This awesome tour takes you to some of the most magnificent experiences in Sri Lanka, where you will get 14 days to experience nature, culture and trekking adventure in Big Island. It may be a memorable experience in your life.
Your expedition starts from Wilpattu, with wildlife safaris in one of the biggest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Your brief hike through Sigiriya ancient rock fortress which is a UNESCO WORLD heritage site and it dates back to 5th century AD. Polonnaruwa is one of Sri Lanka’s ancient capital cities and part of the famous ‘Cultural Triangle’ that would be done on bikes.
You will observe vegetation in Sri Lanka through Ilulukumbura to Riverston trekking. Riverston or Kirimatiyakanda peak is generally covered with mist and this area is exposed to strong winds, thus walking through is sometimes very difficult. You will meet many rare and endemic flora and fauna; such as, endemic Tennent’s Horned Lizard, Sri Lanka white-eye, rare Mountain frog ( polypedates eques ), Barnes Cat Snake etc
Kandy was the last stronghold of the Buddhist political power against colonial powers. It is also the home of the Temple of the Tooth relic. It’s Sri Lanka’s second largest city and home to a Sinhalese cultural tradition of which Sri Lankans are justifiably proud.
Rafting at Kitulgala is our main rafting location Kithulgala had a bout of fame, when it was chosen as a prime location in the filming of David Lean’s 1957 award winning film ‘Bridge on the River Kwai.’
you should reach the 2,240-meter high peak; Adam’s Peak – the island’s fourth highest – at dawn to witness a glorious sunrise and the mountain’s shadow, cast by the rising sun onto the clouds below. Legend has it that the footprint was originally carved in the rock, which is now covered by an oversized reproduction set in cement, made by the Buddha on his third visit to the island.
You can explore inhabited areas through Bogawantalawa-Galpothuyaya Trail, Exploring Kinchigune Village, and a private jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park, the land of Elephants.
A walk in Galle Dutch Fort which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka wil enable you to admire the colonial influce on modern day life while witnessing the largest Mammal on earth; Blue whales, in their natura habitat in the sea off Mirissa will make your Sri Lanka trip a lifetime experience to cherish.
Your last day would be spent in Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka experencing the modern day busy life before your depart from this magical isle!
Upon your arrival in Sri Lanka, you will have a meet and greet with your chauffeur who will drive you to our very own campsite bordering the Wilpattu National Park. Known as Big Game Safari Campsite, the camp is located 20 minutes away from the entrance of the park and has comfortably furnished tents with attached partitioned toilets. After lunch at the campsite followed by refreshing yourself post flight, you will embark on evening jeep safari at the national park. Wilpattu National Park is the oldest and largest national wildlife park in Sri Lanka with a variety of animals including the famous Sri Lankan elephant who you’ll be able to witness as they gather in herds by the lake to bathe and drink water. Since the park was closed for visitors for many years and recently opened its doors for safari goers, the park still holds a sense of virgin territory and is a must-see attraction for those wishing to explore unchartered wildlife in Sri Lanka. After your safari you will be heading back to the camp for dinner and your first night in exotic Sri Lanka.
After breakfast at the Big Game Campsite, you will be driven to Dambulla where you will be visiting Sigiriya. You will check-in to your hotel and freshening up, you will begin your climb up Sigiriya in the evening. Sigiriya, also known as the Lion Rock Fortress gets its name from the way one must climb up the monument – which is through the open jaws (giriya) of the lion (Sinha). However, now the only remains of this lion figure are the giant paws sculpted onto the side of the rock. The rock rises a staggering 600 feet above the shrub jungles of the surrounding area and was once proposed to be named as the 8th Wonder of the World putting it in the leagues of the Grand Canyon and Pyramids. Whist you tour the rock, make sure to watch out o Afterwards you will head back to the hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
Elephas Resort & Spa
You’re in for a treat today as you will be transferred to Polonnaruwa post breakfast. The best part? Unlike being chauffeured, you will be cycling yourself to today’s destination – and don’t worry about your luggage as we will be transferring it via vehicle. Polonnaruwa is the second oldest kingdom of ancient Sri Lanka dating back to the 13th century. The cycling track is a smooth one on a fairly flat and open terrain which will be taking you through a forest patch. On your way, you will be passing the Minneriya Tank built by King Mahasen that covers an area of approximately 4670 acres. Afterwards you will be checking into the hotel and have lunch before embarking on an adventure to discover this old town for the rest of the day.
Deer Park Hotel
Today you will be leaving behind the dry zones of Sigiriya and be driven to the center of our island where you will begin your ascent of the Knuckles Mountain Range located between Kandy and Matale districts. After checking into your hotel, having lunch and freshening up, you will begin an evening trek up the Knuckles forest that covers an area of about 160 squared kilometers. This location is known for its scenic beauty and unique landscape and is without doubt the most scenic part of the island’s highlands that contain some of the most rugged, spectacular and breathtaking mountain scenery in the island. During your 3 hour trek you will learn how the mountain range represents almost all of the major climatic zones of Sri Lanka which will undoubtedly arouse interest of any nature enthusiasts and amaze any botanist or researcher. Afterwards you will trek back to your hotel for dinner and a nightcap.
Sir John’s Bungalow
Post breakfast you will be driven to the central city of Kandy, Sri Lanka’s last kingdom before it succumbed into the hands of the British colonizers. The central location along with the thick foliage provided protection for locals to fight against colonizers through guerilla warfare. When in Kandy, you will check-in to your hotel that overlooks the Kandy Lake. Your city tour will begin with a visit to a gem museum to watch locals at work, afterwards a batik factory to see how beautiful batik designs are made through hard workmanship and finally to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the most important destination for Buddhists visiting Sri Lanka followed by a cultural dance that happens in the temple for its daily religious rituals before you head back to your hotel for dinner and a nightcap.
Today will be a day of pure adventure as you will be white water rafting down the Kitulgala River, a section of the infamous Kelani River which has a white water section. This is an adventure suited for amateurs as well as skilled professionals done under the safety and watchful eye of our highly trained staff to ensure utmost comfort and safety levels whilst you enjoy yourself. During the river run you are bound to feel the thrill of adrenaline as you soar through the waters. As the river widens you will have the opportunity to stop and view the scenic location that was used to shoot the 1956 film ‘Bridge over river Kwai’ and on a clear day allowing professional divers with correct equipment the opportunity to dive and go see the remnants of the carriages and bridge from the original film. After your thrill down the white waters, you will go on a trek down the Makandawa Rainforest, one of the oldest forest reserves in the country. Here, you will have the opportunity to see endemic birds and other biodiversity. Afterwards, you head back to your hotel followed dinner and overnight stay in Kitulgala.
Depending on the time of your travel, you will begin your ascent to the Adams Peak. During the season of December to May you will begin this climb at night of the previous day (day 6) and during the season of June to November you will begin this climb early in the morning today (day 7). Adams Peak is the island’s 4th highest mountain with a peak at 2,240 meters in height and looms over massive hills covered with a lush green jungle, making it a great place to view birds and butterflies. There is a mythical legend surrounding the footprint – which is now covered by an oversized reproduction in cement – found at the peak of the summit. Buddhists believe it to be the footprint made by Buddha during his 3rd visit to the island, Christians believe it is the footprint of Adam after he was banished from the Garden of Eden (hence the name ‘Adams Peak’) while other Christians believe it to be of St. Thomas the Apostle and Hindus believe it to be the footprint of Lord Shiva. The mountain is also known as the ‘butterfly mountain’ due to the large number of butterflies to who visit the peak to perish every year. Although it usually takes about 4 hours to reach the summit, during the months of pilgrimage, it can take up to 30 minutes to reach from one step to another. The summit overlooks beautiful lush flora and fauna as well as provides an uninterrupted look into the skyline causing most climbers to prefer a night ascent so they can witness the glorious sunrise in the misty morning hours. After spending some time at Adams Peak and enjoying snacks along the way, we will begin our descent to have lunch at the guest house and rest before dinner followed by an overnight stay.
Slightly Chilled Hotel
Your day will be spent amidst nature as you will be going on a nature trail in Bogawantalawa after breakfast. This trail will take you across 22 kilometers for eight and a half hours through incredible local diversity – forests, jungles, tea plantations, grasslands with ascents and descents, flat terrain, desolate and inhabited areas with changing types of vegetation showing you spectacular views of Sri Lanka you will not be able to experience with anyone else. You will begin your trek at the Bogawantalawa tea plantation itself and rapidly climb up through a jungle terrain. Once you come out of the jungle, you will reach a more open grassland which is similar to the terrains of the infamous Horton Plains. Here you will definitely see the footprints of the sambhur deer that roam around in this area and even the animals themselves if you’re lucky! Along the way, as you follow the river you will notice a number of manmade holes which are a result of gem mining that happens in this area. Afterwards you will go through a shrub-jungle which will lead you go the ‘non-peril’ estate and once you come out of the shrub-jungle you will be able to see for miles ahead including the Samanalawewa reservoir and dam. Furthermore as you reach the ‘non-peril estate’ you will pass by the tea plucker’s homes, vegetable plots and a small nursery school and finally the estate itself! As you head down through the tea plantation, you will get to a sparse and rocky area, and continue through forest patches where you can see bears, monkeys and a wide variety of birds. This part of the descent is rather steep but the panoramic views are incredible! The final part of the trail leads down through a dense pine tree plantation and finishes up at the small village of ‘Galpothuthenna’. You will then be picked up from here and driven to your campsite overlooking Samanalawewa Reservoir for dinner and stay the night.
Kinchigune Adventure Camp
Pre-breakfast, you will engage in a canoeing expedition down the calm waters of the Samanalawewa reservoir. You are completely free to decide if you wish to go for a leisurely paddle for a couple of hours or venture out into the mouth of Belihuloya river and spend few hours of exploring the perimeter of the reservoir with its surrounding mountains. Afterwards you will proceed to Kinchigune Village and meet the locals to experience and witness the village lifestyle followed by a locally prepared lunch. This is a historic town of blacksmiths, where ancient villagers made steel weaponry for the army of the Great Sinhalese King Dutugamunu and even to Damascus Steel, the world’s finest makers of steel. Afterwards you will take part in a Bodhi Puja, a Buddhist religious ceremony to understand how Buddhism is deeply rooted in their lifestyles.
You will start driving towards the Land of Elephants; Udawalawe after lunch. You will reach our campsite ‘Big Game Safari Camps’ where you will enjoy a sumptuous dinner after refreshing yourselves. The Safari drivers are planned for the following day to explore the jungle.
Big Game Tented Safari Campsite – Udawalawe
After breakfast at the campsite, you will be able explore the nearby village and witness their way of life or engage in a Cooking experience with the camp chef followed by Lunch. Leave for Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe to witness the bottle feeding of milk to Elephant Calves at 2.30pm and then proceed on a 4WD open top jeep safari to the Udawalawe National Park which is Sri Lanka’s oldest and first national park. The park is said to be home to at least 400 elephants residing within the park boundaries and a 2011 census reported that there are 5800 elephants around the island. When on safari in the park, you will be able to catch a glimpse of these legendary animals as they are famous for their sighting as they gather at the park’s waterhole in herds to feed and bathe. In addition to the park’s main attraction, you will also be able to see many water buffaloes, water monitor lizards, sambhar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopards as well as birds such as the hornbills, eagles and the peculiar red faced malkoha for those bird watching enthusiasts. All of this will be shown to you by our experienced and knowledgeable naturalists who will ensure you have the best wildlife safari experience! Back at your campsite for dinner and overnight stay.
Big Game Tented Safari Camp – Udawalawe
After the greenery of the past few days, your final couple of days in Sri Lanka will be spent by the blue ocean, getting on some much needed tan – a mandatory thing to do when vacationing in an exotic country! Today you will be driven to Galle, an ancient port city in the south of Sri Lanka which is also said to be the legendary Tarshish mentioned in the Bible that was also the country’s first international commerce and trade center that came about during the times of colonization. Today, Galle is a bustling city speckles with locals and tourists alike and is the busy administrative center of the south. Galle is also known for its famous Unawatuna Bay, where the sea is protected by the reef making it a beautiful destination for very safe swimming. You will be touring the city and cover many World Heritage Sites such as the Old Dutch ‘Star’ Fort, the Groote Kerk an old Dutch Church, the Dutch Government House, the New Oriental Hotel, an old bell tower and a tide-based sewage system that was introduced by the Dutch. Afterwards you will head back to your hotel to freshen up and spend the rest of your day by the pool or beach followed by dinner and a stay.
You will have an early morning – 5am in fact as you will be going whale watching in Mirissa and you will have to be at the harbor by 6.15am during the season which is from November to April every year. The southern coast of Sri Lanka is one of the best places to see Blue Whales and boasts of the longest blue whale season in the world putting Sri Lanka on an international bucket list. This is due to the annual migratory route taken by the whales as they travel from the Horn of Africa up to the waters of the Arabian Sea. You will be able to observe blue whales, sperm whales, byrde’s whales, dwarf sperm whale, spinner dolphin, striped dolphin and the indo-pacific bottlenose dolphin. After your morning expedition you will head back to the hotel and spend the rest of your day lounging about at the hotel.
Your final full day in Sri Lanka will be spent in the commercial capital of the country – Colombo. After breakfast you will be driven to Colombo and check-in at your hotel in Colombo, followed by a tour of the city, with a shopping expedition and dinner at a restaurant in Colombo. Popularized by the middle-eastern traders who used the Colombo port as an exchange center who came to Sri Lanka to gather ivory and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and pepper which were later sold in Europe for high prices. Subsequently Colombo became an important location for colonizers due to the position of the city’s port that was extremely useful for trading activities. Even though Colombo is a commercial city, you can still find many places for leisure and fun activities. Our city tour will be conducted in such a wat that even students will have the opportunity to experience the melting pot of cultures that make up Colombo and Sri Lanka while they learn about its history of trade, power and communities.
After breakfast you will be driven to the airport for your flight back home with many wonderful memories of Sri Lanka and a longing to visit again for a taste of exotic adventure and relaxation!
Please note that you are expected to check-in at least 180 minutes before your expected time of departure.
Includes / Excludes
- Accommodation in the above mentioned hotels/ campsites/ guest houses on double sharing basis.
- Meal Plan to be on Half Board Basis (Breakfast and Dinner) at all hotels/campsites.
- Meet & Greet Service at the Airport.
- Transportation throughout the tour in an Air Conditioned vehicle with a top notch Driver guide
- Entry Permits to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Polonnaruwa Historical Site Dambulla Cave Temple & Kandy Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
- Cycling Experience in Polonaruwa Historical Site.
- Jeep Safaris in Wilpattu & Udawalawe National Parks in Private Jeeps including park entry fees.
- White Water Rafting Expedition in Kelani River with well experieced river guides with safety equipment.
- Guided Trekking Trails In Kncukes & from Bogowantalawa to Belihuloya with well experience local trekkers including relevant Forest department fees
- Adam's Peak Climb with local trekkers with snacks & coffee during the hike.
- Canoeing in Samanalawewa Reserviour,village visit and lunch in a village house.
- Visit to Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe.
- Whale Watching in the sea off Mirissa in a shared boat.
- All Government Taxes and service charges
- Any International or Domestic flights.
- Any Visa fee or ETA fee. (Electronic Travel Authorization)
- Christmas & New Year Eve dinner supplement. (24th & 31st December)
- Perahera Supplement at Kandy Hotel during the Perahera Period.
- Any additional beverage or food.
- Early Check-in or Late Checkout Charges at Hotels.
- Any tips to the staff.
- Any expense of personal requirements telephone, laundry, hotel extra bills etc.)
- Any additional expenses, other than mentioned in the inclusions list above.
- Any expenditure of personal nature like table drinks, laundry, tip, telephone calls, soft/ hard drinks, still/video camera fee (if any) etc.
- Tipping to the local Driver Guide.
When it comes to the accommodation, all the reservations are subject to availability at the time of confirmation, and as soon as we have received the payment, our Tour Operations Team will take in charge of your tour and proceed with the reservations. In case a hotel mentioned in your itinerary has no availability, we will find you an alternative. No changes will be done without your approval!
We will make a rough day-by-day schedule for your tour, but won’t set you exact timings for each and every activity – unless there is a an activity which start at a specific time. Since you will be traveling by private vehicle, with a knowledgeable driver-guide, we want you to have your part in decision making. With the help from him, you may tune the schedule to your rhythm.
Along the destinations included in your itinerary, you are free to take as many stops as you want to. When it comes to additional visits and destinations that are located out of the original route, the extra kilometers will be taken in consideration. For your journey, we will calculate a total mileage that is sufficient for the whole tour and mentioned in your itinerary. If this limit is exceeded, we will charge a supplement according the extra mileage.
We’ll do our best to accommodate the programme in your needs and wishes, if something urgent occurs during your tour. In a situation that requires changing the accommodation, the cancellation policies of the hotels concerned are to be taken on account.
Since the 1st of January 2012, all travelers must be in possession of a visa when arriving in Sri Lanka. Citizens from Singapore and The Maldives are the only exempt. Visitors can apply for the official Electronic Travel Authorization (visa) via www.eta.gov.lk, or upon arrival at the airport. There is a small fee to pay, and you must have at least six months left on your passport at the time of travel to obtain one.
MasterCard and Visa are widely used and accepted by many local shops, restaurants and hotels, but it’s always better to double check. Other major cards such as AmEx and DinersClub are accepted often also.
The Important Stuff
Sri Lanka is a nation where religion and culture occupy an important place in the day-to-day lives of the local people. It is important to be aware of the customs and practices that are particular to the location you are visiting, so here are a few general tips to keep in mind during your travels. Your chauffeur will assist you with more detailed information.
- If you plan on visiting any temples, ancient or current, you should wear clothing that covers your body from your shoulders down to your knees. Head coverings such as caps or helmets should be removed and shoes must be taken off at the entrance. White coloured clothing is generally a good choice to go with here.
- Some religious places do not allow photography or videography without prior permission and some may not allow it at all. Refer to signage or ask your chauffeur guide about the policy or protocol. Don’t try to photograph or take videos without permission.
- If you have any tattoos associated with Buddhism, Hinduism or Islamism, it’s best that you cover them completely in public places.
- Smoking is prohibited in indoor public places, workplaces and on public transport.