Your day-by-day itinerary
Amble along Negombo's Canals
Today you’ll arrive in Negombo, a modest beach town on the palm-fringed west coast, not far from Colombo. During your time in Negombo, you’ll stay in an elegant villa with a swimming pool and gardens. The rest of the day is free for you to do as you please; why not relax by the pool with a good book or take a stroll along the beach. Alternatively, you can soak up the sights and sounds of the town with your driver. Explore the fascinating colonial history, wander through the vibrant bazaar and get a taste of your first authentic Sri Lankan curry!
Leopards, Lakes and Royal Palaces
This bite-sized trip will take you to Wilpattu, the largest National Park in Sri Lanka. This park was closed for a long time during the civil war, but reopened to tourists in 2010. It’s the perfect place to head out on an adventurous jeep safari and search for leopards and sloth bears. You’ll stay in an atmospheric safari tent and enjoy and evening BBQ at the campfire. Afterwards, you’ll head to the historic city of Anuradhapura. Here you can amble through the ancient ruins and see the sacred Bodhi tree.
Elephants in Buddha's Garden
From crumbling ruins to majestic elephants, this trip will take you on a discovery of Sri Lanka’s fascinating Cultural Triangle. Your journey will begin by climbing Sigiriya’s mighty rock fortress, before you arrive at Sri Lanka’s ancient capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Polonnaruwa, where you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time as you wander, and take a tour by bike, around the ancient stone city. The highlight for many people, however, is the visit to Kaudulla or Minneriya National Park, where you’ll get to see wild Sri Lankan elephants roaming free. You’ll spend 2 nights at a lakeside hotel, where you can relax and take in the beauty of the area.
Life amongst the Rice Paddies
Although only an hour from the hustle and bustle of busy Kandy, Digana and its surrounding villages feels like a million miles away. From lush jungle to tumbling rice paddies, the only sounds you’ll hear are those of the wildlife and perhaps the occasional swish of a scythe. You’ll spend 2 nights in a basic eco-lodge and take a hearty walk through one of the nearby villages.
Explore the Emerald Valleys of Ella
Ella is a peaceful village nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s hill-country, with fresh air, some lovely places to eat and a welcoming atmosphere. You’ll travel here via an iconic train journey through the lush countryside, before settling into your cosy hotel for the next couple of nights. All around Ella you’ll find tea plantations, temples, waterfalls and green hills. At Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock there are some truly spectacular viewpoints too. You can pack a day-bag and explore this wonderful part of Sri Lanka to your heart’s content, or just find a comfy chair and take it all in with a nice cup of tea.
Strolling Through the Rainforest
You’ll explore the lush Sinharaja rainforest as you discover exotic plants, ribbons of green vines, a kaleidoscope of exotic birds and colourful lizards. Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, you can choose which trail you’d like to take. You’ll stay in a simple guest-house on the outskirts of the park so you can fall asleep to the sounds of the rainforest.
Whale Tails Ahoy!
Take a trip to the seaside town of Mirissa and from Nov-Apr you’ll be in one of the best places on the planet for whale watching. These mighty marine giants are drawn to the sea trench just off the coast to feed, making your chances of spotting them particularly high. In your free time you can walk along the soft sands of Mirissa’s crescent bay, crack open a coconut and let your worries drift away.
Just One More Thing...in Colombo!
Take a trip back in time as you journey back to Colombo via the old fortress town of Galle. Half a century ago, on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, the seafaring nations of Portugal, Great Britain and Holland landed here, bringing creature comforts to remind them of home and leaving behind traces of their colonial style. During this trip, you’ll enjoy a traditional British high tea and spend the night in a stylish hotel in Colombo. The city itself probably won’t be the highlight of your holiday, but it’s an interesting and convenient way to end your Sri Lankan adventure if you’re flying early the following day.