Reasons to Visit
The Cultural Triangle contains some of Sri Lanka's finest historical sites, including the ancient capitals of Pollonaruwa and Anuradhapura. These vast complexes house temples, palaces, wonderful carvings and huge stupas. Equally jaw-dropping is the Rock Fort of Sigiriya which offers 360° views, more than justifying the climb to the top!
Sri Lanka is famous for its idyllic beaches which stretch from the undeveloped eastern coast all the way around to the west near Colombo. The beaches and the accommodation vary from small intimate boutiques to luxurious resorts on private beaches and larger hotels in more bustling places.
No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without seeing some of its abundant wildlife. The best places to enjoy this are Uda Walawe, Yala, and Minneriya National Park. Here you can enjoy an exciting jeep safari which takes you close to wild elephants, crocodiles and even the illusive leopard.
Sri Lanka rises up from the coast to the hills, a rolling landscape dotted with tea bushes, and interlaced with streams and waterfalls. The lush landscape and cool climate prove to be an ideal combination for tea and Sri Lanka has long been a pilgrimage site for tea planters and tourists looking for the perfect cuppa!
Brightly painted elephants, fireworks, beating drums, and twirling dancers - Sri Lanka's festivals are as colourful and elaborate as the temples they centre on. The country’s largest festival, the Kandy Perahera revolves around the Buddhist Temple of the Tooth which is a must-see on any visit to Sri Lanka.
Some of the country's finest sandy beaches and quiet coves are found along the southern coast. Palm trees and brightly painted fishing boats on the shoreline complete the idyllic scene.
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This is a rough guide to when to travel to this region. Choose a month of travel to see typical temperature and rainfall around the country. The ticks indicate our recommended months to travel.
Sri Lanka is a year round destination with generally good weather but the country has two annual monsoons that affect different parts of the country at different times of the year: one bringing rain to the southwest lowlands and central hills from late May to late September, and a weaker second that affects the northeast of the island from November to February.
March to mid-April is generally dry throughout the country, followed by a short pre-monsoon period.
The summer months from June to September are hot in the Cultural Triangle and humid on the west coast, although pleasant sea breezes provide some respite.
Cyclones may occur from late September to late November, bringing with them heavy rains.
At about 2,000 metres above sea level, the hill country around Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains and Bandarawela is always cooler.
The Temple of the Tooth, in Kandy, is purported to hold a tooth of Buddha. It was brought to the city of in 1542, around 70 years after the city was founded, and now each August the Parahera Festival celebrates this revered relic.
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Further reading:Tours in Sri LankaHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout Sri LankaCountry Guides
Other countries in The Indian Subcontinent:BhutanIndiaNepalThe Maldives
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