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What to do in Sri Lanka

Beaches: Sri Lanka has miles of picture-perfect beaches and safe lagoons for swimming. Some of the best can be found around Bentota in the south west, where we particularly love the golden beach at Beruwala and the secluded sands at Unawatuna. For surf beaches, the waves found off the east coast stretch are the best for getting some surfing action.

Culture: From ancient ruins and bustling markets, to religious festivals and elephant rides, Sri Lanka is packed with cultural adventures. Experience the Cultural Triangle and stop at the cities of Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya to see awe-inspiring monasteries and local culture, or visit the famous market and gem museum in Kandy.

History: Fascinating heritage can be found throughout Sri Lanka but the city of Colombo has the largest concentration of historical buildings, forts, museums, temples, mosques and colonial remnants. Other historical highlights not to miss include the Sigiriya Fortresses and frescoes.

Nightlife: The capital city of Colombo is the place to go for nightlife while Hikkaduwa and Arugam Bay are famous for their organised beach parties. Elsewhere in Sri Lanka, most bars and discos can be found inside the hotels and resorts, or look for lively casinos known locally as 'clubs'.

Specialist Tours: Join us on a colonial or cultural tour of Sri Lanka, or see the highlights on our 'Best of Sri Lanka Tour'. If you're a nature lover choose from our Hill Country and Wildlife Tour, the Trekking in Sinharaja Forest or the Safari Tour in Udawalawe. We've got plenty more to choose from, so give us a call and chat to our Sri Lanka specialists to get personalised advice on tours to inspire you.

Nature: Sinharaja Forest Reserve and the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka are two astounding natural sites you won't want to miss or, for some of the greenest scenery, head to the capital of the tea industry, Nuwara Eliya, to admire sweeping views of green valleys, splendid gardens and cascading waterfalls.

For a wilder experience, visit Udawalawe National Park, home to over 400 elephants. Yala National Park is another must for nature lovers and is the biggest nature reserve in Sri Lanka.

Visiting a Tea Plantation: Exploring Sri Lanka's beautiful Tea Country gives you a historical, cultural and natural experience all in one. Extend your excursion by staying in a former colonial mansion and admire the breathtaking scenery of low-lying clouds and rolling hills.

Excursions and Attractions

adams peak - sri lanka's soul

Adams Peak - Sri Lanka's Soul

The beautiful island of Sri Lanka is adorned with magnificent historical and religious monuments, including temples, churches and shrines which are dedicated to a variety of different faiths – mainly Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism. Religious...

anuradhapura, sigiriya, kandy and pinnawela

Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Kandy and Pinnawela

A jewel in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is renowned for its striking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, which has attracted avid travellers to the island for centuries. Endless coastlines, lush tropical forests and wildlife sanctuaries merge with...

bellanwila birds sanctuary - sri lanka's treasures

Bellanwila Birds Sanctuary - Sri Lanka's Treasures

The beautiful island of Sri Lanka is undoubtedly a birdwatcher’s paradise, boasting an incredible diversity of endemic and migrant bird species. Over 430 species have been recorded here, all of which thrive amongst many diverse ecosystems which...

beruwela and kalutara tour

Beruwela and Kalutara Tour

Sri Lanka’s coastline is dotted with glorious white sandy beaches and tranquil fishing towns which are a delight to explore. Some of the prettiest and most interesting places can be found south of Colombo, the commercial capital. This relaxing tour...

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Sri Lanka recently announced plans to develop between five and eight themed tourism development zones. The plan, which will be completed in approximately five years, has the dual objective of encouraging international tourism to Sri Lanka, as well as bringing in foreign investment. Sri Lanka hopes the initiative will bring 5 million additional tourists to the country by 2020.

Wanderlust recommends travellers what to see and do in Sri Lanka

For first-time travellers to Sri Lanka, the editors of Wanderlust have compiled a list of their recommendations for the country, a small nation with a wide variety of activities and sites. Nature-lovers will love the country’s pristine beaches and national parks, and more adventurous types can venture into its jungles and mountains ranges. For those drawn to culture and history, the country also boasts numerous World Heritage Sites.

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Anantara has added a second property to its portfolio in Sri Lanka, after opening the new Anantara Kalutara Resort. Located south of Colombo on the southwest coast, the luxury resort has 141 guest rooms with private balconies and terraces, and facilities include a library, three restaurants, two swimming pools, a two-level Anantara Spa, and the Upper Deck bar with beautiful sunset views.