Sri Lanka

A COCKTAIL OF CULTURES AND VARIETY

South + South East Asia

Sri Lanka

golden beaches, cultural abundance, tea plantations, historic monuments

Absurdly rich and fertile, Sri Lanka positively drips with abundance: its smells are those of fruit, spices, tea and coffee, flowers, perfume…and wonderful cooking. Its colours are the honey-gold of the beaches, the intense, almost luminous green of the plantations, and the purple-blue hills in the distance. Warm, open and relaxed, with none of India’s frenetic edge, its culture is a cocktail of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim influences and its people are very sweet and gentle.

In the past we struggled to recommend many places to stay in Sri Lanka, but now the picture is very different: in the last two or three years, there has been a proliferation of small luxury hotels and gorgeous private villas that we have visited and found that we like very much. We also think that Sri Lanka offers excellent value for money.

Best visited: December to April for the south west of the island and May to September for the north east.

All itineraries are individually designed, but as a guide, we can arrange ten days in Sri Lanka (not including flights) from £1700 per person.

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY
“The perfect balance. This was a tribute to Louise's understanding of me and what I was looking for”
Client, New York, USA

Crown Jewels

For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them.

flying tour of the cultural triangle

The Ancient Cities in the Cultural Triangle are a must for those who are interested in Sri Lanka’s history, which dates back more than 2500 years. Excavations over the last 100 years have pushed back years of jungle encroachment and restored many interesting ancient sites. With our experienced private guides explore the ancient cities and their glorious remains that are temples, fortresses and statues.

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Galle

Galle, the biggest city on the southern coast, is immensely popular for its Old Town, Dutch Fort and nearby beaches. Its location on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka puts it firmly on the trade route between the East and Europe, and each wave of settlers built their own churches and mansions. The fort was constructed by the Portuguese, which later fell to the Dutch and was finally occupied by the British.

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Yala National Park

A trip to Yala is great for clients who are particularly keen to see some of the best wildlife in Sri Lanka and view its lagoons, rock outcrops and beaches, which offer a picturesque setting. It has a huge diversity of habitats and is home to wild elephant, crocodile, sloth bears, sambar dear and a variety of exotic bird species. The park also boasts one of the world's densest leopard populations.

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polonnaruwa

Just to the North East of Kandy, Polonnaruwa are well preserved ruins mainly dating from the 11th/12th Centuries when it was briefly the island’s capital. Set beside a lake, it is very picturesque and allows you to really step back in time.

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the tea plantations

On a rather shallow ‘aesthetic’ level the endless hills of beautifully clipped tea bushes are like a topiary garden and dotted with workers in colourful saris, it is a lovely sight. On a deeper level, the tea industry is a mainstay of Sri Lanka's economy.

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Itineraries

The creation of each individual itinerary starts with a client’s dream.  In discussion we translate these initial desires and aspirations into our vision of the best achievable holiday. Our meticulous planning and love of our destinations ensure that we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We promise you precious and everlasting memories.

discover sri lanka

special trip to Sri Lanka

Summary

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Stories

As every one of the holidays we create is unique, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. We at c+l are also always travelling to our destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences.

don't skip colombo - a walking tour of the city

Many people skip past Colombo, however, when Amberley Shermon travelled to Sri Lanka, she really wanted to exploring this bustling and interesting city. She took a privately guided walking tour with a local who took her to places that tourists very rarely get to see, including his own conservation projects. She found it an insightful and interesting experience.

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Conservation of native sri lanka turtles

Sri Lanka has incredibly diverse wildife, and when Nick Brooks travelled there he wanted to find out more about conservation projects for the Sri Lankan turtles. Fast becoming a rare species, he spent a day at the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre which allowed him to see the processes that they have put in place to give the turtles a better chance of survival.

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the elusive leopard of sri lanka

Louise Huntington took a research trip to Sri Lanka to explore as much as possible of this diverse country. One highlight of her trip was staying in the Yala National Park, where she was on the lookout for the elusive leopard. The camp provided the ideal base for game drives and exploring the park, and sleeping in the jungle in a tent all heightended the experience.

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Guides

Our relationships count for a lot and we still work with some of the same people we have worked with for twenty years. There is also constant change and the teams are always reviewing and adding to the experiences which they can offer and the lodges, hotels and guides they work with.

Juliet Coombe

Walking guide

private guide in Sri Lanka

Whilst in Galle, we think a great way to learn about the historic UNESCO-listed Fort is by spending a morning with local resident, Juliet Coombe, an  award winning author. The fort walk takes our clients through a maze of hidden backstreets, revealing secret unknown spots, extravagant 18th century merchant houses complete with ostentatious gold bedrooms, lavish pools and characters akin to Hemmingway.

Sajith

naturalist

private guided wildlife tour Sri Lanka

Brought up by a wildlife and snake enthusiast who took him on numerous trips to Yala during his childhood, it is no surprise that Sajith developed a keen interest in Sri Lankan animals, birdlife, and the great outdoors. He now oversees the Leopard Safaris Camp and guides our clients on safari. 

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Reviews

At c+l, we have no vested interest in the hotels and lodges which we select - we review everything and choose the best for a particular client. And because we visit our three regions on a regular basis and have details conversations with over 90% of our clients on their return, our choices can be refined continually. The choice of what is best for the client is our only consideration

amangalla

beautiful hotel Sri Lanka

Amangalla lies within the walls of the historic Galle Fort, it marks a change for the Aman group, as it is the first time that they have not built a hotel from scratch. The result is a beautiful boutique hotel that combines Aman’s world famous style yet tries to remain true to the old world feel of the buildings it occupies. It's been immaculately restored and really is Asia’s last word in colonial splendour. The gracious and welcoming staff ensure that you will have a wonderful stay luxurious surroundings. For the ultimate pampering experience we highly recommend having the sandalwood facial at the indulgent spa.

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kahanda kanda

top beach hotel Sri Lanka

Owned by the fabulous interior designer George Cooper, Kahanda Kanda is a small, luxurious and totally indulgent boutique hotel. With stunning views of Koggala Lake and beautiful interiors we think that this stylish retreat is wonderful for our clients looking for a peaceful escape. Located just outside Galle, KK is a great base to discover some of the wonderful nearby beaches and also the treasures inside the Galle Fort which are only a short tuk tuk ride away.

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tea trails

luxury country lake hotel Sri Lanka

Tea Trails comprises of four luxurious colonial era tea planters' bungalows, all with excellent service and a full afternoon tea, which is not be missed. Situated in Sri Lanka's hill country, with spectacular scenery and lush tea plantations each bungalow is in a lovely location offering walks, bike rides, rafting. Meeting locals and finding out insider knowledge from people who have lived in the area for many years can be a true highlight. We also recommend taking the train from Kandy for a wonderfully scenic journey through the plantations.

the wallawwa

luxury retreat Sri Lanka

The Wallawwa offers so much more than one might expect from an airport hotel, with delicious food and peaceful tropical gardens, this is the only place we would recommend for a relaxing stopover. This boutique hotel provides colonial charm and exceptional service, only a short drive from the international airport. The Wallawwa is it strategically located close to the Dambulla, Kandy and Galle highways and not far from the hustle and bustle of central Colombo making it easily accessible yet entirely secluded – a luxury private hideaway.

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South + South East Asia

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Blog

Life with the Leopards in Yala, Sri Lanka
By Noel Rodrigo, CEO of Leopard Safaris It all started as a passion: since I was a teenager I used to spend all of my free time in Sri Lanka’s National Parks. When I was...
29 Nov 2012 14:11
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Looking for a last minute summer holiday?
By Louise Huntington, Destination Expert. On my recent trip to Sri Lanka I was amazed by all this small island has to offer. It has something for everyone, from the...
04 Jul 2013 14:07
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