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World Heritage Sites and National Parks


Sri Lanka has eight World Heritage sites, which together celebrate and protect the country's cultural, historical and natural marvels, and highlight the immense diversity of this small Indian Ocean island nation.

Sri Lanka's UNESCO World Heritage sites include the former capital and Buddhist pilgrimage site of Anuradhapura. Then there's the fantastically preserved ancient city of Polonnaruwa and the impressive ruins around and upon the Lion Rock at Sigiriya. These, alongside the sacred cities of Kandy and Dambulla, constitute Sri Lanka's ‘Cultural Triangle' and are easily included in a tailor made travel plan. The Old Town of Galle and its fortifications, on the coast, is the last of Sri Lanka's six cultural centres on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In addition, two of Sri Lanka's excellent natural reserves are also protected under the UNESCO banner. These are the Central Highlands and the beautifully dense Sinharaja Forest Reserve, home to an extraordinarily biodiversity of plants and animals. Combining these natural treasures with the cultural attractions mentioned above is a popular way to experience the best of Sri Lanka travel.


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Top itineraries in World Heritage Sites and National Parks

View of a deserted beach on Sri Lanka's East Coast

Sri Lanka's Ancient Kingdoms & East Coast Beaches

13-day tailor-made holiday from £3,910 pp incl. flights

Visit Sri Lanka's most impressive ancient monuments and beautiful beaches in utter luxury, enjoying the services of a private driver throughout and staying in only the finest hotels. Think beach villas and palatial country manors.

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Best of Sri Lanka

15-day tailor-made holiday from £5,260 pp incl. flights

From sweeping tea plantations to UNESCO-listed treasures and the wildlife of Yala National Park, spend two memorable weeks exploring the history, culture and beaches of this Indian Ocean gem.

Elephants in Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Wildlife and Whales

9-day tailor-made holiday from £3,175 pp incl. flights

Experience the best of Sri Lanka's natural world as you explore the Sinharaja Rainforest, Yala National Park, and go whale and dolphin watching off the palm-fringed south coast.

Sigiriya Rock Paintings

Treasures of Northern Sri Lanka & East Coast

11-day tailor-made holiday from £3,990 pp incl. flights

Explore Sri Lanka’s temple-filled plains and verdant national parks, home to elephants and rare leopards, before relaxing on Passikudah’s dazzling white sands. Along the way you’ll stay at some of the country’s finest hotels.

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Top places to stay in World Heritage Sites and National Parks

Room, Kandy House, Kandy, Sri Lanka

The Kandy House

Historic hotel

An award winning designer boutique and historic property that offers excellent personal service, set in an ancestral manor house that was built in 1804. A lovely small and intimate hotel, it can be booked as a whole for celebrations with friends.

Main building, Ulagalla by Uga, Anuradhapura

Ulagalla, Anuradhapura

Contemporary hotel

Ulagalla is set in a 150-year-old mansion that is an ancestral estate of local Anuradhapura nobility.

At dawn, Jetwing Vil Uyana, Galle

Jetwing Vil Uyana, Sigiriya

Traditional eco

First-class eco-tourism in Sri Lanka's beautiful paddy field and countryside

Chena Huts by Uga Escapes

Chena Huts by Uga Escapes, Yala National Park

Small & intimate hotel

This luxury boutique hotel by Uga Escapes is located just minutes from Yala National Park, overlooking a spectacular beach where sea turtles come to nest and elephants play in the surf.

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Where to go in World Heritage Sites and National Parks

Beautiful Peacock, Yala National Park Sri lanka

Yala National Park

The Yala National Park in the south of Sri Lanka is the country's second largest and most popular national park. A diverse landscape is made up of wide-open plains, thick forest and a beautiful coastline with towering sand dunes.

Galle, Sri Lanka


This ancient port city takes pride of place of Sri Lanka's southwest coast, it's imposing fort looking out across the Indian Ocean's sparkling blue. Explore its eclectic mix of World Heritage treasures, bustling markets and nearby fishing villages on our range of tailor-made holidays.


Sinharaja Forest Reserve

The Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the last area of true virgin rainforest in Sri Lanka and an increasingly popular ecotourism destination. The reserve area has been under guard since 1840, when the British first drew a protective line around it.

Reclining Buddha, Dambulla cave temple


Dambulla is part of the revered Cultural Triangle and is situated to the north of Kandy, in the Central District of Sri Lanka. The cave temple complex, for which Dambulla is rightly famous, is the best-preserved complex in Sri Lanka - and, as such, the site makes a fascinating addition to a tailor …

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When to go to World Heritage Sites and National Parks

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World Heritage Sites and National Parks articles

Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Trip Report: Sri Lanka

Wexas Asia specialist Debbie Mayger reports back from the ancient wonders, golden beaches and wildlife-rich national parks of Sri Lanka.

Romantic hotels around the world

With love in the air, what better time to take a look at some truly romantic hotels from around the world? Whether you're searching for a romantic escape, honeymoon paradise, once-in-a-lifetime getaway or simply some quality time with that special someone, these properties are guaranteed to impress.

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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