OFF THE BEATEN TRACK – SRI LANKA
A 17 Day Tour
NEGOMBO – PUTTALAM – CULTURAL TRIANGLE – KANDY – GAL OYA – ELLA – BELIHULOYA – KOGALLA
For those wanting to seek out Sri Lanka’s less chartered territory, this itinerary stitches together amazing experiences, especially for outdoor enthusiasts who really want to get underneath the skin of Sri Lanka, while enjoying wildlife experiences and hiking trails in some of the island’s most beautiful countryside. In 17 days, you will be able to zig-zag your way across the island’s west coast, into the northern cultural triangle winding your way down through tea country into forests and rivers, waterfalls and ancient cities in the plains. See wild elephants in Gal Oya National Park on a boating safari, traverse the iconic Nine Arches Bridge in Ella, discover little visited rural enclaves where life maintains its traditional village is little changed. This is a chance to experience some of the best off beat hidden gems that Sri Lanka has to offer.
- Visit the ancient UNESCO Word Heritage Site at Anuradhapura
- Enjoy off beat adventures in a rustic rural retreat offering a host of experiences perfect for all the family
- A visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy
- Off beat game drives n one of the country’s most beautiful and undiscovered national parks.
- Elephants in the wild
- Treks through tea fields to spectacular waterfalls
- Stay on an organic farm where coffee and tea are produced
- Bushwalking in true Sri Lankan wilderness while staying in a luxury bush camp
|Day 1||On arrival in Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport you will be met and transferred the short distance to The Wallawwa, a beautifully renovated country house hotel set amongst tropical gardens and just 15 minutes from Colombo airport.||Negombo||The Wallawwa|
|Day 2||After breakfast check out and transfer to Anamaduwa in the Puttalam District.
Spread throughout a large expanse of forest on the outskirts of a small village in Sri Lanka lies The Mudhouse – a private and seductive retreat totally off the beaten track and blessed with abundant birdlife, wildlife and natural beauty.
|Day 3||You will have the day at leisure to enjoy activities at the property. Activities include village bike rides, kayaking, cooking classes, birdwatching, visit the imposing Paramakanda Temple, which towers imposingly in the distance atop a giant rocky outcrop or join their naturalists on a guided nature trail.||Puttalam||The Mudhouse|
|Day 4||Full day to enjoy activities from the resort.||Puttalam||The Mudhouse|
|Day 5||Morning check out from the hotel and proceed to Anuradhapura. Check-in to Forest Rock Garden. Afternoon at leisure.||Anuradhapura||Forest Rock Garden|
|Day 6||This morning visit to the ancient Sacred City of Anuradhapura on a guided cycle tour. Discover its gigantic Stupas, second in size only to the Pyramids of Egypt, and the Sri Maha Bodhi, said to be the oldest documented tree on earth. Buddhists from around the country come to pay pilgrimage by offering lotus flowers at this most sacred of places.||Anuradhapura||Forest Rock Garden|
|Day 7||Morning visit to the famous Dambulla Cave Temple then continue to Kandy. Stay 2 nights at Taylor’s Hill, which is surrounded by tea estates, and about 35 minutes outside the city||Kandy||Taylor’s Hill|
|Day 8||Today you can choose to visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, or alternatively you can spend your day walking around the tea estates in the immediate vicinity of your hotel.||Kandy||Taylor’s Hill|
|Day 9||Morning departure from Kandy, driving south to Gal Oya National Park. Inaccessible for years due to civil war, Gal Oya has been dubbed ‘Sri Lanka’s forgotten National Park’ and is home to a wide variety of bird life as well as elephants on occasion. The park has the largest lake in Sri Lanka, and so unlike many of Sri Lanka’s other National Parks your wildlife spotting experience will by boat as well as jeep.||Gal Oya||Gal Oya Lodge|
|Day 10||After breakfast, depart your lodge and head into the National Park for a unique boat safari on the Senanayake Samudra reservoir. You will be accompanied by a naturalist who will identify the many species of birds you are likely to spot. Keep a look out for elephants that come to the banks in search of water. During the dry season, when the levels in the reservoir are low, elephants have occasionally been seen wading between the islands in search of food.||Gal Oya||Gal Oya Lodge|
|Day 11||Checkout from your hotel and transfer to Ella. You will check-in to the Amba Estate and have the rest of the day at leisure.||Ella||Amba Estate|
|Day 12||Nature lovers will enjoy walks around the estate or hiking up to the top of Ravana Falls where they enjoy a dip in the natural pools that have formed. Birdlovers should take a round with binoculars to spot the variety of species on the estate. All meals on the estate are made with organic produce grown on the farm and guests can pick their own vegetables and even learn how to cook traditional Sri Lankan dishes on request. Amba Estate produces its own range of organic artisan coffees, teas and spices; guests can go on a tour of the factory and learn about artisan teas and experience tea tasting.||Ella||Amba Estate|
|Day 13||This morning head for Ahaspokuna Bushwalks Camp. You will be met by one of their and walk the 2km hike along a narrow track, crossing streams and rock pools to the remote, undisturbed setting of the Bush Camp. Ahaspokuna Bushwalks Camp is hidden away in a large clearing of protected forest, and was so-named in reference to the nearby lake that is only fed by rainwater:
After lunch you are free to relax in and around the camp or join the experienced naturalist and a local tracker for a bush walk. The trackers are essential as they know the area well and there are hardly any discernible paths through the grassland and forest. They will also keep an experienced eye out for the signs of wildlife that make this region their home. These bush walks are designed for the more experienced walker: the trek can be steep in places and the terrain tough-going, but the scenery is rewarding, the guides are patient and you have an enormous sense of being away from it all, surrounded by nature.
Back in the camp there is time to freshen up before enjoying sundowner drinks and a delicious four-course dinner with wine. Following dinner there is an opportunity for a night walk around the camp site or choose to relax beside the campfire before retiring to your tent.
|Belihuloya||Ahaspokuna Bushwalks Camp|
|Day 14||Breakfast at the hotel.
The programme for the day offers the opportunity of morning and afternoon bushwalks, accompanied again by the naturalist and tracker, or a challenging full day trek for those who are keen to explore further. Alternatively you can enjoy an easy walk to visit a nearby village, or simply relax in and around the camp, watching the birds, reading a book and enjoying the day bed.
|Belihuloya||Ahaspokuna Bushwalks Camp|
|Day 15||Morning departure heading south to Koggala. Tri is Sri Lanka’s first truly contemporary sustainable luxury design hotel.||Koggala||Tri|
|Day 16||Morning Village and Paddy fields Cycling Tour, a great opportunity to witness the daily life of the local people and explore the scenic landscape.||Koggala||Tri|
|Day 17||Transfer to the airport for your return flight.|