Sri Lanka offers the perfect mix of relaxation, natural beauty and unmatched cultural experiences. Our experts have handpicked six of our most exclusive Sri Lanka experiences to help you make the most of your tailor-made vacation in the country.
Author: Jemima Forbes
Golden coastlines, verdant forests and alluring cities – Sri Lanka draws you in with its wonderful history and epic natural landscapes.
Our tailor-made vacations to Sri Lanka give you the chance to go beyond the nation’s most visited destinations and create an itinerary that’s entirely your own. Spend your Sri Lanka vacation enjoying once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters and immersive cultural excursions. Choose activities that perfectly suit your interests or dive into the new experiences with these exclusive options. Or you could tick off two breathtaking nations at once with our Highlights of Sri Lanka and Maldives Tour. Can’t wait to discover this jewel of Asia? We’ve rounded up an expert-curated list of tailored experiences in this country, so your vacation is packed with the most memorable moments.
1Awaken your senses as you take a walk in Agro Park
Colombo never fails to amaze with its handsome heritage sites, vibrant shopping districts and endless eateries serving up tantalizing Sri Lankan cuisine. If you’re craving a day outside the hustle and bustle of the city though, add Agro Park to your agenda.
The oasis sits just 27 miles away from the capital in the district of Bandaragama and it’s easily one of our most exclusive excursions. See how Sri Lanka’s rural communities thrive and learn all about their ways of life and methods of cultivating the area’s lush paddy fields, tranquil tea plantations and fragrant cinnamon trees.
2Be one with nature at Gal Oya National Park
Sri Lanka has no shortage of national parks where you can surround yourself with fantastic flora and fauna. Our tailor-made trips allow you to go off the beaten path and explore lesser-known regions such as the Gal Oya National Park in Sri Lanka.
Sprawled out along the banks of the Gal Oya River, the park is a paradise for animal lovers. Watch majestic elephants – the area’s most well-known inhabitants – swim between the river’s tiny isles during a thrilling boat safari. Alternatively, you might appreciate a trip to Bird Island where you can witness dozens of bird species nesting on its green shores. Gal Oya is the ideal destination to add to your Sri Lanka itinerary if you want a quieter, less-crowded wildlife experience.
3Find your zen with the monks of Umandawa
Sri Lanka is home to several quiet retreats that allow you to switch off and be at one with nature. If you are looking for a spiritual experience, one of our top picks is a trip to Umandawa. The 70-acre estate is set within a fertile valley and is a blissful haven for those seeking some peace and quiet.
The retreat is run by Buddhist monks and nuns, with each activity bringing guests closer to the natural world. Learn the art of mindfulness, take part in daily meditation sessions, lend a hand at planting trees or help cultivate tropical delights from Umandawa’s organic gardens.
If a full-blown retreat won’t quite fit into your itinerary, try incorporating another spiritual hotspot into your tailor-made Sri Lanka vacation. Visit Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth as part of our enlightening Ayurveda Tour or stroll among the beautiful ruins of ancient sacred monuments in Sigiriya and Anuradhapura.
4Watch baby turtles glide across the sand in Bentota
Peaceful Bentota is tucked away on the country’s southwest coast and it’s an ideal location for a luxury tailor-made vacation in Sri Lanka. As well as relaxing on its pristine shorelines and enjoying the amenities of its indulgent resorts, you’ll have the chance to witness a spectacular phenomenon – the hatching of baby sea turtles.
Run by the Sea Turtle Association, the hatchery gives visitors a chance to see nesting turtles up close. When the eggs fail to thrive in the wild, the organization carefully removes them to the hatcheries where they steadily develop. Once hatched, the newborn turtles are returned to the beach where they begin their journey across the sand to the sea. The process is unbelievably moving and you’ll not want to miss it!
In addition to watching turtles take to the ocean, you could also visit other idyllic beaches in this tranquil corner of Sri Lanka. Galle’s beaches are like something out of a painting thanks to their watercolor skies and calm waters dotted with traditional stilt fisherman. Tangalle is awash with white sand shores, while Negombo’s wide beaches and location 23 miles north of Colombo make it a popular side trip for those visiting the capitol.
5Delve deep into culture at Kandapola Village House
Is tea your favorite hot beverage? Don’t miss a trip to Nuwara Eliya. Nestled in central Sri Lanka’s fertile hill country, it brims with botanical gardens, tumbling waterfalls, national parks and numerous plantations where you can learn all about the process of tea cultivation.
Besides enjoying a tour of one of the area’s fragrant plantations, take a trip to Kandapola Village House. Learn more about the locals and their peaceful ways of living and tuck into simple yet delicious dishes courtesy of the village’s kitchen. Typical options on the menu include spicy chicken biryani, crispy dosa with mango chutney and delectable sweet treats such as laddu and kesari bat. The tranquil hideaway in the hills is surrounded by bright green tea fields and is the perfect place to understand more about Tamil culture.
6Watch elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Sri Lanka’s most beloved animal has to be the elephant. They’re found all across the country, from its vast national parks to its dedicated conservation areas.
A great way to interact with these incredible creatures is to take a trip to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Situated a short distance from Kandy among swaying coconut trees, it is home to around 90 elephants. Spend the day with these gentle giants, watching them bathe in the cool waters of the Maha Oya stream and feeding them fresh bananas from your hand.
Can’t get enough of the nation’s wildlife? Discover our Sri Lanka Elephant Tour which mixes animal encounters with explorations of various cultural and historic gems. You could also incorporate a few national parks into your tailor-made Sri Lanka itinerary, such as Yala, Udawalawe or Wilpattu.
Whether you are seeking a beach getaway or some quiet time up in the hills, Sri Lanka is sure to leave you awestruck. Feeling inspired? Get in touch with us today to start planning your dream tailor-made vacation to Sri Lanka.
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