Sri Lanka has been hiding in plain sight, at least from US travelers. Europeans love this pearl of the Indian Ocean, the place Marco Polo described as the finest island of its size in the world.

Sri Lanka offers 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 2000 years of culture, ancient temples, unspoiled beaches, verdant tea plantations, rainforested peaks, wildlife galore, and cuisine that is as flavorful as Thai, yet as light as Mediterranean. 

History lovers will delight in exploring colonial fortresses, while bird-lovers will look for 34 endemic species among the 492 species recorded.

Sri Lanka Minneriya National Park Elephant Gathering

Visitors can take a safari in one of Sri Lanka’s scenic national parks to see leopards, water buffaloes, birds and a variety of primates in the morning and spend the afternoon on a glorious uncrowded beach.

Hikers are spoiled for choice, surfers find the perfect break, and divers explore impressive reefs and wrecks.

Philosophers can learn about Buddhism while yoga practitioners perfect their asanas in a studio or on a beach.

If a good party is your thing, Sri Lankans celebrate the Buddhist and Hindu New Years in April, while July and August are the months for the Festival of the Tooth, a symbolic Buddhist festival featuring decorated elephants.

Sri Lanka is a colourful, truly unique destination just waiting to be explored.