Authentic Sri Lanka
Sipping smoky tea, barefoot as you gaze out over ancient temples and rolling surf, it’s warming to see that Sri Lanka still has her innocence. While the rest of the world gets lost in the haggle of tourist traps, thick crowds, and rising prices – this is the sweet spot on the peach not yet bruised. A country born again after the heartbreak of war, Sri Lanka may have her wounds, but this authentic journey will show you peaceful lands, dotted with elephants, vast plantations, and crumbling kingdoms.
Historic Homes and Colonial Gardens
Fragrant flower garlands and cool drinks are waiting to welcome you as soon as you step foot off the plane in Sri Lanka. A country renowned for it’s warmth, the smiles of local’s seep right into your skin. Start your winding journey through these wild and complex lands close to the colonial garden roots city of Colombo.
A historic country residence in the tropical thickets of green is waiting to embrace you and heal any trace of jet lag. The Wallawwa Hotel is a vision of pillars and exposed beams, ancient grounds, and a shimmering gem blue pool. Collapse in a four-poster bed, lose yourself in lavish afternoon tea, and let an Ayurveda massage work its magic.
Hidden Castles and Cosmic Mountains
The Cultural Triangle guides you slowly and serenely through some of Sri Lanka’s most majestic historical sights. Meander through scattered coconut estates and lost villages, stopping now and then to sample a cup of chai. Embrace sunset climbs of mythical rock fortresses, one foot in front of the other beneath a blooming sky of rose and gold. The Sigiriya Rock Fortress has been perched atop a boulder since the 5th century, creating speculations of hidden castles and cosmic mountains.
Tooth Relics and Wild Elephants
Discover the Tooth Relic temples and tantalizing history of Polonnaruwa. Wander through the ruins of the dense walls of the Kings Palace, admire the intricate carved elephants in the audience hall, and let your imagination run riot as you gaze upon the emerald green waters in the baths.
Take lunch with the locals, in a simple home boasting rich panoramic views over the sprawling paddy fields. Spoon delicious homecooked food from earthen clay pots, and relish the rarity of such a close personal encounter, before visiting a modern rice mill.
Finish the day with a journey back through the Minneriya National Park. Whizz around the verdant landscape in a 4X4 swerving out of the path of trundling elephants, watching for crocodiles wading in the shallows, and witnessing the deer and birds flock the land and air.
Spices and Sacred Rituals
Visit the private spice gardens of Sri Lanka and inhale the fragrant sweet delights of crushed cardamom, dusted cinnamon, and split vanilla pods. Watch a local chef whip up a delightful feast using an array of carefully handpicked spice and select a few special pinches to take back home.
Move on to Kandy and the last capital of kings. The UNESCO Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is waiting to bathe you in splendor with their daily fragrant water healing rituals. Take an in-depth tour through the temple, exploring the cloaked gardens, the priceless art, and the peaceful corridors. Witness the bowed heads of pilgrims praying to Lord Buddha and let the heady scent of incense soak you to the bone.
Fire Walking and Ancient Furniture
The Kandyan Dance is a feast of fine craft, and at the local Sri Lankan dance school you can be bewitched by the moves of the Cobra, the color of the Mask Dance, and the crescendo of the Ginisila act of walking on fire. Let the sound of drums carry you on an ancient tide. At the end of the show you can even dress up, drum and dance yourself before catching your breath with a hot cup of tea.
Take lunch with a French professor well versed in Sri Lankan history and tour the grounds of his home, brimming with rare books and ancient furniture.
Scenic Tracks and Flowers in Bloom
Enter the gateway to the highlands with a bright and bountiful tour of The Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. An expert botanist will lead you through this elevated Eden, flanked on three sides by the by the winding Great Sandy River.
Climb aboard a local train and settle in the observation deck as you take a spellbinding journey into tea country. Passing jade green plantations adorned with workers in colorful garb picking tea, racing beneath tumbling waterfalls, and passing soaring peaks is enough to make your heart burst.
Hike the infamous Ceylon Tea Trails and stay for a couple of days in the sweetly sophisticated Summerville suite, where picture windows provide first class views onto the evening mist cloaking the shimmering peaks. This is your chance to learn about the complexities of the tea industry, to visit plantations and cycle the trails that criss cross the mountains.
Crashing Surf and Jungle Drives
Between the rolling sand dunes and the dense jungle, you will find the Yala National Park. This is Sri Lanka’s oldest national reserve and a place where monkeys swing from the branches, sea turtles wander down to the surf, and buffalos dot the hills. Take a game drive through the park, wander the beach to watch painted storks and flamingos, and fall in love with photography in this stunning spot.
The Chena Huts are the perfect home away from home. On the doorstep of the national park you can sip cocktails and swim in the lagoon like pool to the cries of nature.
Whales, Wild Surf and Wonder
The coast is calling, and the laid-back vibes of Mirissa will leave salt in your hair and sun on your skin. Spend the day soaking up the splendor of this tropical seaside town. Take a whale-watching tour to witness the thunder of the oceans gentle giants, learn to surf, or hang with the stilt fishermen as they cast their lines. This is your last chance to soak up the deep-rooted smiles that makes Sri Lanka such a special destination.
13 nights’ accommodation, meals as indicated by travel agent, transportation in air-conditioned car; Guided Visits: Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Polonnaruwa Archeological site, Visit to a Rice Mill, Ritagala, Dambulla Rock Cave Temple, Minneriya National Park, Dambulla Cave Temple, Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic, Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, Tea Factory, Yala National Park; Venture Emotions: visit to a local school, Kep Ela Elephant Experience, visit to a Private Spice Garden followed by a Cookery Demonstration, visit to a local dancing school, lunch with a professor at the Sooriyakantha House, Galle Fort Walk, lunch at Priyamali Gedara + Government Tax.
Few islands in the world offer the diversity of Sri Lanka. From the vibrant + chaotic capital of Colombo, the central plains of the Cultural Triangle, tea plantations, exotic wildlife in national parks to coastlines of palm-fringed crescent shaped beaches.
On a different latitude but just as diverse and a little more cosmopolitan, Singapore has redefined itself as one of the great culinary cities of the world to be enjoyed over several days + not just a stopover.
Ready to Venture?
Discover a uniquely immersive travel experience for your next adventure
Can't find what you had in mind? Just tell us what you want and we'll make it happen to anywhere in the world.