Nature, Culture, Beaches & Wild Life

Best of Sri LankaNature, Culture, Beaches & Wild Life

Our exciting Sri Lanka wildlife tours take you on an unforgettable journey of discovery. Enjoy wildlife in Sri Lanka with elephant back rides, hot air ballooning, adventure safaris, mountain trekking and even whale & dolphin watching.

  • Days: 8 nights / 9 days
  • Cost: tba

Day 01; Airport - Dambulla

A hub which has been treasured by many kings since the 1st century B.C. Today, an icon in the face of Sri Lanka Dambulla Rock Temple houses some of the most unique drawings in magnificently constructed 5 cave temples flanking the golden temple of Dambulla. Observe how exquisitely cave paintings are done along walls that shelter 150 statues of Lord Buddha. As you enter the retreat look straight up to the gigantic Buddha statue glittering in gold over a land which today houses an important junction in the country's economic and cultural uplifting

During your visit to Pinnawela do not be surprised to witness baby elephants being bottle fed or moving around freely causing absolutely no harm to anyone. It is rightly a sincere sight to observe how these gentle giants - orphaned and sometimes three-legged - are taken care of since 1975 at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Watch as they feed at 09:15 am, 12:15 pm & 05:00 pm and take a river bath twice a day at 10:00 am & 02:00 pm respectively for an experience that could never be felt anywhere else on earth! Overnight Stay in Dambulla

 

Day 02; Kandalama/ Polonnaruwa

A trip in the hot air balloon provides the ultimate views over Kandalama lake and the surrounding landscape. If you could find a couple of days off, Kandalama is a destination waiting to be explored by ultimate lovers of nature and adventure. Don't be surprised if a wild elephant crosses your path en route to Kandalama, just sit back and take a good look because you are just within the borders of the 'big foot' kingdom. Drive to Dambulla for an exhilarating hot air balloon ride which should give you breathtaking aerial views. Kandalama is also a birder's bliss with classic biking and trekking fields ridged by elephant and horse riding trails that prove sheer experiential tourism. (Only available through 1st of November- 31st March)

Drive back to the hotel for breakfast.

On completion, proceed to Polonnaruwa for a cycling city tour.


Rising with the decline of Anuradhapura, the city of Polonnaruwa - medieval capital & crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I - remains superior proof of ancient culture & heritage blended with religious beliefs. Walk across its scattered walls of the World Heritage Site - blessed by stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures - while observing the relic house - Watadage - which boasts of beautiful stone carvings. Take a close glance and you will realize a subtle Hindu influence on architecture and statues found in Polonnaruwa. Or sit by the side of Galviharaya and observe the absolute beauty gushing out of every bend of its huge Buddhist statues. Nissankamalla Council Chamber is however, a head-spinning beauty to just sit back and observe with its swaying pillars reminding the aesthetics of a powerful kingdom which rests beside Parakrama Samudraya - sea of Parakramabahu & masterpiece of irrigation! 


There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic. Overnight stay in Dambulla
 

Day 03; Dambulla/ Knuckles mountain range

After breakfast Proceed to Knuckles for a light trekking….

Visit the Knuckles Mountain Range. Knuckles, the mist-laden mountain range - resembling knuckles of a clenched fist - stretching within Matale & Kandy is nothing but a subtle habitat of flora and fauna, most of them being endemic to Sri Lanka. Knuckles is also considered to be a watering hole for hikers across the globe. Most of all, you are more likely to forget the rest of the universe once you sit back on a cliff that offers an absolutely spectacular sight of surrounding dense forests, tea plantations, terraced paddy fields and waterfalls. Meanwhile, fine tune your evening by listening to the crickets' cry as lanterns sway in the wind while you sit in content, in the comfort of your canvas tent! Overnight stay in Knuckles.
 

Day 04; Knuckles mountain range/ Nuwara Eliya

Proceed to a Tea Plantation.

Visit a tea plantation and a tea factory, Sri Lanka, Tea and Tourism are words which cannot be separated. Take a tour to the cold & misty hills that take pride of an ultimate tea tour, covering lush green blankets of tea plantations. Or just step into a tea factory processing the prestigious brand of Ceylon Tea, to observe a rich tradition kept alive up to date. As you observe the hissing and swishing of machines, inhaling the heavenly scent arising from these facilities, make sure to end your day in style over a perfectly blended cup of pure Ceylon Tea. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory.

On completion proceed to Nuwara Eliya

Misty steep roads, twisting through lush green blankets of tea bushes in a cool climate, remind visitors that they are within the range of the renowned British colonial retreat, Nuwara Eliya. Augmented by an English countryside atmosphere, the city of light - once governed by English & Scottish planters - is still studded with colonial bungalows, hedgerows & one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world. A hike through the green grass and red-brick walls should present breathtaking views of a buzzing countryside hamlet. Hop into a rattling train smoking and hissing its way through green valleys of the hill country pierced by endless waterfalls & dotted by tea pluckers draped in bright-colored saris. Or rent a bike for a gentle ride along the banks splashed by the waters of Lake Gregory. Nuwara Eliya also has one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in South Asia. Overnight Stay in Nuwara Eliya.
 

Day 05; Nuwara Eliya/ Horton Plains/ Yala

Proceed to Horton Plains

Horton Plains, UNESCO World Heritage Site & Eco-tourism hideout in the heart of the isle, painted with unending stretches of green pastures marks one of the healthiest wet montane evergreen forests in Sri Lanka. With an altitude above 7000ft, the plateau sweeps to a robust 3169 hectares sheltering flora and fauna varieties that may be found no where else on earth. As the tributary of Belihul Oya - Bakers Falls - thunders down rocks head off the beaten track - across frost-covered grass - to feel the icy-cold wind against your face. You may even gaze down World's End, a head-spinning 3700ft drop towards the Southern end or drive carefully through herds of sambar deer, shy to human touch & birdlife chirping across the plains. If you're cautious enough you may be greeted by the sights of a grunting wild boar, a pouncing fishing cat, otters or even the 'Spotted-Ghost that haunts the plains', the Sri Lankan Leopard! Continue to Yala. Overnight Stay in Yala
 

Day 06; Yala/ Sinharaja

Spreading into a vast 1259 Km2 Yala - with its glory spinning around vast grasslands, shrubs, tanks and dunes - rightfully is the heartland of wildlife in Sri Lanka. As your jeep rumble through the giant gates of Yala, you are not only stepping into the most visited national park in the country, but also the lands of a civilization which thrived during the reign of Sri Lankan kings. You name it, and Yala has it! Its usual inmates cover herds of elephant, sloth bear, spotted dear, jackal, extensively populated birdlife as well as the highest density of leopards in the world that garnish the park to be one of the finest destinations in the country. Feel the rough track as your jeep thunders over rocks and swish passing narrow bends for an exhilarating experience blended with the cries of wilderness under the tropical sun. Proceed to Sinharaja.
 

Day 07; Sinharaja/ Kithulgala/ Bentota

With an average annual rainfall between 3000-6000 mm Sinharaja proves to be one of the finest examples of tropic rain forests in the world. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site & biosphere reserve Sinharaja, treasures an absolute variation of both flora & fauna with most of them being endemic. Walk in through for a refreshing treat covering fauna varieties extending from spotted deer, hog deer, golden palm cive, stripe necked mongoose as well as butterflies & reptiles sheltered by the striking evergreen vegetation. Even though there haven't been elephant sightings in the recent past, constant leopard trails prove that the 'King of Games' still haunts this tropical stage. On completion proceed to Bentota
 

Day 7 to 11 ( 4 nights) Beach – Leisure

Bentota, undoubtedly has some of the best stretches of clean sandy beaches in the country boasting of numerous romantic settings carved by both the river & sea. This unique experience leads to nothing, but an enchanted gateway to bliss. Float into the ocean for some deep sea fishing or get wet with some serious rumble on the water with jet skiing, surfing, diving or body boarding. Finally, cherish the golden sun sink into the horizon as you sit back gently under a shady palm tree.

Excursions in and around bentota

Discover Madhu river by boat. Embark on a scenic cruise along the Madhu River in Balapitiya with this river safari that transports you through tranquil waterways set amidst lush greenery. Throughout this day excursion in Sri Lanka you will come across the ways of rural life and experience the process of cinnamon cultivation. As part of the safari you will also be taken to a small island that adds to the charm of this adventure.

Visit Turle Farm , The Kosgoda Turtle Care centre is a great place to learn and love nature while also having fun. It is hands-on and family friendly and therefore should definitely be visited on your holiday to Sri Lanka.

Enjoy visiting the Kosgoda Turtle Care Centre as part of tour experience. Get a chance to see sea turtles of various species in the different stages of their lives. Help feed the turtles or volunteer for a first-hand experience with these interesting creatures.

Water Sports - Bentota is the water-sports capital of Sri Lanka and Club Bentota is the exclusive spot for surfers and jet skiers alike. Our comprehensive water sports centre is equipped with jet skis, water skis, surf boards, speed boats and much more. The sports centre attendants have plenty of tips and information to aid you. Whether you want to enjoy yourself with your friends on a banana boat or experience an adrenaline rush on a speed boat, Club Bentota is the place to be. Professional trainers can be scheduled for beginners. 

Mask Museum - This museum is designed to introduce into the richness of the mask tradition of Ambalangoda and to strengthen this cultural heritage. The museum, the workshop and the small library (containing all available anthropological literature on masks performances) may serve as a centre for traditional arts and crafts and for research as well. 

Visit Kalutara - Kalutara is a coastal town some 35 km south of Colombo. Most visitors will approach it from the north, and will behold first not the town but the sight of the imposing white dagoba of the Gangatilake Vihara as they traverse the bridge across the Kalu-ganga – literally the Black River. Visitors will note that having crossed the bridge, many vehicles pull over and stop alongside this dagoba. Drivers can be seen quickly alighting and walking towards a small Buddhist shrine with a pin-kate, or till, into which they place offerings to ensure the success of their journeys. Why not stop, too, and check out the dagoba, which, unusually, is hollow and has a beautifully painted interior.

Tis region has been largely dependent on the coconut and its many by-products for trade, both internal and external. One of these by-products is toddy, the fermented sap of the coconut flower, which is the favourite alcoholic beverage among Sri Lankan. Along the coastal strip of the Kalutara region, and indeed all the way from Colombo to Galle, observant visitors who look skyward will note the two sets of rope running between the palm-leaf crests of the coconut trees. These are used by toddy-tappers to travel precariously – like tight-rope walkers, but also holding on to a rope above them – between trees. The process begins with the binding of the buds of the coconut tree to prevent them from flowering. Over the next fortnight, the buds are mysteriously knocked upon twice a day with a bone. At the end of this period the tips of the buds are cut and a pot is fastened to collect the dripping sap. By using his rope network in the sky, the average toddy-tapper can harvest more than 100 trees every day, emptying the sap into a clay pot, which he empties into a large container by periodically returning to earth.

It was the spice trade that made Kalutara famous a few centuries ago. The Portuguese, Dutch, and British in turn built fortifications here to guard the river entrance to the interior, where the spices, in particular cinnamon, grew.

Kalutara is also the centre of Sri Lanka’s most successful rubber-producing district. Take any one of the roads that lead inland and you will quickly come across the unmistakable plantations with their formal rows of silvery-trunked rubber trees.
 

Day 11; Galle

Galle, the epic Southern capital, is the intersection where classic Dutch architecture meets a tropical setting creating a vivid atmosphere in beauty. Walk the Dutch-haunted streets listening to the creaks of wooden saloon doors and observe how European architecture mingles with South Asian traditions today flooding cultural enthusiasts on a global scale. Its original ramparts and bastions preserved up to date showcase evidences of a heritage preserved for more than 3 1/2 centuries.
Walk clockwise within the fort to observe the 'old gate' carrying the British coat of arms. Flanking the old gate is the Zwart bastion - the oldest of all - and the lighthouse standing 18 feet in its glory next to the Point Utretcht Bastion. This Dutch bliss is painted with streets that spread in a rectangular grid pattern pierced with houses carrying Dutch colonial style verandas. However, its hallmark stands a reality where the Dutch fort remains a working community with its usual buzz of administrative offices, court complex, commercial buildings, churches and Southern folks frequenting its streets bracing the air of the Elysium of architecture, Galle!  Proceed to the hotel.

In the evening if time permits, indulge yourself with water sports available. Overnight Stay at Villa in Galle Fort.

 

Day 12; Galle/ Colombo

The throbbing metropolis, Colombo - located in the West - is not only the country's capital, but also the turbine that impels above 50% of the national GDP flanking Colombo's fancy urban development effort. Drive along the clean streets edging the crystal white Race Course - horse racing hub in 1893 & World War II airstrip - furnished today with lavish clothing, food & tea boutiques. Meanwhile, ride to Pettah & tune into the Floating Market - an offbeat shopping experience - or feel the buzz surrounding the upcoming inspiration, the Colombo Port City - an offshore city - featuring parks, commercial complexes & even an F1 track! Head along Bauddhaloka Mawatha towards 'Arcade' facing a historic waypost, the Independence Square. Every designer boutique, top-notch cuisine outlet and even the 'walk-over fish tank', have revamped this colonial masterpiece into one of the trendiest shopping and hangout zones in Sri Lanka. 
Have a chilled beer at the Dutch Hospital while gazing through fancy windows showcasing best fashion, jewelry & handicraft brands. Smell the scent of incense while listening to the chiming bells of Gangarama temple. Or, jazz up to Colombo's night life spiced by night clubs & casinos that borderline its bustle. If you're lucky, head into an exhibition at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) before swaying your head to an opera or play at Nelum Pokuna that should just drive your day into perfection!

Visit Odel, House of fasion, Avirate, Noritake etc. Overnight stay in Colombo.

 

Day 13; Colombo - Airport

Transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.