Balloon Journeys

Hot Air Ballooning is a relatively new activity to Sri Lanka, but in response to the ongoing search for new and exciting ways of seeing the country, it provides a remarkable experience never to be forgotten. With no two flight paths the same, it really will be a unique journey.

All hot air balloons are manufactured in the UK, where balloon pilots are also trained by instructors licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. Throughout the flight, an experienced ground crew (following the flight path in a jeep) are in constant communication with the pilot of the balloon, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. So all you need to do is relax, enjoy the peace and quiet and admire the views of Sri Lanka!

Bird Watching

Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to watch birds and is truly a paradise for all Bird Watching enthusiasts. The activity becomes more common especially around the bird sanctuaries and wetland reserves in the south east part of the island while the temperate climate is ideal for migrating birds.

The tropical climate and exotic landscape of the paradise isle of Sri Lanka makes it a true haven for bird lovers who arrive from all over the world. Sri Lanka is home to more than 400 bird species with around 23 endemics and 200 migratory birds arriving from India, Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe. The best time for Bird Watching enthusiasts to visit the island is towards the latter part of the year. In fact the month of December has been declared as the National Bird Month by the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, the national affiliate of Bird Life International. There are many bird sanctuaries spread throughout the island which includes the Kumana National Park, the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, the Bodhinagala Sanctuary and Udawatte Kele to name a few. Many activities are organized during the National Bird Month for the public, exposing them to the treasures of bird life.

Cooking Demonstration

This culinary experience gives you the opportunity to study and learn the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine from both famous hotel chefs and locals. A food tour which explores the island’s abundant seafood and vegetable varieties. Learn how to appreciate the subtlety of different spices used in local cooking and refine your ability to wrangle Sri Lankan cuisine’s fiery punch with a balanced flavour profiles.This Sri Lankan culinary tour also explores some famous colonial dishes that mix both local flavor and colonial cooking methods to make rich dishes that tell the complex history of the Island.

Diving and Snorkeling

Often referred to as the ‘pearl in the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka offers world-class Scuba-Diving and Snorkelling tours. A multitude of tropical fish, magnificently colourful coral reefs and fascinating ship wrecks can be explored at several locations off the south coast of Sri Lanka. HIKKADUW A, WELIGAMA and KIRINDA provide breathtaking Snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities. In the west of Sri Lanka , head to ‘Bar Reef’ (Sri Lanka’s largest reef, easily accessible from the Puttalam district town of KALPITIYA, spanning an impressive 3 nautical miles in length and 1 nautical mile in breadth). But for the country’s ‘piece de resistance’, Pigeon Island, off Nilaveli (just north of TRINCOMALEE) is a paradise of turquoise-coloured waters and abundant fish and coral life make it the ultimate underwater experience. All underwater activities are conducted by well-trained and experienced UDI and PADI instructors to ensure your absolute safety and enjoyment.

Dolphin Watching

Kalpitiya is one of the best spots for dolphin watching in Sri Lanka. Here you can witness massive pods of dolphins, even thousands at once,in their natural habitat. Watching the delightful dolphins swimming alongside and diving under your boat, riding waves in perfect synchronization and twirling and leaping out of the water in a joyous display, is a magnificent experience and one that will be cherished for years to come.

The seas off Kalpitiya Peninsula became famous relatively recently – in 2005 – when large pods of Spinner dolphins were spotted. These dolphins were mainly found in an area that ran north-south parallel to the Kalpitiya peninsula, in-shore off the reef, which is commonly known as the ‘Dolphin Line’.

When is the best time for dolphin watching in Kalpitiya ?

The best time for dolphin watching in Kalpitiya is from November to March/April. During this time, conditions are perfect to view a variety of sea mammals: the monsoon season is over and the seas are relatively calm. During this dolphin watching season in Sri Lanka, it is relatively safer for boat rides out in the ocean, since the sea is not as choppy as it is during monsoon months. In addition, since the sea is calm, it is easier to spot dolphins and see them from greater distances.

Domestic Flying

We also offer the Aircraft for round trips or overnight stopovers to cover the cultural triangle, excursions to cover safaris and for airport transfers and for patients requiring immediate transfer to Colombo Hospitals from rural areas where time is of essence.

These aircraft have the advantage of flying to all airfields available in Sri Lanka under reasonable weather conditions during the day .

The flights will be arranged as per passenger requirements. The aircraft will operate only during daylight hours (Due to local Authority regulations/restrictions). Operating times would be between 0630hrs and 1730hrs, weather permitting and subject to SLAF ( Sri Lanka AirForce )clearance.

Kite Surfing

The exotic destination of Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka is perfect for kitesurfing, with super spots for surfers of all levels, from beginners to professional free stylers. The kitesurfing season in Kalpitiya is from May to October, when winds range in between 20 – 25 knots; this is the perfect time for kitesurfing enthusiasts to visit Sri Lanka.

Trekking and Hiking

Knuckles Mountain Range as its name suggests, is formed in a shape of a human fist. Spreading over 234 sq km and bordering the Kandy and Matale Administrative Districts, Knuckles Mountain Range that consists of about 35 mountain peaks rising over 915 m is one of the most picturesque trekking and hiking sites of Sri Lanka. Though it isn’t very popular or recommended due to many leeches and extended duration.

There are two main areas of access to the knuckles Mountain Range. The access point from the northern flank to Knuckles Mountain Range is Riverston; in the south eastern flank are Deanston and Meemure. The trails of the largely untouched and rugged terrain are Pitawala pathena trail, Alugallenna trail and Nitro Cave Trail(though it isnt mostly followed),the trail to the 5 peaks; Dothalugala trail and Mini World’s End (via Deanstone forest office). You can also go to the mostly visited rural village is Meemure which boasts a lot of other trails and crystal clear water streams in the Knuckles range. Ash Cave, a pre historic cave in the forest is a lovely site to enjoy camping. Nitro Cave is a large cave hidden deep inside the forest. These trails that are interconnected with the footpaths leading to cardamom gardens, Kithul palm groves and tea plantations are rich in birdlife.

Whale Watching

The deeper waters off Kalpitiya’s coastline are the haunt of five types of whales. The biggest of Sri Lanka’s big five can be seen surfacing from time to time and the sight of these enigmatic cetaceans is both breathtaking, spellbinding and offers a truly humbling experience. There are peaks in the movement of whales between November and December and again between March and April. Sperm Whales are most common (the second largest species of the whale), other Whales you could see include the blue (largest whale and mammal in the world), Minke, Melon-Headed and Dwarf Sperm whales.

White Water Rafting

Kitulgala is located about 80 kilometres from Colombo on the A7 main road that runs to Nuwara Eliya via Avissawella. Kitulgala is a pleasant town set amidst green hills thick with tropical vegetation. The name Kitulgala itself is derived from the Kitul palm tree, groves of which are abound in the expanses. Kitul sap is concentrated and then crystallized to produce jaggery. Kitul sap is also fermented to make palm wine.

Kitulgala is the movie location of where David Lean’s 1957 epic, Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed.
A calm stretch in the River Kelani between two rocky outcrops on either side is the movie location where the railway bridge for the movie was constructed. The water flows silently in this stretch of the river, which is quite deep and sluggish.

Wind Surfing

Sri Lanka being a tropical island, the windsurfer does not need to wear protective clothing against the cold winds that might be encountered on the beaches. However, a protective coating of lotion would save your skin from the bright tropical sun when surfing the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka affords the opportunity to locate a windsurfing beach in line with the skill level of the windsurfing enthusiasts: from beginners to the Professional Windsurfer. The tranquil waters of the Bentota river or any of the coastal lagoons or Sri Lanka’s ancient vast irrigation reservoirs offer ample opportunities to every novice so that he / she would dare taking the challenge of the ocean.

Sri Lanka’s windsurfing tour packages offered by tour operators and wind surfing clubs are affordable in comparison to the major windsurfing destinations around the world.

Tea Production

Until the 1860’s THE MAIN CROP PRODUCED on the island of Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, was coffee. But in 1869, the coffee-rust fungus, Hemileia vastatrix, killed the majority of of the coffee plants and estate owners had to diversify into other crops in order to avoid total ruin. The owners of Loolecondera Estate had been interested in tea since the late 1850’s and in 1866, James Taylor, a recently arrived Scot, was selected to be in charge of the first sowing of tea seeds in 1867, on 19 acres of land.

Taylor had acquired some basic knowledge of tea cultivation in North India and made some initial experiments in manufacture, using his bungalow verandah as the factory and rolling the leaf by hand on tables. Firing of the oxidized leaf was carried out on clay stoves over charcoal fires with the leaf on wire trays. His first teas were sold locally and were declared delicious. By 1872, Taylor had a fully equipped factory, and, in 1873, his first quality teas were sold for a very good price at the London auction. Through his dedication and determination, Taylor was largely responsible for the early success of the tea crop in Ceylon. Between 1873 and 1880, production rose from just 23 pounds to 81.3 tons, and by 1890, to 22,899.8 tons.

Most of the Ceylon tea gardens are situated at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet in two areas of the southwestern part of the island, to the east of Colombo and in the Galle district on the southern point. In the hot, steamy plains and foothills, the tea bushes flush every seven or eight days and are picked all year round. The finest teas are gathered from late June to the end of August in eastern districts and from the beginning of February to mid-March in the western parts.

Until 1971, more than 80 percent of the island’s tea estates were owned and managed by British companies. In 1971, the Sri Lankan government introduced a Land Reform Act which gave the state control of the majority of the plantations (which also grow rubber and coconuts for export) leaving about one-third in private hands. Since 1990, a restructuring program has been going on to involve the private sector companies (both Sri Lankan and foreign) as Managing Agents of the state-owned plantations. The long-term aim is for the private managing companies to take on most, if not all, of the financial responsibility and control of the estates, with the government retaining ownership.