World Sri Lanka Sabaragamuwa Province Ratnapura

Ratnapura , Sabaragamuwa Province

Type of Destination
Historical, Heritage, City, Offbeat
Languages Spoken
Sinhala, Tamil and English
Ratnapura Altitude

Best time to visit Ratnapura

Nearby railway stations

Airports near Ratnapura

Sabaragamuwa Province Ratnapura

About Ratnapura

Rightly called the City of Gems, Ratnapura gives tourists a taste of the gems and precious stones industry in Sri Lanka. The major attractions are the gem factories, mines and the Gemmological Museum, which give interesting information on how gems are excavated and sorted, along with understanding how the various types of stones are distinguished. Apart from its reputation in gem production, Ratnapura is also known for the Adam’s Peak, a world famous mountain considered sacred by many religions.

Ratnapura city located in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka and offers travelers a unique blend of cultural heritage, outdoor adventures, and fascinating experiences.

Getting to Ratnapura

By Air:

The nearest international airport is Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. From there, travelers can take a taxi or bus to Ratnapura, approximately a 2-3 hour drive depending on traffic.

By Road:

Ratnapura is well-connected by road, with regular bus services from major cities like Colombo, Kandy, and Galle. Private taxis and hired vehicles are also available for a more comfortable journey.

Top Attractions in Ratnapura

  1. Gemstone Mines: Explore Ratnapura's gem mines and learn about the fascinating process of gemstone extraction, cutting, and polishing. Visitors can also purchase authentic gemstones from local dealers and jewelers.

  2. Sinharaja Forest Reserve: Discover the biodiversity hotspot of Sinharaja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its rich flora and fauna. Trekking trails offer glimpses of rare species of birds, mammals, and endemic plants.

  3. Bopath Ella Waterfall: Enjoy the natural beauty of Bopath Ella, a stunning waterfall nestled in the lush greenery of Ratnapura. It's an ideal spot for picnics, photography, and relaxation.

  4. Adam's Peak (Sri Pada): For the adventurous traveler, a journey to Adam's Peak, one of Sri Lanka's sacred mountains, is a must. The trek to the summit rewards hikers with panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment.

  5. Ratnapura National Museum: Delve into Ratnapura's history and culture at the National Museum, housing artifacts, exhibits, and collections related to gemstones, traditional crafts, and local heritage.

Cultural Experiences

  1. Gemstone Market: Visit Ratnapura's bustling gemstone market, where traders and buyers gather to trade precious stones like sapphires, rubies, and cat's eyes. Witness the vibrant atmosphere and skilled artisans at work.

  2. Traditional Dance Performances: Attend traditional dance performances showcasing Sri Lanka's cultural diversity, with colorful costumes, rhythmic music, and captivating choreography.

Local Cuisine

Indulge in Ratnapura's delectable culinary delights, including traditional Sri Lankan dishes like rice and curry, string hoppers, and sweetmeats. Don't miss trying local specialties such as gem-bath, a flavorful rice dish.

Accommodation Options

Ratnapura offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler's preference and budget, from cozy guesthouses and boutique hotels to resorts with scenic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Best Time to Visit Ratnapura

The best time to visit Ratnapura is during the dry season from December to March, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities, trekking, and exploring the city's attractions.

Safety Tips for Travelers

  • Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites or participating in cultural events.
  • Carry sufficient water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and necessary medication during outdoor excursions.
  • Stay informed about weather conditions, especially during the monsoon season, and follow local advice regarding trekking and outdoor activities.


Ratnapura offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventure, making it a gem of a travel destination in Sri Lanka. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, history buff, or gemstone aficionado, Ratnapura promises an enriching and memorable experience.

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