Discover south Sri Lanka’s backcountry
There are an unbelievable amount of eco, physical and cultural activities to keep you busy during your stay. Whatever you would like to do we can bespoke an literary for you and arrange your adventure.
Exploring the backcountry on a mountain bike is a great way to get a slice of what south Sri Lanka has to offer: Waterfalls, river trails, local villages, ancient temples, the paddy fields, spice plantations, nature parks, ride in a tropical paradise. Tours are organised for small groups with a local guide with local knowledge. Bike are maintained to a high standard and tour guides are trained in safety, first-aid and minimising the ecological impact of your trip. Depending on your experience as a rider there are options from gentle touring to exhilarating downhill trails.
National Park trekking
The Sinharaja Forest Reserve in south-west Sri Lanka is the country’s last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. Meaning Lion (Sinha) King (Raja), Sinharaja is home to a fantastic level of biodiversity. There is a huge selection of Sri Lanka’s endemic species – mammals, birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles and rare amphibians. Of Sri Lanka’s 800+ endemic species, 200+ trees and vines, many plants found in the forest are used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Sinharaja forest was declared a biosphere reserve in 1978 and on the World Heritage list in 1988. Protected and well worth a visit. As you may expect Sri Lanka has it’s share or poisonous plants, snakes, and insects so you will find your guide an invaluable source of information.
In the south-east, from the coast line inland, is Yala National Park. Its a big old space, about a thousand square km and Sri Lanka second largest national park. The weather is dry and in some areas semi arid for much of the year, a completely different micro climate to Sinaraja forest. You will find 400 of Sri Lanka’s wild elephants, water buffalo, leopards, spotted deer, langur and toque monkeys. Safaris can be easily organised.
Visit a festival
You will find that pretty much every month there is at least two festivals, the majority of which coincide with those of Buddhism and a full moon. So who doesn’t enjoy a full moon party? Just ask Mike about the time where he had 200 dancing Sri Lankans, playing OMD to from his iPod at the local Full Moon Beach party. The Buddhist community of Sri Lanka observe the Full Moon or Poya Days and with three other major religions on the island there are no fewer than 25 public holidays. Nice!
Tea plantation tours
Scotsman James Taylor planted Sri Lanka’s first tea bushes 1867 on the Loolecondera Estate in Kandy. Now today Sri Lanka exports about three hundred thousand tons of tea per year of tea, that’s 99 billion cuppas. There are plenty of local tea plantations to tour, take in the green rolling hills and the aromatic smells of the plantation, wind down and relax and with a cup of Ceylon tea, considered up there with the words finest.
Shopping for adrenaline sports brands
There are many obvious things you can purchase from garments, jewellery, silks and spices. However what you might not know is Sri Lanka has the factories for many adrenaline sports brands. Some of the major power kite manufactures: Core, Best, Carved, North and Faith all have bases. Not your sweatshop style factories either as perhaps their corporate videos show. Best power kites video has with many happy Sri Lankans diligently stitching and assembling. We are not so sure about big brand surf wear yet, still researching some of the other factories and would only like to promote the ones with ethical supply chains, not to mention developing our own surfer owned ethical brand. There is an organisation, Sri Lanka Apparel, set up specifically for ‘Ethical Business and Manufacturing Practices’ Garments Without Guilt and there are connected labels that confirm what you are buying.
Learn Sri Lankan style cooking
Every night is curry night, maybe even for breakfast. You are welcome to join us in the kitchen and learn how to use some of the Sri Lankan spices in different ways although we might get you to do some chopping.