Sri Lanka 15 day cutural tour

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sri Lanka 15 day cutural tour

Environment

We 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
We select the most exclusive and responsible resorts for you. In this tour you will stay at Nine Skies or Goatfell and The Fort Bazaar, which are part of the Teardrop Group, a family-run, personal, small and single-use plastic-aware hotel company. The Fort Bazaar for example uses LED lightbulbs, filtered water (to cut down on plastic water bottles) and monitors their energy/water usage. The hotel is also a sponsor for the new Greener Galle recycling centre in Talpe.

In general, 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.

Our partners are currently conducting audits with clients on how to make the journey more sustainable and include less plastic. There are plans to remove all single use plastic bottles from the vehicles.

- Transport
Wherever possible we will try to include non-motorized ways of transport to limit your impact, in this tour we offer for example guided walking tours at Galle Fort and in Colombo, bicycle rides, train rides in the Hill Country or walks in Ella to Little Adam's Peak, Ella Rock or along the Nine Arch Bridge. When we use 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 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.
- Visiting Dhowa Rock Temple, a protected heritage site, will help preserve its large unfinished Buddha image, carved into the rock face, which is considered an example of Mahayana sculpture, dating back over 2000 years.
- Your entrance fee to visit the Temple of Tooth helps maintain the conservation and maintenance of this Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy. It houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple.

Also visiting the home and gardens of Lunuganga by important architect Geoffrey Bawa will contribute to the Geoffrey Bawa Trust whose mission is the advancement and promotion of education and knowledge and the furtherance of interest in ecological and environmental studies, architecture, fine arts and more. The Trust has set up a national award scheme to recognise and reward significant examples of contemporary Sri Lankan architecture. The aim of the scheme is both to foster the production of good architecture and to encourage its wider appreciation in the community. The scheme is generally acknowledged to have had a very marked effect on architecture in developing countries.

- Nature
Sri Lanka is full of bountiful beaches, wildlife and natural areas. Visiting the Peradeniya Botanical Garden will help the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture to grow and conserve more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.

You will be able to see animals in their natural habitats. We bring you to Minneriya National Park, that protects the catchment of the Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is of historical importance, having been built by King Mahasen in third century AD. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts. You will be able to see large gatherings of elephants during certain months. Along with Kaudulla and Girithale, Minneriya forms one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Sri Lanka.

You can also visit Yala National Park, it 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.

Community

We 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.

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.

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