This mango-shaped Indian Ocean island overflows with natural wonders, abundant wildlife, sumptuous cuisine, ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites and a rich cultural legacy. From the cool colonial Tea Country and Cultural Triangle in the country’s interior, to the curvaceous golden sands on the coast, and the plentiful national parks home to some of the best wildlife in Asia, here are our recommendations for the perfect tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka.
01A private VIP welcome awaits. Transfer (approx. 45 minute drive) to your boutique hotel in the heart of Negambo.
02After breakfast today you are driven northeast to Sigiriya / Dambulla (approx. 4 hrs.). Adventure on from the metropolitan capital of the Country and make your way to the mystical city of Sigiriya, in the evening scale the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
03This morning you visit Anuradhapura, one of southeast Asia’s most impressive sights. It was the country’s first ancient capital established in the 6th century BC used also by the British as their capital in the north central region. Ruled for 1400 years it was known as the cradle of Buddhism and its ancient ruins are spread over 40 sq km. Highlights include the world’s largest stupa which dates from the 4th century AD, the sacred Bodhi tree planted in 236BC, ruins of ancient monastery complexes and incredible Buddhist sculptures. Return to the resort and the afternoon is at leisure .
04This morning you are driven to the cliff top citadel of Sigiriya (approx. 1.5 hours). A UNESCO World Heritage site, Sigiriya is a fortress complex set 200m up on an enormous rocky outcrop. Dating to the 5th century, the site is a complex of buildings, part royal palace and part self-contained town with the famous Lion Gate, water gardens, walls and moats on par with the best in the ancient world. In a sheltered pocket approached by a spiral stairway are the famous Sigiriya frescoes, 21 figures of females depicted as rising from the clouds, some of the earliest surviving pictorial art in Sri Lanka. Afterwards, continue south to Kandy, the cultural hub of the island.
05This morning transfer to Hatton by car (approx. 2.5 hrs.). This journey is one of the most scenic as you travel through the highlands of Sri Lanka past pine forests, small villages, mist covered mountains, scenic waterfalls and lush green tea estates. Arrive at your accommodation at Ceylon Tea Trails, with its charming colonial era tea planter bungalows, in time for a late lunch. There is an option to take the scenic rail journey from Kandy to Hatton but it is subject to seat availability.
06After breakfast you are personally escorted on a morning “Tea Experience” where you visit the plantations and factory. First introduced to the country in 1867 by Englishman James Taylor, today tea is Sri Lanka’s main export and there is roughly 465,000 acres under cultivation. Today you will be able to personally acquaint yourself with the art of tea plucking as professional pickers in the organic tea plantation show you the way and learn about the full process from planting and varietal differences to hand plucking, the auction process and tasting. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the surroundings and facilities of the bungalow. Explore the local trails with a number of walks available. A hike from one Tea Trails bungalow to another for a meal or cup of tea is highly recommended. Other activities available include mountain biking, croquet, spa treatments (additional cost) and tennis.
07A long drive south today to Weligama (approx. 6 hrs.). Arrive at your beautiful resort which is situated amidst a mature coconut grove fronting a crescent shaped beach near the village of Weligama.
08Two days at leisure to enjoy the resort and its beach. An optional full day excursion to Yala National Park is available (additional cost).
09Transfer back to Colombo and the airport for your departure flight (approx. 3.5 hr).