Welcome to Sri Lanka
Pearl of the Indian Ocean
The tiny teardrop-shaped island country of Sri Lanka lies off the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. Back in the 13th Century, Marco Polo visited and was captivated by the natural beauty and friendly people. He regarded it as “the finest island of its size in the world.”.
To this day, it’s surprising how much this little island offers visitors. Sri Lanka is a biodiversity hotspot that teems with endemic bird species, reptiles, amphibians not to mention mammals like the iconic leopard, elephant and sloth bear. There are species here found nowhere else on earth and landscapes that leave you speechless. You can explore rivers, rainforests, mangroves, coastal lagoons, long stretches of sandy beaches plus misty highlands, jungles and so much more. The oceans are rich with life and coral reefs and the deeper waters are home to marine giants such as the Blue Whale, the largest animal alive today.
Venture into an ancient land with thousands of years of history of ancient cities and vibrant culture with amazing architectural monuments and incredible feats of engineering that can be linked to the origins of Buddhism in the country with magnificently constructed stupas and the ruined remains of ancient kingdoms. Taste the wonderful flavours of local cuisine that utilises fresh produce from land and sea. Boasting a unique culinary heritage, Sri Lankan cuisine is rich in spices with its own distinct flavour and is a fusion of traditional dishes mixed with influences from traders and colonial powers.
Sri Lanka really does offer the pleasures of palm-fringed sandy beaches, azure blue seas, lush tropical vegetation, and the epicurean delights of fresh seafood and exceptional tea. Here, the real reward is the people, a rich multicultural and multi-religious society. Expect warm hospitality, enchanting handicrafts and natural scenery that’s truly spectacular.
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At a glance
Sri Lanka, previously known as Ceylon is a small island in the Indian Ocean with a documented history spanning well over 3,000 years and an exceptionally strong influence from colonialism. Its unique location once served as a hub for trading aromatic cinnamon (still arguably the best in the world), cardamom, nutmeg, pepper along with valuable gems. Traders and colonisers from the west, namely Portuguese, Dutch and British came and went. The British governing the land for over 150 years from the 16th Century.
Sri Lanka is a hidden gem, an island paradise that offers everything you expect and more from beach time, wildlife viewing to food, culture, history and of course tea! The Sri Lankan hospitality is outstanding and it really is like the saying goes ‘arrive as a guest and leave as a friend’.
The country is well established as a tourist destination but it still remains largely unspoilt by outside influences and has retained its appeal. Due to its small size, a visit to Sri Lanka enables you to have many experiences in a limited time, go now and beat the crowds.
Let’s start with the obvious – its island charm. Being an island, the golden beaches stretch for miles and the waters are blue turquoise. So if you’re are looking for pristine waters, lovely sand, tall palm trees, stunning sunsets and time out… Sri Lanka is worth considering! Marine life is abundant and there are impressive dive sites, particularly wrecks.
Most visitors arrive into the Bandaranaike International Airport and whilst it’s referred to as the Colombo Airport, you’re actually closer to the small beachside town of Negombo. It’s only 25 minutes’ drive from the airport and a great start or finish to any Sri Lanka holiday. It’s a delightful town with decent hotels, loads of restaurants and a main street worthy of wandering. There are reminders of its European colonial times and it’s referred to as “Little Rome” due to the high concentration of Catholic churches.
Colombo is further away from the airport and a bustling and vibrant city with a heady mix of modern life, ancient historical colonial buildings and ruins.
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