Sri Lanka is a magnificent island nation in South Asia that has attracted travelers for many years and continues to do so. Those who have visited Sri Lanka speak of its emerald green forests, stunning beaches, beautiful landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. In fact, the rest of the world enjoys famous Sri Lankan exports, such as tea, coffee, cinnamon and high quality coconuts.
Sri Lanka has been a center of Buddhism since ancient times. However, the nation has a diverse population, as Hinduism, Christianity and Islam also have a strong presence there. You will be mystified by the colorful sarees, the elaborate swirls of the Sinhalese alphabet, and all of the fruits, jewelry and spices that you will find in the markets. For a particularly authentic experience, we recommend that you visit Sri Lanka during the country's yearly festivals.
The Sri Lankan national flower, the Nymphaea stellata, is adorned throughout the luxurious health spas and tourism centers across the country. If you prefer something active, you can find the best surfing spots along the country's beaches. The breathtaking Buddhist monuments, tea plantations, and wildlife also present opportunities to see all that Sri Lanka has to offer!
It is generally easy to move around in Sri Lanka, as most cities are connected by the Sri Lankan Railways. Due to Britain's previous colonial culture in Sri Lanka, many urban areas have Western influence. Since Sri Lanka is a developing nation, everything comes with a reasonably low cost for travelers. Still, education is highly valued in Sri Lankan society and the country boasts a literacy rate of 92%.
Herds of elephants are protected in the southeast of the island at Yala National Park. Within this safari park, you can also see leopards, deer, and peacoks. Wilpattu National Park in the northwest is home to many beautiful water birds, from storks to spoonbills. Sinharaja Forest reserve, to name another, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you wish to take in the landscapes, visit Horton Plains, World’s End, or the Hill Country and its green tea plantations. You can also find tea plantations at Ella, a must-see attraction if you are in Sri Lanka. At Ella, you will also find beautiful temples and waterfalls. If you are craving some action, you can go surfing at Arugam Bay, a lovely beach village that also has interesting wildlife.
The ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa offer magnificent stupas and other impressive buddhist art. Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a perfectly preserved town where you can still feel the Dutch colonial history.
On April 13th, local people fill the streets to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festival. Esala Perahera is also a great festival with stunning local costumes and cultural dances, that is held every year in July or August in Kandy.
The climate of Sri Lanka is tropical and warm. The average yearly temperature ranges from 28°C to nearly 31°C. The local people wear jackets in January, when the winter season arrives with colder weather. The rainy periods are from April to June and from October to November. Monsoon rains can be expected in the soouthwestern part of the country between May and September. To avoid the rain, therefore, the best time to visit Sri Lanka is between November and April!
Previously, there was armed conflict between the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tigers, which has now ceased. However, it is still important to be careful and aware. Check the travel updates for government warnings before going.
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