Vacations SriLanka
10 Years
Viajes de interés especial
Sri Lanka cultural tours (Viajes culturales en Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka contains an astonishing seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites within its compact shores - the same number as heritage-packed Egypt. Six cultural sites are testament to a civilization with over 2,000 years of recorded history, while a seventh natural site boasts some of the highest biodiversity found outside the Amazon basin.

From colossal ancient monuments and serene rock carvings in sprawling ruined cities, to a 5th century AD king's palace in the clouds, the World Heritage Sites showcase the island's rich history and contribution to civilization. The largest and most dramatic of these are located in the so-called Cultural Triangle, the area formed by linking the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. It's a living heritage, where the visitor will see Buddhist monks and reverent devotees and hear the hypnotic murmur of religious invocations - all of which bring the crumbling brick temples, granite statues and towering dagobas of Sri Lanka's ancient cities to life.

Through the heritage sites the visitor can re-live some of the seminal episodes in the island's past - the introduction of Buddhism, which inspired kings to undertake astounding feats of engineering; the complex palace intrigues; the repeated invasions and conquests; and ultimately, the capitulation to the European colonial powers.

Experiencing Sri Lanka's heritage sites takes you on a spiritual journey that will uplift and amaze, inspire and refresh. The island's compact dimensions mean that it is possible to combine a visit to several of these marvels in the Cultural Triangle during even the briefest of visits.

Sacred city of Anuradhapura

Located in the North Central Province, 206km from Colombo, the sacred city of Anuradhapura is a magical place. Featuring some of the most ancient archaeological treasures in Sri Lanka, this vast heritage site is an impressive reminder of an ancient civilization.

Once one of the grandest monastic cities the world has ever seen, it was established in the 4th century BC, rising to prominence with the arrival of Buddhism, a pivotal event that saw the city transformed into a major centre of Buddhist pilgrimage and learning. The great kings of Anuradhapura oversaw a golden age in the island's history, building colossal dagobas that rivalled the pyramids of Egypt in scale, and developing a sophisticated irrigation system consisting of vast reservoirs and canals. The city's fame spread afar and features in writings from ancient Greece, Rome and China. But enduring frequent invasions from South India, Anuradhapura eventually fell into decline in the 10th century AD.

You will feel overwhelmed at the scale of ancient Anuradhapura. The centre of the ancient city is the Mahavihara, the oldest of the city's monasteries. Worshippers still come to meditate here, drawn to the Sri Maha Bodhi Bo-tree, grown from the original tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment in Northern India. The Thuparama dagoba, erected in the 3rd century. BC, was the first dagoba to be built in Sri Lanka and enshrines the Buddha's right collarbone. Standing before the red-brick Jetavana dagoba 'once the third tallest structure in the world', is an awesome experience. The Abhayagiri dagoba is still covered in earth and vegetation, while the more famous Ruvanvalisaya dagoba, fully restored, is beautifully illuminated at night.The magnificent Kuttam Pokuna or twin baths - with their stone steps are well preserved but all that remains of the Brazen Palace - once a nine-storey structure with 1,000 rooms - is 1,600 granite columns. The Isurumuniya rock temple houses a famous 5th century AD Indian-style sculpture known as the lovers.

Anuradhapura is nestled between three vast reservoirs known as tanks - the Basawakkulama, Tissa Wewa and the Nuwara Wewa. Part of a sophisticated irrigation system developed from the 4th century BC onwards, these still carry life-giving water to the fields in the dry zone, living testament to the engineering skills of the ancient rulers. The raised bunds of the tanks are perfect for an evening stroll and some bird watching, while also offering great views of the city's dagobas.

Medieval capital of Polonnaruwa

In the 12th century AD, the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa was one of the great urban centres in South Asia. Today, the well preserved ruins give you the chance to experience the grandeur of this period and marvel at the artistry of the island's early craftsmen.

Located 142km from Colombo, Polonnaruwa was the island's second ancient capital. Many of the existing ruins owe their construction to Parakramabahu the Great, the last in a sequence of warrior-kings, who developed the city on a lavish scale. He is also credited with the massive artificial lake that lies to the west of the city, The Sea of Parakrama.

At the heart of the ancient city are the remains of the Royal Palace and Council Chamber. Nearby is the vatadage or relic house, a beautifully decorated circular structure with an uncanny resemblance to Stonehenge. Among the other sites are the gal potha (stone book) - a 9m-long granite slab inscribed with the feats of a king - the Lankatilaka shrine and the supremely graceful Buddha statues at Gal Vihara, the pinnacle of Sri Lankan rock carving. The site also hosts many distinctly South Indian-style Hindu temples.

Polonnaruwa's ancient splendour cannot fail to inspire. Set amongst gently undulating woodland, the monkeys, giant lizards and birdlife in abundance seem tamer than elsewhere in the island. Even 1980s pop group Duran Duran were obviously impressed, featuring Polonnaruwa in their music video, Save a Prayer.

Cave temples of Dambulla

Hewn into a 160m granite outcrop are the remarkable cave temples of Dambulla. Located at the centre of the island, 116km from Colombo, and on the main route north to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the cave temples are masterpieces of Buddhist art. Each is filled with murals depicting scenes from the Buddha.s life, and gilded statues of the Buddha in various poses.

In the 1st century BC, the caves provided refuge to a king who fled a South Indian invasion. On reclaiming his throne, the grateful king had temples constructed in the caves that had sheltered him. These were embellished by subsequent rulers, especially during the Kandyan period in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Altogether, there are five caves. Cave 2, the Maharaja Vihara is the largest and most spectacular at over 50m long, 7m high and almost 25m deep. The spiritual energy at Dambulla is palpable and the Buddhist art on display is unparalleled in Sri Lanka. An added bonus is the majestic view from the top of the rock.

Sigiriya

Part hedonistic pleasure palace, part fortress and part sacred complex, Sigiriya is one of the island's most awe-inspiring archaeological sites and a leading tourist attraction. In fact some consider it to be one of the oldest tourist attractions in the world with visitors recording their impressions in some of the earliest-known graffiti. Located north of Dambulla, 116km from Colombo, the site consists of a sheer rock that rises over 200m with the ruins of a palace on the top and a vast pleasure garden complex at the foot. For just two decades in the 5th century AD, Sigiriya rose to prominence following a power struggle between two brothers, and an act of patricide that saw the then king walled-up alive by his son, Kasyapa. Fearful that his defeated brother would return from exile to extract vengeance, Kasyapa shifted the capital to Sigiriya.

The megalomaniac yet spiritual Kasyapa clearly had an eye for beauty. The pleasure gardens include a series of symmetric pools, channels and fountains that still spurt water after 1,500 years. Partway up the rock are the famous Sigiriya frescoes, featuring 21 bare-breasted damsels that may represent celestial nymphs, but were surely modelled on Kasyapa's own consorts. Halfway you'll encounter a pair of giant lion's paws, part of the original entrance, which required visitors to pass through the open mouth of a lion. The summit yields a dramatic vista of the surrounding jungle and contains the foundations of the palace complex, replete with bathing pool. But all this was to be in vain.

Royal City of Kandy

Nestled amidst lush mountains in the north of the island's hill country, the Royal City of Kandy, 116km from Colombo, was home to Sri Lanka.s last independent kingdom, surviving two centuries of colonial incursions by the Portuguese and the Dutch before falling to the British in 1815. The legacy of this proud tradition lives on today in the form of the city's distinctive architecture, art and dance.

Home to the sacred relic of the tooth of the Buddha, a visit to the Dalada Maligawa or Temple of the Tooth, is an experience no tourist should miss said to have been snatched from the Buddha's funeral pyre and smuggled to Sri Lanka in the hair of a princess, the tooth relic is of great spiritual significance. Each year in July or August is the Kandy Esala Perahera (perahera means 'procession') a spectacular display of medieval pageantry that includes caparisoned elephants, fire dancers and Kandyan drummers.

Stroll around the beautiful lake, the centre-piece of the town and explore the numerous temples perched on the hills. These are pleasant ways to spend your time in Kandy. Experiencing the pulsating drum rhythms and colourful traditional dances at a cultural show is another must, as is a ramble through the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, 6km south of the city. Kandy is also the best place in Sri Lanka to study meditation.

Sri Lanka wildlife tours (Viajes de fauna y flora en Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka is an island which defies convention. According to classic island bio-geographic theory, small islands don't have large mammals. Unfortunately for theory Sri Lanka is an exception, as the largest terrestrial mammal in Asia, the Asian Elephant, is found on the island.

What is more, Sri Lanka is beyond doubt the best place in Asia to see the Asian Elephant. Visit Uda Walawe National Park, to the south of the central mountain massif, and you are guaranteed to see elephants. During September and October an annual concentration of elephants, called 'The Gathering', takes place on the receding shores of the Minneriya Lake in Minneriya National Park. 'The Gathering' is surely one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet.

Then there is the Big Spotted One. The Leopard is elusive all over the world and almost impossible to see in most of Asia. In Sri Lanka, the Leopard is the Top Cat and reigns supreme. Unchallenged by Lions or Tigers, it can be seen at times having a siesta on the road under the shade of a tree. Recent research suggests that Yala may have one of the highest densities of Leopards in the world. For wildlife enthusiasts, seeing a Leopard is one of the highlights of a visit to the island.

What about birds? Islands are marvelous vestibules for evolutionary dynamics to work, resulting in speciation. Here, the theorists have got it right. The island has thirty-three endemic species of birds.

Did you know that Sri Lanka’s is home to a staggering;

92 species of mammals!
Over 440 bird species!
242 butterfly & 117 dragonfly species!
190 reptiles of which 98 species are of snakes, while the remaining are of mainly lizards, crocodiles and turtles!
102 amphibian species!
107 species of fish!
3210 species of flowering plants!
And that… Overall, about 22 percent of Sri Lanka’s amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles and 27 percent of our plants are endemic!

Sri Lanka spiritual tours (Ayurveda & Yoga) - (Viajes espirituales en Sri Lanka (Ayurveda y Yoga))

Let yourself be pampered back to fitness and health combine your tours in Sri Lanka with a cure in an Ayurveda / Yoga Centre.

Ayurveda - The Ayurvedic remedies act on the total body, strengthen the power of resistance and promote healing. Ayurveda is conducive to your health, provides you with new vital energy, prevents and corrects the ageing process. An Ayurveda treatment helps combat chronic illnesses and at the same time frees you from psychological burdens. Ayurveda among other things provides swift relief in cases of rheumatic diseases such as arthrosis (signs of over- strain in spine and joints), arthritis, muscle tenseness, restriction of movement, disturbances of the vegetative nervous system such as disturbed sleep, nervousness, exhaustion, tiredness, excitability or irritability, migraine and other forms of headache, heart ailments connected to nervousness, high blood pressure, depression, chronic inflammation such as para nasal sinus inflammation, bronchitis, inflammation of the bladder, susceptibility to colds, skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, skin allergy, asthma, stomach or intestinal disorders, overweight or nicotine misuse. Ayurveda is recommended to all those seeking inward balance, a long and healthy life and to all those who like to experience the fullness of life.

Yoga - Yoga dates back to the Vedic period in India at least 5,000 years ago which was a significant period of cultural and spiritual development. The word `Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ which means to merge or unite. Yoga is based on the concept that the body and breath are intimately connected with the mind. By controlling breathing and holding the body in steady postures, known in yogic terms as ‘Asanas’, stagnant energy centres open up, contributing to better physical health, mental peace and well-being. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years in South Asia as a beneficial complement to Ayurvedic medicine and healing. Ayurveda and Yoga come from the same philosophical background and examines the mind– body relationship from the perspective of maintenance of health and the treatment of disease. Today, people are turning to yoga for many reasons from stress management to maintaining optimum levels of health and well-being.

Sri Lanka camping tours (Camping en Sri Lanka)

We believe that the best way to experience nature is right in the heart of it! The concept of fully movable camping means that we can offer exactly that, taking our guests to locations of Sri Lanka that are simply inaccessible to the usual hotel crowd.

All our campsites are in prime locations, either selected by our own experienced product development team or sites belonging to the Wildlife and Forest Department of Sri Lanka . We offer a huge variety of ‘tried and tested' locations in which we operate camping programmes on a regular basis, however we are also always open to requests, proving just how ‘movable' our ‘movable camping programmes' really are! Our attention to detail with special features such as a uniquely dramatic lighting of the campfire, illuminating oil or copra torches, make-shift outdoor restaurant and a global cuisine certain to tantalize your taste-buds, its fair to say that your camping tour will be an experience never to be forgotten!

We offer various different standards of camping experiences, including Participatory camping, Luxury camping, and Super-Luxury camping in Sri Lanka.

Our Camping Locations - Bundala National Park

This small coastal sanctuary is ideal to bask in quiet solitude. Watch huge crocodiles along the brackish marshes, take a dip in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, and see large flocks of water birds and migrants! A Paradise for birders!

Our Camping Locations - Dambana Veddah Village

The Aboriginal People still exist! And their culture is indeed unique to the world. The natives are quite friendly. So you can meet the Chief, get to know them, and even join them on a mock hunt.

Our Camping Locations - Gal Oya National Park

The placid waters of Gal Oya Lake, where human settlements are rare, are surrounded by a thick forest inhabited by every type of animal in Sri Lanka.

Our Camping Locations - Sinharaja Rain forest

Its rare trees and plants make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site! A naturalist's dream, with exciting trails through the rainforest teeming with rare birds, butterflies, insects, and mammals, and indigenous fish in its gurgling mountain streams.

Our Camping Locations - Wasgamuwa National Park

The lush forests by the Mahaweli River offer a classic range of wildlife – elephants, leopards, bears, deer, sambhur…

Our Camping Locations - Udawalawe National Park

An elephant-lover’s dream! The grasslands around the Udawalawe Lake are the range for huge numbers of these magnificent beasts.

Our Camping Locations - Wilpattu National Park

The thick untouched jungles offer a unique tranquility and one-ness with nature. By the picturesque ‘villus’ (waterholes), catch a glimpse of a leopard sunning itself on a bough, or a lone elephant crashing through trees!

Our Camping Locations - Yala National Park

The thick untouched jungles offer a unique tranquility and one-ness with nature. By the picturesque ‘villus' (waterholes), catch a glimpse of a leopard sunning itself on a bough, or a lone elephant crashing through trees!

Sri Lanka agro tours (Agro turismo en Sri Lanka)

In recent times there has been a substantial increase in the concept of Agro tourism, the world over, with Sri Lanka being no exception to same.

Sri Lanka's complex paddy cultivation systems, developed over the course of 2500 years and more, huge ancient irrigational tanks and many tea and rubber plantations are just some examples of its diverse agricultural developments which ensures its ability to cater to a niche market of agro tourists.

We can arrange diverse experiences ranging from milking cattle on a dairy farm, having a go at plucking tea leaves using the traditional ‘bag-on-the-head' method, rubber tapping under expert guidance, or even working in the many picturesque paddy fields of Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka Buddhist pilgrimage tours (Viajes de peregrinación budista en Sri Lanka)

Being a religious country, Sri Lanka has a lot many religious places, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Buddhism is the mostly followed religion in Sri Lanka, so most of the pilgrim attractions in Sri Lanka are related to Buddhism.

The major attractions include Temple of Tooth that houses the Sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha ,Sri Pada Peak (Adam's Peak), Dambulla golden temple and Anuradhapura. These religious places are the perfect spots to get some solace and courage and to face the challenges of life.

The Temple of the Tooth Relic houses the sacred Tooth Relic of "Lord Buddha" and is one of the most significant building in Kandy. The temple is a place of regard for the Buddhists worldwide. The temple is known as 'Dalada Maligawa' among locals.

Adam's Peak is one of the ancient and sacred pilgrim destinations of Sri Lanka. It is considered sacred by Muslims, Christians and Buddhists as well. The peak is 2,243 meters high.

Golden Temple, Dambulla is a sacred pilgrimage site, a cave monastery with five sanctuaries. It is one of the largest and best-preserved cave temples in Sri Lanka. The temple complex has ancient Buddhist mural paintings of 15th and 16th century and 157 wonderful statues.

Anuradhapura: Buddhism came to Sri Lanka some 236 years after the death of Buddha and at that point of time, Anuradhapura was the capital of the country. The ruler during this period was Devanam Piya Tissa, a contemporary of the great India king Ashoka who spread Buddhism to many countries. With the introduction of Buddhism, the city grew in importance and the great building era began. This era saw the construction of a number of huge monastery complexes and some of the tallest buildings of the ancient world.

Sri Lanka adventure tours (Viajes de aventura en Sri Lanka)

Small in size, but big in diversity, Sri Lanka is blessed with a myriad of opportunities to experience treasured moments of unexpected joy, the very essence of adventure.

We offer Adventure trekking, Caving, Mountain biking & Cycling, Hot air Ballooning, Nature Weddings & Honeymoon Packages, Off road 4WD adventures, Camping, Photography and filming missions, Rock climbing, Scenic rail rides, Rain forest exploration, Special Study tours of flora & fauna, Wildlife Safaris, Kayaking/canoeing, Snorkeling and Scuba Diving, Surfing, Turtle watching, Water skiing, Whale and dolphin watching, Whitewater rafting, Windsurfing, Island and deep sea fishing tours.

Sri Lanka photography & filming tours (Viajes de Fotografía y rodaje en Sri Lanka)

With such a variety of locations on offer, we have the knowledge, infrastructure and experience to put together specialist photography or filming programs in Sri Lanka.

For photography, choose to focus (!) on long range scenic shots at the truly enticing beaches or in the scenic hill country, close ups of wildlife and birds in the National Parks or special photographs based on the unique culture of Sri Lanka . Film crews and journalists are also supported and their professional shoots would be fully coordinated from beginning to the end.

Let it be a wildlife photography shoot as a purely pleasurable activity or a serious assignment. Perhaps even a documentary on indigenous people of Sri Lanka, a truly marvelous and exotic Catalogue photo Shoot or even a complete blockbuster movie , wherever you go, whatever your interest may be, you can be assured that the photos or films you capture and take back home with you will definitely be a true reflection of your talent and unforgettable time spent in Sri Lanka !

Filming / photography sets can be offered in most of our Sri Lanka Adventure locations too or any location / locations that you would prefer.

If not, tell us the story or share your vivid imagination so that we could provide you the background to achieve your dream setting.

Sri Lanka beach tours (Viajes de sol y playa en Sri Lanka)

Surrounded by the vast Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a typical beach country that offers a wide range of breathtakingly beautiful beaches.

Some of them are always crowded with a variety of sporting activities on offer while others are defined by their very seclusion and tranquility. In other words we can simply say that Sri Lanka has something for everyone in terms of beaches. In fact, the Sri Lanka beach tours are so popular, that people all over the world are ever ready to grab the first given opportunity to have their fill of the sun, sand and water.

If you go for a Sri Lanka beach tour, you will come across some of the most beautiful beaches you have ever seen in your entire life. Fringed by lush green vegetation, all beaches in Sri Lanka are indeed a treat to the eyes of any beholder. In fact, Sri Lanka is indeed a beachcombers delight. Sri Lanka beach tours can be planned anytime because it is said that Sri Lanka is never out of season for a beach holiday. Indeed, life at the beaches never stop in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka beaches have been classified as the north, south, east and west coast beaches. Each zone has its own share of beautiful beaches that can be said to be on par with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Some of the famous beaches in Sri Lanka are the Negombo Beach, Mt. Lavinia beach, Kalutara, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and Trincomalee beach. For some exciting water sports there is nothing better than the Beruwala and Bentota beaches.

You can make your Sri Lanka beach tours luxurious and memorable by checking in at some of the beach resorts that line all the famous beaches. Besides, there are many other hotels and lodges available around the beaches that offer a comfortable stay to all their guests. On the whole, the Sri Lanka beach tours can give you some of the most enjoyable and memorable moments of your life. Do indulge in one collect a bagful of pleasant memories to last for a lifetime.

CWS