Sri Lanka: Why The Best Guided Tours Are Small Group Tours

  • Bunnik Tours
  • 13 Jun 24

In recent years Sri Lanka has been discovered by the world and transformed from an up-and-coming tourist destination to a destination on everyone’s list and it’s not hard to understand why.

Bunnik Tours Guide, Priya at Negombo's fish markets by Dennis Bunnik

Bunnik Tours Guide, Priya at Negombo's fish markets by Dennis Bunnik

Sri Lanka as a tour destination: Overview


With lush green jungles, ancient temples, tropical beaches (it truly is the “pearl of the Indian Ocean”) and a vibrant culture that prides itself on a tradition of warm hospitality, Sri Lanka is a welcoming and diverse country waiting to be explored.

Bursting with a rich history, Sri Lanka is home to no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites. Each of these sites has its own unique story that makes up Sri Lanka’s incredible history but it’s not just these impressive sites that make Sri Lanka such an appealing travel destination, it’s the people.


Sri Lankan culture is warm and welcoming


Visitors are welcomed with arms wide open. Connecting with the welcoming people of Sri Lanka will give you an authentic insight into the country's culture, traditions, history and way of life. Meet local restaurant operators, visit a local school, spend time with local families and share a traditional lunch together, be treated to a cultural show and traditional dance performance by the locals, board a local train and witness the local stilt fishermen as they go about their trade. It’s in these moments that the warm hospitality of Sri Lanka shines and leaves a lasting impression on you.

Sri Lanka Locals: Fisherman By The OceanStilt Fisherman in Weligama by Dennis Bunnik


The best way to see Sri Lanka: a small group tour

Guided Small Group Tour of Sri Lanka

When you travel to Sri Lanka with Bunnik Tours, you’ll be guided by a proud local Sri Lankan. Born and bred Sri Lankans, our guides let you into their lives sharing personal anecdotes about their country, as well as a wealth of in-depth knowledge of the country’s history and culture. 

Sri Lanka's traditions, rich history and unique people, combined with an incredible and diverse landscape of stunning beaches and lush jungles, make it a destination like no other.


How to choose a guided tour of Sri Lanka

Now that you have an idea of what to expect on a guided tour of Sri Lanka, let’s explore a few tour options and how to select the best tour experience. The options include a luxury small group tour experience, visiting Sri Lanka during a festival season or a discovery tour to introduce you to all that Sri Lanka has to offer.


Discovering Sri Lanka on a guided small group tour

Travelling with a small group has many advantages. You will get to see the famous sites and historical locations including the Negombo fish markets, Buddha rock sculptures, Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’ and the stunning Cave Temples at Dambulla.

What sets a small group guided tour of Sri Lanka apart from other touring styles are the special experiences that you will participate in. As part of a small group, you’ll cruise the Negombo Lagoon at sunset, then enjoy a delicious barbeque dinner.

There’s an opportunity to connect with locals in an intimate home setting — this guided tour includes the unique experience of a traditional lunch in a local village near Sigiriya. Then at the Gradely Cinnamon Estate, you’ll experience a tour of the property and a special cinnamon-infused morning tea.


Deluxe guided tours of Sri Lanka

A deluxe small group tour of Sri Lanka adds a touch of luxury to your trip, from premium five-star accommodation to exclusive experiences. These tours have a maximum of 16 people so you will experience a truly personal experience and have access to your guide throughout the tour.

Deluxe special experiences include a visit to a tea plantation to learn about the tea-making process, and two days staying near the historic walled city of Galle, a UNESCO heritage-listed site, with the freedom to wander the streets and experience the local area.


Sri Lanka’s Kandy Festival tours

The final small group guided tour option is to visit specifically to attend a local festival. Kandy is a Sri Lankan village that hosts the greatest annual spectacle, the Esala Perahera festival. This ten-day event is a procession held in July or early August, celebrating the sacred tooth allegedly snatched from Buddha’s funeral pure, which now is thought to rest in a temple in this village.

This Sri Lankan festival tour itinerary includes the experiences and destinations of the discovery small group tour option, adding the unique experience of the festival in Kandy.


Visit Sri Lanka on your choice of a small group guided tour for an unforgettable experience

Whether exploring Sri Lanka for the first time or returning to dive deeper into the country and culture, a small group guided tour is one of the best ways to experience what this rich, enthralling country has to offer. Whether you choose the premium experience of an in-style tour, a trip that includes the local festivals or simply want to explore Sri Lanka for the first time, Bunnik Tours offers you an unforgettable experience.


Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to see Sri Lanka?

A small group tour with a local guide is one of Sri Lanka’s best guided tours — you will benefit from local knowledge and insights, the advantages of travelling with a small and intimate group and highly personalised service from your tour guide. With the itinerary set in advance, accommodation and most meals provided, you can focus on taking in the culture and history of Sri Lanka.


How many days are enough for Sri Lanka?

Two weeks or a little longer will provide you with the opportunity to deeply explore the local sights, sounds and culture, visit historical sites and more. From Cave Temples to Lion Rock, you will want to allow enough time to enjoy your stay. A small group tour led by a local guide is one of the best Sri Lanka tour options to ensure you get the most out of the experience.


Which is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?

We recommend booking an all inclusive Sri Lanka holiday package between December and April. In saying that, temperatures are fairly constant year round in Sri Lanka so no matter when you go, you’re sure to have pleasant weather!


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