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Back of Beyond Sri Lanka

Introduction

This journey takes you through remote regions of Sri Lanka which is truly back of beyond, for an adventurous experience of the island’s rural lifestyles, cultural heritage and wildlife and nature. Starting from the remote North West, to the Cultural Triangle in the North Central province and finally, to the picturesque hill country, the varying landscapes are breathtaking. Roll on the white sandy beaches of Alankuda; explore the thick jungles of Wilpattu; spot pink flamingos as they line the lagoons of Mannar; and trek through tea covered hills of Kandy. We have selected eco-retreats and guesthouses that are immersed in nature which makes this a truly interesting and memorable journey. Of course, we are able to tinker with this itinerary if you wish and add an extra night here and there. We can also discuss other accommodation options.

Highlights
Experience rural life and taste traditional rice and curries cooked in clay pots
Stay in characterful eco-retreats and guesthouses immersed in nature
Explore the fishing villages of Alankuda and Mannar
Experience the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura
Climb the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Visit Kandy’s ancient Temple of the Tooth
Take in the picturesque tea plantations and misty mountains of the central highlands
Trek through the tea-covered hills of Madulkelle
Spot pink flamingos and other migrant birds in Mannar
Go on a dolphin spotting excursion off the coast of Alankuda
Explore the jungles of Wilpattu in search of the elusive leopard
Visit orphaned wild elephants at Pinnawala

Day 01,02 & 03

Arrive in Sri Lanka and transfer directly to Palagama Beach – a peaceful eco-retreat set in the remote coastal village of Alankuda on the North West Coast. This is an escapist area of wild secluded beaches that fronts the turquoise seas; sand dunes and coconut palms. Spend your days taking in the sun and experiencing rural village life in this remote region. Go on an adventurous dolphin spotting excursion on offer during the season from December to April when the seas are calm. If you are lucky, further into the deep seas, you may even spot a blue whale. Visit the village of Kalpitiya further north on the peninsula, and the Dutch period church – St. Anne’s in Thalawila.

Accommodation
Palagama Beach
Palagama Beach is a wonderful holiday retreat that consists of individual cottages and houses spread across a deserted beach leading to the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Your own little beach house offers you complete privacy. Located in the fishing village of Alankuda, Palgama Beach is 12 kms south of Kalpitiya and one hour from Wilpattu National Park. The journey from Colombo’s international airport will take up to 2.5 hours

Day 4  & 5

Today you head inland via Puttalam and spend the next two days at Palpatha, a rustic eco-retreat immersed in nature and situated just 20 minutes away from the Wilpattu National Park. Relax under the shade of a tall Tamarind tree surrounded by bird call; take a walk into the village where guests can share a cup of tea in a village home; have a cooling river bath, or go on a guided bird watching trail. Explore the jungles of Wilpattu – home to the elusive leopard, sloth bear, elephant, and numerous species of birds.
Sri Lanka Tours
Accommodation
Palpatha
Palpatha is a rustic eco-retreat immersed in nature and situated in the remote village of Dunguswewa in the north west of Sri Lanka. Situated just 20 minutes away from the entrance gates to Wilpattu National Park, this is an ideal location from which to explore the jungles of Wilpattu – home to the elusive leopard, sloth bear, elephant, and numerous species of birds. Palpatha can be accessed via the Puttalam to Anuradhapura road, and is about three hours away from Colombo’s international airport

Day 6 & 7

Journey north through remote countryside bordering the Wilpattu National Park and head to Mannar – a North West coastal village. En route, visit the ancient Tantirimale rock temple – a fascinating historical site scattered over acres of granite rock. A gradual climb leads to acres of flat granite rock where there are several ancient statues of Lord Buddha carved out of the rock, a stupa (white dome like temple), and Bo tree. Once in Mannar, check-in to the Palmyrah House, a welcoming guesthouse that offers comfortable accommodation and traditional cuisine from the northern region. Mannar is a remote area that is popular for bird watching during the season from October to March when migrant birds including pink flamingos in their thousands line the lagoons and water holes. The landscape here is scattered with Palmyrah palm, lagoons, arid plains edged by the turquoises seas; and remote fishing villages.

Accommodation
Palmyrah House
Palmyrah House is a five-bedroom holiday retreat on Mannar Island in the north west of Sri Lanka. This remote region is popular for birdwatching during the season from October to March when migrant birds in their thousands line the lagoons and water holes. Palmyrah House is best visited after the rains when the surrounding plains are filled with water and Pink Flamingos flock to the area. The landscape in Mannar is scattered with Palmyrah palm, lagoons, arid plains edged by the turquoises seas

Day 8 & 9

Today you head south to the Cultural Triangle. En route, explore the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka’s first capital which was the greatest monastic city of the ancient world. Originally founded in the 4C BC, it became the capital of Sri Lanka two centuries later. Continue on to Sigiriya in the Cultural Triangle and check-in to Back of Beyond Pidurangala, an eco-retreat set on four acres of untouched wilderness and located at the foot of the gigantic Pidurangala rock, just 10 minutes stroll from the historic Sigiriya rock Fortress. Rise early the next day and climb the magnificent Sigiriya rock fortress, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the 5C AD by king Kasyapa as a fortress-palace, Sigiriya is one of the most dramatic, inspiring and beautiful historical locations in the world. Worthy of being called the eighth wonder of the world, Sigiriya astounds many with its staggering ancient engineering on and around the cliff face and sweeping views from the summit. Visit the Sigiriya archeological museum situated nearby.
Raq |Accommodation
Back of Beyond – Pidurangala
Back of Beyond is a rustic eco-retreat at the foot of the towering Pidurangala rock and is walking distance to the historic Sigiriya rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated on the same gravel road that leads to the Sigirya rock, just beyond the moats of the Sigiriya fortress. The Cultural Triangle sites of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are 1.5 hours away and the historic Dambulla cave temple is just 30 minutes drive. The journey from Colombo’s international airport will take

Day 10,11 & 12

Head to Sri Lanka’s hill capital – the small lakeside city of Kandy. Visit the ancient Temple of the Tooth where a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined. Religious services (pooja), accompanied with traditional drumming, are held at the temple daily at dawn, midday, and in the evening. Continue on for another 30 kms north of Kandy town to the rural village of Madulkelle. Stay the next three nights at the Madulkelle Eco Lodge, a tented holiday retreat set amidst a 25-acre tea plantation overlooking the Knuckles Mountain Range. Explore the tea estate and learn of Sri Lanka’s most famous crop. Go bird watching and trekking in this remote and picturesque region.

Accommodation
Madulkelle Eco Lodge
Madulkelle Eco Lodge is a tented holiday retreat set amidst a 25-acre tea plantation in the rural village of Madulkelle in the outskirts of Kandy. Fronting the Knuckles Mountain Range on one side and surrounded by lush green tea hills, this is a picturesque setting that is immersed in nature. The climate in Madulkelle is somewhat similar to that of the highlands where it gets cooler in the evenings. Madulkelle is located 30 kms north of Kandy town via Katugastota and Panwila;

Day 13 & 14

After an adventurous journey to remote regions of Sri Lanka, spend your final two nights at Casa Heliconia located in Pasyala just 45 minutes away from Colombo’s international airport. En route, visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which protects the island’s abandoned or orphaned wild elephants. Elephants roam free within the 12 acre sanctuary, except when shepherded by their mahouts down to the Maha Oya twice a day at 10.00 am and 2.00 pm for their two-hour river bath. After visiting the elephant orphanage, stop by at the Elephus Maximus project that produces paper from recycled elephant dung – a fascinating project that won the World Challenge conducted by BBC and Newsweek. Once at Casa Heliconia, relax amidst lush tropical gardens edged by paddy fields. Take a stroll into the surrounding rural village or visit the adjoining Buddhist temple.

Accommodation
Casa Heliconia
Casa Heliconia is an exquisite holiday retreat set on a three-acre fruit and vegetable estate in the rural village of Kaleliya in Pasyala in the North West. Pasyala is just 45 minutes drive from Colombo’s international airport and is en route to Kandy. Casa Heliconia is an ideal first stop on your holiday in Sri Lanka where you can relax and unwind after a long flight amidst peaceful rural surroundings.