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 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.
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. In Colombo, we recommend staying in one of the city's luxurious colonial-style hotels, such as Park Street or the Tintagel, located in the city center.
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 Heritance Kandalama Hotel, literally covered in greenery and offering far-reaching views over national parkland and Kandalama reservoir.
In the morning, you'll drive to 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 around the Heritance Kandalama, 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 – we recommend the Jetwing Beach Hotel, a modern property with a pool, luxurious spa and direct beach access.