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.
This 13-day Sri Lanka getaway takes you on an architectural journey through the influential works of Geoffrey Bawa. See how Bawa incorporated Sri Lanka’s ancient and modern architecture into each of his works. His beautiful buildings are inspired by different aspects of the lush countryside - the beating sun, cool sea breeze, rushing waterfalls, and unending dense forests. Journey across the countryside through Kotugoda, Dambulla, Kandy, the Central Highlands, Tambulle, Bentota, Galle and Colombo.
Arrive in Colombo and transfer 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.
Make the scenic 4-hour trip to Dambulla in the center of the northern region of the island. Here you will lay eyes on the first of many of Geoffrey Bawa’s creations - the 1994 Heritance Kandalama. Bawa coined the hotel as “an austere jungle palace.” The hotel is integrated seamlessly into the jungle surroundings and appears to be a part of the cliff face, giving guests breathtaking views of Kandalama Lake. Visit the area’s magnificent ancient Buddhist cave temples. Pay a visit to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Spend the night in luxury at the Heritance Kandalama.
After spending some time in the naturalist’s heaven at the Heritance Kandalama, climb the 1,840 steps to the Mihintale rock - a key monument for Buddhists. Check out the Mahakanadarawa stone bridge that has been suspended in the middle of the dense forest since the 7th century. The 2,500-year-old irrigation system is still in place and working. Retire to the Heritance Kandalama for the evening.
Your journey moves 2 hours away to the picturesque, quaint lake town of Kandy. The little town is considered Sri Lanka’s hill capital. That afternoon, enjoy touring the plush Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya and the Temple of the Tooth. The temple earned its name for containing an actual tooth belonging to Buddha. It’s been in the temple since the 4th-century. We recommend spending the night at the adorable Kandy House. This small boutique hotel is designed as a private manor house in a stunning natural background.
Enjoy a peaceful day in natural Kandy. Relax or stroll around Kandy Lake in the middle of the town. Feel tranquil as you visit the Udawattekele Sanctuary and explore the Primeval Forest. For all the tea aficionados - the Tea Museum is an unexpected treat in the town. Spend your final evening in the sleepy town at your hotel.
Travel 2 hours into the Golden Valley of Tea in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. This tealeaf-covered area also boasts rolling hills, roaring waterfalls and incredible greenery. Spend the night at the incredible, extravagant Tea Trails. The four charming colonial-style bungalows were initially built for British tea estate managers.
Start the morning off right with a freshly-picked cup of tea. You may want to enjoy the “Tea experience.” This begins with a plantation visit to learn about the handpicking business as far as the processing to packaging phases. Enjoy a scenic mountain bike ride on one of the many trails - guides are available from the hotel if you would like. Kayak out onto the reservoirs of Castlereagh and Maskeliya.
Leave the hills and head 3 hours to the Southwestern portion of the country to tropical Tangalle. Spend two nights in Bawa’s final creation - fittingly-coined the Last House. Built with a lagoon on one side and a beach on the other - you can have the best of both worlds. This is your accommodation for the next three nights. Spend your first day exploring the unending beach. Go for a swim in the fresh, sparkling water.
If you’re feeling up for an active day, consider whale watching, snorkeling, sailing, river trips and sea kayaking. The company employs youth affected by the tsunami. Pay a visit to the ancient Mulkirigala temple. The temple rests atop a boulder more than 650 feet above sea level. Revel at the ancient inscriptions dating back more than 2,000 years. Spend your final evening at the Last House.
Enjoy a scenic 2-hour coastal drive as you make your way to historic Bentota. Along the way, you’ll stop and visit the Ruhuna University in Matara. Bawa created the university by combining space and the natural landscape between the university’s two hills. Between numerous pavilions, courtyards and a stunning view of the Indian Ocean, Bawa transformed the area into a haven for the academic youth. After Matara, you will make a stop in Galle to visit the UNESCO site of the town's 17th-century fort. View period Portuguese and Dutch architecture and wander through the town’s narrow alleys, imagining life centuries ago. Enjoy lunch at the Lighthouse Hotel, designed by Geoffrey Bawa in 1994. The Lighthouse maintains a Portuguese style, reenacting the country’s landing at Galle in brass and bronze on the expansive main stairwell. Once you reach Bentota, spend two nights in Bawa’s garden retreat, which was once a rubber plantation. The Lunuganga is notable as Bawa’s personal space. The property was known for being his favorite retreat and where he spent nearly 50 years developing his work and style. The dense foliage, pavilions and statues have turned this once-industrial area into a garden haven.
Take a morning flight and spend the last evening of your adventure in Colombo, where you will be staying at the elegant boutique hotel, The Tintagel, in Sri Lanka’s famous ancestral neighborhood. The hotel was once occupied by Sri Lanka's former president’s family. You can see the Parliament Building also built by Bawa. The building sits in the middle of a massive man-made lake. We recommend having dinner at Bawa’s office turned into a restaurant - The Gallery. Rest up at your luxury hotel before your flight home tomorrow.