Looking to get off the beaten track? Through Duara you can experience real Sri Lankan village lifestyle in Hasalaka, a Buddist village surrounded by rice fields. Duara is more than just accommodation: you stay with a local family, cook and eat with them and take part in the villagers' daily activities. Your stay benefits the host family and village directly, as part of the payment goes to a local community organisation. There are several host families who can usually each host two travellers.
The Duara Travels experience includes three meals per day. You will be served local food, the same eaten by your host family. You can help them cook it and learn about Sri Lankan cuisine!
Note that there are several host families in the village. Once you make the booking, your English speaking Duara Contact, Jayasiri, will arrange one of the host families for you. If you are a group of three or more, you might be split into separate host families. This village is quite remote from the tourism hotspots, so you will most likely be the only travellers here.
The hidden valley of Hasalaka is situated right in the middle of the Sri Lankan island. The neighbourhood is four kilometres away from Hasalaka town, giving you the opportunity - and challenge - to detach yourself from the stress and buzz of modern urban life.
If you are interested in Buddhist culture, this is a good place to explore and indulge into the Buddhist lifestyle. If you’re lucky, you can take part in some temple festivities. The rice fields surrounding the village are the base of the villagers’ livelihoods. You are welcome to join farming activities and learn the secrets of various types of rice cultivation.
One of the best ways to spend a day is to hike along the Hasalaka river to the beautiful Rathna Waterfalls. Good place for a bath and a picnic! The hiking path has a nice view to the mountains. Be careful during the wet season.
Zugang für Gäste
You have your own private room but the rest is shared with your host family. Conditions here are very local and simple, so do not mistake it for a luxury holiday! Be prepared to face a language barrier and overcome it by using body language and a translation app, they really work.
Interaktion mit Gästen
You are highly encouraged to be active in taking part in your host family's and the villagers' daily activities. Smile, laugh and tag along. This is your chance to experience how Sri Lankan people live in the countryside.
Weitere wichtige Infos
If you are travelling with a family, shoot us a message so we can figure out a good family price for you!
THINGS TO DO IN HASALAKA:
Join daily Buddhist traditions and visit temples
Hike to the high Rathna Waterfalls and enjoy the mountain views
Experience a day as a rice farmer
Learn the secrets about Sri Lankan home cooked food
Enjoy the view at Hasalaka lake
Take a day trip to the huge Buddhist temple complex Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara which is located 15 min. from Hasalaka centre by car and have a boat ride at the lake Willuwa
- Be cautious about showing affection in public.
- Show respect to the local culture and religion. Dress modestly. Especially women are encouraged to cover knees and shoulders.
- Do not show up home intoxicated or drink alcohol at the premises.
- Watch your language around children, do not publish photos of them unless authorised by parents, and do not take them outside the home without their parents' permission.
- You are entering a vulnerable community. Make sure you have a valid travel insurance. Understand, that you will be held responsible for any damage you may cause to your host family, their neighbours or their belongings.
- In case you have any allergies or special diets, inform your Duara Contact beforehand.
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Duara Travels is about more than just accommodation. It offers wholesome experiences of local life in rural, developing parts of the world. With Duara, you live with a local family in Africa, Asia or Latin America. You cook and eat with the family and get to join daily activities in the village. Forget about pools and luxury suites, get ready for bucket showers!
By choosing Duara, you benefit the village directly. Your host family and Duara Contact earn from your payment. In addition, 15% goes to a local savings group or community organisation, supporting the whole village around you.
Duara was founded in 2015 by four passionate travellers who want to rethink the income distribution in the tourism industry. We want to offer travellers the chance to make a positive impact while exploring the hidden parts of the world.