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…
Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Best for: Beach, Culture History, Family
Set between jungle, lagoon and ocean, Jungle Beach is a stylish eco-retreat on Sri Lanka’s barely discovered East Coast. With its remote setting, treehouse feel and 4km of beach, it makes for a great escape when the rest of the country is monsoonal.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Guests have various choices of accommodation, all equipped with indoor and outdoor rain showers. Beach Cabins are set right on the beach, and offer spacious living areas elegantly decorated with authentic Sri Lankan artefacts, while the Lagoon Cabins, immaculately designed with an eco-friendly ethos, are set back from the beach and border the jungle, home to a fabulous array of birds.
The stand-alone Jungle Cabins are in the heart of the forest and feature a lavish outdoor living space with day beds and a dining area, and are an oasis of seclusion, providing a genuine tropical jungle experience. The Jungle Cluster Villas offer a more sociable option with a shared pool, and rooms are beautifully decorated in traditional style.
Located in the remote village of Kuchchaveli just north of Trincomalee, Jungle Beach fronts a secluded turquoise bay perfect for swimming and snorkelling during the summer season when the southern and western coasts are experiencing the monsoon.
In the relaxed surroundings it is easy to forget there is a lot to do in the area. Snorkel among the exotic reef fish and colourful coral gardens at nearby Pigeon Island, one of the most impressive coral reefs on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. Take a boat trip to spot blue and sperm whales, as well as dolphins and turtles. Explore the deep rooted history of ancient Trincomalee, or visit the spectacular Hindu cliff temple of Tirukonesvaram Hindu Kovil.
Whilst within the hotel, Uga Spa features two open-air treatment rooms for guests to indulge in relaxing treatments, perfect for unwinding. Fitness classes, yoga and meditation are all available and lead on the beach where possible. Alternatively, explore the local coastline or scenery with jet skis and bicycles available to borrow, and a library and gym on-hand to ensure no guest will ever get bored.
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
Explore the immaculately preserved remnants of Buddhism’s second city. Polonnaruwa is grouped in clumps between enticing forests so that you can walk and cycle your way around giant Buddhas and impressive temples that are over 1,000 years old.
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.
Jungle Beach - Visit Ancient Trincomalee
Known as the ‘Rome of the Pagans of the Orient’, visiting Trincomalee will offer the chance to understand the myths and legends that surround the ancient temples and colonial forts in the area.
Jungle Beach - Fishing in the Mangroves
Enjoy how peaceful the mangroves are at dusk and the slow pace of life that the fishermen here enjoy. There are plenty of endemic and migratory bird species to spot as well as lots of other wildlife in this pristine area.
Boat safari in Gal Oya Park
Enjoy a morning boat safari followed by a lovely picnic in the Gal Oya Park. This is a unique opportunity to observe the local wildlife from the stunning Gal Oya Lake.
Mask Making in Balapitya
Learn to craft your own mask in Balapitya using traditional tools at the workshop in Ambalangoda, supervised by an experienced master craftsman.
Jungle Beach - Ideas for your free time
Jungle Beach is very relaxing but there are also plenty of fun activities on offer. Enjoy a bike tour of the local communities, help the children make kites, or enjoy a cooking class. You could even go whale watching or try scuba diving.
Jungle Beach - Sea Fishing
Keen anglers will love the thrill of fishing out on the open ocean accompanied by a knowledgeable local fisherman. Equipment and refreshments are provided so you can make a brilliant morning of it.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
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.