Example Itinerary

On the Trail: Hiking and Cycling in Sri Lanka

Duration
9 days / 8 nights
Price Per Person
From $24,500
Interests
Trekking, Bicycling
Destinations
Sri Lanka
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On this nine-day excursion, you’ll have the chance to explore the most beautiful and secluded treasures buried deep in the heart of Sri Lanka. Trek through the lush rainforest and hike across plains densely populated with rich flora and fauna, including rare wild animals. Cycle through tea terraces and round mountain passes, stopping to swim in crystal clear mountain streams and waterfall pools. Spend your nights camped beneath the stars or tucked away in cozy lodges, deep in the rugged wilderness of this incredible island nation. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Intrepid Hiking: One of the best stretches of the trek through Sri Lanka's wild countryside is from Horton Plains to World's End, named for the sheer 3,700-foot drop to the valley below.
  • Bike Through Tea Plantations: The hair-raising hairpin bends of "Satan's Steps" are not for the fainthearted, but travelers will be rewarded for your efforts with a cooling dip at the lagoon under Bambarakanda Waterfall.
  • Game Drives: Safari rides through Udawalawe National Park and Sinharaja Forest Reserve take travelers to meet wild elephants, buffalo, leopards, deer, and colorful bird species.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Negombo

Arriving at the Colombo International Airport, you'll transfer to Negombo, which is around 30 minutes away. Here, you can relax and spend the rest of your day at leisure (or enjoy a city tour of Negombo if time permits), so that you're ready and rested for your hiking-biking adventure.

Day 2

Map

Knuckles Mountain Range

After taking a leisurely breakfast, you'll drive towards the Knuckles Mountain Range, which is a 70-minute drive from Negombo. As its name describes, the Knuckles of central Sri Lanka are a series of folds and peaks that appear to resemble a clenched fist when viewed from certain angles. The range is home to some of the toughest, but most rewarding, hiking trails in the country, plus the Knuckles are an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 3

Map

Knuckles Mountain Range

Today, you'll hike through the Knuckles on a trail that suits your preferences and abilities. The 12-kilometer High Knuckles Trail is a challenging climb to the summit of the first two knuckles (8-9 hours), the 14-kilometer Waterfall Trek winds through verdant forest to tumbling cascades (4-5 hours), while the viewpoints along the scenic 11-kilometer Corbetts Gap Trek are some of the most soughtafter panoramas in the region (3-4 hours) - to name but a few ideas. 

Today your driver will meet you at camp and you’ll enjoy the leisurely drive to the pretty highland town of Nuwara Eliya, which takes around five hours. This picturesque spot is strewn with colonial tea estates and elegant architecture, surrounded by rolling green tea terraces as far as the eye can see. Tonight, indulge in a comfortable night in a cozy hotel.

Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya

Day 5

Map

Belihuloya

After breakfast, begin your trek across the beautiful Horton Plains, located an hour's drive from Nuwara Eliya, keeping a watchful eye out for the abundant wildlife that roams here, including wild boar, deer, and many species of birds. Then, soak in the stunning views from your hike’s destination: World’s End, a sheer 3,700-foot drop with a scenic valley view below. After a short hike back, enjoy your packed lunch at the entrance of Horton Plains before hopping on your bike to ride through green tea plantations followed by the steep hairpin bends of "Satans Steps." Take a break at the towering Bambarakanda Waterfall and cool off in the lagoon before hitting the road once again, bound for Belihuloya. (This cycling route takes around four hours to complete.)

Day 6

Map

Belihuloya

Today, you have the option to enjoy the camp and its surrounds. There are bushwalking excursions led by naturalists and third-generation Bushmen, a "Wilderness Spa & Lounge" to relax in, and authentic village experiences to choose from.

Day 7

Map

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

After an early breakfast at your hotel, you'll drive two hours to Udawalawe National Park. At the gates of the park, your 4x4 will meet you to transport you through the natural wonders, from towering mountain peaks, to wild elephant, deer, buffalo, leopards, and exotic birds. After your safari adventure, you'll continue on to Sinharaja Forest Reserve, which is approximately four hours away by car.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Day 8

Map

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Rise bright and early, ready to plunge into the primeval rainforest of Sinharaja. Enjoy your picnic breakfast here in the jungle: named for the legendary lion king from whom Sri Lankans are supposedly descended, Sinharaja is a sacred natural area, shrouded in mystery and legend. Stop off for lunch at another scenic picnic spot before making your way back to the lodge for the evening.

After breakfast at the lodge, it’s time to depart from your unforgettable tour of the natural treasures of Sri Lanka and head home or to your next exciting destination. The drive back to Colombo takes around 3.5 hours, where you can catch your onward flight.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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