Sri Lanka

Things to do in Sri Lanka

Vacationers wondering what to do in Sri Lanka won't be disappointed by the wide array of activities and outings the island has to offer. From exploring the ancient ruins and temples, to hiking through the tropical rainforests, to spotting wildlife on a nature-safari to visiting baby elephants at the country's world-famous elephant sanctuary, nature-lovers would be hard-pressed to run out of things to do in Sri Lanka.
After the island's interior has been sufficiently explored, visitors wondering what to do in Sri Lanka should head to the coasts and explore the dazzlingly white, fluffy beaches that encircle the island. Perfect for essential vacation leisure activities such as sunbathing, lounging and reading, Sri Lanka's beaches also offer up a host of nautical activities, including surfing, kitesurfing and scuba diving. For a special treat, guests should take a hot air balloon ride, an experience that provides romantic, sweeping views of the gem-like island paradise down below.

Visit this peaceful temple in Colombo, near Beira Lake; the resident elephant is a highlight.

The UNESCO-preserved fort, built by the Dutch in 1663 on Galle's southern isthmus, completely surrounds the city's Old Town.

All five frescoed caves are located 330 to 500 feet above Dambulla's southern road, the Colombo-Trincomalee.

Antique furniture, Buddhist bronzes, and royal dress are all on display. There are live puppet shows on weekends in the first-floor Children's Museum.

The shop's boho-chic sequined or embroidered silk caftans are perfect for beachside lounging.

Erected in the 18th century to guard the Buddha's sacred tooth, the pink temple is open 24 hours; there are daily prayer sessions, and a museum open to devotees and tourists.

What Lies Beneath: Hundreds of gilded Buddhist statues, some 50 feet long, sit, stand, and lie beneath 21,000 square feet of tapestry-like cave paintings depicting Buddha and his life.

The Mount of Remembrance, originally a king's fortress, sits atop a 560-foot-high rock. Buses depart hourly from Dambulla.

The travel agent of choice for a who's who of notables, including Fortune 100 companies, members of European royalty, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are all clients, Barbara Gallay has a four-decade legacy in the travel industry that's put her on a first-name basis with top hotel general managers

The ruins of Sri Lanka's medieval capital can be toured on foot or bicycle. Several buses make the trip from Kandy to Kaduruwela, the closest bus stop.

Founded in the 16th century, the largest botanic garden in Sri Lanka is 2 1/2 miles from Kandy, the country's second-biggest city.