Sri Lanka Is One Of The 23 Best Places To Travel Around The World In 2023

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Chosen By: Juliana Broste is a 12x Heartland Emmy Award-winning travel filmmaker and host, showcasing adventures and fun things to do around the world. Come along for the adventure at @TravelingJules on Instagram or travelingjules.com.

Why: “It’s no secret, Sri Lanka has had a hard time,” says Juliana Broste. “Even with inflation, visitors will find Sri Lanka a spectacular, affordable destination worth the long haul. Loop around the island and you’ll see why this land will keep you guessing—from the hustle and bustle of capital city Colombo to beautiful beaches, rice fields, waterfalls, plains, and mountains.”

There’s a lot to see in a relatively short distance, so have your camera at the ready. “Spotting the wildlife in Sri Lanka is really special,” says Broste, who explored the country on a photo tour. “You can go on safari to an Elephant Sanctuary, go whale watching on the Indian ocean and spy on birds, lizards, jellyfish and monkeys in a mangrove.” On Broste’s bucket list for next time: spotting leopards at Yala National Park.

Sri Lanka has plenty of interesting cultural attractions to explore, including the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Kandy. “Be sure to pack an all-white outfit that covers your shoulders and legs when visiting religious sites,” says Broste. “Catching a traditional Kandyan dance performance is a highlight, seeing men and women in traditional dress telling stories through dance.”

Tucked away in hill country, Nuwara Eliya, known as “Little England,” is a cool climate escape where a famous Sri Lankan export, ceylon tea, is produced. “Winding roads reveal rows and rows of tea bushes on the hillside—be sure to stop in for a cup of tea on your visit to a tea factory and plantation,” says Broste. “Equally as fun: sampling a king coconut on the side of the road along your adventure.”

For an incredible view of Colombo, head to the top of the shimmering pink Lotus Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city. “It’s a symbol of the city and just a touch taller than the Eiffel Tower,” says Broste. “Another famous viewpoint worth the hike is the ancient city of Sigiriya known as Lion’s Rock, with the ruins of an ancient stronghold located atop a dramatic rock outcrop. It’s wild to think how an entire civilization lived here centuries ago.”

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