Pleasures of a Perfect Week in Sri Lanka Itinerary

A 7 day trip to Sri Lanka 
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Embrace perfection in the majesty of Sri Lanka, discovering ancient temples, captivating wilderness, and luxurious accommodations on your custom tailored tour. Enjoy the majestic mists of a staggering waterfall as it trundles over a cliff. Relish the unique view of Asian elephants wandering in the plains. Scour the treetops for leopards and toque macaques. Travel the trails leading to a summit sacred to Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and Hindus. Whether participating in the exhilarating drumbeats of a traditional performance or learning the art of tea making, you will uncover elements of perfection in the beauty and charm of Sri Lanka. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Kandy, Bogawantalawa, Yala National Park, Colombo, Adam’s Peak

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Kandy – A Cultural Introduction

Kandy was the last royal capital of Sri Lanka and maintains a majestic ambiance drifting through the streets and across the surface of the cobalt lake. Your flight lands at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, the contemporary capital of Sri Lanka. Rickshaws peddle through the streets. The aromas of cinnamon, cumin, and ginger emanate from the spice market in the Pettah district. Your private transfer greets you upon your arrival and escorts you out of the bustling city en route to Kandy. The gorgeous scenery of the countryside comes to life in the form of jade fern trees, soaring palms, and emerald underbrush.

The road leads you into the hills, framing the lake as the centerpiece of the city at an altitude of 1,640 feet above sea level. It feels as though the cooler hilltop temperature creates a more relaxed pace. You settle into the comforts of your stunning accommodation that overlooks the placid hills of the lake. Palm trees grow out of the central island as boats take to the water to offer scenic views of the cityscape. Your guide greets you in the lobby, eager to introduce you to the cherished culture and preserved history on display in Kandy, beginning in the Ceylon Tea Museum. The galleries are located inside a 1920s former tea factory, offering displays of the pioneers of tea cultivation in Sri Lanka, including Thomas Lipton.

Antique machines and paraphernalia provide insight into the traditional process of harvesting and tea drinking still practiced throughout the country. The gallery on the top floor fills with the scent of steeping black tea and sweet treats, as it houses the tearoom. In the evening, you partake in the traditional Kandyan drum and dance performance located near the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. The beat of the drum accompanies dancers draped in elegant white garments adorned with bejeweled accents. They carry on the tradition of the kings and captivate onlookers. At the end of the performance, locals and visitors alike form a grand procession making its way to the Tempe of the Sacred Tooth to view the relic of Buddha’s tooth held within the shrine.

What’s Included: dinner, transfer, airport tour, accommodation

Day 2: Bogawantalawa – Perfection in the Landscape

The morning light spreads across the cobalt waters of the central lake burning away the thin layer of mist. North of the shore stands the Udawattakele Nature Sanctuary, which encompasses nearly 255 acres. The sanctuary brushes against the edges of the Temple of the Tooth and the nearby suburbs of the upland region, reaching an altitude of 377 feet above the lake’s shores. The dense forest hides Buddhist monasteries and cave dwellings. Orchids blossom in the canopy amongst the various species of ferns. Layard’s parakeets chirp in the cool morning air. Their green collar nearly blends into the emerald hues of the leaves.

Mouse deer feed on the underbrush, and the toque macaques rustle the branches as they leap from the trees. You can take your time amongst the marvels of the landscape, enjoying the search for burrowing Indian boars or the giant flying squirrels before venturing south into the refreshing tea-growing region. Travel along the scenic road with your private transfer, enjoying the endless greenery and undulating hills of the tropical landscape. Small waterfalls form along the edges of the roadway, disappearing behind the sprawling jade tea fields.

You arrive at your resort-style accommodation overlooking the forest, hills, and tea plantations of the region. Lounge chairs border the reflective waters of the infinity pool, offering stunning views and a relaxing ambiance. After settling in, your guide greets you in the lobby and escorts you to a tea plantation that continues the tradition of growing, harvesting, and processing the leaves. Women in colorful clothing tend to the crops, bending over the bushels to reach the verdant leaves. They pull the leaves away from the stem and place them in the woven baskets they wear on their backs.  

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 3: Bogawantalawa – To the Top of the Peak

The avifauna around the tea-growing region brims with life in the refreshing air of the morning. The hills reach an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet above sea level, with their natural beauty accented by manicured gardens, English colonial villages reminiscent of the British countryside, and pristine lakes shimmering in the spreading sunlight. After an early breakfast, you meet your guide in the lobby and venture to the base of Adam’s Peak, one of the most religious sites in Sri Lanka, standing at more than 7,350 feet above sea level.

The layer of mist washing over the peak in the early hours of the morning dissipates with the sun. You take to the trail, following in the footsteps of pilgrims eager to reach the top of Sri Lanka’s holiest site. Your guide carries a collection of roti, chips, and bananas. You follow the trail at your own pace, enjoying the majesty of the endless greenery and the spiritual ambiance emanating from the rock formation crowning the summit. Buddhists believe the rock to be the footprint of Buddha.

Hindus believe it to be the footprint of Shiva. Muslims and Christians believe the rock to be Adam’s first footprint after exile from Eden. After descending the peak, you continue through the tea country, passing the terraced plantations and soaring forest trees to visit local towns at your leisure. If you have the inclination, you can make your way along the trails leading to Devon Falls. The Mahaweli River forms the 318-foot cascade by plunging over the textured cliff and draping the whitewater over the rocks.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Yala – Following the Buddhist Trail   

Indulge in the aroma of steeping black tea at breakfast, accentuated by the scent of coconut and mangosteen. You can’t help but look out into the rolling hills and endless greenery of the countryside while basking in the pleasures of your morning meal. Your private transfer greets you in the hotel lobby, eager to escort you to the gates of Yala National Park for a scenic drive. Travel through the hills and forests to reach the Buduruwagala monument. The cliff contains Buddha figures carved into the rock face with the tallest standing nearly 50 feet tall. The figures are more than 1,000 years old and continue to captivate visitors from around the world.

You can see traces of the original stucco decorative robe in streaks of sage, offering insight into the original vibrant colors of the statues. The smaller figures surrounding the central Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, hold beckoning gestures and date back to the 10th-century Mahayana Buddhist School. Outside of Dambulla, you can visit a complex of cave temples set nearly 525 feet above the forest floor. Buddha images decorate the shrines, along with evocative religious art dating back 2,000 years. The marvelous embellished images continue to glow with vibrant colors as the caves have protected the original frescoes from sunlight. The aroma of incense lingers in the shrines, accentuating the distinct properties of the historic cave dwellings.    

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Yala – On the Footsteps of Wildlife

Wake up with views of the water at a luxury hotel situated on the beaches near Yala National Park. You can hear the water lapping against the golden sand as you enjoy the semi-sweet aroma of the sea breeze. You head out before sunrise, venturing into the park with a private guide on a fantastic game drive in the park known for having the highest density of leopards in the world. Water reservoirs, dry forest, and marshlands add to the luster of the landscape, creating homes for over 44 species of mammals and 215 types of birds. The open gates offer you an unobstructed view of the wild buffalo grazing on the short blades of glass.

Crocodiles bask in the sunlight on the water’s banks, naturally heating their body temperatures. Blue-tailed bee-eaters twitter in the canopy with joyous songs. Your guide points to an elephant and calf wandering along the trees. The calf pushes at a small tree, marking their trail by imitating its mother’s movements. The unforgettable moment adds to the growing memories of your perfect time in Sri Lanka. You continue in the morning light to find a leopard prowling through the underbrush. Its proud and elegant stride captivates you until the leopard disappears into the distant landscape.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Colombo – Alluring Capital Streets

The toque macaques take to the branches in the morning, rustling the leaves in search of berries and nuts. Elephants roam through the plain, and the waters of the Indian Ocean lap against the golden shores, which can be seen from your hotel. Before traveling to Colombo, you stop to visit the ancient Buddhist temple of Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara. The complex was erected around the 2nd century BC and served as a preeminent Buddhist educational center until the 11th century AD. The Great Stupa rises to a height of 156 feet with an astounding circumference of 550 feet.

The shrine was erected with granite stone and bricks in commemoration of Buddha’s visit to the region to form a unique bubble shape. You continue to the airport for your flight to Colombo, settling into the comforts of your luxury hotel overlooking the bustle of the captivating capital. Your guide greets you in the lobby, eager to lead you through a tour of the city, beginning with the National Museum. The galleries overtake the 18th-century colonial structure once belonging to the governor. A 9th-century statue of Buddha greets you upon entering the structure, containing the enigmatic smile you have seen across Sri Lanka. Within the depths of the galleries stands the last throne of the Kandyan kingdom, crafted in the 17th century. The red velvet accentuates the glistening gold accents.   

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation  

Day 7: Colombo – Perfect End to a Perfect Week 

The doors to a popular café open in the morning to the herbaceous aromas of steeping black tea. The café is situated in the arcade at Independence Square. Signature teas represent the creativity of the staff and the history of tea in the region. Visitors can find the comforting aroma of ginger and lemongrass amongst the splendid sweet aroma of macaroons and strawberry cakes. Colorful produce shines along the aisles of Pettah Market. Bunches of ripe bananas overtake wicker baskets beside mounds of colorful mango, surrounded by the historic colonial architecture of the old quarter. The antenna spire of the Lotus Tower soars above the city, reaching a height of nearly 1,150 feet above the city streets. The splendors of Colombo emanate from the mixture of past and present, combined with the natural beauty of the coastline. Your private transfer greets you in the hotel and escorts you to Bandaranaike International Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: breakfast, airport transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$1,920
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.