The pearl of the Indian Ocean.
We stand on top of Lion Rock. Covered in sweat, looking down at the jungle and over the horizon at Wasgawuma National Park’s hills. The sun will set in an hour. As we sit down to catch our breath and drink water, our travelers look at a series of man-made pools of different depths and the outline of a large building behind us. Just a few minutes ago, as we were climbing the last series of steep steps, we realized we were standing between the two front legs of a giant lion statue. What did this place look like in 480 AD? This massive rock column, standing alone, in a vast plain, covered with frescoes, hanging gardens, massive statues and a huge palace built where we now sit. The site of this giant palace standing on top of this mountain must have been unbelievable and historical accounts that the frescoes could be seen from many miles away.
From one UNESCO heritage site to another, Sri Lanka packs a punch few Asian countries can in such a small space… with stunning beaches, forests, lakes, waterfalls and people who yearn for peace and stability having gone through one of the world’s most devastating civil wars followed by a tsunami.
To Longitude 80, Sri Lanka is a little gem, hidden at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, small enough that you feel you can travel around in less than two weeks and know you will have seen most of it’s highlights and yet would love to stay longer because you realize you have so much more to experience. For such a small country, it is rich in its surprises. The country holds 26 national parks and our itinerary includes a day where we watch the two biggest mammals in the world - in the wild. All of this before lunch, elephants at sunrise and then in our private inflatable boat, blue whales near the coast! Not only do we also include a two-night safari in a luxury tented camp to look at the highest population density of leopards in the world, we also visit all 8 UNESCO historic sites, fly in our very own seaplane, partake in cooking classes, meet with historians and painters and stay in amazing private resorts.
This is what visiting Sri Lanka is like, wondering when the magic will stop.
The best months to visit are late December till March
WHERE DOES IT START?
The trip starts and finishes in Colombo.
DID YOU KNOW?
Yala National Park in Sri Lanka has the highest population density of leopards in the world.