Sri Lanka vacations, tailor made

“Tailor made sounds too impersonal when describing this trip. This Anglo-Sri Lankan duo create vacations from the heart. Their passion for the country is impressive and infectious.”


Colombo | Sigiriya | Polonnaruwa | Minneriya National Park | Kandy | Temple of the Tooth | Peradeniya Botanic Gardens | Nuwara Eliya | Horton Plains National Park | Tissamaharama | Ella | Yala National Park | Tangalle | Galle

Travel Team

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Departure information

Our tailor made Sri Lanka vacations can be arranged at any time to suit you, and adapted to your requirements as necessary although we do not offer trips for under 10 days.
Our top tip:
Bring plenty of small notes for tipping and don’t be shy of putting your hand in your pocket.
Trip type:
Tailor made for individuals, couples, families and small groups.
Breakfasts included, although half board is possible.
Small locally owned guesthouses, hotels, and villas.
Flights, air-conditioned transport, licensed chauffeur guide, accommodation, entrance tickets, activities.

Responsible tourism

Sri Lanka vacations, tailor made

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Tikalanka works hard to reduce its carbon footprint in Sri Lanka whilst acknowledging the impact of long-haul flights. Born from a meeting of like minds and their love of Sri Lanka, they reduce carbon emissions by only employing local office staff, guides and safari rangers – never hiring international alternatives – and promoting smaller, locally owned accommodation that sources home-grown food, which helps to keep food miles to a minimum. Eating as a local is also encouraged as a lot of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine is vegetarian or vegan, which further reduces CO2 emissions. Scenic train travel and cycling or walking through the attractive countryside are included in most itineraries to break up the car journeys. Renewable energy is becoming more popular on the island with many guesthouses and hotels installing solar thermal systems for hot water and solar PV arrays for producing electricity, and the national grid has large wind farms along the coasts. Energy conservation is also promoted through encouraging natural cooling ventilation assisted by fans, or if not, the use of ‘intelligent’ air conditioning systems – heating is not an issue in Sri Lanka! – low-energy fridges and light bulbs, and key-switch bedroom power controls.


Wildlife Conservation and Rehabilitation
Sri Lanka has diverse habitats and a great variety of indigenous wildlife and plant life. To help maintain breeding populations of some of the more vulnerable animal species endemic to the island, conservation projects have been started. Through our tailor made Sri Lanka vacations we encourage travelers to visit some of these projects to support their conservation work.

The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. We are an active supporter of Born Free and its animal welfare campaigns, and we encourage all travelers to be aware of potential animal exploitation while on their vacations.

For instance, we do not promote or visit Pinnewala Elephant ‘Orphanage’ following adverse reports from Travelers’ Animal Alert, the global animal welfare campaign of the Born Free Foundation we support, and some of our own customers who visited independently.

Also, we no longer visit the Turtle Conservation Project at Rekawa after feedback of the unprofessional and potentially harmful actions of local rangers as well as the irresponsible and insensitive behaviour of some visitors.

In addition, we no longer visit the Elephant Transit Home (ETH) at Uda Walawe since it was found that some handlers were mistreating the elephants. The Born Free Foundation has rescinded its endorsement of the rehabilitation center until practices are improved and return to the standards expected by international best practice guidelines. Born Free is currently in negotiation with the ETH and hopefully we will be able to return there in the future.

Please contact us for more details.

Born Free Foundation
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. Born Free's Travelers’ Animal Alert campaign works around the world to generate a greater public awareness of animal suffering and exploitation, encouraging the public to report animal 'attractions' they encounter both in the UK and abroad, and to promote the philosophies of the Born Free Foundation.

Throughout the world there are hundreds of thousands of wild animals exhibited in zoological collections, performing in circuses, dolphinaria and magic shows, or used as photographic props. While some establishments do appear to provide the animals with adequate conditions, many do not and these continue to thrive due to the support of the tourism industry.

Travelers’ Animal Alert is about being a compassionate traveler, alerting Born Free of captive animal suffering around the world. Incorporating complaints received from concerned members of the public returning from vacations in both the UK and abroad, Born Free hopes to tackle the growing problems associated with captive wild animal welfare.

We are an active supporter of Travelers’ Animal Alert and we encourage all travelers to be aware of potential animal exploitation while on their vacations. In order to help Travelers’ Animal Alert, we will promote the following guidelines as a provider of responsible tourism:
• Promote Travelers’ Animal Alert in our customer travel documents and on our website
• Pledge not to promote any exploitative animal 'attraction' through our company literature or website
• Encourage all our vacation service providers not to promote any activity that involves animal exploitation
• Encourage our staff and customers to look out for captive animal exploitation and report any suffering to Travelers’ Animal Alert
• Actively encourage compassionate and responsible tourism.

Reducing water consumption
Sri Lanka, like many countries around the world, suffers from acute water shortages at certain times of the year. Even though the island experiences two monsoons a year, the reservoirs and tanks are not of sufficient capacity to supply the country’s requirements. This not only causes water shortages in villages and towns – in some areas they are limited to only one hour’s supply a day during these periods – but also contributes to power cuts since much of Sri Lanka’s electricity is generated by hydroelectric power. Reducing water consumption while traveling in Sri Lanka will contribute directly to conserving essential water supplies. Much of the Sri Lankan population wash in rivers and lakes and so supplied fresh water is used mainly for cooking and drinking.

Please share our concern for the environment - SAVE WATER.

Eco facts:
• Less than 20% of the world's water is fresh water.
• Acute water shortage has become a recurring problem in many parts of Sri Lanka and the rest of the world.
• Conservation is the greatest resource when it comes to water supply.

Limiting non-degradable waste production
In previous times many of the goods and products sold in Sri Lanka were packaged in natural biodegradable materials. Today, however, much of the packaging is non-degradable and this waste pollutes the environment, particularly when it is not disposed of correctly. Limiting the amount of non-degradable waste generated helps to preserve the environment and reduces the potential negative impact on wildlife.

• Try to buy goods and products in biodegradable packaging. For example, many pharmacies in Sri Lanka dispense medicines in paper bags rather than plastic bags.
• Limit the number of plastic carrier bags acquired when shopping by putting your purchases directly into your own bag without extra packaging.
• Reduce the number of plastic water bottles used by storing your drinking water in a re-usable water container. (Bringing a water filter, potable iodine solution or water purification tablets with you will help limit the number of water bottles required.)
• Always dispose of non-degradable waste carefully since it can have a detrimental effect on the environment and wildlife.


Through our tailor made Sri Lanka vacations we actively encourage responsible and sustainable travel to Sri Lanka. By working on our Sri Lanka vacations closely with our associate company in Sri Lanka and other partner organisations, we are endeavouring to promote cultural exchange, social awareness, self-employment and self-development.

Sri Lanka vacations guides
We only employ English-speaking Sri Lankan chauffeur guides who are all licensed by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Experienced guides for trekking, safaris and other specialist activities are hired locally and have extensive knowledge of their chosen area of expertise.

Sri Lanka vacations accommodation
We actively promote small family-run guesthouses that employ local workers, or in the case of larger hotels, locally owned establishments.

Sri Lanka vacations restaurants
We encourage travelers to eat at traditional restaurants, roadside eateries, street vendors and market stalls in order for them to enjoy and experience authentic Sri Lankan food.

Sri Lanka community-led projects
The Asian Tsunami highlighted the plight of coastal communities in Sri Lanka and our initial projects were targeted at Sri Lankan individuals and communities devastated by the tsunami (please ask us for details). However, many other communities away from the coast also lack essential materials and services and our objective is to offer long-term support to such Sri Lankan individuals and communities. By channelling all donations received by Forgotten Village Sri Lanka (an independent charitable organisation) into community-based projects on the island, we hope to provide sustained assistance to these communities in their endeavour to improve their lives. We make a contribution to Forgotten Village Sri Lanka for every vacation booked.

62 Reviews of Sri Lanka vacations, tailor made

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 29 Apr 2019 by

The daily hikes to rock pools for swimming, the early morning hikes to watch the sun rise, the fantastic food, the breathtaking scenery and our impromptu tuk-tuk and boat safari close to Sigiriya were the most memorable parts of our vacation. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Feb 2019 by

We all really enjoyed our visit to Sri Lanka and I would love to return to see more. The places you chose for us to stay were really great. They were well spaced and considered our request for some down time as well as culture. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2019 by

The most memorable part of the vacation was the national park and the sightings of leopards and sun bears. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Jan 2019 by

Absolutely wonderful! Sri Lanka is a magical and diverse country well worth exploring. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2019 by

Probably the variety of environments, locations, hotels that exist in Sri Lanka - there is something for every 'taste'... in addition seeing the elephants and a leopard in Yala National Park plus the variety of birds were very memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 May 2018 by

The most memorable was seeing wild elephants in a family group. The scenery and people. Visiting a hand weaving cooperative outside Galle- which took a little finding! Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Apr 2018 by

We stayed at a wonderful place called 'Banyan Lodge' in Sri Lanka. It was a eco-lodge and a very unique experience in a peaceful environment with nature all around... Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Jan 2018 by

Sigiriya in was visually stunning, and it was fabulous to stay at a hotel with a great view of the rock in at the end of our vacation; the elephant safari in Uda Walawe was for the most part a peaceful and enjoyable afternoon; the Barefoot cafe in Colombo was a lovely place to look around and have lunch. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Jan 2018 by

Lots of new experiences. Not possible to single one out. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Mar 2018 by

The most memorable was seeing the diversity of wildlife and meeting the lovely people of Sri Lanka. Very enjoyable. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2018 by

My husband and I loved visiting the ancient cities and temples, and learning so much about Sri Lankan culture and heritage! The tours were well-organized, informative, and truly enriching. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2017 by

Hiking Ella Rock & Sigiriya Rock were both pretty amazing. Seeing the tons & tons of elephants! The other corner accommodation was pretty great too. Also loved the massage we got in Habarana and the 'village tour' we did there. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Feb 2017 by

The most memorable was seeing Blue Whales live, they are so big! Learning about the Tea industry and how best Tea is made at Amba Estate. Beautiful private waterfalls in the Hillside Country. Sigiriya Fortress / Rock and Dambulla Cave Temples. Beautiful beaches in Tangalle and Bentota. Too many!! Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2017 by

Combination of nature and culture. Having a competent guide with us for all our activities as a family. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2017 by

The variety of eco-systems, climates, views and experiences. And the Rice & Curry! Yum! We thoroughly enjoyed our two weeks in Sri Lanka. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2017 by

The highlight was the visit to Sigirya. The climb up the rock is exhilarating and the views from the top are amazing! It was a really excellent vacation. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2017 by

It was a great vacation, a fascinating and varied journey with many experiences. We saw some amazing sights, starting with ancient Buddhist temples, then climbing up Sigiriya, walking in lovely countryside, tasting tea in the plantations at 2000m high, seeing lots of animals and then relaxing for a few days by an exquisite tropical beach. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2016 by

We had a fantastic time. The system for planning the itinerary at pre booking stage is very satisfactory and you are provided with a lot of information by very knowledgeable people who clearly love the country. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Mar 2016 by

I'd go back tomorrow ! Loved it. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2016 by

Great trip, great guide and solid tour company - the vacation provider was top notch and I would not hesitate to use them again. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2016 by

Seeing the huge variety of wildlife was a real highlight for us. We saw lizards, elephants, leopards, Eagles, owls, deer, a jackal, crocodiles, monkeys, a wide array of birds, flying foxes, a giant squirrel...and much more! Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Apr 2016 by

Aside from the wonderful wildlife that we saw with the help of our driver/guide, we'll have good memories of the friendliness and warmth of the Sri Lankans we met. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Mar 2016 by

Excellent. Brilliant driver, friendly and knowledgeable. We would happily recommend this vacation as one of the best vacations we have ever had. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Mar 2016 by

The organisation was first rate, and the guide and chauffeur were excellent. The accommodation chosen were for the most part superlative and the train trips were really the high-lights of the trip Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2016 by

Everything was memorable! Superb. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Jan 2016 by

The most unexpected event was stumbling upon the full moon ceremony at the Temple of the tooth in Kandy...We loved the Safari's but in fact the diversity of things to do in Sri Lanka was amazing. Cultural sites, hiking, safari's and beaches. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Apr 2015 by

We really got to see the local view of life traveling on our own, very modern vehicle and used local cafes, services and attractions when possible. Safaris fund conservation.The whole tour was superb. From meeting our guide at the airport to our day of departure we enjoyed every new experience. We were helped every step of the way by Upul, our excellent Guide. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Feb 2015 by

First and foremost, it has to be said that Sri Lanka did not disappoint us in any way! We were always greeted with warmth waves and smiles! It has to be one of the friendliest countries I've visited and it was for the most part very clean. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Feb 2014 by

The vacation overall was amazing, there were so many memorable experiences it is difficult to name only one thing. If we had to choose it would have to be turtle watching on Rekawa beach. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jan 2014 by

Great!...Sri Lankean nature and food were just amazing. The chefs are real professionals! Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Mar 2013 by

The elephant safari, or swimming in the Indian Ocean at sunset were the most memorable parts of the vacation Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2013 by

A brilliant introduction to the east for children. Local people are peaceful and welcoming. The diversity of this small island is amazing. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Feb 2013 by

Excellent - exceeded expectations...We saw a multitude of birds and wildlife and were lucky enough to see leopard and elephant walk down the track and pass close by the side of the jeep Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Jan 2013 by

Seeing baby elephants at the orphanage and wild at the national park was the most exciting part of the vacation. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Dec 2012 by

Excellent...highlights were the people, the local food, the varied historic heritage and the great range of scenery and wildlife. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Dec 2012 by

We loved our vacation. We had a great time and Yapa our guide was fantastic showing us his country with such pride and love. This added a really personal feel to our travels. Sri Lanka is an amazing country with such different climates, landscapes and a great variety of things to see and experience. A very busy vacation but a great one. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2011 by

Most memorable were the warmth of the local people, the delicious food, and the wide range of activities...We loved the homestay at Hanthana House, where we had such fun getting to know Pathi and his family and learning how to cook local dishes. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Mar 2011 by

Our favourite activities were the safari when we saw lots of elephants and climbing the Sigyria rock fortress. We went early in the morning and so had the magical experience of being the only people there. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Aug 2011 by

The vacation was full of memorable experiences from our first day when we met our fantastic driver/guide, Kapila. He seemed to really enjoy sharing his knowledge of the history, culture, flora and fauna of Sri Lanka. He was also really good fun and so caring about our enjoyment and welfare - he became a real friend and we will keep in touch. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Aug 2011 by

I would say our stay at the Yala National Park was the highlight. The dawn and dusk safaris were really exhilarating, led by very experienced rangers and offering a huge range of flora and fauna. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2011 by

It was a great experience where we really got a good feel for Sri Lanka, seeing all the highlights of the country in such a limited amount of time was excellent and well guided. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Jan 2011 by

There were many highlights: climbing Adam's Peak, white water rafting and staying in the inspiring Eco house, the views across hills, waterfalls and tea plantations from our train journey, the welcome and friendliness from all whom we met and the professionalism and friendliness of our driver. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Jul 2010 by

Just to say that we all really enjoyed the vacation, it was fantastic throughout in every aspect. The guide Sena was really good, really knowledgable of the country and a really nice person as well who thought highly of "Dr John". Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Apr 2010 by

Excellent!!!! I would LOVE to do it all over again - and again - and again Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2010 by

It was an amazing experience. At times we were a little unlucky with the weather, but that's out of everyone's hands. I would definitely recommend this trip with the same tour company. They provided an amazing service and were very responsive to all our questions and requests. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2010 by

I don't think I could choose any one part! I really enjoyed all of it as did our children! Very good! Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Sep 2008 by

Excellent - our driver was also fantastic and provided us with peace of mind. Wonderful people, great food and amazing scenery Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Sep 2008 by

The Perahela in Kandy was breathtaking. A huge parade of elephants, fire juggling, dancers and drummers. The atmosphere was nothing like I have experienced before and I’m not sure I ever will. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Jun 2008 by

Excellent, the accommodation was amazing and we had an excellent time. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Apr 2008 by

The beauty of the country and friendliness of the Sri Lankan people. Watching wild elephants together with our very thoughtful and learned guide Kapila. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Apr 2008 by

There were so many amazing experiences on this vacation - from the rock temples of Dambulla to the architecture of Geoffrey Bowa plus all the nature in between. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2008 by

Pathy, our dedicated chauffeur/guide made everything easy, and saw to it that our personally chosen itinerary went smoothly. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2008 by

The most exciting part of the vacation was probably river rafting and the most memorable bits were many. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Jan 2008 by

A great trip - thoroughly enjoyable and seemed longer than it actually was. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Dec 2007 by

Meeting the Veddha people of Sri Lanka was the highlight. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2007 by

The most memorable parts were seeing the elephants enjoying their natural habitat, the amazing temples, great curries and the warmth and friendliness of the people - it was great to meet them. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Jul 2007 by

The whole country was amazing, but I guess the Sri Lankan people really made it. That, and seeing baby elephants in the wild... Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Nov 2006 by

We went to Sri Lanka for 8 days courtesy of this operator. The trip was meant to be a special treat for a special Birthday but they made it the trip of a lifetime. From the moment we arrived in this magical country to the time we sadly had to depart, we experienced every aspect of this island of contrasts. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Nov 2006 by

Visiting Sigirya Rock first thing in the morning before any other people were around. We were able to explore the ruined fortress alone, imagining what it must have been like when people used to live there up among the clouds with the amazing view over the surrounding countryside. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Sep 2006 by

The accommodation and hospitality were all first class, particularly so at Tangalle. The food was great. I'd definitely recommend a trip to Sri Lanka, especially post-tsunami as the tourist dollar/pound is more important than ever. A visit really can contribute to saving lives. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2006 by

We had a superb trip to Sri Lanka with this operator. The most memorable part was being at Anuradhapura in the early evening for the full moon festival. We felt very honoured to be allowed to take part in this very significant religious festival. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Jan 2006 by

This operator was terrific. They had one month's notice, over the New Year period, and booked us flights and wonderful hotels exactly where we wanted to be. I definitely felt the vacation benefitted local people and I think it is important to actually visit Sri Lanka and see for one's self how they are coping post Tsunami. Read full review

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