Villages, ruins, and wildlife in the Pearl of the Orient
New for 2011!
With its white sand beaches, spices, diverse wildlife, and over 2,500 years of recorded history, it’s no wonder that early Arab explorers to Sri Lanka called it “Serendib.” It’s hard to imagine a more serendipitous combination of history, culture, and ecologically preserved natural beauty. Our sampler of Sri Lanka’s wonders takes us to five of its seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, like the huge red stone Sigiriya, an astonishing 5th-century rock fortress, experiencing this charmed land's incredible wildlife and enchanting cultures along the way. Alternating between hiking and jeeps, this active journey is exclusive to MTS!
Hiking, nature walks, jeep safari, touring
- Visit five of Sri Lanka's seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Wildlife viewing in three national parks: sloths, leopards, crocodiles, and much, much more!
- An active exploration of Sri Lanka, yet based in some of it's most remarkable and comfortable hotels
Duration: 12 days Start Location: Colombo End Location: GalleDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Arrive in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka.
Day 2 : Dambulla-Sigiriya
Drive to Sigiriya, through paddy fields and pockets of virgin forest cover. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dambulla Rock Temple, and optional Loris trail rock at night after check in.
Day 3 : Sigiriya / Minneriya National Park
Transfer to rock fortress of Sigiriya, and explore the age old “Lion Rock.” Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa, medieval capital of Sri Lanka. Evening jeep safari through Minneriya National Park, looking for sambar deer, leopards and sloth bears.
Day 4 : Knuckles
Drive to the Knuckles mountain range, stopping at the 5th century ruins of Manikdena en route.
Day 5 : Knuckles
Trek to the highest point of the Knuckles range (6,888’), looming 6,112 feet above the Dumbara Valley, and explore a pygmy forest at the summit.
Day 6 : Kandy-Nuwara Eliya
Climb the Shaheen Falcon trail in Hunasgiriya, with a panoramic view of Hantana range, Matale range and Kandy valley from the top. Afternoon drive to Kandy, last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. Drive to colonial-era town of Nuwara Eliya, the heart of Sri Lankan tea country.
Day 7 : Horton Plains National Park
Drive to Horton Plains, and tour the Farr House inside the park. Hike in Horton Plains National Park, reaching the sharp precipice of World's End, which offers stunning views of the southern horizon.
Day 8 : Yala
Scenic morning drive through mist-covered mountains to Yala, stopping for views of Ella Pass and Ella Peak.
Day 9 : Yala National Park
Safari to the Five Lakes in the Yala National Park Region: Yoda, Tissamaharama, Debara, Pannagamuwa, and Weerawila.
Day 10 : Galle
Drive to village of Galle, passing small seaside towns.
Day 11 : Galle
Visit the Galle fort and explore the historic town. Afternoon boat expedition from Balapitya into the Madhuganga river mangroves.
Day 12 : Depart Galle for home
Morning at Galle beach. Afternoon drive to airport to connect to homebound international flights.
DATES: Best time to go: October Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.
Lighthouse HotelGalle, Sri Lanka
The Lighthouse Hotel sits atop a hillock overlooking the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Inspired by the Dutch influence in Sri Lanka, the hotel exudes a touch of history and class and offers guests exquisite cuisine, first-class service, a rich ambience and stunning locations boasting splendid unmatched views of the sea making it the ultimate retreat for a tranquil experience.
Designed by the world renowned architect and Sri Lanka’s best, Geoffrey Bawa, Lighthouse features wide open spaces combined with magnificent views of the garden and sea. The furniture of this stylish Galle hotel is elegant yet minimalist. Sustainable development, recycling, waste reduction and usage of renewable resources are among the primary goals of the Lighthouse Hotel.
Vil UdanaSigiriya, Sri Lanka
Located within three miles of SigiriyaVil Udana is a unique lifestyle hotel created within a wetland system, built on stilts over water on reclaimed agricultural land. Drawing from local, rural traditions, the buildings grow not out, but into the landscape. The ‘habitats’ created by the local flora and fauna imbue the grounds with a timelessness, providing a peaceful and relaxing setting. A member of the Small Luxury Hotel’s of the World, Vil Udana is a haven for those who wish to escape from the norms of everyday life and for those nature lovers who wish to indulge in their hobbies whilst pampering themselves in luxurious comfort. With dwellings tastefully designed boasting space as its prime characteristic of luxury. Dine in the privacy of your dwelling or ‘under the stars’ or simply relax and pamper yourself at the Island Spa offering a range of treatments to choose from.
Hunas Falls HotelKandy, Sri Lanka
Located close to the former royal capital of Kandy, Hunas Falls Hotel occupies a land of fascinating sunsets, early-morning mists and relative cool. Rest amid the hotel garden or enjoy refreshing hillside walks. A hotel of solid country traditions that, were it not for the tea plantations, would be just as much at home on a summer's day in the Scottish highlands.
Yala Village ResortKirinda, Sri LankaYala Village is situated at Kirinda, bordering the Yala Wildlife Sanctuary and the Indian Ocean, on the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. Spanning 10 acres of jungle and endless miles of beach, the Yala Village is truly a nature resort of untamed beauty and unmatched luxury. Step out into the jungle from your luxury chalet to watch the elephants walking by or the illusive leopard sunning itself on the rocky outcrop close by. Yala Village has an observation deck for those who wish to get a bird’s eye view of the resort's breathtaking surroundings.
St. Andrew's HotelNuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
St. Andrew's is a unique colonial retreat where you'll find yourself surrounded by all the old world charm and quaint details of a Tudor mansion. Perched high above sea level amidst mist shrouded mountain peaks in Sri Lanka's cool tea country, this colonial residence is over a hundred years old and still retains the pace and style of life from that era.
At St. Andrew’s you'll enjoy the comforts of every modern convenience alongside the more traditional delights of plush antique 4-poster beds and open wood fires, as well as timeless culinary creations.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.