Often passed over by South Asian travelers, the island nation of Sri Lanka is finally making its mark on the map. Its captivating beauty is comprised of rainforests, highlands, plains, and beaches, and its age-old history tells a story more than 3,000 years old.
Situated amidst the Indian Ocean between India and the Maldives, it has the tropical climate you long for, and with a colorful culture you'll love. Sri Lanka is home to many different ethnic groups, religions, and even languages, with the most commonly used being Sinhalese and Tamil. There's a strong Buddhist past to the nation, with ruins both towering and crumbling along the dirt-packed roads. The Kingdom of Anuradhapura is a must-visit, as it's not only one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world but also one of the most sacred. It's one of the many places where you can explore and appreciate glorious palaces, temples, and even theatres that have been intricately carved out of stone.
Modern-day travelers should also trek through the hills to Kandy, the capital of the Central Province. It's here that you can witness the popular Sacred Tooth Relic and The Botanical Gardens, and take part in festivals like the Esala Perahara (which is celebrated with elegant costumes in July and August). Whether you choose to lie poolside at a gorgeous hotel like Tri Lanka or watch the elephants from Pinnawala elephant orphanage bathe in the river, a trip to Sri Lanka is money well spent.