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Sri Lanka: To-Do List

Sri Lanka: To-Do List

When in London, we dream of the Sri Lankan sunshine and evenings spent sipping cocktails, watching the magical sunsets over the Indian Ocean whilst getting a decent dose of vitamin D! Here at Ampersand, we often get asked what the first things we do when we go back to Sri Lanka are... read on to find out:

1) Eat as much Sri Lankan food as you possibly can – it is truly delicious
The Green Cabin Café in Colombo is great for simple Sri Lankan cuisine. Set in a quaint courtyard, it serves a range of Sri Lankan dishes and is popular with both locals and foreigners. If you can make it over to the East Coast of the island, Gal Oya Lodge has some of the best curries we have ever tried in Sri Lanka and always leave us longing for more. Something we also love is a cooking lesson; you can experience being taken to the market to choose the fresh local produce in the morning before you learn how to cook a range of dishes and, best of all, enjoy eating it for lunch! Ampersand Travel can arrange private cooking lessons throughout Sri Lanka – one of our favourite cooking experiences is at Ulagalla, Anuradhapura.

2) Swim in the sea every day

Sri Lanka is renowned for its stunning crescent shaped, palm tree lined beaches, and we think the best place to admire them is from the sea! The heat can sometimes be unbearable (particularly from March through to July) and there is no better way to cool down than a dip in the glorious ocean. As it is a tropical country it does rain a fair bit and swimming in the sea, in the rain, is by far the most therapeutic experience we can think of. The sea can get a little rough, so watch out for the strong undercurrents and don’t go too deep (best swimming conditions are from December to April). Ampersand Travel can offer trips to top beaches for a luxurious dip along the whole of the island’s coastline. Our favourite 3 places to stay for the best swimming beaches are:
1) Amanwella, Tangalle
2) Habaraduwa House, Habaraduwa
3) Jungle Beach, Trincomalee

3) Climb Adam’s Peak summit
Although we have already climbed the 5,200 steps to enjoy sunrise on Sri Lanka’s highest peak (also known as Sri Pada), we have a strong urge to do it again. We blame Champika, our Sri Lankan driver, who is a Buddhist (along with 80% of Sri Lanka’s population). When asked about how many times he has climbed Adam’s Peak, his answer was 30 times as it gets even more magical every time! Buddhists believe that the rock formation near the summit is the sacred ‘footprint of Buddha’. The perfect place to stay to experience climbing Adam’s Peak would be Tea Trails; it’s about a 40 minutes drive away.

4) Visit some off the beaten track waterfalls and jungles
Take the iconic train ride in the observation carriage from Hatton to Haputale and stay at The Living Heritage – we highly recommend it. It is in a completely excluded location, surrounded by jungles and tea plantations, with hidden waterfalls perfect for swimming and private picnic lunches. Ampersand can offer tailor-made trips to include this stunning train ride and stays at Living Heritage Koslanda

5) Learn to surf the beach breaks at Weligama
Weligama is the perfect place to learn to surf and there are plenty of keen instructors who can give lessons and provide all the equipment. For the ultimate luxury surf experience stay at Cape Weligama.

6) Burn off some Sri Lanka curry rice belly by doing a cycle tour
Head to the surrounding paddy fields and low tea plantations near Galle – the Paddy Trail is a stunning and relatively gentle 12 - 30km (tailored to your fitness) cycle loop starting and finishing near Wijaya Beach about 20 minutes drive from Galle. The guide will lead you through paddy valleys and around the stunning Koggala Lake and will provide plenty of information about nature and the local environment. Stop half way up for a coconut break! Stay at Kahanda Kanda near Galle, a stylish boutique villa with ravishing tea and cinnamon plantation views.

SRI LANKA - Kahanda Kanda

For more Sri Lanka tips or to book your tailor-made Sri Lanka holiday contact Tamsin at +44 (0) 20 7819 9770 /

Client Testimonials

Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka

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