Introduction 

14 days Sri Lanka individual round trip off the beaten track get to know the diversity of the tropical island on unknown routes away from the well-known sights. 

Sri Lanka offers so much more than the well-known world heritage sites and national parks. Conquer the hidden world of Sri Lanka: Explore the tropical inland with its dense forests, exotic animals, lonely temples, and hidden waterfalls. Discover places of magical beauty that are otherwise only visited by locals and get to know the hidden scenes of our fabulous legends and stories. 

Drive through a vegetable basket, go on a treasure hunt, climb a crazy tower, and hike to the end of the world! 

 

 

Why this travel package? 

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14 days Sri Lanka individual round trip for explorers who are looking for the extraordinary

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Explore abandoned cultural treasures and hidden natural beauties exclusively

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On the way to country and people on unknown paths

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Transport in a safe vehicle with a licensed private driver & guide

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First-class & quality-tested accommodations with breakfast.

Itinerary 14 days Sri Lanka round trip 

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Duration: 14 days

(with breakfast) 

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2 cave expeditions

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Excursions: 29

(2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites) 

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2 bike tours

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National park safari: 1

(Toyota High Luxury Jeep) 

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6 historical-cultural treasures

Day 1: Airport - Pilikuttawa - Ratnapura

Welcome to Paradise! 

Highlights 

  • Reception at the BIA 
  • Pilikuttuwa Raja Maha Viharaya 
  • Ratnapura 

Your private driver will meet you at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo and will take you to the interior of the country, where you will immerse yourself in the Sri Lankan past. 

Pilikuttuwa Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient Sinhalese forest monastery that is still inhabited today by reclusive monks. The enchanted place is rarely visited by tourists and is, therefore, a real insider tip for authentic encounters with Sinhalese culture. 

The approximately 99 monastery caves are spread over a wild and romantic forest area of ​​more than 80 hectares. With a little luck, a monk will personally guide you through the caves and the grounds and show you the ancient characters, wall paintings, and cave dwellings. From the plateau of the rock, you have a wonderful view of the surrounding jungle forests. 

Ratnapura is located in the Kalu Ganga valley in a tropical mountain landscape with high humidity and a lot of rain, surrounded by rubber and tea plantations. Translated Ratnapura means the “city of jewels”, which has to do with its wealth of precious stones. In the inaccessible mountains around Ratnapura, there are some hidden caves, delightful waterfalls, and original villages. 

Overnight and breakfast in Ratnapura 

AHASPOKUNA BY ECO TEAM     

Day 2: Ratnapura

Monasteries & Cat’s Eyes – Excursion to prospectors and treasure hunters! 

Highlights 

  • Maha Saman Devale 
  • Gem Mines / Gemmological Museum 
  • Divaguhawa Lena (Batatota Lena) 
  • Bopath Falls 

To this day, Ratnapura is the most important center for gemstone mining in Sri Lanka. Above all, rubies, sapphires, and cat’s eyes of the highest quality are mined. The cityscape is dominated by jewelry shops and gemstone sellers. In the gemstone pits around Ratnapura, you can watch the workers in the physically very strenuous search for the valuable stones. The Gemological Museum also has an informative exhibition about the mining and trading of precious stones. 

Just outside the city is the historic Maha Saman Devale temple. The main sanctuary in the center of the complex is dedicated to Saman, a former demon who converted to Buddhism and is now the protector of the southwestern hill country and Sabaragamuwa province. The temple is an architectural jewel with cozy courtyards and pretty pavilions. In summer an Esala Perahera takes place here, which is an insider tip and a genuine alternative to the Esala procession in Kandy. 

Now explore one of the 16 places that Buddha is said to have visited in Sri Lanka: The Divaguhava Cave is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, which is why you mainly meet pilgrims here. It is believed that after the ascent to Adam`s Peak, Buddha rested with his disciples in this cave, after leaving his footprint on the Sri Pada. There are wall paintings and some Buddha statues in the cave. The cave temple offers a perfect view over to Adam’s Peak. 

A rocky path in the jungle leads to the Bopath Ella waterfall, the waters of which plunge into the valley at the foot of Adam`s Peak and invite you to swim. The name “Bopath Falls” refers to the distinctive shape that resembles the leaf of a Bodhi tree. 

The dramatic legends of Bopath Ella are among the oldest folk tales in Sri Lanka. The river below the falls is said to have been the bathing place of the rulers during their pilgrimage to the nearby Maha Saman Devale. In the basin at the foot of the waterfall, there is also said to be an ancient treasure chamber! It is not easy to find, however, as it would take a thousand human sacrifices to get hold of it. According to popular belief, the ghost of a young woman appears here regularly as blue light. Open your eyes while bathing! 

The waterfall with its beautiful surroundings is a popular destination for the local population. So far it is missing on the tourist map … 

Overnight and breakfast in Ratnapura 

AHASPOKUNA BY ECO TEAM     

Day 3: Ratnapura - Kitulgala

Medicinal plants & cave adventures – an expedition into prehistoric times! 

Highlights 

  • Expedition to the Batadomba Lena 
  • Drive to Kitulgala 

The ancient Batadomba Lena is one of the most important archaeological sites in Sri Lanka. In the mysterious cave are the remains of the Balangoda Man from 14,000 BC. BC as well as prehistoric stone tools have been found. 

Narrow, stony paths lead about 1.5 km through the dense jungle to the entrance of the cave. The secluded rock shelter is a picturesque spot, and the short hike there is not without its thrills. In this area live some groups of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka (Vedda), who can occasionally be found hunting in the forest. 

Then drive to the jungle town of Kitulgala, one of the most humid places in Sri Lanka and a classic adventure destination. The place is in the middle of the rainforest on the Kelani River, which is a very popular destination for water sports enthusiasts due to the rapids at this point. Kitulgala is also a paradise for hikers, cyclists, and bird watchers. 

Overnight and breakfast in Kitulgala 

THE ARGYLE LUXURY BOUTIQUE 

Day 4: Kitulgala

Natural pool & night hike – through the jungle with a flashlight! 

Highlights 

  • Hike to Aberdeen Falls with picnic 
  • Rafting / Canyoning / Abseiling on the Kelani Ganga (optional) 
  • Night hike in Makandawa Forest Reserve 

Kitulgala is the hot spot for water-based adventure sports in Sri Lanka. The area around the place is mountainous and crossed by rivers and waterfalls. When the water flows through the rough terrain at high speed, it turns into bubbling whitewater. 

The Kelani River offers some of the most exhilarating white water rafting in Sri Lanka. The crystal clear water of the river, which plunges through a rocky gorge just above Kitulgala, is a perfect area for rafting professionals and beginners. Rapids of levels 2 to 3+ with promising names like “Butter Crunch”, “Killer Falls” or “Virgins Beast” await brave challengers. 

The most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka can be found in the rainy highlands! The 98 m high Aberdeen Falls are among the most picturesque waterfalls but are rarely visited. The natural pool at the foot of the multi-level waterfall is framed by imposing rocks and hidden caves. The clear water invites you to take a refreshing swim and you can picnic on the bank with a view of the impressive natural spectacle. 

The Makandawa Forest Reserve is located in the Kitulgala area in the lowland rainforest and is one of the wettest forest areas in Sri Lanka. In the early evening, you set off on a night hike through the dense jungle. Here you will discover rare birds, nocturnal amphibians, and reptiles under the expert guidance of a ranger and you will learn to recognize the sounds of the jungle. 

Overnight and breakfast in Kitulgala 

Day 5: Kitulgala - Laksapana - Dickoya - Hatton

Temples & tea plantations – through the highlands on two wheels! 

Highlights 

  • Laksapana Falls 
  • Bicycle tour through the tea plantations around Hatton 
  • Visit a tea factory 
  • Warleigh Christ Church Dickoya 

The Laksapana Falls in the Maskeliya area is almost 130 m high, making it one of the highest waterfalls in the country. Because of its majestic beam, it is also considered to be the most beautiful waterfall in the country. After a 45-minute hike, it appears in the dense forest. A path made up of more than 500 steps leads to the pool at the foot of the waterfall. The plateau with the spectacular view can also be reached via a footpath. Many endemic plants and huge trees grow here. 

Similar to the legend of Bopath Ella, there is a local belief in a hidden treasure in the basin below the Laksapana Falls. Legend has it that in times of severe drought, a golden vessel appears in the deep basin. As soon as the shell becomes visible, the gods send rain to protect the treasure again. Another story says that behind the falls are tunnels that connect Laksapana to the Aberdeen Falls. Feel free to go look for it! 

Sri Lanka’s highlands offer the most delightful landscapes with dramatic mountain peaks and hills covered by vast tea plantations. Explore the beautiful mountain landscape in Dickoya by mountain bike. Experience the colorful tea-picking villages, neat Hindu temples, babbling brooks, and gushing waterfalls. Along the way, you will keep talking to the local population. 

The best tea in Sri Lanka grows in the area around Hatton: Maskeliya. The only teas to which this tea is added is real Ceylon tea! Visit a tea factory and tea plantation. Here you can follow the entire process of tea production, which is still as devout and quality-conscious there today as it was 100 years ago, from planting to harvesting and processing to tasting.   

The Warleigh Church, built by the British in 1878, takes its visitors on a romantic journey through time into Sri Lanka’s colonial past and is a very enchanting, quiet place with a wonderful view of the green plains. 

Bed and breakfast in Hatton 

CAMELLIA HILLS                 

Day 6: Hatton - Ambuluwawa - Kandy

Magic tower & temple of the tooth – in a rush of heights and at a sacred ceremony! 

Highlights 

  • Train 1 st class of Hatton according to Gampola 
  • Ambuluwawa Crazy Tower 
  • Temple of the Tooth in Kandy (UNESCO World Heritage) for the Puja ceremony 

During the train ride from Hatton to Gampola, you will be enchanted by the green landscape of the dense tea plantations. The section is considered to be one of the most beautiful railway lines in the world. In the car, you continue your journey from Gampola to Ambuluwawa. 

If you want to dare to climb the 48 meters high Crazy Tower on Ambuluwawa Mountain, you should have a head for heights! The tower is twisted like a snail shell and the stairs get narrower and narrower, which makes the ascent a real adventure. Those who make it to the top will be rewarded with a unique view of the 1,000 m deep valley and an exclusive snapshot. Don’t forget your selfie stick! 

The lively old town of Kandy invites you to stroll with its colonial buildings and the hustle and bustle on the streets. A rich selection of cafés and restaurants offers the opportunity to watch life in the alleys with a good cup of Ceylon tea. 

In the market, you can experience the haggling of the traders at their lush, colorful stalls with exotic fruits and vegetables, but also with high-quality handicrafts and antique jewelry. Have yourself dressed in a colorful sari at one of the stands and feel as elegant as a local! 

The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy is the holiest site for Buddhists in Sri Lanka and at the same time the most beautiful Buddhist temple in the country. A Buddha’s canine tooth is kept in the main temple. According to tradition, the owner of the relic has the right to rule over Sri Lanka. The room with the shrine in which the tooth is kept is opened three times a day for pilgrims and visitors in a puja ceremony. Here you can put flowers, light an oil lamp and feel a deep spirituality. 

Overnight and breakfast in Kandy

THE KANDY HOUSE

Day 7: Kandy - Bambaragala - Nuwara Eliya

Cave monastery & high tea – through the hinterland to the city above the clouds! 

Highlights 

  • Bambaragala Purana Rajamaha Viharaya 
  • Hike to Pettigala rocks 
  • Drive through the highlands to Nuwara Eliya 

In the cave monastery of Bambaragala Purana Rajamaha Viharaya, rock inscriptions and wall paintings that are over 2,000 years old can be seen. It is one of the oldest temples in Sri Lanka and is rarely visited by foreign visitors, which is why you can enjoy the devout atmosphere undisturbed. The priestly residence and the hermitages are well preserved. 

You should combine your visit to the temple with a detour to the nearby Pettigala rock. After a short hike through the forest, you will reach the monolith and after an easy climb on the plateau, you will experience a fascinating 360-degree view of the charming surroundings, the Victoria reservoir, and the highlands. 

“Off-the-beaten-track” is now back to the highlands, to Nuwara Eliya. You cross an area completely neglected by tourists and watch everyday life in Sri Lanka go by. 

Nuwara Eliya is Sri Lanka’s highest point. The small town is the center of tea production and surprises with a typical British colonial settlement in Tudor style with a racecourse, golf course, and traditional telephone booths. After a stroll through the colonial summer freshness, you can travel back in time to the British Empire at 5 pm in the venerable “Hill Club” with “High Tea” by the fireplace or in the billiard room. 

Overnight and breakfast in Nuwara Eliya    

HERITANCE TEA FACTORY

Day 8: Nuwara Eliya - Ella

Vegetable basket & green zone – a day with beautiful views! 

Highlights 

  • Drive from Nuwara Eliya to Ella 
  • Bike tour around Ella 

The drive from Nuwara Eliya to Ella is a tour of Sri Lanka’s vegetable basket. The route runs over winding roads through the highlands, past wide vegetable plantations, colorful Hindu temples, and spectacular gorges. Strawberries even grow in this fertile area! 

The picturesque mountain village of Ella lies at an altitude of 1,000 m and has developed into a popular paradise for hikers and cyclists. Make your way by bike on the “Foggy Road” to the most beautiful places in the area of ​​Ella: Nine Arches Bridge is a masterpiece of railway construction from colonial times and one of the most famous photo opportunities in Sri Lanka, Little Adam’s Peak protrudes the tea plantations and also offers an excellent panoramic view of the mountain landscape. 

The small, original village of Dowa near Ella is home to a temple in a scenic location by a small stream. A picturesque forest path leads to the quiet refuge with the 12-meter high relief of Buddha and well-preserved frescoes in the stone cave. It is said that this temple was once built as a hideout for King Walagamba. The unfinished Buddha statue is said to have been made by the king himself in just one night. In the complex, there is said to be a secret tunnel that leads to the Ravana waterfalls, and through which the king is said to have escaped. 

Overnight and breakfast in Ella        

THOTALAGALA

Day 9: Ella - Madulisma - Pitamaruva - Ella

Secret Temples & Hidden Tunnels – Walk to the End of the World! 

Highlights 

  • Aradunu Falls 
  • Cave of Madulsima View Point 
  • Pitamaruva World`s End 
  • Kombukara Nature Pool and Secret Waterfall for Open Bath 

Today you will learn about beautiful, secluded places that are hidden from most visitors to Sri Lanka. It goes on one of the most scenic mountain roads in the country via Passara to the end of the world! 

The 30-meter high Aradunu waterfall is so named because of its unusual arch shape. According to legend, an ancient ruler of Sri Lanka fled from southern Indian invaders into a cave near the waterfall. The curious can climb over the rocks to the top of the waterfall and watch the falling water from above. Here, too, a tunnel behind the waterfall is said to lead to a secret temple. Have a look! 

The “Mini World`s End Pitamaruva” is one of 4 steeply sloping “world ends” in Sri Lanka. From up here, you can see several hundred kilometers to the coast on a clear day. The locals who pitch their tent here at the weekend call this place the “campsite above the clouds”. Enjoy the silence and the lovely nature up here. The surrounding mountain ranges are always decoratively covered with fog. An unforgettable experience is a sunrise as well as a swim in the nearby “sesame” pool. 

On the way back, you will stop at the hidden Kombukara Nature Pool to take a refreshing dip in the cool water. The waterfall with the natural water basin is very hidden and is an insider tip even among the residents of the surrounding towns. 

Overnight and breakfast in Ella        

THOTALAGALA

Day 10: Ella - Nikapotha

Lovely landscapes & rural life – in the farthest corner of Sri Lanka! 

Highlights 

  • Galkanda Falls 
  • Visit the mountain village of Nikapotha 

The remote village of Nikapotha is located in a scenic valley, embedded in rice terraces and vegetable fields. The village is difficult to reach by vehicle. The residents have cultivated their very own cultivation methods and have preserved their original customs and traditions. 

Water buffalo plow through the rice fields, villagers wash their clothes in the river, and life here follows a completely different rhythm than in the rest of the country. Let yourself be infected by the silence and enjoy the leisurely tranquility in this dreamy place. 

From Nikapotha, a varied hike through gentle nature leads to a bizarre rock that is said to have been shaped by a king 7,000 years ago. 

Overnight and breakfast in Ella

THOTALAGALA

Day 11: Nikapotha - Buduruwagala - Tissamaharama

Audience with the king of the jungle – visiting wild animals and ancient giants! 

Highlights 

  • Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya 
  • Jeep safari in Yala National Park 

The Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya Cave Temple is a typical example of the many hidden treasures in Sri Lanka. The seven statues of Buddha carved into the rock on the temple grounds are around 1,000 years old and are an impressive example of the great art of stonemasons in ancient Sri Lanka. 

At the right foot of the tallest statue is a hole carved in the shape of the flame of an oil lamp. It is said that this hole is always wetted by a liquid that smells like mustard oil and that there is no explainable cause for this phenomenon. The oil that oozes from this hole was used by the believers to anoint their foreheads before presenting themselves to the neighboring characters, Tara Devi and Vajrapani, to seek healing for their ailments. Can you see the smell? 

On the way to the temple, make a stop at the Buduruwagala Reservoir and enjoy the swarm of water birds and the beauty of the surroundings for a moment. 

Yala National Park on the eastern south coast is Sri Lanka’s most popular national park. Here you can watch a variety of animals such as crocodiles, elephants, mongooses, and monkeys, but also one of the largest leopard populations on the island. Anyone who has decided to see the “Big Five” of Sri Lanka has the chance to see elephants, sloth bears, and leopards in front of the photo lens. 

You will spend the night in a safari camp with a campfire and a real wildlife atmosphere! 

Overnight and breakfast in Tissamaharama 

UGA CHENA HUTS

Day 12: Tissamaharama - Kirinda - Galle

Beach temples & dream beaches – a day on the wild ocean! 

Highlights 

  • Kirinda Vihara Maha Devi Temple 
  • The most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka: Hiriketiya Beach – Turtle Bay – Midigama Beach – Marakoliya Beach – Jungle Beach – Angel Beach – Kalametiya Beach 
  • Walkthrough the old town of Galle (UNESCO World Heritage) 

The Kirinda Vihara Maha Devi Temple is located on a rock by the sea. A temple is said to have stood here since the 2nd century. The contrast between the wild roaring sea and the unshakable silence of the temple visits an outstanding experience. The beach here is wild and lonely and swimming is very dangerous because of the strong ocean currents. 

The drive from Kirinda to Galle leads along the coast through lively seaside resorts and sleepy fishing villages. The dream setting of turquoise blue water, golden yellow beaches, and emerald green jungle are unique. On the way, a swim in the refreshing ocean or just the wonderful view beckon! The most beautiful beaches on the island are lined up like pearls on the route. Here you will find the most famous swings for wonderful souvenir photos! 

Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, Galle was the island’s main port and reached the height of its development in the 18th century during the Dutch colonial era. Magnificent buildings and the fortress around the old town bear witness to the eventful history of the historic port city. 

When strolling over the walls of the well-preserved fortress and through the partly renovated old town with its beautiful shops and cafés, you will experience an unmistakable colonial flair. On the promenade in front of the lighthouse, snake charmers and cliff divers provide a pleasant thrill! 

Overnight and breakfast in Galle 

TARU VILLAS

Day 13: Galle - Bentota

Wellness & surfing – relaxation on the dream beach! 

Highlights 

  • Drive to Bentota 
  • Stay on the beach 

The area around Bentota is well developed for tourism and is known as a center for Ayurveda treatments. The cheerful place awaits sun-seekers with palm-fringed dream beaches and paradisiacal bays as well as numerous water sports on the Bentota River. 

In the vicinity of Bentota, there are beaches in Aluthgama, Beruwela, and Bentota. Aluthgama is an insider tip because bathers can relax on the deserted beach here on the peninsula between the lagoon and the Indian Ocean. The beaches of the neighboring towns of Beruwela and Bentota combine to form a kilometer-long, snow-white dream beach with shallow water. 

Let your mind wander and end the day with a sundowner! 

Overnight and breakfast in Bentota 

SAMAN VILLAS

Day 14: Bentota - Airport

Rainforest & Reptiles – Excursion into the mysterious world of the mangroves! 

Highlights 

  • Boat trip into the mangroves on the Bentota River 
  • Transfer to the airport/hotel 

In the mysterious atmosphere of the mangroves with their lush vegetation and exotic fauna, a very special, mystical world has developed that can be explored by boat. The mangrove forest is home to a wide variety of birds including sea eagles, kingfishers, and pelicans. Macaque monkeys frolic in the trees and crocodiles, lizards, freshwater snakes and a variety of fish and shrimp lurk in the water. Monitor lizards, crocodiles, and snakes are suddenly within your grasp! 

This ends your journey to hidden Sri Lanka. Hopefully, you will leave our beautiful island relaxed and with many unforgettable impressions! Come home safe! 

Ayubowan! 

End of the journey 

Services

Entrance fees according to the itinerary

Accommodation in a double room with breakfast 

Transfers and round trip in an air-conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking private driver 

Transfer to the airport / extension hotel 

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