An island that's fast becoming the go-to holiday resort of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has so much to offer holidaymakers since the cessation of its Civil War. Sri Lanka's new government is trying hard to rebuild the country and restore its reputation as one of the finest islands of its size in the world, as coined by Marco Polo. Situated just a stone's throw above the Equator, visitors to Sri Lanka are greeted with a balmy, sun-kissed climate. However, its weather is heavily influenced by the sea due to its proximity to the Indian Ocean's monsoon winds. Aside from monsoon season, there's never a bad time to explore Sri Lanka's golden beaches and enticing surf. Sri Lanka is a nation dominated by Buddhism, with a number of spectacular ancient temples, dagobas and monasteries. The island nation's colonial heritage is characterised by the Hill Country, the former home to the British occupation, which is now teeming with tea plantations and paddy fields. Animal lovers will adore Sri Lanka too, with a raft of national parks and ancient forests home to wild elephants, monkeys, chimpanzees and leopards, while it's by no means abnormal to spot a blue whale along its Indian Ocean coastline.