Highlights

From glistening coastlines to lush tea plantations. From heart stopping wildlife encounters to time frozen village rendezvous, our small group tour of Sri Lanka certainly covers the green and blue hues the country has to offer.

Throw in a line and go fishing with the locals of a remote fishing community, try your hand a making flat coconut bread and spinning a pottery wheel. Cycle to Sigirya Rock and pluck tea leaves in the fields with the ladies at one of the oldest tea plantations on the island.

Absorb the must see sights of Dambulla and Kandy before soaking up the panoramic views from Little Adams Peak. Explore the mysteries of Galle Fort in a way that not many others will get to experience - via tuk tuk!

Day 1 - Arrival

Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the suburbs of Negombo where the remainder of the day is at leisure. Negombo was used by the Portuguese, Dutch and British as the main export harbor for cinnamon and there are still many historical buildings remaining today. Enjoy watching the old world fishing crafts like the outrigger canoes and catamarans bringing a variety of marine fishes like seers, skipjacks, pomfrets and amber-jacks. In the lagoon, lobsters and prawns are caught and served as fascinating delicacies in restaurants. On Negombo’s long beach you’ll find many seafood restaurants, bars and shops. The town itself shows its interesting colonial past which was heavily influenced by the Catholic Church.

Overnight Arie Lagoon or similar

Day 2 - Negombo – Wilpattu

Following breakfast in your hotel, you will transfer to your hotel in Kalpitiya (approx 3.5hrs) Drop off your luggage and then get set to join in with the locals! It’s time to go fishing! Hop on a traditional boat and become a fisherman for a day. The local fishermen will teach you their different fishing techniques. They’ll show you how to use the fishing lines as well as how to throw out the fishing nets. Immerse yourself in the daily life of the locals from this charming fishing village. (B)

Overnight Dolphin Beach in a Standard Tent or similar

Day 3 - Wilpaththu National Park

Depart early this morning at 5.30am for Wilpattu National Park. The park is 508 square miles (131.694 hectares) in extent and was declared as a National Park in 1938. The main draw card of this park is the large number of villus (lakes), where you can watch wildlife and many species of birds.

Leopards are the most famous animal in this park followed closely by wild elephant herds. Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, sloth Bear, Mongoose, Crocodile and Peacocks are also found here.

This afternoon, take a lagoon tour for 2 hrs and visit a remote island and where you will meet a local family. They will teach you how to make dry fish, pol Rotti (Coconut flat bread) and tea in their home. Enjoy learning about and being immersed in their local lifestyle. (B)

Overnight Dolphin Beach in a Standard Tent or similar

Day 4 - Habarana - Minneriya Safari

Today you will transfer to Habarana. Spend your day in Minneriya National Park. This National Park, which is 8889 hectares in extent, is famous for it large population of elephants in herds of 100 to 150, roaming through the jungle and often seen in the catchment areas of the lake. The entrance is at Ambagaswewa, about 6 km from Habarana on the main Habarana Polonnaruwa road. Wild buffaloes, wild boar, spotted deer, sloth bear, Sambhur, leopards, crocodiles, jackals, 9 kinds of amphibians, 25 kinds of reptiles, 160 species of birds, 26 varieties of fishes, 78 varieties of butterflies are recorded from the Minneriya National Park.

Your accommodation this evening, is in a treehouse! An experience not to be missed! (B)

Overnight in Another Corner Habarana – Tree Cottage or similar

Day 5 - Sigiriya Rock

Following an early breakfast, you will visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress. To reach this rock, jump on two wheels and cycle from your hotel. From here, you will climb to the Rock Fortress.

The fortress is set amid dry zone scrub jungle and is home to a great variety of Sri Lanka’s fauna. Sigiriya, a mighty 180 metre high rock-fortress of a 5th century King, is famous for its entrancingly beautiful frescoes which are found in a sheltered pocket of the rock.  One cannot fail to marvel at the masterful execution of the sinuous forms of these women (originally 500, of which only 19 remain today).  The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a huge crouching lion, carved from the rock. Today only the paws remain.  Remains of the handsome royal citadel are on the summit.

This UNESCO World Heritage site, a spectacular Rock Fortress, is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. The most impressive facets of the unique complex are the Water Gardens, the frescoes of beautiful maidens, the Mirror Wall with ancient graffiti, the lion platform and the summit of 1.6 hectares, which was completely covered by buildings during the period of Sigiriya’s glory.

This afternoon, visit a local village 1hr drive from Habrana where you will learn the intricate art of Sri Lankan pottery from a local and make your own clay pot on a traditional wheel, as a special souvenir.

Continue on to another traditional village where you can experience how to handloom. Try your hands on the weaving machine, which will certainly prove to be a workout! (B)

Overnight in Another Corner Habarana – Tree Cottage or similar

Day 6 - Dambulla Rock

Today enroute to Kandy, you will visit Dambulla Cave Temple. The temple is a vast isolated rock mass, 500 feet high and a mile around the base. Tthe famous Rock Temple dates back to the 1st B.C. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built the most magnificent of Rock Temples found on the island.

In the first cave, there is a recumbent image of Buddha 47ft long cut out of the rock. There are images of deities associated with Buddhism all around.

From here, continue to Giragama Tea Factory – one of the oldest in Sri Lanka. The eponymous English ‘cuppa’ might have been somewhat stronger if not for the 1865 coffee blight. Old Ceylon’s upper country plantations were devastated – but the spirits of the pioneering planters certainly were not. They threw in a crop of tea and never looked back. You will visit a tea plantation and observe how the plant is grown and harvested. From here you will travel to a factory and learn about the whole processing procedure and how different types of teas are created.

Join the ladies in the field and try your hand at tea plucking with the locals in the tea estates. Utilise your guide as translator to learn about the incredible lives of these tea plucking women. Their stories will fascinate you! Enjoy a snack with them before visiting the factory. (B)

Overnight Athulya Villas – Cottage room or similar

Day 7 - Kandy

This morning discover the hill station of Kandy. Kandy was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the world, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the ‘Dalada Maligawa’ – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Close by are the remains of the Royal Palace (Maha Wasala), Palle Wasala- where the Queens stayed which is now used for the National Museum.

The Bathing Pavilion (Ulpenge) is located by the lake and in the centre of the lake is the Island called ‘Kiri samudraya’ (Milk white ocean) used by the kings as their summerhouse. Today, it is the centre of Buddhism, arts, crafts, dancing, music and culture. (B)

Overnight Athulya Villas – Cottage room or similar

Day 8 - Kandy – Haputale

Following breakfast, today is a drive day of approx 5.5hrs as you transfer to Haputale. Enjoy the serene nature and quietness. (B)

Overnight at Melheim Resort Haputale – Superior Room or similar

Day 9 - Little Adams Peak

This morning, you will visit a local school in Haputale where you can engage with the school kids and speak to the teachers. Learn of the vast distances the children cover on foot each and every day to reach school. Understand about their schooling system and try your hand at teaching them some English!  Donations of pencils and notebooks are welcomed.

From here, it time to head to Little Adams Peak. Madulsima mountain range at the border of the Uva Province, plunges to the eastern plains offering an enchanting panorama. Travel on the gravel road up to Little Adam’s Peak. You will Ella town where you will begin a 45 minute walk.

The trail begins with a moderate incline as it winds through tea plantations. After 5-10 minutes of walking, you will reach a set of stairs that will lead you to the top of Little Adams Peak. You will know you have reached the top when you see Buddhas sitting on the peak. Little Adams Peak offers some of the best panoramic views in all of Sri Lanka.

After walking back down, you will continue on to visit Lipton’s Seat. Lipton’s Seat is located at Dambetenna in the Haputale Mountain region. This place was a favourite look-out point for Sir Thomas Lipton. The point has a fabulous view over Uva, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Eastern provinces. (B)

Overnight at Melheim Resort Haputale – Superior Room or similar

Day 10 - Galle

Today you will transfer to Galle (approx 5hrs). On arrival, check into your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)

Overnight at Fort Bazaar – Bazaar room or similar

Day 11 - Galle

This morning explore The Dutch Fort via Tuk-Tuk. This is a unique chance to explore the Dutch fort of Galle in a three wheeler. The South Coast’s major city is Galle, whose oldest landmark is the massive Portuguese and Dutch Fort which is a World Heritage Site which contains the central city. But the city may be much older. Some scholars believe it to be the ‘Tarshish’ of the Old Testament, to which King Solomon sent his merchant vessels, and to which Jonah fled from the Lord. Today, the 90-acre Galle Fort shows no evidence of the Portuguese founders. The Dutch incorporated the Portuguese northern wall in a great rampart in 1663. A second, taller wall was built inside of it. Between the two walls, a covered passage connected the central bastion with the Fort’s two half bastion’s overlooking the sea. The Dutch also installed a sophisticated drainage system, complete with brick-lined underground sewers that were flushed twice a day by the high and low tides. The original gate to the fort was by the harbour. It is still there, marked by the British Coat-of-arms on the front and the Dutch V.O.C. (Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) with the Coat-of-arms with a rooster crest, is on the inner side of the Fort. Ride through the narrow roads as you visit many archaeological sites inside the fort. You will also have time to explore the boutique shops and local foods stalls around the area. your tuk tuk can be stopped anytime for photo opportunities. (B)

Overnight at Fort Bazaar – Bazaar room or similar

Day 12 - Galle

Today is yours at leisure until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (Late check out is not included). (B)

What's Included

  • Return airport transfers
  • 11 nights accommodation including breakfast daily
  • Services of an English speaking chauffeur guide
  • Transportation in a private air-conditioned car
  • 2 bottles of water per person per day
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Local government taxes

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Visas (E-visa’s can be obtained www.eta.gov.lk)
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, meals other than those indicated above
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls,

**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.

* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.

* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.

A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.

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Availability

Start Date End Date Duration Availability Price
01st Nov 2020 12th Nov 2020 12 Days Available $5,439 Book Now
16th Dec 2020 27th Dec 2020 12 Days Available $5,439 Book Now