Safaris and seaplanes, leopards and luxury camps, Instagrammable train journeys and tea country — the natural and cultural playground of Sri Lanka has reopened to international travel, joining Thailand, UAE, and the Maldives. With world-class national parks, colonial plantation retreats and epic Unesco sites, packed within a glorious tropical coastline, Sri Lanka is one of Asia’s most underrated gems.
Although a small country, Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of endemic species in the world, spread throughout diverse environments including jungle, highland plains, marine parks, sand dunes, wetlands, savannah, mangroves and more. This unique ecology means Sri Lanka boasts several of Asia’s best national parks. Take a seaplane to famous Yala, where you’ll stay in a luxury safari camp and enjoy an open jeep safari at Wilpattu in search of leopards and crocodiles. Follow the impressive annual elephant migration at Minneriya during dry season and hike the highlands of Nuwara Eliya in search of all manner of birdlife, including the Dull-Blue flycatcher and Yellow-Eared Bulbul.
Discover the charming 17th-century Dutch fort of Galle by foot, enjoy a hot air balloon trip over Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and glimpse the revered Buddhist site of the Dambulla Cave Temples on a cultural odyssey through historic Sri Lanka. With Remote Lands, guests can explore UNESCO World Heritage sites dating from the 4th century BC and sleep in the living history of Amangalla within the ancient ramparts of Galle Fort.
Delve into tea country for the colonial and wild majesty of Sri Lanka’s interior. From Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, known as Little England, visitors can enjoy the scenery and charm of days of British Ceylon while hiking the verdant trails of the Central Highlands or taking a helicopter around Adam’s Peak. Stay in a meticulously refurbished hillside summer bungalow for the full old-world experience, and don’t forget to try the revered local Ceylon tea.
Almost every coast on this teardrop-shaped island is adorned with tropical sandy beaches. Visit the wild northeast for remote, undeveloped beaches and whale watching in Trincomalee, try surfing at bohemian Arugam Bay in the southeast, or head to our favorite beach retreat, Amanwella, in idyllic Tangalle in the far south, which is also home to nesting sea turtles. Here we’ll arrange a fishing lesson with the iconic stilt fishermen of Sri Lanka.