Lying in the Indian Ocean just off the southern tip of India, the compact island nation of Sri Lanka contains rich bounty for the nature traveler. Herds of Asian elephants and troops of monkeys roam its virgin rain forests in the tropical lowlands. Waterfalls plummet from cloud forest highlands, home to hundreds of varied species of colorful birds. Golden beaches ring the island, while offshore, great blue whales—the largest animal on Earth—swim in clear turquoise waters alongside graceful sea turtles. A global biodiversity hotspot, Sri Lanka has many
endemic flora and fauna to impress the traveler captivated by natural wonders that don’t exist anywhere else. Sri Lanka, earlier known as Ceylon, also has a diverse cultural heritage that dates back more than 2,000 years, with a vibrant Buddhist presence and lingering influences from Indian, Arab and European adventurers drawn here over the centuries.