Sri Lankan Active Adventure

Sri Lankan Active Adventure

Welcome to Sri Lanka! On this action packed, handcrafted journey, you will explore the great outdoors, traverse diverse landscapes, encounter exotic wildlife, and immerse yourselves in the local culture. Discover the beauty of Ella and the Tea Plantations' rolling hills, surf the south coast, and uncover the rich history of this island brimming with UNESCO sites and natural wonders. You will have the chance to experience the ideal blend of activities. So pack your bags...and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Quick Summary

Itinerary Detail

Day 1: Colombo Arrival (Seligsons)

Colombo Arrival (Seligsons)
Daily Summary

Upon your arrival to Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport you will make your way through customs where you will be met at the exit and transferred to your accommodation for the next two nights. (This service is on a private basis.)


Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has a long history as a port on ancient east-west trade routes, ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. That heritage is reflected in its its architecture, mixing colonial buildings with high-rises and shopping malls. The imposing Colombo National Museum, dedicated to Sri Lankan history, borders sprawling Viharamahadevi Park and its giant Buddha.

Day 2: Colombo

Daily Summary
Enjoy this free time at your leisure.

Day 3: Colombo Arrival - Makandura

Colombo  Arrival - Makandura
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Transportation: Colombo - Makandura
  • Accommodation: The Notary's House
  • Meals: D

Ayubowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at the Colombo airport by your private chauffeur guide once you have cleared immigration and customs. From there, you will transfer to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)

Once in a while we come across places which blends in the traditional and modern architecture perfectly, the Notary’s House is one such place. This was once the house of a famous notary in the area and was recently restored while keeping the old structure. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a wonderful old country house surrounded by greenery, a lake and in the distance the white gleam of a dagoba a Buddhist stupa rising above the palm tree line. The lake front location with the large six-acre land and coconut estate makes this a great place if you are looking to relax after a long flight. There is an inviting pool to take a dip or you could just grab a book with a cup of tea.

After breakfast this morning, the Seligsons will be met and transferred to the Notary's House, Makandura.

Day 4: Makandura

Daily Summary

This morning you can set out on a tuk tuk tour around the village. The early part of the ride goes through the lush paddy fields and then we enter the Dikkale Forest Reserve. Later in the afternoon you can take a scenic walk around the village. You can also visit the local temple, the best part is you won’t be around with plenty of other tourists like in the famous religious sites. Feel free to have a conversation with the head monk if he is around and you can also engage in a small puja ceremony by offering some flowers.

You can also stop by at a local kadey (Shop) to have a plain tea as the locals call it. The cup of tea goes well with jaggery (Sweet cubes made out of treacle) instead of sugar. The lady here does it all with smiles and you will get to experience the genuine local hospitality.

Day 5: Makandura - Sigiriya

Makandura - Sigiriya
Daily Summary

After your delicious breakfast this morning, you'll be driven to your accommodations in Sigiriya (transfer duration: 3.5 hours). (This service is on a private basis.)

Wildlife Safari

This afternoon, you will set off on game drive in either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park*. Both national parks are located approximately 45 minutes from your resort. For most visitors, the principal attraction here is elephants. Minneriya forms part of the elephant corridor, which joins up with Kaudulla and Wasgomuwa national parks, and up to 200 of the beasts can be found here at certain times of year during their migrations between the various parks. Other mammals found in the park include Sambur, spotted deer, sloth bears, and leopards, and there’s also a good chance of seeing macaque and purple-faced langur monkeys. In addition, an enormous number of birds have been spotted at Minneriya, including endemic species such as the Sri Lankan hanging parrot and the crimson-fronted barbet.

*Note: Elephant herd movements will determine which park you visit.


Centered on a massive rock rising 200 meters above the surrounding plain, Sigiriya’s location is one of considerable natural beauty and historical interest. An area of ancient settlement lying between the historic capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the Sigiriya plain still retains much of its forest cover, and many of its present village settlements and man-made village reservoirs date back to the first millennium B.C. In its present form, Sigiriya itself is essentially a walled-and-moated royal capital of the fifth century A.D. It has a palace complex on top of the rock, elaborate pleasure gardens, extensive moats and ramparts, and well-known paintings on the western face of the rock.

Day 6: Sigiriya

Daily Summary

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Today, early in the morning, you will visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress, to beat the later day crowds.

Sigiriya, the marvelous rock fortress, also known as Lion Rock is a rare jewel among the many treasures in Sri Lanka. The site was the domain of King Kashyapa, whose aim was to build an impregnable fortress and within it, a heavenly abode. Climb the 1200 footsteps to reach the most scenic bird's eye view of the beautiful emerald plains and villages. Marvel the grandeur of the ancient city within the fortress and the complexity of the 5th-century urban-planning of Sri Lanka. On the way to the top, you can observe the famous Sigiriya frescoes of the buxom, wasp-waisted maidens bearing flowers amidst the wilderness, and ancient ruins. The smoothly glazed 'Mirror Wall' located a few steps away, inspired by the vibrant frescoes, will take your breath away.

The Sigiriya experience takes approximately 1.5 to 3 hrs, depending on the pace at which you wish to ascent. Upon completion, return to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 7: Sigiriya

Daily Summary
  • Tour: Pidurangala Scenic Viewpoint Hike
  • Tour: Polonnaruwa Ancient City & Ruins Tour
  • Accommodation: Water Garden Sigiriya
  • Meals: B

Pidurangala Scenic Viewpoint Hike

Today early in the morning for sunrise, we visit and climb a massive rock formation that the ancient Sri Lankans named Pidurangala. This is said to be the royal temple at the time when King Kashyapa was at the helm. Be prepared to climb, the hike takes about one hour depending on fitness – the last part is a bit tricky over rocks but it can be done with care. It is all worth it once you reach the top and are rewarded with views of a green carpet of forest punctuated with Sigiriya rock in the distance. Breathe in the fresh air, you are on top of a magical place. If you want to be in peace and avoid the tour buses, this is the place to be! (This service is on a private basis.)

Polonnaruwa Ancient City & Ruins Tour

In the afternoon, we'll drive towards Polonnaruwa and visit the ancient city on bicycles which is the best way to explore. Grand Palaces, monumental Stupas, and everyday life carved into harsh granite are all showcased in Polonnaruwa. Witness the divine right of the King and his ardent devotion to the philosophy of Buddhism ranging from the colossal remnants of King Parakramabahu’s palace which was equal in splendor to the palace of Kubera, the Hindu God of wealth to the place where the stonemasons of yore displayed their greatest work in the mystical yet serene Image House at the Gal Vihara showing the infinite wisdom and overflowing kindness of Lord Buddha etched from the bedrock.

Recognized as one of the best planned archaeological relic sites of the country, Polonnaruwa will impress you with its remarkable sculptures and temples with intricate carvings. You’ll be surprised to see most of the ruins are still in good shape even after 800 years! Another highlight of Polonnaruwa is its population of toque macaques. These monkeys have been residing in the ruins since human occupation and still continue to live there long after the humans left. Polonnaruwa is a sight to behold and after a eventful day, let the relaxing swaying waves of the Parakrama Samudra reservoir (literally translates to the “Sea of Parakrama”) take you down a lane of reverie. (This service is on a private basis.)

Fun fact: Did you know Polonnaruwa was used as a backdrop to film scenes for the music video Save a Prayer by Duran Duran in 1982?

Day 8: Sigiriya - Matale - Hanthana

Sigiriya - Matale - Hanthana
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Tour: Matale Village Walk
  • Accommodation: W15 Hanthana Estate
  • Meals: B, L, D

Today after breakfast, start driving towards Matale and set out on a walk exploring an inner village of Matale. (This service is on a private basis.)

Matale Village Walk

Leaving the guidebooks and well-trodden tourist trail behind us today, we'll join a local villager who will take us through his village, hidden away from the main roads and where real life happens. Imagine walking through paddy fields with the villagers going about their daily farming activities, stunning views of the Knuckles mountain range in the distance, a river flowing through the village with a gentle breeze cooling you, birds chirping as you walk along, the aromas of natural spice trees such as pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and even coffee. It sounds unreal but good things happen to those who wander off the beaten path. As you slowly walk along while listening to the stories and folklore of the village guide, take a minute to breath in the fresh air and be thankful that such luxuries still exist. This easy walk goes for about 3-4 km and the duration will be around 1-2 hours depending on the pace you prefer. At the end of the walk, you will be treated with a feast like rice and curry lunch, served in the traditional style on a lotus/banana leaf and it’s Eat all you can. Likewise, a few traditional sweets will be served for dessert. Notes: In addition to the village guide, your main tour guide will also accompany you on the walk to help out with translation where necessary. To reduce the carbon footprint, this walk will be done without a backup vehicle which can be arranged if absolutely necessary.

Upon completion, we will continue your drive towards Hanthana. (This service is on a private basis.)

For this afternoon we recommend that you try out their high tea served with a range of savories and sweets which are simply a delight for the tastebuds.

Day 9: Hanthana

Hanthana Activities
Daily Summary

It’s fresh day in the hills of Hanthana and here you make the calls according to your preference. The concept here is “luxury included” means your wish is their command. Every whim and fancy is looked into, from your preferred meal times to the activities you wish to try out. If you want to just relax and do nothing, this is still the perfect place. It might be a delectable late morning brunch in the comfort of your own suite or it could be an Enid Blyon-esque picnic on the lawn, complete with checkered picnic blanket.

For the more adventurous, but the property has an amazing range of activities to keep you active and everything is all included in your stay. The property has a very knowledgeable in-house naturalist who will accompany you on a hike and you can decide whether you want a relatively easy, moderate, or a challenging hike into the Hanthana Mountain Range. An early morning bird watching walk is also on offer in case you are interested in the subject. A ride through the tea plantation on their e-bikes or even on their vintage series Land Rover is also something not to be missed. At the bungalow itself, you can try your hand at cooking Sri Lankan cuisine guided expertly by our senior chef or you might prefer browsing through the extensive book collection in the library. Whether it’s to gaze at the stars through our telescope or work up an appetite on our tennis courts, a wide range of activities abound for all our guests. In the evenings, a gin and tonic by our baby grand piano before dinner is just the thing. Or you might prefer a glass of champagne and Pimms or a glass of wine as you relax in the cool of our extensive garden. The point is, whatever you want is what is provided, all luxuries included.

Day 10: Hanthana - Ella

Hanthana - Ella
Hanthana - Ella
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Train Station Transfers
  • Transportation (Train): Train
  • Accommodation: 98 Acres Resort & Spa
  • Meals: B, D
Nanu Oya - Ella
Train: TBA
Departs: TBA
Arrives: TBA

This morning you will be driven to the Nanu Oya railway station (drive duration: approx. 3 hrs). From here you will embark on a scenic 3 hour train ride to Ella. Take in the captivating views along the way - lush tea plantations, mist-covered mountains, and smiling locals!

Upon arrival at the Ella Railway Station, you will be met and transferred directly to your accommodations. Check in and relax after your long journey.


Ella is a small village in the highlands of Sri Lanka, which is filled with tea estates, mountains, waterfalls, and, of course, with some good air to breathe. Lots of people make Ella as one of their must-visit destinations just to witness the breathtaking views it creates. It is a dream place for many trekkers with some of the best hikes the Island provides. This hidden village got vastly popular among tourists lately. Views of mist and clouds covering the summits of the mountain range and the sunrise in Ella are spectacular scenes to witness and captured. After a fresh hike in the morning, hit a waterfall, grab some tasty Sri Lankan foods from somewhere with a beer, rest for a while and go for a rail walk to the famous Nine Arch Bridge in the evening, you would surely love all experience.

Ella got its historical values with the link to the Legendary Ravana stories too. You can explore all of them while you are here. Ella indeed a place with plenty of things to do, which will keep you busy and happy. If you are looking for a place to unwind from your active lifestyle and to spend some peaceful, relaxed time with nature, this is the place, and you will leave Ella with some fond memories to last a lifetime!

Enjoy the New Year's Eve dinner at your hotel.

Day 11: Ella

Daily Summary

Ella Rock Trek

This morning at 5:45 AM, you will set off on a trek to the top of Ella Rock! The journey will take you along the railroad tracks and onto a hanging metal bridge. The hike continues past eucalyptus forest towards the steepest section of the climb. Once you've reached the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views (particularly on a clear day!). Some local farmers will guide you along the way, please note that they are not guides however they do speak a bit of English and by participating in this trek you are supporting them by providing them with the opportunity to make some extra income.

Tip: since you will have breakfast at your return make sure you have some chocolate or power bars, maybe some bananas and hike snacks. Along the way sometimes there are ladies selling thambili king coconut but is best to bring water along as well. For footgear good sturdy trainers work well and a walking stick will help.

Day 12: Ella - Habaraduwa

Ella - Habaraduwa
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Little Adams Peak Hike
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: KK Beach Habaraduwa
  • Meals: B

Little Adams Peak Hike

If you are up for another early start, wake up before sunrise and set out on a short hike to the Little Adams Peak. This can be easily done as the hike actually starts from your hotel and takes only about one hour. The views of the valley and surrounding hills are simply stunning. The best weather is early morning when the skies are clear and the morning air is fresh and cool.

After breakfast at the hotel, you'll begin heading towards the south coast where you will spend your last few nights exploring a new region of Sri Lanka! You'll make a stop along the way at the lovely Rawana Falls.

Located against a strikingly beautiful backdrop of mountains and valleys, Rawana Falls is around 4500 ft. above sea-level. The beauty of the waterfall lies in the manner in which the water gushes down the layers of the rock. Legends spun around this scenic waterfall are linked to the Indian epic- Ramayana which claims that the Indian Princess Sita bathed in the waters of a pool located within the Ravana cave, from which these falls cascade. Depending on the flow of water, the shape alters changing from a flower with withering petals during the dry season to a roaring torrent of water in rainy seasons. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 13: Habaraduwa

Kanneliya Forest Reserve Excursion
Daily Summary

Kanneliya Forest Reserve Excursion

This morning, head out to Kanneliya Forest Reserve for a new adventure! After a cup of tea, you will make your way into the rainforest with Upul, a local guide who knows the area intimately. You may spot endemic birds, snakes, and lizards as you make your way along the shaded forest paths. Learn about the diverse array of plants and trees. Next, head to a small cave where bats live and then visit a lovely waterfall where you can cool off. Enjoy the location a bit more by drinking some well-earned refreshments as you admire colorful dragonflies, butterflies, fish, and freshwater crabs.

The experience concludes with a delicious rice and curry spread, prepared by Upul’s wife, served on the banks of the nearby Nannikitha River. The river is also the perfect place for swimming! Afterward, return to your hotel and spend the evening in the tropics at leisure. Relax and feel the crisp, salty breeze of the Indian Ocean. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 14: Habaraduwa

Daily Summary

Discover Galle

In the afternoon, explore the Galle Fort with your guide and step back in time. Walk the cobbled streets with more than 400 years of history from Arab merchants, adventurous Portuguese, and industrious Dutch. See colonial homes with their red-tiled roofs, an impressive rampart surrounding a small peninsula jutting out to the Indian Ocean. The fort is still a living monument with families who have lived for generations there. While visiting Galle, you will have a chance of seeing a small Sri Lankan microcosm where Buddhists and Muslims live together. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 15: Habaraduwa - Colombo Departure

Habaraduwa - Colombo Departure
Daily Summary

Sadly, it is time to leave the Isle of Serendipity! Once you have checked out of your hotel, Joe and Paula will be met at 5am for a 7am arrival to Colombo Airport. David, Nan, Dan, and Margaret will be met by your driver and transferred to Galle later this morning. There, David and Nan will make their own way, while Dan and Margaret will check into the Galle Face Hotel for a chance to rest and freshen up prior to their evening transfer.

At about 9:15pm, Dan and Margaret will check out of their hotel and will be transferred in good time to board their international departure flight (drive duration: 2.5 hrs). We hope you've all had an amazing time discovering Sri Lanka and wish you a safe journey home! (This service is on a private basis.)


Uga Residence Colombo
Uga Residence Colombo
Uga Residence Colombo
Uga Residence Colombo

Uga Residence Colombo

Nestled between the shady Park Street and the tranquil lakeside Buddhist temple of Gangarama, Uga Residence is one of the most lavish boutique hotels in Colombo. Built back in the 19th Century by a wealthy barrister by the name of Sheikh Salehboy Moosajee, this Victorian townhouse once welcomed governors, maharajas, nobility, and the cream of Ceylon’s colonial society. Today, Uga Residence is a unique 11-suite hotel in Colombo, offering guests the perfect secluded spot from which to explore the bustling commercial heart of Sri Lanka.

The Notary
The Notary
The Notary
The Notary

The Notary's House

The Notary’s House is a luxury six bedroom boutique hotel, set amidst lush gardens and a pristine coconut grove. Traditional and contemporary Sri Lankan architectural and design elements compliment the property's heritage and make for an exquisite experience. The Notary’s House offers spacious air conditioned rooms, a lovely swimming pool and delicious food in a relaxing lakeside setting. Featuring the laid back feel of the countryside and warm Sri Lankan hospitality, it is the ideal place to start or end your perfect Sri Lanka travel experience, not far from the Colombo International Airport.

Water Garden Sigiriya

Water Garden Sigiriya

Welcome to Water Garden Sigiriya where luxury meets nature surrounded by lakes & water streams. The breathtakingly beautiful Sigiriya hotel boasts a modern-day water harvesting design revisiting the 2,000-year-old water garden on Sigiriya Rock.

W15 Hanthana Estate

W15 Hanthana Estate

A world of colonial charm that blends perfectly with its sublime surroundings of rolling tea plantations and emerald green forests. A beautifully restored bungalow, dating back to the days of the British Empire, sits amidst the lush vegetation. Hanthana is recognized as one of the Sri Lanka’s most picturesque regions and the panoramic view from our bungalow will not disappoint. This heritage residence is reminiscent of a by-gone era, revived to accommodate every whim and fancy of the discerning traveler. An esplanade of columns, almost Grecian in its grandeur, awaits your arrival along with a personal butler who shall attend to you throughout your stay.

98 Acres Resort & Spa

98 Acres Resort & Spa

Experience the beauty and serenity of Sri Lanka’s scenic hill country within the luxurious comforts of a boutique hotel par excellence. 98 Acres Resort and Spa is an elegant, chic hotel that stands on a scenic 98-acre tea estate, surrounded by a stunning landscape. The uniquely designed resort blends well with nature, and consists of charming chalets mostly made of recyclable substance. Discarded railway sleepers are put to good use in the making of decks and walls at the resort. Rough, hewn granite lend simple elegance to the floors of chalets adorned with thatched roofs of ‘Illuk’ straw that adds to their rustic beauty. The exquisite country side, breathtaking views and exciting nature trails will assure you of a memorable holiday at one of the most breathtaking Ella hotels in the region.

KK Beach Habaraduwa
KK Beach Habaraduwa

KK Beach Habaraduwa

KK Beach is a contemporary and stylish beachfront boutique hotel with ten stunning rooms, overlooking the Indian Ocean. Located on the west side of Habaraduwa, the hotel is just 12km from Galle and the beach stretches as far as the eye can see. All the artwork in the hotel has been commissioned from Sri Lankan artists, giving them an opportunity to showcase their talents, and all the paintings are for sale.

Galle Face Hotel

Galle Face Hotel

Sri Lanka’s iconic landmark, the Galle Face Hotel, is situated in the heart of Colombo, along the seafront and facing the famous Galle Face Green. As one of the oldest hotels east of the Suez, the Galle Face Hotel embraces it's rich history and legendary traditions, utilizing them to create engaging, immersive experiences, that resonate with old and new generations of travelers alike. No visit to Sri Lanka is complete without staying at this majestic hotel, built in 1864 and recently restored back to its former glory.



Price Includes

-Accommodation as indicated
-Meals as mentioned
-Transfers and tours with local English-speaking chauffeur guide in private air-conditioned vehicle
-Bottled drinking water available on the vehicles (Alternatively refillable water bottles can be provided to minimize single use plastics)
-All entrance fees and boat fees as mentioned in the program
-Tours/activities as mentioned including:
*Afternoon Safari at Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park
*Visit and Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress
*Climb Pidurangala Rock for Sunrise Views
*Explore Polonnaruwa Ancient City on Bicycles
*Trails of Matale: A Walk exploring a Hidden Village
*All Activities at W15 Hanthana Estate
*Scenic Train Ride from Nanu Oya to Ella
*Hike to Ella Rock
*Walk around Galle Fort
*Trek into Kanneliya Forest Reserve
-Professional English-speaking guide during tours
-All Inclusive Package at W15 Hanthana Estate
-Full support before, during & after your trip
-Arrival travel pack with travel essentials such as hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and reusable straws
-Mandatory Surcharges for Christmas’ Eve and New Year’s Eve

Price Excludes

-International Flights
-Domestic Flights
-Travel insurance (ask us for a quote)
-Electronic Travel Authorization fee for Visas upon arrival
-Optional tours
-Early check-in/Late check-out
-Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
-Expenses of a purely personal nature
-Other services not mentioned
-Additional charges for mandatory safety protocols enforced by government health authorities (Subject to applicability at the time of travel)

Meet Your Travel Specialist

Laura Hagler

Laura Hagler

Travel Specialist

Laura grew up in Missouri counting the days till she could set off and see the world. After jumping at the chance to study abroad in the UK and travel through Europe and Africa, she returned to Florida Atlantic University to complete her Sculpture degree. Following her interest in Asian Art and heeding her ever-growing wanderlust, she moved to rural Japan to live and work for the next five years. A passion for road tripping and mountains led her to explore and hike her way through the hidden corners of Japan, obsessing over museums, temples, and dodging the occasional monkey. Living in Asia was a dream come true and allowed her to dive with sharks in Sipadan, taste the finest street food in Yangon, celebrate New Years on the banks of the Ganga, and trade recipes with the local grandmas in Japan's onsen. She loves to help her clients soak up the unique culture of the countries they visit. Talk to Laura about travel to Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and more.

Why Global Basecamps

Why Global Basecamps

Authentic travel experiences

Authentic Experiences

The perfect trip exists. The perfect lodge, the perfect tour guide, the perfect sunrise hike and the perfect cultural experience are all out there, and we would like to help you find them.

only positive impacts on the destination


We love logistics and our planning process is second to none. Based on firsthand experience, our travel specialists will design you a customized itinerary ensuring your trip will be memorable and authentic.

extraordinary travel service

Extraordinary Service

Global Basecamps offers the best customer service the specialty tourism industry has to offer. We’re by your side from beginning to end, making sure everything goes perfectly.

only positive impacts on the destination

Positive Impacts

Our trips directly benefit the local communities you visit. We work exclusively with like-minded partners who help ensure tourism has no negative impacts on the environment, culture and economy of your destination.