Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The remains of Sigiriya ancient city sit atop a huge flat-topped rock that soars 180m high, dominating the jungle on every side. On closer inspection what you’ll also find pleasure gardens, huge lion’s feet cut out of stone on one side, as well as staircases leading to the remains of a palace. It’s not only a unique archaeological site but also an incredible geological formation that offers outstanding views of the scenery below.
Dambulla Cave Temples
This site has acted as a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries and is undoubtedly Sri Lanka’s best preserved and largest cave temple, with a total of five sanctuaries. It is an outstanding example of Sri Lanka’s religious art, with incredible Buddhist mural paintings and more than 150 Buddhist statues.
Polonnaruwa Ancient City Ruins
The second ancient capital city of Sri Lanka (after Anuradhapura), Polonnaruwa is a wonderful treasure trove of ancient Buddhist monuments, from ruins of royal palaces to colossal rock-cut Buddha statues.
Minneriya National Park
Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks both have extensive water tanks where large groups of wild elephant congregate, making for a great safari experience.