Hidden Gems of Sri Lanka

17 days

Indicative cost incl. flights:

 

From £3,600pp / £4,240pp
May / Aug

 

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Day 1
Overnight flight to Sri Lanka.
Day 2
After arriving into Colombo Airport, your private chauffeur guide will meet and drive you 1 hour north to Horathapola Estate, a converted bungalow set within a large coconut plantation - a great place to relax after your flight!
Day 3
This morning you'll be driven 3 hours north to Wilpattu National Park, where you'll visit the nearby Anuradhapura ancient city ruins and stupas this afternoon.
Day 4
Today you have a full day game drive in Wilpattu National Park, giving you the best chance to spot the elusive leopard, elephant, sloth bear, sambar deer and exotic birds.
Day 5
A 4.5 hour drive will bring you to the northernmost area of the island, closer to southern India than Sri Lanka, with sights and culture to reflect that: Jaffna. This afternoon you'll take a tour around the city, visiting the Nelavarai Bottomless Well, Keerimalai Springs, Jaffna Fort and the stupas of Kandarodai.
Day 6
Today we will take you for a tour around Jaffna's low-lying islands, including beautiful Kayts which is connected to the mainland by Panay Bridge. You'll discover quaint beaches, lagoons and temples. There is also an optional boat trip across to Delft Island with its wild horses.
Day 7
There will be a 5 hour drive south to the cultural centre of Sigiriya. You will stop by the Dambulla Cave Temples later today (sunset is a great time to visit!) to see the numerous golden Buddha statues and ancient mural paintings..
Day 8
This morning will be an early start to climb Pidurangala Rock ready to be at the summit for sunrise. Your hotel can give you a packed breakfast so you can eat whilst enjoying the views of Sigiriya Rock opposite, and 360 degree jungle vistas! You can then opt to climb Sigiriya Rock straight afterwards or simply relax for the rest of the day and head there for sunset.
Day 9
Transfer 2.5 east to Pasikudah, where you can relax for the next few days on the long golden sandy beaches.
Day 10
Day at leisure in Pasikudah to relax by the pool or on the beach.
Day 11
Another day at leisure in Pasikudah to relax by the pool or on the beach.
Day 12
You will head 2.5 hours south to Gal Oya National Park. The park is home to the island's largest inland body of water, a haven for wild elephants that can often be seen swimming from islet to islet. Take a boat safari to try and spot them.
Day 13
Today you have a jeep safari and walk in the National Park, followed by a jungle walk with the Chief of the local indigenous Veddha tribe.
Day 14
Transfer roughly 4 hours north to your unique property overlooking the impressive Knuckles Mountain Range. The afternoon will be free to relax or explore the grounds.
Day 15
Day at leisure near the Knuckles Mountain Range to either enjoy a guided hike, explore a working tea estate, enjoy a cooking class with a chef from your accommodation, or relax by the pool with a massage.
Day 16
Transfer 2.5-3.5 hours back towards Colombo, where you'll spend your last day at a beautiful boutique hotel promising 'a taste of Old Ceylon with a luxurious twist' in rural Gampaha. From here you can visit rural temples and monasteries completely away from the tourist trail
Day 17
Fly home from Colombo Airport today after a fascinating trip through Sri Lanka's hidden gems.

Everything we do is tailor-made; our itineraries are just suggestions to give you an idea of what is possible. Please contact us so we can tailor the perfect holiday exclusively for you.

This is the perfect itinerary for those who love going off the beaten track, keen to explore the real hidden gems of Sri Lanka. The country’s northern and eastern regions have been slowly emerging since the civil war officially ended in 2009; because of the years of isolation these parts of the island are untouched and devoid of many tourists, making them ideal for more intrepid travellers. Due to Sri Lanka’s unique island climate, the north and eastern areas are best visited during our spring and summer months, in complete contrast to the rest of the country.

Our 17 day Hidden Gems of Sri Lanka tour starts by heading directly north to the charming Horathapola Estate converted bungalow, set within a working coconut plantation, Next stop is Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Sri Lanka’s original ancient cities. You’ll have a full day safari in the nearby Wilpattu National Park, a chance to spot elephants, sloth bear, sambar deer, exotic birds and the elusive leopard. From here the trip heads up to Sri Lanka’s far north, Jaffna; argued to be more like India than Sri Lanka, this region was hit extremely hard by the civil war. Not a lot of tourists reach Jaffna so it feels very authentic and exciting.

The journey then heads south to the Cultural Triangle to explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Dambulla Cave Temples. You’ll also climb the lesser-known Pidurangala Rock at sunrise, which is adjacent to Sigiriya and therefore offers stunning 360-degree views of the valleys, jungle and Sigiriya Rock! Travel east to Passikudah, a quiet coastal area with the most gorgeous long, sweeping beaches – the best place to completely switch off and relax.

Next up you have a visit to Gal Oya National Park, a beautiful and untouched area with the country’s largest inland body of water, where you can enjoy a boat safari, jeep safari and even meet the local indigenous tribe! You’ll then transfer up to the Knuckles Mountain Range for a Tea Country experience and hillside hikes with stunning views, finally ending with your last night in a traditional Sri Lankan family mansion-come-boutique-hotel surrounded by pineapple estates.

1 night Horathapola Estate- 2 nights Wilpattu National Park – 2 nights Jaffna – 2 nights Sigiriya – 3 nights Pasikudah Beach – 2 nights Gal Oya National Park – 2 nights Knuckles Mountains – 1 night Gampaha


Where you'll go

What you'll do

Where you'll stay

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