Some of the wildlife that can be spotted on a Sri Lanka holiday...
The teardrop island is particularly proud of its natural bounty, and rightly so. For thousands of years, vast swathes of land have been protected by Sri Lankan royalty, preserved as sanctuaries for nature to thrive and even today, countless areas of protected land exist on the island. Despite its small size, its diverse landscapes, contrasting seasons, unique climate and incredible biodiversity confirm it as an exceptional place for wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy year-round.
Whether you’re a culture vulture keen to explore the impressive temples and UNESCO sites of the Cultural Triangle, a wildlife fanatic who hopes to spot the elusive leopard in Yala National Park, or a fervent foodie whose mouth waters at the tantalizing aromas of cardamom and coriander, here's our pick of the top Sri Lankan experiences that are not to be missed...
Here’s a guide to our favourite local street-food delicacies to sample during your stay…
Mirissa is the gateway to Dondra Point. This is one of the best spots to witness the whale migrations in Sri Lanka from the Bay of Bengal - Sri Lanka’s southern sea is calm offering up the perfect conditions.
On a recent trip to Sri Lanka, Ellis was bowled over by this unique and calm country which is worlds apart from nearby India. From the fascinating culture of the north, to the scenic rolling hills of Tea Country and the beautiful golden beaches on the coast, there is no end to the country's beauty.
In Sri Lanka, festivals are an integral part of life and culture; with a population composed of many races and religions and given its long, ancient history – they are never short of celebrations. Here are a few of the significant festivals:
Tea is part of Sri Lanka’s unique cultural heritage and some of the world’s finest teas are produced here. Due to Sri Lanka’s diverse climate each tea variety is uniquely different. The country is particularly famous for Ceylon tea, recognised over the world for its high quality and distinct aroma (crisp and citrus).
The best of Sri Lanka and The Maldives in this luxurious journey that takes in Sri Lanka's ancient cities and tea plantations before flying off to one of the finest islands in The Maldives. It combines culture with some of the world's finest beaches.
Spotting the Big Five in Africa is often hailed as the holy grail of wildlife holidays, but plenty of other places around the world offer animal sightings impressive enough to rival Africa's, and Sri Lanka is certainly one of them. Here, we introduce you to Sri Lanka's own Big Five and give you all the information you need to go in search of these wild beasts...
Here’s a guide to our favourite things to do in Galle…
Kaleliya, Sri Lanka
Best for: Culture History, Honeymoon, Spa
An intimate hideaway with unique and stylish pavilions ideally located only 25km from the airport, making it the perfect spot for relaxation before flying in or out of Sri Lanka.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Set in jungle surroundings halfway between Kandy and Colombo, the Casa Heliconia is the ideal luxury spot for couples. The hotel is 25km from the airport so is the ideal place to stay when flying in and out of the country. Casa Heliconia is located on the outskirts of a farming village and surrounded by rural Sri Lankan life. Nearby experiences can include visits to markets, small temples and villages.
At Casa Heliconia most of the food is Sri Lankan inspired and all rates include breakfast and dinner, which focuses on local and fresh ingredients. Guests can enjoy the services of local masseurs who are trained in Ayurveda techniques and can help you to entirely relax.
The hotel has two exclusive luxury rooms, each with its own terrace and private dining area. Their interiors are an eccentric fusion of western and Asian art in a lush tropical setting. The Temple Angkor displays inspiration from Cambodia’s jungles and is decorated with antiques, fabrics and artefacts, giving it a rustic yet luxury feel. The second slightly smaller room, Pagoda Gold, is an eclectically designed room near to the pool area. In true Sri Lankan style, the showers for each room are outside and the Pagoda Gold bathroom is also outside.
The Doll’s House is an area available to all guests with Wi-Fi and a home theatre. Guests can also enjoy the Pavilion Neapolitan, an area with loungers next to an infinity pool. Relax in the pool whilst gazing at the paddy fields that surround the hotel and the beautiful landscape beyond.
When to go
Sri Lanka is considered a sunny year round destination; there is always somewhere experiencing good weather on the island. However, there are huge regional differences. The Southwest ‘Yala’ Monsoons brings rain to the west and southwest coast, as well as the hill country, from April/May to September. During this time the north and east coasts are good. The northeast ‘Mahe’ monsoon is less extreme and brings rain to the east and north during October and November. This monsoon can bring a bit of rain to the south as well. Put simply; head to the south, central, hill country and western areas between December and March and ideally head to the north and eastern areas between April and September. We can never guarantee good weather but believe this is a good guide to follow.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Colombo Tuk Tuk Safari
Enjoy this fun and hip way to take in Colombo, as your tuk tuk driver transports you to the ‘must see’ attractions of the city, from downtown landmarks to off-the-beaten-track secrets.
Old Colombo Walkabout
This Colombo walking tour is a leisurely 3-4 hour walk that celebrates the city’s Portuguese, Dutch and English heritage. With a specialist guide, you’ll also learn about modern Colombo and how locals conduct their business.
Dambulla Rock Cave Temple
The rich history of the huge rock temples involves Indian invaders being driven away through the strength of meditation in the first century BC. Its just as exciting today as you are guided through five intricately carved caves past giant stone statues.
Private Audience with a Monk in Colombo
Enjoy the chance to meet a resident monk at the Gangarama Temple in Colombo. Learn about the stories of Buddha’s life and how to achieve inner peace. Afterwards, experience some Buddhist practices and customs.
Colombo City Tour
This guided tour is a journey through Colombo’s highlights, from strolling along Galle Face Green overlooking the India Ocean, to the fort area and railway station. Enjoy parks, gardens, the town hall and the city’s famous Independence Square.
Night Cycling in Colombo
Pedal your way around an atmospheric dusky Colombo to reveal its hidden secrets. As some of the city goes to sleep, other parts come alive. Enjoy this little cycling adventure before dinner.
Cycle tour of Colombo
Explore Colombo on two wheels, passing museums, railways, parks and gardens with an experienced guide who will show you the best sights and short cuts in this bustling city. Galle Face Green, right next to the sea is a highlight.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Kotugoda, Wilpattu National Park, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Maldives
A perfect combination of the very best of Northern Sri Lanka with a luxurious stay in the Maldives. Ideal for those wanting to see Sri Lanka's cultural highlights and wildlife, but who also want to relax and unwind on a private island.