If you’re an Instagram fanatic, Minneriya National Park should top your itinerary when it comes to taking jaw-dropping photos. This place is nothing short of beautiful, and it’s classed as one of the best places in Sri Lanka to spot huge herds of elephants. Need we say more? Inside the grounds of the park, you’ll find bright-green forests, sparkling wetlands, and miles of wide open spaces – so it’s ideal for panoramic photos that show off the dramatic landscapes. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some of the rarer species that inhabit the area, including leopards, buffaloes, and crocodiles.
Sigiriya Rock is considered to be the most famous landmark you’ll tick off when visiting Sri Lanka. This rocky mound stands 600 feet tall, and hosts an ancient palace – so it’s pretty impressive. It’s the front-row views of the scenery below that draw in the crowds, though. You’ll have bird’s-eye views when you reach the top of the stairs, meaning you’ll get to soak up breathtaking vistas of the whole national park. No filter needed.
Did you know Bentota is home to one of the most stunning beaches in Sri Lanka? Its long strip of golden sand unravels for miles, and is enveloped by a thick blanket of coconut trees, so it’s great for capturing those obligatory palm tree selfies. Not only that, the sands have barely been touched, so you’ll feel like the only beach dweller here. While you’re enjoying island life, why not try your hand at surfing? The waves here are some of the best on Sri Lanka’s west coast, reaching up to six feet in height on a good day.
When it comes to whale watching, Sri Lanka holds the crown for hosting the biggest and best of them all. That’s right, we’re talking about blue whales. The world’s largest animal is a frequent visitor to Sri Lanka’s coastline, thanks to the Indian Ocean’s mixture of cold and warm waters, which means krill – aka breakfast – thrive in huge numbers and attract blue whales from all over. It won’t be hard to recognise when the blue giants are near, either. Did you know that their songs can reach up to 200 decibels? One of the highlights is when they come up for air at the water’s surface – make sure your phone is at the ready, people.
If being on dry land is more your thing, why not visit Nuwara Eliya? This place is also known as the City of Light, and boasts some of the most stunning tea plantations in Sri Lanka. Here, you’ll get the chance to sip on Ceylon tea – tourists say it’s the finest brew they’ve ever tasted. The plantations are nothing short of exciting, either. They’re more than 6,200 feet above sea level, so it’s ideal for getting off the beaten track. And the landscape is picture-perfect, too. Along with the plantations, you’ll also spot waterfalls trickling through backdrops of emerald-green forests, and you might even notice steam trains in the distance.
Ready to polish up your Instagram skills in Sri Lanka?
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Author: Olivia Hunt
Stay at Goldi Sands in Sri Lanka’s ‘Coconut Triangle’. This boutique-style hotel is set on a huge swathe of beach.
The Surf Hotel Bentota is a cool, contemporary beach hotel that’s low-rise, laid-back and perfectly located for getting acquainted with Sri Lanka’s famous surf.
You’ll be just 10 minutes’ walk away from Sri Lanka’s nightlife capital at the Hikka Tranz.
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