Travel to an island country in South Asia that's home to Buddhist temples, diverse wildlife, a modern capital and miles of superlative beaches.
Sri Lanka is a tropical island lying off the southern tip of India. With rainforest-covered mountains, culture-rich cities, shrines and temples, you’ll find much to do. Watch elephants bathing in freshwater lakes, tour sacred sites and visit wildlife sanctuaries.
Go shopping in the malls and upmarket department stores of Colombo, the country’s commercial and administrative capital. Search for bargains in Pettah Market. View ancient paintings and sculptures dating back to the fourth century B.C. at the Colombo National Museum.
Take the children to the elephant show at Colombo Zoo and join locals for an evening stroll along the Galle Face Green Promenade. Gaze out at the Indian Ocean while sampling delicious street food.
In the mountains of central Sri Lanka, find Kandy, the country’s second-largest city. Look for the 17th-century Temple of the Tooth. It holds the relic of a canine tooth belonging to Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Learn about the history of tea in the Ceylon Tea Museum. About an hour's drive from Kandy is the Millennium Elephant Foundation where you can give the elephants a morning bath.
To see more wildlife, check out some of the country’s national parks. Hike through the wetlands of Bundala National Park where large flocks of pink flamingos stand one-legged. Join a four-wheel-drive safari through Udawalawe National Park to observe jackals, monkeys and water buffalo. Yala National Park is known for its leopard population.
Put on your hiking boots for a climb to the top of Adam’s Peak, the country’s highest mountain. For more than 1,000 years this has been a sacred mountain to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims. The ascent takes several hours no matter which trail you take. At the summit look for the small Buddhist temple and shrine.
For peaceful relaxation, explore quiet coves along more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) of Sri Lanka’s outstanding beaches.
Book a vacation to Sri Lanka for its delightful combination of culture, wildlife, beautiful scenery and adventure.