Sri Lanka Encompassed

11 days

Safaris » Indian Subcontinent » Sri Lanka » Sri Lanka Encompassed Get in touch

This island of serendipity encompasses a multitude of experiences. Sri Lanka is breathtaking scenery of misty highlands, deserted soft sand beaches fringed with palm trees, and dense jungles filled with incredible wildlife encounters. Here you’ll discover herds of elephants and the largest population of leopard worldwide. Awaiting you are authentic encounters with local indigenous tribes, a hands-on approach to traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, and tea plantation meanderings to uncover the origins of the humble cup of tea. Photo opportunities abound in this enigmatic country filled with warm, smiling locals oozing an intoxicating blend of happiness and serenity.

Highlights

  • Leopard and elephant spotting with an expert guide at Yala National Park
  • The enigmatic stilt fisherman of Weligama
  • Private dining on sand dunes, overlooking the ocean
  • Tea plantation explorations
  • Expand your culinary skills during cooking classes
  • Visit the Vedda indigenous tribe in Gal Oya
Olympus Digital Camera

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Colombo –Temple of Buddha’s Tooth and Kandy Explorations

Upon arrival in Colombo today, a scenic road transfer brings you to the lush green landscapes of Sri Lanka’s interior and the town of Kandy. Embark on a discovery of the city from its tree-lined paths circling the lake to the local markets. Visit what is considered throughout the Buddhist world as Sri Lanka’s most prized possession; the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Legend has it that Buddha’s tooth was brought to Sri Lanka from sacrilegious hands, bound in a princess’ hair. Enjoy your evening at the King’s Pavillion, your retreat nestled in the misty mountains of charming Kandy.

DAY 2

Nuwara Eliya – Tea Plantations

Today’s journey takes you further into the misty rolling hills, past tea plantations to the town of Nuwara Eliya, dotted with English-style houses and timber cottages. Immerse yourself in the culture that accompanies tea, gaining first-hand insight into the age-old process of making this humble beverage. Stroll the rows of tea bushes, observe workers picking tea leaves, savor the flavors of different blends and learn of the labor and love that is invested in the ubiquitous cup of tea. Your evening will be spent at Goatfell. Marvel at the vistas of the mountains and tea estates from the infinity swimming pool, or sit on a verandah in the warmth of a log fire.

DAY 3

Gal Oya – Vedda Indigenous Tribe Visit, Jungle Night Walk

Head to Gal Oya for two nights at the Gal Oya Lodge, a luxury eco-lodge with jungle bungalows in pristine rainforest. This afternoon meet with members of the Vedda tribe; one of the last remaining indigenous communities living in the wilderness. Escorted by the village chief, walk through the jungles of his ancestors and gain an understanding of how hunter-gatherers sustain themselves in this environment. Enjoy dinner at the lodge before a jungle night walk by flashlight. Your naturalist guide will point out the resident nocturnal wildlife in the area, including amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. Can you find the truly bizarre Frog-mouth bird?

DAY 4

Gal Oya – Boat Safari, Game Drive and Walk, Evening Jungle Cooking Class

The sun rises in the jungle, as you float across the lake on a boat ride searching for wildlife as it begins to stir. Possibly glimpse elephants swimming and bathing at the lake’s edge, along with exceptional birdlife, monkeys, langurs, wild boar, and more. A picnic lunch is served in the jungle, before an afternoon safari game drive by jeep to view more of the boutiful wildlife. At your lodge this evening, indulge in Sri Lankan cuisine, prepared by the guest chef…you! Try your hand at cooking a traditional meal in the jungle kitchen.

DAY 5

Ella – Scenic Drive, Picnic Lunch, Colonial Towns

Enjoy a leisurely morning before your picturesque drive to the sleepy mountain village of Ella, an outdoor playground. En-route, stop for a picnic lunch at a charming lookout point over the tea plantations. Explore a local colonial town full of history and quaint architecture, including Sri Lanka’s longest covered wooden bridge. You’ll arrive at your accommodation in the late afternoon, in time for rest, a lingering cocktail hour with your preferred beverage, and a succulent gourmet dinner. The next two nights will be spent at the Nine Skies, a colonial-style homestead perched on a tea-fringed hill near Ella.

DAY 6

Ella – Hike Little Adam’s Peak, Discover the Nine Arch Bridge and Ravana Waterfall

Venture out on a guided walk to Little Adam’s Peak. Sitting at 3,800 feet, a gentle gradual trek up the mountain will have your blood flowing in anticipation for the resplendent views that await. Rest your feet on a beautiful drive to the Nine Arch Bridge on the famous Demodara Loop drive, known for its incredible scenery. The afternoon is spent admiring the cascade of Ravana Falls before a leisurely dinner and evening back at your accommodation.

DAY 7

Yala National Park – Game Viewing Experience, Dinner Among The Dunes

Early morning, drive with your guide to Yala National Park. The second largest and most visited in Sri Lanka, Yala is imperative for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, and also boasts the highest concentration of leopard in the world. You might just fall in love with your accommodation for the next two nights, the Wild Coast Tented Lodge, situated on a breathtakingly rugged beach alongside the Indian Ocean. Tents are designed in the shape of rocks and boulders to feel part of the surrounding environment, fusing natural elements with touches of comfort. Following lunch and a siesta, embark on a jeep safari in the national park, led by your naturalist guide. Tonight, experiential dining among the sand dunes beneath twinkling stars awaits.

DAY 8

Yala National Park – Safari Game Drives and a Sri Lankan Cooking Class

An early start increases your chances of getting on the trail of the leopard. Your morning safari drive with your expert tracker may reveal wildlife spectacles. Binoculars in hand, seek out a range of wildlife including peacock, bear, crocodile and aquatic birdlife. Return to the lodge for a lesson in traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, mixing your own spices and seasoning your ingredients as you prepare a delicious meal guided by a local chef. Enjoy lunch before a dip in the pool or time to read a book. As wildlife becomes active before nightfall, set out on safari once more. Your evening is at leisure.

DAY 9

Weligama – Game Drive and Stilt Fisherman

Revel in one last game drive early this morning, followed by a transfer to the seaside town of Weligama. Your guide will explain the unusual fishing techniques as you try to capture that iconic photograph of the fisherman perched like curious birds on stilts in the ocean, patiently waiting for their catch. Your afternoon is at leisure at the Cape Weligama, overlooking the Indian Ocean and palm-fringed beaches. Spend the afternoon at rest, take a surf lesson, or a guided bicycle ride to observe rural life. The dining area allows you to capture exquisite sunsets, as does the infinity pool. Ocean breezes beckon, and time slows down.

DAY 10

Weligama – Whale Watching and Ocean Explorations near Mirissa

Try out your sea legs today on a full day ocean excursion around the Mirissa region. Your eagle-eyed captain will help you spot whales and dolphins; including Sperm or Blue whales (December through April). Your delicious breakfast onboard will be in a gorgeous hidden spot. Investigate the nearby islands, while swimming, snorkeling and a consuming a tasty lunch. Return to the Cape Weligama for an evening at leisure to reflect on the incredible moments experienced throughout your journey across Sri Lanka.

DAY 11

Departure Day

Today you’ll transfer to the airport for your international flight home. Sri Lanka encompasses a world of experiences, and this journey will be etched in your heart and soul for years to come.