Sri Lanka among the 10 best tropical islands for a vacation: Afar

Sri Lanka

Come for: An island that’s got it all, from incredible food to stunning temples and leopards

This island nation ticks all the travel boxes, including culture, wildlife, historical pursuits, and affordable luxury. Along the southern coast alone, discover Yala National Park (home to secretive leopards and swimming elephants), quiet palm-fringed beaches with world-class resorts, and centuries-old forts.

Toward the island’s center, explore mountainous terrain cloaked in tea plantations and a surfeit of Buddhist and Hindu temples. Wherever you go, arrive hungry for local and regional cuisine that will ambush the senses. Food highlights from a recent trip to southern Sri Lanka included spicy crab curry with pulao and coconut sambal, ridge gourd curry, brinjal eggplant moju, and watalappam, a sweet coconut custard pudding.

Yala National Park is the second -argest national park in Sri Lanka.
Photo by krivinis/Shutterstock