Scenic Train Tours
Train travel is one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to see the country. You get to enjoy the most spectacular scenery while still having the opportunity to grab some food, talk to locals and meet fellow travelers. You can also get off at any station you like and get as adventures as possible.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country that’s ideal for train trips. The route from Ella to Kandy is considered the most picturesque in the whole country so if you want to enjoy some train travel – this is the perfect way to do it. It is quite a tourist attraction so be prepared to make lots of new friends along the way. Enjoy local treats like mango with cinnamon, freshly cut pineapple and crispy papadums, rice and curry, corn with butter and many-many more. Another beautiful route is Pollonaruwa – Colombo, which offers a wide range of gorgeous sceneries along the way.
The British built the Railway System in Sri Lanka back in 1864 for coffee and tea transportation between Colombo and Hill Country. Railway connects the biggest cities in Sri Lanka and offers several classes for all kinds of travelers: 3rd class seats are pretty crowdy and are available in all trains; 2nd class seats can be found on inter-city trains; 1st class air-con seats are available on some inner-city routes; 1st class observation car can be fund mostly on the Main Line; 1st class sleeper can be found in overnight trains.
Whale watching is one of the most spectacular experiences to have in Sri Lanka. Just imagine these beautiful beings leap gracefully from the sea and swimming right in front of you! Whales are gorgeous mysterious creatures and Sri Lanka is among the best places in the world to watch them in their natural habitat.
Depending on the time of the year, you can go to several places. Mirissa and Trincomalee are considered the best spots to enjoy whale watching. Head to the South Coast of the country to Mirissa where you’ll get a 90% chance to see whales. It’s the most reliable place on Earth to do this! Mirissa is located between Matara and Galle and is a major tourist spot for all whale lovers.
Most of boat trips start early in the morning so be prepared to rise as early as 6:30 a.m. The whole trip can take from 3 to 5 hours depending on the weather conditions. It’s best to spend at least one night in Mirissa as you’ll have to rise early and the trip will take at least half of the day.
Head to the Northeast Coast to enjoy whale watching in Trincomalee. It’s a deep natural harbor that hosts sperm whales during their mating season between June and October. You might need a permit to enter Trincomalee, so you should think ahead and find out whether you’ll need one to avoid surprises. Get ready for the trip and rest before you get up early in the morning. With you take some seasick pills, sun cream and lots of water.
Madu River Boat Safari
Sri Lanka is a real paradise for all nature lovers. Yet some places are especially beautiful and draw hundreds of tourists with enchanting sceneries and serene atmosphere. Madu River is located in the south of Sri Lanka near Galle. The water of the river is dotted with small islands and the banks are all covered with lush mangrove forests that are home to dozens of incredible animal species. Enjoy hundreds of vibrant tropical birds and a few crocodiles if you’re lucky enough. These creatures are pretty rare and don’t like crowds.
You will also observe some authentic prawn hunting and the peeling of a real cinnamon tree. While enjoying the safari, you can visit a beautiful temple on the “koth Duwa” island which has a spectacular statue of Buddha standing.
Boat riders will take you from Colombo Galle into a labyrinth of mangrove forests and exotic plants. There you will see hundreds of beautiful birds including crimson frontea Barbex, wood peckers, king fishers, Black – hooded oriole and many, many others. A fish breeding center is located in the middle of the river offering an insight into the breeding cycle of local fish species.
The swampy marshlands that surround the Madu River are under protection of the government of Sri Lanka as it is a fragile ecosystem that is home to many rare animal species. There are around 300 animal species in Madu River, 19 of which are endemic. The soil there is also really fertile – it’s a real treasure trove for ecologists and biologists.
Most Beautiful Bird Watching Sites
Sri Lanka is literally a bird-watcher’s treasure box. It is a bird watching paradise with a large number of birds that endemic to Sri Lanka. The best part of it is that there is no on and off season for bird watching since the climate is the quite the same throughout the year. Sri Lanka is home to about 400 species of birds in which 23 is said to be endemic. A lot of birds that migrate are found in Sri Lanka.
The oldest bird sanctuary in Sri Lanka. The best time to see birds is during November to March. The sanctuary is overall a wetland with swamps and lagoons.
Within the forest lies the Kandalama tank around which a very rich bird life can be observes. More than 145 species are said to have been spotted in this sanctuary.Kandalama is the best place for bird-watching in the North Central province.
This sanctuary is home to the Sri Lankan hangin parrot, yellow-fronted barbet, Layard’s parakeet among many more birds. Beauitul Butterflies can also be observed in this sanctuary which is located 1 km off the Wewlpitiya Road
Located in the Sabaragamuwa province, this is considered as one of the best habitats for birds to live in. There is abundant bird life including a lot of endemic birds such as Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl, Black-crested Bulbul, the blue magpie among many others.
Kitulgala Forest Reserve
The Kithulgala forest is the secondary rain forest situated beside the Kelani River. Red faced Malkoha, Ceylon Blue Magpie, Layard’s parakeet are among the many birds that are seen here.
Most Thrilling Wildlife Safaries
One of the many reasons as to why people visit Sri Lanka is because of its very diverse wildlife. From flora to fauna, a lot of species are only endemic to Sri Lanka. A lot of people, even the locals come to nature reserves and forests to get a glimpse of rare creatures for maybe once in their whole lifetime. Alot of nature reserves and santuaries are in Sri Lanka in order to protect the wildlife from human interests that might harm the animals including poaching. Visitors are allowed in to these reserves where you can take safari trips with a trained guide provided by the reserves themselves.
Most Fantastic Surfing Sites in Sri Lanka
The most famous place for surfing is the Arugam bay on the East Coast which also happened to host the 2004 National Championships. The usual surfing season is from April to September when it is very windy. Southern Coastal beaches are also famous among surfers.
Most Fantastic Scuba Diving Sites in Sri Lanka
One of the favourite recreational activities among tourists .There are several dive sites along Sri Lanka’s coastline, where scuba diving is mostly done , Hikkaduwa beach and Tangalla beach during Nivember to April and Nilaveli from April to September. While diving you will be able to be familiar with the vibrant, rich and breath-takingly beautiful coral reefs and fish
Most Fantastic Hiking / Trekking Places in Sri Lanka
Hiking is usually done up in the Hill country where mountains and water falls are found in abundance. Jungles and nature reserves are also covered during hiking. Abit of bird watching can also be thrown in at the same time. Fully trained guides are on hand by hotels that offer hiking as a part of their package when it comes to exlporing Sri Lanka’s
Cycling & Mountain Biking
Cycling and Mountain biking in Sri Lanka is an excellent way to enjoy the lovely sceneries of Sri Lanka. The network of main roads and innumerable country roads, gravel paths, foot paths, cart tracks, dirt tracks and estate tracks make the all corners of the small island accessible to the cycling enthusiasts. The terrain throughout the country offers challenges for beginners and experts; though cycling in the plains aren’t tiresome, the Central Highlands could be demanding. However cycling in the Central Highlands is rewarding too in view of the landscape studded with tea plantations running seamlessly over the ranges of hills, terraced rice cultivation and farmlands.
Sri Lanka’s varied landscapes also bring about the perceptions on cultural heritage and experiences in rural village life to the tourists cycling in Sri Lanka. Cycling through rice fields and rural villages; through tea covered hill country, taking the coastal roads of the South Western and southern coastal belt, riding over the cultural triangle studded with monuments, renovated monuments and ruins of ancient Sri Lanka reward all the cycling enthusiasts in invaluable scale and scope.
Though cycling is enjoyed in exploring the island, cyclists should be extra careful in the main roads. The hurtling buses, zig-zagging three wheelers and other motorists could push to the cyclists into tight corners.
White Water Rafting – Kithulgala
White Water Rafting is a challenging recreational activity and an exhilarating water sport. Yet contrary to the public belief, White Water Rafting is not a sport that demands great physical strength.
An average level of physical fitness and a strong spirit would do. White Water Rafting, generally enjoyed in the white-waters as well as in other turbulent waters, brings about an enthralling experience to the water sport enthusiasts.
Though the ability to swim is a definite advantage, a compulsory Personal Flotation Device will be provided, a necessary outfit for a White Water Rafting as it is guaranteed to save you from drowning if you fall overboard.
The best time to enjoy White Water Rafting at Kitulgala is the period between May to December. During periods of heavy rain, the river could turn out to be very volatile and White Water Rafting becomes very unsafe. The adventure operators on site would advise all water sports enthusiasts on the matter. However water levels could drop surprisingly fast, turning the river to its regular state during the rainy season as well.
The definition of ‘Ayurveda‘ in simple terms means “the science of life”. Ayurveda represents a system of healing that has been perfected over more than five thousand years. It is famed as South Asia’s ancient health care system based on herbs and diet. Ayurveda sees health and disease in holistic terms. It takes into account the relationship between energy and matter. This system of healing believes in treatment of not just the part affected by disease but the individual as a whole. It emphasizes on the harmony of mind, body and spirit to cure diseases.
What is Ayurveda?
It is an ancient system of medicine developed in our part of the world, long before the “father of medicine”, Hippocrates, was even born. The name comes from two conjoined Sanskrit words “Ayuh” (life) and “Veda” (science or knowledge).
Since ancient times, man has engaged in the pursuit of achieving and maintaining an optimum state of health. Way back in 600 BC, Ayurveda emerged in South Asia as the natural way of healing. Today, Ayurveda has evolved into a scientific system of holistic healing that has gained recognition across the globe.
Ayurveda in Sri Lanka
“Ayurveda” is not only a form of medication – it is a way of life known to generations of Sri Lankans for over 3000 years.
The health conscious today are searching for effective alternatives to the spiraling costs and side effects that result from the use of modern medicine. Sri Lankans, in the last couple of millennia has made use of the “user-friendly and traditional medicine – Ayurveda” which over 75% of the island’s population depend on because of its reliance on natural plants, herbs and oils.
Three vital forces of Ayurveda
One of the fundamental beliefs of Ayurveda is the doctrine of “Tri Dosha” or the Three Vital Forces – Vayu, Pita and Kapha.
Generally translated into Wind, Bile and Phlegm, a more accurate interpretation of Vayu is the transmission of energy within the body; in modern medical terms, nerve impulses, muscle contractions and hormonal activity.
Pita may not be confined to bile but signifies the whole scope of metabolism and internal heat production while Kapha means mucus, often described as “The Protective Fluid”.
The modern concept of mucus as an antibody containing liquid which coats and protects internal linings of the body, seems to fit in with Ayurvedic thinking. When the three, “Doshas” are balanced, the body is in good health. When this equilibrium is disturbed and the balance of these complementary forces become unbalanced and upset, illness takes over.
Ayurvedic practitioners study the patient as a whole with the object of restoring balance, getting to the root of the problem and treating it. Local folk have been known to say that while western medicine classifieds germs and attempts to destroy them, Ayurveda classifies human beings and attempts to save them.
Stilt Fishing is one of the most interesting traditional fishing methods of Sri Lanka.
The beautiful sight of fishermen perched branched poles as they fish skillfully during dawn, noon and dusk; can now be commonly along the southern coast in towns such as Koggala, Kaththaluwa and Ahangama. Occasional stilt fishermen can also be seen amongst the waters of Madu River, etc.
Though stilt fishermen make the activity seem easy and comfortable; stilt fishing requires much skill and balance. A vertical pole with an attached crossbar is embedded into the sea floor among the shallows, or on a riverbed. The crossbar allows the fishermen to be seated a couple of meters above the water causing minimal shadows on the water and hence little to no disturbance amongst the sea life. The stilt fishermen then use a rod from this precarious position to bring in a good catch of spotted herrings and small mackerels from the comparative shallows of the sea or from the river. They collect the catch in a bag tied to the pole or to their waist.
Village walk in Habarana and Sigiriya
Habarana and Sigiriya are two destinations where you could experience the authentic rural life and interact with real locals. People from both destination livelihood is based on agriculture predominantly, so walking in these villages will allow you to see vegetable fields, rice fields and various crops farmed by villagers. Not only farming, Sigiriya and Habarana are hot spots for wildlife and nature. Jungles, lake and villages are in combination, allowing people to explore the culture, nature and wildlife.
We guarantee you that you will come to learn “The real Sri Lanka’ during this village walk in Sigiriya and Habarana.
During this village walk in Sigiriya and Habarana you come across farmers in the farming fields, village vendors, lake fishermen, tree houses built to protect the crops from the wild animals and many.
This is a good morning walk if you are staying in Dambulla, Habarana and Sigiriya area hotels when you are on holiday in Sri Lanka.