Sigiriya

7 must-do things in Sri Lanka

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If you're having trouble choosing between a trip lounging on the beach, exploring the wild, or soaking in the history of a rich new culture, a Sri Lanka holiday is the answer.

Reasons to Visit Sri Lanka

Picturesque beaches, kilometres of rolling hills, ancient temples and ruins, and lush green forests filled with extraordinary wildlife make Sri Lanka the perfect destination to explore a little bit of everything.

But with so much on offer, there's a new problem: what sites and experiences need to be on the itinerary? To help you settle it, we've compiled a list of 7 must-do things while travelling on your Sri Lanka holiday.

SigiriyaRock fortress at Sigiriya

1. Witness the ancient rock fortress at Sigiriya

There's a good reason locals refer to the ancient rock fortress at Sigiriya as the 8th wonder of the world. Formed from the magma of an extinct volcano, sitting 200m above the surrounding jungle are the ruins of an ancient stone palace.

Outside of its crumbling walls, you can explore a maze of fortifications, gorgeous gardens, serene ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. Our trips to Sigiriya let you explore this magnificent wonder. 

Tea PlantationSri Lanka tea plantations

2. Tour the beautiful highland tea plantations

While the tea plantations are a legacy of British colonialism, they have become a truly integrated part of Sri Lankan culture. Atop gorgeous green hills that spill into an endless blue horizon, locals in brightly patterned garments gently pick leaves from the millions of tea bushes that surround them. 

Tuk TukTuk-tuk

3. Try a tuk-tuk

The tuk-tuk has become an iconic symbol of Sri Lanka. And there's no better way to explore the country than hopping into one of these small, brightly coloured, 3-wheeled vehicles and roaming off the beaten path. Travelling an average of 45km/h, tuk-tuks go the perfect speed to relax and take in the sites.

Experience these nifty little modes of transport on our Sri Lankan Highlights Tour

DambullaCave temples at Dambulla

4. Explore cave temples at Dambulla

Sitting 160m above the plain, the cave temples are carved from rock and filled with wonders you can't find anywhere else. Inside, the gilded gold walls shelter hundreds of Buddha statues and paintings, as well as other important and evocative Sri Lankan art – both ancient and modern. 

Yala National ParkLeopard lounging in a tree

5. Search for leopards in Yala National Park

Spanning 130,000 hectares of land and containing 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species, Yala National Park is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see wildlife up close. Its residents include elephants, sloths, jackals, peacocks, crocodiles – and of course – leopards.

Although the animals rule the land today, the park also reveals hints of lost civilizations in the form of ancient temple ruins.

Visit the national parks and discover more amazing animals on our Wild Sri Lanka tour

Talalla BeachTalalla Beach

6. Visit the tranquil Talalla beach

Nestled on the popular south coast of Sri Lanka, Talalla is one of the best beaches you'll ever find. While others have been overdeveloped and draw massive crowds, Talalla remains a mostly untouched, quiet gem. Instead of resorts, it's lined with towering palm trees and lush vegetation.

SinharajaSinharaja Rainforest

7. Discover Sinharaja Rainforest

Sinharaja is the last viable sliver of rainforest in Sri Lanka, and has been a protected world heritage site since 1989. It's also the perfect place to discover the beautiful and rare flora and fauna of Sri Lanka. Just remember to pack a jacket to protect yourself from the heavy rains that feed this delicate ecosystem.


If this is a place you can't wait to discover, find more Sri Lanka tours below.

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