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Sri Lanka: An exotic island in the Indian Ocean

buddha

There is a place that is considered a natural paradise with a millenary culture worthy of admiration and study, and which is characterized for being one of the most spiritual countries in the world thanks to its deep-rooted faith. 

This country, which throughout its history has had several names, becoming known as “The Island of a Thousand Names“, is located in the Indian Ocean. Its location, in the middle of the path of the main maritime routes, has made it a strategic link between Western Asia and Southeast Asia. It has been a center of Buddhist religion and culture since ancient times and today is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country. 

Sri Lanka is famous for the production and export of cinnamon, tea, coffee, rubber, and coconut. Its lush tropical forests, beaches, and landscapes, as well as its rich cultural heritage have made it a world-famous tourist destination.

If you are thinking of traveling to this earthly paradise where mysticism and spirituality are the basis of life, this post is for you. Today, you will learn about the best places to visit during your stay in Sri Lanka. So pack your backpack and get ready to meet one of the most popular destinations in Asia. 

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The best places to visit in Sri Lanka  

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura, a World Heritage Site, was one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka along with the city of Polonnaruwa. There are many archaeological sites in various states of preservation.

It highlights the huge dagoba or stupa of Ruwanwelisaya of white marble, built in the second century BC, and the Thuparama of the third century BC, in which inside is a clavicle of Buddha.

Another important place to visit is the temple of Isurumuniya, carved into the rock with a multitude of reliefs and sculptures. In the Sri Maha Bodhi temple, you will see many pilgrims, since according to tradition a cutting of the tree in which Buddha reached Nirvana is located there, which has turned it into a sacred place for the Buddhists.

The Golden Temple of Dambulla

The Dambulla cave temple, carved directly into a 300-meter-high rock, includes 5 interconnected caves. In the main part of the caves there is a large Buddha statue, along with several others. In another room tourists can observe water from a spring in the cave flowing down the cave walls.

To visit Dambulla and other destinations in Sri Lanka, you will need good accommodations. Both in Dambulla and Beruwala you can find Barceló Hotels for a dream stay. If you’re looking for hotel deals black Friday , don’t miss this opportunity. 

Ella

Ella is a small and beautiful village located in the highlands. This village has good tourist development so tourists can enjoy its wonderful mountain scenery. 

If you have time, you can reach Adam’s Peak, a mountain more than 7,700 ft high, famous as a place of pilgrimage of various religions, as it is said that the rock in the form of the footprint of the summit is the first that Adam stepped on Earth. When you reach the top of the peak, you will find a Buddhist shrine. 

Recommendation: to climb Adam’s Peak you need to be fit as you have to climb more than 5000 steps.

Minneriya

There are several national parks to visit in Sri Lanka where you can see animals in the wild, especially elephants. One of the favorites, because of the landscape that surrounds it and the large number of elephants that you can observe, is the Minneriya National Park. In this extensive park, located near the Cultural Triangle, you can go on a 4×4 safari that will allow you to get close and enjoy the largest land animal, without invading its space and always respecting nature. 

If you are looking for contact with the wildlife and nature of the island, in Pinnawala you will also find the most important elephant refuge in Sri Lanka, as well as a zoo.   

The South side Beaches

Relaxing or surfing on the wild southern beaches of golden sand and postcard-perfect palm trees is another of the best things to do in Sri Lanka.

Although they are all incredible, Unawatuna, Mirissa and Medaketiya are perfect beaches to take a swim and wait for a beautiful sunset.

Colombo

Colombo is the executive and judicial capital of Sri Lanka. It is a highly developed city with the largest and oldest seaport in South Asia. Colombo became a commercial port more than 2 millennia ago, and to this day is the busiest on the island. 

Another attraction you can visit here is the World Trade Center. This is the tallest building on the island, its height exceeds 300 ft and its design meets the highest international standards. The complex consists of 2 buildings with a connecting block, and here you will find shopping malls, offices, exclusive Sri Lankan hotels, and restaurants.

Gastronomy influenced by the West

Sri Lankan cuisine is nourished by local, Asian and European influences due to its colonial past. At the moment of tasting a bite of one of its dishes, it will reveal a new universe of exuberant flavors. 

Foods such as Kottu, the equivalent of the hamburger in Sri Lanka; Egg Hopper, a fried egg with fermented liquids of rice flour and coconut milk; Biryani, a rice-based dish accompanied with vegetables and chicken; or Fish Ambul Thiyal, a sour fish curry, are dishes that you cannot miss if you have the chance to try them. 

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