Sri Lanka's Incredible Natural Scenery

  • Stephanie Harper
  • 10 Aug 23

Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka stands as a tropical paradise renowned for its diverse landscapes and stunning natural beauty. Beyond the vibrant city of Colombo, there's so much to explore. Keep reading to uncover some of my handpicked gems.

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by Annelieke Huijgens

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by Annelieke Huijgens


  1. Madu River
  2. Nuwara Eliya
  3. Horton Plains
  4. Yala National Park


Madu River

Madu River, also locally known as Madu Ganga, is the second largest wetland in Sri Lanka's Galle district. It's a unique wetland that encompasses a network of stunning river channels, small islands and mangrove forests, all of which can be explored by boat. Madu River is also special as saltwater and fresh water mix together through the tides.

Here you can also see how the locals live along the riverbanks, farmers fishing and children playing. Keep your eyes peeled for the abundance of wildlife found in the area, including: birds, monkeys, water monitors and crocodiles. While here, you can stop to visit a traditional mud house, see a weaving demonstration and taste some local cinnamon tea.

Image by: Stephanie Harper

Image by: Kate Ellul

Image by: Stephanie Harper

Nuwara Eliya

Venture through the rolling hills into the heart of the Sri Lankan countryside. Travelling by scenic train from Ella to Nuwara Eliya is the best way to capture the pristine landscape rich with green vegetation as far as the eye can see. On the way, you will travel through the misty valleys and cascading waterfalls. Nuwara Eliya is the perfect location to visit the tea plantaions that carpet the gorgeous hills that surround the town. You can also visit a traditional tea factory to learn how the tea is picked and made, before indulging in a delicious sample tasting of Ceylon tea! 



Image by: Stephanie Harper

Horton Plains

For the adventurers at heart, take some time to explore Sri Lanka's incredible mountain ranges. Horton Plains National Park is in the Central Highlands. This stunning location offers diverse scenery, and the best way to see it is by doing the 9km loop that takes you through all the best spots. One of the most iconic viewpoints in Horton Plains is 'World's End'; here the cliff plunges 870 metres down, offering an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the landscape below. 

As you venture further into Horton's Plains, you'll discover Bakers Falls, a picturesque fall located admist a lush green forset. The falls are around 20 metres in height, and is a great spot for photographers. Some other stunning locations to explore include Mini World's End and the Cloud Forests. It's best to get there early, as it is cooler in temperature and the best views happen when the sky is clear. But please note, a good level of fitness is required.

Image by: Kasuni Koswatta

Image by: Stephanie Harper

Yala National Park

No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without visiting Yala National Park and the best way to explore is via jeep safari. Renowned for its diverse wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes, Yala National Park is characterised by its vast stretches of unspoiled wilderness. As you venture into the park, you'll be greeted by sprawling grasslands, dense forests and glistening lagoons. The untouched beauty of this landscape serves as a reminder of the importance of preversing Sri Lanka's natural heritage. 

If you are lucky (and patient) enough, you might be able to spot the elusive Sri Lankan leopard moving stealthily throughout the park. Keep your eyes peeled for numerous other species who call Yala home, including elephants, herds of deer, water buffalos, crocodiles, wild boars, turtles, birds and many more. From rocky outcrops to serene lakes, Yala National Park has so many different landscapes to explore. Each and every corner of the park holds unique and breathtaking views waiting to be uncovered.

Images by: Stephanie Harper

Sri Lanka’s natural beauty is a testament to the island’s special charm. From its pristine coastline to mist covered mountains, the tear drop island showcases a range of awe-inspiring scenery that will leave you with a lifetime of memories. Are you ready to give your camera a work out?