Sri Lanka Off the Beaten Path

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. From safaris to cultural exploration, 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!

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Colombo Arrival - Dunagaha

Colombo Arrival - Dunagaha
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Accommodation: Ambarella Lodge
  • Meals: D

Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival in Colombo, clear immigration and customs before proceeding to the arrivals lobby area. You will be met by your private chauffeur guide and transferred to your hotel in Dunagaha, just 45 minutes away.

This afternoon, walk around the lush gardens and discover all of the different types of spices around the estate. One of the local hosts from your lodge can happily join in and teach you about the various spices.

Day 2: Dunagaha - Wilpattu

Dunagaha - Wilpattu
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Village Life in Dunagaha
  • Tour: Meet The Manjas: Music of the Ceylon Africans
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: The Ibis
  • Meals: B, L, D

Village Life in Dunagaha

After breakfast, you'll be met by your local guide Shelton to begin your day of exploration! The best way to discover a country is through its people! Although English is spoken in Sri Lanka, communication can prove to be difficult at times, but a smile always goes a long way. Your visit contributes to the local economy by providing job opportunities to local guides in this rural area. Start the day by taking a tuk-tuk to explore the small villages around Dunagaha. Visit a pineapple farm, a small brick factory, and meet with a local family who specializes in textiles using wooden looms. There is plenty to be seen and enjoyed in the rural back roads. End the journey with a simple rice & curry lunch at a local house in the village. (This service is on a private basis.)

Meet The Manjas: Music of the Ceylon Africans

Along the way, you'll stop in a small village tucked away in Puttalam which is home to a community of Ceylon Africans. Also known as Sri Lankan Kaffirs, they are descendants from the Portuguese traders who frequented the country in the 16th century and the Bantu people, an ethnic group hailing from sub-Saharan Africa who was brought to the country as slaves.

It is not surprising if you haven’t heard of this community before, as many Sri Lankans themselves are unaware of the Kaffirs themselves. During the colonial era, Sri Lanka was under Portuguese colonial control and many Africans slaves were brought to Sri Lanka as laborers or soldiers to fight the Sri Lankan rebels and protect the Portuguese. Whilst most of the Bantu people left with their masters, a few of them remained in the country and the Sri Lankan ‘Kaffirs’ are those descendants.

Their distinctive “Creole” native language has unfortunately faded away and is now virtually extinct. Their language was based on Portuguese and referred to as ‘Sri Lankan Kaffir’ which differs from Sri Lankan Portuguese Creole. In an attempt to keep their traditions alive, Peter Luvie, a fifth-generation descendant brought together some village members and together they formed a band which they named “Ceylon African Manja”. Their songs and dances have now become the only form of passing on the language to the next generation.

Their songs usually start solemnly with an almost pensive character but gradually the tempo picks up the pace and before you know it, you are enveloped in an upbeat cascade of rhythm and percussion. The music has distinctive elements of Baila or Kaffringna which are the more popular forms of African influenced folk music. The music itself is a sight to behold and you will see the band members playing on local Dolki drums as well as many makeshift instruments such as coconut shells, tablespoons, and empty bottles.

They say Music is the universal language – it becomes even more beautiful when it forms a bridge between people and a means of preserving an entire culture. We ensure that these hidden gems are kept under the radar and are not commercialized, and visits like this contribute to exactly that. (This service is on a private basis.)

After the tour, head towards Wilpattu for a couple of nights in the wilderness.(This service is on a private basis.)

Wilpattu

Wilpattu sanctuary was declared as a National Park in 1938. Wilpattu National Park is located on the west coast close to the historical city of Anuradhapura. The dry zone jungle is thickly grown. Wilpattu National Park is home to many villi or natural lakes that dot the landscape in the Wilpattu National Park. These lakes contain rainwater, thus are essential for resident and migratory water-birds. The history of the park is also of interest with ancient ruins having been discovered in Wilpattu National Park. Queen named “Kuweni” (considered to be the mother of the Sinhala race) is said to have lived in the place known as Kalli Villu. Historical evidence also shows the fact that Prince Saliya, son of King Dutugemunu, lived in Wilpattu over 2,000 years ago.

There are approximately 30 species of mammals in the Wilpattu National Park, which include the Sri Lankan Elephant, Sri Lankan Leopard, Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri, Spotted Deer, Buffalo, Sambar, and Mongoose. Wetland bird species found in the Wilpattu National Park include the Garganey, Pintail, Whistling Teal, Spoonbill, White Ibis, Large White Egret, Cattle Egret, and Purple Heron. Also, many species of Gulls, Terns, Owls, Kites, and Eagles live here. The endemic Sri Lanka Jungle fowl, Little Cormorant, and the Painted Stork can also be seen.

Day 3: Wilpattu

Wilpattu
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Wilpattu National Park Safari
  • Accommodation: The Ibis
  • Meals: B, L, D

Wilpattu National Park Safari

Rise early this morning, and head to Wilpattu National Park for a full-day wildlife safari!

Wilpattu National Park is the largest national park in Sri Lanka. Here you'll have the chance to see elephants, lithe leopards, spotted deer, sloth bears, and crocodiles in the wild. The park also bears witness to striking flocks of peacocks, painted storks, jungle fowl, as well as mongoose. Thick foliage is interwoven with shrubbery, streams, and lakes that expand during the monsoons and contract during the dry season - comprise the landscapes of Wilpattu National Park creating an ideal hideout for the varied resident wildlife species.

Given Wilpattu's relatively large size, and the time it takes to reach the inner regions of the park, a full day safari will allow you to get the most out of your visit. Patience is key when exploring Wilpattu, take your time and be surprised by what it offers. The lower volume of visitors in Wilpattu make sightings all the more exclusive, you won’t regret it!

After a lovely day out in nature, you'll return back to the lodge for a well-earned rest.

Day 4: Wilpattu - Anuradhapura - Jaffna

Wilpattu - Anuradhapura - Jaffna
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Journey to Jaffna
  • Accommodation: Fox Resorts Jaffna
  • Meals: B, L

Journey to Jaffna

After an early breakfast, make your way to the Anuradhapura Railway Station to catch the Queen of Jaffna Express Train to Jaffna. Jaffna, along with the North of Sri Lanka, used to be isolated from the rest of the country for over 30 years! You will be able to get a unique glimpse into this world. This 3 hour train ride takes you across the barren landscape of the Vavuniya - controlled by the Tamil Tigers this area has suffered attacks from both the Sinhalese forces as well as the Tamils leaving thousands of people displaced. Looking out the window at the dry landscape dotted with the occasional village is a somber reminder of the folly of men.

On arrival in Jaffna, lunch will be served in a traditional home. With the help of a local Tamil guide, you will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the family's everyday lifestyle and cultural values. For the main course “Pittu” (rice flour and coconut scrap) will be served with crab curry, fried prawns, cuttlefish, mashed omelets mixed with dry fish, dhal curry with fish, and plain gravy. This is the real deal, a true Jaffna feast! Depending on seasonality you'll also get to try some delicious mangoes, jack fruit, papaya, or a special local banana called "Nettrampalam".

Next, you'll enjoy a bit of exercise as you explore the city with vintage bicycles! On your ride, you will get to see some of the city highlights including the Jaffna Fort, which was built during the Portuguese reign, and the Jaffna library, which used to be one of the largest in Asia and was tragically destroyed during the civil war. Other highlights include: the Subramanium Children’s Park, the Statue of King Sankili (the last King of the Jaffna Kingdom), coastal villages, the largest church in Jaffna, and Rio ice cream for a refreshing treat. After an action-packed day, head back to the hotel and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Jaffna

Jaffna, the Northern Province, is located in the northernmost peninsula of Sri Lanka. The Jaffna district is one of the 25 districts organized into the nine provinces, an artificial creation of the Colonial British (1815-1948) for the administration of the Island of Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon. This 4,000-year-old city just currently opened its doors to visitors after a disturbing and civil conflict that lasted for years.

Whether it's art or architecture, history or nature, you are sure to find something new at every corner. Visit one of the area's many religious sites - the famous Nallur kovil, the alluring Manthiri Manai, or the historic Nagadeepa temple. Or take a walk through the first capital of Northern Ceylon. For nature lovers, Jaffna offers some of the most secluded beaches or indigenous birds at the Chunikkulam bird sanctuary.

Day 5: Jaffna

Jaffna
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Nallur Temple, Casuarina Beach & Local Foodie Experience
  • Accommodation: Fox Resorts Jaffna
  • Meals: B, L

Nallur Temple, Casuarina Beach & Local Foodie Experience

Start your day with a visit to the Nallur Temple. You will be provided with traditional "shalve"/" Vetti" wear when you enter the temple. Learn about the historical importance of Nallur Temple as well as the basic principles of worshipping at a Hindu temple. If you are keen on learning the way of reaching enlightenment (Moksha) and Hatha Yoga, you can learn during the tour. Delve into Jaffna's culture, similarities, and differences of the South Indian culture. Learn about the scars left by the war, and the effects migration and exile have had in the region.

Later, explore the city of Karainagar. You will have the time to visit places such as the Casuarina beach, Kayts jetty, Sri Bhakta Hanuman temple, Kantharodai Buddhist relics, Nilavarai Deep well, Keerimalai pond, and Naguleswaram temple.

Enjoy lunch at a local village home where you will try dishes such as fried cuttlefish, Jaffna prawn curry, toasted crab, fish masala, mashed brinjal, drumstick curry, fish gravy, and more. The meals will be served on a banana leaf as a traditional Jaffna style lunch.

Take the rest of the afternoon to relax by the quiet and beautiful beach of Casuarina. While on the beach, if the season is right, you might be able to try the Palmyra tree ("Nungu")! You might also get to sample some Palmyrah toddy, an alcoholic drink! (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 6: Jaffna

Jaffna
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Delft Island Excursion
  • Accommodation: Fox Resorts Jaffna
  • Meals: B, L

Delft Island Excursion

There are only a few places in the world that capture the imagination of travelers like Delft Island. Think a small island lined with small walls made of coral, with no cars, the ruins of a Fort and feral horses left by the Arabs and the Portuguese over 400 years ago. Then there are the beaches...

Today, meet with your driver, who will take you to Kurikadduvan jetty, where you will board a local ferry for the 1-hour boat ride to Delft Island. Along the way, your local guide will explain the lifestyle, wartime history, and Hindu lore of the Jaffna Islands. Upon arrival, a special vehicle will be waiting to take you to see the highlights of the island including the: wild horses, huge baobab tree, Dutch Fort, Pigeon Cage, Coral Fences and more! The atmosphere of Delft is hard to put into words and you have to experience it to believe it, it's as simple as that.

Lunch will be served at a local home on the island. This is as authentic as it gets and the curries prepared will depend on the season.

In the late afternoon, you'll return to the pier where you'll board the return boat to Jaffna. Enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure.

Day 7: Jaffna - Ritigala - Habarana

Jaffna - Ritigala - Habarana
Daily Summary
  • Tour: En Route to Habanara via Ritigala
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: Elephant Watch Hut
  • Meals: B

En Route to Habanara via Ritigala

Today you'll bid farewell to the northern peninsula and proceed towards Sri Lanka's cultural triangle.

After approximately four hours drive, you'll stop to visit and explore the Ritigala Archeological Monastery. Think of Indiana Jones – well that is a bit exaggerated - but Ritigala in a way has that undiscovered feeling, a world away from the most famous sights in Sri Lanka. Take the time to fully explore this incredible site and be sure to walk all the way to highest area of the complex. The archeological site bears a certain mysterious nature owing to the long meditational pathways that open into the thick jungle and large stone-lined reservoirs. Take a moment to sit down and connect with nature in these ancient sacred meditation grounds.

You'll then continue the 45 minute journey to Habarana. Check in to your hotel and settle into your new surroundings! (This service is on a private basis.)

Habarana

Habarana (Sri Lanka), an area frequented by elephants, with plenty of little villages and a rustic flavor! Habanara is home to the incredible wildlife and beautiful safari places where you can submerge yourself in the wild and local cultures. You can visit places like the Yala National Park, Minneriya National Park, and many of the surrounding places that are located just a few minutes away. Habarana is the best place to be for an off the beaten path interactive and relaxing adventure.

Day 8: Habarana

Habarana
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Discover Polonnaruwa
  • Accommodation: Elephant Watch Hut
  • Meals: B, L

Discover Polonnaruwa

Today you will be driven approximately 1 hour to Polonnaruwa to discover everyday life in the local villages. There is no better way to explore than pedaling on two wheels and taking the less traveled back roads (Please Note: The trail is approximately 13km and mostly flat terrain). The first section of the trail will take you along the canal, where you will see the locals using small wooden bridges to cross the canal! Travel along many lakes and observe the techniques of the local fisherman, all while keeping an eye out for the resident birdlife. En route, you will stop at a scenic location to enjoy picnic-style snack break.

Next, enjoy a feast of rice and ten varieties of curry at a local restaurant bordering the scenic rice fields, away from the main roads. The Sri Lankan version of Rice & Curry is something not to miss while visiting the country. The locals will curry literally everything ranging from meat, tubers, lentils, vegetables and even fruits. Take it slow and enjoy the difference in each item, which all blends in perfectly to create a unique taste.

Afterward, continue exploring this ancient city. Grand Palaces-Check! Monumental Stupas-Check! Life carved into harsh granite-Check! These are the things to look for at Polonnaruwa, which perfectly displays 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, to the place where the stonemasons of yore showcased their greatest work in the mystical yet serene Image House at the Gal Vihara showcasing 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 will 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 the human occupation and still continue living there long after the humans left. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 9: Habarana - Elkaduwa

Habarana - Elkaduwa
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: Ashburnham Estate
  • Meals: B

After checking out of your hotel in Habarana, you will make your way to Elkaduwa for another unique experience (drive duration: 3 hours). Upon arrival, check-in and settle into your new hotel.

Later in the afternoon, set out on a short walk to the waterfall located on the estate premises.

Yes, you read it right! Not many hotels could boast of having a natural waterfall within its land and Ashburnham is one of those very few. The walk goes through tea bushes and old estate steps. There is one tall waterfall and several other cascades and plunge pools, all lovely little hideaways at which to cool off, lay back and chill out. The Cascade pool, halfway down the steps to the main waterfall makes a perfect late afternoon spot for drinks overlooking the valley below. Cool off with a dip while having a cold beverage in hand.

Elkaduwa

Elkaduwa is a small village located inside of the Matale District. It is small and magical enough to be reached by two main roads, from Ukuwela and Wattegama. The village may be remote but it is located near other main places such as Kandy. Experience mother nature one on one in this off the beaten path paradise.

Day 10: Elkaduwa

Elkaduwa
Daily Summary
  • Tour: The History of Tea
  • Accommodation: Ashburnham Estate
  • Meals: B

The History of Tea

This morning, join Mr. Das, the superintendent of the Estate, to learn about the history of tea! Start by learning the art of picking tea alongside tea pickers and see how they handpick the best "shoots" (two leaves and a bud). Afterward, try your tea tasting skills! This experience helps you identify various grades grown in different altitudes of the country ranging from low country, mid country, to up-country.

In the afternoon, go on a short hike to One Tree Hill and enjoy a high tea at the top (total duration: approx. 2- 3 hrs; total distance: approx. 7km). This is an easy but lovely walk partly along the road, through the local villages, past temples, and along off-road tracks up to the final peak. As you enjoy the tea from the top, you can see the Estate, nestled between the jungle and tea fields.

Day 11: Elkaduwa - Ududumbara - Gal Oya

Elkaduwa - Ududumbara - Gal Oya
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Weavers of the Kandyan Kings
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: Gal Oya Lodge
  • Meals: B

Weavers of the Kandyan Kings

After a wonderful time in Elkaduwa, you will begin the journey to Gal Oya. Along the way, you will stop to visit a village tucked away in the lush Dumbara Valley. This is one of the few villages in Sri Lanka where handloom textile weaving is a living heritage. The handweavers here are well-known for the art and the tradition of Dumbara weaving designs. They bring all the elements that represent the craft’s place of origin and its artistic representation. These unique textiles were used mostly by Kandyan Kings and aristocrats in ancient times and were fetched at premium prices only for the fact that it took weeks to weave. Fast forward to hundreds of years, now in the 21st century, the biggest challenge is to convince the next generation to take it up and carry the tradition forward.

Take a short walk along the village roads through paddy fields, if you happen to visit just after the seasonal rains, you'll be able to see a stunning waterfall cascading down in the distance! Visit the very few local houses where the art is still being practiced. You will also have the opportunity to see the simple daily lifestyle of traditional hand weavers and experience their genuine hospitality with a cup of tea and snacks. After the tour is over, you will continue driving to your accommodations in Gal Oya (total driving duration: 4.5 hours).

Gal Oya

Gal Oya is an unexplored treasure in Sri Lanka. A National Park surrounded by water and Islands. It is rustic but it has all you need wonderfully appointed lodgings, an excellent team of local guides, and some of the best food to be found in the country. One important thing to note is that there might be no phone signals but, it will be the perfect place to detox from all technology.

Day 12: Gal Oya

Gal Oya
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Gal Oya National Park Boat Safari & Nature Walk
  • Accommodation: Gal Oya Lodge
  • Meals: B

Gal Oya National Park Boat Safari & Nature Walk

Step into the wild today! This morning* you will embark on an epic boat safari in Gal Oya National Park. You will have the chance to see animals such as crocodiles, deer, and endemic birds; you may also be lucky enough to see elephants swimming between islands or bathing at the lake’s edge. Next, relax with a picnic on a remote island within the national park.

Later in the afternoon, join a resident naturalist for a walk around the lodge, enjoy the abundant birdlife and beautiful surroundings. The walk offers several possible routes through the trees and around the nearby lake to observe a wide range of bird species such as Kingfishers, Eagles, Kites, and many aquatic birds. Feel free to discuss your interests with your naturalist for a tailored trip to suit your preferences.

*Please Note: The boat safari schedule varies between early morning or afternoon (subject to the Department of Wildlife Conservation boat availability). (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 13: Gal Oya - Koslanda

Gal Oya - Koslanda
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Monkey Mountain Trek
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: Living Heritage Koslanda
  • Meals: B

Monkey Mountain Trek

Rise and shine! The day begins with a 1.5-hour uphill trek to Monkey Mountain! Up top, dramatic 180-degree views over the large forested valley await. An early start allows you to watch the sunrise over the hills in the distance, observing the never-ending jungle canopy below. After you've finished, return for a well-earned breakfast.

After breakfast, you will be driven 3.5 hours to your accommodations in Koslanda.

Koslanda

Koslanda is located in the middle of a route used by elephants for centuries. These majestic creatures used to leave the plains below and go to the hills during the dry season. Between June and August, you might be lucky enough to catch sight of the elephants as they make their ascent. Koslanda is also a beautiful place to explore and home to giant squirrels and chattering monkeys. The jackfruit trees give Koslanda its name, along with the native plants and an abundance of exotic birds that are beautiful to watch and hear.

Day 14: Koslanda

Koslanda
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Jungle Waterfall Trek
  • Accommodation: Living Heritage Koslanda
  • Meals: B

Jungle Waterfall Trek

After a relaxed breakfast, start your trek in this beautiful jungle and get to know the native plants and trees. This is also a great way to find out more about pepper and coffee cultivation during the colonial era. Next, head to the hidden waterfall through the forest! Spend some time relaxing at the Forest Ambalamba near the waterfall. This is the perfect spot for resting after a swim as you watch the waterfall.

Note: You will encounter some unavoidable companions - leeches! Your hosts will be able to provide leech socks, repellant, and saltwater (this helps keep the leeches at bay!).

Day 15: Koslanda - Yala - Weerawila

Koslanda - Yala - Weerawila
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Yala National Park Safari
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: Flameback Eco Lodge
  • Meals: B

Yala National Park Safari

Enjoy the morning at your leisure. Around noon you'll depart on a 2 hour drive to Yala National Park for an exciting wildlife safari. Yala is the most famous national park in Sri Lanka because it has a fantastic range of wildlife. You will get to see breathtaking sights of majestic elephants, fine-feathered peacocks, great black bears, and if you are lucky - agile leopards. Given the parks national fame and popularity, crowds are inevitable, in order to best avoid traffic, you'll be entering the park from "Block 5" a relatively less crowded area of the park.
After the safari, continue driving approximately 1 hour to your accommodations in Weerawila.

Weerawila

The Weerawila Bird sanctuary located in southern Sri Lanka, southwest of the Yala National Park. At an altitude of 20 meters above sea level and consisting of wetlands and reservoirs. Weerawila attracts a diverse range of bird species each year to roost and nest. It also attracts thousands of local and migratory birds who roam across the sanctuary, which is home to both aquatic bird species and jungle-dwelling birds.

An authentic experience awaits you in Weerawila, unbridled with the charm of an idyllic fishing village, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Quiet and tranquil, this small town is conveniently located and is central to some of the most renowned wildlife parks and cultural heritage sites of Sri Lanka.

Day 16: Weerawila

Weerawila
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Village Life in Weerawila
  • Accommodation: Flameback Eco Lodge
  • Meals: B

Village Life in Weerawila

This morning you will follow your guide and explore the village as well as experience activities such as paddy farming, chena cultivation, curd making, and brunch at a farmer’s house!

Experience the simplicity of the ethnic community who enjoys a unique lifestyle that’s humble, artistic, and entertaining. Witness the grandeur of a paddy field and surprise your senses with a local drink such as ‘Thambi’ or ‘Darul’ while you visit a local family who makes ‘curd’ and does ‘organic farming’ for a living. Enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan meal prepared by the family, savoring the mouthwatering delights of the village cuisine.

Later in the afternoon, set out on a boat ride alongside a local fisherman on the Weerawila Lake. Sail along the calm waters as the sound of birds breaks the silence. Dawn or dusk is the perfect time to go across the Weerawila Lake, and if you are lucky, you might catch some fish!

Day 17: Weerawila - Bolgoda Lake

Weerawila - Bolgoda Lake
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Tour: Bolgoda Lake Cruise
  • Accommodation: Amber Collection Houseboat
  • Meals: B, D

Bolgoda Lake Cruise

The adventure starts with a scenic sunset cruise, which begins late afternoon. You will have the opportunity to spot a few birds that take up residence on these wetlands. If you are lucky, you might spot the fruit bats of Lake Bolgoda as they take off at dusk. As the sun starts to set and the winds subside, prepare to be mesmerized by a dramatic marathon of vibrant colors over the islands. After enjoying dinner under a starlit sky, the boathouse will slowly cruise off to dock by the banks of the lake for the night.

Bolgoda Lake

Bolgoda Lake stretches from Anguruwatota to Piliyandala, and the lake encompasses almost two-thirds of the district of Kalutara. The lake is rich in exotic flora and fauna and is a thriving home for crocodiles and birds—bird-watching enthusiasts from around the world head to the lake to spot these colorful winged creatures. Bolgoda Lake covers approximately 374 square kilometers of freshwater and brackish water.

Day 18: Bolgoda Lake - Colombo Departure

Bolgoda Lake - Colombo Departure
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Meals: B

This morning, you start the day by setting out on an early morning cruise with an in-house naturalist. As you sail along, keep a lookout and be awed by the few yet interesting array of wildlife, birdlife, and foliage of the lake. Your naturalist guide will be available to answer any questions you may have along the way.

Upon disembarking the boat, you'll be met and driven approximately 1.5 hours to the Colombo airport, arriving in good time to board your international departure flight.

We wish you safe and happy travels home!

Accommodation

Ambarella Lodge

Ambarella Lodge

The property is in the heart of a working coconut estate that has been in my family for generations. It has always been a place to return to, to resource and to wind down. Experience a unique way of waking up in the morning, breathing in the air filled with aromas of spices and enjoy breakfast surrounded by luscious exotic plants, majestic coconut trees, and colorful birds flitting from branch to branch. More of a sanctuary in a hectic world than a hotel Ambarella Lodge is the perfect place to start your discovery of Sri Lanka, situated less than 30 minutes from the international airport.

The Ibis

The Ibis

‘The Ibis’ – Wilpattu – Overlooking and bordering a local Lake and nestled on a 2 ½ acre land surrounded and hidden by greenery sits The Ibis, a four-bedroom exclusive and private ‘Villa’ style property which lets you experience the absolute peace and serenity of rural Sri Lanka only to be broken by the twittering of over a hundred species of birds by day and at night it gives you the impression that you could touch the moon and the stars making you feel that you are one with nature.

Fox Resorts Jaffna

Fox Resorts Jaffna

In Kokuvil, just ten minutes outside Jaffna town is Fox Jaffna. This historic house was once the home of an illustrious Northern family but hides a tumultuous past. The property was once used as a treasury by insurgents before being claimed by the government as an office space. Since reclaiming the property, the owners have remodeled their ancestral home into a luxury boutique hotel, incorporating modern conveniences while preserving its colorful past. Acres of lush green gardens seclude you from the hustle and bustle of the town when you’re not exploring. Indulge in an authentic local meal at our restaurant or take a relaxing dip in the pool.

Elephant Watch Hut

Elephant Watch Hut

Boasting a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a garden and views of the pool, Elephant Watch Hut is situated in Habarana and features accommodation with free WiFi. There is a fully equipped private bathroom with a shower and complimentary toiletries. The lodge offers a continental or Asian breakfast. Elephant Watch Hut provides a barbecue. Both a bicycle rental service and a car rental service are available at the accommodation, while hiking and cycling can be enjoyed nearby. Habarana Lake is 5 km from Elephant Watch Hut, while Ritigala Forest Monastery is 25 km from the property.

Ashburnham Estate

Ashburnham Estate

Ashburnham Estate (or Ash) is a small boutique hotel set in its 100-acre tea estate, around an hour north-east of Kandy, in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. The estate boasts stunning waterfalls and far-reaching views up to and across the Knuckles Mountains, not to mention around 60 acres of lush tea fields, plucked each day. The house has a funkier edge than most estate bungalows. It very much remains, though, its 1930’s planter heritage. You’ll soak that up with sundowners on the terrace or by the ‘Aga Bar.’

Gal Oya Lodge

Gal Oya Lodge

Gal Oya Lodge is a unique ecolodge spread across 20 acres of private forest in one of Sri Lanka’s most remote and least visited wilderness areas. The property's design concept harmonizes with nature, in contrast to typical Sri Lanka resorts. Wherever possible, the lodge has utilized sustainable and local materials. Nestled amidst the lush forest and open grasslands, the property was specifically built to take advantage of the spectacular views. Each of the ten spacious bungalows feature all of the amenities you could need for a pleasant nature escape. The large 800 sq. ft. bedrooms include a king sized bed and an airy outdoor bathroom. A private living area with floor to ceiling windows and a garden veranda completes your secluded space, where you are invited to relax and unwind in a truly natural environment.

Living Heritage Koslanda

Living Heritage Koslanda

Surrounded by the magical forests on its estate Living Heritage Koslanda is a unique luxury boutique hotel set in the heart of Sri Lanka's hill country. Found within close reach of the famed Lipton's tea estate and a little further afield from Ella and Little Adams peak, we are an easy stop off on the scenic train route from Kandy to Ella and the gateway to Arugambay and the East Coast. Here at Living Heritage Koslanda, we have created a harmonious and peaceful retreat where you can relax, recharge, and reconnect with a way of life understood by Sri Lankans throughout the ages. Where traditional architecture and design are fused with the facilities and attention to detail, you would expect from a luxury hotel. There's no shortage of beautiful places to relax – the infinity pool sits right above paddy fields and is a great spot to sit back and take in the views. Our villas have their private courtyard and long veranda, and there are three ambalamas (pavilions), ideal for settling down with a good book and a cold drink. The Forest Pavilions are uniquely constructed from local timber on cantilevered platforms, offering spectacular views of the treetops. The "semi-open walls" concept of the rooms offers guests a chance to connect with nature in a very unique and romantic setting. For those who want to explore, there are 80 acres of stunning forest to walk in, and it's a perfect base if you're going to discover more of the wonders the island has to offer.

Flameback Eco Lodge

Flameback Eco Lodge

Flameback Eco Lodge is nestled within the Weerawila Bird sanctuary located in southern Sri Lanka, southwest of the Yala National Park. At an altitude of 20 meters above sea level and consisting of wetlands and reservoirs, Weerawila attracts a diverse range of bird species each year to roost and nest. Being aptly located alongside the Weerawila (tank) reservoir within the sanctuary, Flameback Eco Lodge wondrously attracts thousands of local and migratory birds who roam across the sanctuary, which is home to both aquatic bird species and jungle-dwelling birds. An authentic experience awaits you in Weerawila, unbridled with the charm of an idyllic fishing village, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Quiet and tranquil, this small town is conveniently located and is central to some of the most renowned wildlife parks and cultural heritage sites of Sri Lanka.

Amber Collection Houseboat

Amber Collection Houseboat

For the first time in Sri Lanka, Amber Collection brings you Luxury River Cruises along the Bolgoda Lake, which are onboard luxury houseboats designed to resemble a traditional walauwa house. Embark on a whirlwind adventure while cruising along the Bolgoda Lake on Flow. An amalgamation of Sri Lankan heritage and modern designs, this floating walauwa is the ideal escape from the bustling city life. Enjoy wellness treatments, bird watching, wildlife spotting, jet skiing, tubing, and other thrilling activities during your stay. Take in the surrounding views as you watch a dramatic island sunset while gliding along the largest freshwater lake on the island.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 7,518 per person

*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.

Price Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

Price Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Taxes and fees

Why Global Basecamps

Unparallelled Customer Service
As dedicated travel specialists, we are here to help you plan the perfect trip. We're with you from the beginning, during the crucial planning stages, throughout your trip in case anything comes up, and afterwards to make sure everything went perfectly. If anything were to go wrong during your trip (missed/delayed flights, etc.), we and our local in‐country partners are here for you.
Hand‐crafted Trips
While we have sample itineraries to help you create the perfect trip, we encourage you to travel at your own pace with a custom itinerary ‐ or simply book accommodation and excursions to travel with full flexibility. We also give you access to an amazing product line that would be very difficult to find otherwise.
Social Responsibility
Our trips directly benefit local communities through a variety of educational, environmental, and cultural initiatives. Additionally, all of our partners have been qualified as upholding a level of service that we truly stand behind. We strive to work exclusively with like‐minded partners who are committed to making sure tourism does not have a negative impact on destinations.

Request Free Quote

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.

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This is just one of many authentic travel experiences offered by Global Basecamps. If you are interested in more unique destinations to Jordan with unprecedented planning and extraordinary service visit our main Sri Lanka Tours page to browse other sample trips.
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