SRI LANKA picked up the award for Asia’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination at the World Travel Awards this year, and it is little wonder why.
The island is a microcosm of varying climates and geography that offers visitors a chance to explore the highest regions at the top of its mountains, all the way down to the deepest depths of the warm Indian Ocean.
Here are a few adventures you can have in Sri Lanka.
Adventures under the waves
The island is known for its incredible surfing conditions as well as scuba diving and snorkeling. As other oceans witness their coral reefs dying because of human interference, Sri Lanka still has sea beds full of coral gardens, home to curiously colorful fish, accompanied by ancient shipwrecks once crewed by treasure hunters and fishermen. The Indian Ocean surrounding Sri Lanka is one of the richest and most intriguing diving spots in the world.
The swell above the water has intrigued surfers for the last 25 years with many surf competitions being held around the island throughout the year. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing have all recently gained popularity on the island, with many tour operators running tried and tested as well as bespoke on-the-water tours.
Creating memories for curious animal lovers
Sri Lanka boasts one of the world’s most diverse and healthiest ecosystems, including both animals and plants, the island has one of the highest rates of biological endemism. With 91 species of mammals including Sri Lanka Asian elephants, sloth bears, leopards, sambar and wild buffaloes, the island attracts those with a curiosity for wildlife.
The country offers a plethora of safari tours, with the chance to see leopards, elephants, rare red slender Loris, even rare Toque Macaque, over 400 species of birds and one of the world’s richest diversities of amphibians.
Hiking and trekking
When you need a break from soaking up the glorious sunshine on the golden beaches down at sea level, why not trek up to the island’s breath-taking mountains. Sri Lanka is home to miles of misty green landscapes, filled with green tea bushes, orchids, dazzling waterfalls and small mountain villages.
Yala National Park is one of the best-loved forests on the island. Explorers can walk the footsteps of prowling leopards and watch over the treetops where the birds can be found whistling. Throughout the lush forests lay ruins of forgotten temples, just waiting to be discovered.
Got a head for heights?
The vertical summits of Sri Lanka’s mountain range include Knuckles Range, Ella Range, Habarana, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Horton Plains and Buttala, all of which provide amateur and experienced climbers with an exciting challenge. As you climb with an expert instructor you can look down (if you dare) to see the emerald treetops bustling with busy wildlife activity.
If you’re looking for something a little less taxing but you still want to get up in the skies, take a hot air balloon tour. The balloon drifts silently above the forest, with the occasional burst of gas causing grazing wildlife below to spirt off to safety. This is an excellently relaxing, yet adventurous way to see a huge scope of Sri Lanka’s hidden treasures.
Explore the wilderness in Sri Lanka and create adventerous memories that will be hard to top.