As you plan your holiday to Sri Lanka you most probably would start off by looking up what are the most famous attractions in the island. Most often we tend to stick to tour itineraries that cover tourist hotspots and activities that go along with these sites. But it is the less-trodden paths that often lead to the very best of surprises, and this is exactly what you can expect when you venture out from the popular tour plans to explore the equally captivating hidden treasures of Sri Lanka.
Plus, not only will you be able to enjoy the thrill of embarking on an adventurous expedition, you could also get away from the large crowds that often gather around some of the world famous attractions in the country.
Whether you are a first timer or a frequent explorer, here are some interesting suggestions you might want to consider during your next visit.
- Gal Oya National Park
If you are an adventure enthusiast you probably would have a safari expedition at one of the famous wildlife parks including Yala or Wilpattu already lined up. But if you are travelling during a peak season, you might have to put up with a lengthy queue of adventurers waiting to get in. As an alternative, you might want to try a visit to the Gal Oya National Park, home to a large number of rare and endemic species of birds and terrestrial mammals like elephant, water buffalo, Sri Lankan leopard, sloth bear and Sambar deer. To make things even better, you could cross the Senanayake Samudraya, the largest reservoir in the island, via boat to reach the park area.
- Pigeon Island National Park
You most certainly would have heard of the dreamy beaches of Nilaveli, an extremely popular honeymoon destination in the island. Located just about a kilometre away you could uncover a beautiful little treasure called Pigeon Island National Park. The shallow waters and rich coral reefs are great for diving. Even if you are an inexperienced snorkeller, you could get the chance to swim among sharks. The larger of the two islands which is known as Shark Point Reef is a great place to spot some non-aggressive Blacktip reef sharks and also several other exotic fish and turtle species among beautifully coloured coral landscapes. Check out some of the great accommodation options in Trincomalee we feature for your stay while you discover these amazing attractions.
Sure, Sinharaja Rain Forest is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. But deep within the dense forest cover is the mysterious mountain, Sinhagala also known as Lion Rock. The trek to reach this site is not for the faint-hearted and if you embark on this journey during the rainy season, you will need to be prepared for the hungry leeches that will latch onto any warm-blooded creature. If you begin your trek from the Kudawa entrance it would take about 4-5 hours to reach the summit, and once you do, you will be amazed by the breathtaking panoramic view of the rainforest canopy beneath you.
We all know that Sri Lanka is a land that boasts of a rich history dating back over 2,500 years. While some of the main Kingdoms, which are now, ruin cities, have gained world-recognition and have even been inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there are a few others that are less popular sites but definitely worth visiting in Sri Lanka. The short-lived capital of Sri Lanka, Yapahuwa is one such amazing location to visit. Here you can find a beautifully carved (almost vertical) stairway leading up to remains of the rock citadel and enclosed caves used for meditation by Buddhist monks. An eerily calm atmosphere overcomes the entire surrounding but it sure will make a perfect backdrop for some amazing photos.
Of course you would not want to miss out on visiting most of the popular attractions, but try to blend in a visit or two to some of the lesser-known attractions of Sri Lanka and create your own magical holiday experience worth talking about.