71 incredible photos that will make you want to visit Sri Lanka
After two months spent exploring all corners of this Island, these are a collection of our best Sri Lanka photos - one’s which we feel tell the story of Sri Lanka, through images.
We’ve spent almost eight weeks exploring all corners of Sri Lanka, enjoying endless white-sand beaches with pumping surf, lush tropical jungles and misty mountain towns, ancient World Heritage sites and safari plains where Asian Elephants and Leopards roam in abundance.
We’ve taken enchanting train rides through rolling tea plantations, and enjoyed the vibrant cultural heritage this island has. And we’ve met the friendliest locals we could ever hope to meet.
And we’ve done it all with camera in hand, capturing every moment (follow our Sri Lanka itinerary!).
These are a collection of our favourite Sri Lanka photos from our two trips to this stunning island nation.
A photographic journey through Sri Lanka | our top Sri Lanka photos
Sri Lanka’s natural beauty
For a country so small, Sri Lanka’s natural beauty is astounding.
Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka’s coast is lined with palm-lined, golden beaches (Hiriketiya is our fave!), while the interior posses a wide range of natural landscapes, from the wildlife-rich jungles of Yala National Park, to the verdant, misty hills of Ella and surrounds.
Even the sunsets are among the best we’ve seen, anywhere in the world!
Everywhere we went, we were be blown away by this country’s stunning scenery.
Daily life in Sri Lanka
There’s always something going on in Sri Lanka.
The colourful streets are abuzz 24 hours a day, from vendors selling ripe king coconuts, to tuk tuk drivers beeping their way through traffic. Conversations on street corners are common (it’s as though everyone knows each other in Sri Lanka!), as are bustling markets seemingly every 500m.
Daily life in Sri Lanka is intoxicating.
The people of Sri Lanka
Ask anyone who’s visited Sri Lanka and they’ll agree - the people here are the friendliest in the world.
We’ve had tuk tuk drivers surprise us with coconuts on long drives, fellow passengers help us manoeuvre our bags (and selves) into safer positions on overcrowded trains, families welcome us into their homes for tea and a chat, and people go out of their way time and time again, of their own accord, to make sure we felt welcome.
It’s a pretty special thing to experience, and it’s one of the reasons we love Sri Lanka so dearly.
From the genuine and welcoming smiles and head bobbles, to the generous and welcoming nature, we’ve only had positive experiences in Sri Lanka.
Our top Sri Lanka Travel tips | Everything you need to know before you go
Scenes from Sri Lankan Train journey’s
Riding trains in Sri Lanka is pure and simple joy.
From the iconic Kandy to Ella train, which winds through some of Sri Lanka’s most stunning scenery, to the picturesque coastal express from Colombo to Galle, and the long, rickety north to south trip from Jaffna to Colombo, there’s always incredible memories to be made on Sri Lankan rail journeys.
We’ve clocked over 20 train rides in Sri Lanka, and these are some of our favourite images captured aboard.
Tropical vibes from Sri Lanka’s southern coast
From Unawatuna to Hiriketiya and everywhere in between, the whole southern coast of Sri Lanka is paradise; think palm-fringed golden sands flanked by tropical jungle and awesome surf breaks dotted along the coast.
It’s little wonder why Sri Lanka attracts bronzed surfers riding waves all day long, and salty-haired wanderers chilling into a new level of zen from all over the world.
A surfers Paradise | the best things to do in Hiriketiya, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Unexplored north
Often skipped over by travellers to Sri Lanka, Jaffna is a seriously raw and authentic place to visit.
These northern realms of Sri Lanka drum to a beat of their own, lead by the strong Hindu culture of the Tamils. The language is distinct, the people more reserved, and the cuisine influenced strongly by southern India.
The region, finally rebuilding and healing after a bloody 26 year civil war that only ended in 2009, still bears the scars from this tumultuous period. Yet despite it all, Jaffna has an incredible amount of unique things to see and do, including ancient forts and temples, isolated islands, and truly amazing food.
The region’s still a while away from truly exploding as a tourism destination, but for those like us who were searching for an authentic travel experience, Jaffna is definitely a place we recommend you visit in Sri Lanka.
Exploring Jaffna and the North | our travellers guide to Jaffna, Sri Lanka
The best Travel photography gear For Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a seriously photogenic country, so we definitely recommend investing in some good photography gear before visiting.
Below is the photography gear we used to get all of our shots in Sri Lanka.
The Sony A7RII produces brilliant photos and video
The original photography beast which keeps going strong, the Canon 5D MKIII produces the best colours
The Canon 24-70mm is known as one of the best zoom lenses on the market; it's exceptionally sharp, small and lightweight, which makes it perfect for travel photography
The Canon 70-200mm f4 is our favourite lens, hands down. The image stabilisation works a treat, even on moving trains!
Check out the rest of camera gear here.
If you like our photography, be sure to follow us on Instagram, too.
Explore more of Sri Lanka with our in-depth travel guides
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That, and you're officially a legend.