Experience the essence of Sri Lanka

If you’d like to experience the true essence of Sri Lanka, you need to step off the tourist path and travel deep within the interior of the island, along gravel roads, into the villages and rural countryside of the island, to where smiles are plentiful on sunburnt faces, where food is cooked on earthen stoves, where green is the dominant colour in the landscape, where life is lived slowly.
Enjoy the rural experience at Horathapola during your stay, and get a taste for the slow and peaceful lifestyle that is still lived by many locals even to this day.

Go for a Cycle Ride

If you feel like doing some gentle exercise, grab one of our bicycles and take a ride around the village in the vicinity of our property. It’s a great way to get a feel for rural life as you pass by village temples, paddy-fields, and plantations while you explore village trails on a bicycle.

Explore the Village on a Guided Walk

There’s no better way to “live as the locals do” than to walk in their footsteps. We offer a guided walking tour with one of our staff, through the neighboring village. The walk is an ideal opportunity to meet and chat with friendly locals, bird watching and visiting an organic coconut oil mill as well as a beautiful ancient shrine where locals offer Pooja to the gods.

Open Market Adventure

Sri Lankan Farmer’s Market or “Pola” in the local language, is a weekly village affair that is a riot of colours and smells. If you feel adventurous, accompany one of our staff on a visit to the local “Pola”. The absence of supermarkets in rural villages still means that Farmers’ Markets are the centre of trade. The market has a vibrant buzz of activity, with vendors trying to out-yell each other while buyers jockey for position at their favourite stall to get to the freshest produce. There are no digital weighing scales the old-fashioned balance scale with weights is still the primary instrument of measure. We love the colours of the market, from sacks of red chillies and garden-fresh greens, vividly coloured and shaped vegetables and fruits, and more types of grain that you can possibly imagine. The scent of hot, spicy, freshly made street food wafts through the open-air market tempting you to try some of the famous “Vadey” or dhal-fritters.

(Kindly note that the market is only active on Saturday. There is absolutely no pressure to make any purchases and you can simply do a walk-through)

Ride on a Bullock Cart

Bullock carts were a popular mode of transportation in Sri Lanka as recently as the 1960s and are still used for goods transportation in certain faraway villages.

Hop into our bullock cart for a unique and enjoyable tour around our property, while exploring the extent of Horathapola’s plantations. Besides being a unique experience, the ride is a great opportunity to see an organic plantation at work. We offer all guests a complimentary ride. We treat our bulls and every animal on the property with love, so you needn't worry about animal-cruelty.

Coconut estate tour

Join our estate manager on a walking tour of our organic coconut estate and hear all about the coconut industry in Sri Lanka, which products are made using coconuts as well as the coconut tree, observe the fascinating day to day operations of the estate and speak to our wonderful staff as you meander along the tranquil walking trails under the shade of swaying coconut trees.

Sunrise or sunset walk along the paddy fields

One of the main productions at Horathapola apart from Coconut, is the heirloom rice we grow on our own paddy fields. The stretch of paddy fields lies at the bottom of the Horathapola Estate and is a must visit if you're spending a couple of days with us. Our manager will be more than happy to accompany you on a sunset or sunrise walk where you will be able to see how rice is grown in Sri Lanka, meet the farmers and have a chance to snap some beautiful photos. Sunsets are especially magical over the paddy fields.

Visit local families that produce Cashew

Cashews are a delicacy across the world now and we have been growing and enjoying these delicious nuts for centuries here in Sri Lanka. A number of families grow Cashew for a living around these parts and if you're interested we would be happy to take you to one of the local village homes where you can meet one of the local families that produces Cashew nuts for cooking and roasting.