Land and People
Sinhala, Tamil, EnglishGeography
Sri Lanka, known by many as the teardrop island or the pearl of the Indian Ocean, is situated southwest of the Bay of Bengal. This little island treasures its countless beautiful sandy beaches and terraced patchwork of lush green tea plantations. Mountains in the “upcountry” rise to their highest point at Pidurutalagala, where only the most energetic can make the climb over 7,000 feet (2,100 m) to enjoy the breathttrees and a mountain.
Because of Sri Lanka’s diverse microclimates and soil types, many different spices grow on the island. Some are not found anywhere else in th
The climate is tropical and warm throughout the year. Temperatures can range from 62 degrees Fahrenheit (17°C) in the tea plantation area to a hot and humid 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33°C) in the coastal regions. The average yearly temperatures range from 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28°C) to nearly 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31°C). Two monsoon rains usually hit the island during the months of March/April and September/October, and Sri Lanka also has a number of microclimates in unique places on the island.
This small Island has diverse people, languages, and cultures. Sinhala, Tamil, and English are the three official languages. Additionally, Portuguese Creole, Dhivehi, and now Chinese are spoken by sizable groups of the population. Some of this diversity comes from colonial times when Sri Lanka served as a popular port for seafaring traders navigating the spice routes.
Sri Lankan food is hot, spicy, and a delight to the senses!Food
Various curries with rice and different kinds of breads called roti, naan, and chapati are eaten using only your hands! For those who like things a little sweeter, this island has an abundance of delicious and exotic fruit, such as jackfruit, mangoes, durians, pineapples, mangosteens, lychees, and sweet and savory bananas. Not to be forgotten is a traditional hot cup of tea to end your meal
Tourist Hot Spots
Many come to the island for the beautiful beaches and to view wildlife in the various national parks. Yala National Park is home to elephants, leopards, crocodiles, and an abundance of exotic and endemic birds found only in Sri Lanka.
There is also an elephant orphanage a two-hour drive from the capital city, Colombo, where many rescued elephants are now protected. Tourists enjoy getting up close with these magnificent animals and spending time with them by the river.
Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Anuradhapura are some ancient sites that have ruins and archaeological treasures from some of the earliest civilizations that lived on the island. Some detailed rock paintings are over 2,200 years old