8 independent reviews for Sri Lanka tour & beach vacation

Reviews for Sri Lanka tour & beach vacation

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review 24 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

This was a trip organised by our tour operator where I had asked for a mix of beach and wildlife, where visited five different locations in Sri Lanka - and they were all different! We had our own driver to take us to our next destination and he was great - knowledgeable and full of fun. It was all exciting really from the beautiful beachside hotels to the wildlife parks. At Palagama beach the food was amazing especially when I was shown their own vegetable garden and we picked fresh vegetables that were cooked as individual curries for my dinner that evening. The people just wanted to please. In the wildlife parks we saw two leopards, a sloth bear and elephants including a baby so close you could have touched them. The wildlife there is fabulous even outside the parks especially the birds with peacocks turning up unexpectedly. I took up the option of a yoga session at Unawatana - it was just bliss the teacher was so calm and the location magical. The tree house at Willpattu where I wished I had taken a sound recorder to take home memories of being in jungle they were so special. The total relaxation I felt at our hotel in Mirissa at the end of our stay was perfect.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

I asked Rosy at Responsible Travel to recommend a tour operator for this trip and that was the start of my successful trip. Do liaise with the tour operator to tweak your trip - they do know the country and the locations especially on distances to travel between locations. There is so much to see in Sri Lanka your trip can be tailor made.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

From hotels growing their own vegetables and supplying local traders to hotels that trained young people from the local area and recycled water used in showers to water their gardens you can see how people are trying to use their resources to the maximum.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant. We learnt so much about the country by traveling this way. I felt as if I had been away for at least a month - I had seen and done so much in that two weeks.

review 15 Jan 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The people , the food, the scenery and the culture

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't worry about traveling third class on the trains, you experience the real Sri Lanka.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent

review 6 Mar 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There were many memorable moments - we loved the incredible bird life especially seeing them close-up in the bird sanctuary.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't forget to travel inland to experience the varied landscapes.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly - all the hotels we stayed in employed staff from the community; wherever we stayed enjoyed meals cooked from local produce .

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We were keen to combine relaxation with seeing the country and experiencing what it had on offer. We were rarely disappointed and loved the experience traveling on this glorious island.

review 20 Mar 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Leopards in Yala.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Budget for an extra day's rest at the end - two days wasn't enough.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant.

review 30 Nov 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The jeep safari to see the elephants in the wild. We did not realise Sri Lanka had such an abundance of elephants, water buffalo and a wonderful array of birds. We also enjoyed the cultural part of our trip to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Caves and Polunawara.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Talk to John about your expectations and be as specific as possible, that way he can tick as many boxes as possible and you will have a great time.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The hotels recommended by Tikalanka Tours are eco friendly and look to minimise the harm on the environment. I feel they achieved this as much as it possible to do so in the modern world.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We had a great time, we mixed cultural interest with wildlife experience and finished up with a beach flop.

review 6 Oct 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It was actually the sort of thing you could never plan for. On leaving our room at Serendip which led out straight onto the front veranda (Serendip is basically a guest house) we saw that the garden was full of fireflies. We were then led to our table out the back by the plunge pool where we would be eating dinner. The manager had arranged and lit dozens of tea lights around the garden. Priceless.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Do some research particularly in regards to weather as different parts of the island can differ in weather patterns. If you plan to visit any wildlife parks research these too. The NP's of Sri Lanka vary in wildlife and they have a lot to learn from their African peers.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Other than obvious benefits such as providing local employment it wasn't immediately apparent what other benefits were being gained by local communities. I then met the owner of one the guest house come hotels that we stayed in and he told me that one of the assistants that we had a met, a young lad of maybe 17or so, had spent three years in a refugee camp after fleeing the Tamils in the north when the troubles were occurring. Someone had recommended him for employment to this owner and he's been under his employ ever since and has even taken A levels. This appeared to be as a direct result of tourism so I can't think of a better example than that of benefiting the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good. The service we received from John was first rate and his knowledge of the island and the destinations available was in depth. After describing our brief and what we were looking for the initial itinerary was pretty much spot on so it took all the work out of having to research ourselves. That was either luck or John had listened to the brief and delivered the goods! Just a couple of minor tweaks and we had an itinerary full of variety as well as relaxation. Considering the long haul destination and the fact we had a private chauffeur/guide it was very good value too.

review 5 Dec 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

1. Climbing the 1200 steps up the rock fortress at Sigiriya for amazing views. 2. Feeling like I was the one in a zoo at the Hotel Kandalama as the monkeys watched me through my bedroom window each morning! 3. Drinking fresh coconut juice from king coconuts beside the road each day. 4. Talking to warm & friendly Sri Lankan people about their lives & particularly the effects of the Tsunami.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't forget your mosquito spray!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, I had lots of opportunities to talk to local people & buy their products / goods. Stayed in 2 eco-hotels which appeared to be environmentally friendly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An interesting & rewarding experience.

review 1 Oct 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Sharing a railway carriage on a most spectacular journey in the Sri Lankan highlands with 4 young forestry students. Sitting on a beach waiting for turtles - which never arrived! But that didn't seem to matter.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be guided by the recommendations and experience of the operator.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

To a certain extent, yes. Some of the accommodation we used was owned by Europeans, but both they and the local hoteliers were certainly aware of environmental concerns. Any tourism to Sri Lanka will benefit the local people who desperately need our support. But on the other hand, any travel to Sri Lanka, certainly by air from UK will incur environmental damage.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Absolutely fantastic. (It would have been a 5-star, but I've been on pretty good vacations in my time.)

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