A Blend of Island History, Culture and Wildlife

Explore Sri Lanka at its best in culture, history and wildlife

An exciting tour to explore the authentic Sri Lankan experiences, connecting you to the island’s culture and its people with a peak into the best wild life experiences…

What to Expect

10 Nights / 11 Days

An exciting tour to explore authentic Sri Lankan experiences, connecting you to the island’s culture and its people with a peak into the best wild life experiences…

Day 1 : Route – Airport / Negombo

Drive Time           – Approximately 30 Minutes

Accommodation – Villa Hundira

Meal Basis           – Bed and Breakfast Basis

Arrive in Sri Lanka in the style you deserve, greeted by your chauffeur guide and transferred directly to Negombo where you can relax and unwind on one of the island’s beaches.

Start your journey at a luxurious setting in the lagoon side villa to bask in the sun, splash in the pool, and enjoy the tropical weather.

Stretch back in a hammock with a drink in your hand to shake off the jetlag and adjust to the new time zone. Watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean and marvel at its rich pinks and ambers while you wriggle your toes in the pool and prepare yourself for the exciting days that await you.

Day 2 : Route – Negombo / Anamaduwa

Drive Time – Approx. 2.5 hours

Accommodation – Mud House

Meal Basis – Full Board Basis

In the early morning, drop into the fish market in Negombo where you can see the livelihoods of fishermen in this coastal town.

After a leisurely breakfast, leave the lagoon behind and head off the beaten track into Sri Lanka’s rustic, pastoral heartland of Anamaduwa, one of the most rural villages in the central area.

Anamaduwa is an authentic Sri Lankan village surrounded by a vast network of ancient irrigation tanks that, just like natural lakes, attract a variety of bird life and support the locals that live nearby. The village and tanks are flanked by evergreen dry zone forest attracting deer, giant squirrel as well as wild boar.

Staying at The Mudhouse will be like stepping back in time to your own Sri Lankan village in the jungle and to a more simple way of life, where things move at your leisurely pace. The majority of the people in the area are farmers and the area is surrounded by acres of paddy fields which are irrigated by the various tanks (lakes). Friday is market day in the nearest town, and traders from across the region converge to create a colourful fair which is well worth a visit. Although the town is moving forward with the times it still retains it’s old world charm.  Largely untouched by tourism, the region has escaped mass development, and the fact that guidebooks somehow devote so little attention to it is probably a huge blessing.

Day 3 : Route – Anamaduwa

Accommodation – Mud House

Meal Basis – Full Board Basis

 At The Mud House, you can explore rural country side around the property by walking, cycling or even by a tractor. Visiting ancient, non-touristic temples, canoeing in the lake, going to local markets, picnic in the nearby villages to interact with local villagers are the things in the immediate surroundings of your characteristic experience. Most of all enjoy all meals prepared for you in a fully traditional, fresh and authentic way.

The mud house is visiting grounds for all types of exciting visitors such as cute Mouse Deer, the night-time Slender Loris, the impressive Giant Squirrel and the overly-hunted Wild Boar. They flock in the premises for safety as it is a protected land. The abundance of insects, reptiles, rodents and mammals creates a vibrant and a colorful backdrop to the life in the hut.   .

Bird watching at Mud House is key attraction as there are many resident, migratory and endemic birds in the surrounding areas. Also Anawilundawa Bird sanctuary which is an important birding habitat is just one hour drive from the mud house.

Kalipitiya Peninsula for Dolphin watching and Wilpattu National Park for Leopard safaris are just 1 hour drive away from The Mud House. Enjoy your stay at this rustic beauty as it will be a memory for the lifetime.

Day 4 : Route – Anamaduwa to Dambulla

Drive Time – Approx. 3 hours

Accommodation –Kalundawa Retreat

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast Basis

 After a good night’s sleep and an early breakfast, set out from your thatched roofed oasis and into the island’s ancient highlights of the Cultural Triangle.

En route, visit the ancient ruins of Anuradhapura kingdom. Come to the place where one of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world flourished. Anuradhapura was the first capital of Sri Lanka founded in the 4th Century AD and it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Amongst the masterpieces of this golden era are the many towering stupas (Dagabos), wonderful rock carvings, huge stone pillars, and ruins of royal palaces, monasteries and bathing tanks along with some of the most complex irrigation systems in the world, all of which demonstrates the architectural, engineering, hydrological and irrigational skills of this era. Let the shade of the ‘Sri Maha Bodhi’, (a sapling of the sacred Bo tree in Bodh Gaya in India) give you peace and solace. The ‘Sri Maha Bodhi’ is believed to be the oldest human planted tree in the world. Afterwards proceed to your resort in Sigiriya for a relaxed stay.

Day 5 : Route – Dambulla to Polonnaruwa and back

Drive Time – Approx. 1.5 hours one way

Accommodation –Kalundawa Retreat

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast Basis

Climb the great rock fortress in the morning. You have a royal invitation to explore a majestic 5th century fortress in the sky, the most visited historical sites in the country. This gigantic column of rock, rising up 200 meters (660ft) into the heavens was once a royal palace and is today acclaimed a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. With its man-made fountains and ponds and beautifully landscaped pleasure gardens surrounded by moats you can easily let your imagination run wild and picture the glorious past of kings and queens of the rock fortress and take in the 8th century poetic verses of the mirror wall with frescoes of enchanting ladies of the past royal courts.

Having gotten your first taste of Sri Lanka’s illustrious history in Anuradhapura, today, you will make the trip to its second capitol, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Visit a once flourishing empire, the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms and the capital of Sri Lanka from 1017 A.D. to 1235 A.D. Travel back in time to the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa under the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great. See the remains of some of the greatest feats of the past; the gigantic Parakrama Samudra (The Sea of Parakrama) covering 2500 hectares of land, still provides water for irrigation to the surrounding areas and is believed to be one of the most greatest irrigation feats of the past.

Do not forget to enjoy a fresh drink of king coconut to refresh yourselves in between the sightings. You can also visit the Monkey Kingdom where the famous Disney movie was filmed and see the primates in all stages of their peaceful life.

 

Day 6 : Route – Sigiriya to Gal Oya

Drive Time –   Approx. 04 hours

Accommodation – Gal Oya Lodge

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast Basis

 Today after exploring the culture in Sri Lanka proceed to Gal Oya village, home to Gal Oya National park to discover an ancient land untouched by time. Be amazed by the quietness at the lodge uninterrupted by the chaos in the city.

The main attraction in the area, the Gal Oya National Park is rich in flora and fauna. Most of the park is covered by evergreen forest and the rest is taken up by savanna areas. Common Langur, endemic Toque macaque, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Elephant, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo and 3 species of deer are included in the 32 species of mammals in the park. For birding enthusiasts, around 150 of Sri Lanka’s 430 species of birds have been observed in this region. This is the park where if you are lucky you can see the jumbos swimming in the lake from one island to another.

The indigenous people of Sri Lanka called Veddhas still resides in the area called Nilgala in the Gal Oya National park .This makes for an interesting addition the experience besides the wildlife.

Day 7 : Route – Gal Oya

Accommodation – Gal Oya Lodge

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast Basis

 At Gal Oya Lodge, you can experience unique and guided experiences that re-imagine the traditional Sri Lanka safari idea.

Today with packed breakfast rediscover the Sri Lanka’s forgotten National Park, Gal Oya via jeep and boat. As the Gal oya national park houses the country’s largest lake the wild life is best observed by the boat, especially the famous swimming elephants. With one the expert naturalists, take a boat safari on the lake and discover wildlife from a whole new perspective. If you are lucky and if the timing is right you will be able to witness elephants swimming from one island to another or having a bath at the edge of the lake.

 Visit the veddahs, the indigenous tribe of Sri Lanka. They are the forest-dwelling tribe and in the evening you can enjoy a walk with the village chief through the jungles of his ancestors. As he is explaining the use of medicinal plants and the locations of their earliest settlement lands you will feel as if the forest is coming alive.

Day 8 : Route – Gal Oya to Kandy

Drive Time –   Approx. 3.5 hours

Accommodation – Villa Rosa

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast

 In the morning visit the Monkey Kingdom with your resort naturalist guide and see the sunrise from there.

After spending days amidst the quietness of the jungle, journey south today out of the arid dry-lands and up into the lush green jungle to the magical city of Kandy – the Hill Capitol of Sri Lanka and the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kingdom. Some days Kandy’s skies seem perpetually bruised, with stubborn mist clinging to the hills surrounding the city’s beautiful centerpiece lake. Delicate hill-country breezes impel the mist to gently part, revealing colorful houses amid Kandy’s improbable forested halo. Here’s a city that looks good even when it’s raining.

En route don’t forget to stop near a small road side shop and enjoy a local fruit or a piping hot roti with a cup of plain tea. Proceed to Kandy and spend the evening at leisure soaking up the beauty around you.

Day 9 : Route – Kandy

Accommodation – Villa Rosa

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast

 Spend the morning at leisure admiring the view of the town from the nearby view point of the villa.

For lunch enjoy a cookery demonstration using only clay stuffs; Fired clay pots and handmade spoons out of coconut shells and wood handles. Indulge in typical Sri Lankan cooking lessons that promise an authentic experience as well as a delicious meal.

After lunch proceed to Kandy and explore the busy streets of Kandy city centre, Peradeniya University area, St. Anthony College area and visit several interesting local sites including a church and the famous clock tower.

Afterwards visit Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which is venerated by Buddhists all over the world. Before you enter the temple buy some flowers and oil lamps from a street side shop.

Once you are in the temple offer the flowers to the tooth relic and light the oil lamps and obtain the blessings.

Do not forget to enjoy a visit to the colorful street market which offers everything from aromatic spices, clothes, jewelry shops and various knick-knacks once in Kandy city.

Engage in an exciting walk around Kandy town trying different local delicacies and street food. 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.

 

Day 10 : Route – Kandy to Colombo

Drive Time – Approx. 4 hours

Accommodation – Galle Face Hotel

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast

Having experienced the best of Sri Lanka’s heritage and history in The Cultural Triangle, you will be ready to head back to the island’s present in its lively urban centre of Colombo. Once in Colombo, your chauffeur guide will introduce you to some of Colombo’s curious sites such as the vibrant markets of Pettah, old city of Fort, the Hindu Temple at Sea Street and the Dutch Church at Wolfendal or alternatively to indulge in some shopping.

One of the best ways to connect with a country’s culture and people is through its local cuisine. Every country has a very rich history when it comes to food, and therefore so does Sri Lanka. In the evening, dig into Colombo’s street food scene and eat, eat, eat your way through the city like a local! Explore the busy streets of Pettah and witness the hustle and bustle of the local markets. See iconic sites like Fort Station, the Red Mosque, and the Khan clock tower. Hang out on the strip where locals like to chill out after a busy day.

Day 11 : Route – Colombo to Airport

Drive Time – Approximately 1 hour

 Though it will be difficult to say goodbye, all good things come to an end. Your chauffeur guide will meet you on time at the hotel lobby to return you by way of a scenic drive to the international airport for your departing flight and a safe journey home.

Where to Stay

Learn more about the luxurious 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

The Mudhouse

The Mudhouse consists of a number of clusters of uniquely designed huts spread throughout our 60 acres of forest land. These huts range from a traditional village house to a tree house, all constructed with natural materials sourced locally.

Villa Rosa

Kandy is a bustling noisy place; a sharp contrast to the peace and tranquility of the Villa. When you first arrive the road is quite daunting but you soon come to realise that it forms a barrier between your sanctuary, the Villa and the rabble outside.

Add-on Experiences

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

Sri Lanka has both migratory and endemic birds that can be sighted with Anamaduwa being a hotspot for this.

Take a one hour hot air balloon ride to the Sigiriya.

Join the villagers of Hiriwaduna on this trekking tour and experience the beauty and diversity of the village life.

Sri Lanka Tailor-made