Beach vacation & tour in Sri Lanka

“Spend a week on a beautiful palm-fringed beach before exploring some of the country’s tea plantations, national parks and heritage sites, all the while staying in some pretty swish boutique hotels.”

Highlights

Colombo | Ahungalla | stay at a hotel designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most celebrated architect | Hill Country Nuwara Eliya | Ella | Yala West National Park | 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.
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Vacation type

Tailor made vacation

This trip can be tailormade to create a unique vacation for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. It is a more luxurious trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments before relaxing in comfort in some of the best and most characterful local accommodation! Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips.

Responsible tourism

Beach vacation & tour in Sri Lanka

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.

Environment

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.

Community

We actively encourage responsible and sustainable travel to Sri Lanka. By working 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.

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.

Accommodation
We actively promote locally owned hotels that employ local workers. This policy contributes directly to the local economy and provides local employment while enhancing the visitor’s experience of Sri Lanka.

Restaurants
Embracing local cuisine is an essential part of any vacation if the visitor is to understand the country’s culture and savour its culinary delights. 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.

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.

4 Reviews of Beach vacation & tour in Sri Lanka

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Reviewed on 04 Mar 2019 by

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


Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with beautiful people. We enjoyed the mix of the cultural triangle, hill country and beach which was ideal for a small group of friends with slightly varying preferences. There was something for everyone.

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


Use an operator with local knowledge and local contacts to ensure you get the vacation you want.

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


Yes, despite having some concerns about disturbing wildlife we were assured that our presence supported conservation work. We ensured that tips were directly given to people who had helped to provide us with an exceptional experience.

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


Without the help of this tour operator this vacation would not have been so memorable and enjoyable. We are very grateful for the exceptional service and advice they gave us.

Reviewed on 20 Mar 2017 by

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


The beautiful scenery, the exciting wildlife, the friendly people and delicious food.

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


Go for as long as possible. We were fortunate enough to take three weeks traveling around beautiful Sri Lanka so we were able to chill and relax inbetween all the exciting trips and activities we planned.

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


We stayed at homestays, very small hotels and on an organic tea plantation so we really feel that that we were able to support the local people.

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


Absolutely fantastic! Everything was perfect from the initial booking with our tour operator, the superb accommodation and the planned activities and safaris.

Reviewed on 06 Jan 2016 by

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


Whale Watching and Wildlife Safari.

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


Spend the majority of your time on the coast and taking part in sea based activities.

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


The whale watching company were very respectful to the whales and dolphins, keeping their distance as not to disturb.

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


A great vacation, but we would certainly not use this tour company again.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback, which is disappointing regarding the chauffeur guide. I am sorry to hear that you found the chauffeur guide to be unsatisfactory and an incompatible match for your honeymoon. I can only apologise for the effect this had on the enjoyment of your trip, which seemed to have met most of your expectations otherwise. It is a pity that you didn’t raise this issue with us immediately it became apparent so that we may have ameliorated the situation by changing your chauffeur guide. The chauffeur guide is central to the vacation and not everyone is compatible with each other. As you can see from previous customers’ feedback, your chauffeur guide is respected, appreciated and liked.

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2010 by

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


Walking the Tea Trails in Sri Lanka. The accommodation - Castlereagh Bungalow - was the most luxurious, most welcoming, most helpful place we have ever stayed in; and the walks through the tea estate with idyllic views of the reservoir and surrounding hills, both relaxing and inspiring.

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


Can't generalise. The aspect we most appreciated of the tour operator was that we said what we personally most wanted from the vacation - in our case, cultural interest, the opportunity to meet Sri Lankans, absence of crowds, high level of comfort, empty beaches where we could walk unmolested, wonderful scenery, and a leisurely itinerary - and they tailored the vacation the trip to meet our requirements exactly.

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


Yes definitely for the first; to be honest about the second, I'm not sure that any long haul vacation is particularly environmentally friendly.

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


Excellent - it was surpassed our expectations.

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