Traditional Ayurveda & Buddhist Cultural Heritage
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean. Its diverse landscapes range from rainforest and arid plains to jungle to highlands and beautiful sandy beaches. It’s renowned for its ancient Buddhist ruins, including the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya, with its palace and frescoes.
It is perfect for a wellness holiday and has been on my lists of "best places to visit" for the last several years. For women travelling alone and for vegan travel Sri Lanka is one of the best places to go as well. Wellness, adventure, incredible food, kind people, stunning vistas...there's no doubt about it, Sri Lanka is a must-visit country.
WELLNESS HOLIDAY (PLUS ADVENTURE) ITINERARY
Welcome to Sri Lanka! This healing journey will take you on a transformative pilgrimage toward yourself. Embrace the age-old traditions of Ayurveda, an ancient holistic healing system. Go on to the heart of Sri Lanka’s spiritual and cultural heritage. Visit the iconic sites of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Dambulla. Experience special blessing ceremonies and visit sacred Buddhist sites. Go on to the source of Buddhist faith as it has been practices for millenia and discover mindfulness while on a nature hike through the Northern mountains near Kandy. Be well with the serenity of Sri Lanka!
Day 01 & 02 - Arrive & Restore
Ayubowan! You are greeted at the airport by our representatives. Your senses are awakened by the tropical air of this island, filled with sweet aromas of the araliya flowers and delicious spices. For your first destination, you drive to Waikkal, a charming town located a mere 45 minutes away from the airport. Settle in and enjoy the peaceful setting of your river-front hotel.
*A special blessing ceremony will be performed to welcome you on the island.*
Next day, enjoy a half-day wellness program (including massage and other relaxing therapies). At sunset, visit Negombo town and take a walk at the beach to restore from the long flight and prepare for the journey ahead.
02 nights’ stay in Waikkal
Day 03 - Day 04 - Exciting Leopards in Wilpattu & Early Beginnings of Buddhism
Today, you begin the journey inland toward the Northern-most point of the cultural triangle, Sri Lanka's first ancient capital - Anuradhapura.
On the way, make a stop and explore Wilpattu NP on the back of a jeep safari. The territory of the park is immense, and offers a very rich and diverse fauna and flora. Here, you have a chance of spotting the elusive leopard, but also elephants, crocodiles, deer, the Sri Lankan bear, and a multitude of birds.
Go on to Anuradhapura - a secluded sanctuary city, offering insights into the Theravada tradition of Buddhism as practiced in Sri Lanka since its introduction to the island more than 2,500 years ago. Here, you can visit 8 sacred sites “athamasthana” – the traditional Buddhist pilgrim’s circuit. Go on to Ruwanweli Seya, commonly referred to as the Maha Stupa, enshrining the largest amount of Lord Buddha’s relics.
Witness the local pilgrims worship at Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world (2,200 years). It is the right branch of the very tree beneath which, at Buddha Gaya in North India, Lord Buddha gained enlightenment.
The other sites on the pilgrimage circuit include: Mirisawetiya, Tuparamaya, Abayagiriya and Jethawanaramaya.
03 nights’ stay in Anuradhapura
Day 05 - Monk dwelling at Mihintale & meditative walk in Ritigala forest monastery
Today, you make your way toward the center of the cultural triangle. Situated 8 miles from Anuradhapura, Mihintale is the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was here that in the 3rd Century BC. Arhant Mahinda met King Devanam Piyatissa and converted him to Buddhism. Mihintale became the abode of some 3,000 monks.
Then, proceed with a meditative walk in the ancient Ritigala Forest monastery. The walk offers a refreshing stroll through the jungle, as well as the site of ruins of an ancient monastery complex.
Go on to Dambulla and settle into your charming countryside wellness resort.
Enjoy an afternoon of traditional Ayurvedic therapies in this unique retreat, modeled after a traditional Sri Lanka village. You can see the “chena” farm cultivation and experience the slower-paced local lifestyle.
01 nights’ stay in Dambulla
Days 06 & 07 - Traditional Wellness in the Cultural Triangle
For the next two days, you will explore the main sites of the Cultural Triangle. Move through time and witness how the various ancient kingdoms of Sri Lanka each enjoyed their golden time. Climb the iconic Sigiriya Rock, but also Pidurangala monastic site, from which you can get a 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside, lakes & mountains. One afternoon, go on for an once-in-a-lifetime meeting with the emblematic Asian Elephant while on a jeep safari in the nearby Minneriya national park.
During the stay, enjoy traditional Ayurveda therapies that transform both the body and the soul. Ayurveda is an ancient medical science based on determining individual body humors. It aims at restoring the careful balance between the various elements and energies present in the body, mind and spirit.
02 nights’ stay in Dambulla
Days 08 & 09 - Dambulla Cave Temple and peaceful tranquility of the mountainside retreat near Kandy
In the morning, start with an early visit to Dambulla cave temple. This cave complex possesses some of the most beautifully painted murals and Buddha statues in the country.
Then proceed to your mountainside retreat in Digana, 45min away from Kandy city. Here, you can enjoy peaceful tranquility of a lake-front property, optional kayaking and mountain biking. Next morning, go on for a mindful hike into the nearby surroundings with a naturalist.
In the evening, visit the important temple in Kandy – Sri Dalada Maligawa. The temple contains the Sacred Relic of Buddha’s Tooth – and has played a central role in the nation’s politics since its arrival on the island some 2,000 years ago. Witness a special Puja ceremony in the evening when the relic is revealed to the public to receive special blessings.
02 nights’ stay in Digana
Day 10 - Sacred Worship at Kelaniya Temple & Departure
Head toward Colombo. On the way, visit the sacred Kelaniya Temple, which was hallowed by Lord Buddha during his third & final visit to Sri Lanka eight years after enlightenment. According to the great chronicle of Sri Lanka "Mahawamsa", the original stupa of this sacred temple enshrined a gem studded throne on which Lord Buddha sat & preached. A sacred place of worship, this temple is also well known for its marvelous historical wall paintings that depict remarkable events in the life of Lord Buddha.
We hope that you will have enjoyed a transformative inner journey and that you keep the most precious memories with you. We wish you a safe return home and we hope to see you again soon...
In time for your flight departure, you take the road to the airport.
Be Well, Ayurva Traveller
OUR BLISSFUL OFFERINGS FOR YOU
09 nights’ accommodation in Sri Lanka
02 Night in Negombo
02 Nights in Anuradhapura
03 Nights in Sigiriya
02 Nights in Digana
Meals & Services:
Daily breakfast & dinners at the resort
Lunches on select days
Transport: private car (1 or 2 pax) or minivan (4 pax), airport charges, highway & parking fees, driver(s) salary, accommodation & meals
Service of an English speaking guide throughout the tour
Sight-seeing tours & other activities as per the itinerary
Entrance ticket fee for Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Pidurangala, Kandy temple, Mihintale & Ritigala,
Sri Maha Bodhi
Two half-day private jeep safaris: Wilpattu NP (leopards), Minneriya NP(elephants)
3 day Ayurveda wellness program with Amuna Retreat
2 day Yoga & Nature program (group yoga sessions) with Rukgala Retreat
Mineral water bottles during the tour
Special welcome gift (for each person)
All government taxes are included in the price
24/7 assistance from the Ayurva team during the stay