Ceylon is a mythical name! Just saying it carries you away to an elusive past, nourished in grand dreams and imagination. Lovers of history, culture and tradition will be satisfied by, among others, the towns of Colombo, Wilpattu National Park, Sigiriya, Kandy, Galla, with their Buddhist temples, palaces, tea planation, relics, citadels and luxurious resorts of Tea Trail, Amanwella and Amangalla.
On arrival in Bandaranaike International airport, you will be warmly greeted and transferred to the hotel in Colombo (Approx. 40 mins). Spend the day at leisure enjoying the hotel facilities.
Colombo has a rich colonial heritage and draws together all the colours and cultures of Sri Lanka. Drive around to see the historical attractions which include the fort, Independence square, race course, Dutch hospital and cinnamon Gardens.
Enjoy a Colombo city walk where you can experience firsthand the borrowed words from the Portuguese to the amazing architecture the Dutch/English left behind, see the vision and love the Englishman had for this land - all while learning and experiencing what being "Sri Lankan" is all about. Colombo also offers fine dining and excellent shopping opportunities.
Wilpattu National Park
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to the campsite in Wilpattu (Approx. 4 hours). After lunch, proceed on a safari to Wilpattu National Park. Declared as a National Park in 1938, the Wilpattu National Park is the largest in the country, covering an extent of 131,694 hectares. Vegetation varies greatly and the transition from thick jungle to open scrubland and windswept dunes of the coastal belt happening within minutes.
A unique feature of this Park is that it has a large number of villus (lakes) where you can watch wildlife and many species of birds. Leopards and herds of wild elephant are the most famous animals in this Park. Other sightings you can expect are Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Sloth Bear, Mongoose, Crocodile and Peacocks. Once you return to the campsite, enjoy some drinks around a bonfire followed by a barbeque dinner.
Canoeing on reservoir
After another exciting morning safari at Wilpattu National Park, you will be taken to the Cultural Triangle (Approx. 3 hours). In the afternoon, visit Hiriwaduna village. You will be taken on a tractor ride through a banana plantation. You could taste and savour the ripe bananas there. You will then be crossing a scenic reservoir in an “oruwa” (traditional boat) to visit a chena cultivation. You will also get an opportunity to meet and interact with the villagers in the area. You may even opt to help them in some of their daily activities such as farming and cooking.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Sigiriya rock fortress - a UNESCO world heritage site. The Sigiriya rock was built in the 5th Century during the reign of King Kasyapa (477-495 AD) Sigiriya is commonly called the ‘Fortress in the Sky’ and is probably the most fantastic wonder of Sri Lanka. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the Palace on the summit of the 600-foot rock.
Afterwards, you will be taken to Polonnaruwa ancient city (Approx. 1.5 hour’s drive time one way). Hear the tales of how the king’s court was laid out at the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. An important royal capital, with its well-preserved 12th century ruins & impressive stone culture recalls an inspired past. Although nearly 1000 years old, the monuments are arranged in a reasonably compact garden setting and their development is easier to follow.
At night, you will be taken on a walk around the hotel with the naturalist in search of loris, in its nocturnal habitat. Loris’s are Sri Lanka’s mystical creatures of the night with their large bulging eyes and tiny limbs. The forested nature trail at Jetwing Vil Uyana is regarded as the best site in Sri Lanka for ‘Loris watching’ with sightings
Today you will be taken to the Hill Capital city of Sri Lanka, Kandy (Approx. 3 hours). In Dambulla, visit Dambulla cave temples. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the largest cave monastery in the country with a history going back to the 1st century BC. They are laid out as a maze of caves, of which a handful is well worth a sighting.
Have Lunch at Matale Heritage Centre. This would give you the opportunity to explore the property, which was designed by the famous architect Geoffrey Bawa, and also to see some batik designs done by the owner or the property, Ena De Silva. The lunch includes 25 dishes. Once you arrive in Kandy, check into the hotel and spend some time at leisure. In the evening, you will be taken to see a cultural performance show.
Enjoy the day sightseeing in Kandy. The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an example of construction that associates the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth. You will also be visiting Peradeniya botanical gardens. It boasts of more than 4,000 species of trees, plants and creepers. The Spice Garden and Orchid House are popular very popular attractions, and five Palm Avenues add regal elegance to the setting.
In the evening, you will be taken to Rahju’s isolated hilltop cottage overlooking the Hunas Range for an evening of contemporary art, philosophy and reflection. You will get the chance to meet Rahju in person and lso receive insider access to his private studio.
Today you will be taken on a scenic train journey to the tea country of Sri Lanka (Approx. 3 hours). Proceed to the Peradeniya railway station to board the train to Hatton. Enjoy the beautiful sceneries that you would be passing by on this journey. Spend the afternoon at leisure at the bungalow.
The resident tea planter of the bungalow will take you on a tea experience tour. Walk through the tea plantations and learn about which slopes are best for planting tea. Watch and learn how the tea pickers pick the two leaves and a bud which is used for tea manufacture. Visit the tea factory to see how the lea leaves are converted to the powder that is used to the tea that you drink. You could even try the art of tea tasting.
Day 10 & 11
Proceed to the hotel in Tangalle and spend the days at leisure enjoying the sun, sea and sand and relaxing by the hotel enjoying the hotel facilities.
Day 12GalleProceed to the colonially important city, Galle (Approx. 3 hours) and enjoy a personalized Galle fort walk with Juliet Coombe, a famous author and a resident of the Galle Fort. The rich heritage of the Galle fort is derived from the colonial influences of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British respectively, spanning four centuries. Galle was a key harbour city for centuries, hence its value to successive colonial superpowers.The Fort remains a hive of activity and is one of the few World Heritage listed sites in which a bustling population continues to thrive. Afterwards visit a mask making workshop. You will be taught about the various types of traditional masks of Sri Lanka and then taught how to make your own traditional mask which would be an ideal souvenir to take back home.
Day 13Back to ColomboYou will be taken to the airport to catch the flight to onward destination (Approx. 2.5 hours).
DetailsEnquire about this itinerary
- Day 1 The Residence by Uga
- Day 2 The Residence by Uga
- Day 3 Leopard Trails
- Day 4 Jetwing Vil Uyana
- Day 5 Jetwing Vil Uyana
- Day 6 Kandy House
- Day 7 Kandy House
- Day 8 Tea Trails
- Day 9 Tea Trails
- Day 10 Amanwella
- Day 11 Amanwella
- Day 12 Amangalla