The crowds head for its Cultural Triangle but Sri Lanka’s sights also include quieter national parks, hiking trails and beaches. Explore it with our guide on what to see and where to stay
Few countries in Asia can offer such variety in a relatively small area, or are as easily navigable by bus and train – or even in your own tuk-tuk. Away from the main sights it’s easy to escape the crowds: instead of Mirissa, whale watch in quieter Kalpitiya – a laid-back destination for kitesurfing – and opt for Wilpattu national park over Yala national park for similar wildlife trips. In the hills, take the train to Haputale, rather than Ella, for less-trodden trails to scenic mountain viewpoints.