Travel Blogger standing on a rock filming with his go pro in front of a large waterfall in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

20 Photos To Inspire You To Visit Sri Lanka

Planning a trip to Sri Lanka? Check out these awe inspiring spots & bucket list things to do around the island nation!

Thinking of Visiting Sri Lanka?

Let us just start by saying, you’ve made a wise decision 🙂

Settled beautifully in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a wonderful destination for virtually any traveler. If you’re looking to relax by soaking up some rays and dipping your toes in the sand, Sri Lanka is perfect.

Perhaps you’re more interested in waking up at the crack of dawn to watch the jungle come to life as you roam around in a safari jeep? Sri Lanka is for you.

Maybe you want to check out the hustle and bustle of different cities or see what it’s like to ride through amazing scenery on a jam-packed train… you can do that here too!

If you’re an avid hiker keen on checking out remote places, amazing scenery, and trying your hand at speaking Sinhalese or Tamil then what are you waiting for?

Sri Lanka is just a few plane rides away!

20 Photos of Sri Lanka To Inspire Your Next Travel Adventure

1). Coconuts

Two outstretched hands holding up baby coconuts on the beach, one with a flower poking out of the top

When you think of beaches, tropical climates, and vacations coconuts are bound to come to mind. Sri Lanka is full of these delicious hydrating fruits. You can pick them up virtually anywhere in the country for a refreshing drink!

2). Relaxing Days & Beautiful Beaches

Woman sitting on the beach in a bikini facing the ocean as waves crash over her toes and she holds a lion beer

With 832 miles (1,340 km) of coastline, it’s no surprise that the tropical island of Sri Lanka is home to some amazing beaches! From Galle to Unawatuna and Mirissa to Arugam Bay (and plenty others) you’ll find the perfect beach for you.

Sri Lanka is home to beaches that are remote and others that are built up. Home to beaches with strong currents where you wouldn’t want to swim and ones with smaller waves. There are also beautiful beaches for lounging or beaches that are better explored via boat rides.

3). Murals

Woman standing in front of a peacock mural as the feathers span out behind her like wings

Across cities and towns, you’ll find artwork that makes you stop in your tracks and say “wow”. Some of our favorites, like this peacock, are found in Arugam Bay. Spend a day “mural hunting” and see how many amazing works of art you can find.

4). Mother Nature

Travel and adventure couple sitting in the ocean next to rocks as waves crash

You can simply sit on a beach… or you can get in on the action. We sat in small pools of water and watched waves crash over us (keeping safety in mind) one day. It was a fun way to marvel at the mist floating above our heads and take in the beauty of Mother Nature.

It also produced some great moments of laughter as we got soaked time and time again!

5). Safari Adventures

Elephant walking right next to the front of a safari jeep on a road inside Udawalawe national park in Sri Lanka

When one first thinks of safaris, perhaps a list of African countries comes to mind. And they should – they’re on our bucket list!

That said, Sri Lanka has some safari adventures of its own that you won’t want to miss. They are also usually a fraction of the price- great for getting started 🙂

6). Tuk Tuk Adventures

Image shot from the inside of a red tuk tuk looking forward to the driver in a button down as we drive past a large blue buss

Many Asian countries have Tuk Tuks or something similar – and Sri Lanka’s no different. When we weren’t galavanting around on the sprawling train system we had fun adventures in these decked out carts on wheels.

Hop in the back and get ready for an adventure as you drive past rolling waves and through beautiful jungly hills.

7). School’s Out For The Day

Group of Sri Lankan students in white dresses walking along the fort wall in Galle, Sri Lanka at the end of the school day

Take a visit to the former Dutch Fort Town, Galle. You can spend an entire day (or several) walking the Fort walls and the cute streets and alleyways. Galle’s historic architecture is beautiful.

Plus, you’ll come across hundreds of students in white uniforms headed to the beach to swim at the end of the day. Prepare to smile and wave! Ayubowan is the term used for greetings if you want to say something other than “hello” while you’re here.

8). Waterfalls: Lovers Leap

Woman standing below a waterfall in hiking clothes as she marvels up at the cascade of water 20 meters high in Nuwara Eliya
Talk about breathtaking beauty!

Sri Lanka is home to some amazing beaches… but also some magnificent waterfalls.

Heading inland to Nuwara Eliya – which was not on our original itinerary – was the best decision we could have made. We spent hours walking to this waterfall and enjoying it once we arrived. (You could also opt for a Tuk Tuk to take you part way and make the walk much shorter).

9). Tea Factories

Rows of tea bags set out at Halpe Tea Factory in Sri Lanka after they've been filled with Tea leaves

Sri Lanka is well known in the tea world for its amazing teas. In fact, tea production happens to be one of the main sources of foreign exchange for the country!

There are a variety of tea factories scattered among the highlands. We spent an afternoon touring Halpe Tea in Ella learning all about the tea making process. No photos allowed inside the factory… so we took this one outside!

10). Surf

Travel and adventure blogger learning to surf and catching and small wave in Arugam Bay

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a newbie just learning like TJ here, Sri Lanka has beaches and waves for everyone!

We’re definitely on the newbie end of the scale but had a blast learning and taking a class with Excellent Surf School at “Peanut Farm” just outside of Arugam Bay.

Fun Fact…  wild elephants occasionally walk onto this beach and dip their toes in the sand! Talk about a fascinating sight to see.

11). Fitness Outdoors

Travel and adventure blogging couple doing headstands together on the sandy beach in the early morning

TJ swears his legs were up straight in this headstand… but we have photo proof that says otherwise!

Whether you’re a fitness fan of yoga, HIIT, running, circuit training or another kind, Sri Lanka has plenty of beautiful places to get your sweat on outside. Our favorite was the beach!

Just make sure to protect your skin and slather on some sunscreen 😉

12). Sunrise Over The Jungle

Safari jeeps driving down a dirt road in the middle of the jungle of Udawalawee nation park as sunrise takes place over the jungle

Picture this:

The sun rises over a quiet jungle and as it pokes up above the horizon, birds begin to chirp, as the entire sky is illuminated.

We opted to go on safari in the less crowded Udawalawe National Park (as opposed to Yala National Park) and had an amazing time. Watching sunrise over the jungle is a site we’ll never forget. You can hire a private safari jeep for the day from your guesthouse and set off on a grand adventure!

13). Beautiful Boats

Traditional Sri Lankan bright blue fishing boat on the sand at the beach with a couple walking behind in the distance

While staying in Arugam Bay we ventured down the beach on multiple occasions and marveled at the sheer number of fishing boats that line the shore.

They head out very early in the morning and return before most travelers are even out of bed. They’re often painted bright colors and look beautiful against the sand.

14). Hanging Out Of Moving Trains

Travel and adventure blogger

If you research some of the most famous train rides in the world – particularly in Asia – Sri Lanka is bound to come up.

Most famous is the ride from Kandy to Ella… but it is packed with people. And, unless you buy tickets well in advance you may be standing for the entire 8-hour journey. It can get tiring!

Even so, if you’re on a less crowded train and can reach the doors you can spend your entire ride hanging out of the train as the landscape zooms by! One of the most eventful train rides we’ve ever had!

15). Island Adventures

Tiny island connected by a sandbar to main Mirissa Beach in Sri Lanka

As if being on a beautiful tropical island weren’t enough… you can walk from mainland Mirissa Beach, across a sandbar, to a tiny island jutting out of the surf. How beautiful!

It’s a great place to watch the tide change, waves crash, and life take place on Mirissa beach.

16). Take In The View

Viewpoint with a beautiful view of unawatuna beach over a tropical green forest with a woman in a sun

We love taking in the scenery on beautiful beaches but sometimes it’s even more fun to venture off and admire them from a different vantage point.

Find a hill, check out a viewpoint on Maps.me and see what beauty is in store for you when you reach the top!

17). Marvel At Tea Fields

Travel and adventure couple laughing as they sit on an enormous boulder overlooking tea fields and the town of Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka

We already mentioned tea above, but check out these tea plants in the bottom left of the photo! They’re beautiful, especially when surrounded by other fields and a mountain landscape 🙂

We’re outdoor nature junkies and Sri Lanka took our breath away.

18). Sri Lanka’s Delicious Breakfast Trio

Sri Lanka's staple breakfast dish of coconut sambal, dhal, and roti

As foodies, meal preppers, and cooking fanatics we’re always thrilled to get to a new country. Why? Because we get to try new food!

Breakfasts in Sri Lanka are one of our favorites. Like seriously, this breakfast combo is probably one of our favorite meals in the entire world.

Delicious  freshly slapped roti paired with coconut sambal and dahl are the perfect way to start the day. Learn more about this must try food and many of our other favorites around SE Asia! 

19). Nine Arch Bridge

Travel and adventure blogger sitting above the Demodara Nine Arch Bridge set in Ella Sri Lanka among the lush jungle and tea plantations

One of the most popular things to see while visiting Ella – the Nine Arch Bridge – will not disappoint.

Walk the railway from the train station, or take a jungle hike to arrive. We opted for the hike and were greeted with this magnificent view upon arrival.

An engineering wonder, this bridge was built with stone bricks and cement, but without steel!

20). Swing Off Into The Distance

Woman swinging away above the ocean on a palm tree rope swing

There’s no doubt about it. Instagram has had a huge rise in popularity in the last few years. And, with this rise, has come the famous “Instagram worthy ” or “Most Instagramamble Places” for every traveler to find.

Look no further than beach swings in Sri Lanka. They dot beaches across the island and provide a great way to stay cool as you swing through the breeze. Just be prepared to pay a fee to hop on someone’s swing!

We would love to hear about your adventures in Sri Lanka or anywhere else in the world so please get in touch with us or drop us a comment below with any questions you have.

Share this: use the sharing icons below to share this with your friends! And be sure to share your adventures with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (tag @LifeIsMeantForExploring to make sure we see it 🙂 ). Pinterest fan? Pin one of the images below!

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Life Is Meant For Exploring

At Life Is Meant For Exploring we help promote and inspire a life of exploration with a focus on travel, outdoor adventure, experiencing local culture, and breaking away from the pack to forge a path of your very own. Our promise is to share crazy and honest stories, epic photography, thoughtful reflections & culturally respectful realities. Whether you’re traveling the world, sitting in your backyard, or looking for a fresh start, our goal is to show you how to enjoy life one adventure at a time.

7 thoughts on “20 Photos To Inspire You To Visit Sri Lanka

    1. Sri Lanka is a wonderful place. You will have the time off your life! Let us know if you have any questions!Always happy to help 😉

    1. Thank you so much! The 9-Arch bridge was one of our favorite destinations. We got caught in a rainstorm shortly after we arrived and then followed the tracks through the jungle to get back to town. An epic day to say the least!

  1. Sri Lanka is indeed a great country. Thanks for the visual tour. Pound for pound, it is one of the best countries in the world with beaches, mountains, colonial cities, ancient temples and wild animals.

    1. It’s a wonderful country! You’re totally right, it has the best of multiple worlds with its vast landscape, cities, and history 🙂

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