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Handcrafted Sri Lanka Tour Packages
For many years Sri Lanka’s tourism suffered due to the civil war but all its political unrest is firmly in the past. Unlike some countries that rely on ‘Dark Tourism’ to attract visitors the country has focused on its stunning natural beauty to draw guests in. With a rapidly developing tourism infrastructure, safaris that bring you up close to elephants and other magnificent animals, a fascinating colonial history, rich culture, and stunning beaches, along with some of the friendliest people, we feel this sleeping giant will be on the up in 2017.
We also understand that everyone is different and no two trips should be the same. You should be able to experience Sri Lanka in your own way. Below are some of selected itineraries that receive the most accolades from our clients, all of which can be tailor made to your preferences. Let us know what you are looking for, no detail is too small or too big, and we shall create the dream Sri Lanka trip for you!Help Me Plan My Trip
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Steven H Chicago, Illinois
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Leaving behind the 25 years of civil war, Sri Lanka today is named as a “travel phenomenon” for those who wish to explore pristine nature and authentic culture diversity.
The tear-shaped country off-shore Indian Ocean is deserved to be called a professional and friendly country of tourism. The destination for dreaming beach getaway and oriental culture exploration, it’s what people say about Sri Lanka. A diversity of luxurious resorts and retreats situated in unspoiled beaches is perfect for special beach holidays. This typical tropical country is also famed for ancient Buddhist ruins.
Your Sri Lanka is await with mysterious journeys through the Buddhism track with stunning ancient sites, some of which are recognized as World’s Heritage by UNESCO: the well-known Tooth Temple in Kandy, the sacred Lion Rock in Sigiriya, the incredible Cave Temple in Dambulla. Each site opens a splendid world of Sri Lankan religion and spirit, offers immediate surprise but endless echo of admiration and amazement. A spectacular temple complex on top of an exotic ancient rock mountain looking over lush immense hills, a hidden cave home to thousands of ancient Buddha statues and sophisticated wall paintings, a serene and sacred temple offering extraordinary religious atmosphere where the legendary tooth of Buddha is stored… all of them are telling us an exciting story of Sri Lankan culture and religion.
Throughout the country of fresh Ceylon tea, you will observe exotic culture diversity, join in local life and experience Sri Lankan essence, explore Sri Lankan cuisine with various spices, strolling around colonial-influenced streets in big cities where Dutch and English left a piece of their culture. Taking a local train through scenic tea hills, hugging “panoramic views” in the arms is said to be one of the most special experiences of a lifetime.
Once travelling towards the warm waters of Indian Ocean, a beach holiday will also treat you well with dreaming time indulging on sunny beaches, sipping tropical-tasted cocktails and watching deep blue sea through your sunglasses. A range of luxury beach resorts in Sri Lanka are promising to bring excited time on beach, provide eco-friendly accommodations as well as world class service.
Sri Lanka – The land of different feelings and senses is an interesting choice for your next trip whoever you are, a culture vulture, a beach adorer or an active adventurer!
If you had visited Sri Lanka even just two years ago, you’d have found accommodations much more antiquated than most westerners find comfortable. In the last few years, a bunch of new luxury hotels have opened in various locations around Sri Lanka, anticipating an influx of tourists that have not been seen in decades. That said, the number of rooms in each of the lodgings is generally about 11 – 25 which means going before the onslaught of tourist rush becomes essential to nabbing the room you want.
People and Culture
While dragons play an important part of the identity of most Asian nations, in Sri Lanka, it’s the Lion myths that inescapably influence the singularity of Sri Lankan identity. On the one hand, the lion symbol represents freedom from outsiders and on the other a hope of strength for the future.
According to one of the many myths about the appearance of the Lion as symbolizing the culture and people of the island, the first king named Vijaya who reigned in 486 BCE is the ancestor of all the islanders (and, just happens to be a lion).
Well, Kashyapa (an illegitimate son who had no rights to the throne) killed his father in a most horrid fashion, running the legitimate son away only to crown himself king two years later. That decision haunted Kashyapa driving him to build a fortress to protect himselfwhere he put two giant stone paws of a lionat the entrance as a warning tooutsiders.
When to Go
There are three basic seasons, which are determined primarily by the amount of tourists that visit during a given period.
- Low Season: May – August – prices are at their cheapest, tourism at its lowest and rains in the south, the west coast and the hill country; North and East coast is your best choice during these months as they are driest but prices of hotels are at their peak around this time.
- Neutral Season: April and September to November – prices are at their highest, transportation around the island is overcrowded and difficult but the best weather all year.
- High Season: December – March – The South and West Coast plus hill country are driest and prices as well as accommodations at highest demand in these areas;
- High Season: October – January – the East Coast, North and Ancient Cities experience monsoons, tourism at its lowest in these areas and prices very low; but, impossible to see sights without getting wet
Stilt Fishing – during WWII, there was an extreme shortage of food and the number of fishing spots was diminished. A few industrious fishermen solved the problem by building stilts so that they could walk out into the water to fish for their families. This is the only place on the earth to promote this kind of fishing.
Red Mosque of Pettah– the mosque was built in 1909 for the Pettah Muslim community near the Pettah Market. The red and white stripes set it apart from any other in the Asian world.
Temple of the Tooth and Royal Palace of Kandyan Kingdom – when you’re through seeing Buddhist temples, you’ll want to make a stop in Kandy, at the Temple of the Tooth which houses the tooth of Buddha.
Galle National Museum – in the Southern Coastal region, this museum displays archaeological and anthropological objects— including traditional masks used in rituals, ancient woodcarvings of the local tribe people and arms, weapons and porcelain objects used by the Dutch when they were in Sri Lanka.
Lion Rock Temple of Dambulla – this is for those who are able to make a long climb to the top of the mountain. The Lion Rock is built by a king and includes gardens, outbuilding, waterscapes and worth the climb if you can make it.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – all donations go to caring for these orphan baby elephants – about 100 in all – just outside of Kandy. If you stay at the Elephant Bay Hotel – mostly with huts but there are some real rooms available if you reserve them early enough – you can actually watch the babies play in the river and roll around on the sand during their breaks. If interested, you can enquire about adopting one until grown.
Yala National Park –Atraditionally styled safari through the park in open-air vans allows you to watch wildlife of Sri Lanka in their natural habitats. The Amur Leopard –found in Sri Lanka – usually doesn’t come out until 6 or 7 p.m. so you might miss them. They too are an endangered species; adoption is a way that tourists can help the zoo take care of them.
The two main cities where you will find shops and stores galore are in Colombo and Kandy. There are some scattered markets and shops in rural areas, stands on the roads to tourist locations are sometimes seen but any big shopping trips should be concentrated in the two cities at this time.
Sleeping and Eating
Several of the most reliably luxury accommodations are run by Uga Escapes Properties and by Aman Resorts. Another company, Dilmah, offers excellent rooms in the hill areas where mostly tea plantations are located. The company also has accommodation located on the southern coastal region.
There are a scattered number of individually-owned lodgings that are more rustic in rural regions where fewer tourists have found their way. Your best bet is to choose a travel agency that knows which places are available at the time of your tour, which have just opened and may not be known yet and which have had tourist complaints in the past six months.
For Sri Lankans, the regular meal comprises a large serving of rice with twelve – count them, 12 – side dishes of egg, spicy fish and pepper stew, vegetables, meat and always cooked with red chili peppers.
Dishes that westerners really should try are String Hoppers (freshly made rice noodles), Roti (coconut flatbread) Sambol (hot red peppers and vegetables of any kind that are served cool). Curries are another favorite in Sri Lanka and are worthy of tasting since each region has its own and all differ from Indian Curries.
A Country Too Big For One Trip
It is written:
“When the lord of gods heard the words of the Buddha, he, from respect, handed over the guardianship of Lanka to the god who is in color like the lotus. ”
from Mahavansa – The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka
Because of the various monsoon times according to region, it is best to make more than one trip to the island of Sri Lanka – the “blessed lotus” island.