Sri Lanka in Depth

Cultural Triangle & Eastern Sri Lanka, Southern & Southwest Coast, Sri Lanka's Hill Country

Duration: 16 nights

Price: From $4,850 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, all internal flights, private transfers, transportation, experiences as stated and taxes

All encompassing, this Sri Lanka vacation offers a comprehensive journey that combines everything from ancient sites and tea plantations to wildlife and deserted beaches. Starting in the mystical heartland of the Cultural Triangle, you’ll visit the pinnacle Sigirya rock fortress and UNESCO city of Anuradhapura before venturing into Kandy and Sri Lanka’s atmospheric tea country. Trailing all the way to the southern reaches, this extended trip will continue with a few days in Yala National Park, where you can spot the country’s thrilling wildlife, before finishing in Galle, where you’ll explore its colonial history and surrounding sandy beaches.
Perfect forReally getting to know central and southern Sri Lanka – we haven’t left much out of this itinerary.
In the knowTaking to the sky in the Cultural Triangle by hot air balloon or helicopter – it offers breathtaking views of Sri Lanka’s historic countryside.

Best for

  • History & Heritage
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Beach
  • Couples

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Itinerary details



From Colombo, you’ll be driven far away from the modern-day hustle and bustle of the capital, and up into the lush hill regions of the Cultural Triangle. Here you’ll have two nights at Ulagalla, which offers a wonderfully regal feel reflective of the Cultural Triangle’s history, and some of the slickest rice-paddy hideaways you’ll find in the region. On your first morning you’ll wake up to views over lotus-topped wetlands - ideal when matched with a locally produced cup of tea.  You’ll be perfectly placed to explore Anuradhapura, which is widely acknowledged as the first capital of Sri Lanka. In order to pack all of the archaeological sites into one visit, you’ll be taken on a bike tour of the sacred Buddhist city that also houses some of the country’s best preserved UNESCO ruins. We recommend rounding off the day with a dip in Ulagalla’s imperial-sized pool.
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3 nightsDAMBULLA

From Anuradhapura, you’ll be taken to Dambulla where you’ll stay in the stilted villas at the Wild Grass Nature Resort. A true nature lover’s paradise, the property is often visited by wild elephants, deer, boar and over 40 species of birds, which can be spotted from the floor-to-ceiling windows of your scenic and stylish room. You’ll be taken on two tours in order to explore this historic region. The first to the astounding Sigiriya rock fortress - which was reportedly built to house King Kasyapa’s 500 wives - and the second to the UNSECO ancient city of Polonnaruwa. If you have some free time, consider a trip to the Dambulla temple cave to see the overwhelming collection of Buddhas or to Minneriya National Park to see the famous elephant gathering.
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2 nightsKANDY

Travelling to the southern point of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, you’ll spend two nights just outside of Kandy in the Mediterranean-style villas of the Bougainvillea Retreat. Overlooking the amphitheatre of the Knuckles mountain range, this private house is a tranquil getaway where you can relax in the bird-filled gardens, have lunch on the beautifully landscaped lawns and while away the afternoon in the spa, Jacuzzi or infinity swimming pool.  If you are looking for a bit of activity, you can paddle around the calm lake in a canoe, play golf at the Victoria Golf Course or start your mornings in the Sri Lankan style with some yoga. As you’ll be within easy distance of Kandy, you’ll be taken on a private tour of the famous golden-roofed Temple of the Tooth, which houses the relic of Buddha’s tooth.
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Sri Lanka’s tea country was established around 1867, when Scottish tycoon James Taylor introduced the plant to the cool central highlands, and has since flourished. You’ll head south to Nuwara Eliya, which used to be the favoured escape for the British pioneers of the tea industry, and spend two nights sampling the fragrant brews and learning about the history of the area. Hidden amid some of the finest tea fields in the country, the colonial-style Stafford Bungalow will be your base. Here you’ll be taken on a tea plantation tour to watch the entire process first hand and then be taught the proper tasting ‘slurp, roll, twist, spit’ technique.
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2 nightsYALA

Wedged between Yala National Park and the warm Indian Ocean, you’ll be taken to Sri Lanka’s southern coast for two nights of epic wildlife. Set up right on the buffer zone of the famous leopard park, Leopard Safaris will be your basecamp for two nights as you head into Yala on daily private game drives. During the morning and evening safaris, the jeeps will be at your disposal, so whether you want to spend your whole time on the hunt for a leopard or divide up your days with sightings of other wildlife, such as the adorable sloth bear, that is entirely up to you. The camps vehicles are customised with camera support points and other gadgetry, so consider developing your photographic skills on an amateur workshop.
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2 nightsGALLE

Following the southern shores all the way across to Galle, you’ll have two nights to explore the Dutch colonial peninsula, with its 17th century ramparts, beautiful winding streets and historic spice warehouses. One of the finest boutique hotels in the region, you’ll stay at the converted merchant’s mansion, Galle Fort Hotel, which is located right in the heart of the city’s fort. For a superb introduction, you’ll go on a Secrets of the Fort walking tour with a renowned author to hear about the people who used to live within the fort’s walls. After your walk, you can quench your thirst in the bar in front of the hotel, which has a real buzz during the heat of the day, or borrow a bike and cycle around the surrounding countryside to pass green paddy fields and grazing wild buffalo.
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You’ll have packed quite a lot of adventure into your itinerary, so now you’ll have a chance to just relax and enjoy Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches, located just along from Galle. With only 12 beach-pads, the Aditya Beach Resort is perfect for couples seeking a luxury beach getaway. Here you’ll have your own plunge pool overlooking the ocean, and be just a hop, skip, and a jump from the beach. For those who don’t just want to sun-bathe, the area is amazing for surfing, diving, and whale-watching – and you can even learn how to climb a coconut tree Sri Lankan style. Finally, for one last unforgettable wildlife encounter, we recommend strolling along the beach at sunset, to see the tiny hatchling turtles making their way back to sea.
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Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
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