Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, is an island country famed for its tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber and the native cinnamon.
2500 years of culture make for many ancient sites filled with mystery and, despite its relatively small size, Siri Lanka has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites crafted by artisans through the ages.
Sri Lankan painting and sculpture can be traced as far back as to the 2nd century BC and its many museums and carved buildings display this fine heritage. Modern day visitors can experience traditional culture at the country’s many festivals characterised by fire-dances, whip-dances and Kandian dances, and showcasing classical music, poets, authors and artists.
The island has enormous natural wealth in its many diverse landscapes and high biodiversity. Safari tours in the national parks provide an opportunity to sight leopards, water buffaloes, a variety of primates and hundreds of exotic birds. The hill country creates a reprieve from the humidity and heat of the jungles. Geometric green tea plantations and rain forests are the perfect setting for treks or can be enjoyed on one of the famous train rides.
The coast offers near-deserted beaches and many come to enjoy the balmy climate and Bengalese current warmed waters. Traditional Sri Lankan food is served on a plantain leaf and includes curry, wholemeal Rotis, a host of smaller dishes and wattalapam (a rich pudding of Malay origin).
Sri Lanka is remarkable in its diversity; an island full of pristine beaches, ancient ruins, friendly people, wild elephants, famous surf breaks, renowned tea, delicious eats, astounding dams and ornate Buddhist statues
Anuradhapura, sacred home of the world’s oldest living tree | Hundreds of elephants gathering in the afternoon at Minneriya | The frescoes on the Sigiriya rock fortress
− Its location and deep harbours have been of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Route through to World War II
− The location of the first Buddhist writings
− The country’s 3-decade inter-ethnic conflict ended in a military victory in 2009 and the country has been peaceful since