Epic Peaks & White Waters
On arrival at the airport, you'll be met by a guide and transferred to your hotel Goldi Sands in Negombo. Spend your time relaxing, or go for a swim and prepare yourself for the adventures that lie ahead.
Wilpattu National Park
It's time to ease into your mission with a morning visit to a local fishing village that you'll explore by bike. In the afternoon, it's on to Muthurajawela, a marsh found in the lagoon of Negombo. Take a boat ride on the lagoon and lookout for an abundance of wildlife, including over 100 different types of birds and over 40 species of fish. From here, it's on to Wilpattu where your home for two nights is a treehouse-style lodge, Wilpattu Treehouse – an adventure all of its own.
The next day, take a safari in Wilpattu National Park. Known as the 'Land of the Lakes', there are over sixty natural lakes dotted across the park. Look out for leopards on your safari and tuck into a picnic lunch in the park’s beautiful surroundings.
Activity and Adventure
After breakfast, leave for Thanthirimale, where you'll spend time at an ancient Buddhist temple. It’s thought to be home to a sapling taken from the Sri Maha Bodhi, the tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment. Make sure your shoulders and knees are covered and wear socks as you'll have to remove your shoes.
From here, it's on to Avukana to visit the famous 12m high Avukana Statue of Buddha which was carved out of granite rock in the 5th century. After a visit to the ruins of Ritigala Mountain, you'll arrive in Sigiriya where it's time to check into your eco-lodge accommodation, Back of Beyond. It's all about getting back to nature here and falling asleep to the forest lullaby of birds and insects.
The next morning you'll rise early to climb Pidurangala, home to a 1st century BC temple, from where you'll catch a dazzling sunrise. The views over the famous Lion Rock Fortress as dawn breaks are more than worth the early start. After a lakeside picnic breakfast, you'll have the opportunity to learn how to drive a tuk-tuk. Explore the less-traveled backroads and make your way through villages and jungles on this traditional mode of transport. In the evening you'll climb Lion Rock where you'll get to see the fortress up close, hewn out of a living rock. An adventure-filled day finishes with watching the sunset from the home of the ancient stronghold of King Kashyapa.
Activity and Adventure
After breakfast, it's on to the impressive Knuckles Mountain Range. You'll check into your tent accommodation and enjoy a camp dinner prepared for you by a chef. Sleep well as the next day will be spent trekking through this mountain range in Sri Lanka's beautiful Hill Country. Knuckles' unique name comes from the fact that, at a distance, the five peaks of the mountain range look like the knuckles of a clenched fist. After a day hiking through the unspoiled mountain range, you'll return to camp for a well-earned dinner and some rest.
After your epic hike and simple campsite living, it's on to Nuwara Eliya for a stay at the Scottish Planter Hotel, where you'll enjoy relaxing in elegant surroundings. Why not treat yourself to a glass of wine by the fire? The perfect way to recover from the previous day’s trek. In the evening, should you choose, you can take a trip to Liddesdale Tea Factory. Arrive by car or bike (if you’ve still got the energy!) and spend the evening learning about how your favorite brew is made. There'll be plenty of chances for tea tasting too.
Time to rise early and head to Horton Plains National Park, a protected highlands area of Sri Lanka covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. It's an area rich in biodiversity with many of the species found endemic to this region. Once you've explored the national park, you’ll take the train to Hatton from Pattipola. Check into your simple accommodation, Hugging Clouds, at the foot of Adam's Peak and make sure you get an early night as it’s up at 2 am to start your hike.
Activity and Adventure
Rise and shine! At 2 am you'll head out and climb Adam's Peak. This 2,243m mountain is considered one of the holiest sites in Sri Lanka known for the 'Sacred Footprint', a 1.8m footprint embedded into the rock which has different spiritual significance to different religions. You'll reach the top in time to watch the sunrise over the surrounding countryside, a sight you'll never forget. Afterward, you'll be driven to Kitulgala where you'll check into your peaceful jungle retreat, Paradise Garden.
Today is a day packed to the rafters with thrills and adventure. First, you'll try your hand at white water rafting at one of the filming locations for 'The Bridge Over the River Kwai'. Rafting along River Kelani will take you through five major rapids and four minor ones. Afterward, take a hike through the jungle up to the canyons. From here, you'll make your way down the canyons, jumping into plunge pools and wading across small potholes. You'll even experience a few waterslides along the way!
Afterward, you'll head on to Weligama where you'll check into your beachside hotel, 22 Weligama Bay. Kick back on the beach or relax in the hotel's pool. Get another good night’s sleep as the next day you'll wake up early to visit Mirissa: you're going whale watching! The southern coast of Sri Lanka is a great spot to watch for whales as well as dolphins, turtles, and sharks.
The rest of the time is yours to spend as you please – there is plenty to see and do. Weligama Bay is famous for its remarkable stilt fishermen, handmade lace, devil dance shows, and excellent seafood. The surf is also ideal for beginners, and it's an excellent spot for scuba diving too. Or, after all that fun, you might just want to rest up beachside. And who could blame you?
On Day 16 mission accomplished, it's time to go, head to the airport and fly home.