The elephant orphanage located in Pinnawala is home to many of these gentle giants who have been rescued as they have been at risk of poachers. The orphanage provides a home as well as a safe sanctuary to raise awareness about the conservation of these beautiful animals. Many of the memorable experiences include witnessing herds of elephants stride down the pathways on their way to their daily baths. You will have the opportunity to capture many amazing images of elephants bathing in the sun and be entertained by the younger more adventurous ones getting up to mischief. A highlight of the day includes watching the baby elephants feeding off their mothers and the young ones being fed through a baby’s bottle. Read More You will also have the opportunity to pat and take photographs with the elephants. It is truly an amazing experience.
KANDY ESALA PERAHERA (PAGEANT)
The Kandy Esala Perahera, one of Sri Lanka’s most famous religious festivals, takes place every year in the hill-capital Kandy, in the full-moon month of Esala coinciding with July/August. -
Held to seek blessings for a good harvest from the deities, ten days of increasingly frenetic activity culminate in an ancient, awe-inspiring procession that for centuries has drawn religious devotees, and more recently tourists, to Kandy’s narrow hill-streets.
Heralded by thousands of Kandyan drummers, a host of majestic elephants, adorned in elaborately embroidered cloaks, are led by the brilliantly caparisoned Maligawa Tusker. Decorated from trunk to toe, he carries a huge canopy that shelters, a replica of the cask containing the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha.
The Esala Perahera actually comprises of five separate Peraheras - four from the Kandy devales (shrines) to the deities – with order of precedence maintained throughout. Led by the Dalada Maligawa Perahera, the second is to Natha, a deity of special importance to Kandy, believed to be Buddha-in-waiting. The third is to Sri Lanka’s Guardian Vishnu, also one of the three great Hindu gods and an important figure in representing the crossover between Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Fourth and fifth peraheras are from the shrines to god of war and victory Katharagama, and goddess of chastity Pattini. Read Less
Vesak is a significant day for the Buddhist people and is a pivotal day in Sri Lanka. It commemorates three significant milestones in Lord Buddha’s lifetime: the birth of Buddha, him attaining Enlightenment and his passing away into Nirvana. This is a day spent in reflective prayer while lanterns made from bamboo frames and covered in coloured paper are hung inside every home and incredible illuminated displays decorate the streets. Devoted Buddhists pray in temples from dawn until dusk, and then take part in processions as the sun sets, visiting the temples again in the evening to hear monks read stories from the Buddhist texts. Vesak is celebrated on the day of the full moon in May.
Whether you have a particular interest in fauna/flora or not, visiting Hakgala Botanical Gardens is a must see for all travellers! Situated close to Nuwara Eliya, Hakgala Botanical Gardens has an abundance of tall lush trees and wide spread of beautiful flowers and vegetation.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens is special as it is also home to the well known legend of Ramayan. It is believed that this beautiful garden was the pleasure garden of King Ravana. Legend suggests that this may have been place where Lord Ram’s wife Sita was held captive by King Ravana.
Hakgala Gradens was discovered by the great British Botanist Dr. G.H.K. Thwaites. It boasts a vast range of international trees including pine trees, conifers and cedars from Australia, Bermuda and Japan, cypresses from the Himalayas, China, Persia Mexico and California. The English oak and camphor trees can also be found in Hakgala.
Peradeniya Gardens is one of the largest of the three botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. Located in Kandy, it is surrounded on three sides by river Mahaweli. The history of the Royal Botanic Gardens dates as far back as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near Mahaweli Ganga.
It is home to abundance of local and imported tree and plant species. The enormous 150 acres allows visitors to spend their day, if desired admiring the unlimited number of plant species and visit the spice garden. A particular attraction of the garden is the unusual looking snake creeper, whose roots remind one of the knots of vipers. Visitors are also welcome to relax under the natural pavilion – a gigantic Javan figtree (covering 1600 sq metres). Many visitors also enjoy the manmade lake situated in the centre of the garden, which contains beautiful water plants. Whilst visiting Peradeniya Gardens, be sure to identify trees planted by influential figures such as Indira Gandhi, Yuri Gagarin, Marshal Tito, U Thant & Harold Macmillan.
Embark on a captivating safari in Sri Lanka where one will come face to face with the island’s exotic wildlife. From leopard safaris in the Yala National Park to capturing sights of elephant herds in the Minneriya National Park, these safaris provide a thrilling journey that also gives you a chance to spot everything from bears to deer and crocodiles to a wide variety of birdlife.
ELEPHANT BACK RIDE
Get up close with Sri Lanka’s iconic elephant as you set off on an exciting safari into the wild. Elephant back safari gives you a chance to really get a feel for nature, while discovering the island’s flora and fauna.
From the majestic beauty of Blue Whales and Sperm Whales to the playful antics of Spinner, Humpback and Bottlenose dolphins, dolphin & whale watching in Sri Lanka takes you on an unforgettable voyage. The country has become one of the premier destinations in the world for this activity providing you a unique chance to spot these fascinating marine mammals swimming freely in their natural habitat.
Enjoying the view of a stunning Waterfall is already amazing but abseiling takes this adventure far beyond the limits of a normal sightseeing of a tourist. The intense and powerful feeling of the water combined with the fact that you are hanging on a rope and that there is nothing but water beneath and above, will give adrenalin push like you have never experienced before. Water fall height is 105 ft and duration will be 3 hours. Waterfall Abseiling is an ideal adventure activity to test your confidence.
Adventure takes flight with some of the best sightseeing Sri Lanka has to offer, featuring unparalleled panoramic views of this island paradise. Taking place in areas such as Kandalama in the Cultural Triangle and Down South coastal region; in Kandalama one has the chance to enjoy unique vistas of the iconic Sigiriya rock fortress, while Down South excursions let you take in stunning views of the sun drenched coast.
The sun drenched coasts of Sri Lanka offer the ideal backdrop in which to head off to sea and enjoy some fun surfing action. Areas such as Hikkaduwa, Midigama and Arugam Bay are some of the best places to go in Sri Lanka if you’re looking for surf-worthy waves. Head down during the surfing season for an exciting adventure in the Indian Ocean that’s challenging enough for novices and pros alike.
Descend to a breathtaking underwater world and uncover the mysteries of the deep with diving excursions in Sri Lanka. Home to colourful corals and a vivid array of marine life, the clear waters that surround the island are perfect for divers looking for adventure beneath the waves. One can also explore the many shipwrecks that lie off the coasts, some of which date back to colonial times.
Explore the wonders of a vibrant underwater world on a thrilling snorkelling excursion that provides a glimpse into life under the waves. Snorkelling in Sri Lanka can be enjoyed by the entire family and is a popular activity that can be engaged in around the island, letting you see colourful coral and a vivid array of marine life that call these waters home.
Soar to the heights above as you take to the sunny skies in Sri Lanka and enjoy the latest adventure sport to hit the country, paramotoring. Taking place in Koggala, paramotoring gives you the chance to witness breathtaking vistas of the coast and surrounding landscapes from heights ranging from 500 to 1000 feet, as a skilled pilot guides you along this journey in the wide blue expanse above.
Promising a thrilling ride on the rapids, white water rafting is an adrenaline pumping activity that offers plenty of fun thrills and spills for young and old alike. Kitulgala is the premier spot for such activities and the major and minor rapids in this area provide an action packed ride on the water amidst breathtaking natural scenery.
Kalpitiya situated in the North West Coast experiences strong breezes of around 18-20 knots and this enchanting coastal locale is the perfect place to enjoy an array of things to do in Sri Lanka including kite surfing. Skim along the waves as you harness the power of the wind that will take you on a ride you will not soon forget!
Offering a fascinating voyage along some truly scenic waterways, boat safaris in Sri Lanka also provide a fun day out amidst stunning natural backdrops. On your excursions you may come across everything from ancient mangrove forests to small remote islands and colourful birdlife to local fishermen going about their day to day activities.
Blessed with a rich natural heritage, the island is home to a wide range of endemic and migratory species that have made Sri Lanka a popular destination amongst bird watching enthusiasts. The island’s nature reserves attract many of these birds that can be seen amidst the foliage or flying in the skies above, be it the Purple Heron, Ceylon Junglefowl or the Shaheen Falcon.
The shores of Sri Lanka provide an ideal place in which to engage in some turtle watching, giving you the chance to see these endangered creatures be it during nesting or when baby hatchlings make their way to sea. The Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery and the Rekawa Turtle Sanctuary are amongst the best places to visit in Sri Lanka if you want to spend the day turtle watching and get to know more about their conservation too.
Discover a land like no other, while embarking on a nature trek in Sri Lanka, from ancient forests seemingly lost in time to nature reserves that are home to endemic flora & fauna. The mist shrouded Knuckles Mountain Range, the lush tea estates of Nuwara Eliya and the diverse Horton Plains National Park are just some of the sites one can plan trekking excursions to.
Experience the breathtaking beauty and secluded serenity of Sri Lanka’s natural splendour when on camping trips in the island. A perfect way to get close with nature, such things to do in Sri Lanka also give you the chance to enjoy trekking and hiking adventures that provide plenty of opportunities to witness the rich biodiversity of local flora & fauna.
Go off the beaten track using good old fashioned pedal power and discover the cultural, historical and natural richness of Sri Lanka. Cycling amidst lively town streets, traditional villages, cultural sites and lush green escapes is an ideal way to experience the island’s diversity which provides fun activities that the whole family can enjoy as well.
One of the must-try activities in Sri Lanka is hopping on a cross-country train. With the island’s well connected railway lines, train rides provide the ideal mode of transport for those looking to truly soak up the enchanting atmosphere of Sri Lanka. From train rides along the sun kissed shores of the island’s South Coast to the hill country amidst mountains blanketed in emerald tea bushes, these journeys are just as captivating as the destinations they take you to.
Offering a laidback sightseeing adventure, canoeing or kayaking takes you on a fun journey along the island’s waterways. From lagoons to swamps, these areas are perfect for such activities and let you explore the rich natural landscapes that can be found bordering them, which are home to a fascinating range of flora and fauna.
Based on ancient healing rituals and traditions, our Sri Lankan Ayurveda treatments provide holistic healing that help bring about peace for mind, body and soul. Utilising all natural herbs and ointments, such treatments which include head and body massages and herbal baths, help you unwind and restore that inner peace.
Enjoy some fun retail therapy in an island paradise! Sri Lanka provides a unique shopping experience that gives you a chance to purchase a wide range of international brands be it Nike, Adidas, Mango, Charles & Keith or Levi’s as well as local fashion at shopping centres such as Odel, House of Fashion & Glitz. Gems, spices, handicrafts, batiks and Ceylon tea provide shopping with a local flavour.