Nonstop fun in Sri Lanka

Be prepared to be entertained from the moment you arrive, that is the promise of a holiday in Sri Lanka. It is very hard to believe that this tiny dot of an island can hold so much and to list it all would take pages and pages. Below is a guide of some of the top things to do in Sri Lanka. For even more details you could read the Lonely Planet article on the same subject.

The Sri Lankan elephant is a popular majestic beast and to see these creatures roam around in their natural habitat is an amazing experience.  However, some baby elephants are unfortunately orphaned due to hunting and the reduction of natural habitat. The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was started in order to look after these babies till they are of an age to be released back into the wild.  This is a very popular tourist attraction as people clamour to feed the baby elephants and watch them frolic in the nearby river. However, each visit contributes towards the up keep of the orphanage so do make a point to go to Pinnawela.

From Pinnawela it is easy to journey to the hill capital Kandy where many of the country’s traditions are still very much alive. Check out the local handicrafts and watch a cultural show filled with traditional dancing. The cooler climate of Kandy beckons you to explore this interesting city on foot as you take in the architecture and walk around the Kandy Lake. Home to the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy comes alive during the months of July and August with the colourful Kandy Perehara.

Travel down south to the Galle city to explore the Galle Fort where you will almost feel as though time has stood still. The planned city within the Fort area still has its original paved walkways and quaint shops and cafes. Many of the old colonial houses are now boutique hotels so that you can actually stay within the Fort.

While down south go on a whale watching expedition as Sri Lanka has gained a reputation as a great place for whale and dolphin watching. Enjoy the amazing wildlife in Yala, Sri Lanka’s second largest national park. Though rare, if you are very lucky you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive leopard that calls Yala home.

This is just a handful of the top things to do in Sri Lanka and with Inspire Voyage you can enjoy a customized holiday that is filled with all the fun things you would like to do. So start planning your Sri Lanka holiday today!

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Experiencing Sri Lanka’s historic splendour

Many do not believe that Sri Lanka has much to offer other than a paradise beach holiday location. Yet for those who take the time to truly explore Sri Lanka it has so much and this is highlighted in the Lonely Planet article on interesting locations and places in Sri Lanka.

When you take Sri Lanka’s long history it is really not surprising that the country has so many ancient ruins and attractions to see. In fact there is an area referred to as the Cultural Triangle which includes ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. It is very interesting to take a journey back in time by touring these cities with their majestic ruins and structures. Many of the places are still being discovered and with each uncovering more of Sri Lanka’s ancient brilliance is unearthed. Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Yapahuwa make up the triangle while the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is an ancient architectural marvel that defies description and should definitely be experienced.

Slowly but surely recovering from a three decades long war is Jaffna and the northern region of Sri Lanka. You will feel as though you have entered a time warp, where time has stood still as you see both men and women travel around on bicycles along unpaved roads with the breath taking coastline that is fringed by Palmyra palms and coconut trees with the shimmering blue ocean lapping the pristine beaches. Jaffna too though is slowly developing with smooth highways and star class hotels helping to attract a growing number of visitors to the area. For a holiday that is filled with authentic cuisine, a proud heritage, gorgeous beaches and a slower pace, then Jaffna is the place to be.

At the opposite end of the country, in the Deep South is the historic city of Galle. The Dutch Fort is a fascinating place where the original architecture has been left intact which is why it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The paved walkways, quaint shops and cafes will instantly lift your spirits as you sip a drink and stare out at the vast compelling ocean. Kandy too is a historic city located in the hill country area of Sri Lanka. This beautiful city known as the capital of the hill country was the location of the last Sri Lankan kingdom and evidence of this is available right around the city. Once a palace complex the Temple of the Tooth is now home to the Tooth Relic and is a must visit for anyone traveling to Kandy. Experience Sri Lankan history with Inspire Voyages with tours that can be customized to incorporate places of interest to you.images

The varying destinations of Sri Lanka

You would think when you visit Sri Lanka that it would be all about the beach and sunbathing. Yet this tiny island manages to offer a different experience from location to location, so much so that Lonely Planet has listed them individually as interesting places in Sri Lanka worth visiting.

Number one on the list is of course the capital Colombo. It is no longer just a stopover or midway point to other more interesting locations. Colombo now has an appeal all of its own as more and more tourists stay to actually enjoy the Colombo attractions. In the recent past the city has been undergoing a major face lift with pathways, pavements and parks coming up around the city along with modern shopping malls, hotels and restaurants. Along with the modern, Colombo also has an echo of its Colonial past especially visible in the Fort area.

Colombo is definitely a shopping haven from high-end shopping malls, to boutiques to discount shops. Pavement markets are a great place to haggle for bargains.  Of course this capital city is a foodie paradise and you will be able to taste nearly every type of cuisine under the sun. You can pick from star class restaurants, to casual eateries and of course munch on tasty street food.

Second on the list of places in Sri Lanka is the hill country region.  When you visit this region you will actually take a minute to wonder if you are still in the same country. Golden beaches give way to lush green foliage and a cooler climate. You are greeted by gushing waterfalls and thick green tea estates that carpet the surrounding misty hills. You will be surprised to find yourself wearing your pullovers and woolly caps in Sri Lanka, but that will be your reality in the hill country, especially if you visit between the months of November and February.

Definitely not be forgotten is the famous down south region of the island. People travel the world over to experience the perfect beach holiday in Sri Lanka. While here you can indulge in all the beach activities you wish from surfing, to snorkelling to diving to simply getting the perfect tan.

Mentioned above is just a handful of the amazing destinations that Sri Lanka can lay claim to. Let Inspire Voyages take you through a journey of this amazing island nation that is tiny in size but huge in attractions.

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Sri Lanka, the pearl with so much to offer

“For me, it’s the people – the warmth, the welcome. You don’t get that everywhere, but I’ve always sensed that Sri Lankans have a very charitable and personable side. It’s a great place.”

This is how Sir Richard Branson describes Sri Lanka and no wonder. Sri Lanka is indeed a paradise island that is home to people that are warm, welcoming and hospitable. Their warmth is rivaled only by the bright and glorious sunshine that the country is blessed with. The island has come out shining from a decades old ethnic war and is now a haven for business opportunities and Sri Lanka tourism with many Sri Lankan hotels coming up to deal with influx of tourists. There is a lot of infrastructure development taking place which is helping the country be on par development wise, globally.

In recognition of this Sir Branson goes on to say: “If the conditions are right, and if I feel like there is a good opportunity – one I feel passionate about; and one that I feel will enhance not just the Virgin brand, but the lives of Sri Lankans – then, yes, it is perfectly plausible. But it’s got to be a good idea.”

This island that has been described as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean as long been attracting visitors with its beautiful and diverse landscape and attractions. Visitors can enjoy a holiday of their choice, be it beachside, cultural, adventure and even wildlife. Another great attraction is of course the Sri Lanka food that is heavenly blend of spices and herbs that create bursts of flavor in the mouth. In fact it was while in Sri Lanka that Sir Richard Branson discovered Ginger Beer.

“I love Ginger Beer, which I discovered in Sri Lanka; so I owe it (Sri Lanka) that at least.”

Sri Lanka is fast gaining recognition as a great place to live, work, business and of course to holiday. Its warm people and sunny climate instantly relax you and envelope you with a sense of peace. The country is on track to be a global power to be reckoned with as more and more business entrepreneurs find the conditions conducive for business.

Take advice from the most well-known entrepreneurs of all time and visit Sri Lanka and see what all the buzz is about. With Inspire Voyages you can experience Sri Lanka conveniently and get to know this paradise island intimately.

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Food fun in Sri Lanka

There are many reasons to holiday in Sri Lanka as Sri Lanka tourism is growing owing to its popularity as a holiday destination. It is now fast gaining reputation as a foodie’s paradise as well. And the tiny island national well deserves this accolade as it is home to mouth-watering spicy and sweet creations that definitely tantalize the taste buds. In a recent article CNN Travel listed 12 Sri Lankan dishes it deemed should not be missed. Below is a take on some of these must-eat Sri Lankan food.

Walk into any standard Sri Lankan home and your senses will be filled with aroma of spices being cooked. One of the first dishes you are sure to sample when visiting Sri Lanka is the ambul thiyal maalu which is a dry fish dish that incorporates a sour flavour that keeps you coming back for more. Another staple food in Sri Lanka is the good old chicken curry. This is basically eaten with anything and everything and while the actual method of preparation may change the popularity of this dish does not. Be it mildly spicy to eye wateringly hot you are sure to get addicted to this Sri Lankan staple.

A curry that you will always find at the table is the dhal curry. This too is prepared in a multitude of ways, from dry to spicy to what is termed as a `white curry’, the dhal dish is an accompaniment to basically everything. Other vegetarian dishes that are well loved include binjal pickles, coconut sambol and polos or jak fruit curry. All of these are also referred to as ‘rice puller’ owing to the fact that they stimulate the taste buds and encourage people to eat more. Rice dishes also usually have a mallung or green salad made from fresh leaves and dressed with salt, pepper and lime.

When it comes to the main dishes Sri Lankans love their rice, hoppers, string hoppers and kiribath or milk rice. Hoppers are a type of round pancake with a soft middle and crispy outer ring that goes amazingly well with ambul thiyal fish or chicken curry. The egg hopper as the name suggests has an egg placed in the middle at the time of cooking. String hoppers are made from thick dough and steamed as strings placed in a circle. String hoppers are usually eaten for breakfast and dinner and again with a curry of your choice. Rice that has been cooked in thick coconut milk is creamy and very tasty and can be had with a curry such as chicken, fish or potato. Kottu is fast food in Sri Lanka and is made by mixing chopped roti with a curry of your choice. It is spicy, filling and definitely a version of comfort food that has to be experienced.

End your culinary journey on a sweet note with a wood apple drink. Made by blending the wood apple fruit with water and sugar you will appreciate this natural thirst quencher. With Inspire Voyages you can experience all the mentioned Sri Lankan gastronomic delights and much more. Get in touch with us and start your culinary adventure!

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Sizzling Sri Lanka Beach Holidays

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If you are looking for a paradise beach holiday that is affordable then a Sri Lanka beach holiday is the option for you. Known as the paradise island this pearl in the Indian Ocean is the ideal holiday destination for a beach holiday. The country is blessed with more than a thousand kilometres of coastline. The other great thing about beach holidays in Sri Lanka is that you have a variety of options to choose from. You can decide if you want to holiday in the southern region where most of the popular beach resorts are located, or towards the west coast or in the east coast which has in the recent past become a hotspot owing to its great surfing conditions. No matter where you decide to holiday your days fill be filled with sun drenched beached filled with warm soft sand, the azure Indian Ocean waters to cool you off and of course the famous fresh seafood Sri Lanka is famed for. Seriously paradise is sitting in the sun, the ocean at your feet and just relaxing. The only strenuous activity you will have to do is lift your cocktail glass to your lips!

Sri Lanka may offer cheap beach holidays but you get a divine experience. Sri Lanka beach resorts offer high end quality service. You will be pampered as your every requirement is catered to. If you want some action in the form of water sports the coastal region has much to offer. Surfing, scuba diving, water skiing, kite surfing, swimming, banana boat rides; the list is long and the activities fun. It is relatively easy to hire diving gear as well as to get some beginner lessons.

Down south Hikkaduwa and Bentota are popular beach resorts especially with the younger crowds as it is the venue of many lively beach parties hosted by international DJs. Koggala and Galle Sri Lanka too have much to offer with latter offering historic sites and the former being the longest stretch of beach in Sri Lank. If you want a truly relaxing beach holiday head towards the east coast of Arugam Bay. Surf, eat, sip cool beer and sleep to your heart’s content.

Beaches in Sri Lanka are not to be missed. To make sure you enjoy each and every second of your beach vacation get in touch with Inspire Voyage. Their beach tours will include Sri Lanka’s best beaches and include activities of interest to you. Get in touch today and plan your paradise beach holiday.

Wondrous Sri Lanka Wildlife Tours

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When you think Sri Lanka usually what immediately springs to mind are the endless beaches fringed by the swaying palm and coconut trees. While this is true this amazing tiny island also has the resources to give you the experience of a great wildlife holiday. Believe it is not you can enjoy adventure tours including a wildlife safari while in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has been blessed with an abundance of wildlife and you can see this wildlife first hand and even indulge in wildlife photography by visiting the many National Parks Sri Lanka has. The most well-known and popular park is of course the Yala National Park. This park is teeming with elephants, monkeys, sloth bears and the very elusive leopards. Take a guided jeep safari around the park and be amazed by the rich natural diversity of the park that has areas of thick jungle that lead to open spaces. There are certain areas of the Yala National Park that border the sea adding to the natural beauty of the location.

Sri Lanka is a country that is famous for its wild elephants. These majestic creatures command respect as they slowly meander on their way in search of food and water. A great location to see these gentle giants is at the Wilpattu National Park which is actually Sri Lanka’s largest national park. It has natural depressions which fill with rainwater during the rainy seasons and so provide a natural haven for wildlife such as deer, wild boar, sloth bears, leopards and not forgetting the elephants of course. The Udwalawe National Park is an animal sanctuary for displaced wild animals. The Uda Walawe Reservoir was constructed for this sole purpose. There is also an Elephant Transit home where elephants are taken care of. You can see this from a distance as human contact is kept at a minimum. Here too you will be able to see elephants, samabar deer, golden jackals and golden palm civets. Leopards too inhabit the park but are hard to catch sight of.

The Minneriya Park is where you will find one of the largest gatherings of elephants while bird enthusiasts simply have to visit the Bundala National Park. It is filled with lagoons and thorny shrubs ideal for birds, monkeys and spotted deer.

Sri Lanka wildlife tours deliver more than the expected. Get in touch with Inspire Voyage to organize a holiday that will allow you to see Sri Lanka’s amazing wildlife in its natural habitat.