Paradise Perspectives – 9 Days

DAY 01 – Airport / Pinnawala / Kandy

Meet entourage at Colombo Airport and be whisked off to the busy little fishing town of Negombo. A small tiny coastal town near Colombo, Negombo is the right place to see local fishermen bringing in their daily haul and shout out their wares. This is also the town where you’ll taste the best sea food you’ll find anywhere on the island. A few popular sights around town are the Dutch Fort, the Lagoon and the Canal.

Doze the night away in one of Negombo’s many lovely sea side resorts.

DAY 02 – Kandy

Inhale a gargantuan meal and get going to the picture-perfect mountain city of Kandy. Feeling feisty? Make a stop by Kitulgala, where the thrill-seekers can try the infamous White Water Rafting. Just buckle up and enjoy 5 km of pure adrenaline spiked pleasure as you pass through nine unbelievable rapids. Don’t forget your safety gear! Help is always available at hand and the highly trained instructors will stick around to steer you right. If a hackle-raising joy ride is not your idea of fun, you can always sit back and enjoy the stunning vistas and wildlife.

Next stop; Kandy. Take in the colorful views, breathe in the fresh air and set your feet on the cobble-stoned paths of the final capital to ever be ruled by the Sri Lankan Kings.

There’s always plenty to see in Kandy, the beautiful hilltop city of light and culture. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Kandy Lake and the mystical monasteries are just a handful of the attractions that make the city so popular among holiday makers.

Glinting gold and pearl with the rays of the rising sun, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic houses the single most important relic of Sri Lanka’s religious history, a tooth of the Buddha himself. The chambers containing the well-guarded relic are open to Buddhist advocates and tourists alike.

Next, we’ll be spending some time on the serene shores of the Kandy Lake. Indulge yourself in the stunning sights of the Upper Lake Drive and even the Market square. Dig around the towns little boutiques to find some fine trinkets, treasures and souvenirs definitely worth a few of your bucks.

Wrap up the day with an epic cultural finale. The Kandy Folk Show displays some truly amazing historical dances brought to you from generations past. The show reaches its climax with an impressive fire walking ceremony that will take your breath away.

After the fiery showdown, float away to sleep on the softest of Kandyan beds and dream of elephants and dances.

DAY 03 – Nuwara Eliya

Dig into a generous serving of healthy food from the mountains. Then it’s time to head off to Nuwara Eliya, the picturesque mountain town of flowers and horses. Make a stop at the Peradaniya Royal Botanical Gardens to bask in an endless assortment of fragrant flowers in every direction. Feel free to walk around this cosmic floral paradise, filled with rare and endemic flower species from one end to the other. Once you’re done seeing the best of Peradaniya, including the exotic garden of spices and the orchid house here, it’s time to get back on the road.

Take a break by a tea plantation and factory for the freshest cup of tea you’ve ever had. Delectably sweet and perfectly fresh off the green mountains, you’ll be asking for seconds before you know it. Go on with the journey to Nuwara Eliya with a stop by the stunning Ramboda falls. Chill here awhile and set out on the remaining leg of the journey to Nuwara Eliya.

Say hello to the loveliest of Sri Lanka’s old colonial towns. Past the gossamer curtains of gentle mists, Nuwara Eliya is a delightful little hill top haven with a distinct old England feel to it. Buildings from colonial times, beautiful rose gardens and neat hedges all add to the charm of being in this vibrant neighborhood. At the right season, Nuwara Eliya is also the perfect place for a hearty game of golf and some action-packed horse racing.

Gently snore the night away in the lullaby of Nuwara Eliya’s soft cool whispering winds.

DAY 04 – Ella

Pull the sheets over your head and snooze a few precious minutes away. Scoot down to greet a perfectly scrumptious upcountry breakfast. Then you’ll be visiting the Horton Plains National Park, where mysterious lakes and lush landscapes of greenery stretch as far as the eye can see. Go all the way along the trail for a stunning birds-eye view of the area below at the very end of the path. The park abounds with countless species of birds and animals. Hortan Plains is home to countless shaggy bear monkeys, sambar deer and even the occasionally lurking leopard or wild boar.

Next, a new adventure of sightseeing awaits at the Shire-like heavenly landscapes of Ella. With its sprawling forests, waterfalls and field upon field of flowery magic, Ella is just one of those places straight out of a fairy tale. Make a stop by Nanu Oya and take a train ride the rest of the way to Ella. Don’t forget to snap a few pictures of the famous Nine Arch Bridge where trains rumble over an iconic stone bridge of beauty.

A few moments ride away, the pretty little village of Ella lies nestled high among the mountain tops. The loveliest of Ella attractions await your attention here; the Ella Gap. After exploring around this little tourist hotspot, it’s time to settle down for the night in the romantic Ella hillsides.

DAY 05 – Yala

After a morning of lazing and scrounging down fresh country produce by the plateful, it’s off to the Little Adam’s Peak we go. A simple hike all the way up into the clouds looks down upon a truly stunning view of Sri Lanka at its most pristine and loveliest. We’ll also be taking a look at the fascinating Ella Waterfall amidst heavenly landscapes.

Then it’s time to set your heart towards the breath-taking undisturbed wildlife at Yala. Make one more stop by the Buduruwagala Temple to admire unique rock creations dating back to the tenth century. Flawless, intricate and carved by subtle clever hands, these rocky wonders are every sculptor’s sweetest dream. Then we’ll be continuing the road trip down to the lovely evergreen forests of Yala. Open fields of endless grassy plains and lush thickets of greenery here play home to countless species of truly exotic wildlife. Yala is the place to watch the peacocks dance under silver moonlight, to witness the elephants roam freely and even to see elusive leopards in action. When the day is done, dream the night away in the best of Yala’s accommodations.

DAY 06 – Mirissa

Yawn, hit the snooze and catch a few more winks before breakfast. After breakfast, prance the day with the deer and observe monkeys in their tree-top habitats. Once the Yala safari is done, it’s high time to treat yourself to some love. The soft sandy beaches of Mirissa await your travel-worn spirit. After an evening of kicking up some beach love, it’s time to hit the sack. Let the waves lull you to sleep as the gentle ocean breeze wafts you into dreamland.

Day 07 – Hikkaduwa

Prepare to be swept off deep into the deliciously inviting waters of Mirissa. After a hearty breakfast there, we’ll be off voyaging through sparkling clear waters to get up close and personal with whales and dolphins. If a trip to see the great friendly beasts of the ocean inspires you, then Mirissa won’t disappoint. After a day with these beautiful ocean mammals we’ll be setting off to the lovely coastal town of Galle, where the wind sings a timeless melody among olden Dutch-colonial buildings. From the picturesque Galle Fort to the Old Gate and collection of charming Dutch Churches, Galle is a map of irresistible attractions from one end to the other.

Galle Fort

Ravishing in its splendor, this ancient Portuguese structure was renovated by later Dutch settlers and serves today as a major attraction in the area. This construction remains among the best preserved buildings in Asia and is a definite tourist mecca for all who enter the colonial city.

When that’s all done, spend the evening unwinding on the soft Hikkaduwa sands and enjoy a peaceful overnight stay here.

DAY 08 - Colombo

Wake up and set off to the Colombo metropolis with a full stomach and a full heart. Make a stop by the Tsunami Museum, a seemingly small tribute to memorialize the terrors of the tsunami that wreaked the island in 2004.

Next, it’s time to float away on yet another magical ride. A gentle cruise down the serene waters of Madu await your pleasure. Thick mangrove forests crowd the riverbanks on either side while clouds of colorful butterflies buzz overhead. With an ecosystem teeming with abundant life, keep your camera ready for monitor lizards, monkeys and bird species of every kind. The tour down the river takes you past an Old Buddhist Monastery. Other highlights of this tour include the sights of the Cinnamon cultivation fields and locals working away at their fishing nets.

Then we’ll be off to visit a Turtle Hatchery. Located quite close to the peaceful shores of Bentota, this destination offers an interesting insight into all things turtle. The hatchery goes to great lengths to conserve sea turtle life, even going so far as to pay local fishermen for stray eggs found on the beaches. The retrieved eggs are then buried in the sand and the new hatchlings are then carefully released into the sea.

Then we’ll be getting back on the journey to the bubbling city. More than just a busy capital, Colombo has plenty of beautiful landmarks and sights to explore. A patchwork of new and old architecture, modern hotel chains and flashy sky scrapers dominate the sky line while the city’s lower reaches bustle with commerce. Once there, it’s time to check in at the hotel and fall asleep to the gentle humming of the city beneath you and a stunning view of an impeccable sky line.

DAY 09 – Galle

Wake up, face the lovely city views and acknowledge that all good things come to an end. After a final sumptuous Sri Lankan breakfast, it’s time to head out for a tour around the bustling city.

A few sights you’ll be able to see up close are the Old Parliament, the Viharamahadevi Park, the National Museum and the dreamy Galle Face Green.

Museums and sophisticated restaurants dot the more high-end section of the vibrant city, but there are always good bargains to make, great food and surprises to be found in every nook and cranny of the city. Top off the day with a visit to the quiet Gangarama Temple, the Independent Square and even the super-busy market bazaars at Pettah and Fort. After the shopping spree, we’ll be escorting you to the Colombo Airport for your flight back home.