Discover Yala National Park
Yala National Park is located in the south-east corner of Sri Lanka and is the most popular destination for wildlife viewing. Leopards are the star attraction and Yala is believed to have the world’s highest concentration of these big cats.
During the dry season, which spans from June to September, large concentrations of mugger crocodile can be seen in the dwindling waterholes. Yala is also an excellent birding destination with close to 300 species recorded.
The varied landscapes from lagoons and beaches to rocky outcrops, immersed among the scrub jungle are also a treat as you search out the park’s wildlife. Further north the Gal Oya National Park has a large seasonal gathering of wild elephant in search of food.
Immerse yourself in the exquisite natural beauty of Sri Lanka, and explore vast textured landscapes brimming with iconic wildlife. Delve into the archaeological masterpieces of the extensive ruins of Polonnaruwa, and the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress steeped in history. Delight in a charming tea experience in the tranquil serenity of fragrant tea plantations. Several exquisite wildlife havens dot the vast terrain, including the incredible Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks, as well as the Hurulu Forest Reserve, and it is here that you can savour the opportunity of seeing massive herds of Asian elephant roaming in the wild.
Kayak on sparkling lagoons, observing myriad animals’ crisscrossing paths to the water’s edge to quench their thirst. Sink into luxurious comfort on the beaches of Weligama and spends hours in the aquamarine depths frolicking in the waves, or sipping colourful cocktails gazing at the vast liquid expanse. Glide out on a boat where you can no longer see the land, and be utterly awe-struck as you watch magnificent whales and dolphins breaching and performing spectacular aerial stunts. Meander through atmospheric cobblestone streets in the historic Galle Fort and lose yourself in stunning, classic Dutch architecture juxtaposed with beautiful European buildings highlighting a sensational cultural fusion.
Day 1-2: Horathapola Estate
- Head to Horathapola Estate, a plantation bungalow hidden amidst the beautiful lush landscapes.
- Explore this functioning 50-acre organic coconut plantation, which dates back to the early 1900s.
- This is an ideal place to start your journey and unwind before you explore the rest of the Island.
- Hop on a bicycle and go for a leisurely ride, passing temples, plantations and farmlands
- Stroll on a nature walk into the community to engage and interact with the friendly locals.
- Traverse the lush expanse on a cart, and gain insight into how this organic plantation works.
- Visit the local ‘pola’, a bustling farmers-market selling delicious fresh produce.
- Explore an organic coconut oil manufacturing plant.
- For avid birdwatchers, there is a diverse array of kaleidoscopic birdlife painting the sky above.
Day 2-3: Cultural Triangle
- Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an exquisite ancient fortress and site of significant archaeological importance.
- Take in sensational views as well as exploring this fascinating ancient creation.
- Hop onto bicycles and cycle around the beautiful surroundings.
- Venture on the Loris Night Trail at night searching for the elusive grey Loris, a nocturnal primate.
- Discover the second most ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa, a prehistoric site containing the archaeological remains of ancient structures that reflect the great works of the Kings of Sri Lanka.
- Visit Hurulu Forest Reserve or Minerriya or Kaudula National Parks.
- Look out for massive herds of over 250 elephants, as well as leopards, rusty-spotted cats and sloth bears roaming in the scrubby forest. Other large animals found here include jackal, spotted deer, tufted grey langur and toque macaque.
Day 4-5: Kandy and Hill Country
- Visit the Temple of the Sacred Relic, the most revered site in Sri Lanka. While the tooth stays hidden within a gold casket, visitors and devotees always visit the temple during puja, the prayer session, just to glimpse the well-protected inner shrine where it is housed.
- Embark on a Ceylon Tea Trails Tea Experience with the resident planter, and discover the age-old tea making process.
- End off your tour sipping on delicious varieties and grades of delicious brews.
- Relish tea-infused cuisine, treat yourself to tea-based spa treatments and trek on tea-laden trails.
- Indulge in the ultimate relaxation in English gardens abundant with old-world charm.
- Take a leisurely wander through the beautiful Ceylon tea gardens.
- Embark on an adventure trek, a great way to delve into diverse terrain and colourful birdlife.
- Savour sweeping vistas of shimmering mountain lakes and enchanting misty forests.
- Make sure to utterly spoil yourself at the scrumptious afternoon high teas in the gardens.
- Take the time to rest and relax in one of the luxurious bungalows, perfectly enveloped in warmth from a crackling wood fire, watching as the captivating mists rolls across the landscape.
Day 6-8: Yala National Park
- Head to Yala National Park, home to a high concentration of leopards, an abundance of Asian elephants, wild buffalo, sloth bear, jackal, sambar deer, and magnificent bird species.
- Enjoy exhilarating morning and evening game drives traversing through the scrubby brush, vast grassland, dense woodland and sparkling lakes.
- A kaleidoscope of colour, Yala is home to over 215 bird species.
- If you have a special interest in archaeology, we can organise a more focused programme looking at the sites of stupas, including the impressive Akasha Chaithya, the Magul Maha Vihatiya, and some of the ruined tanks.
- Other activities include nature walks, kayaking in one of the lakes, and visiting archaeological ruins.
Day 9-10: Weligama and Galle
- Visit Bundala National Park and explore the textured terrain of salt pans, scrub jungle and vast lagoons.
- Head to Weligama, a gorgeous village-style environment gazing out to the pristine Indian Ocean.
- Stroll on the infinite sun-kissed stretches of sand and frolic in the sensational sparkling waters.
- Explore neighbouring coves by kayak, or learn to surf on Weligama’s legendary curls.
- View Weligama’s iconic sunsets from the infinity pool that appears to flow seamlessly into the shimmering sea.
- Go whale watching off Mirissa on a privately chartered vessel with a delectable packed breakfast.
- Be utterly captivated by magnificent blue whales rising from the depths of the aquamarine seas, dramatically diving back into the tranquil waters, and frolicking with their calves blowing enormous balloon bubbles.
- Explore the intricately beautiful historic Old Dutch fort in Galle.
- Wander through this vibrant, bustling area, complete with courts, schools, administrative buildings and churches.
- Explore the Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex, and soak in the ambience.
Day 11: Departure
- Wave a fond farewell as you are driven to Bandaranaike International Airport for your international flight onward.
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