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Photograph courtesy of Access Trips
Sri Lanka
MIA No More

After the tsunami of 2004 and the resolution of a decades-long civil war, Sri Lanka is finally starting to look like its old self: a peaceful destination where surf lineups are nonexistent despite world-class waves and centuries-old tea estates are lined with mountain bike–ready trails. “The silver lining of the civil war is that the land and wildlife have remained untouched,” says Lisa Bolger, trip coordinator for Access Trips, one of the very few outfitters leading excursions to the Indian Ocean island this coming year. Access’s new itinerary combines surfing at Hikkaduwa (Sri Lanka’s answer to Costa Rica’s Tamarindo—minus the tourists), hiking 7,362-foot Adam’s Peak (considered sacred by four local religions), and mountain biking the same trails that tea farmers have been using since Sri Lanka first began producing the crop 250 years ago. At 25,000 square miles, the island lets you cover a lot in a short amount of time. “Within a half day we move between vastly different topographies, climates, and wildlife zones,” says Bolger. Rare is the place you see rice paddies from the back of an elephant in the morning and ocean views from a mountaintop by midday.

Outfitter: Access Trips;
Price: $2,795 ($$)
Length: 10 days
Departs: February–April

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