Brief Travel Guide to Sri Lanka

What/Who/Where’s Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean, just north of the equator. As for who Sri Lankans are, we’re a friendly bunch of people who take their hospitality and food seriously. With our Sri Lanka travel guide You can travel to any remote corner of the island and have people warmly welcome you into their homes and offering you the best of what they have as a meal.
Sri Lankans speak mainly Sinhala, Tamil and English. Major religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity .

What are the major things to see in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is a tropical island, but this label hides the diversity of terrain and attractions spread across the country. There are the central mountains, for example, which reach altitudes of over 2000 metres. There are four distinct climate zones (the wet, intermediate, dry and arid zones) with differences in flora, fauna and weather patterns.
Sri Lanka has a tropical monsoonal climate.

The Beaches

Sri Lanka is renowned for its beaches. The best beaches are in the Eastern and Southern provinces, although the North and North Western provinces also have their fair share of them.
Famous beaches in Sri Lanka include:
Unawatuna (Southern Province)
Hikkaduwa (Southern Province)
Mirissa (Southern Province)
Weligama (Southern Province)
Tangalle (Southern Province)
Arugam Bay/Whiskey Point (Eastern Province)
Pasikuda/Kalkuda (Eastern Province)
• Marble Beach (Eastern Province)
Nilaveli (Eastern Province)
Casurina (Northern Province)
Kalpitiya (North Western Province)
Negombo (Western Province)
Wadduwa (Western Province)
Bentota (Western Province)

The Mountains

Sri Lanka has a mass of mountains in its interior which have a wealth of waterfalls, tea plantations, hiking trails, nature reserves and amazing views. Some popular destinations are:
Nuwara Eliya (Central Province)
Ella (Uva Province)
Bandarawela (Uva Province)
Haputale (Uva Province)
Horton Plains and World’s End (Central Province)
Knuckles Range (Central Province)
Hatton / Adam’s Peak (Central/Sabaragamuwa Provinces)

The Wilderness

Spread throughout (mostly) the dry zone of Sri Lanka are some world-class National Parks, with wildlife such as elephants, leopards, sloth bears, deer and buffaloes. They include:
Yala (Southern/Eastern/Uva Provinces)
Wilpattu (Northern/North Western/North Central Provinces)
Minneriya (North Central Province)
Wasgamuwa (North Central/Central Provinces)
Uda Walawe (Sabaragamuwa/Uva Provinces)
There are also famous wet zone forestry areas such as Sinharaja, Kanneliya, Hakgala, the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary (surrounding Adam’s Peak) and the Knuckles Range. Offshore, there are coral reefs in Hikkaduwa and the east, as well as whale/dolphin watching in Mirissa, Kalpitiya and Trincomalee.

The Historical

Civilization in Sri Lanka dates back thousands of years, and Sri Lanka is dotted with ruins from that era.
Anuradhapura (North Central Province)
Polonnaruwa (North Central Province)
Sigiriya (North Central Province)
Kandy (Central Province)
Tissamaharama (Southern Province)
Yapahuwa (North Western Province)
Kotte (Western Province)

Major Religious/Cultural Events

Sri Lanka is a deeply religious country. Festivals of a religious nature include: Vesak, all full moon Poya days, Ramadan, Deepavali and Maha Shivaratri, Christmas and Easter. Furthermore, there are cultural festivals including the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in April. Food is an integral part of all celebrations and the diversity of food is directly proportional to the wealth of cultures that coexist on this island. A list of major events and holidays in Sri Lanka:
• Independence Day (February 4, Sri Lanka gained independence from the UK)
• Maha Shivarathri (February/March, celebrates the god Shiva)
Sinhala/Hindu New Year (April, harvest festival and solar new year)
• Easter (March/April, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus)
• Vesak (May, commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha)
• Poson (June, celebrated as the day Sri Lanka received Buddhism)
Esala Perahera, Kandy (August, one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic festivals)
• Kataragama Festival, Southern Sri Lanka (July/August, in honour of the god Skanda)
• Nallur Festival, Jaffna (August/September, reported to be the longest festival in Sri Lanka)
• Ramadan (The timing changes yearly according to the lunar calendar, Islamic period of fasting and charity)
• Deepavali (October/November, Hindu festival of light)
• Christmas (December 25, celebrates the birth of Jesus)

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