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Attraction: Elephant Orphanage

Location: Pinnawala, 41km from Kandy City

Overview:

Renowned as the most popular elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka, Pinnawala provides a shelter for many injured and orphaned elephants who are in need of love and care. Starting off with only five abandoned baby elephants, the Centre now provides protection for a massive number of Elephants. You would be surprised to witness hundreds of elephants freely moving in this stimulated natural habitat which consists 25 acres land area.

Things to do -

  • Witness bathing elephants at the river side 
  • Bottle feeding baby elephants
  • Millennium Elephant Foundation (2.6 km from Pinnawala)

Attraction: Temple of Tooth Relic

Location: Kandy City

Overview:

During your stay in Sri Lanka, you shouldn’t miss this rare opportunity of visiting the temple of Tooth Relic, referred as “Sri Dalada Maligawa” by locals, the temple which magnificently holds the sacred Tooth Relic of supreme Buddha. It is situated in the main part of the Kandy City creating a gigantic beauty and nobleness to the city. The temple itself is located in the royal palace complex, which encompasses several temples and museums. Thousands of devotees around the globe visit to Sri Lanka to worship this world renowned temple and invoke blessings.

Things to do -

  • Royal Palace of Kandy
  • Dalada Maligawa Museum
  • World Buddhist Museum
  • Esala Procession (During August)
  • Magul Maduwa, Natha Devale
  • Elephant Raja (Tusker’s) Museum
  • Walk around kandy lake

Attraction: Royal Botanical Gardens

Location: Peradeniya, 4km from Kandy City

Overview:

Established in 1843, this heavenly garden is located 5km from Kandy and exhibits a spectacular diversity of plants and trees. Being the largest garden in Sri Lanka, this attracts enormous number of visitors daily. The Garden covers 147 acres and showcases more than 4000 different species of plants, tropical trees, great lawns and fascinating palm avenues.

Things to do -

  • Palm Avenues(Cook's Pine, Palmyra Palm, Double Coconut and Royal Palm Avenues) 
  • National Herbarium
  • Orchid House
  • Cactus House
  • Rare Trees (Monkey Pot, Giant Bamboo, Old giant java Fig tree)
  • Suspension Bridge
  • Japanese Garden

Attraction: Kandyan Dancing

Location: Kandy City

Overview:

For those who are eagerly interested in exploring the Sri Lankan aesthetic culture, Kandyan Dancing would explain it for a greater extent. It is fascinating to witness the troupe designed with traditional elaborated costumes including spectacular headdresses which highlights the richness of the country’s aesthetic culture. The dance is performed to the percussion and the most famous drum that is being used is “Geta Beraya” and is only used in Kandyan dancing. One of the types of Kandyan dances called “Vannam” imitates the behaviour of animals such as elephants, monkeys, rabbits, peacock, serpents etc. 

Things to do -

  • Pose a picture with the dancing crew
  • Witness Firewalking
  • Traditional singing
  • Traditional music 

Attraction: Udawatte Tropical Forest

Location: Kandy City

Overview:

“Udawatte” is a popular historic forest reserve which provides a shelter for various types of Flora and fauna, located in the vicinity of the city of Kandy. Having an area of 257 acres, the reserve facilitates a greenery beauty while changing the climate of the city as well. It acts as a catchment area of water resources especially for Kandy Lake and purifies air in the city sanctuary. During the era of Kandyan Kindom, this was known as “Uda wasala Watte” with the meaning “Garden above the royal palace”.

Experiences -

  • Forest Walk
  • Bird watching
  • Senkada Cave
  • Buddhist meditation hermitages
  • Historical ruins belongs to Kandyan Kingdom 

Attraction: Ancient Ola Leaves

Location: Aluvihare, 4 km from Matale City

Overview:

It is truly fascinating to learn the true story behind Ola Leaves. Ola Leave was a tool that had been used by ancient Buddhist monks as a writing material replacing stone and rock inscriptions in the past. 

Attraction: Life in a Paddy field

Location : Isolated village around Kandy 

Overview:

Paddy field is a common sight that you would notice as you move along the main roads or rural villages. Rice is being served as the staple food in Sri Lankan cuisine for centuries. The Paddy Cultivation roots back to the proud history between 161 B.C. and 1017 A.D. during which the river valley cultivation had begun. In the past, it was considered as the main source of income. As a country with plenty of freely accessible natural resources, it encouraged our ancestors to be committed with it as the way of their living. Paddy cultivation requires a systematic water supply but for Sri Lanka, it is not a miracle as it possess the highest density of natural springs and man-made tanks throughout the country. 

Experiences -

  • Paddy Walk
  • Ancient Irrigation systems
  • Ancient rituals and cultural practices 
  • Natural pest and weed controlling methods
  • Natural fertilizing techniques 
  • Organic farming

Attraction: Cook with Sri Lankan “Amma”

Location: Tradition kitchen in Kandy

Overview:

If you are keen on exploring the authentic style of a Sri Lankan culinary dish, we would highly recommend you to try this option. During your visit to a remote village in Kandy, we provide you a wonderful opportunity to get hands on experience on authentic Sri Lankan cooking methods used by Sri Lankan mothers. Unlike a ordinary dish it might be a challenge for you to cook Sri Lankan food on a wood fire hearth, blend natural spices while learning new techniques and secrets behind Sri Lankan spices.

Experiences -

  • “Pola “ – The traditional market
  • Blending Pure Sri Lankan Spices 
  • Wood fire hearth
  • Village garden tour
  • Cook with Herbs
  • Healing power of Sri Lankan cuisine
  • Traditional Sweetmeats, Cokis, Asmi, hoppers and string hoppers

Attraction: Sigirya Rock fortress 

Location : Dambulla 

Overview:

Sigiriya, the “Lion Rock” is an ancient palace and a rock fortress located in the northern part of Matale district, Sri Lanka. Referred by locals as the “Eighth Wonder” of the World, it attracts thousands of tourists and probably the most visited tourist destination in Sri Lanka. Based on its archaeological value, it has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982 and is recognized as one of the finest examples of ancient urban planning and ranks among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world.

Experiences -

  • Lion Rock climb
  • Ancient urban planning/ architecture
  • Ancient irrigation systems and designs
  • Horticulture and arts 
  • Pidurangala sunrise hike

Main Attraction: Caves and Paintings

Locations : Kandy, Matale, Dambulla

Overview:

Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to explore ancient caves, frescoes and painting which belongs to historic and pre-historic era. Starting from Kandy, the most elegant Royal city in the country showcases invaluable sculptures, paintings done during the era of ancient Kings. Apart from that favourite tourist attractions like Dambulla Rock temple, Ambekka, Gadaladeniya and Lankathilake temples possesses immense number of ancient sculptures, frescoes, wood and stone crafts, etc.

Experiences -

  • Tri Temples (Gadaladeniya,  Ambekka , Lankathilake )
  • Aluvihare Temple
  • Dambulla Temple 



Main Attraction: Water Lilies and Village temple

Locations : Kandy, Anuradhapura

Overview:

Apart from usual travel plan, we will take you through a peaceful journey away from crowded city to a this is kind of rare opportunity you would experience during your stay in Sri Lanka. We would arrange a free tour to a village temple in a rural area and to offer water lilies and fragrances.

Attraction: Horton Plains National Park

Location : Ambewela, Nuwaraeliya

Overview:

It is worthwhile to spend at least few hours at Horton Plains National Park, a splendid place with a lot of stunning activities to experience. With the altitude of 2100m, the vegetation of this National Park is usually grassland surrounded by pygmy trees ferns, etc and the plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m. Horton Plains was declared as a UNESCO World heritage site. Horton Plains is bounded by the country’s second and third highest mountain peaks of Sri Lanka: Mount Kirigalpotta (2389 m) and Mount Thotupola (2357 m), so those who love trekking would continue their journey for longer and enjoy a trekking experience as well.

Experiences -

  • World’s End
  • Trekking/Camping
  • Baker’s Falls
  • Endemic Wildlife
  • Ambewela Cattle Farm (6 km away from Horton Plains)

Main Attraction: Galle Dutch Fort

Location : Galle 

Overview:

This is one of the famous fortifications in Sri Lanka and located in the bay of Galle in the Southwestern coast. Originally built by Portugese in 16th century, it had then been further fortified by Dutch from 17th century. Gallle fort has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site and showcases the elegant history of a fortified city adorned with European architecture. There are so many things to explore in this town. If you are an explorer of archaeology and enthusiastic about history, the Galle Fort has much more to offer you.

Experiences -

  • Take a walk on the ramparts 
  • Dutch architecture
  • Boutique hotels, churches 
  • Sri Lankan gems and jewellery
  • Old Dutch Government House 
  • National Maritime Museum 
  • The Old Dutch Hospital
  • Lighthouse and clock tower

Main Attraction: White Sand Beaches, Arugam bay

District: Ampara

Recommended Duration: One day stay

Overview:

Arugam bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka and a world famous tourist destination. This Bay is well-known for its gigantic waves, which attract surfers from all over the globe. Beach is a wide sweeping sandy beach in front of the village of Arugam Bay and is an attraction for surfing and swimming all year-round. Beach consists of a coral reef which is home to variety of tropical fish and is recognized as a delightful snorkeling paradise.

Experiences -

  • Surfing, diving and snorkeling
  • Village of Arugam bay
  • Kumana National Park - bird sighting
  • Magul Maha Viharaya - Some of the best preserved moonstone
  • Lahugala - The best place to catch a glimpse of wildlife 
  • Kudumbigala - Forest Hermitage on a lonely rock
  • Muhudu Maha Viharaya - ruins of Buddhist temple with well-preserved stone statues



Main Attraction:  Traditional Medicine

Location : Horana , Kadawatha & Anuradhapura

Overview:

Meet a traditional doctor “Veda Mahaththaya” living in rural villages. You would be quite surprising to witness the traditional methods that they have been using to diagnose and cure the ailments of the patients. The technique of pulse reading is a special skill unique to indigenous medicine. The patient does not have to reveal any symptom but the doctor will find out the illness just with pulse patterns.

Experiences -

  • Diagnosing ailments - Pulse Reading
  • “Pancha karma” The 5 treatments (Steam Bath, inhaling, oiling , fermenting & massaging)  

Main Attraction: Meditation

Location: Kandy , Anuradhapura

Overview:

Need a true relief for the life with unlimited schedules, deadlines, unrealistic expectations, work place stress? We would assist to keep you away from busy lifestyle and make you feel more relaxed. These programs will be conducted by experienced Buddhist monks and you will be appropriately guided on each and every step of meditation process. A proper meditation leads consciousness, inner peace, relaxed mind and body, contentment as it assists you to eliminate stress, anxiety, anger and depression in your mind.

Experiences -

  • Freedom of walking meditation 
  • Relief physical pain through compassion meditation
  • Breathing with consciousness for relaxation  

Main Attraction: Wood Carving

District: Kandy, Matale, Galle

Overview:

Wood carving is a popular traditional industry in Sri Lanka could be seen especially in Kandy district. For instance Lankathilake and Ambekke temples are most famous for ancient wood carvings and resembles the richness of the Sri Lankan traditional handicraft industry. You could also choose Ambalangoda which is another famous and unique destination located in Galle district, mostly renowned for masks workshops and Museums. The craftsmen who have been doing the task of mask making for generations creates wonderful wooden masks such as devil masks and puppets.

Experiences

  • Mask workshops
  • Mask Museums
  • Souvenirs- Devil Masks and Puppets



Main Attraction:  Tea Retreats

District: Kandy, Nuwaraeliya

Overview:

Tasting a finely prepared aromatic “Ceylon Cup of Tea” is some of yours obsession and sometimes might be the single reason to visit Sri Lanka, the home for finest tea gardens in the World. So if you are a tea lover, grab this opportunity. Explore your favourite divine drink and traverse through ever green tea valleys located in the misty central hills. Make sure you pat the tips of the blooming tea bushes around while walking through narrow gravel paths to enjoy the real aromatic Ceylon tea sensation.

Experiences

  • Tea Factory Tour
  • Ceylon Tea Museum, Kandy 
  • Demonstration – Tea Plucking
  • Moment as a tea plucker
  • Be a Tea Taster- Authentic Ceylon Tea
  • Souvenirs - Gold Tips , Silver Tips or Orange Pekoe

Main Attraction: Bird Watching

Locations : Horton Plains , Knuckles, Udawatta Sanctuary,  Bundala, Uda Walawe , Yala and Wasgamuwa National Parks, Sinharaja Rain Forest, Kalametiya Bird Santuary, Kithulgala Forest Reserve 

Overview:

Located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an amazing paradise for many creatures, especially for many bird species. Countries’ rich natural diversity and ideal climate conditions permits many endemic and seasonal migrant birds to fly around and make their sweet homes. There are several evergreen rain forests, wetlands, grasslands, and reservoirs which facilitates safety and tropical climate conditions for nesting and laying eggs. Sri Lanka is a paradise for more than 400 bird species including 23 endemic birds.

Experiences

  • Guided Safari Jeep Tours
  • Guidance by Naturalists
  • Safari Camping
  • Capture Tropical birds
  • Trekking

Main Attraction: Elephant Safari

District: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota,  Monaragala

Locations : Habarana, Udawalawe, Minneriya, Kaudulla or Yala National Park

Overview:

If you are in love with Asian Jumbos, we recommend you to go on a wildlife safari tour. You can plan your safari tour to either Habara, which is most famous location for elephant safari or some other location in the location list. You would be able to view greenly forests with lakes, wetlands, colourful birds and other endemic habitats on your way to the middle of the forest.

Experiences

  • Guided Safari Jeep Tours
  • Guidance by Naturalists
  • Stay at a boutique hotel
  • Capture  Wild Asian Jumbos

Attraction: Plant a tree

Location : Sri Lanka

Overview:

Be a carbon neutral by planting a tree in Sri Lankan soil to remember your visit to Sri Lanka. We believe this would be a memorable act and gift in return to the loving nature from you.

Attraction: Sea Turtles 

Location : Galle

Overview:

Sri Lanka’s southern coastal area is generally renowned for turtles. Turtle Care Centre is one of the famous turtle hatcheries in the island taking efforts to protect endangered sea turtles and prevent extinction. Most of these centers have all five commonly recognized turtle species in Sri Lanka namely Leatherbacks, Green Turtles, Loggerheads, Hawksbills and Olive Ridley Turtles. Also you could sight rare albino and part albino turtles. Apart from that, they keep disabled turtles in separate tanks, feed them, protect from any threat and diseases.

Experiences

  • Demonstration by Naturalists
  • Hatching process
  • Souverniors 

Main Attraction: Plant a tree 

Location: Sri Lanka

Overview:

Be a carbon neutral by planting a tree in Sri Lankan soil to remember your visit to Sri Lanka. 

We believe this would be a memorable act and gift in return to the loving nature from you.  

Main Attraction: Hike to Sri Pada

Location : Ratnapura

Overview:

Rising majestically with a height of 7,360ft, “Sri Pada” also referred as “Adam’s Peak” is a conical shaped mountain located in Ratnapura district. This is recognized as a World Heritage Site and world renowned pilgrimage site. Thousands of devotees of many religions consider it as a pilgrimage and climb Sri Pada to invoke blessings. Best option is to climb the mountain during the night with chilly breeze and reach the summit early before sunrise. There you could witness the amazing spectacle of sun rise over the sea.

Experiences

  • Hiking 
  • Blessings
  • Nature watching  

Main Attraction: Blue Whales 

Location : Mirissa , Galle District

Overview:

If you travelling towards Galle, it is worthy to visit this amazing location to capture the giant mammals playing around the seas at Mirissa, southern coast. This destination is renowned as one of the finest places for Whale and Dolphin sighting in the world. Usually Blue Whales, Bryde Whales, Sperm Whales, Killer Whales, Dolphins & Turtles can be seen in this area. December, January and April are the peak months of sightings these giant creatures frequently. 

Experiences

  • Boat Ride
  • Capture memories of giant mammals

Main Attraction: Meet a Monk

Location: Anuradhapura

Overview:

Life as a Buddhist monk is not simple as it seems. Living away from our world and follow set of precepts dedicating the life for a noble purpose is interesting to know. You can spend some good time with a monk on your stay.

Main Attraction: Street Food

Location: Anywhere is Sri Lanka

Overview:

During your stay in a foreign country, tasting some delicious street food is a must as you could explore about their unique culture and traditions. So do not forget to come out of your luxury hotel room and step into a street food corner in the town.
Sri Lankan meal dishes have gained global popularity with their blend of fresh spices, curries with coconut milk, rich flavours and unique textures. The scrumptious these dishes of Sri Lankan cuisine provide you unique eating experiences.

Main Attraction: Meet Veddhas

Location: Mahiyanganaya, Monaragala District

Overview:

If you are enthusiastic in learning history and related tribes in Sri Lanka, it is worthwhile to spend a day in the Dambana, a remote village in Mahiyangana where the indigenous tribe in Sri Lanka called “Vedda” lives. Spending some quality time in the backwoods of Sri Lanka with the Vedda People means you get a fantastic opportunity to understand their culture and lifestyles. It would be quite surprising to unveil the secrets behind their indigenous medicine techniques that have been using for centuries to cure themselves from many dreadful diseases. 

Experiences

  • Indigenous medicine/Home Remedies
  • Traditional Folk Dancing
  • Veddhas traditions and culture
  • Music Camp-fires
  • Jungle trekking
  • Honey collecting



Main Attraction: Batik Industry

Location: Kandy/Matale

Overview:

Groom yourselves with classical and contemporary batik fashions in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Retreats will arrange you a free visit to a batik boutique and to enjoy the innovative and stunning designs created by experts. Be ready to explore the best places to buy batik in Kandy, Colombo and Matale cities.

Experiences

  • Witness the dyeing process
  • Designer wear sarees
  • Beach wear
  • Collect Souverniors (wall decorations, table cloths, bed sheets)



Main Attraction: King Coconuts

Location: On your way

Overview:

Rejuvenate your body with our free complementary King Coconut drink served on the way to your first destination. It is truly amazing to taste such an aromatic natural drink which keeps your entire journey cool and fresh.

Main Attraction: Tropical Fruit experience

Location: On your way to Kandy

Overview:

It is yet another surprising gift from us! You are entitled for a free plate of tropical Sri Lankan fruits that you have never experience before. So join with us to flourish your taste buds with those unique flavours, different textures and multi-colours, of which some are not found anywhere in the world.



Main Attraction: Visiting a Tea Estate

Location: Kandy/Nuwaraeliya

Overview:

As a complementary tour, we take you through a lush green tea estate in up country hills and present you an unforgettable experience in tea plucking with estate people.

Main Attraction: Spice Walk

Location: Kandy/Matale

Overview:

You could experience the globally renowned Sri Lankan Spices at spice gardens available at Kandy and Matale cities. Your senses would be undoubtedly overwhelmed by the natural blend of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, etc. visible around you.

The souvenirs with pure Sri Lankan natural spices available at spice garden outlets could be taken back to your country to impress your loved ones and to make your regular food in tropical style.

Main Attraction: Leopard Safari

Location : Yala , Hambantota District

Overview:

Yala National Park is generally recognized as the Sri Lanka's most visited National Park and is situated in south eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Yala is also prominent for its biodiversity, with over 200 species of birds and over 40 species of mammals. Surprisingly it is renowned as the park with highest density of leopard population in the world, thus would be the ideal location for you to capture the glamour of leopards through your naked eye. Most simply, leopard safari in Sri Lanka is spectacular, therefore never miss it!

Experiences

  • Fascinating Leopards
  • Capture Wild life
  • Guided Jeep Safari
  • Camping 
  • Overnight stay at Yala boutique hotels 

Main Attraction: Day at Urban Market

Location: Pettah Market

Overview:

Join with Ceylon Retreat crew to visit the busiest and crowded market in the island and enjoy your shopping experience with local traders.



Main Attraction: Gem Cutting

Location: Kandy/Matale

Overview:

Grab this wonderful opportunity to witness the process of gem cutting done by Sri Lankan skilled gem cutters and understand how they blend traditional and modern methods of precious stone cutting technologies to enhance the quality of stone and to achieve the best face-up color with the minimum weight loss. 

Main Attraction: Tropical Rain Forest

Location: Sinharaja

Overview:

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The forest is rich with beautiful natural water falls. The two main nature trails of Sinharaja Rain Forest are those lead to the peak of Moulawella and the peak of Sinhagala.

Attraction: Be a Volunteer

Location: Where there is a need

Overview:

During the stay in Sri Lanka, you can be a part of a social project by sharing your knowledge and strength. Uplift the living standards of needy local family, teach few things to under privileged children etc. Just let us know your interest.

Attraction: Spice Processing

Overview:

It would be fascinating to visit and explore the spice processing locations in Sri Lanka, a country which supplies high quality fine products to the world. Therefore we recommend you to join with our free tour to visit spice processing locations in a rural village, Sri Lanka.
Cinnamon and Pepper are famous for their different methods of processing that are unique to Sri Lanka. You could explore the secrets behind production of pepper products with different textures and tastes.

Attraction: Airport Pickups

Overview:

Your package includes a prearranged airport pickup guided by our trustworthy hustle free drivers. Therefore you are completely free of searching for vehicles to pick you up at the airport, but we would be there to give you a warm welcome.