Thrillseekers often flock to the same destinations over and over again: Australia for world-class surfing, Costa Rica for epic ziplining, Peru for jaw-dropping hiking, heck, even our own British Columbia for heart-stopping mountain sports.
But Sri Lanka is sparking interest among adventurers as of late. The island country, nestled in the Indian Ocean, took home the gold prize at the World Travel Awards for Asia & Australasia 2017 for the leading adventure tourism destination and leading region in general. For those of you who may not know, the winners of these annual awards are voted on by the travel industry’s leaders and professionals, so winning one is a big deal. Pretty impressive recognition for Sri Lanka, especially since they only ended a 26-year civil war in 2009.
Not only does the country boast lush, unspoiled landscapes, but there are loads of unique experiences to be had, from surfing and jungle expeditions to challenging rock-climbing experiences. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider adding to your bucket list when you finally book that flight to Sri Lanka.
Whether you want to stick to snorkeling or are looking for an advanced diving experience, Sri Lanka’s Indian Ocean offers a whole slew of one-of-a-kind undersea experiences for divers of all expertise levels.
Each year, Sri Lanka hosts an intense, four-day mountain biking race called Rumble in the Jungle, but there are many other biking routes that are less grueling and still weave through the country’s picturesque hilly region.
Sri Lanka has seemingly endless hiking routes, many of which take visitors through the country’s sprawling paddy fields, or up and down various peaks and valleys. The Knuckles Mountain Range even features an incredible trail that’ll take you to the ‘Mini World’s End,’ which will make you feel like you’re a tiny spec straddling the edge of the world.
Locals and foreigners alike can enjoy the world-class waves of the Indian Ocean year-around. So if you’re looking for new surfing spot, Sri Lanka is it.
The Jungle Trek
Uncover the dense jungle and rich biodiversity with a guided tour — there are plenty of operators to choose from (like Sri Lanka Eco Trekking). Some visitors may spot a leopard or elephant IRL, so wear your lucky socks and try not to get too close.
If heights are your jam, there are so many thrilling climbs to experience, like up the rocky face of the Bambarakanda waterfall, which, at 790 feet high, is the country’s tallest waterfall.