2019 is the year for wellness, spirituality and adventure travel. With Off the Map Travel’s new Spiritual Sri Lanka itinerary, guests are invited to join an adventure-filled program with a spiritual overlay. Traveling away from tourist sites to a secret location sacred to Buddhism, participants will join up with a Buddhist monk who will lead them through a forest to a cave complex where monks reside in complete detachment from the outside world. There the monk will explain the principal elements of Buddhism and how one comes to be a monk, and will lead a private meditation session. A variety of cultural and adventure activities are included as well. Offered year-round, the ten-day fully customizable itinerary is priced starting at $3475 USD per person, based on double occupancy.
The Spiritual Sri Lanka itinerary affords an in-depth look at the history and culture of Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon). In addition to the one-on-one meditation experience, guests will bathe elephants at Kap-Ela, visit a rural school, join a cooking class followed by lunch at a private spice garden, and participate in an alms-giving ceremony with local families and forest-dwelling monks. They will also have the opportunity to spend time with local residents, joining in their daily routine.
An island located off the tip of India in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is historically and culturally intertwined with the Indian subcontinent. It is home to many cultures, languages and ethnicities, and although there is no official state religion, Sri Lanka is said to have the longest continuous history of Buddhism of any predominantly Buddhist nation.
“Sri Lanka is still relatively unknown among travelers,” notes Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel. “Full of mystery and mysticism, your experience in Sri Lanka will be authentic and filled with adventure. And whether you regularly meditate or are just curious about Buddhism, you’ll also gain insight into spirituality as you explore this fascinating and beautiful country.”
The new ten-day Spiritual Sri Lanka itinerary includes stays at some of the best properties in Sri Lanka starting with The Wallawwa, a stylish country house hotel and spa in Kotugoda near the beaches of Negombo.
Over the following days, the wellness-focused itinerary takes guests into the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura for a very special meditation session led by a local Buddhist monk including the chance to join a special blessing at the sacred site of Maha Viharaya with the locals.
Moving towards the town of Dambulla, a UNESCO heritage site, guests will enjoy a different kind of wellness and spirituality, experiencing animal therapy while bathing elephants at Kap-Ela, a sustainable animal-friendly project.
The Sri Lankan spiritual journey then takes guests to a rural school in the Sigiriya region as part of the Connect Project supporting rural communities. They will then participate in an alms-giving ceremony with local families and the forest-dwelling monks of Ritigala.
Other days are packed with history and culture including stops at two other UNESCO sites, the fifth-century rock fortress of Sigiriya with its palaces and frescoes, and Kandy, the country’s cultural center and home to the 14th-century Lankatilaka Viharaya Temple where visitors will experience traditional Kandyan rituals and dancing.
A final immersion into the history of the island includes biking through the archeological site of Polonnaruwa to view the ruins of this ancient royal city and a visit to the seaside city of Galle, founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
An example ten-day Spiritual Sri Lanka itinerary with Off the Map Travel is priced from $3475 USD per person, based on double occupancy, on a B&B basis. Included are all transfers; accommodations in quality hotels and villas; and a variety of wellness, wildlife and cultural trips. Flights are additional.
For more information on tailor-made Off the Map Travel itineraries visit www.offthemap.travel; call 1-646-701-0041; email firstname.lastname@example.org or join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTubeor Pinterest.