While some people, especially innate solo travelers, hate the idea of tours, of having any sort of structure to adhere to, I love them. If it is the right kind of tour that is.
I want tours that are bespoke (so grrrrr....what an overrated word!), sustainable and that truly show me the heart and soul of a country better than I could explore it on my own. Because let's be honest the best way to explore a country is to meet the locals, but I often stumble upon the question of how to actually do that? Tell an introvert like myself to just go up and talk to people and I'd rather stay home. And what good is it 'to make friends' with someone if you can't speak to each other? No, honestly I find this meeting the locals business quite tricky and when I embarked on my Sri Lanka adventure I was glad to have help in that department.
Ayu in the Wild not only facilitates authentic Sri Lanka tours and local experiences but also takes care of some of the annoying nitty gritty traveling sometimes brings along. Like getting on the right train, not being ripped off by your taxi driver, and knowing which road is the right amount of less traveled and least bumpy.
Let's just say that I wish in hindsight, they would have organized my entire Sri Lanka itinerary and both, this taxi driver and I would have had a better night.
Ayu in the Wild Sri Lanka tours – How does it works?
How it all works? So glad you asked! You decided to visit Sri Lanka, which is a great idea because honestly, Sri Lanka is amazing. I fell in love with Sri Lanka as soon as I ate my first hopper. Love at first bite.
But I will admit that it can be a bit overwhelming for some, it ain't called “India light” for no reason. Where to go in Sri Lanka, how to get around and where to stay are usually the first question for anyone planning a Sri Lanka trip.
While some have a very clear idea of what they want to do - a family holiday, see elephants in Sri Lanka, hang out on the beach, learn how to cook local food, soak up all the culture – others may need some more inspiration that goes beyond seeing the top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.
Ayu in the Wild can help with both scenarios as they will plan a trip according to your wishes and budget but will gladly make suggestions to add to your Sri Lanka tour. That includes a comfortable car and an English speaking driver, suggestions for boutique hotels in Sri Lanka or cool camping alternatives (for different budgets), and guided tours. These tours use local guides from the communities you are visiting and range from cultural to food to Sri Lanka wildlife tours.
All of that will be customized to your personal interests – do you want to know more about the endemic birds or ALL about the elephants, have kids that want to read animal tracks or learn more about medicinal plants in Sri Lanka? You guide won't be an ordinary Sri Lanka travel guide, but someone who is actually at home in the area you are visiting and knowledgeable about the activity you are doing and the sights you are seeing.
In addition to these customized tours, they sprinkle a little extra on top of each trip - authentic local experiences which make their tours in Sri Lanka incredibly unique. These experiences allow you to really engage with locals and learn more about Sri Lankan life.
For me, that included visiting a local family where I learned how to make roti and coconut sambal (and yes, I got to eat it too!) before hanging out with the kids over a cup of tea for me and a bird for their cat.
It was a great opportunity to see how people in rural Sri Lanka live and thanks to my guide Danuskha who was translating I was able to have proper conversations with them too.
Danushka also took me to a small sugarcane factory where I learned all about their sweet business.
It was a bit like visiting Willie Wonka's chocolate factory especially as I was allowed to dip my fingers in the fresh sugar syrup and got to take home a bag of homemade candy (it may have been my overly enthusiastic mentioning of how much I liked them that made this one happen - I don't think it comes with each tour).
Whether you are interested in food, activities with kids, art or nature, Ayu in the Wild will customize your trip with local experiences according to your interest – true experiential travel that offers you an insight into the real Sri Lanka. You will definitely learn something with your stressfree holiday and if you get very lucky, you even get candy!
To find out more about Ayu in the Wild tours and their services check out sample itineraries here.
I was invited by Ayu in the Wild to experience a Sri Lanka wildlife tour and some of their authentic local experiences, but as you know I only work with and rave about people and products that I truly like.