Sri Lanka Travel: Come & Discover this Enchanted Island

Have you thought about traveling to a destination full of surprises? Discover how a trip to Sri Lanka can reveal a mix of cultural, artistic and paradisiacal attractions still unexplored!

Be enchanted by this enchanting island. “Somehow, Sri Lanka’s spell enchanted me.” This is what the English novelist and traveler Royston Ellis say about his experience in the Sri Lanka book launched in 2011 by Bradt Travel Guides.

Just travel to Sri Lanka and experience an escapade full of charms and adventures, cultural attractions, temples, beaches and surprises that reveal to all travelers who like a good story to tell.

Sri Lanka is a small island, located in Asia, in the south of India. It is also close to the beautiful Maldives Islands.

A few years ago, the country was called Ceylon, for its strategic location, which helped the Portuguese and Dutch navigators to reach India faster.

Coconut trees on Nilaveli Beach - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Coconut trees on Nilaveli Beach – Sri Lanka

Upon arrival, you will be impressed by the number of coconut trees that exist and the frantic traffic letting any traveler crazy.

It is also normal to find an enormous amount of temples, of different religions. Although the country is Buddhist, there are other religions such as Islam, Hinduism, and Catholicism very present in the architecture and culture of each city.

Besides, you will understand better the right behavior and the respect that exists between the inhabitants and the reason for this place to be considered by many tourists the enchanted island.

Continue reading and check out the great sights, incredible places to explore like the parks for adventure safaris and even see some leopards – the symbol of Sri Lanka.

The most important information before your trip to Sri Lanka

Before your trip to Sri Lanka, plan and research the main mandatory requirements such as electrical voltages and how to get the tourist visa.

Take advantage and learn a few words in the local language (Sri Lankan) and get ready to take advantage of all the surprises that the place promises, as well as know what health care to have and their safety in the country.

Check the type of electrical voltage

At first, make sure the equipment you take and its voltage as well as the plugs before you prepare the backpack for your trip to Sri Lanka.

Electricity in Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Electricity in Sri Lanka

The types of cables and voltages in Sri Lanka revolve around 220-240 to 50Hz. You do not need any special adapters. In some outlets, you only really have to use a stylus to unlock the safety catch.

Understand how the tourist visa works

As for the Sri Lankan tourist visa, you are well aware as this is essential to enter the country. You can obtain the tourist visa online through the ETA ( Electronic Travel Authorization) portal available in several languages including English and Spanish.

ill out the form (depending on your passport) and await a response that can take up to 24 hours to let them know if your visa has been approved. The cost is about 30 euros – USD 33.8 – £26.3.

Learn a few words in Sinhalese

After checking the visa, how about learning some words about the official language of Sri Lanka? In addition to being well informed, you will surprise the locals by talking the basics in Sinhalese.

Hello — helō
Thank You — stutiyi
Please — karuṇākaralā
Yes — ov
No — epā
Clothes — æn̆dum
Tea — tē
Water — jalaya
Food — āhāra
Do you speak English? — oba iṁgrīsi katā karanavāda?
How much is this? — meya kopamaṇa mudalak væya vēda?
Lower the Price — bāgata mila

Safety and health issues in Sri Lanka

Understand now how safety and health care are as essential as the visa. Thus guarantors a quieter journey through Sri Lanka.

First of all, you should have all the mandatory vaccines up to date, especially those of very common routines to travel to other countries, such as measles, rubella, tetanus, among others.

According to the CDC (Centers for Desease Control and Prevention), website, Sri Lanka offers some risk of disease, so the traveler should take the following vaccines:

  • hepatitis A;
  • typhoid;
  • hepatitis B;

In any case, you always have to consider how many days, the place or time of your trip to Sri Lanka, because in some cases the vaccines are optional.

Thus, the best thing is to prevent and already check the possibility of getting travel insurance and reviewing the coverage for unforeseen events and accidents.

Means of transport in Sri Lanka

As mentioned before, Sri Lanka has a very chaotic movement, especially in Colombo (the capital of the country) in traffic with tuk-tuk, bus, UBER – can be 3 X cheaper than a tuk-tuk.

Uber Tuk Tuk in Colombo - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Uber Tuk Tuk in Colombo – Sri Lanka

UBER is present in major cities such as Colombo and Negombo, and even UBER Tuk Tuk is available, which maintains the experience of transport in these countries, excluding the negotiation that is plotted and endless. Just get in and out.

About the airport, the country has a main called Bandaranaike and is located about 30 km from the capital.

To get from the airport to Colombo / Negombo, there are options to catch the bus or even a UBER.

It is important to note that it is normal to find the train tickets sold out, whether for the day or following days.

Means of transport in Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Means of transport in Sri Lanka

The minivans are the best options because although slightly more expensive, you will have a much more comfortable trip. The public and private buses are always crowded.

Renting a car with a driver is a common thing in Sri Lanka, and it can be much more expensive than public transport, but it can compensate when there are no alternatives or travel in a group. The price can go from 40 to 60 Rs / Km.

As you can see, there are no major transportation solutions in Sri Lanka. Although the country is experiencing a growth in tourism, transport was not adapted to such.

Check out the fantastic destinations to visit on your trip to Sri Lanka.

Colombo (Capital)

Colombo is a city that has about 800,000 inhabitants and is the gateway to and from Sri Lanka.

It is the capital and, therefore, the economic and commercial center of the country. It is up to you to leave it at the beginning or explore it at the end of your adventure.

Although with a modernized architecture, modern buildings, it is still a city of great contrasts and many surprises. Are you curious? Read on and find out what are they.

Jami ul-Alfar Mosque, Colombo - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Jami ul-Alfar Mosque, Colombo – Sri Lanka

Start with the Mosque Jami Ul-Alfar, geometrically colored in white and red, with a robust architecture, is the place where the Muslims make their prayers.

And by the way, it is common to see several Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, and Islamist temples around the country in natural harmony.

Then there is the old Historic Center, the old Fitch hospital at the time of the colonization of the Dutch, nowadays a commercial center. It’s a place to eat something or buy spices.

After that moment of shopping, how about relaxing at Galle Face Beach? It is an ideal place to dive, sunbathe, buy something or merely enjoy the contrast of the landscape with the buildings.

Galle Face, Colombo - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Galle Face, Colombo – Sri Lanka

And speaking of buildings, there is the Fort area, built by the Portuguese, where the Presidential Palace is located. The centerpiece is the Clock Tower Lighthouse. It is also home to the Old Galle Buch Lighthouse.

In the same place of the Fort, there is another Hindu temple, the Sri Kail Awasanathar Swami Devasthanam with a facade full of golden gods.

Sri Kail Awasanathar Swami Devasthanam, Colombo - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Sri Kail Awasanathar Swami Devasthanam, Colombo – Sri Lanka

Still, in Colombo, you have to know the Pettah area, similar to a commercial center. It is interesting for a walk to talk to the merchants, buy something in the traditional market, or visit the Museum of the Dutch Period.

In the same territory know one of the oldest temples of Colombo, the Buddhist Temple of Gangaramaya. It consists of several buildings and a museum that holds many relics.

Thus it is noticed that there are many attractions to discover in Colombo. As it was said before, book the first 2 or last days to know this super interesting place. The next town is equally charming!

Negombo (closest city to main airport)

Negombo is a city close to the Bandaranaike International Airport. It is located at a distance of just over 10 km. Some travelers opt for Negombo instead of Colombo, but both are worth a visit. This choice is at your discretion.

Maybe it’s a more touristy place than Colombo, but do you really want to know something? It’s even interesting, with incredible beaches, it’s worth booking at least one day to get to see the city.

At first, visit the fish market where you find the sellers to market their own fish.

Negombo Beach - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Negombo Beach – Sri Lanka

After that, walk down to Main Street, a typically European street. And by the way, visit the Temple of Angurukaramulla or go to the colonial churches like the Church of Santa Maria, a work of art, even to appreciate the paintings of the ceiling.

Continue the journey and know the extensive Hamilton Channel. This channel passes through Negombo for about 120 km.

Also, stop at Negombo Beach and have a bite to eat in its restaurants and bars and continue your adventure in Sri Lanka.

Galle

Galle is a historic city, reserving many mysteries, starting with the name. Legend has it that the town was named Galle because the Portuguese heard the rooster crow.

Its most central icon is the Galle Forte, considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Take the opportunity to walk and observe the movement of the city.

Galle Forte is one of Galle’s top tourist attractions. In addition to the beaches a few kilometers away, you will find different shops, from souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels and, of course, the most magnificent tourist conservation.

Sunset in Galle Fort - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Sunset in Galle Fort – Sri Lanka

It is a great option to spend the last days of traveling through Sri Lanka and buy some souvenirs to take away. In Colombo, everything is spread out so you should take advantage to purchase everything you will need to take home.

It is even better to stay in Unawatuna, which is just a few km from the Galle Fort. It is an area where stands the beach of Unawatuna and especially the two small wild beaches. From there, you can take a tuk-tuk to visit the Fort. Also, you have there a train station very close.

By these and others that impresses Galle, by its charm and the predominance religious. So it’s a city that really pays off up to 1 day to visit, enjoy a magnificent sunset and discover other attractions to make your trip through Sri Lanka.

Arugam Bay (Surf Beach)

Arugam Bay is a surf beach, located in the dry zone of the southeast coast of the country. So it’s the most unique place to put on your Sri Lanka travel itinerary.

For its beautiful sands and beaches is the ideal place for you that you like a great wave or that rough sea in the late afternoon, more precisely at sunset.

Paradisiac Arugam Bay Beach, Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Paradisiac Arugam Bay Beach

Thanks to surfing, the bay has been growing and developing economically by making room for tourism. As a result, the city has become a benchmark and has hosted competitions such as the World Surfing Tour.

Besides, it is also the destination of grand electronic party festivities, attracting the most partying travelers who want music and excitement on this island paradise.

Kandy

Kandy is a town located in the mountains of Sri Lanka, located about 115 km from Colombo. Being a small city, it is easy to visit on foot the important places like the Temple of the Tooth.

Buddha’s Temple of Tooth is one of the most revered temples of Buddhism, situated in the vicinity of Kandy Lake. This temple has already entered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Buddha's Temple of Tooth in Kandy - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Buddha’s Temple of Tooth in Kandy – Sri Lanka

The temple has a modern appearance, with a vast garden just at the entrance. It was built to protect Buddha’s tooth. Three times a day the monks pay homage to the Buddha’s tooth, which is kept in a golden box.

Then, how about getting to know the tea plantations, the Buddha statue, the Asgiriya stadium or the Kandy Natural Park? The latter is an escape from the heat that is felt in the city.

Kandy National Park - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Kandy National Park – Sri Lanka

And in this park has a fantastic place to have a view of the city of Kandy.

After this walk through the park, how about going shopping in the local market? It is an excellent place to visit and see what sells there.

In Kandy, you still have the elephant orphanages to visit. Although they were founded with a beautiful idea of hosting orphaned elephants during the war against the Tamil Tigers, today they are just tourist attractions.

They program to the tourist to see, in intense sun, with the elephants stuck to the side of the road. Make no mistake about it and report this mistreatment to the elephants.

Elephant Orphanage in Kandy - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Elephant Orphanage in Kandy – Sri Lanka

Kandy, it’s a lovely town, right? It has small but intense attractions for tours. And do not stop there, this list of the best cities to visit on your trip through Sri Lanka, is a must see! Keep reading, and if you are a nature lover, you will love the next destination!

The train trip from Kandy to Ella: Nightmare or dream?

The train trip from Kandy to Ella is that route that can not miss in your adventure for Sri Lanka. We have a very complete article on this, but let’s paint a little of this fantastic experience.

Trip from Kandy to Ella - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Trip from Kandy to Ella – Sri Lanka

On this trip, you will find breathtaking lush landscapes and incredible scenery. Plus you’ll need a dose of adrenaline and a lot of waist play to enjoy the best moments this trip offers.

First of all that this trip should be much planned in the smallest details, the seat mainly. Read the article you will soon know why.

Since not everything is perfect, there are thorns during the course. But we have the best solution. Read the article about the trip from Kandy to Ella, where you will discover all the tricks to better enjoy this incredible trip!

Ella

Ella is a small town located 200 km from Colombo, at an altitude of more than one thousand meters above the sea. Can you imagine the height and the beautiful view?

This city is for those in love with nature. The ideal place with many options for trekking, sightseeing, train, temples and tea plantations.

In Ella do not miss to visit the mountain Little Adam’s Peak! You really need to go there to meet and climb the rocks, and enjoy a view of going crazy!

Little Adams Peak in Ella - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Little Adams Peak in Ella

After descending the mountain, follow to the Nine Arches Bridge. It is located in a strategic place that yields scenarios that impress any traveler.

Take advantage of the trains that pass slowly by that place from a height of 30 m.

Nine Arches Bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Nine Arches Bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka

And do not stop there, since you love trekking, you’ll love Ella Rock. The route is bigger compared to the Little Adams Peak, but it is not difficult, and the result is rewarding. You can walk or take a tuk-tuk.

The best time to go is in the morning, the total course lasts from 4 to 5h. Use Maps.me app to identify the tracks and escape the guides that charge exorbitant fees.

And in the surrounding area visit the Lipton’s Seat tea plantations. The best time to go is in the morning at most until 10am. After this time, the plantations are covered by fog, and it is difficult to see something.

Ravana Falls near Ella - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Ravana Falls near Ella, Sri Lanka

Close to Ella about 10 minutes from the city, meet and take a shower in Ravana Falls, even more, to cool off the heat you get from the city!

In this way, one can see how much Ella is a city focused on the practices of physical activities. Not to mention incredible scenery. As such, the town caters for all tastes. Keep reading the next destination is pretty wild!

Hortons Plains National Park

The Horton Plains is a wilderness area, almost in the wild, where you will trek for 9 km. It is a nature reserve in the mountains of the country. It is covered in a rainforest similar to a natural fog.

Bakers Fall in Hortons Planes - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Bakers Fall in Hortons Planes – Sri Lanka

It is entirely in the middle of the jungle, with varieties of birds, in addition to Baker’s waterfall, the slope of World’s End. This forest has an altitude of 2,100 to 2,300 m rich in exotic animals.

It is a journey that takes around 3:30 to see everything calmly and enjoy this gigantic wild nature in Sri Lanka.

The best time to do this trek is early morning, to reach World’s End before 10am when the clouds begin to rise and cut off the visibility.

Worlds End in Hortons Plains - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Worlds End in Hortons Plains – Sri Lanka

The best thing is to rent a Jeep in Ella or Nuwara Eliya, so that it takes you to Hortons Plane, wait for you and take you to the next city. This place cannot be left out of your trip to Sri Lanka.

Continue with us, for this enchanted trip, and look that has not yet been adrenaline adventurer ahead!

Adams Peak

Adams Peak is one of the highest peaks in Sri Lanka, possessing about 2,243 meters in height, a perfect place for lovers of trekking.

One tip is that you have to leave Kandy or Columbus and take a train to Hatton. You also have the option to pick up the train coming out of It.

To get to Adam’s Peak, you have to start climbing very early, at 2 o’clock, to contemplate the bright sunrise at dawn already at the top.

Sunrise at Adams Peak - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Sunrise at Adams Peak – Sri Lanka

This place is considered sacred for pilgrimage. For many, the walk has different meanings.

  • Buddhists believe that it is the left foot of Buddha;
  • Hinduists consider that it belongs to the god Shiva;
  • Christians believe that it is the first step after Adam is expelled from the Garden.

The course lasts from 5 to 7 hours. Take appropriate clothes, but do not overdo it! As soon as you climb it will be reached by an icy breeze. But as soon as the sun comes up you will be caught in unbearable heat.

Nuwara Eliya (Tea zone and highest part of Sri Lanka)

The mountain town of Nuwara Eliya is located between Kandy and Ella, known as Little England for its well preserved colonial buildings. Also, there you can trek on the highest mountain in Sri Lanka and visit the tea plantations.

It is not a city rich in activities, but great for resting in the fresh air coming from the mountains.

Perhaps one of the most exciting activities to do in Nuwara Eliya is to visit the tea factories, the production processes and then taste the teas.

Tea Plantation at Pedro Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Tea Plantation at Pedro Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya

The most well-known tea factory in Nuwara Eliya is the Pedro Tea Factory. You can also opt for other, less known and even taste the teas.

In Nuwara Eliya, there is no shortage of options to savor teas even in colonial hotels. The Grand Hotel is an attraction without many surprises. It is worth it if you are visiting with the presence of a guide and soon it will explain the historical facts.

Another tip for what to do on your trip through Sri Lanka is to climb the Pidurutalagala mountain also known as “Mount Peter”: the highest peak in Sri Lanka (2524 meters).

It is located near Nuwara Eliya. To get to the top, just by car, or jeep. Up there you will have incredible visions. Make the most of it and enjoy it.

Also, visit the Nuwara Eliya golf course on the way to the Grand Hotel. It is a broad field, with 14 holes, with a delightful grove, being only interspersed by a small area of cultivation.

Post Office Building in Nuwara Eliya - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Post Office Building in Nuwara Eliya – Sri Lanka

And there is more, visit one of the most emblematic parks in the city, very well maintained, with some types of reptiles and trees. It is a perfect place for a late afternoon.

Did you see how Nuwara Eliya is quiet and, at the same time, unlike anything you saw? It is worth booking 2 days to take advantage of all the attractions that this place has to offer. The next destination is enchanting, especially for the mysteries of the caves!

Dambulla

Dambulla is another charming city, located 178 km from Colombo and 72 km from Kandy. It attracts thousands of tourists by its mysterious statues.

The great attraction of Dambulla is undoubtedly the caves of the temple. They are located 4 km from the city and were built at the base of a huge rock, pierced with 4 caves.

Cavernas em Dambulla - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Caves in Dambulla – Sri Lanka

If the construction is something out of this world, the location is also stunning! As is common in many other temples in Asia, the top of the mountains is the often chosen site for the most iconic temples.

As with the Dambulla, the Cave Temple is located atop a mountain in Dambulla, with spectacular panoramic views. Besides, it is possible to see at the bottom of the plain the archaeological site of Sigiriya at the top of its mountain.

One tip is if you come from cities like Kandy or Colombo, you always have buses and minivans that go to the town of Dambulla. Leaving Kandy and Colombo, the route takes about 2 hours.

Arriving at Dambulla, you have the chance to go by bus to the temple or go tuk-tuk. If you prefer, for example, see the caves and then go to Sigiriya, go tuk-tuk. So watch the caves while the driver awaits you and then leave you in Sigiriya.

This will be a bit more expensive, but it will be much faster than the bus. Sometimes, when the time is short, it pays to think about the speed of travel rather than the economy of the moment.

Statues within the Dambulla Caves - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Statues within the Dambulla Caves

Dambulla is an impressive place, worth seeing the sculptures, the parks of the region or even hot air ballooning. In this case, book in advance to get better prices and save time on your trip to Sri Lanka.

Follow with us that this guide was made exclusively to stay inside the best destinations in this charming country!

Sigiriya

Sigiriya is a small village with a street in the middle of the forest where it has various facilities of hotels, restaurants, and commerce. All this to support your visit to this incredible work of humanity.

Just to think that this empire was built on top of this enormous stone, with a height of 200 meters, formed with magma from an already extinct volcano.

The beauty of Sigiriya palace - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
The beauty of Sigiriya palace – Sri Lanka

Enjoy and see the Sigiriya palace which is the eighth wonder of the world, with an impressive structure in the middle of the forest, which can be seen from a long distance.

As soon as you reach this fortress, you will see the richness of this building, with numerous ruins, caves along the way and the palace at the top.

In the past it was common for kingdoms to choose to be in high-altitude areas with good visibility around them, to defend themselves against rival nations.

Sigiriya has other attractions beyond the citadel. There are nearby the natural parks of Kaudulla and Mineria, where you will find herds of elephants living in freedom.

Sigiriya Palace - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Sigiriya Palace – Sri Lanka

The best time to photograph Sigiriya is in the late afternoon, when the sun sets on the other side, giving the stone an orange tone and creating a more uniform light around it.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is one of the oldest cities in Sri Lanka. It has a size over 12 km, with ruins of palaces, Hindu temples, and Buddhists. It is more a historical destination to put on your trip to Sri Lanka.

Go to this place by bike or visit everything by foot to absorb better the details of this ancient city.

To see everything calmly can take up to 7 hours or more. Not only for the extension (more than 12 km) but also for the excellent state of preservation and the surroundings.

There everything is very natural, with millenary trees, not to mention the usual monkeys that accompany it along the way.

Ruins of Polonnaruwa - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Ruins of Polonnaruwa – Sri Lanka

One tip, it takes shoes and socks. In Hindu and Buddhist temples you have to enter barefoot. When the sun is intense, the ground usually burns the feet intensely.

Polonnaruwa is the site of the first temple of the Buddha’s tooth, the Vatadage, a Buddhist circular temple, with Buddha statues in a lotus pose.

To see the entire citadel, you need at least 4h. If you walk, it may take longer, with the advantage of enjoying 100% of every detail of the course.

As we have seen, this destination is really challenging, just because walking barefoot in the hot and holy places is already quite an adventure! If this fate has already impressed you, the next one then, do not talk!

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is what remained of several millennial reigns. It is a small city marked by the Buddhist temples and that many of them were refugees of kings, monks, and Buddhist missionaries. This destination is inspiring, keep on reading!

This city was one of the old capitals, famous in all Sri Lanka for its ruins, declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Due to its histories of ancient civilizations, it is considered as the center of the spread of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

This is noticeable in every detail of temples, monuments, and stupas. What’s more, the city is bathed by lakes that can portray the engineering of the time.

Stupa in the old city of Anuradhapura - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Stupa in the old city of Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka

Another fact that marks this city: the temples and palaces were carved with precious stones.

Thus we perceive, for example, in the Loha Maha Prasada (Bronze Palace), a 9-story palace in which each floor had 100 rooms. Can you imagine what that was like in those days?

Remembering that we are talking about a city in ruins, then the buildings were much more robust and glorious than can be contemplated in our days.

Do not be scared, you can get to know each of these temples better in 4 hours. Be open to participating fully in each visit and who knows, relax for the next adventures we suggest in this travel guide in Sri Lanka.

Trincomalee, Uppuveli and Nilaveli

Trincomalee is the hub of the world’s largest deepwater ports, located 257km from Colombo, northwest of the island.

This place is home to beautiful beaches and its hot springs, which attract millions of tourists. Besides, it recently gained prominence as the center for whale watching.

Another fact is that it stands out for being a remarkable place that marked the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

Enjoy and visit Fort Frederick, built in the past by the Portuguese. Nearby you still have the Koneswaramtem Temple with a spectacular view and don’t forget to enjoy Trincomalee Bay while taking a natural coconut or mango juice.

Nilaveli Beach - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Nilaveli Beach – Sri Lanka

Near Trincomalee has the main highlights of the region: Uppuveli and Nilaveli.

It’s two small towns, with beautiful beaches to carry out some activities and, above all, to rest.

You do not see that tourist evasion here, perhaps because there is not much information. Many tourists prefer the Uppuveli beaches, a little further up Nilaveli, closer to Trincomalee, or other more southern beaches like Arugam Bay.

Highlights of the Nilavelli are diving and snorkeling activities on Pigeon Island with coral reefs and a vast diversity of fish, including coral sharks.

Snorkeling em Pigeon Island, Nilavelli - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Snorkeling in Pigeon Island, Nilaveli – Sri Lanka

The beach is mainly frequented by Sinhalese families, who come from all over the country, spend a weekend or a few days.

We could describe this whole place, but no matter how much you read the details, they will still be insufficient for the grandeur of this cultural experience and contact with nature.

Now, stay tuned that the next destination is almost a step in India. Confused? Continue reading and discover why!

Jaffna

Jaffna is a city that is located in the North Peninsula of Sri Lanka, with about 88 thousand inhabitants. As soon as you get there, you realize that the customs and culture of this place are predominantly Hindu, as a result of a continued presence of the Tamil Tigers in the region.

Take advantage and visit the Hindu temple Nallur Kandaswamy which is very close to the center of Jaffna. When entering, take off your shoes, the women have to be dressed very discreetly, and the men will have to take off the t-shirt to attend the ceremonies.

Hindu temple Nallur Kandaswamy in Jaffna - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Hindu temple Nallur Kandaswamy in Jaffna – Sri Lanka

But to get to know Jaffna better, the ideal is to rent a motorcycle. It takes more into account than picking up a tuk-tuk. So, travel around and get to know other interesting places.

Take advantage of getting out of the rush and relaxing on Kankesanthural beach. Be impressed with the sea that has clear waters and light blue. After discovering the beach, dive into the natural lagoon of Keerimalai.

But the best is still the islands of Nainativu and Delft further north of Jaffna. Take a bus and go to the last stop, until you reach the Kurikadduwan Pier.

The end of the road looks more like a place where the world ends, with an endless ocean around you. From there you take a boat to Nainativu, a partly wild island, but with several temples, such as the Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple.

Nainativu Island with the Nainativu Temple Nagapooshani Amman in the background | Happymind Travels
Nainativu Island with the Nainativu Temple Nagapooshani Amman in the background

When returning from the boat trips, visit the public library and the Clock Tower, built by the English. A little further on you will find the Dutch Fort, the ideal spot to enjoy a sunset and close your journey with a golden key.

As we have seen, Jaffna has much to offer, there are attractions with an Indian touch, but without losing the identity of Sri Lanka. Get to know the main events and attractions to get to know on your trip around the enchanted island.

The National Parks in Sri Lanka

The National Parks of Sri Lanka has many other attractions like doing a safari. See below a list to visit on your way around the island.

  • Kalpitiya Park — near Negombo, known as Land of the Lakes. This is because it has a diversity of natural lakes. It is the place where there are elephants and the striking presence of sloth bears among others.
Little Heron in Kalpitiya National Park - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Little Heron in Kalpitiya National Park – Sri Lanka
  • Yala Park — Do a Safari on the largest leopard reserve in the world, with wild elephants that are already threatened with extinction, buffalo, deer, among others.
Leopard in Yala National Park - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Leopard in Yala National Park – Sri Lanka
  • Kaudulla Park — this is where you will have an authentic safari experience. The varieties of monkeys, birds, buffalo, and the inevitable wild elephants will take you to another level of observation.
Elephants in the Kaudulla Park - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Elephants in the Kaudulla Park – Sri Lanka
  • Minneriya Park — is the largest park in Sri Lanka. It is close to archaeological cities like Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, and Dambulla. It is worth visiting to see the day to day of the elephants, which are the main attraction of the park.
Safari in Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Safari in Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka
  • Sinharaja Park — is more rainforest than a park. It is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a wealth of reptiles, mammals such as the purple-faced langur monkey and the giant squirrel.
Monkey Purple face langur in Sinharaja Forest - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Monkey Purple face langur in Sinharaja Forest – Sri Lanka
  • Udawalawe Park — Coming from Sinharaja, Udawalawe Park is the habitat of 400 elephants, leopards, deer, Indian hare among others. It is also attracted by species of birds from India and elsewhere.
Elephants on the street of Udawalawe National Park - Sri Lanka | Happymind Travels
Elephants on the street of Udawalawe National Park – Sri Lanka

These adventures are exciting and, according to the guides, have vast reserves of wild animals, bird species and plantations.

Another tip is to take an excursion to visit the Buddhist temple Sithulpawwa Rock. Above all, follow the guide’s guidelines and the duration of the tour.

Yes, this wildlife is just the beginning of this adventure. Continue reading, because now we will know the main celebrations of this charming country.

Main Festivities in Sri Lanka

Overall, the main festivals in Sri Lanka are well differentiated, with characteristics of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. So prepare to know how these different beliefs live in harmony.

Buddhist Celebrations

Let’s start with the Buddhist events, the Kandy Esala Perahera feast occurs between July and August. They celebrate for ten days, with dances and instruments. Another party is the Poya that occurs during the full moon.

Beyond that, there is the Wesak, the festival of lights that succeed in May. And every year they honor the Buddha’s visit to Sri Lanka with the feast Duruthu Perahera.

Commemorations of Islam

Then we have the events of Islam, like the fast of Ramadan, lasts a month. All trades are closed, without animation.

After this period, they close Ramadan with the Aid al-Fitr party with lots of sweets. Another party is the Ghadir-é Khom – celebrates the birth of Muhammad.

Commemorations of Hinduism

Amongst the Hindu parties celebrated in the Sinhalese culture, there is the celebration of Vel – honor to the god of war – that takes place between July and August. Besides this, there is the Kataragama Festival, the Shiva Festival, Deepavali.

Christian Celebrations

While Christian festivals, including Protestants who are more influential than Catholics, celebrate the same rituals. They follow our Western calendar: Christmas, Easter, Holy Friday, and New Year – all religious sides celebrate and rejoice.

Thus we see people with a culture so rich and yet so different. It is just visiting, talking, and always open to new experiences, a fresh look at people and life with each other.

We are on the final stretch of this lovely trip through Sri Lanka. But first, let us understand better about the clothes to wear.

Take appropriate clothing

As you can see, Sri Lanka is a religious country, so as a traveler you must respect the sacred sites. So wear clothes that cover your legs – below the knee – whenever you visit a temple.

Jungle Beach in Unawatuna | Happymind Travels
Jungle Beach in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

Go prepared to visit a beach and then a temple, as this is very common in the country, especially in the islands. Take fresh clothes also to visit the beaches, sunbathing or cycling around the beautiful lakes.

It is important to remember that to enter most temples you will have to be barefoot and with your knees covered, wearing, for example, a Sarong.

Then, as soon as you get to the local markets, if you can, buy several sarongs and socks to be always on the lookout for visiting temples or sacred museums.

The weather and the best time to visit Sri Lanka

The weather in Sri Lanka is predominantly tropical with humidity in some regions on the islands. Maximum temperatures range from 22 ° to 40 °. And in the higher peaks, the minimum temperatures arrive at 9 ° mainly in January.

Rain in Kandy, Sri Lanka in the month of October | Happymind Travels
Rain in Kandy, Sri Lanka in October

The monsoons usually appear there between November and January. So, the best times to visit are between December and May when temperatures soar, and rainfall is lowest in most of the country.

Getting in and Out of Sri Lanka

To go to Sri Lanka, you can go by plane and get off at Colombo Airport. The borders that come from other places are:

Sea – border with India
Air – Proximity to the Maldives Islands

In short, Sri Lanka is a lovely island, but this guide is a small sum of all the details that the places offer. Not to mention the sensations and experiences that will be unique and certainly will change your life and your concept of travel.

In Sri Lanka you will find a variety of parks, each with incredible and exotic animals. Grand temples, archaeological museums, beaches, culture, respect among peoples are a little of everything you will witness on this resplendent island!

Did you like the best destinations we suggest? Any questions? Comment this article. We will be happy to make your trip to Sri Lanka the most enchanting experience of your life !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *