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An update from Evaneos

Sri LankaHome-stays, tea plantations, and unspoiled landscapes

  • Off the beaten track
Travel away from Sri Lanka’s typical tourist routes and discover the island’s more remote and exclusive destinations. Meet the incredible people working on sustainable eco-initiatives, stay with them and participate in volunteer opportunities ranging from organic agriculture, fairtrade textile manufacturing to nature preservation. Go off the beaten track to find hidden treasures of the past in for...

Travel away from Sri Lanka’s typical tourist routes and discover the island’s more remote and exclusive destinations. Meet the incredible people working on sustainable eco-initiatives, stay with them and participate in volunteer opportunities ranging from organic agriculture, fairtrade textile manufacturing to nature preservation. Go off the beaten track to find hidden treasures of the past in form of well-preserved ruins of ancient palaces, temples, bathing pools, murals and statues. Enjoy a homestay experience that will bring you closer with the local culture, and take a cooking class from the hosts to learn how to make that delicious Sri Lankan curry. 

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Trip highlights
  • Arts and crafts
    Arts and crafts
  • Meet locals
    Meet locals
  • Volunteering
    Volunteering
  • Bird watching
    Bird watching
  • Nature observation
    Nature observation

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Day 1: Welcome to Sri-Lanka!

• You will be greeted by your driver at the airport. Your first destination will be Kurunegala. On the way, admire Sri Lanka’s landscapes, driving along paddy fields, palm trees, and beautiful hills.

• Outside of weekends and holidays, you can visit a textile factory, a local community organization specializing in artisanal textiles. You can learn about the production techniques, but also witness the weavers at work.

• This project is based on principles of fair-trade and employs primarily women. Depending on the time, you can also visit a toy-making factory, and try your hand at weaving.

• Continue to the town of Kurunegala, bustling with life under the watchful gaze of a giant Buddha statue seen high above in the distance.

Visited:
ColomboKurunegala District
Accommodation
Littlemore Bungalow (Kurunegalla)

Day 2: Ancient ruins with spectacular views in Pidurangala

• In the morning, travel to the cultural triangle. On the way, visit an ancient fortress in Yapahuwa, where nature and man-made structures unite to create a site of rare beauty.

• Continue to Sigiriya, where you can climb the famous Sigiriya or “Lion’s Rock” with its magnificent frescoes, gardens, natural caves and ruins of the royal palace, dating back to the 10th century.

• Otherwise, go for a hike in the beautiful Pidurangala valley, still unknown to mass tourism, and holding great archeological significance. From the top of the hill, you will see a beautiful vista with a view of an ancient monastery, the “Lion’s Rock”, the national park of Minneriya, some caves, and Buddha statues. Continue the road to Polonnaruwa.

Visited:
Kurunegala District, Yapahuwa, SigiriyaPidurangala, Polonnaruwa
Accommodation
Night at The Lake Hotel (Polonnaruwa)

Day 3: Polonnaruwa’s monkeys and Batticaloa

• Early in the morning, you start your visit in Polonnaruwa with a guided tour of the area’s on-site primates. You join your naturalist guide for an explanation of the four different types of monkeys inhabiting this protected natural zone, which was also the location for the famous Monkey Kingdom film.
• Then, you continue your visit of the multiple sites in Polonnaruwa, with Gal Vihara as its main attraction, a group of four marvelous Buddhas carved in granite stone. Rent a bike and go for a fun ride around the area which stretches more than 5km.
• After, travel to Batticaloa, a remote but charming town located on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka where you spend your time with a homestay. 

Visited:
PolonnaruwaBatticaloa
Accommodation
Night at Dilu's Homestay (Batticaloa)

Day 4: Sri Lankan hospitality in Batticaloa

• In Batticaloa, enjoy the hospitality of a Sri Lankan homestay. You can choose to spend the day with your host family and learn how to prepare a proper Sri Lankan curry. Help the children with their daily chores or homework.

• Challenge yourself and find original ways of communication at times when language may present a barrier. Part of your day can be spent exploring the surrounding areas of Batticaloa Fort and lagoon.

• Sri Lankan folklore states that during certain times of the year, one can hear the lovely melodies of the “singing fish” in the nightly waters of the lagoon.

Visited:
Batticaloa
Accommodation
Night at Dilu's Homestay (Batticaloa)

Day 5: Batticaloa fort

• In the morning, you can be spent exploring the surrounding areas of Batticaloa Fort and lagoon. Proceed to Gal Oya.

• Enjoy the ride as the landscapes change from the wet zone, the jungle and mountains, and become drier with large paddy fields and vast horizons. Check in to your hotel in Gal Oya for well-earned rest.

• For the rest of the day, enjoy the luxurious services of your prestigious eco-lodge. You can also choose among many other activities on offer by this hotel, relax in the natural surroundings of this lesser-explored region.

Visited:
Batticaloa, Gal Oya
Accommodation
Gal Oya Lodge (Gal Oya)

Day 6: Indigenous Veddha tribes in Gal Oya

• In Gal Oya, relax at the charming Eco Lodge or go for a nature walk to the Monkey Mountain.

• This area features a beautiful lake, mountains and easily observable wildlife all around. In the afternoon, you can meet the indigenous people of Veddha, a hunting tribe, working to preserve their ancient ways of life.

• They are essentially hunter-gatherer forest dwellers who have been allowed to hunt legally across designated forest areas. They speak an ancient dialect of Sinhala and are also expert fishermen and bee’s honey gatherers. Return to your eco-lodge and enjoy a beautiful sunset overlooking a natural setting.

Visited:
Gal Oya
Accommodation
Gal Oya Lodge (Gal Oya)

Day 7: Scenic train journey & trekking in Uva’s tea country

• After a drive through the mountainous area of Gal Oya, you embark on a scenic train journey from the main station of Badulla town. Your driver picks you up at the Bandarawela station, a busy hill town located in the prime tea plantation area of Uva province.
• Here you stay at an organic farm and tea estate, perched in a valley surrounded by the infinitely lush tea plantations and mountains. The cooler temperatures of the tea country make it an ideal midway stop throughout your journey, making it a popular destination for trekking and scenic views.
• You have a number of hiking routes to choose from ranging from a waterfall trek to the Rawana falls, the Ella Rock or Lipton’s Seat. Before sunset, hike to the summit of Little Adam’s Peak to enjoy spectacular views of the valley.

Visited:
Gal Oya, Bandarawela
Accommodation
Amba Estate (Bandarawela)

Day 8: Organic farming & artisanal tea cultivation

• A leisurely day at the estate bungalow. Build more than 100 years ago by one of the first local families to support sustainable agriculture practices in the area, the farmhouse exudes rustic charm.

• For your meals, enjoy delicious organic food grown on the farm. The estate produces a range of artisanal teas, coffees, and spices, and they work with the local community to support a variety of educational, economic and environmental initiatives.

• The historic estate bungalow offers the opportunity to its guests to learn more about organic farming and artisanal tea cultivation. Join the estate workers and learn how to pluck the tea bushes, then observe the process of maturation of the tea leaf to achieve that signature Ceylon tea flavor.

Visited:
Bandarawela
Accommodation
Amba Estate (Bandarawela)

Day 9: Outdoor activities for everyone

• Today, you leave the greenery of the tea country to get on the road to Buttala, where you reside in a unique architectural style, a definite hit among the younger as well as the grown-up crowds. This place is truly unique in Sri Lanka!

• Here you can go for walks suspended among the trees, rafting, or swimming in the river. A large variety of activities are available to you on location. As an option, you can go for a fun afternoon jeep safari in the Yala National Park.

• The territory of this park is immense and is home to a variety of animals such as leopards, elephants, crocodiles, bears, mongooses, monkeys, spotted deer and an abundance of birds. The safaris are a matter of luck, but also of experience. The spots where the animals are most likely to be seen are near to the water, where they come to drink.

Visited:
Bandarawela, Yala National ParkButtala
Accommodation
Galapita (Buttala)

Day 10: Katharagama’s pilgrimate site & Hambantota salterns

• In the morning, make a stop at the colorful Katharagama Temple, which is one of the principal pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka. Visit this multi-religious sacred city, which contains mosques, but also Buddhist and Hindu temples.

• Then, continue your way south toward the coast. Visit the Hambantota salt deposits that produce more 50,000 metric tons of salt per year.

• Traditionally salt has been cultivated here since ancient times. Hambantota has served as a prime site due to its natural lagoons that receive an inflow of salt-water that is retained here in the pans. The salt forms due to the high temperature and winds of this area. Continue the road for your beach stay.

Visited:
Buttala, , Hiriketiya
Accommodation
Salt house (Hiriketiya)

Day 11: Hummanaya geyser & turtles in Rekawa

• Day at leisure on the beach. Admire the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean, and look for small creeks where you can swim in safety. In the evening, visit the nearby beach of Rekawa, where you can witness the turtles lay their eggs. Rekawa is an important site for Sri Lanka’s marine ecology, with 5 of its 7 turtle species coming ashore to make their nests.

•  As an option, you can visit the site of the Hummanaya geyser, the second largest blowhole in the world. The south coast is lined with a great number of natural wonders, the giant blue whale being among them, this is what gives Sri Lanka is well-deserved name as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. Don’t forget to enjoy a deliciously grilled fish in one of the local beachfront restaurants.

Visited:
Hiriketiya
Accommodation
Salt house (Hiriketiya)

Day 12: Colonial histories of Galle Fort and Colombo

• Explore the southern coast of Sri Lanka and with its hidden wonders lining the turquoise waters and caramel-colored sands. Arrive in Galle and explore the colonial-era fort built by the Portuguese and declared UNESCO World Heritage site. 

• Continue your journey to Colombo, Sri Lanka’s main metropolis bustling with lots of activity. Depending on the time of your return flight, you can go for a city tour.

• Depending on your departure time, take a walk on Galle during the sunset hours, a true meeting point of families and lovers.

• Transfer to the airport depending on your flight schedule.

We hope you have enjoyed your time!

Visited:
Hiriketiya, GalleColombo

ColomboKurunegala DistrictYapahuwaSigiriyaPidurangalaPolonnaruwaBatticaloaGal OyaBandarawelaYala National ParkButtalaHiriketiyaGalle

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

SeasonPrice Per Adult
Average trip price
From January to December $1,100

Included in the price:

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • In-trip ground transportation
  • Activities according to your customized trip
  • Airport transfers
  • 24/7 local agency support
  • Trip creation with an expert local agent

Not included in the price:

  • Arrival and departure flights
  • Meals and beverages not indicated
  • Personal expenses
  • Service gratuities
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance
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International flights are not included in this trip. Thanks to our partnership with Option Way, you can take advantage of booking your flights directly with your local agent.
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