The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
This is a relaxing holiday designed for ramblers and nature lovers who want to amble through Sri Lanka’s most splendid scenery away from the tourist trail. We’ve hunted down eco-retreats and hotels in picturesque locations and created an itinerary that takes you through some of the island’s most memorable landscapes. As ever, we are able to adjust this itinerary if you wish.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to a convenient hotel close to the international airport. Relax and unwind after your flight, preparing yourself for the adventure ahead.
As you travel north, visit the Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary. Wildlife enthusiasts will be engrossed by this protected wetland setting where lake, lagoon and sea water environments merge to create a rare habitat for bird and marine life. The following day, go cycling along deserted country lanes, go kayaking on the lake and enjoy a nature walk close to your eco hotel.
Rise early for a trip to Wilpattu, arguably Sri Lanka’s most beautiful national park. Away from the main tourist haunts, this park can often be enjoyed in relative seclusion.
Transfer to the Cultural Triangle. Many tourists flock to Sigiriya Rock and the ruined cities, and you can request this option if you wish, but this stock tour concentrates on quieter spots. On your transfer day, visit the great Buddha statues of Aukana and Sasseruwa and clamber up stone steps hidden in woodland to the haunting forest monastery of Ritigala. The following day, explore Polonnaruwa’s ancient ruins and marvel at the story of the tribes of monkeys who fight for supremacy.
Wake up early on your final day in this region, preferably at dawn, armed with a picnic breakfast, for a morning safari at Minneriya National Park which is best known for having the biggest gathering of Asian elephants in the world between June and September. After lunch, hike through the Kaludiya Pokuna forest near Kandalama or take a boat trip on Kandalama Lake.
Today you travel to the Knuckles Mountain Range in the central hills. Located within the district of Kandy and Matale in central Sri Lanka, the Knuckles Mountain Range is great hiking country. Trek along rivers and waterfalls, past tea plantations and terraced paddy fields and visit some of the small rural village communities.
A travel day to the highlands takes you through a landscape that stirs the sense - a land of lush tea plantations, majestic peaks and rushing waterfalls. On the second day, visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens, a relaxing outing on a light day that allows you to rest up for the adventure ahead.
In the evening, transfer to a simple hotel which is a convenient place to rest and relax before your night time climb up Adam’s Peak to witness one of the great sun rises in Asia. The time spent on the mountain will be from about 1:30am to 7am, including an ascent up stone steps of about three hours. Less taxing hill country walks are available on request.
Journey to the western foothills of the central highlands and spend two nights camping, or if you prefer in an eco-hotel, in Kitulgala. This is an area with tropical rainforests, winding rivers and an undulating terrain. Kitulgala owes its popularity to the Kelani River which offers Grade 3 rapids for rafting. Alternatively, go canoeing or take a forest walk. Rise to the sound of bird call and the gushing waters of the mighty Kelani.
Villa Hundira is a 12-bedroom boutique hotel nestled in tropical gardens overlooking the picturesque Negombo Lagoon. Situated in the village of Thalahena, it lies just 20 minutes away from Colombo’s international airport, making it a good spot to recuperate after a long flight.
Share a simple lifestyle with welcoming hosts in the rural splendour of Sri Lanka’s north-west coast. The Mudhouse is a secluded eco retreat nestled at the foot of the ancient Parmakanda Rock temple in the lightly-populated district of Puttalam. It is set amidst six acres of untouched wilderness, tranquil lakes and abundant fauna and flora.
Amaya Lake is a simple hotel of four-star standard, which enjoys a peaceful and beautiful setting by the banks of Kandalama lake, in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. An excellent eco hotel, which retains a personal feel and offers low-level cabanas in tranquil woodland.
Ashburnham Estate is an old planter’s bungalow that has been caringly renovated by its British owners. It lies on a 98-acre working tea plantation in the village of Elkaduwa, about an hour from Kandy in the Knuckles mountains. Six comfortable ensuite bedrooms are sold by the room – a great choice for walkers and nature lovers.
The Oliphant is a charming seven-bedroom British colonial house amidst tea estates and mountains a short distance from the Nuwara Eliya town. Located in Shanthipura, the highest village in Sri Lanka, this mansion was built by the son of Sir Anthony Oliphant, the eight Chief Justice of old Ceylon and is perfect for couples.
Slightly Chilled Yellow Guest House is aptly named, for it has a vibrant, informal feel that delights its active clientele. This cheery budget accommodation is ideally suited for those wishing to attempt the Adam’s Peak climb. It has spectacular views of the Peak from the dining area and bedrooms. Interiors are light and airy, with a profusion of colours.
Borderlands camping is based in Kitulgala, a riverside village that offers Sri Lanka’s best white-water rafting experience. Accommodation is in tents and wooden cabins on stilts and built right over the river.
Red Dot selects only the best accommodation in Sri Lanka, in its particular price range. Please suggest which of the three categories might most appeal to you. (You can tick more than one box).
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