Anuradhapura Kingdom Ruins

Dating back as far as 377BC, this ancient kingdom is an essential stop on any tour of Sri Lanka. Established as the first capital city of the island by King Pandukabhaya, it survived 119 successive kings for over 1500 years before becoming one of the world’s most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Regarded as the cradle of Buddhism, the sacred site is home to a vast network of temples and monasteries which can be explored at leisure during this four-hour tour. Discover the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree which is said to have grown from a cutting from the tree in India under which Buddha attained enlightenment, marvel at the preservation of the Twin Ponds and soak up the impressive history at the onsite museum housed within one of the ancient monasteries which is filled with ornate trinkets dating back to the pre-Christian era.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Sigiriya hotels

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Polonnaruwa Kingdom Ruins

Brush off your explorer hat as you traverse the ancient second capital of the island and discover the monumental ruins of this glorious garden-city. Dating back to 1070 A.D, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is brimming with history and the on-site museum will soon have you up to speed. The ancient compact city is easy to navigate and filled with impressive architectural structures from the enormous Royal Palace that stands seven stories tall to more personal relics such as the King’s private swimming pool. During this five-hour tour you’ll have the opportunity to explore many of the city’s highlights including the beautiful white Kiri Vihara Dagoba which archaeologists found when clearing the area from jungle in perfect condition after 700 years. From evocative temples and shrines to the serene Sea Of Parakrama, this is one of the best -preserved sites in Sri Lanka and sure to create lasting memories for years to come.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Passikudah and Trincomalee hotels

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Sigiriya Rock Fortress (car & driver and stay-put excursion)

One of Sri Lanka’s most iconic landmarks, Sigiriya Rock is a sight to behold, towering 200 metres above the surrounding jungle. Formed from magma of an extinct volcano, the fortress was created over 1500 years ago by King Kashyapa and is considered one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, discover the vast history of the plateau at the onsite museum before making the climb up the vertiginous staircases to the summit passing impressive frescoes and the famed Mirror Wall and colossal Lions Platform as you go. From the top, explore the ruins of the ancient civilisation through the remnants of the palace and vast gardens and soak up the panoramic vistas of the jungle covered central plains.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Sigiriya, Kandalama, Kandy and Trincomalee hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Negombo

Good to know
For the most pleasurable experience we recommend organising this excursion first thing in the morning or after 4pm to avoid the heat of the day. While suitable for all, the climb to the summit requires a good degree of physical fitness.

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Dambulla Cave Temple

A fantastic stopping off point when travelling between Habarana or Kandalama and Kandy, the famous cave complexes of Dambulla are a haven for those interested in Sri Lanka’s rich history. Dating back to the first Century BC, this ancient cave temple has been a pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus for 22 centuries and is still a place of holy importance to this day. There are over 80 documented caves at the site, but with around an hour to explore, this excursion will guide you through the major highlights which are spread over just five of them. Adorned with statues of Gautama Buddha and ornate ceiling paintings, the iconic temple is brimming with artefacts depicting the island’s glorious past and is not to be missed.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Kandy and Passikudah hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Negombo

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Kandy’s Highlights

Whether time is of the essence or you’re after an introduction to this vibrant city that’s brimming with history and culture, this half day excursion will ensure you don’t miss any of Kandy’s major attractions. Discover one of Buddhism’s most sacred shrines at the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth, where the relic tooth of Buddha is housed and explore the spectacular Royal Palace complex – the perfect backdrop for some holiday snaps. Dating back to 1821, finish your trip with a meander through the delightful Royal Botanical Garden where you’ll find over 100 endemic plants before exploring the rest of the city at leisure or returning to your hotel to unwind.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya and Kandy hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Beruwela, Kalutara, Bentota & Negombo

Good to know
This trip is suitable for all, but legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when entering the temple.

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Udawalawe Jeep Safari & Elephant Transit Home

Founded in 1995, the Elephant Transit Home is a haven for orphaned or injured elephant calves who are rehabilitated back to full health before being returned to the wild. Great lengths are taken to minimize contact between the baby elephants, their caregivers and visitors but you can enjoy watching them stamp their feet impatiently as they wait for their food and relish in the fact that once old enough to survive alone, they’ll be free to roam the national park once more. After a delicious lunch in a local restaurant, hop into your private jeep and get ready to explore the Udawalawe National Park, a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of nearby Udawalawe Reservoir. Infamous for its large population of elephants, have your camera at the ready as you spot herds of these majestic creatures feeding, playing and bathing in waterholes as well as an abundance of other mammals, reptiles and birds.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Udawalawe, Hambantota, Tangalle and Yala
• Available for guests staying at hotels in Tangalle, Hambantota, Galle, Koggala and Weligama

Good to know
This unforgettable trip is suitable for all ages.

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Udawalawe 3-hour Jeep Safari

If you’ve already had the pleasure of exploring the Udawalawe National Park and would like some additional time observing the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat, this is the excursion for you. As you head back into the vast park it won’t be long before you stumble across a herd of elephants strolling alongside the track or water buffalo and deer congregating by a watering hole. Your knowledgeable driver will be on hand to point out the local flora and fauna from soaring eagles to prehistoric looking monitor lizards and will ensure you discover the best secluded spots.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Udawalawe, Galle, Hambantota, Tangalle and Yala

Good to know
Suitable for all, if not staying in the vicinity of the national park we’d recommend an afternoon safari due to the early start of the morning excursion.

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Yala Full Day Jeep Safari

Explore Sri Lanka’s most famous national park and experience the sanctuary’s rich wildlife from the comfort of your own private jeep on this epic full day excursion. As the sun begins to rise and the parks inhabitants begin to emerge from their slumber, your experienced guide will drive you through the grassy plains and light forest in search of elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes, monkeys and more. With one of the highest densities of leopards in the world and a full day to explore, there’s a good chance you’ll catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures too. A haven for bird watchers, the park is brimming with both migratory and endemic bird species and dotted with important ancient ruins and temples dating back to the 5th century B.C.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round except September – mid-October
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Yala

Good to know
This experience is designed for those staying in close vicinity to the park due to the early start. Please note that during the height of the drought season between September and mid-October, the park will be closed.

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Yala 3-hour Jeep Safari

If you’re short on time or simply want to add in a safari trip while staying in a resort along the serene southern coast, this three-hour excursion is just the ticket. With your own private guide, it won’t be long before you’re spotting herds of elephants walking across the grassy plains and buffaloes and deer cooling off by a watering hole. Spot monkeys playing in the treetops, crocodiles popping up for air and eagles soaring in the sky above – the park is teeming with life. With one of the highest densities of leopards in the world, Yala is a prime location to encounter these elusive creatures in their natural habitat and bird enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either with a huge collection of migratory and endemic species to spot.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round except September to mid-October
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Hambantota, Tangalle, Udawalawe and Yala
• Available for guests staying at hotels in Yala, Udawalawe, Tangalle and Hambantota

Good to know
If not staying in close vicinity to the national park, we’d recommend the afternoon excursion due to the early start of the morning option.

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Wilpattu Jeep Safari full day

Much quieter than Sri Lanka’s other popular national parks, Wilpattu offers a genuine sense of wilderness with scientific research on the bio-diversity of the park still in its infancy. This ‘Land of Lakes’ is dotted with water-basins and hidden in the dense forests you’ll find an array of wildlife from sloth bears and spotted deer to elephants and crocodiles. Little is known of the large population of leopards who reside in the park, but next to Yala in the south. this is the second-best place to spot them in Sri Lanka. With an intimate knowledge of the area, your guide and driver will navigate the day based on their experience giving you the best chance to catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat.

• Daily departures
• Operates between February and October
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Sigiriya

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Wilpattu 3-hour Jeep Safari

Much quieter than Sri Lanka’s other popular national parks, Wilpattu offers a genuine sense of wilderness with scientific research on the bio-diversity of the park still in its infancy. This ‘Land of Lakes’ is dotted with water-basins and hidden in the dense forests you’ll find an array of wildlife from sloth bears and spotted deer to elephants and crocodiles. Little is known of the large population of leopards who reside in the park, but next to Yala in the south. this is the second-best place to spot them in Sri Lanka. With an intimate knowledge of the area, your guide and driver will navigate the day based on their experience giving you the best chance to catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat.

• Daily departures
• between February and October
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Sigiriya

Good to know
Suitable for all, for those staying further afield and those who can’t commit to a day trip, we’d recommend an afternoon visit.

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Bundala Bird Watching Safari

The first wetland to be declared as a RAMSAR site in Sri Lanka, Bundala National Park is a must do for bird enthusiasts. The UNESCO designated biosphere reserve hosts 197 species and is one of the best places to observe both migrant and resident birds which use the parks five shallow lagoons as feeding sites. Delight in the impressive bird song as your personal tracker guides you through the six different types of wetland where you’ll spot the likes of Black Headed Ibis, Painted Storks and Terns along with other small mammals, reptiles and butterflies from the comfort of your own private jeep.

• Daily departures
• Operates between October and March
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Hambantota, Tangalle, Udawalawe and Yala
• Available for guests staying at hotels in Tangalle and Hambantota

Good to know
Due to the early start time of the morning excursion, we’d recommend an afternoon visit for those staying further afield.

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Minneriya Jeep Safari

If observing elephants in their natural habitat is on your to do list while in Sri Lanka, Minneriya National Park should be top of your list. While elephants can be spotted all year round in huge numbers, during the dry season, between April and October, the park plays host to one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world: The Great Elephant Gathering. As the Minneriya Tank dries up and gives way to a lush grass plain, 300 or more elephants gather in the late afternoon to feed offering visitors an unforgettable spectacle. Home to a host of other wildlife from two endemic monkey species to the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, the endangered Grey Slender Loris and elusive Sri Lankan Leopard can also occasionally be spotted.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Kandy

Good to know
Depending on the time of year, guests may be taken to the Hurulu Eco-park (Jan to May) or Kandulla National Park (Nov to Dec) as elephant migrations interchange between all three parks.

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Whale Watching Cruise (car & driver excursion and stay put excursion)

Embark on this once in a lifetime trip in search of whales on this thrilling cruise across the Indian Ocean and discover the multitude of marine life off the coast of Sri Lanka. As your expert skipper and crew sail through areas frequented by whales, look out for sperm, killer, humpback and pilot whales in the tropical waters as well as acrobatic spinner dolphins racing alongside the boat. Home to the largest Blue Whale colony in the world, there’s a good chance you’ll spot these enormous mammals during your excursion offering some incredible photo opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime.

• Daily departure
• Operates between October and March
• Group experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Galle, Hambantota, Koggala, Mirissa & Tangalle
• Available for guests staying at hotels in Galle, Koggala & Welogama.

Good to know
A great experience for those looking to explore Sri Lanka’s marine life however as these are wild animals, sightings can’t be guaranteed.

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Hot Air Balloon Flight

Embark on this unforgettable adventure activity and experience the serenity of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle from the sky. Revel at the views as the sun rises and you gently glide across dense forests, ancient ruins and grassy plains, witnessing the stunning landscapes from a whole new perspective. The perfect addition to any honeymoon or those celebrating a special occasion, after landing your flight will be toasted with a glass of champagne or juice.

• Daily departures
• Operates between November and April
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Kandalama, Dambulla, Habarana and Sigiriya

Good to know
Not suitable for those under 16 years of age, pregnant passengers or those with heart conditions.

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Sri Lankan Cooking Class

There’s no better souvenir than mastering the art of Sri Lankan cooking, providing you with instant access to the island’s rich flavours once home. Since the Dutch, Portuguese and British settlers began trading spices they have become an important commodity in Sri Lankan cuisine and are the key to mastering the perfect dish. Your class will begin with a guided spice tour where you’ll discover the country’s rich herbal heritage, from harvesting and processing through to the health benefits of the most popular flavours. Set in a restaurant adjacent to a cinnamon plantation, you’ll get busy preparing a traditional Sri Lankan curry with a recipe that’s been inherited over generations before tucking into your own delicious creations over lunch.

• Daily departures
• year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Kandalama, Dambulla, Habarana and Kandy

Good to know
This class is ideal for those travelling between Habarana or Kandalama and Kandy or vice versa due to its location between the two.

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Ceylon Tea Picking Experience

The story of Ceylon tea begins over 200 years ago when Sri Lanka was still a British colony. With its alchemy of land, sun and rain the island provides the ideal climate for its cultivation. For those looking to delve deeper into the cultivation process and history of Sri Lanka’s greatest export, this immersive tea picking experience is not to be missed. A good cup of tea starts in the field and you’ll begin by observing the fine art of tea plucking before heading back inside and learning all about tea processing with a thorough factory visit. Much like wine, each batch of tea must be taste-tested, and you’ll get a quick masterclass on what to look for from your knowledgeable guide. After all that learning, end the day with a refreshing cup of Ceylon Tea straight from the plantation and a newfound appreciation for the hard work that goes into every cup.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Nuwara Eliya and Kandy

Good to know
This is a great half day trip for those travelling between Nuwara Eliya and Kandy or vice versa, due to its location between the two.

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Highlights of Colombo In A Day

Bustling Colombo is packed with unmissable sights and you’ll discover the most compelling of them on this private full-day visit. The well-thought-out itinerary includes a blend of historic sites and contemporary attractions, along with some that are both, such as the Dutch Hospital, the oldest building in the Colombo Fort area, which has been repurposed as a stylish shopping and dining destination. Other highlights include the Galle Face Promenade, which runs the length of the city’s celebrated seaside park; Sambodhi Chaithya, a Buddhist shrine that’s a fascinating example of 1950s architecture; and Nelum Pokuna Art Street, a colourful open-air market where local artists showcase and sell their work. Just behind Art Street is the National Museum, where you can feast your eyes on everything from the crown jewels of the last King of Kandy to vividly painted demon masks.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

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The Art of Creating Sri Lankan Tea

As well as its aromatic spices, Sri Lanka is famed for its tea production. Since the first plantation was established in the 19th Century, millions of kilograms of tea have been exported around the globe, to countries including the UK, the UAE and Turkey. You’ll visit one of the oldest tea producers in the country and learn all about the creation of the famous Ceylon loose-leaf tea from the plant to the cup via the refining and blending processes. You’ll also learn about the subtle differences in flavour of teas grown at different altitudes and how teas are blended for the tastes of their ultimate destinations around the world.

• Daily departures from Colombo and Negombo hotels
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Hike Pidurangala Rock

Climbing Sigiriya Rock is a Sri Lanka rite of passage, however, as with scaling any iconic viewpoint – once you’ve reached the top, it’s not part of the landscape that you’re viewing. The almost-200-metre-high Pidurangala Rock lies just to the north of its more famous neighbour and has some pretty epic views from its summit (which, like Lion Rock, is reached by man-made paths and staircases). The best times to climb are sunrise and sunset when the shifting light casts dramatic shadows across the landscape, and – if you are lucky – creates dramatic skies of many colours.

• Daily departures from Habarana, Sigiriya, Kandalama, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Village Cooking Experience

The cuisine of Sri Lanka has been shaped over centuries, influenced by Arab traders and European settlers, and trying the spice-enriched specialities – whether from a high-end restaurant or a street hawker – is a staple experience during a visit to the island. To really enhance your time here, we recommend learning how to create a handful of dishes in a local village. You’ll buy your produce from a village vendor in the company of your host; they’ll show you the essential ingredients used in traditional cooking and select the freshest vegetables that will be used to create their culinary masterpieces. In a wattle-and-daub hut that’s surrounded by paddy fields, your host will whip up a range of flavourful and authentic curries that you’ll get to enjoy at the end of the morning.

• Daily departures from Habarana, Sigiriya, Kandalama, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Learn the Art of Traditional Pottery & Pan Mat Making

Spend a few hours discovering the skill and beauty of a couple of the traditional crafts still practiced in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country: pottery and weaving. You’ll visit the workshop of a potter and learn about the age-old methods used to create stunning earthenware pieces as well as trying your hand on the potter’s wheel yourself. The focus then shifts to the intricate art of weaving pan reeds into vibrant and multi-use mats – a pan padura – which most families in Sri Lanka will own. Watch as dried-out reeds are transformed in front of your eyes and even have a go yourself.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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The Art of Drumming

The traditional music and percussion instruments of Sri Lanka are the focus on this short but sweet experience from Kandy. Learn about the history and culture surrounding the Kandyan drum, their importance and use during festivals, rituals and at temples. There’ll be the chance to try out the skill for yourself under the guidance of an experienced drummer; this is a great experience to enjoy together as a family.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Crab Curry Cooking Class

The shallow lagoons off the east coast of Sri Lanka are rich with edible crab species and a Sri Lankan crab curry is a regional speciality. During this half-day experience, you’ll visit a local guesthouse and discover how to make this flavourful dish – a skill that will allow you to bring the taste of Sri Lanka home with you.

• Daily departures from Passikudah
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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The Cinnamon Experience

Not far from the golden shores of Weligama is the hillside Top House, a working cinnamon plantation that’s been lovingly restored by its British owner. A combination of self-sustaining age-old techniques and modern technology is used to extract cinnamon leaf oil at the newly built distillery. During your private tour, you’ll explore the cinnamon nursery, the plantation itself, the peeling hut and the distillery, travelling on foot and by a tractor-hitched trailer, and learn about the processes involved in creating their artisan produce.

• Departs Monday to Saturday from Galle, Weligama, Tangalle, Koggala
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

Good to know
The plantation is closed on poya days.

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Galle Fort Photography Experience

Join a private photography walk of Galle Fort with a local travel and lifestyle photographer with the chance to refine your camera skills and take some inspiring photographs. There is a lively art scene here, and visitors and keen shutterbugs are inspired by Galle Fort’s coastal location, creativity, and heritage architecture. Tour the cobbled streets through a lens and discover its majestic defences, once walked by merchants and traders, now fringed with characterful boutiques, galleries, and eateries. Over a memorable couple of hours, you’ll hone your photography skills with a guide who knows the fort and its stories.

• Daily departures from Galle
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Kandy Horse Riding

Take a horse-riding lesson in Kandy, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider. Ride one of Victoria Golf Club’s gentle, thoroughbred horses, ideal for both apprehensive beginners and experienced riders, promising to make riding in Sri Lanka an unforgettable and enjoyable experience. The Saddle Club offers lessons to children and adults and one-hour treks to appreciate the beauty of the scenery while enjoying some fresh mountain air.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Kumana National Park by Jeep

Join a half-day or full-day game drive to experience the spirit of Kumana National Park. Kumana National Park is a well-known eco-tourism attraction and bird sanctuary where many birds breed and roost. One of the most significant features of the park is the Kumana Villu, a 200-hectare natural swamp lake fed by the Kumbukkan Oya through a half-mile-long narrow channel.

• Daily departures from Passikudah or Trincomalee
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Street Food of Negombo

Spend an evening feasting on the delicious street food of Sri Lanka. As one of the leading cultivators and exporters of spices worldwide, the Sinhalese use their seasonings with utmost care. It's known for the sweetest cinnamon, peppercorns, tamarind, cloves, nutmeg, mace, and more. It can be sampled in its street foods, including flavoursome masalas topped with decadent meat and slow-cooked vegetables. Snackable dishes are an integral part of Sri Lanka’s diverse cuisine, and you’ll have a chance to taste plenty of dishes as you venture around Negombo.

• Daily departures from Negombo
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Canoe Unawatuna Lagoon

Paddle through the mangrove forests of the Unawatuna Lagoon in a canoe. Your adventure begins with a safety introduction and life jackets. You’ll board a canoe and paddle through beautiful rivulets and mangrove forests. You can interact with the local people and watch them catch crabs as you go. An experienced professional guide will assist you throughout the trip, pointing out bird species flocking on the distant trees on a two-hour voyage.

• Daily departures from Galle
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Colombo City Walk

Join a family-friendly tour to explore the Colombo neighbourhood of Pettah on foot in the company of a knowledgeable local guide. Your tour begins by exploring colourful and fragrant markets, including a floating market. You’ll have the chance to see a Dutch church dating to 1749, the Dutch Period Museum and the Red Mosque. Explore places rich in history and religion, such as the Gangaramaya Temple and the Colombo Museum.

• Daily departures from Colombo and Negombo
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Golf at the Royal Colombo Club

Play a round of golf at the Royal Colombo, a leading 140-year-old private members club in Sri Lanka. The club is a sanctuary in the heart of Colombo, sitting in contrast to its surroundings. After your round, the clubhouse provides an airy, relaxing atmosphere and a beautiful place for members and visitors to unwind.

• Departs Monday to Friday from Colombo or Negombo
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Kanneliya Rainforest Trek

Venture into the Kanneliya Rainforest on a private tour to explore its flora and fauna. While it’s known as one of South Asia's most floristically abundant areas, the Kanneliya Forest Reserve is also home to fascinating birdlife, including many endemics and an incredible diversity of mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, amphibians, and reptiles. During your tour, you’ll have the chance to see the Anagimale Falls, an ancient tangled giant creeper and the little waterfall of Narangas Ella. An impressive Nevada tree observation platform provides a great spot to look out over the Reserve.

• Daily departures from Galle or Koggala
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Learn the Art of Lace Making

Watch a traditional Sri Lankan lacemaker at work on an insightful half-day experience. Sit down with a Beeralu lacemaker to observe how they create intricate art. A lace pattern is hand-drawn on graph paper, after which the design is marked with pins and wrapped around a lace pillow. Then, several lengths of thread are woven or braided with the help of wooden bobbins to create a finished piece of lace. Though this process requires more effort than machine-cut lace that can be produced in bulk and on demand, the authenticity and quality of Beeralu lace are unparalleled.

• Daily departures from Galle, Koggala, Tangalle or Weligama
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Dinner Overlooking Negombo Lagoon

Dine on fresh seafood with a view over the Indian Ocean. Negombo Lagoon is an open-air dining space in the fishing village where you can choose from the freshest catch of the day from the seafood market and then ask the chefs to prepare it in a sauce or curry of your choice.

• Daily departures from Negombo
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Surf’s Up at Weligama Bay

Negotiate the waves on a two-hour surf lesson. Weligama Bay is the centre of surf culture on the south coast of Sri Lanka and an ideal spot to learn, whether you’re a beginner or looking to finesse your skills. There are gentle beginner waves all day, every day, and all year round. For those who know the basics, there are unbroken waves to tackle, and expert surfers can finetune their paddle, stance, and style — or learn some new manoeuvres.

• Daily departures from Galle, Weligama, Tangalle or Koggala
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Explore Kandy by Classic Car

Take a ride around the historical and cultural Kandy in a classic car. This private tour takes you around the city, where colonial-era and local architecture sit side by side. Its landscapes and streets will enthral you, and there’s the chance to see the golden roof of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a sacred Buddhist shrine, and visit Kandy Lake, an artificial lake with a palm-dotted island at its centre.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Udawaththakale Forest Trek

Hike through a historic forest reserve on a hill ridge in Kandy. Udawaththakale Forest is a vital bio reserve for Kandy. On a guided trek, you’ll see the forest's highlights, including the water pond, the Kodimale peak, the Senkanda Cave, and the Garrison cemetery. There are also several Buddhist temples and hermitages inside the forest reserve.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Highlights of Colombo by Classic Car

On a private tour, step back in time and observe Colombo’s historic buildings from the comfort of a classic car. Spend a couple of hours visiting architectural landmarks in Columbo. The colonial buildings in Fort are some of the city’s most recognisable structures, including the Dutch Hospital, once used as a health centre for the Dutch East India Company and later by seafarers. You can also visit the Old Colombo Lighthouse, an elegant Victorian tower.

• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Street food of Hikka

Hikkaduwa might be best known for its beach and surf culture, but it is also renowned for its delicious street food. Spend an evening on a gastronomic adventure, tasting these local street foods. There’s plenty of seafood to try alongside spicy and flavoursome roti, crispy pancakes known as hoppers, and traditional curry and rice. Watch as the vendors prepare the dishes as you listen to the sound of the waves.

• Daily departures from Galle or Hikkaduwa
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Explore Galle by Classic Car

Join a resident in their beloved 1972 Volkswagen Beetle convertible for a two-hour tour of Galle. Galle is a melting pot of culture, cuisine, and craft recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your journey, you’ll witness Galle’s maritime history and Dutch-colonial influence with insight from your guide.

• Daily departures from Galle or Koggala
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Mangrove Conservation Project Visit

Koggala Lagoon is in Sri Lanka’s southern province, where a wide range of wildlife live, and small villages dot the shoreline. It’s home to a large mangrove biome with eleven mangrove species and a high level of biodiversity. Many of the mangroves were destroyed yet vital habitat restoration has been underway since 2010, led by the Wildlife and Ocean Resource Conservation and supported by the DER Touristik Foundation, Kuoni’s parent company.

On this half-day experience, a private transfer will collect you from your hotel and take you to Koggala Lagoon. You’ll meet the team who’ll provide an overview of the conservation work and the mangrove ecosystem at Koggala, beginning with a look at the plant nursery. Mangroves are vital plants that grow in water, tolerating conditions that most plants can’t survive in, thanks to their ability to remove salt. Crucially, mangroves absorb twice as much carbon dioxide as tropical rainforests, helping maintain good water quality, filter pollutants, and protect shorelines from erosion.

After an introduction to the science behind the mangrove growing and planting techniques, you’ll board a boat to venture out onto the lagoon to study the mangroves, observing the local wildlife that live here, with birdlife soaring overhead, including herons and hawks. You’ll have the chance to plant seedling mangroves following a successful technique that other organisations involved in the restoration of mangrove swamps around the world have adopted.

• £10 of each excursion sale goes towards the conservation programme • Departs from Galle, Tangalle, Koggala, Bentota, Ahungalla and Hikkaduwa hotels (as private car & driver transfer)
• Operates year round
• You must wear clothes that cover your legs and shoulders
• Shoes and sandals must be removed
• We recommend booking the tour in the morning or the late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day

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Scenic Train Journey - Nuwara Eliya to Ella

The rail journey between Nuwara Eliya (Nanu Oya station) and Ella is arguably the most beautiful stretch of the Kandy-to-Hill-Country journey. For a few hours, the iconic train winds its way up through tea plantations and fruit farms on the way into the beautiful town of Ella.

• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
The train journey is based on tickets in the first class, air-conditioned carriage. It includes guaranteed seats, lunch or high tea depending on journey time (after the rail journey), taxes and service charges.

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Scenic Train Journey - Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

Depart from the hotel and transfer to the train station and board the train that will take you up towards Nuwara Eliya. As you ascend into the Hill Country, the train passes through rolling tea plantations and verdant forests and you’ll understand why this journey has been named as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Disembark at Nanu Oya station and transfer to your Nuwara Eliya hotel by road.

• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
The train journey is based on tickets in the first class, air-conditioned carriage. It includes guaranteed seats, lunch or high tea depending on journey time (after the rail journey), taxes and service charges.

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Scenic Train Journey - Nuwara Eliya to Kandy

Depart from the hotel and transfer to the train station at Nanu Oya and board the train that will take you to Kandy. As you descend from the Hill Country, the train passes through rolling tea plantations and verdant forests and you’ll understand why this journey has been named as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Disembark in Kandy and transfer to your hotel.

• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
The train journey is based on tickets in the first class, air-conditioned carriage. It includes guaranteed seats, lunch or high tea depending on journey time (after the rail journey), taxes and service charges.

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Best time to visit Sri Lanka

The best time of year to visit Sri Lanka depends on where you wish to travel to – for a relatively small island, there are wide variations in climate, depending on the time of year. There are two monsoons that affect the island’s climate – the north-east monsoon which can affect the whole island, and the south-west monsoon which is less intense and impacts the south and west coasts as well as the Hill Country. Despite the rainfall, the temperature around the coast rarely drops below 25 degrees; up in the Hill Country it is a little cooler due to the higher altitude. Generally, the best time to visit the west and south coasts as well as the Cultural Triangle is between December and April, while on the east coast the climate is at its finest from May through to October.

Sri Lanka Weather

Nov - Mar

January
76 mm
February
59 mm
March
78 mm
April
161 mm
May
291 mm
June
258 mm
July
226 mm
August
218 mm
September
246 mm
October
279 mm
November
260 mm
December
155 mm

Sri Lanka Weather by Month

Sri Lanka in January
Sri Lanka’s weather in January is generally warm and dry, especially in the central, western and southern regions. If you are looking to explore the Cultural Triangle and then spend some time on the beaches of Negombo, Bentota or Tangalle, this is a great time to travel. The north-east (maha) monsoon will still be affecting the east coast, although the period of the heaviest, most prolonged rains will be coming to an end.

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Sri Lanka in February
The weather in February remains pleasant, with beautiful sunny days on the west and south coasts and in central Sri Lanka. There is minimal rainfall in these regions and temperatures can rise to over 30 degrees. There are still rains in the east coast; however, these are beginning to become more sporadic and less intense. Independence Day is an annual, country-wide celebration that takes place on 4th February.

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Sri Lanka in March
March is one of the best times of year to visit Sri Lanka. The north-east monsoon is almost over and the temperatures on the east coast are starting to rise. The beach resorts of the west and south coasts tend to be basking in glorious sunshine and temperatures in the mid-30s, although towards the end of the month there may be some rain. The Hill Country also experiences a rise in temperature during March.

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Sri Lanka in April
Another good month to visit the island, April continues the trend of a warm and sunny Sri Lanka climate, particularly at the beginning of the month. As it’s the end of the dry season in the west and south, humidity is relatively high, especially in the Cultural Triangle. If you are looking to visit the Hill Country – including the city of Kandy and beautiful Nuwara Eliya, then this is one of the best times to visit. The mornings and evenings are not so chilly, the daytime temperatures hover around the mid-20s and rainfall is below average. The Sinhalese/Tamil New Year also takes place in mid-April.

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Sri Lanka in May
This is the month where the focus really starts to shift from the resorts of the south and west to the beaches of the east. Here, the sun starts to consistently shine and the temperatures rise to the high-20s. The south-west, or ‘yala’, monsoon reaches the south, west and central regions this month. The rains tend to be short and sharp, and there are often gloriously sunny interludes. Swimming in the sea along the south and west coastlines is usually discouraged during this period as winds that accompany the monsoon can create large waves. The Vesak Full Moon Poya Day, or Festival of Lights, is celebrated in May.

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Sri Lanka in June
The south-west monsoon continues to affect the southern and western regions of the island, with increased rainfall and lower temperatures in the Hill Country.If you’re seeking an idyllic beach, the east coast is the place to go. The temperatures rise in to the low-30s and days are usually gloriously sunny. This is a good time of year to combine an exploration of the Cultural Triangle with a relaxing stay at one of Passikudah’s or Trincomalee’s luxury resorts. The Poson Poya is celebrated in the Cultural Triangle.

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Sri Lanka in July
Sri Lanka’s weather in July is similar to June – the monsoon is still affecting resorts such as Negombo, Bentota and Weligama, while the beautiful east coast is warm and sunny. There are lots of religious festivals that take place throughout the summer months including the Hindu festival of Vel, and Esala Perahera, also known as the Festival of the Tooth, which falls in either July or August.

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Sri Lanka in August
Unlike many of our other Asia destinations, Sri Lanka is an excellent choice during the school summer holidays. The rainfall amounts in the south and west drop significantly in comparison to the previous months (they’re also lower than the following months, too) while the east coast climate remains very pleasant. The previously mentioned Esala Perahera may fall in August and is celebrated with parades and fire-lit dances in the city of Kandy.

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Sri Lanka in September
The rains of the south-west monsoon increase again this month, especially in the western, southern and Hill Country regions. September also sees the last of the really good weather on the east coast – you may even experience rainfall during the latter half of the month. If you are staying in Trincomalee, we recommend heading out on a whale-watching trip as blue whales pass the east coast on their migration around the island.

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Sri Lanka in October
Sri Lanka weather in October can be changeable – it is one of the wettest months across the whole island. The south-west monsoon is still affecting the south and west for most of the month, although this does start to fade later in the month. While one monsoon is ending, another is beginning its approach towards the north and east regions.

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Sri Lanka in November
The number of sunshine hours increases in the south and west, however there still may be some downpours. The best time to visit these regions is later in the month. The Hill Country and Cultural Triangle will be experiencing high levels of rainfall this month, and the arrival of north-east monsoon means rainfall is increasing along the west coast. The Hindu festival of Deepavali, also known as the Festival of Lights, takes place in late October or November.

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Sri Lanka in December
December in Sri Lanka marks the start of the high season for the beach resorts on the south and west coasts. The weather is also starting to improve in the Hill Country and the Cultural Triangle, although rain can still be expected. This month also sees the beginning of the whale-watching season off the south coast. The north-east monsoon continues to bring intense rainfall to the island’s north and east regions.

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