Five secret places in Sri Lanka waiting to be explored
Among the thousands of tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, you can make your vacation an unforgettable one by walking along a footpath with the world’s cleanest air, cleanest water and least human habitation, over waterfalls, and the sound of birdsong. Apart from popular tourist spots frequented by tourists, these attractions are sure to make your vacation unforgettable. Even without pictures, you will never forget the mesmerizing beach with small pools surrounded by strange rocks. With the experience you will get among the wild horses that live on a remote island in the northern part of Sri Lanka, the pictures will bring you a fond memory. Come to this unique beauty of Sri Lanka.
In addition to the well-known exotic beaches and lush greenery of the hill country, Sri Lanka has more natural beauty that is incredibly beautiful, yet hidden from the eyes of many travelers. Most of these attractions are located far from the common tourist routes, which means getting there is an adventure in itself. But it is worth the time and effort as you get to experience the real treasure trove of Sri Lanka.
A country like Sri Lanka has an overload of must-see places and top attractions. So, if time is restricted, the discerning traveler would choose visiting Sri Lanka and its hidden gems to get off the beaten path rather than the famous tourist attractions in the country.
In that case, here are our top five secret places in Sri Lanka that must be explored:
1. Lakegala Peak – Meemure
Whether you are a hiker, an experienced rock climber, or just enjoy the beauty of the mountains, this one’s for you! From the small, pretty and remote village of Meemure, you can see the stunning Lakegala mountain and its pointy peak. This hidden treasure is located in the city of Matale, and has a height of about 1370m. The steep angle of the rock is what makes it difficult to reach the peak. But experienced hikers will definitely love this attraction. It is advisable to take a guide along with you as no laid out hiking trails exist. For those who don’t want to climb, just sit back, and relax amidst the mesmerizing landscape of Meemure with a backdrop of the Lakegala Peak.
2. Delft Island
Sometimes known as Neduntheevu, Delft Island is the name it inherited during the Dutch colonial period in Jaffna. With an area of 50km2, the flat island is encircled by shallow waters and gorgeous beaches of the Palk Strait – a stretch of sea that separates India and Sri Lanka. From the Jaffna port, Delft Island is reachable by a navy boat that departs at 9.30 am every day.
From natural beauty to spectacular colonial heritage, the island has plenty of things to fascinate guests. The houses of residents are roofed with palmyra leaves and fenced with coral stones. Wild horses freely roam around the island, making them an iconic feature of Delft. The Portuguese fort, Banyan trees, Quindah tower, Foot print rock formation, Sarapiddy wells, old stupas, and the Delft Maha Vidyalaya are some of the things to see on Delft Island.
3. Madulsima Mountain – Badulla
Madulsima is a beautiful mountainous village in Badulla which is well known amongst local hikers and campers. The Mini World’s End is located here but many tourists are still unaware of this attraction. At an elevation of 383m, the Madulsima Mountain is about 700-1000m above sea level. Getting to the top of this mountain offers pleasant views of endless tea plantations. Roeberry Tea Estate owns the top most part of this mountain and at the end of this estate is where the Mini World’s End is located.
Along tricky roads, hiking to this viewpoint is not for beginners. But the view is unmatchable – a heavenly location, high elevation, and the mist making you feel like you are walking among the clouds. On a clear day, you can see a vast plain starting from the base of Madulsima and going all the way towards the East Coast.
4. Thalpe Rock Pool Beach in Galle
Thalpe is a beach destination located along the southern coast of Sri Lanka, about 10km from Galle. Although Thalpe is popular for its beaches, what many don’t know about are the lovely Rock Pools, which, at present, are only enjoyed by locals who like adventurous sea bathing.
The rock pools are cut off from a coral reef, making way for a secluded area where waves are not very strong. Locals believe about 50 years ago, these pools were cut out from corals and used for soaking husks of coconuts to isolate the coir. The beach here is very clean, serene and quiet, and is easily accessible via the Southern Expressway from Colombo. March and April are the driest season of the southern coast, and early morning hours during this season is the best time to visit. Be mindful of the water levels though and look out for sea urchins that are lurking around in the area.
5. Sembuwatta Lake
Ideal for nature lovers, Sembuwatta is a man-made lake crafted from the natural spring waters at the Elkaduwa plantations of Matale. This hidden paradise sits at an elevation of 1140m above sea level and is bordered by Campbell’s Land Forest Reserve. The scenic green mountains are lined with thick pine forests and lush tea plantations, providing for a gorgeous background for the lake.
The lake has been developed into a travel destination with activities such as zip-lining, swan boat riding and motorboat riding. The depth of the lake is about 9-12m so it is not advisable to swim in the lake. But there is a separate swimming pool nearby if you want to swim. The pine forest in the area also provides a good hiking trail. Book a room at a holiday bungalow nearby if you would like to stay over and capture some unique shots of this secret jewel in Sri Lanka.