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Things To Do In Sri Lanka
The tropical paradise that is Sri Lanka has much to offer to its many visitors. The collection of beaches is only one of the many good things awaiting travellers. You can immerse yourself in the cool waters or go into the depths of the island to explore its secrets. For a small country, Sri Lanka sure has a variety of things to do including sight-seeing, adventure activities on land, water and air and much more. Here is a gist of the available choices.
There is so much that one can see when exploring Sri Lanka, including the famous tea estates at Bogawantawala Valley, the many monasteries and temples, turtle hatcheries at Bentota, the many national parks and sanctuaries, elephant orphanages at Kandy etc. The list is endless.
Tour of the Past
Some of the greatest relics Sri Lanka has to exhibit are its forts. Among the ancient forts are Vijithaputra and Sigiriya, both from the central provinces. There are other Dutch and Portuguese fortresses throughout Sri Lanka like the Dutch Fort and the Star Fort near Colombo. The ruins in the sacred city at Polonnaruwa are another must see. The unusual museum at Sigiriya is also worth visiting.
Something to look out for in Sri Lanka is its fascinating caves, like the one in Batatotalena and those in Ritigala. The Dambulla cave temple with its magnificent statues and beautiful imagery is one of the most fascinating caves in the region.
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Sri Lanka is blessed with so many great beaches that one might want to just relax on the gorgeous beaches all day, but for those who want more there are a variety of options to choose from. Snorkelling and scuba diving among coral decorated waters is one the most coveted. There are many appropriate sites like Hikkaduwa at the southern coast.
The Sri Lankan waters are also a destination for surfers. Although most beaches are surf-able, the best spots for surfing are at Hikkaduwa, Arugm Bay and Weligama. People also take this to the next level with kite surfing, a sporting option available in Kalpitiya. Some of the water sports popular here are sea kayaking, boating, sailing and deep sea fishing.
If you want to kick the adrenaline rush up a notch then you should try whale watching. The boat ride takes you through pools of fishes, large and small, until it reaches Marissa Fishery Port where you can see these magnificent sea creatures up close.
Trekking and Hiking
Sri Lanka has a landscape that begs to be explored, with hills, plains and forests. Its abundant forests and gentle slopes make it an amazing place for trekking and hiking. One such route is to the summit of Adam’s Peak. Most other trek-able routes are in the Knuckle Mountain range. These paths are also great for camping. For many people rock climbing is the ultimate sport and the Sri Lankan mountains are an apt place for this. One such popular rock climbing spot is at Bambarakanda waterfalls.
Cycling is the best way to really explore the island. Bike rentals can be found in most cities at reasonable prices. What is more, you can also rent mountain bikes and wander off into Sri Lanka’s wild forests. These bike rentals can be found at Unawatuna.
Hot Air Balloon
There isn’t a more thrilling experience than to float above the beautiful country side of Sri Lanka in a hot air balloon. The Balloons float over picturesque plains dotted with greenery. They are available at Kandalama Lake, about 4 hours away from Colombo.
Elephant safari at Udawalawe National Park is a fascinating way to traverse the landscape. Viewing the scenery from such a height is bound to give a very interesting perspective. A number of other parks also offer elephant safari. Another popular Safari is the jeep safari available at Wilpattu National Park and Sinharaja Forest Reserve. During the safari a variety of birds can be viewed but the real selling point of the safari is leopard spotting.