Experience the ultimate custom tour of Sri Lanka! What better way to celebrate and create happy memories, than exploring the great outdoors, traversing the landscapes, encountering exotic wildlife, and immersing yourselves in the local culture. This trip is active and packed with cycling, climbing, and hiking! Enjoy some adrenaline-pumping activities like off-road adventures and ATV rides in Ella and the Tea Plantations. 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!
Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be picked up at the airport in Colombo and transferred to your hotel in Wadumunnegedara (drive duration: approx. 1.5 hrs). Check-in and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.
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.
Rise and shine! Enjoy a delicious cup of tea on the lakefront while watching the stunning birdlife. Your guide will help you spot the diverse types of birdlife.
Next, use a bike provided by your accommodation and discover the village by yourself or with a guide. The surrounding forest and village is home to charming cycle routes that you can ride at a leisurely pace. Your first part of the adventure will lead you through the lush paddy fields and entering the Dikkale Forest Reserve. This experience is magical, and like none other you will ever experience. The trail is around 8km, but you are more than welcome to do more!
Around mid-day you'll be driven to your accommodations in Sigiriya (transfer duration: 3 hours).
This afternoon, you will set off on game drive in either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park*. Both national parks are located approximately 40 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.
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.)
This afternoon, set out on an exciting off-road adventure! Your vehicle will be put to the test as it navigates variable terrains including mud, water, rocks, forest, rivers, ditches, hill climbs, and undergrowth. This is the first and only location this sport is been offered in Sri Lanka. With over 20 years’ experience, thirst for adventure and a true passion for off-road driving, they have put together the number one mind-blowing experience of a lifetime. The aim of the drive is simple - it’s to ensure YOU have FUN! All 4x4 mud safari programs at Kamatha are conducted by a fully qualified 4x4 instructor and recovery marshal Warner Oorloff, who has represented the country in several international challenges.
In the afternoon, visit a massive rock formation that the ancient Sri Lankans named Piduragala. It is said to be the royal temple at the time when King Kashyapa was at the helm of the Sigiriya fortress. Be prepared to climb (hike duration: approximately 1 hour - the last rocky section is a bit tricky)! Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of a green carpet of forests punctuated with the Sigiriya Rock in the distance. Take your time to breathe in the fresh air and be at peace. (This service is on a private basis.)
Afterwards, head off to the highlands of Madulkelle where your next lodge awaits (drive duration: approx. 3.5 hrs). The drive uphill is a little bumpy and winding yet interesting, relish the picturesque tea plantations as you drive past the small tea villages leading up to the lodge - you are in for an absolute treat!
The quaint little hamlet of Madulkelle with it colourful and happy people is just 1.5 km away. The village is inhabited mainly by Tamils of Indian origin, initially brought down to Sri Lanka in the late 1800s by the British planters to help them with their tea plantations. The Madulkelle village is a typical Sri Lankan town featuring a hospital, post office, schools and plenty of shops catering to the basic needs of its residents. The close proximity to Kandy makes it an ideal location from which to explore not only the historic town of Kandy, but also attractions such as the Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya as well as the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela.
This morning, take advantage of being submerged in nature by waking up early and seeing the sunrise over the Knuckles Mountain Range. Hear the beautiful birds and see the spectacular rolling valleys overlooking the terrace. After enjoying a scrumptious breakfast, it’s time to set out on a hike through the Campbell Forest.
The walk begins through the tea plantations where you might also get the chance to take a sneak peek into the daily lifestyle of the tea estate workers. As you gradually go along you will notice the change of vegetation and then you enter the Campbell Forest which is a typical mountain rainforest. If you are lucky, you might be able to spot some barking deer as well. The views from the Cambell Forest waterfall are simply stunning but it’s important to tread lightly when walking on slippery rocks. Enjoy a small picnic (snacks included) before beginning your descent along the circular trail. The hike will take around 4-5 hours depending on your pace.
Distance: Approx. 12km
Elevation Gain: 320m
Please Note: Tip: This trek is moderate but includes a few steep ascents. You should be in good physical condition for this experience. General climatic conditions are sunny and breezy. Always follow closely behind your guide and take as many breaks as you need. You are most likely to encounter leeches during the wet season but leech socks and herbal repellant will be provided.
This morning you will be driven to the Nanu Oya railway station (drive duration: approx. 4.5 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!
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.
This afternoon, hop on a powerful four-wheeler and discover Ella by ATV! The town is the perfect destination for all types of adventure sports. The off-road area is a very thrilling track to satisfy the quench of an adrenaline junkie. It covers all terrain types of muddy and dirt tracks with hills and slopes through tea fields, jungles, and picture-perfect viewpoints. You will also get the one-time opportunity to experience the iconic private photo viewpoint “Ravana Lookout” – the widest and the purest 270-degree view of the Ella Gap.
After breakfast, you'll be met and driven to Yala for an unforgettable wildlife experience (drive duration: approx. 2.5 hrs)! Check-in at your campsite and enjoy a mouth-watering lunch.
This afternoon you will embark on an exciting wildlife safari in Yala National Park! Yala is the most famous national park in Sri Lanka because it has a fantastic range of wildlife. You will have the opportunity to spot various species of wildlife including: elephants, peacocks, black bears, buffaloes, boars, pythons, innumerable birds, jackals, and if you are lucky - leopards.
Yala National Park is widely regarded as the top park in the country due to its amazing range of wildlife. On a single day's safari you may see families of elephants, slithering pythons, great black bears, buffalo herds, perhaps an elusive leopard, and that's just the start!
Patience is rewarded as you peer into the thick foliage to spot peacocks and innumerable other birds. Be sure to bring your binoculars and your camera to capture memories of this unforgettable park.
Yala National Park offers some of the best wildlife spotting in the country. This afternoon, you will enjoy a game drive by jeep. During your safari, if you see a leopard it is a bonus, but Yala is much more than leopards! Wild elephants move around in family groups or the occasional bull can be seen from further afield. You may see jackals or a peacock crossing your path. As with many safaris around the world bring your patience keep your eyes peeled since you never know what may peep out of the foliage. (This service is on a group basis.)
After breakfast, you will be met and driven to your accommodations in Galle (drive duration: approx. 3 hrs).
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.)
Galle attracts many travelers due to its location in the Southern part of the island. Therefore, most who come to Galle never miss enjoying the beauty of the sea and sand. Galle Dutch Fort is among the more popular sights for those who value archaeological reserves and heritage. It is known as the oldest fort in Asia, name as a world heritage city by UNESCO. Inside the fort, travelers can find other attractions such as the Dutch Museum, which contains paintings, pictures, and furniture of the Dutch Reformed Church. The fort is built on a small peninsula that can be easily accessed from the Galle town center. It is the best place to visit during an evening when the picturesque scenery of the sunset can be enjoyed.
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, visit 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 much-needed refreshments as you admire colorful dragonflies, butterflies, fish, and even 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.)
Although your adventure must come to an end today, you will be leaving with new friends, amazing experiences and memories to cherish for the rest of your life. Once you have checked out of your hotel in Galle, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the airport in good time to board your international departure flight (drive duration: 2.5 hrs). (This service is on a private basis.)
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.
A boutique hotel in Sri Lanka for travelers to rest, relax and unwind. Housing 8 luxurious villas spread out over 25 acres of untouched forestry. Encapsulate yourself in your private villa surrounded by nature. Heighten your senses as you take in the natural sounds of the jungle, from your bedroom or living area.
This is Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka offering a revolutionary and contemporary concept to the traditional warmth and hospitality that Sri Lanka is famous for. Nestled on a picturesque tea plantation, on the Knuckles Mountain Range 1000 meters above sea level, Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge will treat you to magnificent views, top class facilities, friendly and courteous service and plenty of things to see and do.
Our collection of small, stylish, service-driven boutique hotels champion the island’s rich history, dazzling diversity, and warm, open-hearted people. At the same time, our fusion menus celebrate the country’s abundant variety of fresh local produce. Acclaimed for contemporizing centuries-old heritage buildings and vintage tea bungalows-with-views in distinct regions across the island, our luxury hotels in Sri Lanka are defined by each destination and encourage you to explore, experience and shape your own Sri Lanka story.
Kulu Safaris’ paradigm is to seamlessly blend the adventure of a Sri Lankan safari with exceptionally comfortable accommodation, while minimizing our ecological footprint, to offer you the definitive wildlife experience. Our tailor-made, mobile safaris feature customized tents that are finessed with thoughtful touches; we also run our own, modified, safari jeeps. Our guides are professional, trained naturalists who have spent years learning the nuances of our jungles. Our staff is driven by an energy to surpass every single guest’s expectations. In effect, we offer our guests the best game viewing experience on the island. Kulu is the first operator to establish and practice of environmentally conscious camping. We have adopted a strict “no-plastic” policy, use renewable energy to as great an extent as possible, and have implemented an eco-friendly waste-management system.
Long before the Galle Fort was universally acknowledged as a national treasure, there were some properties within these storied ramparts that were special enough to spark the imagination and birth a vision. This villa in Galle is one such catalyst, the first to be bought by a foreigner in the post-colonial era and one of the very first to be styled and restored into the sort of intimate, luxurious villa that Sri Lanka’s most discerning travelers have come to expect from hotels in Galle Fort. Most recently restored by Taru Villas, this exotic location is an elegant combination of antique charm and modern amenities. A powerful design aesthetic weaves together the spirit of the old world, the magic of nature and the comforts of today. ‘Taru Villas – Rampart Street’ is also one of the few properties within the entirety of the Galle Fort that provides the luxury of a private swimming pool. Another highlight of this small hotel is undoubtedly our delectable cuisine. As always at Taru Villas, the staff at this Galle villa are unobtrusive but attentive, paying attention to the little things that are bound to make an enjoyable stay, truly memorable.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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