Feel the sun on your shoulders and the wind in your hair as you travel down Sri Lanka’s stunning East Coast. This 14-day Sri Lanka East Coast Exploration itinerary takes you through the sunshine towns of Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Passekudah, Arugam Bay, Haputale, Kandy and Colombo. Enjoy touring ancient ruins one day and relaxing on the pristine shore the next! There’s plenty of sunshine and adventure as you make your way down the coast.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.
After arriving in Colombo, you will be transferred by private vehicle to nearby Kotugoda, where you will find your charming colonial-style bungalow at The Wallawwa. Indulge in a much-deserved rejuvenating massage after your long trip into Sri Lanka. This deluxe boutique hotel is the perfect place to relax and explore Sri Lanka’s lush natural landscape.
Rise early and make the scenic 4-hour trip to Dambulla, in the center of the northern region of the island. Visit the area’s magnificent ancient Buddhist cave temples, then pay a visit to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress; both sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are must-see's in this "Cultural Triangle" central area. Spend the night at a hotel in Sigiriya.
Take the northeast coast road for a scenic 2.5-hour drive to Passekudah. Along the way, we suggest stopping in Polonnaruwa. This ancient kingdom was Sri Lanka’s reigning capital during Medieval times. For a history of the city, stop by the museum. Continue on to tour the actual ruins themselves for a full understanding of the once bustling city. Reach the postcard-perfect coastal town of Paseduka. Rest your head at Uga Bay.
Spend the day enjoying what the area is famous for - the idyllic, pristine beaches met by sparkling, turquoise waters. Explore the quaint local fishing village and observe a quiet way of life. Find the freshest fish you’ve ever tasted as you explore the coastal area.
Once, if ever, you’ve had enough of lounging on Passedudah’s spectacular shores, travel the short distance to the town’s sister beach - Kalkudah. You can decide for yourself which area has the most beautiful beaches. Return to Uga Bay for a final restful night.
Take the southern road for 3 hours, following along the eastern shoreline as you travel to Arugam Bay. The area is considered one of the top ten surf spots in the entire world. Indeed, this place feels like its own separate little world with its isolated beaches and laid-back vibes. We recommend staying at the Kottukal Beach House just north of Arugam Bay, which sits directly on the beach.
If you’re feeling adventurous, give the area’s famous sport a try! Pick up a surfboard and join in the never-ending summer. The beach break in front of the Stardust Hotel is perfect for beginners, and those just looking to body board. Other recommended spots include; the Point, Pottuvil Point and Crocodile Rock.
If you’ve had enough surfing or are simply looking for a change of pace, the area is nearby several ancient ruins. The Lahugala National Park is a spectacular location to see Elephants roaming free in the wilderness.
Leave the coast behind as you head 3 hours inland to visit the lush southern highlands. Along the way, you will see stunning peaks, picturesque waterfalls and sprawling tea plantations. Reach Haputale and enjoy incredible views of the southern plains from the town’s ridge location. Spend the evening at the Kelburne Mountain View Cottages. The cozy cottages offer unrivalled views of the vistas below.
Meander through the Kelburne Tea plantation, feel free to pick some leaves to weigh at the station located at the front entrance. Tour the tea factory and learn about the different processes. You will be able to discern the different grades of Ceylon tea by the end of the day. Finish the day by paying a visit to the monastery or one of the nearby waterfalls.
The next leg of your trip will take you to the lush green city of Kandy (3 hours away), the island nation’s cultural capital. This was the last kingdom of Sri Lanka. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. If you wish, take a walk around the serene lake in the city center.
Take a tour of the Bahirawakanda Monastery, and see how Sri Lankan monks live and worship. See the Temple of the Tooth lit up at night by thousands of tiny white lights: a magical sight to behold. The temple contains the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Spend your final evening of pampering at your hotel.
Situated just 15 minutes from Bandaranaike International Airport, The Wallawwa is an old colonial home that has been restored and converted into 17 guestrooms and suites-- The Mountbatten Suite, two Family Suites, two Wallawwa Bedrooms, and twelve Garden Suites. The property offers well-manicured, lush gardens, a library, a study with computer and complimentary internet access, a swimming pool, and a spa. The Verandah offers Asian Fusion cuisine and is set overlooking the property's beautiful gardens.
Located just six kilometers away from the historic Sigiriya Rock, Water Garden Sigiriya resort provides visitors to Sri Lanka with world-class comfort and second to none service. With one and two bedroom options, the resort's 30 villas are chicly designed, spacious, and imbued with an air of mystique thanks to their secret gardens and private plunge pools. Havens of relaxation and excellently positioned to observe the lush outdoors and roaming wildlife, the villas are also equipped with such modern comforts as flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi, and coffeemakers. The expansive resort property can be traversed via a traditional buggy, swimming across the outdoor pool, or aboard a helicopter from the resort’s helipad that provides aerial tours of the adjacent countryside. Master chefs cater to diverse appetites with dishes from around the world at the outdoor dining sites and traditional indoor venue. Quality is ensured with an emphasis on organic produce and imports from top quality suppliers. At the resort's spa, various treatments can be enjoyed including renowned Balinese massages. On-site, there is plenty to keep guests entertained with activities as diverse as billiards, biking, and archery while travel off the premises to explore such nearby attractions as the ancient cities of Dambulla, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa is easy and convenient.
Nestled amongst reed beds and paddy fields on top of a man-made lake lies Jetwing Vil Uyana, a premier luxury eco resort in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. Hailed by Harper's Bazaar as the "best eco luxury hotel in Sri Lanka," this one-of-a-kind resort comprises 36 dwellings that merge sophisticated modern comforts with ecological rural simplicity. Located on a property that spans 28 acres, the resort's structures have been carefully placed to best allow the surrounding nature to thrive, inducing 36 species of butterfly, 120 species of bird, and 20 species of mammal that regard the resortas home. Guests can attempt to identify all the species from the comfort of their dwellings or participate in any of the various wildlife observation tours organized by the resort’s staff. Magnificent views of Sigiriya rock are also offered from the resort's fine dining restaurant serving Eastern and Western dishes alike. There is also a café for light bites and a fully stocked bar. Strategically located, getaways to elephant gatherings at Minneriya National Park, a wildlife safari at Wilpattu National Park, and other tours of nearby natural wonders and cultural relics are easily accessible. The resort itself is equipped with a spa, yoga treatments, gymnasium, coffee makers, Wi-Fi, and more.
Passekudah Bay is home to some of the longest stretches of soft, golden sand that Sri Lanka has to offer, and it is best enjoyed from the Uga Bay Passekudah. This elegant resort is situated close enough to the pristine beach line that guests can hear the waves rolling from the comfort of their luxurious accommodations. Housing a gourmet restaurant and world-class spa, Uga Bay guarantees a lap of luxury experience devoid of worry. A tireless staff works to ensure vacations go smoothly, whether that means jet skiing under the tropical sun or lazing around the resort's stunning infinity pool.
Waking up to the natural melody of tweeting birds and breathtaking views, Kelburne Mountain View Cottages are located at approximate 3000 feet at the top of the historic Haputale Pass. Looking over infinite valleys running in every direction, all five Sri Lankan provinces can be seen from the comfort of your own balcony, including Eastern, Southern, Western, Sabaragamuwa and Uva province. On a clear day, it’s possible to see the waves breaking along the Southern beaches, amidst the impeccable gardens and nearby Hindu temples that are located within the 50-acre tea estate. Liven up your taste buds with traditional Sri Lankan meals served in the comfort of your own cottage. If you’re feeling energetic, enjoy a game of badminton, basketball or the local favorite cricket with some other guests or local people. Alternatively, take a relaxing stroll around the estate where you are likely to encounter one of many chipmunks scurrying around. The three cottages at Kelburne - Aerie, Rose and Wallflower, will take you back to British colonial times, as you sip on tea, observe roving barefoot tea-pluckers dressed in flamboyant colored saris, along the steep tea estate against a backdrop of rolling hills, verdant valleys, swirling clouds and mist.
Spend 10-days exploring the best of Sri Lanka from the cultural triangle, to tea country, and down to its sandy southern coast. You’ll stay in some of Sri Lanka’s most luxury hotels, as you explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress in Dambulla, spot wild elephants on a safari, travel tea country by railway, and learn about turtles at a sanctuary.
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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.
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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With seaside, ancient stupas, rustic rural hamlets, and abundant wildlife, Sri Lanka’s east coast is a holistic island experience.
Travelogues speaks with Malik Fernando of Resplendent Ceylon, proprietor of some of the finest accommodations on Sri Lanka, including Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Ceylon Tea Trails, and Cape Weligama.
The tiny island of Sri Lanka has endured a lot, both in the past and in recent memory. Torn apart by civil war and a devastating tsunami, this strong and determined little country has fought its way through the hard times and come out on the other side not only with its beauty and culture intact, but also with its eyes on bigger rewards.
Here is a small selection of the kind words our guests have said about us, as well as features by journalists and travel writers.