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We've put together a guidebook with everything you need to know about Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Written by our specialists, it details destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send you a link by email which will allow you to download your own copy.
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...
Kotugoda (near Colombo), Sri Lanka
Best for: Culture History, Spa, Spectacular scenery
The Wallawwa boutique hotel offers colonial charm and exceptional service within five acres of tropical landscaped gardens.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
The Wallawwa is a luxury hotel in Colombo, only 20 minutes away from the Bandaranaike International Airport, making it the perfect choice for those who wish to stay in an airport hotel in a peaceful and serene environment. Like many luxury hotels in Colombo, The Wallawwa, an old colonial manor house, has traditional Sri Lankan charm and exquisite service and is uniquely set in five acres of tropical landscaped garden.
Negombo is a vibrant city and there is a lot to do when staying there. The Wallawwa can organise excursions for their guests to beaches and fish markets, or to the nearby Tea Factory and Cigar Factory. The hotel is located just over 2 hours from Kandy and Dambulla, so guests with a little more time on their hands can visit the Millennium Elephant Foundation and Dambulla Cave Temples in one day.
The Wallawwa has numerous facilities, including a library, a study, a shop and a variety of board and larger games. The large swimming pool is surrounded by lush trees and sits in a tranquil corner of the tropical gardens. There are 18 beautifully furnished bedrooms and suites at the hotel, with a range of amenities to suit any guest. The Mountbatten Suite comes with its own private plunge pool and private garden.
The Verandah, which has an amazing Asia a la carte menu, is a restaurant that overlooks the hotel’s beautiful gardens. The hotel is family friendly and can provide a children’s menu on request, as well as a vegetarian menu and caters to all dietary requirements. Guests can enjoy an abundance of treatments at the ‘Z’ Spa and it is the perfect place to unwind before or after a long journey.
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
The Sacred City of Anuradhapura
Dating from the sixth century BC and one of Buddhism's holiest sites. A 2,200 year old tree, grown from a cutting of the branch beneath which Buddha found Enlightenment is a highlight. Ancient hospitals and baths add a sense of normality to it all.
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.
Millennium Elephant Foundation
Visit rescued and orphaned elephants at the Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF), established in August 1999 as a sanctuary of care, protection and medical services for elephants in Sri Lanka.
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 Shopping Experience
Colombo is known for its small boutiques, handicrafts and beautiful hand-woven fabrics, as well as larger shops selling clothes and accessories. Explore the shopping area with your friendly guide on this flexible experience.
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.
Sri Lankan Cookery Experience
Unique and tantalising, Sri Lankan cuisine is rich in spices and complexity. Learn about the flavours of Sri Lanka and how to combine different spices in this simple lesson with a local cook. This is a fantastic way to understand the country’s cuisine.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
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.
Sri Lanka's diverse landscapes and climate has resulted in a country rich in wildlife and extraordinary national parks. This alluring and exciting itinerary makes the most of the national parks and biospheres but also gets you more off the beaten track.
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.
Designed with teenage families in mind, this adventurous and active journey explores Sri Lanka's wilder side, perfect for energetic teens looking for something unique. With time on the stunning east coast, this trip is perfect during the summer holidays.
This unique itinerary combines Sri Lanka's glorious coast along Kalptiya, the incredible UNESCO protected ancient cities in the 'Cultural Triangle' with dazzling and untouched east coast beaches. Perfect for those wanting to combine culture with coast.
Staying in luxurious boutique hotels, enjoy the best of Sri Lanka in this enchanting getaway. This is an ideal journey for honeymooners or couples, taking in the ancient cities, Kandy, the tea growing region, Galle and the glorious coast.
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.
This luxurious itinerary showcases the highlights of Sri Lanka whilst staying in some of Sri Lanka's most spoiling and luxurious hotels. This is the perfect trip for those wishing to combine comfort, style and culture with some time on the beach.
This captivating itinerary takes in the central heartland of Sri Lanka. From the ancient cities to the tea growing region and from Kandy to Colombo, this shorter itinerary is ideal for those limited on time.
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.
Brilliantly diverse and blessed with an epic beauty, Sri Lanka is a great destination for a family holiday. This small island offers a remarkable range of experiences ideal for children of most ages and this itinerary really packs them in.
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.
Without compromising on comfort get off-the-beaten track and experience the unseen side of Sri Lanka. Secluded accommodation, ancient cities, incredible wildlife and pristine beaches allow for a completely unique experience.