Adventure, culture and authentic people and experiences. That is what we want to give you at Kalukanda House, here are just a few of the wonderful activities, places and people you can enjoy when you stay with us. Whether staying at the villa or widely touring the island, we can organise your holiday for you.
This is the golden coast of Southern Sri Lanka with plenty of places where you can learn from scratch or practice your skills. We can organise lessons on your behalf and offer surf week packages.
Safari opportunities are plenty in Sri Lanka. We are lucky enough to be within easy reach of both Udawalawe National Park which hosts an elephant transit centre where wild baby elephants are fed and looked after, and also Yala National Park where the elusive leopard can be seen if you are lucky.
Our wonderful chef cooks up the most amazing dishes and is more than happy to show you how he does it. Shopping at the markets is part of the fun, and kids can get involved too.
Sri Lanka is famous for tea and the highlands of Nuwara Eliya are well known to host some large plantations. Closer to home, just 20 minutes away, The Hanunugoda Tea Estate can be found in a nearby village of Ahangama. It is the only estate to produce Virgin White Tea in Sri Lanka. Historically it was picked by virgins wearing white gloves who snipped the tips into a golden bowl and served only to Kings. These days, it remains un-touched by human hand but there are no other requirements for the tea pickers! So pure it is widely thought to have huge medicinal properties since it is so high in anti-oxidents so it sells at a premium price and is exported internationally to uber luxe department stores in Paris and the Middle East.
Luckily this wonderful private estate produces and sells plenty of other beautifully scented and tasty teas which you can sample and buy after a free tour. The owner, Herman Gunaratne, can sometimes be seen meeting and greeting the visitors.
Charming Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site populated by locals and visitors alike. A lovely train ride from local Weligama station or an easy tuk tuk ride away,
Dutch architecture abounds and beautiful colonial buildings house both residents as well as artisan shops selling gorgeous antiques, clothes and jewellery, restaurants serve local dishes and handmade ice creams and majestic traditional hotels serve afternoon tea on beautiful verandas. A truly wonderful place to meander and soak up the sights. It’s a breathtaking location. We have partnerships with some local jewellery shops too so if you want to buy some ready made pieces or even have them made to your liking we can direct you to one or two wonderful craftsmen.
A walk along the ramparts and past the old lighthouse is a must and you will often see school children practising sport or dance moves on the green and perhaps a monk or two, robes flowing in the wind, newly weds choose Galle as a favourite spot for their wedding photos – the brides look particularly stunning!
Many religions co-exist in harmony in Sri Lanka. Bhuddist and Hindu Temples are found across the island and some can be visited easily from the villa. The largest Bhuddist temple can be found at Beruwela less than an hour away and an ancient, local pilgrims spot can be found on the old road to Weligama around the corner. Further afield, the caves at Dambulla are a must see as part of a wider island tour.
We have been organising island wide tours for some of our guests. The itinerary is bespoke to suit you and many of our guests have raved about climbing Sigirya all the way to the top, hiking up Adam’s peak to watch the sunrise and trekking through rainforests to bathe in waterfalls.
Sigiriya is a fantastic outcrop in the middle of flat terrain – it was used by a Kandyan King as a refuge centuries ago after he committed patricide and stole the crown from his brother. A mind boggling feat of engineering was then employed to irrigate the rock, create plateaus and a fortress.
As you climb you will find plateaus where the castle once sat, along with a system of reservoirs and canals that watered the outcrop. After some years the King saw his brother was coming for him and ran off on an elephant and hid in the caves – he was found and killed and the fortress he created was handed to the monks.
It was rediscovered during the British era and has been carefully uncovered and is now looked after by UNESCO World Heritage.
Similarly the ancient ruins at Anuradhapura were uncovered after centuries of growth by jungle. Once the capital city of Ceylon, these beautiful ancient ruins are one of Asia’s most evocative sights. You can wander through the maze either on foot or by bike.
Watching the sunrise from this point in Ella has got to be worth the early start to trek up – a bucket list moment.