Sri Lanka is getting a more and more popular travel destination. What makes this country so special? And what is definitely not to miss when visiting the pearl of the Indian Ocean?
1. The train journey from Nuwara Eliya to Ella
The train ride from Nuwara Eliya (1868 m.) to Ella (1041 m.) is the most beautiful train journey in Sri Lanka. The rail winds through scenic landscapes. You’ll pass steep cliffs, sloping green hills full of tea plantations, waterfalls and small authentic villages. The train goes 40 km. per hour so there is plenty of time to take good pictures!
Ella is a small hippie village in Central Sri Lanka. Tea plantations in which you can make beautiful hikes surround the village. The main street is packed with good restaurants, cosy bars and authentic shops. Try at least once a fresh passion fruit mojito at Café Chill. Go for a good cup of coffee and lunch with jaw dropping view to 98 Acres Resort, just outside of the village. Climb Little Adams Peak for a thrilling view on the surrounding valleys and waterfalls
Fishermen village Weligama is a true paradise for beginner surfers. On the beach you can rent a board to practice by yourself or book a surfing lesson at one of the beach boys. Along the coastline are several small restaurants to try out local delicacy’s like Kottu, roti and of course the king coconut. From the rooftop bar in Hangtime you have a nice view over the bay and it’s a great place to meet some cool like-minded people.
4. Spotting wildlife in Yala
On Sri Lanka live many wild animals en exotic bird species. Bringing a visit to Yala to see them in wild is an adventurous experience. Spot elephants, monkeys, buffalos, hornbills and if you are really lucky a leopard.
Beach town Hikkaduwa is discovered by the hippies in the sixties. Since then the little town has become one of Sri Lanka’s most popular (surf) spots. Peak season is during the dry season from December to the end of April. Hikkaduwa is easy reachable from Colombo has a good surf break for beginners as well as advanced surfers and a sparkling nightlife.
6. Camp Poe
Opposite of Ahangama beach is a quiet, green garden, filled with tropical flowers, beautiful jungle plants, swaying palms, bungalow tents and a large pool. Camp Poe has a relaxed vibe; the common open living room is boho chique decorated. Every morning and evening the sweet Sri Lankan neighbor family prepares a fresh, healthy breakfast and dinner for everyone. You can book a comfortable jungle tent or a more luxury bungalow. There are yoga lessons and surf lessons can be booked in the morning and afternoon. Camp Poe finds sustainability very important. Camp Poe works together with the local Sri Lankan communities in Ahangama, they grow their own fruit and veggies, sell hip vintage clothes and give you the opportunity to learn and build ever-lasting friendships! While you’re around definitely bring a visit for a little dance on Wednesday or Friday to the Tiki Cliff Bar.
Galle is the capital town of the south coast of Sri Lanka. The city is most popular for the Dutch Fort, which is UNESCO Heritage. As soon as you enter the fort you’ll see the characteristics of the colonial time. You can make a beautiful sunset walk over the city walls. In the authentic buildings in the fort are now hip fashion stores, fine restaurants and excellent hotels.
8. Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay is a laid-back surfing hotspot, it’s the kind of place you plan to go to for three days and end up staying for two weeks. To enjoy just one more day of the mellow Arugam Bay vibe and swing in your hammock hanging at your beachfront guesthouse. The main reason people visit the east coast town is the famous point break that is known as the best surf spot in Sri Lanka.
Trincomalee is situated on a less touristic part of the east coast of Sri Lanka. The coastline consists out of deserted stretched white sanded beaches fringed with palms. Snorkel or dive at Pigeon Island in between beautiful coral gardens full of fish and sharks. Bring a visit to one of the Hindu temples during a traditional ceremony and it almost feels like you’re in India.
10. The Maldives
The Maldives are just a short flight away from Sri Lanka. If you are that close to this picture perfect paradise it is definitely worth to visit and ultimate relax for a couple days.