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Lonely Planet crowned Sri Lanka ‘Best Country to Visit in 2019‘. Lo and behold, we just happen to be hosting a gay tour of the island nation.

10. Bellyflop into the Indian Ocean

Whether you prefer tanning on it’s golden sands or soaking in it’s balmy waters, the Indian Ocean will be yours to enjoy while we kick-back in the coastal city of Galle. Time is also allotted to witness the city’s famed stilt fishermen and Dutch Fort (see #9).

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Stilt Fishermen off the coast of Galle. Photo by Robert Sharp.

9. Explore the Dutch Fort in Galle

Built by the Portuguese in 1588, the fort was significantly expanded upon by the Dutch in the 17th century. It’s pristine condition and unique historical importance earned it UNESCO World Heritage status.

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Galle Fort, aka Dutch Fort. Shutterstock.

8. Cycle through mesmerizing mountains

On the fifth day of our tour we’ll break a sweat peddling from Ulapane to the Mahaweli Valleys. The relatively flat and well-paved biking route offers some of the best views of the countryside. Cameras at the ready!

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On tour with Out Adventures. Photo by Robert Sharp.

7. Rest easy in Geoffrey Bawa’s 5-star Hotels

Nicknamed ‘The Father of Tropical Modernism‘, this internationally acclaimed — and gay — Sri Lankan architect designed some of the world’s most visionary hotels and resorts. Two of which we’ll indulge in on tour! He seamlessly blends the natural environment right into the structure, blurring the line between hotel and jungle or resort and ocean.

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Kandalama Hotel by Geoffrey Bawa. Photo courtesy of Heritance Hotels.

6. Visit the homo-erotic Garden of Bevis Bawa

Older brother to the aforementioned Geoffrey, Bevis — also gay — made a name for himself as a landscape architect. On the final day of our tour we’ll enjoy a morning stroll through his estate gardens, appreciating the blatantly erotic statues and art instillations.

5. Seek out the Majestic Asian Elephant in Minneriya Park

An impressive population of 300+ elephants thrive in Minneriya Park towards Northern Sri Lanka. We’ll enjoy a jeep safari of the park, gazing upon the friendly giants who seem only too happy to pose for pictures.

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On safari in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka. Photo by Robert Sharp.

4. Hike to the top of Sigiriya Rock

The UNESCO World Heritage site is as dramatic as it is mysterious. At the height of the rock fortress you’ll be blessed with seemingly endless views of Sri Lanka’s timeless beauty.

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Hiking to Sigiriya Rock. Photo by Robert Sharp.

3. Master the art of the Sri Lankan head waggle

It’s doubtful you’ll pick up more than a few words of Sinhalese — the most spoken language on the island. However, by tour’s-end you’ll be a master of the Sri Lankan head waggle. Here’s a primer on the non-verbal cultural communication.

2. Enjoy the mouth-watering cuisine

Often wrongfully described as “kinda like Indian, right?”, Sri Lankan cuisine is an astounding combination of spices, herbs and produce. Generally speaking, the most famous dishes are lighter and more tropical than Indian, but just as fiery. On our tour we’ll dine at an incredible array of Sri Lankan restaurants, highlighting the nuances between regions.

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Spicy flat cakes with crab and Sri Lankan prawns. Shutterstock.

1. Search for leopards in Yala National Park

With the densest population of leopard in the world, Yala National Park can’t be missed. We’ll spend an entire day on safari here photographing a slew of creatures, furred, feathered or otherwise. An evening of ‘Glamping’ awaits before we rise early in an attempt to see the notorious leopards slinking back to their dens after a night’s prowl.

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Yala National Park is home to the densest population of leopard in the world. Shutterstock.

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