This 10-day itinerary showcases the best of Sri Lanka's mountain treks, including hikes through tea plantations, lush rainforest and protected parkland. On this journey, you can expect superlative views of the Southern and Central Highlands while encountering local pilgrims, native birds and wildlife, and millennia-old ruins. At the end of your journey, enjoy a recuperative night at a beach resort in Negombo before heading back to Colombo.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.
• Dawn at Adam's Peak: The hike up Sri Lanka's sacred mountain takes around four hours to complete. The climb is tough, but watching a new day break from the 7,359-foot summit is unbeatable.
• Trekking: Sri Lanka's diverse terrain ranges from lush tea plantations in the Highlands to dense jungle in protected national parks, to pilgrimage routes leading to the country's most famous landmarks.
• Wildlife Encounters: By plunging deep into Sri Lanka's wild, travelers will be treated to sightings of exotic bird species, Sambar deer, bears, monkeys, water monitors, pythons, and lurking crocodiles.
Begin your 10-day Sri Lanka trekking adventure in Colombo, where you'll be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. You'll have the chance to freshen up before heading out on a sightseeing tour of the Sri Lankan capital, visiting must-see sights such as Gangarama Temple, the National Museum and the sleek Seema Malaka Temple.
Today, drive three hours to Kitulgala, a small scenic town located in lush rainforest on the bank of the Kelani River. From here, you'll embark upon a forest trek of around 10 miles, crossing the Kelani River and ascending the Seven Maidens Mountains. Along the way, you'll pass through small villages and tea plantations. Alternatively, you can walk the nature trail through Makandawa rainforest, where you can spot endemic Sri Lankan wildlife and a wide array of colorful birds. In the evening, check into your colonial bungalow at the luxurious Ceylon Tea Trails property, set in the fertile landscape of Sri Lankan tea country.
Today you'll set out on a trek of Sri Pada, Adam's Peak. It's a distance of 7.5 miles to get to the top of the mountain, at 7,400 feet above sea level – a trip of roughly four hours. The trip is usually done at night – starting just after midnight – so you reach the peak in time for daybreak. As a popular pilgrimage route, you will most likely meet others on their way to the temple at the top. Return to Ceylon Tea Trails in the afternoon and relax in your spacious bungalow.
After enjoying a hearty butler-served breakfast in your room, you'll travel to Haputale in the southern highlands. Haputale is a quiet town of mist-covered mountain peaks and tea plantations. Today, you'll walk up to Lipton Seat in the Dambetenna Estate, named after tea pioneer Sir Thomas Lipton. His favorite vantage point, Lipton Seat, is at around 6,200 feet elevation, and the view extends for miles over verdant valleys and tea-covered hills. Walk down through Naya Bedde Estate, then drive to Nuwara Eliya. Here, you'll check into the Tudor-style Grand Hotel.
Today you'll leave the hotel early for a picnic breakfast in Horton Plains, around 20 miles from Nuwara Eliya. This national parkland is located on a plateau at an elevation of around 7,000 feet. One of its main attractions is World's End, a sheer drop of around 2,800 feet. You have time to explore Horton Plains today, keeping an eye out for native birdlife, unique flora and resident animals such as bear monkeys and Sambar deer. Once back in Nuwara Eliya, you'll embark upon a trek to Single Tree Hill and the high-altitude village of Shantipura. You'll enjoy the vistas from Uda Radella viewpoint before returning to your hotel.
Enjoy a scenic train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy, where you will begin with an expedition to Udawatta Kele Sanctuary. This expansive reserve once served as a pleasure forest for Kandy royalty and is now home to a rich array of bird species, tropical plants and mammals. It also houses Buddhist dwellings and rock shelters for hermit monks. After exploring Udawatta, visit the nearby Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of Kandy's most important and popular sites, said to possess a tooth of Siddhartha Buddha.
Drive to Central Sri Lanka today for a trek from Knuckles Range to Deanston Park. This trip will take you via Corbet's Gap, showcasing the distinct eco-systems of the country in a single location, with endemic species of birds and animals across several strata. The five peaks here resemble a closed fist, hence the name Knuckles Range. After today's trek, you'll be driven to Sigiriya for the evening.
In the morning, you'll drive to the nearby Lion Rock, Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This historic site once housed a palace on its peak and still retains ancient frescoes and water gardens. A staircase guarded by the Lion Gate climbs the 650-foot rise to the top, where you can explore its 5th-century ruins and enjoy 360-degree views of the surrounding wilderness. In the afternoon, you'll trek for a few hours through the forests before heading back to the hotel for the night.
Drive to the coastal town of Negombo today and enjoy a boat trip into the wetlands of Muthurajawela. This area is rich with wildlife, including a wide range of water bird species, water monitors, crocodiles and pythons. In Negombo, you can spend the evening trying out restaurants and bars or just relax at your beachside resort.
Say goodbye to Sri Lanka today as you check out of your hotel and are transferred to Colombo, where you will check in for your departing flight to your next destination.
The dramatic and sultry Tintagel property is located in central Colombo, close to Colombo Town Hall, National Art Gallery and Sinhalese Sports Club. The hotel was previously home to three of Sri Lanka’s political leaders, making it an important structure of national heritage. This unique and intimate hotel boasts ten high-ceilinged suites with timber floors, lavishly decorated with a unique blend of color, texture and atmosphere. The spacious bathrooms feature rain showers, bathtubs and large vanities. All rooms include complimentary WiFi, LCD TV screens with DVD/CD players, a minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities and Egyptian cotton bedding. Selected suites come with a private courtyard or a balcony. There are a range of dining facilities including an alfresco restaurant, a chic indoor restaurant offering international cuisine, a private dining room and a bar with black leather lounges and bronze tables. Other facilities and services of the hotel include a spa with optional in-room service, swimming pool, gym, steam room, library and courtyard.
In prime position next to the lake and nearby Buddhist shrine, Uga Residence screams old-world elegance in modern Colombo. Nestled on a verdant avenue, this perfectly-appointed Victorian mansion offers an escape and some peace and quiet within the bustle of the city. Guests can relax in their luxurious suites, bedecked in rich materials and textures, or on their private terraces; alternatively, they may enjoy tranquil walks in the shady gardens. Relaxation and reinvigoration are close at hand with massages available on request and the hotel pool awaiting with cooling waters in a sunny courtyard. A la carte dining is a sumptuous affair at the poolside restaurant, where guests may begin with a cocktail from the adjacent bar and continue with wine from the cellar to accompany the gourmet delights on offer.
Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon, is one of the world's historic centers of tea production, replete with rolling green hills and genteel plantation homes. Ceylon Tea Trails, run by the Dilmah Tea Company, has restored four classic colonial bungalows built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj. These historic houses offer guests the unique experience of life on a working tea estate in the highlands (elevation here is over 4,000 feet). The bungalows range in size from four to six rooms and two have their own pools. Summerville and Castlereagh are situated opposite each other on the shores of the Castlereagh Lake, Norwood is at the other end of the valley about 15 minutes away by car and Tientsin is about 30 minutes away in the next valley. Maintained trails with beautiful views run between all the bungalows, and through the surrounding hillsides and plantations. Each house comes with its own manager, chef, butler and houseboys; in-house massage appointments can be arranged. Meals and afternoon tea are prepared by your private chef using gourmet ingredients and produce grown right on the property, and can be served indoors or on the lawn.
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.
In a haven of tranquility, hugging Sri Lanka’s immaculate western coast’s golden shoreline, lies Jetwing Beach, the winner of 2013 Certificate of Excellence and member to the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. This lavish beach resort is one of Negombo’s finest hotels, offering a relaxing holiday in sophisticated comfort. Designed by one of Sri Lanka’s top architects, Geoffrey Bawa, this exquisite resort enables you to wind in hours of recreational beach fun, revitalize in invigorating spa wellness treatments, indulge in mouthwatering Sri Lankan dishes and rich international cuisine in one of several dining venues, and take advantage of the gorgeous swimming pool. Your day will always end on a high note, as you watch the stunning sun drop off the edge of the horizon, illuminating the sky into warm shades of pink, yellow, orange and red.
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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