28 February 2021
A World of Good in Sri Lanka
A vibrant culture, astounding wildlife and spectacular landscapes including mountains and jungles… our itinerary really shows you this spellbinding Indian Ocean destination in all its rich and compelling diversity and gets you under the skin of the island and its people.
Meeting the Locals
Meeting the stall-holders at Dambulla Fruit & Vegetable Market, Sri Lanka’s largest, selling the harvest from the surrounding fields and villages including pumpkins, mangoes and watermelons.
A kamatha agri-experience at Habarana, learning about rice-paddy cultivation with farmers, helping to sow seeds or harvest the rice, and sharing a traditional lunch. Tea with a local family and the chance to plant jackfruit, banana and teak in order to provide them with a future income. Village tour including a lake trip on an oruwa boat, spotting eagles and water monitors, stopping at a farmhouse for a guided tour, refreshing thambili and lunch prepared by the farmer’s family, served on lotus leaves. Sudu Gang trekking adventure through a cocoa and rubber plantation, seeing local tea-pickers’ houses and visiting a nursery school. Visit to a pottery-making house to take part in clay cup and pot making with the village community. Boat-ride in Koggala Lake with its hundreds of tiny islands and birdlife-rich marshland, stopping at Cinnamon Island to talk to families making their living producing cinnamon-based products and to enjoy a village lunch followed by cinnamon tea.
Visit to sites in and around Kandy, including a train journey to Nanuoya, with views of tea plantations, waterfalls and rocky tunnels built in the British era. Trip to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka, with world-famous frescoes painted on sheer rockface. Discovery of Dambulla Cave Temple, with more than 80 documented caves, some containing statues and paintings depicting Gautama Buddha and his life. Tour of Polonnaruwa, the island’s second ancient capital.
Excursions in and around Sigiriya, including Anuradhapura, another former capital of the island, blessed with evocative ruins. Stay in Kandy, one-time capital and seat of Kandyan kings, with a hike across the Knuckles Mountain Range's tea fields and trails. Tour of the Temple of The Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha and participation in an evening pooja flower offering. Tour of the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden, independently or with a botanist.
Trip to Nine Arches Bridge or the Bridge in the Sky, one of the foremost examples of colonial-era railway construction in the country.
Wildlife Encounters and Nature Activities
The Loris Night Trail at Jetwing Vil Uyana, the hotel’s private biosphere providing a habitat for the elusive, nocturnal grey slender loris. Visit to Sam Popham’s arboretum to help sweep footpaths and lawns, remove invasive plants from orchards and explore its woodland trails. Trip to Minneriya National Park, said to have the largest gathering of elephants in Asia, hosting half-day safaris.
Ride on the Flying Ravana Mega Zipline, Sri Lanka’s first-ever, through the lush green estates of Ella at up to 80km/h. Personalised ranger-led safaris in Yala National Park and dawn/dusk bush walks in the vicinity of Chena Huts. Chance to join a beach cleanup with the sea turtle conservation programme, or a night patrol to see turtles and get an insight into how they are cared for.
Good to Know
This is a 15-day, 14-night itinerary that includes one of the most scenic train rides in Asia and nights in some of the island’s very best hotels, including the unforgettable Jetwing Vil Uyana and the Uga Chena Huts.
Get in touch with me today for more information or to arrange your future travels