Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical country with beautiful beaches, intense jungles and beautiful hills stations. With a lot to offer, it can be confusing to start with, so here´s a quick and simple guide to Sri Lanka and what it´s all about.
The North of Sri Lanka is the Tamil speaking part of the country, and until recently (May 2009) has been in civil war.
The area itself is less developed than the central or southern parts of the island, and that´s the main reason why it has far less tourism. However, the local institutions in charge of the tourism activity are hardly working in giving the importance that these areas deserve.
It´s a beautiful part of the country, although scarred, and has a large history to offer for those willing to head off the beaten trail.
With Jaffna – the northernmost city in Sri Lanka – being the foremost attraction in the north, with it´s beautiful fort and array of temples it is the most common attraction up north.
Untouched national parks like Wilpattu and Chundikkalum national parks are also becoming more popular as they have a lot less tourism than southern parks, this means you´ll find what could be described as a more authentic experience. There are also many temples dotted around the North, the majority of which are in Jaffna and the surrounding area.
The West is where you’ll enter the country, and is where the capital, Colombo, resides.
There are some beaches, and it’s a good access point for the rest of the island, but there is less to do than the rest of the island.
From here you can choose to go to the North, to the centre of the island or to the south. At the end of the day, it´s up to you! You can travel clockwise or in reverse. It will take 10 hours to go to Jaffna (the North), 4 hours to go to Kandy (the centre of the island), and 2 hours to get down South to our hostels.
The 3 biggest attractions in the centre of Sri Lanka are Kandy, Ella and Adam´s peak (Sri Pada).
They are all known for their mountainous jungle terrain and they are very popular destinations for avid trekkers.
Adam´s peak is the largest mountain in Sri Lanka, however Kandy and Ella have much smaller peaks with more relaxed and tourist friendly vibes. Both Kandy and Ella are great places to relax and hang out. With a 6-8 hour slow train ride between that whatever you do you cannot miss out on, they are regarded as some of the most beautiful areas in this part of the world. The centre of Sri Lanka is certainly one of the most serene and scenic areas in the country and you´ll find a huge contrast in comparison to the beach areas of the rest of the island.
Before your visit to the center check our pictures.
The East is less popular than the south, with less beaches to surf and relax, however it is still beautiful in its own right. The local tourist authorities are working to emphasize the touristic attraction of these areas.
Arugam Bay shines as a surf destination and the lifestyle you´ll find it has no equal. In this popular area you´ll find safaris and the elephants everywhere will surprise you.
With beaches like Trincomalee and Nillaveli, it’s certainly amazing to visit, however unfortunately it is overshone by the paradise that is the south. If you want to visit you can get there from either the North, the south or the central provinces of the Island.
The South is certainly the most popular part of the country, attracting tourists and surfers alike.
With the main beautiful beaches being so closely interlinked, it’s very easy to get around, and easy to visit the smaller more isolated beaches between also.
The South is popular with surfers but also has a large attraction with a good amount of colonial heritage (Galle) and temples littered across the whole south coast. Additionally, the south has national parks, Yala being the most popular amongst avid nature lovers hoping to spot the elusive leopard.
After this information you´ll fancy Sri Lanka! Are you coming to visit us? Here, you have just found the perfect hostels!