The island nation of Sri Lanka is separated from mainland India by the Palk Strait, and while it takes many influences from its huge neighbor, Sri Lanka is definitely a country that enjoys its own identity. One of the real attractions of the area for visitors is the wonderful natural heritage of the island, with some wonderful national parks and UNESCO recognized sites that will take your breath away. The country also has a wonderful range of historical sites and beach destinations that are worth exploring, with the combination offering a nice range of things to do during your visit to the country.

The Best Natural Destinations In The Country

One of the most spectacular, but remote destinations in the country is the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, and although it only covers a relatively small area, it actually has a huge range of different animal species, with a small number of elephants and leopards, and a huge number of birds that will thrill the ornithologist. Kitugala is a river valley that is untouched, with one of the best trips through the area being on a white water rafting excursion, while the Yala National Park is another stunning area with easier access, which has some great safaris to allow you to see elephants and leopards among other species there.

Historic Sites Around The Country

For those who love exploring the culture and history of a country, then a visit to the historic city of Kandy is a must, as it is located well into the interior of an island, and is where the country was administered prior to it being conquered by the British in 1815. The Temple of the Tooth and the huge statue of Buddha at the Behirawakanda Temple are among the key sites to visit during a trip to Kandy. The ruins of Anuradhapura is another site from the older history of the country, while the cave temples of Dambulla are also worth seeing.

The Importance Of Sustainable Tourism To Sri Lanka's Future

With such an amazing natural heritage and some great historical sites, it is vital that these areas are protected to make sure that local people benefit without exploiting and damaging the areas that will attract people to the country. Make sure that you carry out the research on the companies you will be traveling with, as there are some operators who are not so concerned about their surroundings and simply want to make the most of the tourists without placing too much concern on the future of the area.

Where To Stay In Sri Lanka

When it comes to choosing the best place to stay during your trip, then it is worth looking at what you want from your journey. Colombo is the commercial capital and the largest city lying on the west coast of the island, while Jaffna is an equally interesting place to stay on the north coast. When it comes to beach destinations, the city of Trincomalee has excellent access to some wonderful beaches around the area, and to get a real taste of these beaches, this wonderful virtual reality clip provides a great insight into the relaxed atmosphere of this part of the country.

Getting Around The Country

Driving in the country is not something that is recommended, as the roads are potholed and even the major routes are still being improved and expanded in many cases. For the budget traveler, the national bus network is actually quite good, with fares being very inexpensive, although in some cases the buses will be old and quite hot without air conditioning. There is also a good train network through much of the country, with the Badullu to Nanu Oya line being one of the most scenic trip in the region.