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Sri Lanka is a combination of many sights, scenes, and sounds that are charmingly packed into its compact 65,610 sq. km of the delightful island. The majestic past and present uniqueness that makes up the country provide an array of travel experiences that are too tempting to miss out on. There is just something about the lush palm trees, breath-taking scenery, sandy beaches and mouth-watering cuisine that makes visitors fall in love with the place and this heady combination keeps them coming back for more.

 

Wildlife Tours

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Sri Lanka is also fortunate to be blessed with an abundance of animal life and tropical vegetation. Out of the island's total area, 14% is dedicated to animal sanctuaries and nature reserves, making Sri Lanka the best Big Game safari destination outside of the African Continent. The wilderness of the island welcomes explorers to discover hidden treasures in the profusion of wildlife including Sri Lanka’s own Big Five - the Elephant, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Blue and Sperm Whale - and the many varieties of birds, making the country a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

In the Deep South of Sri Lanka, Mirissa is the best town in the world for Blue Whale (the largest mammal has ever lived on the earth) sightings, while Kalpitiya is listed among the top ten hotspots in the world for Sperm Whales. The Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is a wildlife photographer’s dream come true and it is the same with the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) which gather in the Minneriya National Park during the period of July to September and is the largest elephant gathering in the world. Let’s not forget the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, which can be seen in many of the National Parks and the best viewing is in the months of May and June. When it comes to Avifauna, the Sinharaja Bird Wave is the largest, longest studied and offers the longest viewing of Bird Waves.

Experiential Journeys offers various wildlife experiences for those wishing to answer the call of the wild. Wildlife Safaris, Bird Watching Tours, Safari Camping Tours, Bush Walk Camping, Wildlife Photography Tours and Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruises are only some of the related services we have in store for our guests. The Wilds of Sri Lanka welcomes all explorers who wish to discover hidden treasures and seek the thrill of a tropical adventure.

 

Architecture Exploration Tours

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The architecture of Sri Lanka puts on a fine display of its richest forms and styles. Buddhism has had a significant influence on Sri Lankan architecture since it was introduced to the island in the 3rd century BC. Ruins of ancient Palaces, Cave Temples, Pagodas, Image Houses, etc. are still in evidence of ancient engineering marvels. Sigiriya, which was considered as the Eighth Wonder of the World due to its design and techniques, is a classic example of past architectural grandeur.

Colonial legacies of the Dutch and Portuguese are still very much in evidence, not just in Colombo, but throughout the island as well. The Dutch Fort in Galle, which is a very special UNESCO World Heritage Site, exhibits the influence of the Portuguese and Dutch on the architecture and design in Sri Lanka. Up in the north, remains of forts and churches are still to be found, a lasting heritage of the conquerors long gone.

Many great Sri Lankan architects have contributed immensely to Sri Lankan contemporary architecture. Geoffrey Bawa, Minnette de Silva, Valentine Gunasekara, Cecil Balmond, Justin Samarasekera, Oliver Weerasinghe, Homi Billimoria, Lal Dharmapriya Gamage and Bevis Bawa are among the many responsible for introducing new styles and techniques of building that set the pace of Sri Lanka’s modern landscape. The much-awaited and emerging Lotus Tower in Colombo (Nelum Kuluna) is set to open soon, adding another icon to the island nation.

Our Architectural Tours are carefully designed to expose our valued guests to our great architectural remains, from the ruins of Kingdoms, ancient manors and colonial fortresses to modern skyscrapers and eco-friendly creations.

 

 

Adventure Tours

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When it comes to things to do in Sri Lanka, the island does not lack for adventure. From Water Sports to Cycling and Trekking, Hot Air ballooning to Glamping and Rock Climbing to Paragliding, the country has something for all the adventurers that go to Sri Lanka, seeking their adrenalin fix. We at Experiential Journeys know that adventure can be wild…or not so wild, according to their choice, so the sky’s the limit!

The great outdoors beckons all who visit Sri Lanka’s shores. One visit is all it takes to fall in love with energetic vibe of this thrilling destination. Our choices are many and varied. All you have to do is share your wish-list or bucket-list of adventure activities with us. We will take care of the rest.

 

 

Birding Tours

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Sri Lanka’s abundant bird-life makes the island a true ornithologist's paradise. Of the 433 recorded species, 452 species are resident and 33 are endemic to the country. With such a variety of local environments ranging from wet to dry zone, forest to jungle and hill country to lowlands, there's no end to the fascinating locations in which to spot many of these beautiful birds.  Most of the endemic birds (such as the Sri Lankan Grackle or Hill Myna) are restricted to the wet zone, while birds such as the Sri Lankan Whistling Thrush and the Yellow-eared Bulbul reside in the hill country. Others, such as the brilliantly plumaged Jungle Fowl, the striking Red-Faced Malkoha and the shy Brown-capped Babbler can be found in forests and sanctuaries throughout the island. Among the best areas for sighting these birds are in the Sinharaja Rainforest and Adam's Peak Wilderness sanctuary.

Around 70 sanctuaries and National Parks spread all over the country provides opportunity to the keen birders to witness all the 427 species of birds.  Kalametiya, Bundala and Kumana are some hotspots for dry zone and migrant birds while Horton Plains, Kithulgala and Nuwara Eliya are the best locations for highland varieties.  The marshes of Muthurajawela, Thalangama and Anavilundawa and the Bodhinagala Forest Reserve are some of the places where you can view the lowland species of our feathered friends.

 

 

Culinary Tours

29 Ahaspokuna Bush Walks Camp Snack Tea Arrangements

Being a signature nation for hospitality, Sri Lanka offers a rich and diversified cuisine to those who partake of the Sri Lankan hospitality. With the combination of colonial influences, foreign merchants and Kerala cuisine, Sri Lanka offers a highly diversified food experience. From local traditional food items to international cuisines, Sri Lanka serves to tantalize the taste buds of thousands of guests who visit the country.

Being a significant supplier of seasonings, Sri Lanka was a famous market for spices and herbs since ancient times. Traders from all over the world visited Sri Lanka to purchase these fragrant herbs, spices and condiments.

Sri Lanka’s ethnic and regional diversity makes the island a foodie’s haven as they get to experience different dishes and different methods of food preparation and preservation. The people harvest the spice crops during season and preserve the excess for use all year round. This practice enables the locals to keep their taste buds alive throughout the year.

Experience Journeys offers diversified tours enabling its valued guests to appreciate typical culinary experiences by taking them to the local village houses, Chena cultivations and local home gardens to gain exposure to the varied local culinary styles.

 

 

Scenic Train Tours

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R.L Stevenson, who was famed for creating enchanting fictional worlds such as ‘Treasure Island’, would have been utterly charmed by rail travel in Sri Lanka. As a small island blessed with a stunning diversity of terrain, our two major routes both starting from the capital Colombo, offer wildly differing but equally enticing scenic and cultural pleasures.

Train travel, which was initiated by British in the 19th century in Sri Lanka, is perhaps the best way to see the most scenic side of the island. The main line which runs from Colombo Fort to Badulla is the best route for tourists to catch the best views of the countryside. The line starts from the flatlands and runs to the mountains to a height of 1,898 metres above sea level, enabling diverse experiences for the travellers. The Demodara Railway Loop is a unique railway experience, while the Nine Arches Bridge will be a highlight of this scenic rail experience.

All other 08 railway lines interconnecting this paradise isle enables travellers to experience the diversity of this small miracle. Hop on board and experience true serendipity.

 

 

Wellness, Yoga, and Meditation

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Ayurveda is a traditional healing system that respects human individuality; each person’s health is made up of the harmonious interaction of the body, mind and living environment. When there are imbalances in any of these areas, the person feels unwell. Imbalances result from unhealthy habits such as unhealthy eating patterns, stress, negative feelings, air and noise pollution and lack of exercise. Some of the symptoms of Dosha imbalances are: tension, insomnia, pain and depression.

While Western medicine identifies the disease and cures the symptoms, Ayurveda is a much deeper form of medication and seeks to cure the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms. The Ayurveda treatment brings the three Doshas together on an equal level, thus bringing about a harmonious balance within the person.

Yoga is so much more than just the physical practice; it changes the way we think, feel and relate to nature and others and because of that - the way we live. It is about learning how to balance life and what to do, say, feel and think; they all require awareness, and with this awareness, one can achieve great heights. The serene calm and quiet surroundings will set you in the mood for Yoga and our wellness tours are carefully designed in such a way to help the individuals to achieve his/her desires.

Our Wellness Tours comprise practices to heal both mind and body and make one a physically and mentally balanced human geared to live a healthy life. Whether you are an experienced Yoga practitioner, or a newbie to Ayurveda and Yoga, we offer different experiences to cater to your individual needs.

 

 

Sri Lankan Highlights

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Being the only territory that speaks Sinhalese as the major language, Sri Lanka offers unique and diversified attractions all over the island. The experiences we have in store for our visitors range from virgin rainforests endowed by Mother Nature to existing witnesses of engineering marvels by our great ancestors.

A coastline of 1340 km blessed with sun-kissed beaches offers the ultimate beach experience throughout the year. The ocean around the island makes not only for spectacular sandy beaches, but also the best hotspots for the largest mammal on earth: the Blue Whale. Sperm Whales and Dolphins can also be spotted in both western and eastern seas a few nautical miles away from the shores. Apart from cetaceans, marine sanctuaries are enriched with coral reefs and variety of fish making it a paradise for both snorkelers and hardcore divers.

With a history dating back 3000 years, Sri Lanka is home to the many ancient kingdoms and cities including sacred cities in the world of Buddhism, which shows the glory of the historic creations such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Kandy, etc. Sigiriya, a well-planned ancient city with the water gardens, displays the high-tech elements of landscaping during the ancient times. With the essence of cultural aspects and western architecture of its colonial times, Sri Lanka holds a culture with mixed values. The Galle Dutch Fort in the south is known as the ‘living heritage’ as it exhibits both the Portuguese and Dutch cultural and architectural values.

The most colourful Pageant in Asia, the Kandy Esala Perahera, is unveiled on the streets of Kandy during the months of July/August annually and displays the degree of the festival celebrations in the country. There are also many other multi-ethnic festivals, namely the Sinhala and Hindu New Year Festival, the Vesak Festival, the Poson Poya Festival, Thai Pongal, Maha Shivaratri, etc. are celebrated around the country throughout the year.

With its Nature formations, Sri Lanka offers numerous platforms for adventure lovers. The island’s 103 rivers cascading from the central highlands to the ocean give adrenalin junkies who love water sports a chance to experience adventure to their heart's content. White Water Rafting, Waterfall Abseiling, Canyoning, Canoeing, Kayaking and much more await the daring and the brave. Hopping onto a bicycle is also a great way to explore the exciting and hidden secrets of the island, while trekking and hiking is the perfect way to experience the wilderness at its best. Hot Air ballooning in the Cultural Triangle or a scenic flight by a domestic seaplane enables our valued travellers to experience a bird’s eye view of the wonders of the island.

World-renowned Ceylon Tea is the highlight of the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, enabling breathtaking views of the mountains covered with the endless green of tea plantations. Sipping a cup of pure Ceylon Tea in the middle of a tea plantation will be a remarkable experience not easily forgotten. With all of the above, there’s no doubt that Sri Lanka is the finest destination as it is the only one where the visitor has the ability to have a continental breakfast on a beach, a Sri Lankan lunch in the hill country and a hearty BBQ dinner under millions of stars in a National Park.

 

 

Lesser-known Attractions

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The Land of Serendipity offers not only the known wilderness with natural attractions, but the many hidden natural and man-made treasures spread over the country. Of course, the hidden treasures or lesser-known attractions are not always accessible and guests may have to travel an extra mile off the beaten track to discover Nature’s and man-made creations, but we can guarantee that the experience will be worth every minute and they will come away with lasting memories.

Mannar has its fair share of attractions and is also a great hotspot for keen ornithologists. If you journey a little further north, the Delft Island is a fascinating place to visit, being known for its wild horses, Growing Rock and Baobab trees. To find out more, do pay a visit to the place!

The Sangamale Inscription is considered as the first ever written ceasefire agreement in war history and Haththikuchchi is known as the place where an ancient king sacrificed his own head to a villager to hand over to the defeating king to gain a reward. Yapahuwa is an ancient kingdom and one of the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka. Its highlight is the remaining stairways which were created with the influence of Chinese Art.

Mulgirigala is an ancient Cave Temple which dates back to the fifth century AD and is a lesser-known attraction in the southern part of the country. Sirambadiya offers a unique experience to those who love to interact with different ethnic communities. It is the only village in which the Kaffir (Sri Lankan people of African origin) reside and the only place to experience their traditional entertainment Kaffiringna (also called Manja). The word ‘kaffir’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘qafir’ meaning non-Muslim or non-believer. It was used for several centuries as a term for black South Africans, but is now considered a racist term in Africa. The Sri Lankan Kaffirs are Catholics and their traditional language is Portuguese Creole, which is still spoken by some elders of the community.  

Lipton's Seat is jaw-dropping, there’s no other word for it; the view is just magnificent. Surrounded by lush tea plantations on the southern edge of the Sri Lankan Central Highlands, the place is so named because the Scottish businessman Thomas Lipton started his business there in the late 1800s’. The world-renowned tea brand, Lipton Ceylonta, was born here and today is marketed and exported all over the world. The Buduruvagala Statue Complex situated in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka is a monastery complex belonging to the Mahayana School of Buddhism, which was established in the south-eastern region of the island in the 9-10th century AD.

Our passion for discovery at Experiential Journeys allows our valued guests a chance to drive off the beaten track and explore the unknown or lesser-known attractions and activities.  

 

 

 

Our policy in discouraging Animal Cruelty, Tourist Traps and Staged Tourist Shows

Animals Are Friends Too: Discouraging Animal Cruelty, Tourist Traps and Staged Tourist Shows

We at ExJ stay away from tourism experiences that are staged and involve animal cruelty and shopping traps that are contrived to exploit and deceive clients.

Even though some of the popular ‘attractions’ are not included in our programmes due to the above reasons, we have no objections in our clients making their own arrangements with our Drivers to visit these places.

 

Why we do not promote following attractions

 

Turtle Hatcheries

As this concept has serious negative aspects in terms of conservation, we do not encourage our visitors to patronize the turtle hatcheries, as not all of them are really turtle-friendly. We instead encourage them to observe turtles in their natural habitats.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

When we became aware that the animal welfare standards there were questionable, we stopped encouraging our clients to visit the orphanage. We are pleased to observe that the Born Free Foundation has now adopted similar measures.

Elephant back rides – Habarana

There’s uncertainty surrounding the attitude of this place towards animal welfare. There may be a few ethical operators, but in general, we are not in agreement with how the place is run. We all would love a photo of us riding an elephant, but is a lifetime of pain caused to these magnificent mammals really worth a few fleeting likes on social media?

Traditional Village Tour with a Canoe Trip and Bullock-Carts – Habarana

This is a tourist trap where a lot of the trip is ‘staged’ for commercial purposes. Such fake touristic experiences will not give our visitors an idea of what life in the country is really like, so join us as we show you the real side of Sri Lanka. And at the end of every vacation, always ask yourself, “Did you feel that your holiday was ethical, eco-friendly, and reduced environmental impacts?”


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Address: No: 20/68, Fairfield Garden, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka