From Tulum before it was cool to Croatia before GoT tours were hot, travelers who appreciate an off-the-beaten destination are always plotting to visit a place prior to it becoming “mainstream.” This season, our travel consultants are predicting the eminent rise of tourism to a little-known island off the coast of India: we’re talking about Sri Lanka. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it before the boom.
In our experience, declaring that you’re headed to Sri Lanka will immediately be followed by the question, “where’s that?” So, mission accomplished; you’ve got a plane ticket to a place your friends most likely wouldn’t be able to put on a map. And if you’ve already experienced nearby incredible India, we’re happy to report that Sri Lanka will look, feel, sound, and taste distinctly different.
North American tourists visiting Asia typically find that ‘blending in’ is out of the question. This can be half of the fun when being on the other side of the world. Depending on where you’re traveling, reactions from locals can range from a warm welcome to curious stare. Sri Lankans certainly fall in the former category, greeting tourists with an open-minded spirit and excitement to share their culture. Whether you’re exploring the capital city of Colombo or visiting the tranquil tea plantations in Hatton, you can expect to be met with a smile.
In order to put its scale into perspective, Sri Lanka is approximately the size of West Virginia. Needless to say, you can experience a great deal of the country in one visit, particularly when led by an expert tour guide. Most tours here last about two weeks and cover approximately 1000 miles of territory. So, in that time, you would be able to explore the ancient temples of Kandy, witness wildlife on a safari through Yala National Park, learn about the colonial fortresses of Galle, and relax on the pristine beaches of Kalurara.
More now than ever, food has become a critical factor for travelers when choosing where to visit next. While Indian food is well-known to Americans, the flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine are still widely foreign to the western world. To quickly summarize the island’s diverse dishes is difficult, but if you can envision seafood-centric curries and vegan-friendly sides, you’re on the right track. This island nation has pleased so many tourists’ palates that specific multi-week foodie tours are being created as a draw unto themselves. If you don’t want to take our word for it, tune into Anthony Bourdain’s newest Parts Unknown season where he calls crab curry, the “holy grail of Sri Lankan cuisine.”
So, make your Instagram bookmarks of beautiful #SriLanka a reality. Ping us on social with any questions or start chatting with your Liberty Travel consultant to learn more about arranging a tour of this hotspot. It’s time to plan a vacation that you’ll never want to end.