8 things to do in Sri Lanka

8 things to do in Sri Lanka

Traverse tropical rainforests, ramble rolling slopes and walk wild beaches: Sri Lanka is the perfect romantic isle for honeymooners

1. Trek in the central Knuckles Range

This mountain range east of Kandy is an untamed area of rugged land, blanketed in forest cover. This wilderness offers sweeping scenery and top-class trekking without the crowds. It is also home to the Vedda people, Sri Lankan natives who still maintain their traditional lifestyles in isolated villages.

2. Cycle through the hill country

With a refreshingly cool climate, much of the region is carpeted by glowing tea plantations and montane cloud forests hug the higher slopes. Pedal through a string of towns and villages such as Ella, Haputale and Nuwara Eliya, which offer an appealing mixture of magnificent views, wonderful cycling and old-fashioned British colonial charm.

3. Climb Adam's Peak

Located at the south-western edge of the hill country, the sacred summit of Adam's Peak (Sri Pada or "butterfly mountain") is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike. The ascent is traditionally made by night with the steps up the mountainside illuminated by stalls and teashops - open till late to cater to the crowds. Summit the beast in time for sunrise and you'll be rewarded with extraordinary landscapes, eclipsed only by the mountain's enigmatic shadow.

4. Raft the Kelani River

Feel your pulse race as you cover five major and four minor rapids near the beautiful village of Kitulgala. Plunge down currents amid spectacular forest and rocky gorges, keeping an eye out for the spot where the classic movie Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed.

5. Bike through lowland forest

Covering most of the southern and western portion of the island, Sri Lanka's tropical rainforest gives memorable opportunities for scenic cycling. Highlights include giant Buddhas perched on top of jungle hills, secluded temples overlooking rice paddies, and riding through plantations of cinnamon, rubber, cashew nuts and bananas.

6. Canoe along the Gin Ganga River

Paddle along at your own pace and enjoy this roaring river near the colonial town of Galle. Relax and go with the flow as you take in the plentiful plants, flowers and wildlife along the banks of the river - such as the Mesua Shorea, myriad rare orchids and the endemic purple-faced langur monkeys.

7. Spot the wildlife

From monkeys and mongooses to monitor lizards, wild elephants and even the occasional leopard, Sri Lanka is bursting with animals. It is also home to over 450 species of birds, like the blue-breasted quail. The best ways to get up close to the local wildlife are on foot, by bike or in a canoe. Why not check out some of the country's many parks, such as Hikkaduwa or the Minneriya National Park, home to sambar deer, leopards and elephants.

8. Feast on regional curries

If the first seven activities sound too energetic, refresh afterwards with a cup of local tea and a plate of Sri Lanka's famous rice and curry - from prawn to chicken. You can either whip up your own native seafood dishes at home, using tips from the Wanderlust blog site. Later in the evening try a local Lion beer or even a shot of Arrack - Sri Lanka's own coconut rum, distilled from the sap of coconut flowers.

To find out more, visit the Sri Lanka Tourism website.

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