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Tourist attractions Sri Lanka

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  • 1 Galle Fort Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    LKA - Galle

    As early as 1589 the Portuguese built Fort Santa Cruz to protect the town of Galle. The Dutch developed the fortifications and built the Fort Quarter inside the ramparts. This intact area constitutes the vital and palpable memory of that past linking..

  • 2 Uda Walawe National Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Hambantota

    Uda Walawe National Park, the youngest of Sri Lanka's national parks (1980), was designed around Uda Walawe reservoir. This is the land of the elephants, who move in herds and whose peregrinations are contained by fences for their protection. Don't m..

  • 3 Yala National Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Palatupana

    You can take a jeep ride through the vast expanses of pasture land and dry forests that make up Yala National Park, except in the strictly protected southeastern part of the island. Elephants, wild buffaloes, sambhurs, bear, musk deer, macaques, jack..

  • 4 Pettah Quarter in Colombo Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Prince Street LKA - Colombo

    The Pettah Quarter, the former great bazar "outside the walls" of Colombo, is a jumble of crowds, auto rickshaws and eclectic little shops selling everything from dried fish to sandalwood chips. Sights to see include the Dutch Period Museum..

  • 5 Fort Quarter in Colombo Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    York Street LKA - Colombo

    You'll have to climb up to the top floor of the Grand Oriental Hotel to contemplate the harbour, fortified by the Portuguese in the 16C, since it is off limits to the public. The Fort Quarter boasts fine examples of Victorian buildings dating back to..

  • 6 Raja Mahaviharaya Interesting

    Religious buildings

    LKA - Peliyagoda

    Raja Mahaviharaya attracts fervent Buddhist worshippers to its dagoba (stupa), particularly those from Colombo to the south. The temple, rebuilt in the 18C and 19C after many trials and tribulations, boasts superb religious paintings by Solias Mendis..

  • 7 Panduwas Nuwara Interesting

    Archaeological and historical sites

    LKA - Hettipola

    A dagoba, a surrounding wall, a royal palace and two monasteries - all way out in the countryside. This is all that remains of Panduwas Nuwara, the capital of the "South Country" built by Parakrama the Great in the 12C. Be sure to visit the..

  • 8 Arankele Monastery Interesting

    Religious buildings

    LKA - Madagalla

    Arankele lent its name to the Buddhist monastery which has stood in its midst since the 6C. The forest monks, or vanavasin, observe a strict rule based on contemplation, far from the world. A paved footpath runs under the canopy of trees - a meditati..

  • 9 Kaudulla National Park Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Medirigiyira

    Herds of wild elephants cross Kaudulla National Park, located between Somawathiya Chaitiya and Minneriya parks, to the delight of safari-lovers. There are several endangered feline species here, in particular the tiny Indian leopard cat.

  • 10 Kandy Tea Museum Interesting

    Museums and art

    Hanthana Tea Factory LKA - Kandy

    In the 19C the British covered the mountainous centre of the island with large tea plantations since the plant was well-suited to the high altitude. Ceylon tea soon went on to become famous. The Tea Museum, housed in a former tea factory, recount its..

  • 11 Bundala National Park Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Tissamaharama

    The huge marshland in the southern part of Bundala National Park is a paradise for birds - and bird watchers. Over 150 species find their means of subsistence here, either permanently or in passing, like those who come from Siberia in August for the ..

  • 12 Nilavelli-Uppuveli Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Trincomalee

    The old city of Trincomalee (inquire before going and exercise caution), on the Gulf of Bengal, was built along a magnificent natural harbour. Uppuveli and Nilavelli beaches to the north are the perfect heavenly getaway boasting azure waters, golden ..

  • 13 Minneriya National Park

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Habarana

    Minneriya National Park was planned around the gigantic tank which, although smaller during the dry season, is a true Eldorado for the abundant local wildlife. You can observe the elephants bathing and the water birds fishing - a spectacle one never ..

  • 14 Victoria Randenigala Rantembe Reserve

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Kandy

    Victoria Randenigala Rantembe Reserve in the foothills of the Knuckles Range is the country's largest national reserve, feeding three reservoirs. These artificial lakes, a godsend for the wildlife, were designed by three men who lent them their names..

  • 15 Arugam Bay

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Arugam

    Arugam Bay is a pretty bay on the east coast forming a crescent between Pottuvil and Arugam. It's also the best surfing spot on Sri Lanka... which wasn't spared by the tsunami (there's a lot of reconstruction work in progress) nor by the recent civil..

  • 16 Cape Kalkudah

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Batticaloa

    Cape Kalkudah south of Trincomalee separates two vast coves with magnificent beaches coiled around them: to the north lies Passekudah Beach dotted with colourful little fishing boats, while Kalkudah Bay stretches out to the south, deserted due to its..

  • 17 Unawatuna

    Nature and gardens

    LKA - Unawatuna

    Although devastated by the 2004 tsunami, Unawatuna is back on its feet today. It is one of the most popular beaches on the southern coast, a bit like being in the countryside at the seaside, near Galle in an exceptional setting protected from the Ind..

  • 18 Kosgoda Turtle farms

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    LKA - Kosgoda

    Several varieties of turtles come to Kosgoda to lay their eggs, including green turtles, Olive Ridleys, hawksbills and leatherback. The tsunami in 2004 unfortunately decimated a great number of farms set up to protect the eggs deposited in the sand. ..

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