Sri Lanka awaits with open arms



Our dear friends in Sri Lanka were hit hard by the tragic Easter day terrorist attacks. That is why we at Poe Travel feel that it’s now more important than ever to share why we love this extraordinary place. Its traditional name means “Lanka the blessed” in Sinhalese, and, despite recent events, it continues to be just that. As anyone who’s visited knows, the people of Sri Lanka are some of the warmest and most welcoming on earth—they’re also resilient.

The moniker “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” can only hint at the island’s undeniable allure. There’s good reason Sri Lanka has been attracting visitors for centuries. In this land of long names, where vibrant cultures and ecosystems co-exist, you’ll find endless beaches, timeless ruins, elephants aplenty, trains and tea, flavorful food, Ayurvedic retreats, colonial fortresses, and much more.

Sri Lanka has something for every kind of traveler, from luxurious beach resorts to exquisite Buddhist and Hindu temples, ecotourism, and wildlife-spotting. Their remarkable national parks are home to leopards, water buffaloes, all manner of birds, and passels of primates. The island has other treasures as well. Did you know, for instance, that few places have as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites (eight!) packed into such a small area? Or that 25% of Sri Lanka is protected by national parks and that Yala National Park has the highest concentration of leopards in the world?!

Sri Lanka is small enough to be manageable and diverse enough to be rewarding. Distances are short: see the sacred home of the world’s oldest living human-planted tree in the morning (Anuradhapura) and stand awestruck by the sight of hundreds of elephants gathering in the afternoon (Minneriya). Discover a favorite beach, meditate in a 2000-year-old temple, exchange smiles while strolling about a mellow village, marvel at birds and wildflowers, savor the little dishes that come with your rice and curry, wander past colonial gems in Colombo, then hit some epic surf. Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable, and not over-crowded.

When you’re ready to escape the tropical climate of the coast and lowlands, head for the hills, with their temperate, green charms. Verdant tea plantations and rainforested peaks beckon walkers, trekkers, and those who prefer to see them from a picturesque train ride. And, again we’ve just got to mention those beaches! They’re dazzlingly white and often unpopulated, and they ring the island so that no matter where you go, you’ll be near a sandy gem.

That’s the thing about Sri Lanka—you’re always just a short jaunt from something new and transformative.