Sri Lanka is a small island with a whole lot to offer. Home to 8 UNESCO Word Heritage sights, there is no shortage of wonders to experience. Exploring ancient palaces and sacred cities are all in a day’s work. Additionally, this tropical land offers an abundance of exotic wildlife such as elephants, monkeys, leopards and incredible sea life seen with some of the best diving in the world. With this itinerary you will stay in some of the most lavish eco-conscious and lifestyle resorts that vary from luxe living on a paddy/marsh to a dream-worthy Water Villa at the Park Hyatt Maldives. Everyone should have an adventure in search of paradise and we can’t wait to show you the glory of Sri Lanka and the Maldivies.
Day 1: Arrival: Negombo
You will be met on arrival and chauffeured to Negombo, an approximately half-hour drive, where you will spend 1 night at the Jetwing Lagoon. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
About The Jetwing Lagoon
Overlooking the tranquil Negombo Lagoon, the Jetwing Lagoon offers a blend of rejuvenation and relaxation. This is the ideal location to rest, relax, and energize upon arrival in Sri Lanka. Accommodation is in a Deluxe Double room with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast.
Day 2: Sigiriya
After an early breakfast, you will be driven to Sigiriya (5.5 hours), stopping en route for lunch and to visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Watch the elephants being fed and then taken for bathing. We suggest you enjoy lunch at the Pinnalanda Restaurant, which overlooks the river where the elephants bathe.
Check in to your hotel, where you will spend the next 3 nights. The evening is at your leisure.
About the Jetwing Vil Uyana
In a groundbreaking project, Jetwing Hotels created a private nature reserve consisting of a wetland system with lakes and reed beds. Jetwing Vil Uyana was built within these environs with rooms which have been placed within the paddy fields itself. This exciting lifestyle hotel thereby created a unique approach to eco-living. Relax in an atmosphere of rural simplicity combined with the lavish comforts of the present day to experience a stay hard to forget. Accommodation is in a Paddy/Marsh Double room with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast.
Day 3: Sigiriya
After breakfast, you will be taken to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you will explore and climb the awe-inspiring palace of King Kashyapa. Walk through the meticulously landscaped Royal Gardens and ascend towards the summit where only ruins of the royal palace now remain. A visit to the fresco gallery with its ancient paintings of the King’s maids in waiting and the Mirror Wall with ancient transcripts that closely match the modern day Sinhalese language should also not be missed. After exploring the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, continue onwards to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a 1.5 hour drive. En route, we suggest you can stop at the Rukmali Restaurant for lunch which serves a Sri Lankan buffet along with a la caret dining options.
Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s second most ancient kingdom, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. After your explorations, return to the hotel where the evening is at your leisure.
Day 4: Sigiriya
After breakfast, visit the village of Hiriwadunna. Sri Lankan villagers are extremely sociable and it is here that you will experience their hospitality to its fullest. You begin by travelling on a Bullock Cart, pulled by 2 oxen and guided by the driver through idyllic rural landscapes. Afterwards you will travel on a dugout canoe at the nearby lake. The tour ends with a home visit to a villager’s residence where you can savor a delicious homemade traditional rice and curry lunch.
In the afternoon, you will be taken to Minneriya National Park for the Elephant Gathering Jeep Safari. The Gathering of Elephants is ranked among the world’s top wildlife viewing spectacles, and runs from June – October each year. Each afternoon, around 150-200 individual elephants come out of the forest to graze on the fresh green pasture by the water’s edge. You have excellent opportunities here to observe the social dynamics of the Asian Elephant as the large compete for females, while young calves frolic. After your Jeep Safari, return to the hotel where the evening is at your leisure.
Day 5: Trincomalee
After breakfast, you will be transferred from Sigiriya to Trincomalee, a drive which will take approximately 3 hours. You will check in to the Jungle Beach Resort, where you will spend 3 nights. The rest of the day is to enjoy at your leisure.
About the Jungle Beach Resort
Named ‘best Indian Ocean resort’ by World Luxury Hotel magazine and the winner of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2013, Jungle Beach Kuchaveli is your perfect introduction to the wonders of Sri Lanka’s east coast. Accommodation is in a Jungle Cabin Double Room with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast.
Day 6: Trincomalee
After breakfast, head to the old Dutch fort of Frederick, where you can explore, visit the Koneswaram temple and see the beautiful view of the Trincomalee fishing harbor from Swami Rock.
Day 7: Trincomalee
Take a packed breakfast and head out early for a 45-minute drive to your whale watching expedition. The deep waters around Trincomalee’s natural harbor can often result in the Blue Whales coming very close to land and they are occasionally seen from the land from a viewpoint at Swami Rock. Pods of Spinner Dolphins in the hundreds may also be encountered on most mornings during this period while Sperm Whales have been seen around March – April in the past few years.
The evening is at your leisure.
Day 8: Colombo
After a lazy breakfast, you will be chauffeured back to Colombo. The drive is approximately 7 hours. You will spend 1 night relaxing at the Jetwing Beach hotel. Accommodation is in a Deluxe Double Room with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast.
Day 9: Maldives
Transfer to Bandaranaike International Airport for your Air Lanka flight UL115 which departs at 1:30 p.m. and arrives in Male at 2:35 p.m. Upon arrival in the Maldives you will connect with your domestic flights. The final leg of your transfer will be by speedboat, to either Maalifushi byCOMO, on the Thaa Atoll, or to the Park Hyatt Maldives, located on the Hadahaa Atoll. Both trips are approximately 70 minutes.
About the Maldives
The Maldives are an idyllic ring of islands famous for their white sandy beaches, turquoise water and sunshine. Perfect for a romantic getaway or spending time with your friends and family, you can fill your days with spa treatments, snorkeling, diving or just relaxing by the water.
About Maalifushi by COMO
Maalifushi by COMO is the first luxury resort in the Maldives to open in the pristine Thaa Atoll in the archipelago’s southwest. With overwater villas and garden suites, Maalifushi is the ultimate away-from-it-all destination for families, couples, surfers and divers. There are some excellent breaks nearby as well as a string of uninhabited private islands, where whale shark sightings are common. Among Maldives island hotels, Maalifushi stands apart with its understated style, encapsulating the spirit of the Indian Ocean and the barefoot chic of a COMO private island resort. The luxuries are all here, with a COMO Shambhala spa, world-class yoga facilities and exceptional cuisine along with the Maldives’ vibrant marine life. Around Thaa Atoll, this includes rich whale shark, hammerhead shark and manta ray populations.
The water villas were designed by Japanese architect Koichiro Ikebuchi and are located on their own jetty to the west of the island. Each 1,292-square-foot villa has its own pool, sundeck and full-length windows overlooking the Indian Ocean. The large and airy sitting area can double up as a sleeping area for kids. Accommodation is in a Water Villa, and includes breakfast.
About Park Hyatt Maldives
Water Villas perch above the magnificent House Reef, offering unparalleled snorkeling opportunities. The atoll is 6 miles from the nearest inhabited island, no planes or boats to disturb the solitude. The island’s close proximity to the Equator provides a unique night sky of constellations from both the northern and the southern hemispheres. With no artificial light, the stars have never looked so bright. A pristine 360-degree house reef is just steps from any villa. The reef has the greatest coral cover of all the reefs assessed in the National Coral Reef Monitoring Survey done by Marine Research Centre of the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture in 2009. The House Reef is home to more than 150 endangered species. There are 30 dive sites within 30 minutes in the dive boat, and due to the remote location you will generally have the dive sites to yourself. Accommodation is in a Park Water Villa with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast. Amenities at your villa include a private deck with table, chairs and day bed, two sunbeds, 24-hour in-villa dining service, a 37-inch LCD television with Cable/Satellite TV channels, personal bar, indoor bathtub and rainshower, Nespresso coffee machine, an in-villa iPad, two telephones, and complimentary wifi.
Days 9 through 12: Paradise (aka the Maldives)
You will spend 4 nights in the Maldives, amusing yourself in any manner you choose. Sunbathe, snorkel, scuba dive, spa … it’s all up to you.
Day 13: Departure
After breakfast, bid paradise goodbye. You will transfer to the Male Airport by speed boat and a domestic flight to connect to your flights home.