8 to 12 guests: US $4890 (double occupancy)
Feb 17 ‐ Mar 01, 2017
12 nights, 13 days
Cycling (easy), cultural tours, game drives, hiking (easy to moderate), cookery lessons, tea tastings
Boutique and heritage hotels
Colombo International Airport
Serendip/Serendipity - noun
Our Sri Lanka adventure is truly serendipitous! Imagine exploring a place the size of Ireland, with high, rugged mountains, pristine tropical forests, huge white sand beaches, great surf and incredible wildlife including leopards, whales and 6000 free roaming elephants. One of the world’s biodiversity hot spots, with over twenty wildlife reserves, its cultural, ethnic and religious heritages are equally diverse and rich. On Sri Lanka there is so much to experience, creating an itinerary to do it justice wasn’t easy – but we think we’ve been more than successful!
This Sri Lanka multi-activity tour takes you on a magical journey across an astonishing island. You will experience the ‘must see’ sights, including six of its eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, but you go way beyond that to hidden gems we have discovered. You’ll receive a blessing under the world’s oldest tree, take a heritage train past majestic mountains and rushing waterfalls, cycle through ancient ruins to massive stone Buddha carvings, climb countless steps to an astonishing fortress, observe elephants up close in the wild and orphan elephants being fed, go on a night safari to spot the elusive Slow Lori, meet local farmers, witness moving religious rituals and intricate traditional dancing, walk though tea plantations and to World’s End – and much more!
Our Sri Lanka odyssey begins with a night in a colonial manor house set in lush gardens. Next we set off to the ‘Kings’ Land’ now known as the Cultural Triangle, the crucible of Sinhalese civilization. During three days we explore four UNESCO World Heritage sites, by bike and on foot: the evocative ruins of two ancient cities with massive stupas and Buddha statues carved from rock bluffs; a complex of beautifully preserved 1st century Buddhist cave temples; and an astounding fortress built in 400 AD atop a massive 660 ft. high rock with jaw dropping views.
This Sri Lanka adventure features elephants, and we meet them in both Minneriya National Park, and in Udawalawe National Park, where we also go behind the scenes at an elephant rehabilitation centre. Along the way we spot many other animals, including the elusive slow lori, a fabulous array of birds, and, with luck, a leopard.
One of Sri Lanka’s jewels is the sacred City of Kandy, our fourth UNESCO World Heritage site. We stay in a colonial hotel, right next to the lake where corpulent monitor lizards laze under huge rain trees, and steps away from the Temple of the Tooth, where we witness a colourful and noisy puja.
To reach Sri Lanka’s misty highlands, we take one of the greatest heritage train rides in the world, up into the land of tea and Sri Lanka’s colonial past. We explore the town of Nuwara Eliya, ‘Little England’, and enjoy sweeping vistas from our beautiful lodge set among tea plantations at 6000 feet. We hike through the grasslands and pristine cloud forests of Horton Plains National Park or, for a gentler stroll, walk up to ‘Little Adam’s Peak’.
Our Sri Lanka adventure reaches a new high with a three-day stay in the stunning walled settlement of Galle Fort. Established by the Portuguese in 1588, and fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century, it is now protected by its UNESCO World Heritage status. From our historic hotel we take walking tours of the cobbled streets and along the fabulous ramparts, with time to stop for a drink and watch the world go by, or find some treasures in this shoppers’ paradise. We head to a nearby lowland tea plantation where ‘virgin’ tea is grown, and have lunch in a spot that defines ‘divine’.
Sri Lanka’s is ocean is calling, so we hang out on our favourite beach, where you can swim, body surf, or just kick up your heels in the sun with a cocktail. And if you want to extend your Sri Lanka adventure with some extra beach time, let us know and we can help you arrange a very special experience. Oh, and did we mention the delicious cuisine and fabulous accommodations?
Sri Lanka is just a short hop from India, yet its culture, history and landscapes are unique and its pace of life incredibly relaxed. Join us for a journey full of happy discoveries!
Adventure Travel has been our specialty since 1991 when we started to explore the world's most spectacular places as photographers and writers. Several years (and several books) later we began sharing our experiences with others by developing and leading adventure tours. We founded Hidden Places Travel in 2000 and quickly became renowned for our unique, off-the-beaten-track itineraries. Our support of local communities and conservation projects gives our trips unprecedented access and our loyal following of repeat guests is a testament to our professionalism and nurturing approach.
We invite you to join us on one of our life-changing adventures.
Dag Goering and Maria Coffey