Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for the whole family. Although often overshadowed by India, this small island country contains enough potential for exploration, adventure, cultural discovery, and tranquility to impress even the most jaded traveler. Most famous for its idyllic beaches and scenic coastline, the country's interior reveals its unique beauty and richness abounded with tea plantations, ancient cities hidden amid lush jungles, and diverse wildlife. Furthermore, the food is delicious, the people are charming, and the overall atmosphere is intoxicating.
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 hr). Check-in and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
Enjoy today, free at your leisure! Discover the estate, and the 150-year-old frangipani tree in the middle of the front lawn enhances the serenity and beauty of the landscapes. The 50-acre estate itself, with its sizeable agricultural expanse, invites you to stroll through the coconut trees or paddy fields.
One of your hosts can also take you for a guided village walk. The walk is an ideal opportunity for meeting and chatting with the friendly locals, bird watching, and visiting an organic coconut oil manufacturing plant. You can also get one of the bicycles and take a ride around the village in the vicinity of our property. It’s a great way to get a feel for rural life as you pass by temples, farmland, and plantations while you explore village trails on a bicycle.
To add more color to the experience, you could also get involved as they prepare lunch or dinner and learn about local spices and methods of preparation.
After breakfast, you will set out on a Tuk Tuk tour in a small village located near your hotel. One of the unique ways of discovering a country is through its people. Start the day in a buzzy tuk-tuk and explore the small villages around Dunagaha with a local guide. Although English is spoken in Sri Lanka, sometimes communication can be a little hard, but a smile goes a long way! Your visit is helping local guides to work and make a living.
On the road, you will encounter a pineapple farm, a family making beautiful textiles using wooden looms, a small brick factory, and the back rural roads. If you are adventurous, tell your guide to take you to the local bakery and try some of the local spicy curries! After the tour, head back to your accommodations for a well-deserved rest and an afternoon by the pool. (This service is on a private basis.)
After breakfast, you will be driven to your accommodations in Sigiriya (drive duration: approx. 30 minutes). (This service is on a private basis.)
This afternoon, you will set off on game drive in either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park*. Both national parks are located approximately 30 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 languor 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.)
Today, explore the beauty of the Cultural Triangle by bike! Discover the endless greenery and ride along the inner village roads. During the ride, you will be able to see the beautiful birdlife and wonderful places. Together with your guide, you will learn about your surroundings and more!
Stop by local cottage industries and taste the local snacks. Depending on the season, you might be able to get a taste of the fried fresh lake fish, a delicacy in the area. Keep on riding through the gravel roads in the villages and their forests as you see how the local town unfolds. Next, you will visit a stunning lodge where you will have a mouth-watering lunch made by a local lady. Afterward, you will head on over to the ancient Ritigala monastery.
Ritagala is an undiscovered and off the beaten path destination. This archeological site has a mysterious feel with long meditational pathways that open into the thick jungle and large stone-lined reservoirs—a perfect time to connect with nature in this ancient meditation sacred grounds.
Your kids will have so much fun at the monastery! They will go on an exciting treasure hunt using a map of Ritagala. The map will have clues and quests, and to answer them, they will travel to different locations. Your guide will assist them every step of the way. In the end, your kids will receive a small gift. (This service is on a private basis.)
After breakfast, you will start your journey to Kandy! En-route, visit the Dambulla Cave temple. This incredible cave temple complex was hewn out of an enormous rock with such intricate beauty and workmanship. It is adorned with murals that depict the life and times of Lord Buddha, and gives a sense of calmness.
In the temple, you can see around 153 Buddha statues along with other gods, goddesses, and kings who used their wealth for the temple. The five caves are adorned and make up this unique temple. Witness the different architectural patterns throughout the temple and beautiful panoramic views at an 1118 ft altitude. The views will show you a bordering Ritigala to the North and the Kurunegala Plains to the South East.
After the visit, you will head on over to Kandy, the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings (total driving duration: approximately 3 hours). (This service is on a private basis.)
Today, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to your accommodations. (This service is on a private basis.)
Unconquered for centuries, this capital city held the Sinhalese culture and sacred Buddhist relics safe against the unsuccessful onslaught of Dutch and Portuguese invasions, before finally falling to British political tricks at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Walking around this picturesque city is a beautiful experience in itself. With your guide you’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour of the UNSECO world heritage city of Kandy, and gain fascinating insights into the history and culture that made Kandy a bastion of security. Amongst other fascinating sights, Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. You’ll end the city tour at the Queen’s Hotel for a cup of tea, which is where the Queen of England used to reside when in Kandy.
Kandy is a large city in central Sri Lanka. It's set on a plateau surrounded by mountains, which are home to tea plantations and biodiverse rainforest. The city's heart is scenic Kandy Lake (Bogambara Lake), which is popular for strolling. Kandy is famed for sacred Buddhist sites, including the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) shrine, celebrated with the grand Esala Perahera annual procession.
You are in for a yummy treat today! You will visit a local home not too far from the city of Kandy and enjoy a home-cooked meal soaked in tropical spices and rich Kandyan flavors. Krishanthi, the lady of the house, is an amazing host and more than happy to welcome you and share her age-old secret recipes as she takes you on a culinary journey. You will be welcomed with warm Kandyan smiles and a glass of fresh tropical fruit juice. Begin with a quick visit to the local vegetable stall where you can pick any vegetables you like and return with a bag full of goodies needed for your meal. Krishanthi's kitchen is equipped with a traditional firewood stove and a 'miris gala' which is an ancient stone grinder. These are rather rare to come by in an ordinary home in this modern day. You will be cooking in clay pots as there is no better way to cook a nice curry! After an eventful few hours in the kitchen, sit down for a mouthwatering lunch. Not only will you learn about the local cuisine today but you will also get a glimpse into the life and home of a local family. (This service is on a private basis.)
This afternoon, visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Located in the hill capital of Sri Lanka, the botanical gardens of Peradeniya have a rich history punctuated by colonialism and industrial change. Although its origin dates back to the era of medieval kingdoms, it was officially awarded the status of a botanical garden during the British colonial period. Apart from its best-known attraction, the Orchid House, home to some 300 varieties of orchids, the extensive well-kept lawns, avenue of Royal Palms, fernery, and banks of giant Burmese bamboo all provide a spectacular experience. Be sure to look out for the resident flying foxes in the trees! (This service is on a private basis.)
This afternoon, move your body like never before! You will visit a local house where you will meet your dance guru. They will teach you the basic moves of the Upcountry dancing known as "Udarata Netum." The dancing is unique to the central hill country of the island. Every evening you can see hundreds of tourists experiencing this incredible cultural show. However, you will get a personal experience making it more fun and informative. Start the class by mastering the "Maendiya," the preliminary pose of all Kandyan dances. Next, improvise some dance moves to the beat of the Kandyan drums. The music is very different than what you are used to, starting with its unique rhythms.
After dancing, it is time for a much-deserved treat! Taste the traditional sweets of Kandy like the Peni Walalu (treacle bangles), Kokis (crackers) with a cup of plain tea before heading back to your hotel.
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 Kandy, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the Colombo Airport in good time to board your international departure flight.
Journey time: 3 1/2hrs
We wish you safe and happy travels home! (This service is on a private basis.)
Horathapola Estate is 50 acres of serenity, nestled within the balmy vibe of rural Sri Lanka. The design aesthetic of Horathapola Bungalow features touches of modern luxury that complement the stateliness of colonial architecture. The furniture is antique, the cuisine is rich in color and flavor, and the mood is relaxed. The bungalow’s grandiose architecture is matched with a priceless collection of Sri Lankan antique furniture – some pieces are as old as the bungalow itself. A lush garden skirts the building, and features a salt-water swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, walking trails, and vibrant bird life all around. Beyond the garden, the foliage extends into a live organic estate. Coconut, fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, and rice are all grown organically nearby.
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.
Perfectly placed in the cozy confines of the misty mountains and verdant forestlands, Kings Pavilion Kandy, transports you back to an era of bliss; a time when great kings ruled the central highlands of Sri Lanka! Bringing you a profound sense of peace with its luxurious offerings, our Kandy hotel, lets you slip into a sense of serenity and lets you enjoy the retreat that you have been longing for all along!
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
Our entire team is dedicated to making this custom journey come true. Request a free quote by filling out the form and please share any details to help us customize this perfect trip just for you.
Can’t wait another minute? We understand, call us directly at (866) 577-2462 and speak with one of our extraordinary travel specialists.