The island of Sri Lanka lies off the southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean, a verdant paradise that is the cradle of the Buddhist faith. Apart from hundreds of miles of the world's most beautiful palm-fringed beaches, Sri Lanka boasts no fewer than seven World Heritage Sites listed by Unesco, ranging from sacred cities, palaces and cliff-top citadels to colonial strongholds, spanning close to 3,000 years of history. To complete the picture of perfection, Sri Lanka is situated just three degrees north of the Equator, meaning the weather is constantly hot, humid and tropical. Sunny skies are the order of the day; even in the brief monsoon season there is always a daily spell of sunshine.
There has, however, been trouble in paradise. Modern Sri Lanka has experienced indigenous terrorism, particularly in the north of the island and the metropolis of Colombo city, but the beautiful beaches and towns of the south and southeast coast have been largely unaffected. Anyone travelling to Sri Lanka is advised to