|Anuradhapura is situated 205 km north of Colombo in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, on the banks of the historic Malwatu Oya. Believed to have been founded by a King’s Minister named Anuradha in 500 BC it is one of the greatest monastic cities of the ancient world and the country’s first capital. The main attraction of this UNESCO World Heritage city is its well-preserved ruins of a bygone era which is now considered an important historical and archaeological site
Some of the main attraction being the 2,200 year old Sacred Bo-tree which is the oldest historically documented tree in the world, the Brazen Palace a dwelling place for the Buddhist monks built over 2000 years ago, the Samadhi Buddha depicting the Buddha in a state of deep meditation, the Kuttam Pokuna the twin ponds used by the ancient monks for bathing and Mihintale a grand stairway of 1,840 steps that leads to a summit, this along with numerous other.The temples and stupas makes this destination one of its kind.
Wilpattu National Park - just 30 minutes from Anuradhapura
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya also known as Lion Rock is a rock fortress situated 169km North Central of Sri Lanka. Having been built in the 5th Century BC by King Kashyapa to serve as his royal palace, it spreads over 3 hectares, rising up 300meters above sea level. This amazing piece of ancient architecture has been declared as a world heritage site and as the 8th wonder of the world. This is a “never missed” tourist destination that is popular for its intriguing wall paintings (frescoes) dating back to the 5th century, the Royal pleasure gardens with its hydraulic system that supplied water to the fountains, the mirror walls with its “Sigiri graffiti”, the massive “Lion” staircase entrance that is carved out of rock and the remains of the Royal palace and swimming pool that could be seen at the summit.
Dambulla is a historically important site which was founded in the 1st century BC by King Valagamba and is now an important part of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle as declared by UNESCO. It consists of over a vast, isolated rock mass with over 80 caves, most of them having been used by the monks for retreat and meditation, while 5 of the caves hold most of the valuable statues, sculptures and wall paintings.
Polonnaruwa a world heritage site dates back to the 11th and 13th century A.D. offering many attractions to its visitors. Known as the medieval capital of the country it is situated 216km fro the city of Colombo in the North East of Colombo. This ancient kingdom reveals its past glory by way of the “Sea of Parakrama” a gigantic 2400 hectare tank built by King Parakramabahu 1 in 1153-86. Also seen are the remains of the Royal Citadel, the Royal Pavilion, Council Chambers and Relic house with its stone sculptured guard stones and moonstones. The many dagabos and shrines and impressive monuments add interest to this ancient royal capital. At the famous Gal Viharaya one can see the massive granite boulders bearing the sculpturing masterpieces of the colossal standing, seated and reclining Buddha
The knuckles or Dumbara hills are a striking geographical feature which nature has bestowed on Sri lanka.These hills cover parts of kandy and matale district, and are separated from the central hills by the mahaweli valley to the south and east, and the matale valley to the west.
Ideal environment for adventure and eco holiday lovers since rocks, streams, jungle and 3 waterfalls are the main attractions around the place.
Traveling 150km from the capital city of Colombo will take you to Kandy, one of the most scenic mountainous cities in the country. Situated at an elevation of 488meters above sea level, Kandy is also known as the “Royal City” because it was a stronghold of the Sinhala Kings of the past. The “Temple of the tooth” the golden roofed Dalada Maligawa where the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha is enshrined and the vast artificial lake is the centerpiece of the town.
Famous for the “Esala Perehera” a cultural pageant that takes the streets of Kandy every year during the months of July / August. Participating in this glittering pageant are colourfully dressed dancers, drummers and close to 100 elephants. Kandy has many attractions for the many visitors who make it to this beautiful hill capital.
Some of its attractions are the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, the Kandy and Dalada Museums, ancient shrines and temples, the village craftsmen who carry on the ancient traditional craft making. Kandy is also an interesting place for shopping for antiques, curios and souvenirs made of Wood, Silver, Bronze, rush, reed and other exotic material.
Traditional Ayurveda treatments can be experienced at number of places in and around Kandy. A cultural dance show which is attracted by almost all the tourists to Kandy can be witnessed in the evening.
Buddhist pilgrims climbs the 2245m (7242ft) high mountain to honor the legendary footprint of Buddha. Approx. 300.000 pilgrims visit this place a year. Sri Pada means "holy footprint". To the Hindus the mountain is holy for another reason: they call it "Shivas Peak". Christians from the old Indian Church think that the apostle Thomas have lived there during his mission in India, and the Muslims call it "Adam's Peak" and interpret the footprints as those of the first man. In the history of religions, Sri Pada is a holy mountain of classic importance.
In addition to the religious requirement,most of the peopleclimb to the top to observe the effulgence of the rising sun which is like a magical happening created by mother nature.By the way you will pass through magnificent sceneries and will get an real experience of hill climbing adventure There is only a walking distance from Wathsala Inn to the starting point of the hill climb
Nuwara Eliya located at a height of 1890 meters above sea level is the highest and coolest city in Sri Lanka. Just 160km from Colombo this scenic town also known as “Little England” is famous for producing some of the finest high grown pure Ceylon teas. Nuwara Eliya with its salubrious climate is surrounded by mist covered mountains, gushing waterfalls, tea plantations and other exciting attractions, is the most visited hill station in the country.
Some places of interest in and around Nuwara Eliya is the scenic lake Gregory lying placidly in the center of the town, the beautiful Hakgala Botanical Gardens established in 1861 by the British, with its exotic collection of plants and trees from around the world, the Horton plains, a national park that is interspersed with vast stretches of grasslands, forest and streams of crystal clear water. At “World’s End” one can witness breathtaking scenery and awesome precipice that drops sharply down 700 -1000m to the valley far below.
Uda Walawe lies South of the central hills of the island, and it surrounds the man made reservoir of Uda Walawe, which is part of the park. It is a mixture of abandoned teak plantation, scrub jungle & grassland. The dry season is best to watch the many herds of elephant that roam the park; which is usually between May & September. Almost the entire park is covered with tall, reedy Pohon grass, which grows all year round, except during the months of June and October. Uda Walawe is a superb place to watch elephants. An estimated 500 elephants in herds to up to 100 live here. One of the reasons is the elephant-proof fence that surrounds the perimeter of the park, which keeps the elephants in and the cattle (and humans) out
Yala is where the Ruhunu National Park the second largest and one of the oldest national Parks is situated. This popular Wild Life safari destination located 350km from Colombo, its dense jungles, lagoons and Open Park and sea front areas is home to Elephant, Spotted deer, Sambur, Barking deer, Monkey, Wild Buffalo, Wild boar, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Crocodile, endemic and migratory birds, including the beautiful peacock and flamingos.
Other places of interest lying within the ancient kingdom of Ruhuna are the many archeological sites situated within the park, Situlpauwa, an ancient monastery of the 2nd century BC which is believed to have housed over 10,000 people and the Salt pans at Palatupana, a great place for bird watching.
Galle is an exquisite city filled with colonial Dutch and Portuguese history and architecture and once a major port. The imposing Fort is a tourist's treasure; it houses the national Maritime Museum, the National museum and the more recent (1938) lighthouse.
Galle fort was built first by the Portuguese, then modified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Even today, after 400 years of existence, it looks new and polished with reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. Today Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world.The Fort, like most of the forts in Sri Lanka, is built on a small peninsula, belonging to the sea as much as to the land. There are treacherous rocks in the water near the fort, and a treacherous current, so a pilot was needed to approach it. The seafloor here is littered with shipwrecks.
The world famous Unawatuna Beach which is 4 km from Galle is a relaxing, friendly place to stay along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It is ideal for safe sea bathing to experience a fun filed day. Nearby Roomassala is a strange area which is a thickly forested rocky headland famously fertile with medicinal herbs and claimed, in folklore, to be a small piece of the Himalaya dropped by Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god. A 5km trail takes in a viewpoint near the 1875 British-built lighthouse, the secluded Jungle Beach and the Japanese Peace Pagoda. The reef is known for its rich biodiversity and is an important habitat for many marine species, despite its small size. It is an important location for small-scale fisheries, collection of ornamental fish and tourism. Trekking for nature watching is very popular.
Tours on glass bottom boats to see the marine life with beautiful coral reefs around unawatuna rock island is a very popular activity. This Coral reef is a world famous attraction to get magnificent and colourfull marine life experience. You can take a tour on a glass bottomed boat to explore the coral reefs. Galle is the sort of place from which one must take away a souvenir. You may make a pick of Galle lace, -handmade, like the Brussels or the Honiton types. Where but in Galle may you plunge your hands into a bucketful of limpid moonstones or the more precious and rarer of gems, the blue sapphire or the ruby! These can be beautifully set according to your whim or wish.
Bentota is the water-sports capital of Sri Lanka and Club Bentota is the exclusive spot for surfers and jet skiers alike. Our comprehensive water sports centre is equipped with jet skis, water skis, surf boards, speed boats and much more. The sports centre attendants have plenty of tips and information to aid you. Whether you want to enjoy yourself with your friends on a banana boat or experience an adrenaline rush on a speed boat, Professional trainers can be scheduled for beginners.
Kosgoda being a coastal village located on the South Western stretch of the island, provides a very calm and relaxing atmosphere for holiday makers. Kosgoda beach is also a place of great interest where you can witness giant leatherback turtles laying eggs and also newly hatched turtles finding their way back to sea. Safe sea bathing can be experienced depending on climate conditions.
Negombo once a peaceful fishing village is today a tourist hub that draws visitors from all parts of the world. With stretches of golden beach it provides the perfect location for those who love the ocean & sun bathing, water sports and good sea food cuisine. Situated on the west coast of Sri Lanka just 37km from Colombo Negombo plays host to some interesting places moth past and present; the Dutch Fort built in 1672, buildings belonging to the Portuguese and Dutch periods, the vast array of colourful fishing boats anchored in the lagoon and the unforgettable fish auctions that take place daily amidst crowds of local fishermen bidding for the priced catch.
Just outside Negombo is the protected Muthurajawela marshland, a 6000hectare land stretch that is home to various varieties of indigenous fauna and flora. Just 7 km from the Negombo is Katunayake where the Bandaranayake International Airport, the only International Airport in the country is located.
Colombo the commercial capital of Sri Lanka is situated on the country’s west coast. It is a fascinating city with a good blend of the traditional and modern, along with a touch of the east and the west.The streets of Colombo buzz with life as people get about their chores in the colourful sprawling market places, and the streets lined with colonial buildings as well as modern high rise office and apartment blocks.
During the day Colombo has many interesting places to visit, some of them being the Colombo Museum, which is the oldest and largest museum in the country, National Art gallery and other private galleries, Zoological Gardens with its fine collection of animals, birds, reptiles and fish from all over then world, interesting places of worship which includes Buddhists temples, Hindu temples, Mosques and Christian churches, the Independence Memorial hall with its intriguing architecture, stone carvings and paintings and many more places of interest.
The nightlife in Colombo throbs with interesting nightclubs, bars and casinos. There is also a wide range of elegant restaurants serving a range of cuisine as well as the street side boutiques that serve mouth watering, spicy Sri Lankan food.