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Popularly known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” or the “Teardrop Island” Sri Lanka is rapidly growing as a major tourist destination.  From sparkly beaches to lush rainforests, mist-laden mountain beaches to preserved colonial cities – it is truly the ultimate tropical paradise. Using exotic to describe any place in the Indian subcontinent is an overused trope. Agreed. But when it comes to Sri Lanka there is simply no other word that captures the beauty of this Island with accuracy.

Bright sky blue lagoons. Lush Virgin forests. Accommodating people. Lip-smacking cuisine. Magnificent architecture. Majestic mountains. Preserved colonial cities. While it is the ideal destination all year round, most people choose to visit Sri Lanka from March-May.  Yet, it need not be so. With fewer tourists, limited crowds and a pleasant climate Sri Lanka is also the ideal winter destination. Read on to know more about how to organise your perfect winter holiday to Sri Lanka.

Exotic Sri Lanka’s offerings are immense. To make it easier for you to plan your ideal Sri Lanka itinerary, we bring to you a list of top 20 things to do in Sri Lanka:

1. Climb Sigiriya Rock

Across forests wrapped in early morning mists, an enigmatic rocky outcrop rises dramatically into the landscape with stunning vertical walls soaring to a flat top summit. This is Sigiriya, thought to be the epicentre of the ancient kingdom of Kasappa. To climb it you must scale a series of vertiginous staircases- trekking enthusiasts ultimate dream.

Climb Sigiriya Rock

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2. Negombo Lagoon Tour

Bright blue skies, Sparkling water, Schools of fishes, Mysterious shipwrecks, Ocean floor laced with corals and crustaceans. Diving in Colombo lagoon is nothing less than visiting an underwater paradise.

Negombo Lagoon Tour

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3. White Water Rafting

As an island nation lush with rainforests and rivers, Sri Lanka has no dearth of options for those enthusiastic for water Rafting. Kitugala forest reserve, easily accessible from major cities of Kandy and Colombo, remains the best spot for this sport.

River Rafting Sri Lanka

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4. Scale Adam’s Peak

Scaling Adam’s peak is no easy task. But if you reach at the correct time to soak in the stunning sunrise with the lush green carpet of forests spread out under your feet, you will realise why it is worth it.

Adam peak Sri Lanka

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5. Tour Sinharaja Rainforest

Hiking, Trekking, Camping, Elephant safari. If you love nature there is no spot more perfect for you than that of the Sinharaja Rainforest.

Sinharaja Rainforest Sri Lanka

6. Take a cooking class

No words in any known language can do full justice to the sumptuousness of Sri Lankan cuisine. So why not try your hand at recreating these incredible recipes? Cooking class and food tours available in Colombo and Kandy starting from 1000 INR.

Sri Lanka Cooking Class

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7. Visit Dambulla Rock Temple

Standing in the Dambulla rock temple complex will imbibe you with a sense of being a part of something much larger than yourself. A world heritage site that once used to be an abode for prehistoric Sri Lankans, these carved temples will definitely leave you spellbound and stunned.

Dambulla Cave Temple

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8. Tour the Walled city of Galle

Galle was originally a Dutch fortress. If you want to take a step back in time, go back into the Sri Lankan colonial era, Galle is the perfect place to do that.

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9. Lipton’s Seat

Lipton’s seat is a destination in Sri Lanka offers breathtaking incredible sunset views.  It is here that the tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton used to survey his tea empire. If viewpoints don’t fascinate you, consider taking a touring the majestic colonial tea gardens.

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10. Visit Anuradhapura

In Anuradhapura, take your time to explore its numerous monasteries, temples and elegant ruins. Engage your inner Indiana Jones at Wilpattu National Park and Ritigala Forest Monastery. Live in luxury at the converted colonial mansion of Ullagalla.

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11. Take a trip to the Jaffna Penninsula

Ravaged by the civil war, Northern Sri Lanka had dropped off the itineraries of travellers. But now, that peace has been restored, it is slowly coming into its own.

12. Wilpattu National Park

Head to Mannar and Talaimannar. Amid African baobab trees on the Jaffna peninsula, it looks out at Adam’s Bridge, a chain of reefs and islets, that almost forms a land bridge to India. While Mannar is an island that looks to be thumbing a ride to the subcontinent. Finally end at Jaffna, where the rich Tamil culture offers sumptuous food and temples on shady backstreets that await exploration.

Wilpattu National Park

13. Visit Yala National Park

Yala National Park is rich in biodiversity and is an especially excellent place to go leopard spotting. To enjoy Yala in an absolute luxury stay at the Wild Coast tented Camp, situated in a stunning location where the jungle meets the pristine shoreline, overlooking the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The highest temperature in Yala during winter go up to 30°C. This is what makes safaris, hiking and camping in Yala during winter very pleasant.

Yala National Park

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14. Explore Kandy

Kandy is a beautiful town surrounded by a halo of forests, with mists that lift lightly like a shy bride’s veil to display Kandy’s centrepiece. Kandy, with its halo of forests, mist wrapped mountains and the sparkling central lake is another major winter tourist destination. You can live at the luxurious villa of Cinnamon Citadel, situated by a lovely river with a little forest area. Royal Botanical Gardens, National Museum of Kandy, Hulu River Waterfall, Kandy Lake, Royal Palace of Kandy, Udawattakele Forest Reserve are some of the best places to visit in Kandy.

Kandy City

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15. Go Whale Watching or Water Sports

Humpback whales, Dolphins, Sharks, blue whales, killer whales- the southern tip of the island is practically a whale highway in the months of November to February. But if whale spotting is boring for you, why not engage in some exciting water sports? On the crowded coast, you can go shipwreck diving, surfing and kite surfing. A bit inland you can go white water rafting and Kayaking. Kitugala reserve, with its biodiversity, is a terrific spot for white water rafting.

16. Go on a Cruise Trip

One of the best ways to explore less seen faces of Colombo is to take a Cruise trip. You can also hire a small boat and visit the small islands off the northern coast of the country.

17. Visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

 Less than 3 hours away from Colombo, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is known for its conservation efforts. In nearly 30 acres of lush forests, they protect elephants who are injured and can never be released back into the wild. Just make sure you are respectful to the animals when you visit here.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

18. Visit the beaches of Trincomalee

Home to various ancient temples and forts, Trincomalee is a harbour so ancient that it finds mention in the Puranas. Quaint and peaceful, it holds its own old-world charm. It is also less crowded as tourists generally prefer the nearby beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli.

19. Time out in Delft

Delft is far away from mainland Sri Lanka which is why it’s has a spectacularly well preserved Dutch heritage. After an hour’s ride by boat, one arrives at the mysterious island Karikadduwan Jetty in the Punkudutivu Island of Jaffna. Life on the island is simple yet intriguing on the isle. The coral walls that surround the homes are almost as symbolic as the palmyra trees. There are many mysteries to discover apart from the Dutch remnants.

20. Visit Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka and its verdant countryside contain almost endless expanses of tea plantations. There is nothing more relaxing than the aroma of plantations, a fresh hot cup and the delightful winter Sri Lankan season. Retreat into the luxury bungalows and chic suites of Ceylon tea trails, go hiking in the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya.

Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka

21. Visit Tea Gardens

Sri Lanka and its verdant countryside contain almost endless expanses of tea plantations. No wonder then it is the world’s third-largest supplier of tea. There is nothing more relaxing than the aroma of plantations, a fresh hot cup and the delightful winter Sri Lankan season. Retreat into the luxury bungalows and chic suites of Ceylon tea trails, go hiking in the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya or soak sunset from the magnificent views offered by Lipton’s seat. There is no dearth of experiences available at Sri Lanka’s tea farms.

22. Go trekking

With it numerous short peaks offering spectacular vistas, Sri Lanka is the trekking enthusiasts paradise. The best spot to go trekking, without any doubt, is Sigiriya. Sigiriya is an enigmatic rocky outcrop with stunning vertical walls that rise dramatically to a flat-topped summit.

Climbing isn’t easy, but the view on the top makes it totally worth it. Adam’s Peak is a similar spot offering extraordinary panoramas.  If not mountain peaks, go trekking in the rainforests. Kitugals Rainforest trekking, Sinharaja National Reserve, Horton’s national park – the options are endless.

We at Special Holidays specialize in tailor-made holidays, designed to suit your every need. Our 5days/6Nights Gems of Sri Lanka your will take you through all these major spots with absolute luxury and comfort. We offer a Colombo city tour and a special Luxury Sri Lanka tour. Just get in touch with us at our website and we will build the perfect luxury travel to Sri Lanka for you.

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