Girls’ Trip To Sri Lanka? Here’s What You Need To See
If you and your friends are into adventure, Sri Lanka should definitely be at the top of your bucket list of places to visit. The small country has an array of activities to offer you from bustling seaside towns to sleepy villages in the mountains, there is something for everyone and you will definitely love Sri Lanka.
Dambulla Cave Temples
Situated in the central province, Dambulla is in the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. The town is famous for its cave temple complex, which is the largest of its kind in the country. Hike up the rock, in the morning or evenings – avoid the afternoons as it can get too hot to walk on barefoot! (Note – you are required to leave your footwear before entering the temple premises). The temple dates back to the 1st century BC and consists of five caves which collectively hold 153 statues of the Buddha, and on its walls of the cave, there are numerous paintings which chronicle different Buddhist fables. The temple’s architecture is understated and beautiful, almost merging with the rock itself and the view from the temple of the surrounding greenery is even more beautiful.
Ella’s Iconic Attractions
Hidden away in the hills of Sri Lanka, Ella is one of the most picturesque towns. If your gals are into adventure – and trekking mountains and hills, it’s the ideal place to be. Hike up Little Adam’s Peak (it’s actually more of a brisk walk than a hike) which offers some stunning views with minimal effort, or trek to the famous Nine Arches Bridge for that ‘insta-worthy’ shot! Head back to the town in the early evenings and find a seat at one of the popular bars/cafes to end the night with some fun and local spirits!
Horton Plains National Park
If hiking up Little Adam’s Peak was a walk in the park for your girl gang. Challenge the group to a trek through Horton Plains National Park instead. Begin from Haputale, a small, quiet town nestled in the hill country. The park is special because it is one of the few national parks in the hill country. The entire trek around the park is roughly 9.5km, which takes approximately three hours (depending on your fitness levels!). Two of the main attractions of the park are Baker’s Falls and World’s End, which is an 880m long precipice – so don’t go near the edge! To make your hike more enjoyable, carry a picnic with you. Keep in mind that you are prohibited from bringing plastics into the park, so wrap your food in sustainable packaging.
Located in the northwestern province, Mannar was once an important maritime town which had a thriving pearl industry. You should visit Mannar for its unique landscape; complete with white sandy beaches. The town is dotted with Baobab trees too, which were brought by Arab travellers from Africa nearly 800 years ago. Enjoy a stroll through the Dutch Fort which was built in 1658 and overlooks the ocean; making it is a good place to watch the sunset from.
On the south coast, Tangalle is home to stunning, untouched beaches that are simply perfect to lie on and work on nothing but your island glow! Once you’re done sunbathing and sipping on coconuts, explore the town’s most popular attractions like the Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara, an extremely beautiful ancient cave temple complex, which consists of seven viharas that can be dated back to the 3rd century BC, or enjoy a boat ride along Tangalle Lagoon instead.
An hour’s drive fromTangalle, you will find Matara, the southernmost point of the island. Matara has some great beaches, like Polhena Beach which is contained in a small sandy cove and protected by an offshore reef. It is also home to the oldest lighthouse in the country, the Dondra Head Lighthouse. The landscape is quite scenic making it a great spot for a quick Instagram pic!