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what to do in Sri Lanka

what to do in Sri Lanka

Top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka

  1. Those train rides are something else!

    Epic train rides in Sri Lanka

Reach the unreachable with an epic train journey through misty mountains, majestic waterfalls, spooky tunnels and tea swathed mountains. Be awed by the 9 arches bridge in Ella or the humble tea plucker gazing at you closer to Kandy. Or opt for the coastal route where the rhythm of the train merges with the wafting breeze of this Indian Ocean island.

  1. Visit the ancient rock citadel of Sigiriya.

Bloomberg’s latest wonder of the world is nothing short of a skyscraper. Hike up the face of the Lion Rock to see the remains of a 14th century rock palace, climb down marveling the complex irrigation and construction.

  1. Cycle ride through crumbled ancient civilizations

    The ancient library found in Polonnaruwa

Way before Machu Pichu are some curious and amazing Stupas, rock carved Buddha statues and University Complexes that housed thousands. Pedal through these historic world heritage sites and learn tales of the past with Ayu in the Wild’s knowledgeable guides.

  1. Trek the misty paths by foot

At the heart of the hill country feel the cold breeze, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the distant sound of a lapping stream, watch the creation of clouds with mist around you and find a trekking adventure tackling the steep moss laden steps of the mountain.

  1. Explore the wild island that’s only just over three times the size of Kruger National Park.

    Leopard at Yala national park

Easily one of the best Biodiversity Hotspots in South Asia, here’s an island where you can safari to learn about (and photograph) a myriad of wildlife from Lichens to Leopards. Trek with our Edu-Guides to see the beauty and richness of the fauna and flora at Horton Plains or enjoy a wonderful bird watching holiday. An island that’s one of the best for safaris in Asia with the many blocks of Yala National Park being billed as best game parks outside of Africa.

  1. Canoeing, Sailing or White-water rafting.

Water adventures that take you off road! Canoe gently along a river, sail in Mirissa, Paasikuda or Trincomalee or go white water rafting along the adventure packed Kitulagala area. The beauty of this islands 103 rivers and 1340 Km coastline will awe you.

  1. Chill out or go snorkeling at the tropical beaches

    Whale watching on a private yacht

Stop dreaming of spending a day by the beach and come to Sri Lanka the Island that has a beach at every end! Just do nothing or pack it all in; snorkeling, sailing, whale watching on a yacht, surfing, deep sea diving or even Ship wreck diving!

  1. Real camping deep inside a national park

Experience authentic African-styled wildlife camping. Private safari camps with full on service team in the midst of the National Park, where you are the first out on safari to spot leopards, elephants and bears. Nothing like it!

  1. Take a closer look into Sri Lanka’s traditional lifestyles

    Pottery by a local artisan

Join Ayu in the Wild to get insider access into the authentic Sri Lankan lifestyle. Meet local artisans who create wonderful things from brass and clay in their tiny villages homes. Cook-like-the-locals, enjoy a homestay, sit down to a meal with a farming family, walk through spice estates, taste the many tastes of Ceylon Tea. Oh, the list is endless!

  1. Witness the largest Asian Elephant gathering in the world

    Elephants at Asia’s largest gathering

    Witness the largest annual gathering of the Asian elephant. Ayu in the Wild’s insightful guides will tell you all about their behavior, how moms and babies interact and why they meet here on the banks of the beautiful Minneriya tank. This spectacle has put Sri Lanka on the map as one of the top safari vacations in Asia.



    Contact Ayu in the Wild holidays to add on more unique experiences or talk to us about our best tours to Sri Lanka!


Responsible travel options srilanka
what to do in Sri Lanka

Please SAY NO to elephant back safari rides in Sri Lanka

Are you a responsible traveler? You may think its fun to take a ride on an elephant but did you know that the elephants need to be ‘broken’ in spirit to tame them enough so they become docile transport providers just for your entertainment?!

Wild Animals belong in the wild!

Wild elephants in Sri Lanka

Wild elephants in Sri Lanka

Did you know that baby elephants generally nurse for about two years, consuming about six gallons of milk a day? And in the wild, the calves tend to stay with their mothers until they are around 5 years! The trauma these calves go through when separated from their mothers who are taken away for entertaining us humans, is truly unbelievable. Many calves do not survive.

An advocacy group is fast gaining momentum in banning elephants rides in Sri Lanka and we at Ayu in the Wild Holidays completely endorse this effort. Could we please ask that you do too?

A responsible safari is where you see elephants in the wild, in their natural habitats playing, feeding, bathing without inhibitions.

Sri Lanka elephants

Elephants in the wild Sri Lanka

Many tour operators and hotels including 5 star lodges do promote elephant back safaris and rides in many parts of Sri Lanka. Many irresponsible options are offered in Habarana and Sigiriya, at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and near the Minneriya National Park where some operators even advertise ‘the best period for elephant back safaris’. Did you know that the elephants are tamed by being beaten, stung repeatedly by the ankus mahouts hook, have all four legs tied on a short rope for days on end and even starved – until they submit to orders! What you choose to ride on is not an elephant but a soul broken in spirit!

Please do not book elephant back rides in Habarana or elsewhere in Sri Lanka.sri lanka minneriya, habarana

Responsible Travel in Sri Lanka means booking experiences that respect the wildlife, culture and environment of this Biodiversity Hot Spot

Let them roam wild and free!

elephants of srilanka

Elephants of SriLanka


World Animal Protection is an organisation that is changing the world, together – with you!

Petitions take just seconds to support and can be incredibly powerful. Last year nearly 175,000 of you signed our (World Animal Protection) petition telling travel company Thomas Cook Group plc to end the sale and promotion of elephant rides and shows. The company listened, removing elephant rides and shows from its promotional materials, proving that together, we have the power to move global companies to protect animals.

Ask Ayu in the Wild Holidays about How You can be a Responsible Traveler in Sri Lanka 

Email: or whatsapp us on +94 777 248 1100

Wildlife Safari in Sri Lanka
what to do in Sri Lanka

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit Sri Lanka

There’s definitely more than beaches and temples to Sri Lanka. Ayu in the Wild has curated 10 photos that we think will inspire you to visit Sri Lanka soon!

It’s no secret that Sri Lanka is one of the top places to see wildlife outside of Africa! An amazing diversity of species, phenomenally high numbers of endemic species for an island this small and, get this, the two largest mammals on earth, the Elephant and the Blue Whale. So we never get tired of saying “In a tiny island called Sri Lanka, just over three times the size of Kruger National Park, some amazing wildlife awaits you”.
srilanka wildlife safari

Its an island of colour. From spices to sarees to Handwoven fabrics, the vivid colours of Sri Lanka is one thing you will never forget.

Any more colour in this shot of goods for sale in #BarefootCeylon #GalleFort and my iPhone camera might have melted.

A post shared by J U L I E T K I N S M A N (@julietkinsman) on

A train ride like never before through the misty hills of Sri Lanka will take you back to the times of old-fashioned train travel. Carriages that chug along, colonial styled railway stations, travelers milling around with gram sellers as if time must stand still. One of the world’s most scenic train rides from Ella to Kandy Sri Lanka connects our guests with a hotspot for Leopards and the revered Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Ask us about this tour.

Going around the bend in hill country. Train travel in #srilanka is the best way to see the country.

A post shared by Sherry Ott (@ottsworld) on

It’s in their smiles. You will always find a Sri Lankan in any part of the island who will look you in the eye and give their warmest smile like you are a long lost friend, even though you just met.

Sri Lanka smiles. #SL

A post shared by Sherry Ott (@ottsworld) on

Batiks have really come of age. See Fashion in a new light with the timeless Sri Lankan Batiks! Ask us Ayu in the Wild where you can be a proud owner of an authentic one of a kind batik clothing made just for you and even visit the artisans behind the fabrics.

Have you got what it takes to stay in a tree hut in Sri Lanka, a totally unique way to spend a few days on your holiday! Feel (and hear) the wind whistling around you as you sleep alfresco. Well not quite alfresco but it does feel like it when you see the stars, moon, the night crickets, and all those trees from your bed. Its the next best thing to tented camping on safari. Think glamping. Oh so exciting!

Eco Lodges Sri Lanka

Tree huts accommodation in Sri Lanka – a lovely escape into the wilderness

Kids know no boundaries! Meeting Sri Lankan kids has really touched the guests of Ayu in the Wild. No matter where our guests have interacted with kids, be it in their local schools, village, the family farm, their humble homes or a cricket ground, the Classrooms in the Wild initiative has been the highlight of their holiday in Sri Lanka.
Interaction with the locals in srilanka

There’s a drummer in all of us. Who wouldn’t get swayed by the vibrant rhythms of the traditional Kandyan drummer especially when you are on holiday with Ayu in the Wild and one of the most sought after drumming and dance teachers in the island is ready to teach you the art on a one-to-one session!
The Art of Drumming in srilanka

The silence of the rainforest. A tiny tract of land, Sinharaja the Biodiversity Hotspot, Sri Lanka’s most valuable piece of the island is home to some of the greatest diversity and endemic species on the planet. If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka during your Christmas Holidays, count a birding trek in Sinharaja as a must-do!
Sinharaja Rainforest in srilanka

Show us one traveler to Sri Lanka who has not LOVED (and I mean mouthwatering, oh I can’t wait to eat another kind of loved) the famous Sri Lankan Hoppers for breakfast)?! Travel with Ayu in the Wild and you just may be lucky enough to have a cook-like-the-locals culinary experience to learn the art of making hoppers. Tailor-made holidays in Sri Lanka are what we do best!

Ask Ayu in the Wild Holidays about an experiential holiday where you leave feeling part of the culture and not just a visitor.