The tiny tear drop shaped island in the Indian ocean has become the latest hotspot for tourists. After yala national park safari cost of the 30 years civil war, and all the travel advisories lifted, tourists just can’t wait to head out to the exotic island of Sri Lanka. The friendly and hospitable people of Sri Lanka, in their turn, with hands folded and ‘Ayobowan’ on their lips are ready to make your holiday the most memorable you’ve ever had.

Tourism in Sri Lanka can, broadly, be divided into three categories. The beaches, the cities of cultural, historical and religious importance and last but definitely not the least, the nature reserves. Do not be fooled by the size of the country. The tiny island is rich with places to visit from all these three categories. Join me as I unravel the wonders of Sri Lanka.

The bustling city of Colombo is the largest in Sri Lanka. It is about an hour’s drive from the Bandarnaike international airport. Just like other metropolitan cities, Colombo is a hub of activity. There are many places worth seeing. It being a coastal town, you can enjoy stunning views of the sea along with the throngs that head to Galle Face greens in the evening. If deserted beaches are what you are after, then you can head to other places, which shall figure later in my list. Other than that, you can visit the National museum, the National zoological gardens, and the Independence square which was built to mark Sri Lanka’s freedom from the British. You can shop your heart out at Majestic City, Liberty plaza or Odel. It is easy to commute around the city, with buses, radio taxis and auto rickshaws called tuk-tuks locally, readily available.

Sri Lanka isn’t just about beaches. If you travel inland there are many treasures to be discovered. If you are a fan of the cooler climate, there aren’t many places in Sri Lanka but Nuwara Eliya would definitely be one of them. Nuwara Eliya is a hill station located in the centre of Sri Lanka, just a little to the south. When Sri Lanka was under the rule of the British, this is where most of the British came for an ideal summer getaway. The impact of the colonial era can still be seen in the city, whether it may be in the nickname ‘Little England’ or in the architecture or in the various activities that you can immerse yourself in while there, such as boating, golf or horse riding.

Another very important aspect of Nuwara Eliya is that it is one of the most important towns as far as tea production is concerned. So be prepared to see endless stretches of tea plantation on both sides while you are approaching Nuwara Eliya. Don’t forget to drop in on one of the many tea factories dotted along the way there, such as the Labukele Tea estate. The people there will gladly talk you through the process of making tea from picking the leaf, to processing it, while they show you around their estate. Prepare to be baffled by the variety and flavours of tea you can buy there.