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.
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. The still-functional temple dates back to the 1st century BC, it 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.
Hidden away in the hills of Sri Lanka, Ella is one of the most picturesque towns. Ella is perfect for the more outdoorsy, you can 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. Ella is also famous for the Demodara Bridge, also known as the Nine Arch Bridge, which is a viaduct bridge that was built in 1921. Although the town is small, there is a strip of bars and restaurants, giving the town a vibrant atmosphere during the day and night.
Haputale is also another small town nestled in the hill country but unlike Ella, Haptuale is a little quieter. Although the town may not have much to do, Haputale is the ideal place as a base when visiting Horton Plains National Park. The park is special because it is one of the few national parks in the hill country; the whole trek is about 9.5km which roughly takes three hours to walk. Two of the main attractions of the park are Baker’s Falls and World’s End, which is an 880m long precipice. To make your hike more enjoyable, take a packed lunch with you so you and your girls can have a picnic in the park.
Similar to Ella, Haputale is another small town nestled in the southern end of the hill country. The town itself does not have much to offer, but it is ideal to use as a base if you decide to visit Horton Plains National Park. This is one of the few national parks in the hill country and the vegetation here cannot be found anywhere else on the island. The whole trek takes around 3 hours and a good idea is to go with a guide so that they can explain the different flora and fauna to the group.
Mannar is a slightly unconventional tourist spot, but you must visit it, nonetheless. Located in the northern province, the town is on Mannar Island and overlooks the Gulf of Mannar. It was once an important maritime town and had a thriving pearl fishery industry. You should visit Mannar for its unique landscape; it has white sandy beaches, and the town is dotted with Baobab trees, which were brought by Arab travellers from Africa nearly 800 years ago. You should also visit the Dutch Fort which was built in 1658, it right by the ocean and it is a good place to watch the sunset from.
On the south coast, Tangalle is one of the island’s most stunning beaches. Along with the usual golden sandy beaches, a penchant of the south, Tangalle also has big rocks on their beaches giving it a very rugged look. While you’re here, visit 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, and it is a great way to take a break from lazing on the beach! Another popular attraction is the Hummanaya Blowhole which is just a 20 minute Tuk Tuk ride from Tangalle town.
An hour 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!