Sri Lanka is a little country full of heart and packed with more adventures than we could hope to cover. Whether it’s the dazzling white sand beaches, the mouthwatering local treats, the watering holes packed with elephants, or the caves filled with Buddhist relics, Sri Lanka is making its way onto many a traveler’s bucket lists, and absolutely deserves a top spot on your own Travel Wish List.

But don’t just take our word for it. We checked in with Ruwan and Sujan, two of our local guides in Sri Lanka, to see what’s on their personal list of must-see destinations in Sri Lanka. Read on to get your dose of virtual wanderlust and don’t forget to create your own Travel Wish List.

Toque Macaque in Sri Lanka

1. Knuckles Mountain Range

If you are a hiking enthusiast, ‘Knuckles’ is where you want to spend your next getaway. Resembling the closed fist (knuckles) of a human, this is a series of mountains and cliffs rich in bio-diversity, from wild buffalo and mouse deer to leopards and toque macaques and everything in between. Steep slopes, slippery pathways, strong winds, trees covered in dense foliage, and forests engulfed in thick mist are what make Knuckles a must-see and a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Kitulgala, Sri Lanka

2. White Water Rafting in Kitulgala

This one is for those looking to get their adrenaline pumping while on vacation. Sri Lanka is home to rapids of varying intensity and the experience is simply breathtaking. Hop in your raft and head straight into scenes from ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ – literally. Your day of rafting ends with a refreshing plunge into the still waters downstream!

Go white water rafting in Sri Lanka >>

Elephants in Minneriya National Park

3. The Elephant Gathering, Minneriya National Park

If you’ve ever looked up photos of Sri Lanka, chances are you’ve seen the vast number of elephants that call Minneriya National Park home. In fact, Minneriya is actually known for having the largest gathering of wild Asian elephants in the world. During Sri Lanka’s dry season, if you sit quietly by the side of the riverbank, you’ll be able to look out at upwards of 300 elephants!

Visit the elephants of Minneriya National Park >>

Delft Island, Sri Lanka

4. North Sri Lanka

Though Sri Lanka’s northern provinces are much lesser visited than the rest of the country, the region is well worth the visit. Head to Delft Island and you’ll be greeted by herds of wild horses grazing away next to picturesque beaches. In Nagadeepa Island, it’s not uncommon to hear the bells of both Buddhist and Hindu temples chiming in unison. Jaffna town, the crown jewel of the north, is a living masterpiece of the art and culture of the people of northern Sri Lanka.

Add Sri Lanka to your Travel Wish List >>

Cycling in Giritale, Sri Lanka

5. A Local Bike Ride in Giritale

Ride along a picturesque country path through green paddy fields, streams, an abundance of birdlife, and plenty of smiling locals in this quiet countryside town. It is not uncommon to witness local children running behind your bike waving at you with happiness. What better way to finish off the day than a visit with a local family where you can swap stories and laughs over a scrumptious homemade meal!

Go cycling in Sri Lanka’s quiet countryside >>

Blue Whale in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

6. Whale Watching in Mirissa

Home to sperm whales, dolphins, killer whales and, most notably, the mighty Blue Whale, Mirissa deserves a spot on any animal-lovers bucket list. Coming in at 30-metres in length, it’s impossible to put into words the feeling you get floating next to the world’s largest animal. Located on Sri Lanka’s south coast, Mirissa is regarded as one of the best spots in the world for whale watching.

Learn more about whale watching in Sri Lanka >>