Ultimate Sri Lanka
COLOMBO | ANURADHAPURA | KANDY | NUWARA ELIYA | ELLA | YALA NATIONAL PARK| HIKKADUWA
This private tour is the ultimate Sri Lankan experience. You will be taken through the picturesque hill country, explore the historical cities, discover the stunning tea plantation region, embark on a wildlife safari, and visit the West Coast.
- Sunrise trek to the top of Monkey Mountain
- Leopard, bear and elephant safari
- Rock fortress climb
Ultimate Sri Lanka
Day 1 : Colombo
VIP Arrival - As soon as you exit from the plane, there will be an airport representative with your name in a signboard. You will be escorted to the Silk Route lounge where you will meet your chauffeur guide. You can relax here until the luggage will be brought to you on your behalf. Refreshments, tea and coffee will be provided while you wait. Also, washrooms and WIFI facilities are available. If you want to change foreign currency, please inform the guide or the airport representative who will assist you with this. The airport staff will borrow your passports to clear your luggage through customs on your behalf. You will exit the airport via a separate exit and your vehicle will be waiting for you at a designated car park for an easy exit.
You will be transferred to your hotel in Colombo. (Approx. 1 hour)
In the evening proceed to a walking tour in Colombo Street Food walking tour with a local expert. Colombo is a cosmopolitan city, having been influenced by multiple cultures, faiths and traditions. Sensory Indulgences Colombo Food Coma dives deep into the city food culture and allows participants to discover the colours, flavours and culture of this vibrant city. This street food tour will meander through the city and stop at food carts so that participants can sample delicious treats. The tour will end at one of Colombo's oldest and most popular dessert spots. This experience is also vegetarian, vegan and celiac-friendly, which means a suitable alternative can be provided.
Hotel for 1 night: Residence By Uga Escapes – Bed & Breakfast – The Park Suites
Nestled between leafy Park Street and the lakeside Buddhist shrine of Gangarama, the Residence is a unique boutique hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city. Built in the nineteenth century by a wealthy barrister, Sheikh Salehboy Moosajee, its halls and ballrooms of this grand Victorian townhouse once welcomed British governors, Indian maharajas, European nobility and the cream of colonial Ceylon society. Its great halls, expansive gardens and stables were designed to host receptions and entertainments on a grand scale.
The Residence is a unique eleven-suite luxury hotel in Colombo, owned and managed by Uga Escapes. Despite its central location, its atmosphere of secluded peace and quiet is pure balm for the weary, the city-drained and travel-stained. Its appointments are elegant, contemporary and comfortable, yet pay tribute to its rich history and that of the neighbourhood.
The Park Suites at the Residence by Uga Escapes are furnished in an opulent style along with warm lighting, ornate furnishings and Belgian rugs. This luxury hotel in Colombo exudes a sense of serenity and ease that a few hotels in Colombo can match.
Every suite consists of a living room, bedroom, en suite bathroom and outdoor private courtyard for dining and relaxing. All suites at the Residence by Uga Escapes are equipped with 42” flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, mini-bar and tea/coffee station. The spacious bathrooms feature rain showers and over sized vanity consoles.
Day 2 : Anuradhapura
After breakfast, you will be taken to Colombo International Airport to catch your scheduled flight to Sigiriya. (Flight time: 30-45 minutes)
You will be met by your Chauffeur Guide at Sigiriya Airbase to drive to Ulagalla. (Approx. 1.5 hours)
En route you will be visiting UNESCO Dambulla cave temple.
Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 km east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include two statues of Hindu gods, the god Vishnu and the god Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square metres. Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha's first sermon.
Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2700 years old in this area, at Ibbankatuwa near the Dambulla cave complexes.
Hotel for 3 nights – Ulagalla Resort, Bed & Breakfast, Ulagalla Pool Villa
Once the ancestral estate of local Anuradhapura nobility, this luxury hotel in Sri Lanka features a 150-year-old mansion at its centre, with 20 private ecologically built chalets across 58 acres of land. As one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, with its LEEDS green certificate and own solar farm generating half of its own energy requirements, Ulagalla is a unique boutique hotel. Enjoy the riches of the kingdom or a natural adventure while immersed in luxurious, ecologically sustainable beauty, both inside and out. The Ulagalla Pool Villa is the perfect fit for those looking for a small private residence. It has a large glass wall with unobstructed views of the natural surroundings. The interior is pure luxury and comfort and it features a separate living area and a large king-sized bed. There is also a plunge pool attached to an outdoor deck.
Day 3 : Anuradhapura
In the morning enjoy a Backroads cycling journey in Anuradhapura. It is an exciting excursion whereby participants are invited to cycle through the back roads of the Kingdom of Anuradhapura with a resident guide. While cycling, participants will be taken through the inner city, where they will witness the amazing features of Anuradhapura, as well as the hidden gems of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
In the evening climb Yapahuwa rock fortress. Located in the North-Western Province of Sri Lanka, Yapahuwa Rock Fortress is 4m in height and 22m in width. The most eye-catching feature of the fort is the stone staircase with intricate carvings which leads to the palace grounds. A museum is also located at the entrance of the fortress, displaying a variety of antiquities of Yapahuwa. The palace and fortress were constructed by King Buvanekabahu I in 1273.
Day 4 : Anaradhapura
In the morning explore the UNESCO ancient city of Polonnaruwa.
In the North Central Province of Sri Lanka lies the extraordinary ancient city of Polonnaruwa. The city is comprised of two distinct parts: The New Town area, known as Kaduruwela; and the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa, the second oldest of Sri Lanka’s ancient kingdoms. This rich archaeological treasure trove contains countless fascinating ruins all conveniently grouped into one compact and easily accessible tourist site. Don’t miss: the Minneriya and Kaudulla national parks where you can spot Sri Lanka’s legendary elephants and an abundance of exotic wildlife; and the Dalada Maluwa which is home to the Tooth Relic and some of the country’s most impressively ornate buildings.
Return back to the hotel and relax the evening
Day 5 : Kandy
After breakfast, drive to Kandy (Approx.3.5-4 hours)
Explore the UNESCO city including the Temple of the tooth. Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple. Transfer to your hotel and relax for the evening in your bungalow.
Hotel for 2 nights – W15 Hanthana Estate, All Inclusive, Deluxe Suite
Located in the Hanthana Mountain Range in Kandy, Sri Lanka, W15 Hanthana Estate offers breath taking views and is an ideal option for leisure travellers looking for a luxurious getaway. The hotel offers a selection of bungalows, all of which feature air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and luxury bathroom amenities. Delectable cuisine is prepared fresh and served in-room. The sprawling gardens and infinity swimming pool are perfect spots for guests to relax. Activities in the surrounding area include hiking, cycling, and partaking in cooking classes.
Day 6 : Kandy
Today, enjoy a UNESCO Knuckles Mountain Range hike with a local expert hiking guide. Named after its knuckle-like shape, the Knuckles Mountain Range lies at the centre of the island and is flanked by two national parks and a sanctuary. The range is part of a conservation area better known as the Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness Area and is home to a variety of rare flora and fauna species. With its stunning scenic beauty, the area attracts nature enthusiasts from all over, as well as animal lovers who hope to catch a glimpse of mammals such as wild boar, spotted deer, giant squirrel, barking deer, purple faced leaf monkey, mongoose and porcupine, and several endemic species of lizards. One of the highlights of the Knuckles is Mini World’s End, an escarpment at the southern end of the range, offering panoramic views of the mountains and some of the pretty villages in the foothills.
Day 7 : Dickoya
Today, drive to an ancient manor house for a tour of the gardens and the surrounding estate, including the Robert Knox monument and bathing spout and the paddy fields. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of sights during the tour include the incredible buildings and lush gardens of the complex. Within the property, a Horticultural Project is in operation where foliage is collected weekly and exported giving employment to the villagers. On a day the packaging is in operation, visitors can have a first-hand view of the process. Organically grown spices are harvested during its season and a bee-keeping project is also in operation in the estate. Insect repellent, sunscreen, and a comfortable pair of covered shoes are recommended for these tours. Enjoy a lunch at the estate, then drive to Hatton and check in to your tea bungalow.
Hotel for 2 nights – Camellia Hills, All Inclusive, Camellia Bedroom
Live the life of a modern-day tea planter at Camellia Hills, a luxurious five-bedroom boutique bungalow hotel near Dickoya, in Sri Lanka’s crisp hill country. From its verdant valley-side perch, views of the mirror-still Castlereagh Reservoir and surrounding tea-wrapped hills are spectacular – drink in the panoramas while relaxing on cushy sofas warmed by an open fire, dining in the semi open air or swimming lengths of the refreshing garden pool.
The stylishly furnished Camellia Bedrooms are unique in layout and position, yet promise an indulgent stay in the hills. They are equipped with King sized four-poster beds, sitting area, wardrobes, armchairs, desks and ceiling fans, and have private white-tiled en suite bathrooms with strong showers.
Day 8 : Dikoya
In the morning witness hundreds of local village women walking among the tea estates plucking tea leaves. Visit one of these factories and learn the secrets of the world-famous Ceylon Tea through a guided tour. Learn how the same estate produces different grades of tea catering to different types of markets. In the afternoon, enjoy one of the many activities on offer at the estate and hotel.
Day 9 : Ella
Board the scenic train to Ella. Your chauffeur will wait with you until the train arrives, escort you to your seats and then leave to pick you up from your destination. If the chauffeur can’t make it on time, we will arrange a separate vehicle to pick you up and transfer you to the hotel. The journey lasts approx. 4-5 hours.
After check-in at your hotel, hike up Lttle Adam’s Peak. It is a hiking spot in the small town of Ella, in the Badulla District. The hike is unchallenging and is only 15 minutes away from the centre of town. The distance from the entrance to the top is 1141 metre in height. The hike to the summit takes up to 45 minutes and the view from the top boasts panoramic views of green landscape.
Hotel for 1 night – Nine Skies, All Inclusive, Demodara Bedroom
Promising far-reaching hill country views, our stylishly refurbished five-bedroom tea bungalow hotel is majestically perched on a tea-fringed hill near Ella. Dating back to the colonial era, the bungalow epitomises its legacy yet indulges discerning guests with contemporary facilities and high-end personalised service – be pampered by our butlers, feast on gourmet food and dip into a garden pool with stunning views across the valley and famous Demodera Loop.
There are Demodara Bedrooms, with views into our upcountry garden, and beyond, to the tea fields and verdant south eastern mountains. These bedrooms are furnished with a king-sized bed, a cosy sitting area, private veranda and an ensuite bathroom with a bathtub. Handpicked antique furnishings and custom-made pieces marry eclectic style with contemporary comfort.
Day 10 : Yala National Park
In the morning drive to Yala. (Approx.3 hours)
En route visit Buduruwagala Buddha statues. The name Buduruwagala means “the rock with the statue of Buddha” And this is exactly what it is. Seven figured are carved in this rock with a massive 51-foot Buddha statue in the Abhaya Mudra gesture at the centre. The rock itself has shape of a kneeling elephant with its head own. Although there is no documented information about this site in the ancient scriptures, Different historians have dated these statues from the 6th century to late Anuradhapura period. (between 8 – 10 Century). These carvings are of the Mahayana Buddhist style and belongs to the Pallawa- Sri Lankan art tradition and similar to the statues at Dova Temple.
Check into your wildlife lodge with a private plunge pool in your cabin and relax the rest of the evening
Hotel for 2 nights – Chena Huts By Uga Escapes, All Inclusive, Cabin with Pool
In Sri Lanka’s deep south, the rustic farming villages around Tissamaharama are divided from the teeming animal and bird life of Yala, Sri Lanka’s oldest and second-largest natural reserve, by a belt of semi-protected jungle running down to the sea. For centuries, people have farmed small clearings in the jungle called chena, sleeping beside their crops in modest huts to protect them from hungry elephants. Nestled among dunes and trees at the ocean’s edge, is Chena Huts, a Yala hotel. Overlooking a beach where sea turtles lay eggs by moonlight and elephants wander down from the nearby jungle to play in the surf, Chena Huts is fringed on one landward side by the tropical jungle and on the other by a saline lake where ibises, painted storks and even flamingos may be seen.
Guests at Chena Huts have easy access to the natural wonders. At the small, select property, the ‘huts’ are in fact luxuriously detached, private pavilions with views of the surrounding wilderness and seascape. Guests enjoy fine dining at the Basses restaurant and sip cocktails at the bar. A swimming pool and other amenities for recreation are available. To intensify the wilderness experience, this spacious 7acre property accommodates only fourteen 1130sq ft guest cabins. This includes a 781 sq ft climate controlled living space. Exteriors, featuring design cues from the vernacular architecture of the region, are designed to harmonize with the jungle environment; interiors gently emphasize the ‘safari’ theme, with log furniture, African-style and rustic motifs that belie the ultra-modern comfort and convenience within. Chena Huts by Uga Escapes truly stands out for the ambiance provided for the guests amongst the Yala hotels in Sri Lanka
Day 11 : Yala National Park
Enjoy your morning leopard and bear safari in Yala block 5 and in the evening enjoy another safari in Yala block 1.
Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.
Day 12 : Hikkaduwa
Check-out from your hotel and drive to Hikkaduwa on the South-West coast (Approx. 3 hours) En route, stop at the Mulkirigala cave temple. This is a Buddhist rock temple that is built on a 205-metre tall rock formation. It is believed that the temple was created in the third century, with later additions around the 461-479 AD time period. The temple features a variety of Viharas, as well as a collection of paintings and sculptures.
Proceed to your exotic villa with a private plunge pool and relax the evening watching the sunset.
Hotel for 3 nights – Haritha Villas & Spa, Bed & breakfast, Contemporary villa with private pool
Haritha Villas + Spa is set on a hill amongst the canopy of trees. These stunning luxury villas use a unique combination of minimalistic designs and natural landscapes to create an ideal environment for relaxation. The villas are only a short walk away from Narigama Beach whilst the Community Tsunami Museum is a short drive away. Each villa is elegantly designed and features modern technology, equipped with Bose Speakers, an iPad, a rain shower and complimentary Wi-Fi. Each villa has its own private sundeck area, outdoor saltwater pool and garden, there is also a stunning restaurant on-site to cater to all guests’ culinary needs.
Day 13 : Hikkaduwa
In the morning visit the UNESCO Galle and meet your culinary host who will take you to the local market and buy the fresh vegetables and meat and then proceed to her home where you will enjoy a session of Cook Like A Local. Sit down with your host and her family learn about their interesting family history and how they are connected to this ancient trading port city of Galle.
In the evening enjoy a Galle Fort walk with a local guide that will show you the attractions and cultural history of the Galle Fort. Nestled within fourteen strategically erected bastions are numerous places of worship, a plush hotel originally used as the Dutch Governor’s residence, an old warehouse utilized to safe keep ship equipment and store spices, several local schools, a post office, a lighthouse, and a clock tower, all crisis-crossed by a grid pattern of streets.
Day 14 : Hikkaduwa
This morning, board your private sailing yacht, and venture into the Indian Ocean in search of blue whales, sperm whales and spinner dolphins. The Sail Lanka Giant's Loop South in Mirissa is a half-day expedition departing from the port in Mirissa on a shared or private basis. Visitors can enjoy a perfect balance of whale watching and water sports in a 7-hour adventure that is certain to please even the most discerning sailor. Freshly cooked breakfast and lunch will be provided to you on board.
Return to your hotel and relax the rest of the day.
Day 15 : Colombo
You will be transferred approx. 2 hours back to Colombo Airport for your departure flight.