Embark on a 14-day-long adventure that is sure to leave the whole family with enough incredible memories to last a lifetime. Start at Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, exploring the famed Dambulla Caves, climbing Sigiriya Rock, and floating above the landscape in a hot-air balloon. Witness the wonder of hundreds of wild elephants gathering at Minneriya National Park. Hop on a helicopter and land in the middle of tea country amongst verdant hills. Head to the shores to search for the elusive leopards, then to the waters to spot whales and dolphins. Abu Dhabi, a great city known for its opulence, is home to the lesser known Sir Bani Yas, an island dominated by free roaming giraffes, cheetahs and gazelles. Spend time getting close to the wildlife and nature through fun activities such as adventure safaris, kayaking, mountain biking, archery, hiking and snorkeling.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.
• Jungle Safari: Game drives through Minneriya and Yala National Parks offer encounters with wild elephants, monkeys, deer, leopards, and sloth bears.
• Marine Life: Snorkel the reefs around Sir Bani Yas Island, learn about sea turtle conservation on the shores of Koggala, get PADI-certified in Weligama, then watch whales and dolphins breech the waters off the Sri Lankan coast.
• Desert Wilds: Swapping the jungle for the desert, travelers will get an education in Emirati falconry in Abu Dhabi; kayak mangroves and lagoons at Sir Bani Yas; then meet oryx, sand gazelle, and urial in the island's Arabian Wildlife Park.
Touchdown at the airport in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. You’ll be greeted by your guide and escorted to your private vehicle and transferred to your hotel. Check in to your luxury hotel, whether at the centrally-located Tintagel or lakeside Uga Residence. Relax for the remainder of the day ahead of your adventure. Those eager for action have the option to delve right into the nighttime Colombo scene with a guided food tour to witness the hustle and bustle of local markets, spot iconic sites and local hangouts, and of course, sample Colombo’s unique mix of Sinhala, Muslim, Tamil, and Malay cuisines.
Set off this morning for Sri Lanka’s “Cultural Triangle,” starting with Dambulla, a town two hours away famed for its rock cave temple. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage designated Dambulla caves and marvel at its ancient frescoes and sculptures depicting Buddha’’s life. Drive onward to nearby Sigiriya. Start with the Sigiriya Museum to learn about the ancient civilization, before ascending the ancient rock fortress known as the ‘Lion’s Rock,’ a UNESCO site with the rare distinction of being both a natural and manmade wonder of the world. The rock formation was carved into a small city fortress complete with palace residences, fountains, and employed a sophisticated hydraulic technology. Reach the top just in time to watch the sunset.
Earlybirds wishing to see Sigiriya and the landscape from a unique perspective may opt to take a sunrise hot-air balloon ride which drifts effortlessly over the treetops, wildlife, lakes & rivers, and local homesteads. After breakfast, check out and drive to Minneriya National Park, home to many animals including endemic monkeys, deer, leopards, sloth bears. Travelers in September may witness hundreds of elephants that have traveled across the region to the Minneriya reservoir, known as the famous annual ’Elephant Gathering.’ Take a helicopter from Sigiriya and head to the nation's tea country. Check into your bungalow at Ceylon Tea Trails, a property owned by the famous Dilmah Tea company, the most recognized international brand of tea from Sri Lanka. Enjoy fresh crumpets with a cup of afternoon tea and relax for the rest of the day.
The day is yours to leisurely explore the surrounding areas, hike the many routes across the hills, learn about the tea-making process, enjoy a game of croquet or tennis, and indulge in afternoon tea. Adventurous types can take on mountain biking, white-water rafting, and hiking more rigorous trails like Adam’s Peak.
Wake up with the finest cup of tea and fresh crumpets and spend the morning relishing sublime mountain tranquility. At noon, get on another seaplane and fly towards the southern coast to Yala National Park just in time for lunch and the afternoon jeep safari. Choose between Leopard Trails or Wild Coast Tented Lodge, both quality camps that offer the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the elusive big cat. Yala is home to one of the highest concentration of leopards in the world. Guests are treated to private safaris in jeeps with a ranger, driver, and set of binoculars.
Start the morning with another safari and chance to spot the leopards, as well as elephants, monkeys, peacocks, and a wide range of birds. Take a seaplane flight along the turquoise coastline to Koggala and drive a short way to your beach escape, Cape Weligama Resort. Freshen up and change into swimwear before your afternoon experience with Sri Lanka’s iconic fishermen who fish while perched on poles planted in the sea. Learn the technique, then climb onto a stilt and try your hand at this unique skill. Return to your resort to enjoy fresh seafood and dramatic shoreline views at sunset.
Take an early morning private cruise out to sea for whale and dolphin watching. The plankton-rich waters is home to a thriving population of marine life. Keep an eye out for breaching blue whales and jumping bottle-nose and spinner dolphins. Return to your resort for lunch and to spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Choose amongst a variety of activities such as a pampering spa treatment, cocktails by the pool, or getting PADI-certified at the hotel and diving off the shore.
Soak up more sun and beach before checking out at noon and departing for the historic town of Galle, just an hour away. Midway, stop at the sea turtle hatchery to learn about these cute yet hardy marine animals that lay their eggs on the protected Koggala shores and ongoing conservation efforts. Upon arrival at the UNESCO-designated port town, check in to Amangalla which was the Dutch Governor’s residence. Then, take to the fort town by foot and spend the rest of the afternoon wandering the byzantine streets’ old spice warehouses, cafes and restaurants, jewelry shops, and historic ramparts.
Depart from the picturesque southern coast as you drive back to Colombo. Have lunch and spend time visiting the iconic sites such as Gangaramaya Temple, Seema Malaka water temple by the lake, Old Colombo Dutch Hospital, and the Clock Tower which was initially used as a lighthouse. Transfer to the airport for your late afternoon flight, touching down in Abu Dhabi in the late evening. Meet your local guide at the airport and transfer to your palatial hotel, the Emirates Palace.
Get ready for a full day of cultural exploration, starting with the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital to learn about the local culture of falconry, about the care and treatment of these magnificent birds, and get a photo with one perched on your arm. Run by the Emirates Heritage Club, the Heritage Village is a reconstruction of a traditional oasis village providing an interesting glimpse into the emirate’s past. Traditional aspects of the desert way of life, including a campfire with coffee pots, a goats’ hair tent, and a falaj irrigation system, are attractively displayed in the open museum. Take in world-class art at the Lourve before ending the day with a visit to the beautiful Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque.
Take a morning water taxi to Sir Bani Yas island and check in to Anantara’s Al Sahel Villas, an oasis in the middle of the island’s Arabian Wildlife Park. Put on comfortable shoes and explore the island for the rest of the day such as self-guided or ranger-led wildlife walks around the savannah and mangrove lagoon for close-up encounters with the free-roaming animals.
Take more wildlife walks or partake in archery and mountain biking in the morning. At noon, check out and move to Anantara’s Al Yamm Villa for a change of scenery and wildlife. Here, guests are taken on game drives. The park houses about 13,000 animals indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, including endangered species such as sand gazelles, Urial and Barbary sheep and Arabian Oryx. There are also free-roaming giraffes, flamingos, and ostriches, as well as predators and scavengers such as the Sudan cheetah and striped hyena.
Spend your final day communing with nature on game drives, kayaking through mangrove forests, or snorkeling around the beautiful reefs.
Watch gazelles graze in front of your villa over breakfast before checking out and transferring to the airport for your flight home.
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.
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.
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.
Returning to the golden era of colonial British safari explorers, Leopard Trails offers the jungle experience in comfort and luxury, as the intrepid adventurers of the 1800s enjoyed it. Romantic and elegant, their tented camps are located in two of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful national parks, Yala and Wilpattu. While the former is famed for its roaming leopards, the latter draws nature enthusiasts for its populations of deer, sloths, bears, elephants and a solid contingent of leopards of its own. A stay at Leopard Trails allows guests to retreat to their beautifully-appointed canvas safari tent at night, to emerge in the morning, well rested and right in the midst of glorious flora and fauna. Delicious meals, meanwhile, are cooked freshly and served al fresco for a complete sense of immersion in nature.
Adjacent the world famous Yala National Park that is home to a dense population of leopards lies the Wild Coast Tented Lodge Yala, overlooking the shimmering blue waters of the Indian Ocean. A consortium of Dutch, English and Sri Lankan designers devised the the resort's man-made structures that seamlessly blend into the surrounding landscape. The premises 28 tents form the shape of a leopard's paw print when seen from above. The room's interiors fuse colonial expedition chic with contemporary design innovations. Teak floors and canvas walls mixed with dark leathers and metallic hardware bring these rooms to the forefront of fashion while air-conditioning and Wi-Fi guarantee guests’ comfort. At the Dining Pavilion and natural beach garden, guests can enjoy gourmet safari cuisine with a Sri Lankan flair. The resort is also equipped with a free-form swimming pool and luxurious spa. The resort offers vehicular tours to the furthest corners of Yala National Park while expert naturalist guides are on hand to discuss all flora and fauna that emerges such as elephants, sloth bears, and leopards.
Comprising a total of 40 spacious and elegantly designed apartments and suites, this gorgeous resort provides spectacular coastal views alongside a whole host of impressive facilities to keep guests happy. Designed by the critically-acclaimed Thai architect Lek Bunnag, Cape Weligama Resort is nestled into the rolling hills on the very southern tip of Sri Lanka, and the views from each room over the jagged cliffs across the vast Indian Ocean are simply breathtaking. The residences are tastefully designed with traditional patterns, artwork and the surrounding tropical gardens are in keeping with the home-grown feel to the resort. Entry level residences here particular generous in size, and total floor space is doubled across the lavish duplexes. Away from the rooms, the resort presents a fine array of wining and dining options, including the highly-recommended ‘De Mauny’ restaurant. Alongside an on-site spa for pampering next to the sea, the resort has a crescent-shaped infinity swimming pool with 270-degree views across the dramatic shoreline of this stunning region of Sri Lanka.
Located in the center of a preserved 17th-century Dutch Fort, the sumptuous Amangalla resort is also a beautifully restored UNESCO World Heritage site that perfectly captures the charm of the historic trading port of Galle. Amangalla has 17 rooms, eight suites and the Garden House, a two-story house with treetop views. Rooms are decorated in a style that blends luxurious contemporary amenities with a perfectly rendered colonial-era aesthetic. Sri Lankan curry and other traditional dishes are served in the dining room, and the Veranda is a cool spot to have a drink during the day; the fort's Zaal (Dutch for Great Hall) serves light meals and a classic afternoon tea. The pool is located in the resort's gardens and has five shaded pavilions where you can relax post-swim. A library with Internet access houses information on Sri Lanka and the history of the Fort. The Baths, Amangalla's spa, offers Ayurvedic massage, hydrotherapy pools, and a steam room and sauna, among other treatments. There is also a garden pavilion for yoga practice or meditation. There is no fitness center. The resort is roughly a four-hour drive from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).
The majestic architecture of this beautiful hotel sprawls along the waterfront, overlooking the exotic mangrove lagoon. Surrounded by nature and tranquility, a visit to Anantara Eastern Mangroves is an escape and yet, the excitement and bustle of the city is within easy reach. The high, arched ceilings soar overhead as guests stroll through the hotel’s hallways, and beautiful lavish decor enchants within the luxurious rooms and suites. Diners can indulge in international cuisine from the all-day buffet or sample Asian delicacies at the renowned Thai restaurant. Sitting poolside with a cocktail, on the roof at sunset, or enjoying afternoon tea, guests will never want for refreshments and with a range of state-of-the-art facilities, they can remain as active or pampered as they please.
Traditional design meets contemporary luxury in this award-winning five-star resort and is enjoyed by celebrities, heads of states as well as royal families from all over the globe. With 302 rooms and 92 suites adorned with the finest upholstery and craftsmanship, the Palace stands apart from its competition in the city, a testament to the renowned quality and bespoke service of this iconic Abu Dhabi landmark. Guests can treat their taste buds to a culinary adventure in one of the fourteen restaurants and lounges throughout the Palace. Choices range from the all-day restaurant, Le Vendome Brasserie, with its incredible international buffet, to the award-winning Emirati restaurant Mezlai, boasting more than 100 different local dishes. If that’s not enough, an authentic taste of Italy at Mezzaluna or succulent meats off the grill is available at BBQ Al Qasr, as well as fresh seafood at Sayad or contemporary Chinese cuisine at Hakkasan. Emirates Palace is a culinary mecca of award-winning restaurants with something for everyone.
Housed in a 34 story tall building designed by the Manhattan-based Handel Architects, the sleek and stylish Rosewood Abu Dhabi is the handiwork of New York-based BBG-BBGM architecture firm. With impressive panoramic views of the city, the hotel is a beacon of luxury. Each of the 189 opulent rooms and suites are fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, warm dark wood tones, and a large variety of premium amenities. The hotel’s diverse range of bars and restaurants satisfy the most discerning of guests while its Sense Spa provides rejuvenating treatments. There are a luxurious outdoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Abu Dhabi is an opulent bastion of commerce and industry in the United Arab Emirates as well as the burgeoning nation’s capital. Situated on the waterfront of Al Bateen in the Abu Dhabi Marina, The Abu Dhabi Edition boast sleek, modern lines of décor in keeping with the modish high-rise buildings of the city set amid lines of palm trees and carefully manicured walkways. The property has 198 guest rooms and 57 serviced residences. A pool bar and three-story nightclub, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a spa with seven treatment rooms, two signature restaurants, and a gourmet market, are just a few amenities that are available to hotel guests.
Picturesque at every turn and surrounded by free-roaming wildlife on land and an infinite variety of marine life in the aqua colored Arabian Gulf, Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island’s Al Yamm Villa Resort is a luxurious oasis blessed by natural beauty. A mangrove lagoon complements the island’s delicate eco-system and the resort itself has been built with the environment in mind, making sure not to disturb the balance of this incredible habitat. The villas are built with sustainable features and reflect a by-gone era of the Arabic fisherman and their barasti lodgings, now designed as a private oasis with unparalleled luxurious finishings and services to allow guests an opulent experience on this stunning island paradise. Rich, flavorful food is served at the resort’s four restaurants, while the famous Anantara spa beckons for pre- or post-meal indulgence. Guests will never find themselves wondering what to do next with a host of activities available for them - from watersports to archery and much more.
Due to its unique location within the expansive Arabian Wildlife Park, Al Sahel Villa Resort offers guests a beautiful and luxurious place to stay juxtaposed against its rugged, untouched desert environment. It opens up a rare glimpse into the beauty of mother nature within the island’s savannah and guests have the privilege of sharing their stay with over 10,000 free-roaming animals. Marvel at the stunning views over the Gulf and trek to the historic salt-domed hilltops and then spend the evening relaxing in your personal plunge pool beneath the twinkling Arabian stars. Additionally Al Sahel stands as one of the leading luxury eco-friendly resorts in Abu Dhabi with its sustainable design and features. The 30 private villas have been built with traditional thatched roofs and an African ‘feel’, whilst still maintaining absolute excellence and comfort. Unique to the majority of resorts throughout Abu Dhabi, Al Sahel Villa Resort manages to encompass luxury with a traditional and authentic finish as well as a modern approach to sustainability to complement its natural surroundings.
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.
Travel through the spiritual heart of Asia to Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka focusing on wellness, mindfulness and the diverse cultures of these four fascinating countries.
Get back to nature with this comprehensive tour of Sri Lanka’s finest – and most beautiful – natural sights. From low-lying rainforest to rolling tea terraces, national parks to coastal villages, this eight-day excursion will highlight the best of Sri Lanka’s incredible and varied wilderness.
Play with elephants, relax as the kids swim in the Indian Ocean and fall asleep to the calming ocean lull while staying in a floating house on this 13-day luxurious Sri Lankan holiday. With hiking, elephant trekking and rafting in store, there’s plenty of action to keep the kids busy and still time for you to relax.
Sri Lanka is the perfect setting for the family vacation of your dreams. Explore the vibrant coral reefs, hike archaeological ruins and catch a stunning tangerine sunset with loved ones. This is 14-day luxury journey will create special, lasting family memories.
Take a thrilling trip through India and Sri Lanka, spending 17 days meandering from Mumbai’s iconic Bollywood, down the backwaters of Kerala, exploring colonial Cochin. You’ll fly onwards to Sri Lanka, where you’ll explore its ancient wonders like the Temple of Tooth, all the while staying in luxury hotels.
On this two-week tour of beautiful Sri Lanka, discover the country’s hidden treasures, from historic colonial towns to its lush jungles, rainforests and tea terraces. Savor the views and allow yourself to be enchanted by ancient culture.
Step back in time without leaving any luxury behind on this 14-day journey through Sri Lanka’s most important heritage sites. Picnic atop an ancient rock fortress, take an exciting safari through Yala National Park and visit the revered UNESCO site, Anuradhapura. This adventure offers insight into ancient cultures.
Experience Sri Lanka’s natural beauty on this luxurious 17-day adventure. Observe wild elephant herds in their natural habitat, trek in the lush Sinharaja Rainforest, explore multiple UNESCO sites, hike through an ancient monastery and still have plenty of time to unwind by the turquoise sea in stunning Galle.
Spend an unforgettable 10 days touring the beautiful island of Sri Lanka for a romantic honeymoon filled with stunning sights and spectacular scenery. From ancient ruins to whale-infested waters, this trip is packed with treasures that will guarantee your newlywed life starts in style.
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.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands – a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
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.