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…
Cinnamon Wild Yala
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Bordering the impressive Yala National Park, Cinnamon Wild is a haven for nature lovers, and boasts access to some impressive jungle terrain which plays host to Asia's largest concentration of leopards, elephants, sloth bears and water buffalo.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Cinnamon Wild Yala began life as a small, eco-friendly resort for wildlife enthusiasts, retaining its original charm it has transformed into a forest lodge resort nestled next to the entrance to Yala, a must-see for any Sri Lanka visitor. Wildlife has been emphasised as the highlight of this resort and with its own tribe of resident grey lemurs that make themselves oh-so-comfortable, it certainly does not disappoint.
Accommodation is of a high standard; jungle chalets are spacious and enjoy views out into the lush greenery beyond. Rooms offer a high degree of privacy, as well as comfortable surroundings, all tastefully decorated to reflect the natural surroundings both inside and out.
Cinnamon Wild Yala's Tusker restaurant overlooks the pool and the lake beyond, a hub for local wildlife and bird life. A range of local and international dishes can be enjoyed, as well as bountiful breakfasts and smaller breakfasts to keep you going throughout the dawn game drives.
Game drives and guided walks can be enjoyed throughout the day, taking in the expanse of Yala National Park and its array of fauna, and for those looking for something a little different, don your night vision goggles and head out into the night, seeking out wildlife that would otherwise be overlooked. Due to its unbeatable location, you will not waste time during morning game drives queuing to get into the National Park as you are situated right on its doorstep – a victory for both your beauty sleep and utilising your time wildlife spotting!
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
Afternoon Jeep Safari - Yala National Park
Enjoy a late afternoon jeep safari through Yala National Park. The twilight is the best time to spot sloth bears as they come out of their daytime hiding spots and begin feeding. The famous Leopards of Yala might be around and bird life is aplenty.
Galle Fort Walking Tour
Walk along the ramparts and through the ancient streets of Galle Fort, founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Galle is rich with merchant history and colonial charm.
Ella City Tour
Explore Ella with your chauffeur guide. Ella is blessed with some of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular views. On this tour you will visit Ella Gap, Ravana Ella Falls, Little Adam’s Peak, Ravana Cave and Bambaragala Park.
Morning and Afternoon Jeep Safari - Yala National Park
Whilst at Yala National Park, enjoy a morning and afternoon game drive to witness the variety of wildlife, particularly leopards, for which the park is renowned. Yala is known to have the highest density of leopard on the planet.
Morning Jeep Safari - Yala National Park
Enjoy a morning game drive in a jeep through Yala National Park, which has the highest leopard density in the world, making it incredibly popular. Various other mammals can often be spotted, including sloth bears.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Kotugoda, Kandy, Ella, Yala, Galle, Bentota
A diverse and good value itinerary combining cultural highlights, boutique properties and wildlife. Perfect for those wishing to experience the highlights of Sri Lanka with a private guide, whilst staying in simple but very stylish boutique accommodation.
Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kandy, Hatton, Yala National Park, Galle
Embark on an epic journey through Sri Lanka taking in the far north and south as well as central Sri Lanka and the east coast. This trip is designed for those who want to experience all corners of the country and really get under the skin of the island.
Colombo, Ancient Cities, Kandy, Hatton, Yala National Park, Tangalle, Galle
For a tiny island, Sri Lanka packs a huge amount in and this classic itinerary takes in its captivating highlights in style. From ancient cities to tracking leopards in Yala and from tea plantations to shimmering beaches, this itinerary has it all.
Colombo, Kotugoda, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Yala, Galle
A classic and wonderful journey taking in colonial towns, wildlife and the tea country, a landscape that is quintessential to Sri Lanka and absolutely stunning. End with time on the beach to completely unwind before returning home.