By ambassador/guest blogger Jessica Norah, Independent Travel Cats
Formerly known as Ceylon, this island of Sri Lanka offers a host of attractions and experiences that will excite just about any traveler. The country is particularly known for its national parks, wildlife (chances to see elephants, leopards, rare birds etc.), whale watching opportunities, temples, beaches, and ancient Buddhist ruins.
Most international flights land in Colombo, the country’s capital, but where you head after this should be based on your interests and the weather.
Some of the highlights beyond the capital include Sigiriya (ancient fortress complex), Minneriya National Park (best known for its elephants), Yala National Park (best known for its leopards), Golden Temple of Danbulla, towns of Kandy and Galle, Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, (Sri Lanka’s holiest shrine) Tea Country area (tea plantations, waterfalls, Adam’s Peak hike), Mirissa for whale watching, and southern beaches.
« The country is particularly known for its national parks and amazing wildlife... the chance to see elephants, leopards and rare birds. »
Our 2 week highlights of Sri Lanka itinerary covers the main highlights of the country. You can use it to build your own itinerary depending on your time and interests.
We’ve loved our time traveling in Sri Lanka with its varied landscapes and attractions, and can’t wait to visit again soon!
· Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
· Language: Multiple languages, main languages are Sinhalese and Tamil. A large number of those in the tourism industry and in the larger cities speak at least some English.
· Voltage: Standard voltage is 220 V
· Best time to go: Speaking in very general terms about the weather, the best time to visit the west coast, south coast, and hill country is from December through March and the best time to visit the east coast is from April to September.
· Lodging suggestion: Sri Lanka has a variety of lodging options from hostels and guesthouses to beach resorts and luxury hotels. We have stayed in a number of Jetwing Hotels and Cinnamon Hotels properties around the island which offer good value and are located in many of the popular tourist destination. For luxury seekers, we highly recommend also checking out the Resplendent Ceylon properties, particularly our favorite Ceylon Tea Trails.
· Recommended FIG Clothing: Pack for warm and humid weather. Many of items in the FIG SAFARI and OCEAN collections are ideal for Sri Lanka. You’ll want to pack mostly lightweight easy wear clothing, with some layers and sweaters for evenings and early mornings as well as some good raingear. Women will also want to bring along wraps, scarfs, and/or sarong to cover-up shoulders and legs so you can visit religious sites.
· Other: Note that certain items can be difficult or expensive to buy in Sri Lanka so best to pack anything you know you’ll need.
Jessica Norah is a cat-loving American travel blogger currently based in Edinburgh Scotland with her British husband Laurence. The traveling couple run two travel blogs together, Independent Travel Cats and Finding the Universe.