Ultimate Sri Lanka Off the Beaten Track

Highlights

  • Stunning must-see cultural highlights at Sigiriya and Dambulla
  • Beautiful hikes through jungles, farms and forests
  • Spectacular wildlife at remote Gal Oya National Park
  • Authentic experiences with a local guide
  • Amazing boutique eco hotels
  • Picturesque Sri Lankan beaches
£3415 per person
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What you'll do

Arrival in Negombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be picked up from the airport and we will transfer you to the hotel. Spend the day acclimatising to the country, getting over any jetlag, and refresh ready for your whirlwind Sir Lankan adventure.

Relax by the pool or swim in the sea, or get to know the history of the area as you take a walk around the hotel and explore the old Dutch Canals.

 

 

Accommodation:

Villa Hundira (or similar)

Located just half an hour away from the airport but situated beside a tranquil lagoon lined with palm trees, Villa Hundira is the perfect place to discover your own quiet slice of paradise in Sri Lanka.

Transfer to Pallepola

After a delicious breakfast, you will be taken to Pallepola (3hrs).

The property has a 50 acre organic farm with stunning mountain views. Today you’ll explore the organic farm, learning about the day to day life on the farm, seeing the banana trees, coconut palms, papaya trees and more – it is an amazing place to walk around.

Take a walk through the farm, learning about the organic methods of cultivating coconuts, bananas and other crops on the farm, including black pepper, mangoes, papaya, cinnamon, coffee and cocoa.

You’ll also learn about the impact the Villas have on the local environment and community, as they provide fresh fruit and vegetables to help boost the economy of the local village, and exploit almost entirely renewable energy to keep the site running.

Accommodation:

Jim’s Farm Villa (or similar)

Jim’s Farm Villa is a luxury boutique hotel and yoga retreat with an Ayurvedic spa, set on a 50-acre eco-farm between Kandy and Dambulla.

Cultural highlights at Sigiriya and Dambulla

Today you will explore the cultural triangle, starting with Sigiriya in the early morning to avoid the crowds.

Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress located in the Northern Matale District. It’s a site of historical and archaeological significance and is dominated by an immense column of rock nearly 200m high. Spend 3 hours climbing the famous Sigiriya Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also known as ‘Lion Rock’ because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the Palace on the summit.

Lunch is at your leisure at the hotel before we head to Dambulla Cave Complex. This is one of the largest and best-preserved cave temple complexes in Sri Lanka – there are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the cave complex, and its many statues and paintings. Don’t forget to check out the hotel’s Ayurvedic massage facilities!

Accommodation

Jim’s Farm Villa (or similar)

Hike to Gammaduwa

After breakfast, take a short transfer (30mins) to the small village of Andawala, where your hiking trail for the day begins.

Your hike starts along tiny village paths before you travel across small paddy farms. Walk along irrigation streams for the first 2kms before turning off into the forest.

Then you will continue your journey through areas of forest interspersed with pepper farms until you reach the village of Hanguranketa. Here, take a short break and refill your bottles before the next stretch. The remaining hike is on rugged jeep paths until you reach the forest bungalow.

Accommodation

Gammaduwa Bungalow (or similar)

The bungalow lies in 7 acres of tea estate land with glorious mountain views, hill country tea trail walks, and mountain bike adventures. We offer luxurious guest house accommodation with superb Sri Lankan food cooked in traditional ways within a tranquil rural village environment.

Exploring Gammaduwa

This wonderful Bungalow is located on its own tea estate, which you’re free to explore at your lesiure today. After breakfast, spend the day exploring the local walking or biking trails, go for a swim in a beautiful waterfall, or simply relax and soak up the tranquil atmosphere.

You’ll also be able to spend time with your host, plucking tea and learning about how tea is made in their own small boutique tea factory – a real authentic experience not to be missed.

 

Accommodation

Gammaduwa Bungalow (or similar)

Gal Oya Lodge

Today, head to famous Gal Oya Lodge, located in the park of the same name.

On the way there break up the journey with a visit to a waterfall for a refreshing swim and a delicious lunch made with local produce from the nearby village.

The Gal Oya Lodge is a stunning eco wildlife resort and is the perfect base for the next 3 nights. The next days are wildlife-focused with game drives, boat drives, walks and more!

Spot elephants, cruise on Sri Lanka’s largest lake, or head out on a jeep safari with an expert guide to really make the most of this incredible, wild setting.

Accommodation

Gal Oya Lodge (or similar)

Gal Oya Lodge is a unique Sri Lanka ecolodge spread across 20 acres of private jungle. Take your time enjoying this natural paradise, and explore  on a walk with the Vedda neighbours, one of the last remaining communities of the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of Sri Lanka.

Wellawaya

You’ll now move from the wilderness to an eco-agro resort for the next 2 nights.

For centuries, agriculture has shaped the way of life for civilisations across Sri Lanka. Villages such as the one you are to visit were home to farmers who have inspired a the simple, wholesome life. Farmers are also held in high regard for their service to these traditional lands, once thriving with a culture that truly represents the heart of Sri Lankan hospitality.

You’ll stay at an icon of agro-tourism, which continues to embody this legacy within luxury accommodation in Wellawaya. Modeled after a traditional village home, your stay will be an authentic yet luxurious look into the life of the rural communities that have made their homes here for centuries, and is a truly unique place to stay. 

There is much to do here, from farming and visiting waterfalls to exploring historical sites, and your host will make recommendations as per your mood on the day.

Accommodation

Jetwing Kaduruketha

Relax and enjoy the wonderful Sri Lankan coast

Summer Option: 

Days 11-13 will be spent on another side of Sri Lanka, far east from the cacophony of Colombo. This sandy stretch of pristine coastline rests upon the Indian Ocean, where in the mornings you will wake to the serene sounds of crashing waves.

Here in Pottuvil, hotels and villas dot an unexplored shoreline flourishing with natural wonders. Nestled amidst a sprawling coastal estate of coconut trees, the villa is a plush hideaway neighbouring the world-famous surfing hotspot of Arugam Bay.

You can spend the next 3 nights surfing, swimming, exploring the wild jungles nearby, you can head into town for something to eat and drink, or just do nothing and lounge by the pool. This villa is perfect spot for either. 

Accommodation 

Kottukal Beach House (or similar)

On Day 14, you’ll leave the calm of the beach and slowly make your way back to the west coast for our departure. You’ll stay in the must-see iconic Galle Fort – the perfect spot to spend your last night in Sri Lanka. Walk around the ramparts, grab a drink in one of the trendy bars and enjoy a delicious meal before your departure the next day.

Accommodation

Fort Bazaar (or similar)

Winter Option:

If you’re travelling in the winter months, days 11-14 will be spent by the stunning beaches of Ahangama for your last four nights of complete relaxation.

Indulge in a treat to the senses as the gentle breeze enfolds you and the warm rays kiss your skin at one of Sri Lanka’s most breath-taking seaside villages!

Situated along the South coast in the outskirts of Ahangama, Mosvold Villa offers a peaceful getaway to the discerning traveller, amidst palm-lined golden shores and azure blue seas. The villa combines the luxuries of a star class hotel with the comfort and privacy of a home to give you an experience unlike any other. 

Accommodation

Mosvold Villa

Departure Day

After your final breakfast in Sri Lanka, we will arrange a transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight.

We hope you’ve had an unforgettable time in Sri Lanka and have made memories that will stay with you forever, and have you dreaming of returning to the island that you feel you’ve not just visited, but experienced like a local.

What's included

Included

  • Accommodation for 14 nights
  • Breakfast for 15 days
  • 2 picnic lunches
  • All transfers
  • All entrance and activity fees for experiences listed in the itinerary
  • Water & refreshments during the activities
  • Organic farm tour with a local in Pallepola
  • Guided tour of Sigiriya
  • Exploration of Dambulla Cave Complex with a local
  • Guided hike from Andawala to Gammaduwa
  • Authentic tea plantation tour with a local
  • Game drives, boat trips and wildlife walks at Gal Oya Lodge
  • A unique stay at an agro-eco retreat in Wellawaya
  • A couple of days of free time to relax and explore Sri Lanka's coast
Your local host

Prateeque

Hi! My name is Prateeque, your host. I grew up in India, in Bangalore and after completing an engineering degree, I decided to not actually follow this path and chose to follow my passion of travel. I quickly got a job as an actual tour guide in the wonderful southern region of Kerala, India, for a few months and ended up staying for 2 years.

An opportunity opened up to go to Sri Lanka to become manager for the country, so when I was offered it, I jumped at the chance. During my time working in travel, I’ve travelled the majority of both India and Sri Lanka and discovered almost place you could possibly explore in these crazy, yet amazing countries.

I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and exploring, even as a kid. I would go out on my bike and get lost and then try to find my way back. I grew up in an urban setting, so any chance I could get I was out exploring. The feeling of release you get from the outdoors, is completely different to anything you can feel.

The one thing that inspired me to work in travel and pursue it as a long term career, is the feeling of pure amazement when discovering something new or seeing something spectacular for the first time. It’s an indescribable feeling, but you’re just totally immersed in this place and you just forget about everything else for a while.

And seeing this look on people’s faces and being with them when they’re doing this, is something I found out very quickly when I was tour guide I absolutely loved and just had to pursue this further.

Another thing is, you always learn in travel, there’s always something new that comes up, whether it be an experience, untapped location, or new people, you’re always learning and this pushes me to find new things to do.

It’s fair to say that Sri Lanka is oversaturated, there are plenty of companies here offering the same tours to the same places. We however, like to go off the beaten track. It’s unbelievable how much there is to see in this wonderful country away from the main sights. For example, the busy national parks e.g. Udawalawe National Park can have up to 600 jeeps a day on it’s roads. But if you go just 2 hours away at Gal Oya national park, it’s much less busy and you can get much closer to the wildlife.

Prateeque image

Location

Your host will meet you at Bandaranaike International Airport, where you will be taken straight to your hotel near Negombo, on the south west coast of the country.

From there, you’ll head northwards and inland to your first stop, beautiful villas at an eco-farm near the village of Pallepola. You’ll then hike to your next stop, accommodation in an old colonial bungalow in Gammaduwa, before heading to your lodge in the midst of Gal Oya Valley National Park.

Your final stop before some time chilling on the beach comes at an eco agro-resort in Wellawaya, then it’s time to unwind. Depending on the time of year you’ll go to Pottuvil or Ahangama, before being transferred back to the airport for your homeward journey.

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