Man on cliff in Sri Lanka

Not enough people talk about visiting Sri Lanka, and we’re here to put an end to the madness. Sri Lanka is a beautiful island in South Asia, home to diverse languages, ethnicities, and cultures. In recent years, the country has gained some traction with tourist crowds but doesn’t draw in as many numbers as other South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. We’re here to change your mind and convince you that Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for your next holiday. Here are 10 reasons you need to visit Sri Lanka as soon as possible.

1. Amazing weather all year

First off, let’s talk about the climate. Of course, when you travel, you hope that you’ll get to enjoy clear skies and some hot weather. In some countries, this leaves you with a particular window when you have to visit; otherwise, you risk rain and cold. The good news is that this isn’t the case for Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka is a tropical climate and enjoys sunny weather all year round. The country does have two monsoon seasons, but these occur in opposite areas of the island during different times of the year. This means that even if you visit during the monsoon season, you can plan to avoid the impacted area. 

The southwest monsoon season runs from May to July, which is when you can explore the north side of the island rain-free. Alternatively, if you visit between October and January, you’ll want to avoid the north and explore the south instead. 

Views of the beach, water, and palm trees in Sri Lanka.

2. Diverse and unique wildlife

If you’re an animal lover, Sri Lanka will be your paradise. This small country is a thriving landscape for dozens of unique animals. Here are just a few facts:

  • Yala National Park has the highest density of leopards in the world.
  • Udawalawe National Park is home to many rare bird species, including the changeable hawk-eagle. 
  • Sri Lanka has an abundant elephant population, approximately sitting at 5,000 elephants across the country. 
  • Sri Lanka has five out of seven of the world’s turtle species: Green, hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback, and olive ridley turtles. 

You can visit the national parks to see these stunning animals. However, you don’t necessarily have to go to a park as you may also run into a few just as you explore the country! 

A herd of elephants walking.

3. Stunning, pristine beaches

There’s nothing like some beach time to make a perfect vacation. Sri Lanka has miles of beautiful, unspoiled beaches with turquoise waters. And, there’s a beach for every type of traveler. The beaches in Mirissa are quiet and more laidback, while the beaches in Unawatuna are crowded and full of parties. Bentota has the best beaches for water activities, like kitesurfing. 

Aerial view of Sri Lanka beach.

4. The delicious food 

The cuisine in Sri Lanka is delicious and full of flavor, thanks to many exotic spices. You’ll get to enjoy a ton of curries made with different fish, crab, jackfruit, mutton, and more. There’s also roti, herbal congee, and wonderfully sweet, unique desserts. We highly recommend ordering fish at every meal because practically all the seafood on the island is local and caught fresh!

A bowl of curry

5. A rich history

Sri Lanka has over 34,000 years of documented history. The country was split up into ancient kingdoms for many centuries before being colonized by the Portuguese in 1505. Shortly after, the Dutch and then the English colonized the country in the 17th century. Sri Lanka eventually gained its independence in 1948 but also struggled with a decades-long civil war from 1983 to 2009. 

This complicated history with entanglements of different cultures has resulted in a beautiful mix of heritage, cuisine, and cultures. You can see the influences of Sri Lanka’s history within the food you eat, the buildings you pass by, and the temples you visit. It’s a truly fascinating place to visit. 

6. Thriving marine life

If the wildlife wasn’t enough to convince you to visit, we have to bring up the marine life too. Sri Lanks has five species of whales often seen alongside its coastlines. You’ll see blue whales, mike whales, and even spinner dolphins if you visit at the right time. The whale-watching season in Kalpitiya is from January to March. Or, visit Mirissa, where the whale-watching season is a bit longer, lasting from November to April.

Blue whale in the water

7. Plenty of surfing

Speaking of water and the coastline, Sri Lanka also makes for a great place to surf! The country has it all – surf breaks for beginners and reef breaks for the more advanced surfers. Sri Lanka’s surf season runs from November to April on the south side and from May to October on the east side. There are coaches and schools nearby, so you can easily book lessons or rent equipment as needed. And, the waters typically aren’t too crowded, so you don’t have to wait in long lines to catch your next wave! 

Two surfers walking to the beach.

8. Affordable, luxury accommodations

Sri Lanka isn’t the cheapest country you can travel to, but it’s pretty affordable compared to some places. You can find luxury accommodations for under $200 a night. We highly recommend checking out Heritance Kandalama and Taj Samudra Colombo, for accommodations that will make you feel like royalty. 

Heritance Kandalama Hotel
Via @heritancekandalama on Instagram

9. Incredible cultural heritage sites

As we’ve mentioned, Sri Lanka has a diverse and rich cultural background. This translates to dozens of beautiful temples and cultural sites spread throughout the country. In fact, Sri Lanka has 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites, along with ancient empire ruins, gorgeous temples, and historic forts. Make sure you visit the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya, the Dambulla Cave Temple, and the Temple of the Tooth. 

Dambulla Cave Temple, Sri Lanka
Via @thingstodoinsrilanka on Instagram

10. The friendly people

The last reason that should convince you Sri Lanka is a great place to visit is the people. Although English isn’t one of the country’s primary languages, many people you meet will speak English. And, the people are always welcoming and friendly to visitors, making for an easy and pleasant vacation. 

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that Sri Lanka is your next must-do vacation!