Suspended in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean like an exquisite jewel, Sri Lanka is one of Asia’s most enthralling countries—and now that it’s emerged from many years of political turmoil and social upheaval, it is a sublime travel destination as well. With a stupendous blend of UNESCO World Heritage sites, syncretic Buddhist and Hindu cultures, incredible beaches, and diverse wildlife, this enchanted isle packs an awesome punch for its relatively small size.
There is a carnival-like atmosphere to everyday life in Sri Lanka. Spectacles abound. Fabulously painted elephants lumber along beside brass bands and boys on stilts. Fishermen drop their sails and deposit loads of shimmering fish on the sand. And everyone pauses to watch the blazing sunsets at day’s end.
Be it the tea plantations of the highlands in and around Kandy, the historical sites of Sigiriya and Dambulla, the colorful wildlife in Yala National Park, or the many amazing beachfront resorts that dot this island nation’s stunning coastline—a tour of Sri Lanka will never fail to inspire.