With beautiful waterfalls, white sand beaches and plenty of national parks, Sri Lanka is one island in Asia that is sure to please any nature lover. Recently it was selected as the second best travel destination by National Geographic and New York Times selected it as a must visit place in 2010 as well. Sri Lanka has plenty to offer for tourists in terms of culture, history, shopping and various delicacies but when it comes to nature, it has a whole lot of offer for a small island.
Being an island Sri Lanka has plenty of beautiful white sand beaches. The southern coast from Colombo to Matara is packed with luxurious beach resorts to cater to tourist needs. You can enjoy activities like snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing. Another activity that is growing popular among tourists and locals alike is Whale and Dolphin watching. Hikkaduwa beach is famous for its coral gardens and if you are experienced you can go diving among corals at an very affordable rate. Arugam Bay beach in the eastern coast is considered one of the top ten surfing beaches in the world and you can watch plenty of surfing tournaments during the season.
If beaches and sunbathing is not to your liking you can visit the central hills for a more cooler experience. There are plenty of beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka, like St. Claire’s, Devon and Dunhinda in central hills for waterfall lovers. Most of these waterfalls are located very close to each other so you can visit most of them during a weekend. There are special waterfall watching tours organized by various tour operators if you are really interested in watching waterfalls. Other than watching waterfalls you can visit tea plantations, visit the Horton plains national park which is a latest world heritage site in Sri Lanka or visit various historical caves in those areas.
Another very popular activity among nature lovers is watching wildlife in Sri Lanka. There are plenty of national parks spread throughout the country so you don’t have to travel far to visit one. Elephants, Wild Boar, Deer, Monkeys, Wild Buffaloes, crocodiles and many bird species can be found in almost any national park. If you are interested in seeing the leopard and the bear you have to visit Yala national park. Although Leopard and Bear can be found in most national parks it is much easier to spot them in Yala national park. Also if you are an avid bird watcher then it is a good idea to visit the Kumana bird sanctuary where you can find many bird species including migrating birds.
Although Sri Lanka is an relatively small island with a length of 424 Km and width of 225 Km ( 65610 Sq.Km ) there are seven world heritages sites, more than fifty waterfalls and more than fifty national parks. So if you are a nature lover it is one of the best countries in Asia to visit for many wonderful experiences.