When we think about Sri Lanka we think of sandy beaches, lush green trees and a tropical paradise, whose pictures are scattered all over travel magazines. And why wouldn’t it be? With world famous tourist destinations and hidden offbeat places in Sri Lanka, this country may be small, but is big on adventure, experience and wonders. We won’t be surprised if you applied for a Sri Lanka visa after reading about the rich history of the country and being mesmerised by the picturesque haven that it is.

Generally, a typical Sri Lanka holiday package will cover all the popular, best and usual places to visit in Sri Lanka. From visiting national parks, and taking the train journey from Kandy to Ella, trying out Arrack (locally brewed Sri Lankan alcohol), binging on Sri Lankan cuisine, exploring the historic ruins, touring tea plantations, to just simply lounging on the beach, these are the most common activities and suggestions that you will find in Sri Lanka to experience. But we are here to take you on a journey through off the beaten path in Sri Lanka.

Moreover, don’t be fooled by its size, Sri Lanka may look tiny but it has many secret destinations hidden and our list of offbeat places in Sri Lanka is a proof of it! So buckle up your seat belts and get ready for the ride!

1. Tour The Spice Plantations

Black pepper plant in Sri Lanka
Black pepper plant in Sri Lanka

Many people are not aware of the fact that Sri Lanka does not only have massive tea plantations but also several spice plantations with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, cloves etc. The aroma of these spices will surely tickle your senses. Ranweli Spice Garden, located in Kaudupellella city of Matale district is one of such offbeat places in Sri Lanka. There are hour long plantation tours, wherein a guide shares deep rooted knowledge spanning over generations about flavours and old trading relationships between many European and Asian countries.

2. Skip Sigiriya, Scale Pidurangala Rock

View of Sigiriya Rock Fortress from Pidurangala
View of Sigiriya Rock Fortress from Pidurangala

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a majestic marvel no doubt, but the amount of tourists that scramble towards it to scale it is insane. As climbing to Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of the adventurous things to do in Sri Lanka, there will be times where enthusiastic tourists will bump into you causing you to lose your momentum. So to stay safe, we suggest driving a little further to another one of the offbeat places in Sri Lanka and head to Pidurangala Rock and scale that instead. Although a bit tricky than Sigiriya Rock Fortress to scale, Pidurangala Rock offers unmatched view of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and mountains of Kandy from the top.

3. Soar Through The Clouds In Dambulla

Paragliding in Dambulla
Paragliding in Dambulla

Dambulla maybe famous for its ancient ruins and caves, rivers, and nature trails running through its tropical forests, and may not exactly be known as one of the offbeat places in Sri Lanka, but it has a hidden feature that many tourists are not yet aware of! Adventure Centre Asia in Dambulla, offers hot air balloon rides and a paragliding through the clouds and marvel at the magical views of the country while experiencing the peace and tranquility 2000 feet above the ground. It is a perfect option for adrenaline junkies who are not tempted by historic ruins and nature trails.

4. Handungoda Tea Estate

White tea leaves spread curing in bamboo basket tray after harvest
White tea leaves spread curing in bamboo basket tray after harvest

We all know Sri Lanka is known for its tea plantations, but what many people may not know is that Sri Lanka is home to unique white tea, which is grown here at Handungoda Tea Estate. Only tea plantation that grows this unique white tea, Handungoda Tea Estate should definitely be in your list of offbeat places in Sri Lanka to visit. Following the old traditional Chinese rituals in productions, no human hands touch this tea. One of the most expensive teas in the world, the virgin white tea is packed with antioxidants and considered as one of the most healthiest teas in the world.

5. Pigeon Island National Park

Blacktip Reef Sharks
Blacktip Reef Sharks

If you are a water baby, you might have read and already planned about sighting dolphins and whales in Mirissa, Kalpitiya and Trincomalee. But, did you know you can see blacktip reef sharks in Sri Lanka? We sure didn’t! This is truly majestic of all offbeat places in Sri Lanka. Shark Point Reef located a few miles off the coast of Nilaveli Beach where snorkelers can witness colourful fishes, corals, turtles and even sharks! Now this is something that marine life enthusiast would appreciate a lot.

There may be many more such places that are yet undiscovered, true gems waiting to be discovered by wanderers and travellers like you and us. We highly encourage you to take the paths less unexplored and move away from the crowd. The places you will visit, the sights you will see and the solitude you will experience will no doubt be truly out of the world!

Do let us know your thoughts and if you would like to share any other offbeat places in Sri Lanka that we should cover next, feel free to drop a comment!

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