundreds of metres out from the base of the rock.
The site is both a palace and fortress. Sufficient remains to provide the visitor with a stunning insight into the ingenuity and creativity of its builders.
The upper palace on the top of the rock includes cisterns cut into the rock that still retain water. The moats and walls that surround the lower palace are still exquisitely beautiful.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Tangalle

Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. It is one of the largest towns in southern province. It is located 195 km (121 mi) south of Colombo and 35 km (22 mi) east of Matara. It has a mild climate, in comparison to the rest of the district, and sandy beaches.
Tangalle is a regionally important fishing port, situated on one of the largest bays in Sri Lanka, which is protected from the ocean by an enclosing reef. It is a centre of tourism and a popular holiday destination on the south coast. In the town centre there is an old Dutch fort which is used as a prison today. The Dutch and subsequently the British used Tangalle as an important anchorage on the southern coast of the island. The Dutch Fort, Rest House and Court House are a few remaining examples of Dutch architecture in Tangalle.

Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

 

Nilaveli

Nilaveli is a coastal resort town and suburb of the Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka located 16 km northwest of the city of Trincomalee. A historically popular Tamil village and tourist destination of the district alongside the nearby Uppuveli, the numbers of visitors declined following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Sri Lankan Civil War, but have risen again since 2010. Pigeon Island National Park, one of the two marine national parks of the region is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, its many species of vegetation, coral and reef fish contributing to Nilaveli’s rich biodiversity. Read MoreView on TripAdvisor View on Google

Explore Sri Lanka with Us!

 

Let us know your travel plan, and get a detailed quotation on with all inclusive prices to suit your travel needs.