Sri Lanka, might be compact, but within this country only a quarter the size of England is some of the most breath-taking beauty, culture and adventure that any nation can boast.
Arc Adventure work with many people booking honeymoons to Sri Lanka, holidays in Sri Lanka, school sporting trips to Sri Lanka and pretty much every sort of travel to the country you can imagine.
One of the first questions most of our clients ask is "Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka". And often because people have heard about the civil war and wonder whether it still affects the country.
Certainly, it will be a very long time before the people of Sri Lanka forget the civil war which arose out of ethnic tensions between the Sinhalese and the Tamil. It Started in 1983 as a result of an intermittent insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, commonly known as The Tamil Tigers. Based in the North and the East of the country, the Tamil Tigers fought to create an independent state called Tamil Eelam. After 26 years, in 2009, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers bringing to an end the civil war. There is so much that could be discussed about the war but the purpose of this article is to reassure you that Sri Lanka is now a safe country with so much to offer.
Since 2009 Sri Lanka has become an ever more popular destination to visit with 2018 expected to see a surge in tourism with so many travellers enchanted by a country of discovery.
The fact that Sri Lanka is safe for you or your family to travel to isn’t just our opinion, but backed up by the foreign office advice on travel to Sri Lanka, which states - “Most visits to Sri Lanka are trouble-free”
It is safe to say no one can guarantee any circumstances but visiting Sri Lanka as a tourist can be the most incredible experience.
Are there any archaeological sites to visit in Sri Lanka?
The heritage is one of the most profound and noticeable aspects about Sri Lanka and this is highlighted in the cultural triangle. The people are so proud of their country and it is really projected when you speak to the locals. Starting with the Sacred City of Anuradhapura located in the North Central Province it features some of the most ancient archaeological treasures making it an impressive reminder of an ancient civilisation that once lived in the heart of the triangle.
Polonnaruwa is known as the medieval capital and was once a great urban centre in South Asia and now sits as a reminder of the islands early craftsmen. Then you have the Cave Temples of Dambulla located in the centre of the island which shows the masterpieces of Buddhist art. Each temple displaying a scene from Buddha’s life and statues of the Buddha in various poses.
Now let’s talk about one of Sri Lanka's most awe-inspiring archaeological sites, Sigiriya Rock. Visible for miles around and magnificently placed in the landscape making it centrepieces for some hotel views but also one on many people's bucket list. Best visited early in the morning and with a burst of energy, it is great a trek to get to the top but once you are there you will be spoilt by one of the most spectacular views around Sri Lanka. What is incredible to see is the many influences from other countries including Portugal and The Netherlands but once being under British rule, there are areas of tremendous evidence from the 1800s.
Is there any wildlife for us to see in Sri Lanka?
The wildlife can be witnessed from almost every corner of Sri Lanka and not only on land but at sea and it is truly blessing to see how much the local people care for their wildlife, which isn’t always evident on travels. Minneriya National Park is famous for its elephants in numbers and it is rather humbling to see them and what a powerful part of nature they are. Yala National Park is famous for its leopards and boasts being one of the best places in the world to see them. We can’t mention elephants and leopards without giving a shout out to the final member of Sri Lanka’s ‘big three’, the sloth-bear which are most likely to be spotted at the Wasgamuwa National Park. It isn’t all about the big three though as Sri Lanka is also home to some graceful bird life and mischievous monkey’s which are exciting to capture at any opportunity throughout the country. We have mentioned the land, but what is equally inspiring is what’s at sea. Abundances of whale migrations, dolphins and home to some delicate coral reef ecosystems steaming with diversities of life.
It isn’t all about the wildlife and heritage as the natural scenery alone is enough to entice people to this small gem. From the hilltops of Kandy to the Knuckles Mountain Range and from the tea country to Adams peak Sri Lanka is rich in scenery, trails and landscapes spanning miles. With everything that Sri Lanka offers there is a vast range of activities you can try based on interest and whether you want to challenge yourself.
Sporting holidays in Sri Lanka - Cricket, and SCUBA diving:
For the sports lovers, there is nothing like spectating on new turf and with cricket being one of Sri Lanka’s biggest sports it is a great opportunity to relax and soak up the atmosphere whilst witnessing some of the worlds best players battle it out. For people that prefer much more of a challenge, you could try white water rafting in Kitulgala, west of the hill country facing some of the rapids of the Kelani River.
Visiting a completely different world altogether could be just what you need so trying SCUBA diving would be perfect for you. Witnessing what happens below the surface and the species that are there from tiny nudibranch to massive whales, trying this would open your eyes to a number of majestic and graceful species. You may like to stay on land though where you feel firmly confident and might be a trekking or cycling enthusiast and these are possibly the best ways to see some of Sri Lanka’s hidden secrets.
If you are a food lover than visiting markets and taking in all the flavours of Ceylon that you encounter would be right up your street, interacting with local chefs to understand the intimacy that goes into their food and creating the delicious and mouthwatering flavours that are at your disposal.
The biggest beauty about Sri Lanka is that there is so much to do which suits a range of interests and they are all just a short distance away. One day you could be at the top of the tea country but the next you could be overlooking the ocean, but the people are so friendly and willing and proud of their gentle culture, this helps make it the perfect destination for everyone.
There are an array of reasons people could visit this teardrop of discovery, it is a case of how far you open the imagination. It is the perfect place for a significant event, a conference where all the delegates get the opportunity to be inspired by the business they work for and build in confidence with the activities that are arranged for them. Or if you are trying to impress one of your biggest clients, why not treat them to an experience that their whole family will be able to endure. Perhaps your employees have already impressed your clients and done the most fantastic work for you already and this inspires you to create an incredible incentive that could subject them to a dream experience.
Imagine a wedding abroad where you want all your guests to be blown away by how spectacular your ceremony is complete with a warm Sri Lankan reception.
Take your sports team out and get the opportunity to play against local Sri Lankan teams whilst you tour around taking in a number of the sites and experiences.
The truth is, there is little known about this beautiful country, but there is something spectacular around every corner and that is what makes it special. You don’t know what to expect next and it is perfect for so many reasons. But if you want to recommend a different and beautiful and challenging experience to the people you want to impress, then that is why you should organise for them to travel to Sri Lanka.