Aramcon Travel: Discovering the enchanting beauty of Sri Lanka
A jewel in the Indian Ocean, the scenic splendor of the island country is unmatched.
Nestled in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a jewel of an island featuring diverse landscapes, a rich heritage and warm hospitality. From ancient ruins to pristine beaches and lush forests, Sri Lanka offers an unforgettable experience that promises to leave travelers in awe.
Its territory offers an immense variety of landscapes and a brief taste of this enormous difference can be enjoyed in about 10 days.
Trincomalee, an ancient port on Sri Lanka’s northeastern coast, is one of the most attractive natural harbors in the world and with a long history of occupiers. Today, many visitors are attracted by its beautiful beaches used for surfing, scuba diving, fishing, and whale watching.
The Uppuveli, Nilaveli and Kuchchaveli beaches are home to picture-perfect stretches of golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. Striking corals and exotic tropical marine life at Pigeon Island (named after the rock pigeons living there) make for thrilling diving and snorkeling experiences.
The city also hosts Fort Frederik, an old fort built by the Portuguese that is now used by the Sri Lankan military (but is open to visitors). The fort features many deer and plenty of shade trees.
Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, with more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. It has five caves under a vast overhanging rock carved with a drip line to keep the interiors dry. The caves’ ceilings are painted with intricate patterns following the contours of the rock.
Anuradhapura, on the Aruvi Aru River, has been preserved as an archaeological park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982. In the immediate vicinity are huge bell-shaped dagobas (commemorative shrines or stupas) built of small sun-dried bricks, as well as, temples, sculptures, palaces and ancient drinking-water reservoirs.
Just 11 km to the east, Mihantale mountain peak hosts the oldest stupa in the world. A flight of stairs consisting of 1,840 steps lead to the summit, and though the climb can be challenging, it rewards visitors with awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding countryside.
Sigiriya is one of the country’s most historical monuments. Referred to by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World, this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The site dates back to the reign of King Kasyapa (477-495 AD) who chose this site as his new capital. Rising dramatically from the lush plains, the Lion Rock fortress — once a royal palace — stands majestically. The climb there features beautiful frescoes and well-preserved gardens leading to the breathtaking summit view of the Sri Lankan countryside.
Kandy, in the Central Province, is considered the cultural heart of Sri Lanka and was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. Situated in the hills around the Kandy plateau, the UNESCO-listed city is to sacred landmarks, landscaped gardens, and cultural museums.
Beyond the city, cloudy forests and tropical plantations roll across the mountain slopes providing plenty of hiking and wildlife-watching opportunities, while at the same time, upscale resorts line the Mahaweli River. Among the mountains, Kandy is full of misty hills and those famous blue train carriages.
Fit to a Tea
If you're a tea drinker, your cup may come from Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon), a name synonymous with tea. Brought from China in 1824 by the British, the first tea plant on the island was displayed in the Royal Botanical Gardens outside Kandy and has grown into a huge business. This teardrop island nation is still a leading tea producer and exporter with over 1 million of its 22 million people working in the tea industry. For tea enthusiasts traveling in Sri Lanka be sure to visit the Ceylon Tea Museum situated just 4 kms south of Kandy.
Nuwara Eliya, a British-built town in the hill country, is known for its temperate climate and was a favorite holiday retreat for the British elite. You can still visit its colonial-style houses and hotels.
Perched in the picturesque southern hill country, Horton Plains, Sri Lanka’s only national park, is an eerie highland plateau for hikers and a World Heritage Site. A circular trail of 10 kms in length winds through cloud forests and open grasslands that features two spectacular panoramas: Big World’s End and Little World’s End. At daybreak, its long grass and graving deer will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a different world.
Adam's Peak, one of the must-visit spots in Sri Lanka, towers above at 2,243 meters in the central highlands of the country. Besides being a holy tourist destination, Adam's Peak is extremely popular with tourists for its alluring beauty and unmatched trekking.
Of all the National Parks in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park hosts a diverse array of wildlife including leopards, elephants, sloth bears, and numerous bird species — combined with vast landscapes of the dry plains, grasslands, and lagoons — create a perfect backdrop for an unforgettable safari experience.
In Sri Lanka’s South, you can experience pristine beaches, hypnotic sunsets, and unforgettable excursions for whale watching at Mirissa and to see the iconic stilt fishermen of Weligama, as well as, to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery.
Galle is a charming coastal town that enchants with its well-preserved Dutch colonial architecture. The Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site standing as a testament to the island's colonial past and offers a delightful mix of boutiques, cafes, and art galleries.
Sri Lanka's allure lies in its ability to offer an extraordinary blend of cultural heritage, natural wonders, and tropical splendor. Whether you seek adventure, spiritual enlightenment, or simply wish to relax on pristine beaches this enchanting island will leave you with memories to treasure for a lifetime.