Sri Lanka holiday, culture & relaxation
Description of Sri Lanka holiday, culture & relaxation
This Sri Lanka holiday, culture and relaxation, is all about seeing Sri Lanka’s most beautiful sights, but with minimal travel, plenty of time to relax and wonderful accommodation. Enjoy memorable overnight stays in some of the island’s most beautiful boutique hotels, resorts and heritage properties, including The Wallawwa in Negombo, Maniumpathy in Colombo and Santani Wellness Resort in Kandy. Throughout this 13 day holiday, you’ll be transported in an air conditioned car with your own private driver and English speaking guide. Your car will be kitted out with comfy cushions, a sarong, hand sanitiser, mosquito repellent, socks for wearing in temples and a good map. There is also Wifi.
This relaxing holiday also includes guided visits to the island’s celebrated historic sights, including the rock fortress of Sigiriya, the ancient capitals of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, as well as the ancient cave temple at Dambulla. Enjoy a game drive in Yala National Park or Udawalawe National park, looking out for elephants and leopard, and take a history and cultural walk in Sri Lanka’s up-and-coming capital Colombo. We have lots of other suggestions for things to do, from hiking in the Knuckles Range to birdwatching in Bundala National Park and the Kalametiya Sanctuary, or you can simply relax and enjoy the spa facilities and pools at the hotels.
PlanetWe work with selected local providers who are very committed to give guests the most authentic and original travel experience in Sri Lanka while leaving a lighter footprint on your trip. Our excursions maintain small-group sizes to limit the negative environmental impact in accordance to the carrying capacity of the visited site.
When traveling to Sri Lanka, you support a country that puts a lot of effort into sustainable tourism and good environmental management practices related to energy, water, waste water and solid management practices. For example, around 70 to 88% of Sri Lanka’s hotels use solar power and energy efficient lighting methods.
- Accommodation & Environment
For your tour we have chosen responsible resorts like the eco-aware and intelligent-design resort Santani, where you can experience minimalist luxury in the middle of pristine jungle. It was designed in such a way that they do not use air conditioning or heating thus reducing energy consumption by about 70% compared to standard hotels. Most of the buildings are built on stilts allowing for natural thermal flows to cool the rooms and also touch the earth least. The whole spa is built underground providing natural cooling. Almost 80% of the wood used for both structural elements and furniture is recycled.
We have also chosen the Teardrop Group for you, a small, family-run, personal and single-use plastic-aware hotel company. Your stay at Wallawwa for example will support a resort that uses LED lightbulbs and filtered water to cut down on plastic water bottles. They monitor their energy/water usage and use solar water heating. The Wallawwa’s own extensive fruit and vegetable garden supplies fresh produce where possible to the hotels’ restaurants.
We are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours through our “bring it in, bring it out” policy for litter and rubbish such as food packaging and recycling wherever possible. In our UK and local offices we re-use or recycle the information booklets we provide to every client on arrival wherever possible. We also concentrate on providing information online via our website and electronically rather then producing a glossy brochure, hence reducing the use of paper and inks.
Wherever possible we will try to include non-motorized ways of transport to limit your impact. In this trip, you will go on a guided walk in Colombo and you can enjoy hikes in the Knuckles Range. For our vehicles, we make sure that sizes are as small as appropriate and proper licensing on vehicles and certifying to national emission standards are maintained.
- Culture & Buildings
Your entrance fees to visit Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Dambulla will all contribute to the conservation and maintenance of those precious UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites:
- Sigiriya is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Being sometimes called the 8th wonder of the world, this fortress-palace was built atop a towering rock in the 5th century and is one of the most dramatic, inspiring and beautiful historical locations in the world.
- Polonnaruwa was Sri Lanka’s medieval capital from 1073 until the late 1200s, and the ruins of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa are incredibly well-preserved and include magnificant granite sculptures of Lord Buddha.
- The ancient Dambulla Cave Temple is the most famous cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, boasting the largest number of Buddha statues to be housed in one place, as well as stunning ceiling paintings.
- Anuradhapura offers majestic remains of Sri Lanka’s first capital, originally built in the 4th century BC, the ruling place for over 100 Sri Lankan kings.
Sri Lanka is full of bountiful beaches, wildlife and natural areas. You have the chance to meditate with the 150 different species of birds in the Kalametiya Sanctuary, one of oldest and main bird sanctuaries in Sri lanka. It offers an area of coastal lagoons and mangroves, which are rich in marine and home to four nationally threatened birds, as well as other birdlife and reptiles, a large number of which are nationally and globally threatened.
You can choose to visit the Yala National Park and see animals in their natural habitats. Yala has one of the world's densest leopard populations (less than 50). Expect to see elephants, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boar, crocodiles, monkeys and buffalos. Or you can spot wild Sri Lankan Elephants in its natural habitat at the Udawalawe National Park, a park that covers almost 31,000 hectares. Your visits at these National Parks will contribute to the Department of Wildlife Conservation, who is the primary entity responsible for the maintenance of the national parks and wildlife reserves and the Sri Lankan Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe.
You will also experience the Knuckles Range, one of the most interesting and important places and so also called the Knuckles Conservation Forest. It is an UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, and is home to up to 1033 plant species of which 15% are endemic, 128 Bird species of which 17 are endemic, 31 mammal species, 20 amphibians and 53 different reptile species. You can still find leopards and at some areas elephants.
PeopleWe strive to help our clients connect with Sri Lanka and its local population in interesting and insightful ways. Our partners have a reputation for possessing an intimate, in-depth knowledge of Sri Lanka, with purposeful dedication towards enabling guests meaningful experiences. This has benefited not only clients and operators, providing more fulfilling trips, but is also positively impacting our host communities, providing immediate income and making their lives more sustainable and productive.
- Supporting the community
Our local partners have helped many hosts to develop their experiences from a product development and pricing perspective, elevating their experience and its value. They have developed experiences from scratch with many hosts and communities to provide jobs and income to local populations e.g. The Sri Lankan Garden (also incredibly sustainable operation) and most recently with the new East Coast Project., working with an Australian NGO to develop experiences on the East Coast of the Sri Lanka, employing local staff and hosts in an area where there is a significant need. We choose our partners carefully and are constantly on the lookout for grassroots conservation projects and fair trade initiatives.
There are many of the hotels we work with that employ the majority of their staff from the local area, many have community initiatives in place and offer lucrative employment options in comparison to other trades.
- Campaigns & Charity
For many years our partners have worked with a small collection of schools where they have arranged for clients to help construct toilets, paint classrooms and have worked with charities such as The Foundation of Goodness and Child Action Lanka.
When staying at the Wallawwa, you can contribute to the gift shop, whose sales go to Wallawwa CARE, that raises funds for the local community; this includes donating to schools, sponsoring the education of local children, donating medicines and helping families with losses.
Also your hotel The Last House has built and continues to fund Santhosa, an award-winning primary school in Seenimodera, near resort. Following the damage and destruction of local schools by the tsunami, and in memory of the owner’s late wife Sarah, money was donated to build this school in 2005. Generous funding from benefactors in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and other countries has helped the school grow into a shining example of Montessori methods; it recently won a government award for ‘Best Pre-School’ in the Hambantota/Southern Provincial District. Manor House Concepts continues to fund the school and every time a guest stays for two or more nights, US$5 from their bill is donated to the school.
- Local culture, tradition & connection
A unique spiritual and authentic Sri Lankan experience awaits you at Santani, where health science innovations from around the world are harmonized with the most effective traditional treatments of Sri Lankan Ayurveda. Santani offers a thoughtful, sustainable approach to wellness. In ancient times, anyone seeking inner peace could take refuge in the Buddhist meditation caves which still exist within this sacred, mountainous landscape around the resort. At Santani, except for a media room with a 15-seat theatre, all of the shared spaces are Wi-Fi free by design and guests are asked to respect this digital-free downtime when dining and in the spa. Wi-Fi is available upon request in your rooms.