Highlights of Sri Lanka small group tour
Description of Highlights of Sri Lanka small group tour
See the highlights of Sri Lanka with this week long, small group circular tour of its beaches, national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and its delicious local cuisine. Culture packed, but offering some down time to for relaxation and independent exploration, this trip is ideal for travellers who are looking for lots of exciting experiences and the opportunity to unwind or do their own thing.
Starting on the coast in Negombo, where traditional fishing boats line the sandy beaches, we’ll drive north to the Wilpattu National Park. Best known for Sri Lanka’s most elusive animal, the leopard, the park is also home to elephant, deer, sloth bear, buffalo and eagles, which we will try to spot during a jeep safari tour of the park.
The following morning, our tour takes us to the peak of Mihintale where, after climbing the stone steps, a giant Buddha statue and fantastic views will be revealed. Temples, beaches and tuk tuk rides await in Trincomalee, before we ditch our coach for a bullock cart ride through traditional villages where we will have chance to talk to local people and enjoy some Sri Lankan food.
As we make our way south, we’ll stop to visit the famous painted rock caves of Dambulla, filled with colourful sculptures and imagery of Buddha and Hindu gods. A sunrise climb to the ruined fortress at the top of Sigiriya rock, or ‘Lion’s Rock’, offers magnificent views, before we continue to our final destination, the historical town of Kandy.
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PlanetThe famous wildlife of Sri Lanka, such as the magnificent asian elephants, requires support to protect them and their habitat. Visiting parks such as Wilpattu, where visitor numbers are relatively low and conservation is given a high priority, helps to support the upkeep of the habitat and the animals. This is both through the financial benefit of entrance fees, but also the interest shown by our visits to such places helps provide the government and local people alike with an incentive for their preservation for future generations to enjoy.
We are proud to have adopted an orphaned baby elephant in Sri Lanka’s Udawalawe National Park several years ago. Serendip fell into a trench when she was only a few months old but was rescued and was returned into the wild – where she belongs - when she was 5 years old.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
PeopleThis trip gives us a great experience of the cultural heritage, natural beauty and friendly and hospitable people in Sri Lanka. By using local tour leaders you’ll be able to enjoy and learn about many aspects of life in these countries not accessible on other trips, and of course it is a significant way to create local employment.
They’ll seek out opportunities to show and involve you in everyday Sri Lankan life; for example stopping off at the roadside to watch toddy tappers at work, paying a visit to a village brick kiln or passing around unusual and exotic fruits purchased in the local market. You'll also be supporting the local economy through using locally owned hotels and restaurants, and visiting local craftwork centres which also helps to maintain traditions; many of our activities directly benefit vulnerable communities.
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.