Colombo is the Capital City of Sri Lanka and it is the commercial hub. There are many foreign and local banks, 5 star hotels, restaurants, casino karaoke pubs & night clubs, shopping malls, national museum , churches, temples with beautiful ceiling paintings, kovils and mosques etc..
Kandy (116 km from Colombo )
Kandy , the last Capital of the Sinhalese kings, is one of the most beautiful cities in the island. The internationally known Dalada Maligawa (temple of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha), temples with beautiful paintings, wood carvings, Royal botanical garden, Kandyan dancing cultural shows, Kandy lake, Kandy perahera (procession with a train of musicians, dancers, acrobats and other performers usually accompanied by a number of elephants) can be seen when you are in Kandy.
Pinnawala is the largest elephant orphanage situated on the way to Kandy , where orphaned elephants that are abandoned by the mother elephants, are allowed to be in herds under very natural conditions. The elephants bathe in rivers and baby elephants can be seen fed with milk. It is a rare opportunity to visit a place like this and it should not be missed.
Spice Gardens & Herbal Gardens
Many spice and herbal gardens can be seen on the way to Kandy and possibilities are there to purchase fresh spices and herbs in those places.
Nuwara Eliya (180 km from Colombo )
The best tea in the world is grown in Nuwara Eliya. Fantastic tea plantations, tea factories and tea pluckers can be seen working hard in the cold climate of this hill country. There is a golf course, botanical garden and water falls in the area. It would be a very pleasant experience to visit a tea plantation & a factory and enjoy a factory fresh free cup of tea. Horton Plains, situated 32 km from Nuwara Eliya, with World's End that has an 885 metre drop is a place that should not be missed.
Dambulla (148 km from Colombo)
An Ancient rock temple with five caves and more than a hundred statues including the famous reclining Buddha and frescoes depicting various events in the life of Buddha.
Sigiriya (169 km from Colombo )
A rock fortress with the remains of an ancient (5 th century AD) royal palace, buildings, water gardens and many enchanting frescoes painted on the rock face all of which covers an area of 3 hectares. The rock face is about 100 metres above ground level and below the paintings, a polished face of the rock called the Mirror Wall is located with 'Sigiri Graffiti', a set of poems written by visitors of ancient times.
Polonnaruwa (216 km from Colombo )
Medieval capital of the island with the remains of the ancient city that once had beautified parks & gardens and art & architecture in many scattered shrines & monuments venerated by devotees. The Parakrama Samudra, the largest man made reservoir and the temple 'Gal Viharaya' with master pieces of sculpture of the Buddha can be seen here.
Anuradhapura (206 km from Colombo)
1st capital, of the country in ancient times that once was a model city with planned buildings, temples, and irrigation tanks. It had many palaces, hospitals, hostels and cemeteries with an irrigation system based on complex hydraulic principles considered as an engineering marvel. Abhayagiri & Jethawana stupas, Ruwenweliseya Dagoba and Samadhi Buddha statue are some of the remains reminiscent of a rich past. Kuttam Pokuna which is a twin pond and Sri Maha Bodhi which is the sacred Bodhi Tree are the other sites to be visited. Tisa Wewa which is a lake enchanting should not be forgotten.
Situated 11 km east of Anuradhapura , this ancient “Citadel of Buddhism” was identified as a great monastic city.
Situated 50 km west of Anuradhapura , could be visited from Anuradhapura as a half day tour. It is the habitat of elephants, leopards, sloth bear, deer and sambhur. It has several lakes that attract thousands of water birds.
Trincomalee (257 km from Colombo)
Situated in the eastern coast with one of the finest natural harbours in the world, all water sports are available here. Fishing, sea angling, diving and whale watching in its sanctuary are the specialities. Hot water wells are an attraction and a bathing spot.
Situated 16 km from Trincomalee, has the most famous and beautiful beach on the east coast and a short boat ride off the beach will lead to pigeon island. Famous for blue sperm whales and some of the most exquisite coral formations, this location should not be missed on a visit to the east.
Batticaloa (314 km from Colombo)
Batticaloa is famous for its singing fish and picturesque lagoon. About 32 km away, Kalkudha Bay has clear, calm and reef protected sea ideal for bathing. Pasikudha has a fine bay with clear waters ideal for wind surfers and water skiers.
Jaffna (396 km from Colombo)
The Jaffna peninsula, where many Sri Lankan Tamils live, has a rich cultural past and much valued traditions. It is famous for Kooththu a variety of stage dramas in dance that have been staged from the Dutch era. The Palmyra Palm tree is widely cultivated and finds important use economically where young plants are cooked as a vegetable or roasted and pounded to make meal. Many interesting sites such as Hindu Kovils, Christian churches and an Island called Naga Deepa visited by Buddha in the distant past are there to be seen by visitors to this region.
Mannar (312 km from Colombo)
Mannar is a district where many Buddhist, Hindu and Catholic places of worship both ancient and modern could be seen and it is basically a fishing area that could serve the country's economy in a beneficial way. Christians have lived here from Portuguese times and it had been the principal port of the ancient kings that had been very vital to trade & economy of the country in the past too.
Negombo (35 km from Colombo)
About 6 km from the international airport many tourist hotels are located here along the beaches where plenty of sea food such as prawns, lobsters, crab and other fish are served with delicious meals, as Negombo is a characteristic fishing town with boats and catamarans that are used to catch fish from the lagoon and the sea there. Many tourists visit this place to spend the time in the beaches.
Bentota (64 km from Colombo)
With hotels and facilities for water sports and a stretchy beach ideal for swimming and relaxation. This town where the river and the sea meet offers many opportunities for river and sea sports and the evenings can be spent in open air theatre showing folk and mask dancing.
Hikkaduwa (99 km from Colombo)
Famous for developed beach resorts with the famed Coral Gardens and under water delights. Glass bottomed boats can be hired or diving equipment can be obtained to explore the under water fantasies in the sea.
Galle (116 km from Colombo)
With a natural harbour and an ancient Dutch Fort, the place is famous for lace making, ebony carving and other handy craft.
Unawatuna (124 km from Colombo)
With one of the best beaches in the world, Unawatuna is ideal for snorkelling and swimming with added attractions such as coral reefs and bird watching locations that favourite spots for tourists. Tilt fishing is common in this area which is famous for its tropical charm.
Kataragama (283 km from Colombo)
One of the most important sites for pilgrims and it is an exciting event to visit this place during the festive season of July & August to watch pilgrims perform acts in fulfilling vows, fasting, meditation, prayers and bathing in the river for purification before their final act of worship at the Maha Dewale.
Yala National Park (305 km from Colombo)
The most important wild life sanctuary in the island with many mammals and bird species to be watched on wild life safaris that may take up to half a day. Yala is famous for tuskers and leopards and a wide range of other animals and birds.
Pottuvil – Arugambay (322 km from Colombo)
Situated on the southern most part of the eastern coast, has one of the finest beaches of the world for wind surfing. A popular seaside holiday resort not affected by monsoon winds and rain that makes it an all the year round destination for tourists, especially for wind surfers and water skiers. Indigenous and migratory birds could be seen in its lagoon.
Ratnapura (101 km from Colombo)
The City of Gems & Gemming and it is also famous for its Gemmological Museum and Gem Workshops where a variety of precious stones such as Sapphires, Rubies, Cat's Eyes, Alexandrite, Tourmaline, etc. are processed.
Sri Lanka's most beautiful rain forest, which is a world heritage, situated close to Ratnapura with a variety of indigenous plants and animals. It has rivers and streams flowing with many water holes where animals could be seen with several bird species.
Udawalawe National Park
It is a National park, next in popularity to Yala, where elephants could be seen even during mid day. Several species of mammals and many species of birds are found here.
Bundala Bird Sanctuary
On the way to Yala, this site is famous for local & migratory birds that winter in its lagoons. This sanctuary is a habitat for Greater Flamingo and the rare Black Necked Stork.
Kumana Bird Sanctuary
Situated in the south east part of the country in Yala east, with its Kumana Villu, it is well known as a Bird Sanctuary where a multitude of birds breed and roost.