Indigenous Experience in Sri Lanka

Come experience an excellent community-based tour which offers travellers the chance to bond closely to a core part of Sri Lanka’s history and culture and gain an insight into the fascinating, fading indigenous tribal of the country – “Veddas” – a fast dwindling community.

What to Expect

12 Nights / 13 Days

This itinerary has been carefully designed to give you a taste of the exciting, endless possibilities and can be tailored to suit your exact preferences.

Day 1 : Route – Airport / Makandura

Drive Time : Approximately 45 minute drive

Accomadation : The Notary’s House

At the airport you will be greeted by our Jetwing Representative and your Chauffer Guide who will take you to check-in at the charming Notary’s House located in the lush suburbs of Negombo in Makundura. Set amidst sprawling gardens and a coconut grove the Notary’s House depicts the ideal residence to start your perfect Sri Lanka travel experience.

Your evening would be rewarded with a cycling & village walk in the surrounding areas. Pick a bicycle and helmet of your choice from the property and set off on a tropical cycling adventure past scenic paddy fields scattered with resident buffalo & egrets, rural households and their seasonal crops followed by a village walk around the lake (behind the property) with a visit included to the local temple!

End the evening with a drink in your hand to shake off the jetlag and adjust to the new time zone.

Day 2 : Route – Makandura / Sigiriya

Drive Time  : Approximately 3 hour drive

Accomadation : Aliya Resort and Spa, Sigiriya

Set off from the countryside of Negombo to experience the inland delights of Sri Lanka.

As you drive past picturesque routes, you will meet the small town of Kajugama where you could buy some crunchy cashews to nibble on the way. Roasted Kadju is the most-loved form of this much-loved snack ranging from raw, spice to fried nuts!

Journey pass sprawling rice paddy fields until you meet the bustling town of Kurunegala and make your way for a quick visit to Selyn; a social and solidarity company specializing in handmade weaving. Watch mesmerized as rural artisans weave a myriad of fabrics from home textiles, to garments and toys.

After devouring a lunch cooked by the villagers, gradually make your way to Sigiriya and check-into Aliya Resort and Spa; a serene resort nestled among the lush greenery of rolling fields, decades old indigenous trees, Chena growth and stunning views across the pool to the famed Lion Rock!

A free afternoon here gives you a perfect opportunity to embark on a small hike to the Pidurangala rock! Even though Sigiriya Fortress is the highly spoken rock formation in the area, a hike to Pidurangala especially for the sunset is a memorable experience as it has a much more earthly natural feel. A climb of 20 minutes will be well rewarded with the majestic views of the Sigiriya Lion’s rock, picturesque lakes, greenery and land vistas. The cool breeze will take away all your tiredness when you are on the top. Don’t forget to explore more on the connections King Rawana claimed to have had with aliens and spaceships believed to have landed on this flat rock base!

End your day with an adventure vibe on!

Day 3 : Route – Sigiriya / Gal oya

Drive Time : Approximately 04 hour drive

Accomadation  : Gal Oya Eco Lodge

Your journey today will take you to explore the rich wildlife of Gal Oya National Park; one of Sri Lanka’s most remote and least visited wilderness areas. Gradually drive along a picturesque route to the pristine Gal oya and devour into an authentic Sri Lankan Rice & curry lunch from a village restaurant.

Your afternoon will be entertained by a unique and exclusive safari by boat on the Senanayake Samudra Lake of the Gal Oya National Park. Recognized as the only national park in the island to offer boat safaris, the ride takes you through calm and beautiful waters between small islands dotted across the water to indulge in nature’s beauty and explore the wildlife. Besides the delight of seeing exotic birds fly past while you are on the boat, this serene activity is made more magical by the sight of lone elephants swimming between the islands at sunset in search of food; – the elephants have evolved into fantastic swimmers!

Top Tip| The best time for a boat safari is at 6 AM or at 3 PM when the sunlight is not too harsh

As you float on the mighty water body of Senanayake Reservoir, be mesmerized by the spectacular sunset before you!

After an exhilarating day in quest of wildlife, leisurely retreat to the confines of Gal Oya Eco Lodge; an eco-lodge cleverly harmonized with its surroundings – buried into 20 acres of private jungle without even a sign on the main road as proof of its existence! The next three nights of your stay will be in complete seclusion, beware – there is no internet or TV!

End with a long dip in the beautiful infinity pool overlooking the lush green mountains whilst sipping chilled beer some buttered chips!

Day 04 - 05 : Route – Gal Oya and around

Accommodation        : Gal Oya Eco Lodge

The next two days of your seclusion will take you to discover an ancient land and natural treasures untouched by time; a haven of serenity in which to reconnect with the paces of the earth!

Kick-start your wildlife adventures with ‘Jungle drives and walk’ through the Gal Oya national park into the forgotten Nilgala section of the park either early morning or late evening. Although shy and sometimes hard to spot, the park hosts a diverse of animals including axis deer, sambar, water buffalo, wild boar, toque macaque, mugger crocodile, the rare star tortoise and the elusive Sri Lankan leopard. The park is also home to species of bird, rare Ayurvedic plants and a large elephant population. Alternatively adventure junkies may opt for a hike with an expert naturalist to the jungle and for the chance to see wildlife on foot!

For the adventurous early risers, a 1.5 hour uphill ascent to the summit of Monkey Mountain in the morning is a must! As you ascend through patches of forest, you may catch glimpses of wildlife swooping through the trees. Up top, you will be rewarded with dramatic 180 degree views over the large forested valleys and the sunrise over the hills in the distance!

If you do not want to trek up for hours, take your time to enjoy a picturesque bicycle tour, a jungle night walk, relish a riverside picnic or try your hand in a traditional jungle cooking course!

End the evening of the last day of your stay, on a discovery walk with the ‘Chief Veddha’ – the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of Sri Lanka. The village chief will walk through the jungles of his ancestors explaining the local nature, tribe’s use of medicinal plants, ancient hunting grounds and cave dwellings!

Completely secluded from the outside world, relax on your terrace without another human or bungalow in sight and wait for the birds to storm by!

Day 6 : Route – Gal Oya / Maiyanganaya

Drive Time :  Gal Oya / Maiyanganaya- Approximately 2.5 hour drive

Accommodation : Kevan’s Casa, Maiyanganaya

Today, venture out to the misty hills of Maiyanganaya; a town populated by the historic Vedda community and boasts of a rich cultural and historical heritage, hailing back centuries into Sri Lanka’s past. The town is perfect for some sightseeing, particularly if you’re interested in indulging yourself in the religious allure of the country and region! As you make your way down the bends on the road to the quiet town, ensure you stop by the Mapakada Lake; a picturesque site for a quick photo-shoot or sky-gazing to catch sight of some residential fauna and admire the surrounding mountainsides and green!

Gradually arrive at your accommodation for the next three days – Kevan’s Case; a modernized hotel minutes away from many of the cultural and wild life attractions!

Your afternoon takes you to the Dambana Wedda Village to meet and learn about the ‘people of the forests’ – the last indigenous tribe still in existence in the country. Explore the enthralling lifestyle of a forest dweller and the ways in which they have adopted in the Dambana forest for centuries.

By twilight, retire to your hotel to dine on the town’s only rooftop restaurant!

Day 07 - 08 : Route – Maiyanganaya

Drive Time                  : N/A

Accommodation        : Kevan’s Casa, Maiyanganaya

The next two days of your stay will have you revel in the riches of this ancient city as you embark on picturesque boat rides, waterfall & nature hikes and take a glimpse into the local rural community on their day to day activities.

Witness the dawn of a new day as the sun rises over the horizon of the Sorobora Lake. Behold a sunrise of spectacular beauty, a mountainous backdrop and the early risers fishing and tending the lake’s plush floating gardens make it a photographer’s heaven!

Top Tip| This unique moment takes place around 6 AM and is a sight not to be missed!

Partake in a picturesque, hour-long boat-ride across the lake and observe the birdlife and local fishermen use a traditional form of fishing to girdle the fish and carry it ashore. As you approach the shore, gradually head towards the local fish market at the edge of the lake and witness how the locals work to bring you the most finely prepared fish to your table!

As the hunger pangs kick-in, make your way to the boat for a scrumptious breakfast with “live cooking” on the Sorobora Rock. Make your way to the top of Sorobora Rock and join the Chef who would take you through some of the finer recipes of Sri Lankan cuisine accompanied by a delicious breakfast with a view. If you are not ready to leave the sight of the lake as yet, walk over to the edge to sit on the large swing that serves up a remarkable view of the lake.

Alternatively adventure enthusiasts may opt to cycle through the scenic streets of the town passing the lake bunt and over to lush green lands of the countryside or embark on 2-3 kilometer hikes to lush forests and majestic waterfalls as the ‘Kaluwa Wetuna Hike’.

End the latter day in Maiyanganaya by interacting and connecting with the local community on their day to day activities. Join the local villagers in the art of clay pottery making and create your own pottery souvenir to take home or try your own hand at creating a ‘’Pan Padura”. It is a reed mat woven usually by local ladies using reeds collected from the fields. You can learn to milk a cow from a local villager!

Dust off your efforts by tickling your taste buds to a well-rewarded authentic Sri Lankan lunch at the village of Rathna Ella – prepared by the locals with much love!

Day 9 : Route – Maiyaganaya / Knuckles Glamping camps

Drive Time      : Approx 2 hours drive

Accomadation :  Wild Glamping Knuckles

Meal Basis        : Breakfast & Dinner Included

Then you will be heading to the Knuckles misty mountains where your camp is located in.

Complete relaxing time with nature; build up a conversation with the hazy hills and lush green jungle.

Sri Lanka’s central mountains are now considered to be one of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites, and the craggy, biodiverse Knuckles Range forms a key part of that recognition. This sierra is home to pockets of rare montane and cloud forest, and offers fine hiking and bird watching possibilities. This rock looks like a closed fist and that’s how it has got its name “Knuckles”. This rocky highland region is little known to foreign visitors hence this would be the best hill country area to get off the beaten tourist path.

Day 10 : Route – Kunckles Range

Route : Kunckles Range

Accommodation   : Wild Glamping Knuckles

Meal Basis : Breakfast & Dinner Included

A Day of Adventure! Pack your back pack for an interesting waterfall Trekking. This is a professionally guided trekking experience.

  • Recommended start Time: 06.30 am
  • Duration: 5-7 hours

Hidden away in the lush jungle, is a beautiful waterfall. Leave your campsite with the first rays of the sun and make your way through the terraced tea plantations before you enter the extravagance of the green forests of the Knuckles. A moderately challenging trail leads you to a waterfall humming in peaceful solitude, lost in the middle of rich verdure.

Rest & relax in your campsite and enjoy the breathtaking views and true camping bonfire.

Day 11 : Route – Knuckles / Kandy

Drive Time : Approx 1.5 hour drive

Accommodation  : Theva Residency, Kandy

Meal Basis : Breakfast & Dinner Included

Today climb down from Knuckles Range and you get to spend your day in beautiful Kandy.

As you reach Kandy, why not try the authentic food culture in the area?

Take an exciting walk around Kandy town trying different local delicacies. Start the trip with some exotic fruits in the Kandy market, walk around the market and learn about the various regional vegetables and their uses. Head to the women’s co-operative for some authentic snacks that you’d only get to try if you knew someone’s grandmother. Then cut into the trading street of Kandy. Have some yummy snacks or a king coconut drink , before moving on to the main course. Finally end the walk with some curd and treacle to cool you down.

Today afternoon will be some unusual experience for you. Spend a few hours in a traditional drum making village and make your own drum. The village was gifted to the people by the Kandyan kings and deemed as the drum making village. For the last few generations Kandyan drums are traditionally made in the area.

Day 12 : Route – Kandy / Negombo

Drive Time      : Approx. 3.5 hours’ drive

Accomadation :  Jetwing Beach, Negombo

Meal Basis        : Breakfast & Dinner Included

From the mountains make your drive towards Negombo, coastal fishing village.

Before leaving Kandy, make sure that you pay a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which houses what is believed to be an ancient relic of Lord Buddha. Buy some beautiful fresh flowers before entering to the temple. Offer an oil lamp and flowers to the temple joining the local devotees!

Continue your drive to beaches of Negombo where you can relax completely on the beach.  You can get yourself lost in the buzz of Negombo exploring long and colorful streets. You will find yummy freshly made food, seashell ornaments, creamy ice creams and many more surprises while walking the streets.

Day 13 : Route – Negombo / Airport

Drive Time      : Approx 20 minutes drive

While recollecting all the authentic Sri Lankan memories, drive safely to airport to take your departure flight home.

Where to Stay

Learn more about the properties available for your trip.

Gal Oya Lodge

Discover an ancient land untouched by time, a haven of serenity in which to reconnect with the rhythms of the earth. Immerse yourself in nature.

Kevans Casa

Kevan’s Casa being the most modernized hotel and being minutes away from many attractions, ensures that guests enjoy a cultural and wild life experience, bound to create a wealth of memories to take back home. Kevan’s Casa Hotel, contains the only rooftop restaurant in Mahiyanganaya City

Jetwing Beach

Located on the golden sands of Negombo, stands Jetwing Beach, a resort par excellence. Effortlessly combining beauty and luxury, Jetwing Beach is the ideal getaway for sophisticated relaxation.

Add-on Experiences

We have many activities to keep you busy during your stay. See our destination pages for more information.

Take up water activities, including kayaking, skiing, boat excursions and jet skis with Jet Watersports.

There are many beach stretched around, with the Yala beaches being a key experience.

Catch the waves in the Southern Coastlines of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Tailor-made