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Off the Beaten Path
Off the Beaten Path (KSR04)
Region : Srilanka
14
Days

Activity

Comfort

Cost per Person

 

Tour Overview

Our tour takes you on a magical journey across an amazing island. You will experience the ‘must see’ sights, but also venture off the tourist path. We will try and achieve enlightenment under the same tree Budda did. Visit ancient city ruins. Visit remote National Parks. Take a train up majestic mountains. Spot elephants on a Boat Safari in Sri Lanka’s largest lake. And finally relax on one of the few remaining untouched beaches.



Off the Beaten Path

Day 1: Arrival in Sri Lanka and transfer to Negombo
We pick you up at the airport and transfer to the close by town of Negombo. Ideal stop after a long flight. 
Day 2: Transfer to Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura is the capital of the North Central Province. It is also one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka dating back to 5th century BC, famous for its well preserved ruins of ancient Sri Lankan civilisation. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to the oldest living human-planted tree in the world (249BC), the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi which is said to be part of the Sri Maha Bodhi under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment 
Day 3: Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa
Today we explore th city of Polonnaruwa. It is the main town in the North Central Province. It was also the capital of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. The ancient city, now a World Heritage site is one of the best planned archaeological sites in the country. Another draw is the city’s population of toque macaques who have made a home of the palace ruins.  
Day 4: Visit to Sigiriya Rock
We start early today morning to reach the Sri Lankan highlight, Sigiriya Rock Fortress. We spend a few hours to climb to the top and explore the surrounding gardens. We also visit the less famous Pidurangala rock next door. 
Day 5: Visit to Somawathiya Chaitya Sanctuary
Somawathiya Chaitya is one of the oldest Budhist Stupa’s in the country. Completely of the tourist radar, this is a sacred place for the locals. Situated in the Somawathiya National Park we combine our cultural trip with a short wild life safari. 
Day 6: Transfer to Kandy
Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and is the capital of the Central Province. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau. Kandy is home to The Temple of the Tooth, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world also a UNSESCO world heritage site. After a visit to the temple we also take in a local cultural show 
Day 7: Train to Nuwara Eliya
We leave our driver behind and take the slow snaking train from Kandy up to Nuwara Eliya. The views are beautiful en route. Nuwara Eliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province. It’s name means “City on the Plain”. At an altitude of 1868m it’s considered the most important location for Tea Production. Its cool climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and planters during the colonial era. As a result it is also called “Little England”. One of the distinctive features of Nuwara Eliya’s countryside is the widespread growing of vegetable, fruits and flowers usually associated with temperate Europe. It is also popular with birdwatchers with a large variety of endemic species lurking in the undergrowth. 
Day 8: Visit to Horton Plains
Horton Plains are high altitude montane grasslands. Today we take a short drive to the park and then walk to the World’s End. A sheer cliff with a 1200m drop! It is a surreal experience walking amongst the clouds. If we are quite we could see Sambar Deer. 
Day 9: Transfer to Gal Oya
Today we head to the remote Gal Oya National Park to check into our luxury safari lodge. Gal Oya Spread across 20 acres of private forest.  
Day 10: At Gal Oya
Take your time enjoying this natural paradise with boat safaris, jungle drives, bicycle tours, riverside picnics, naturalist treks and even a walk with our Vedda neighbours, one of the last remaining communities of the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of Sri Lanka. 
Day 11: Transfer to Passikudah
Time for deep relaxation. Most choose to just plonk by the beach. However, with its shallow coral reefs and historic shipwrecks there is diving/snorkelling available to the beginner as well as the advanced divers. The main features of diving in Kayankerni, Passikudah are the healthy coral gardens teeming with colourful fish such as butterflyfish and angelfish. For those looking for some adventure, there are deeper rocky reefs and wrecks. 
Day 12: Relax at Passikudah
Just chill. 
Day 13: Transfer to Colombo
Today we head back to civilisation. For an extra cost (approx. 250-300$) we could make the journey via sea plane. 

Inclusions

• 13 nights’ accommodation
• Meals as indicated
• 5 days of cultural visits
• 2 Safari day + 1 day at Horton Plains
• 2 Beach days
• Fully guided with vehicle transfers
• Airport transfers
 

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