Conde Nast Traveler have awarded SriLankaInStyle co-founder, Miguel Cunat, as 2021’s Top Travel Specialist for Sri Lanka. To celebrate this achievement, we’ve taken a look back over Miguel’s incredible Sri Lanka journey which spans almost two decades.
After years spent crisscrossing the globe, Miguel arrived in Sri Lanka in 2002 and instantly fell in love with the island, deciding to leave his beloved Spain and settle in Sri Lanka permanently. He spent the next couple of years exploring all corners of the country, and the people and places he encountered along the way convinced him that Sri Lanka was one of the best travel destinations in the world.
In 2005, Miguel co-founded SriLankaInStyle so that he could share the delights of Sri Lanka with others. Miguel was determined to create Sri Lanka journeys that went above and beyond the ordinary – itineraries that were not only customized to clients’ interests and preferences, but that also gave travelers an in-depth insight into Sri Lanka’s culture through exclusive travel experiences.
Miguel is particularly passionate about connecting travelers with the people of Sri Lanka during their stay, and over the last decade has built up a network of Sri Lanka’s most fascinating individuals to lead private experiences that give travelers a unique understanding of Sri Lankan culture.
“[Travelers] come to us because they feel we know the destination better than others. We pioneered 'experiential travel' in Sri Lanka a decade ago – we were the first to prioritise experiences in Sri Lanka itineraries as we believed in the magic of meeting interesting people during a journey around the island. […] Fast forward to 2021 and we now have around 45 different hosts that will welcome you into their homes and lives for memorable experiences that range from cooking demonstrations and walking tours to a photography masterclass or surf lesson with an ex-champion.”
SriLankaInStyle not only boasts the most varied experiences led by the most interesting guides – Miguel has spent two decades exploring every inch of the island, seeking out the most magnificent places in Sri Lanka including secret spots well away from the typical tourist trail. These adventures have given Miguel an intimate knowledge of the country’s astonishingly diverse landscapes and the unique culture and traditions of each region, enabling him to create truly innovative itineraries.
“This is a destination with thousands of years of history and tradition, a vibrant culture, exuberant nature and wildlife but also an exciting and challenging present and future. Knowing how to build a narrative that resonates with the client is extremely important. In a destination like Sri Lanka this means being a bit of a generalist, as you need to know enough history, politics, economics, architecture and design, etc... but also be adventurous enough to know how to build in hiking and biking, surfing and diving, depending on what clients have in mind.”
Today, SriLankaInStyle plans trips to Sri Lanka for people from all over the world:
“They trust us to help them make the most of the journey. For some, this means connecting them with interesting people along the way; for others, it means finding the most authentic and beautiful hideaways, or making the trip fun and engaging for the whole family. Increasingly so, it means making sure they travel in a way that is consistent with their beliefs and values – particularly concerning the environmental and social impact of travel. SriLankaInStyle is a Travelife Partner and last year we developed a mangrove-planting project to help offset the carbon emissions of our tours and protect the island’s incredible biodiversity.”
Miguel has always believed that the sky is the limit when organizing journeys around Sri Lanka, and aims not only to fulfil but also to exceed the expectations of each traveler, no matter how challenging the requests may be.
When asked about being named Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialist for Sri Lanka for 2021, Miguel said: “I am honoured and excited to be on the CNT list again – being featured is a great achievement and a reflection of the creativity and dedication of everyone at SriLankaInStyle.”
How to make this experience a part of your itinerary?
Our vision for our blog is to build an invaluable resource for independent inquisitive travelers wanting to travel to Sri Lanka in a way that goes beyond the conventional and takes people further and deeper both physically and emotionally. It’s about having a fuller, richer, more meaningful trip. We also want to be a practical resource. Every article is ‘actionable’, you are able to make it part of your itinerary in some way. For tips on how to make any of these tips part of your journey send us an enquiry