Sri Lanka Off the Beaten Track: Finding Hidden Gems

  • Brooke Chapman
  • 13 Jun 24

Pack your sense of adventure and curiosity as we embark on an unforgettable journey, unveiling Sri Lanka's hidden gems.

Venturing off Sri Lanka’s beaten tourist track is one of the many reasons why travelling in a small group creates a better holiday experience. This is at the core of Bunnik Tours’ small group philosophy and allows our groups to get to the heart of a destination and fully immerse in the culture.




Four Hidden Gems On A Sri Lanka Small Group Tour

Beyond Sri Lanka’s well-trodden paths and popular attractions lies a realm of hidden treasures waiting to be explored. Discover this tropical paradise’s lesser-explored wonders below.


1.   Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe

The Elephant Transit Home located in Udawalawe National Park is known for its significant elephant population. Established in 1995, the Elephant Transit Home focuses on the rehabilitation and release of elephants back into the wild.

They provide shelter, food, medical care, and a nurturing environment for the elephants until they are ready to be reintegrated into their natural habitat. Here you can observe the elephants during feeding times from designated viewing areas, a unique opportunity to see these majestic animals up close.

Elephant Transit Home: An Experience Off The Beaten Track

Sri Lanka's Elephant Transit Home


2.   Gradely Cinnamon Estate

Sri Lanka is famous for its cinnamon production, and there are numerous cinnamon estates across the country. For a truly authentic and immersive experience, a visit to Gradely Cinnamon Estate is a must! This cinnamon plantation is located close to Galle and produces cinnamon quills and essential oils. While here you will gain valuable insight into this spice which holds a special place in Sri Lankan culture. On a Bunnik Tour, we take a tour of the property and enjoy a delicious cinnamon-infused morning tea while taking in the stunning surrounding views.

Cinnamon Tea Off Sri Lanka's Beaten Track


3.   Colombo Jeep tour

Discover the hidden parts of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, on a guided ‘Landy’ tour using open-top Land Rover jeeps. Colombo is a vibrant city with a mix of modern developments and historical landmarks. Exploring it in an open-top jeep provides a unique perspective and allows you to venture into lesser-known areas.

Jeep Tour Of Columbo For Sights Off The Beaten Track

Sri Lanka's Columbo roads

This is a great way to delve into the local culture, discover authentic experiences, interact with the residents, and gain a deeper understanding of the city's history and heritage. You will uncover hidden gems, lesser-explored neighbourhoods, and off-the-beaten-path attractions that are not commonly visited by tourists. This is available on our premium Sri Lanka In-Style small group tour.


4.   Connect with locals

At Bunnik Tours, we believe sustainable tourism is key. This is why we've been visiting small villages, local schools and connecting with locals wherever we can on our Sri Lanka small group tours.

Interacting with local schools gives the chance to gain insights into the Sri Lankan education system and to contribute to the well being of students. Through donations and volunteering our time, we show commitment to nurturing sustainable and meaningful connections with local communities. All these experiences allow us to forge genuine connections with the welcoming Sri Lankan people.

A Local School In Sri Lanka

Visiting A Local Classroom Off The Beaten Track

Meeting Local People In Their Communities

On a Bunnik Tour, your guide may like to take some surprise stops along your journey to a new destination or attraction. This may include visiting local shops, businesses or family homes. This provides an opportunity to support local businesses and ensures tourism benefits beyond major tourist areas.

Experience Local Businesses In Sri Lanka

A Woman At Work Off Sri Lanka's Beaten Track


Visit Sri Lanka’s hidden gems with Bunnik Tours

By stepping off Sri Lanka’s beaten tourist track, you'll discover a deeper connection with the country's rich heritage, encounter untamed natural beauty in a place that truly glitters, and create memories that will last a lifetime. There’s no better way to experience these gems than to visit them on a Bunnik Tour!

Sri Lanka holds a special place in our hearts, we even have an office there, so no one knows this island nation better than us.

Book a Sri Lanka small group tour online or get in touch with one of our friendly Travel Specialists to learn more about our Asia tours today!


Frequently asked questions

Is 10 days enough in Sri Lanka?

Ten days will give you a taste of all Sri Lanka has to offer, but if you want to truly experience the country, taking a little longer (we recommend two weeks or 17 days) gives you time to relax, enjoy the journey and immerse yourself in the experience without hurrying.


What is Sri Lanka’s most beautiful place?

Yala National Park is the second-largest wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka, with captivating landscapes and wildlife ranging from leopards to elephants, birds, crocodiles and many other native species. Sri Lanka’s unparalleled natural beauty only requires a little patience while the wildlife — be sure to bring a camera to capture the stunning scenery and fauna.


What is off-the-beaten-path travel?

Travelling off the beaten path means finding the places, people and destinations in the country you visit that aren’t in the guidebook or the typical tourist itinerary. Taking a small group tour provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect with locals in an intimate setting and experience the local culture without the barriers of mainstream tourism.


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