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On the Trail: Hiking and cycling in Sri Lanka

TERMS AND CONDITIONS


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DURATION

8 days | 7 nights

DESTINATIONS

Sri Lanka

INTERESTS

Trekking,
Bicycling

TYPE

Intrepid

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Swim in mountain streams and waterfall lagoons
  • Hike across Horton’s Plain to World’s End
  • Cycle down Satan’s Steps Camp beneath the stars in a Sri Lankan rainforest

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

On this eight-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. 

DAY-TO-DAY

DAY 1: Riverston

Once firmly on Sri Lankan soil, you’ll be escorted to Rathtota to meet your driver and be whisked away to the beautiful camp at Riverston. Here, you’ll be greeted with refreshments and enjoy leisure time to explore the camp, take a dip in the mountain stream and get used to your surroundings. After lunch, plunge into the local wilderness to discover a cross-section of all the mini eco-systems of Sri Lanka, from dry brush to humid jungle to pygmy forest. Marvel at the abundance of this gorgeous countryside before heading back to camp to enjoy a hearty barbecue around a campfire and a good night’s rest.

DAY 2: Meemure

An early rise is well worth it for the stunning sunrise over the Manigala Mountain and the valley below. After breakfast you’ll make tracks, embarking upon the nearly four-hour hike through Pallegama to Narangamuwa. Walking through the tropical forest, you’ll enjoy stunning views of Lakegala Mountain rising above, and you’ll even have the chance to spot the wild elephants that roam the countryside nearby. In the late afternoon, make camp at Meemure, an isolated village tucked deep in the forest at the foot of the Knuckles range.

DAY 3: Nuwara Eliya

Today your driver will meet you at camp and you’ll enjoy the leisurely drive to the pretty highland town of Nuwara Eliya. 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.

DAY 4: Belihuloya

After breakfast, begin your trek across the beautiful Horton Plains, keeping a watchful eye out for the abundant wildlife that roam 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 3700-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 and endeavor 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.

DAY 5: Udawalawe

After an early breakfast at your hotel, hop back on your bike bound for Udawalawe National Park. At the gates of the park, your 4x4 will meet you to transport you through the natural wonders of the park to your campsite. Enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan lunch and relax at camp in the afternoon as you prepare for your evening safari. Head out into the wild where you will be surrounded by towering mountain peaks, making sure to look out for wild elephant, deer, buffalo, leopards and exotic birds. Back at camp, enjoy a candlelit barbecue dinner beneath the stars.

DAY 6: Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Enjoy breakfast at camp before hopping back in your jeep and making your way to the entrance to Sinharaja Forest. Here you’ll find Martin’s Lodge, the homestead dedicated to Martin Wijesinghe, a world-renowned protector of nature who lobbied to recognize the area as a World Heritage Site. Relax at the lodge and explore the visitor’s center in the afternoon.

DAY 7: 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.

DAY 8: Departure

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 onwards to your next exciting destination.

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