From £2,970 per person.
Includes accommodation, a/c transport with chauffeur guide, activities & taxes.
Head north along the west coast onto Kalpitiya peninsula, famous for kite surfing, dolphins and quiet, unspoilt beaches.
Two nights in a captivatingly quirky retreat of rustic cabanas and villas situated on a tranquil two-kilometre stretch of pristine beach in an undiscovered part of the island. The resort offers a relaxing and discrete getaway for a sand-between-the-toes, Robinson Crusoe experience!
There's lots to do locally near Alankuda Beach including whale and dolphin watching during the season (November to April), wind and kite surfing, water skiing, fishing, cycling, kayaking, and yoga. Or just relax by the beach or next to the salt-water swimming pool at this 'no news, no shoes' resort.
Further afield (not included in price):
- Jeep safari in Wilpattu NP, Sri Lanka’s largest wildlife reserve and home to elephants, leopards, sloth bears, deer, wild boar and a variety of bird life.
- Visit Anuradhapura, the first capital of ancient Lanka in the 3rd century BC.
Drive southeast to Habarana, the ‘crossroads’ of the Cultural Triangle.
Two nights in an open-plan forest lodge built sensitively with its natural surroundings and nestled in ‘jungle’ near a picturesque lake. It is a unique property in a stunning setting with an eclectic charm at every turn, an ideal retreat for nature lovers.
Early morning hot air balloon flight around the Sigiriya and Dambulla area to view the surrounding countryside at dawn – a very special experience indeed. Wind conditions permitting. Season from November to April.
Jeep safari in Minneriya NP, which forms an ‘elephant corridor’, along with Kaudulla NP, for the vast herds roaming the eastern region of the country from Trincomalee through to Wasgamuwa, Maduru Oya and Gal Oya NPs further south. The park is home to a variety of animals such as elephants, leopards, toque macaques, purple faced langurs, sloth bears, sambar and spotted deer, and about 160 bird species, including many endemics. Minneriya is home to the ‘gathering’ between August and October, when large herds of elephants congregate around Minneriya Lake to seek the last available water at the end of the dry season.
Head south to the Knuckles Mountain Range, a World Heritage Site of majestic mountains, lush green valleys and crystal clear streams.
Two nights in an eco lodge surrounded by a terraced hillside tea estate with possibly one of the finest views anywhere on the island.
Hiking and trekking, bird watching and wildlife, camping safari, adventure activities, tea factory visit and tea picking, local community projects.
Continue southwest to Kitulgala in the foothills of the western Hill Country.
Two nights in a 'glamping' riverside camp alongside rapids and surrounded by mountains.
An adrenaline-pumping start to the day with a white-water rafting expedition over eight, Grade 2-3 rapids along a 7 km stretch of the Kelani River! The Kelani River has been dammed for a hydroelectric plant upstream so the river’s flow is dependent on the plant’s requirements.
Visit Belilena Cave, one of the larger prehistoric caves on the island, where the 30,000-year-old skeletal remains of 'Balangoda Man' (Homo sapien balangodensis) have been found in addition to microliths, bone implements, and food remnants.
Wander through the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve, which is a particularly good area for spotting lowland endemics including the Sri Lanka Myna, Green-billed Coucal, Spot-winged Thrush, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Brown-capped Babbler & Red-faced Malkoha.
Leisurely drive through spectacular mountain scenery and Sri Lankan 'jungle' to Dalhousie.
One night in a simple guesthouse near to the start of the pilgrimage trail to sacred Adam's Peak.
Reveille at 01.30 to join the pilgrimage trail to sacred Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada; 2243 metres). The 6000 or so steps take 3-4 hours to climb at a leisurely pace and are interspersed with tea stops, chats with locals and blessings from sadhus. An awe-inspiring sunrise producing the famous spectacle known as the ‘Shadow of the Peak’ is your reward. December to April is the pilgrimage season when the climb to Adam’s Peak can be very congested, especially at weekends, and on public holidays and Poya (full moon) days. This may mean you might not reach the peak!
Continue into the upper Hill Country, following the winding, vertiginous roads through the velveteen slopes of verdant tea plantations and past spectacular waterfalls and impressive mountain scenery on your way to Nuwara Eliya, the British colonial capital of the Hill Country and the highest town in Sri Lanka at 1900 metres above sea level.
Amble around the ‘City of Lights’ and enjoy a little piece of England in the tropics!
Scenic train journey to Ella in the southern Hill Country - subject to availability.
Two nights in an off-the-beaten-track and novel home-away-from-home located within a tea estate in an unspoiled valley in the hills above Ravana Falls near Ella.
Walks around Ella to Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock, the viewpoint of Lipton’s Seat, and Bambarakanda Falls, Sri Lanka’s highest waterfall.
Drop down to the hot and dry southern plain before continuing south to Yala.
Afternoon jeep safari in Yala NP, Sri Lanka’s principal wildlife reserve, with an expert tracker and specialised game viewing jeep designed to camouflage you from the wildlife while enhancing your viewing opportunities.
Two nights at a classic tented safari camp in the ‘buffer zone’ surrounding Yala NP.
All-day jeep safari in Yala NP, which is one of the island's best-known reserves and one of its largest. This region, known as the "Dry Zone", has mostly dry thorn scrub, interspersed with small dusty glades – the ideal habitat to view elephants, Sri Lanka's largest mammal. The park does have a varied landscape, however, from parkland to dense jungle on the plains, scrubland with rocky outcrops and several streams, small lakes and lagoons. The picturesque ocean frontage to the east has wide beaches and high sand dunes. A former hunting reserve, which was transformed into a nature park in 1938, Yala NP, also called “Ruhuna”, is currently home to over 390 elephants, several of which are tuskers, and about 120 leopards, reportedly the highest density of leopards in the wild anywhere in the world. Watching elephants go for their bath at sunset or seeing leopards laze about on the rocks at dusk are the most popular natural spectacles at Yala NP. However, you may also see other species of mammals such as sambar and spotted deer, wild boar, buffalo, musk deer, black bear, the unique small Loris, toque macaque and langur monkeys, jackal, mongoose, porcupine, civet cat, anteater, and the enigmatic sloth bear. Over 150 species of birds have been recorded in Yala NP, including the Sri Lankan Junglefowl, White-bellied Fish Eagle, Painted Stork, Black-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Brown Fish Owl, Red-faced Malkoha, three species of bee-eaters, and large numbers of waders (including three species of pratincole and two thick-knees).
IMPORTANT – Yala NP is closed from 01 September for up to 2 months annually as a respite period for the animals and environment at the end of the dry season.
Early morning jeep safari in Yala NP.
Head west along the picturesque southern coastline to the attractive crescent-shaped bay of Mirissa, which is popular for surfing and snorkelling.
Two nights at a beachfront villa with direct views over the Indian Ocean.
Suggested actvity (not included in price):
- Early morning boat safari off the south coast to spot blue whales, the largest animal on Earth! Sperm, humpback and orca whales as well as large pods of dolphins are also regular sightings. Season from November to April.
Continue further west along the southern coastline to Galle.
Suggested actvity (not included in price):
- Late afternoon’s cycle ride around the paddy fields and local villages around Galle.
Two nights in a town villa built in harmony with the original colonial Dutch architecture of the 17th century within the ramparts of the Fort.
Early morning boat safari through the mangroves and lush vegetation along the Mahamodara River, which offers great opportunities for spotting birds, butterflies, monitor lizards, and much more! A variety of water-borne birds can be seen including Purple and Grey Herons, Large and Little Egrets, Indian Shag, and White-breasted, Common and Indian-pied Kingfishers. Among the forest dwelling birds are the Spotted Dove, Pompadour Green Pigeon, drongos, bee-eaters, parakeets, coucals, and barbets. The birds of prey include the Brahmini Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the Tank Eagle.
Amble around the ramparts and stroll through the Arab Quarter of Galle Fort, a World Heritage Site, before catching the flight home the following day.