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Sri Lanka

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ri Lanka, voted the number one holiday destination in the world, is a jewel of an island in the Indian ocean. A favorite spot for travelers from the time of Marco Polo and Iban Battuta, travelling around Sri Lanka with MANGO VACATIONS is truly the experience of a lifetime. Golden beaches and wild safaris, ancient Dagobah and famous kovils, over 2000 years of culture and history is packed into this byte sized island. Sri Lanka travel agency Mango Vacations, provides all its guests with tailor made VACATION & SRI LANKA TOUR PACKAGES by which to experience Sri Lanka.

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Colombo is a city that makes you feel home no sooner you reach it. Known to Roman, Arab and Chinese traders for 2000 years as well as Indian traders from Calicut and Gujarat also made it their rendezvous point with the Arabs from the Gulf of Oman. The natural point of convergence for traders from the remotest recesses of the past today it is a vibrant city frequented by visitors both on holiday in Sri Lanka or a Stopover in Sri Lanka on their way to the heart of Asia. Colombo withstood the turbulence of European conquest with its ancient charm and elegance. In the process it became the seventh largest sheltered port in the world in 1907. Its demography mirrors its captivating history with a mix of Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian ethics. Many great landmarks within its Municipality display this colorful history.

The picturesque Gangaramaya Temple with its Sacred Enclosure of Higher Ordination built on the Dutch built Beira Lake, the Sri Kailasnathasr Hindu temple that overlooks the Colombo Fort Railway yard, the Dewatagaha Mosque where a 19th century Sufi saint is entombed, St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Wolvendaal Dutch Reformed Church and the Anglican St. Michaels Church built of stone, mortar and wood narrate the story of a city that still stands on the crossroads of evolving history. The Port of Colombo is one of the world’s largest artificial harbors, that is still under expansion. It is a major Indian Ocean seaport. As the main commercial hub of Sri Lanka, Colombo is the preferred location for the operations of both foreign and local banks, insurance companies and global investment and financial service providers. The part of the city known as the Fort was first built by the Portuguese as their protected enclave. It was modified by the Dutch. The British had little use for its fortifications after its total conquest of the island. It is now an important commercial center with many offices, five-star hotels, attractive shops and banks. The 19th century Clock Tower was once a lighthouse. Other historic landmarks are the President’s House and Gardens which was the residence of the British Governors from the time of the Dutch occupation. The Dutch left some remarkable imprints behind.

Most of them can be seen in the Dutch Museum located in the fort in a well preserved building of the Dutch period. The Mount Lavinia Beach is one of the sought after resort areas only 2kms away from Colombo. The hotel that bears the name was once the residence of Sir Thomas Maitland, the British Governor who built it as his weekend retreat in 1805. The oldest hotel east of Suez is at one end of the Galle Face green, a wide promenade popular with all residents and visitors. Colombo has some of the oldest residential properties with ornate arcades, wide verandahs and painted ceilings of colonial buccaneers, bankers and barons who made their fortunes in trade shipping and plantations. They are of such antiquity that they need to be protected however prohibitively expensive to be lived in. Today they form one of the most extravagantly comfortable strings of Sri Lanka Boutique hotels in the whole region. The dream home away from home for a holiday in Sri Lanka which may well turn in to a prolonged vacation in Sri Lanka.


Rainforests are incredible places that cover only 6% of the surface area of the Earth, however more than half of the world’s plant and animal species live in them. The reason they are called rainforests is that they receive a high amount of rainfall annually. Consisting of tall, dense jungle, the climate inside a rainforest is hot and humid. At one time in Sri Lanka rainforests consisted of over 26% of the land area, however, today only 2% is left of forest cover. Hence it is no surprise that all rainforests on the island have been declared protected areas with Sinharaja designated as a World Heritage site. The title of World Heritage Site is granted by UNESCO and it means that the area has been listed as a place of special significance to the common heritage of humanity.

It is therefore in the interest of mankind to preserve and protect such sites. The rainforests of Sri Lanka are treasure troves of biodiversity and beauty. Most of the island’s rainforests are located on the western and southern slopes of the mountains of Sri Lanka and they are well worth a visit. The three most famous rainforests in Sri Lanka are Peak Wilderness, 250 km2, Knuckles, 175 km2, and the Sinharaja World Heritage Site, 90 km2. The elusive Loris, the majestic elephant, and fierce-eyed leopards are found within these rainforests.

Peak Wilderness Sanctuary

The third-largest natural reserve in Sri Lanka, the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary is a tropical rainforest that derives its name from the surrounding areas of Adams Peak, Horton Plains, Pidhurutalagala, and Hakgala. In 2009 the world’s rarest toad, the Adenomus kandianus which was thought to be extinct for 133 years, was rediscovered in this rainforest.

Hill country

Before tea was introduced to the island Pearl fishing was the mainstay of the island’s economy. Georges Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers, first performed in Paris in 1863 is set in Ceylon. In 1863 Sri Lanka then referred to as Ceylon was famous for Pearls. Tea came later. Before Tea, the British Tried Coffee. The entrepreneur James Taylor imported the first tea plants from Cathay in 1863. It was in 1863 that the Opera “the Pearl Fishers” by Georges Bizet set in Sri Lanka was first performed in Paris. An “opera seria” was being enacted in the hill country of the British colony. The central hills were then cleared for tea plantations. Despite the rapacious advance of colonial commercial exploitation, the largest and the least disturbed remaining areas of the montane rain forests of Sri Lanka are a treasure trove of nature. It is regarded as a global super-hot spot for conservation.

The carpets of thick emerald-green tea bushes that cover the mountain slopes are the reason for the paved roads that wind their way up to Nuwaraeliya, the convenient base for your discovery of the hill country. The Nile explorer Samuel Baker who trekked through these pristine forests long before these paved roads writes “– One fact I wish to impress upon all–that the coloring of every description is diminished and not exaggerated, the real scene being in all cases a picture, of which the narration is but a feeble copy.” The exquisite perfection of nature that blended high peaks reaching to the clouds with Verdant Mountain slopes, cascading waterfalls, and glittering streams were an irresistible lure to the British.






Arugam Bay




Matara & Tangalla






Adam's Peak


Rain forests

Peak Wilderness Sanctuary


Sinharaja World Heritage

Hill country


Horton Plains


Lipton’s Seat



Thotupola Kande