Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Exotic trees in Yala, Sri lanka-701175-P

Natural Wonders of Sri Lanka

Zegrahm Expeditions
5.0 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
19 days
From: $ 10,480 $ 552 / day
Checking price



  • Search for abundant wildlife on a Yala National Park expedition, which boasts Asia’s largest concentration of leopards, along with Asian elephants, spotted deer, and over 200 species of birds.
  • A hallmark of any Sri Lanka tour, discover the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sigiriya, an ancient palace and fortress built atop a huge granite monolith; the monumental ruins in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s medieval capital; and the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, a significant site of pilgrimage for Buddhists.
  • Enjoy whale-watching cruises off the southern coast, one of the best places in the world to view blue whales.
  • Explore Sinharaja, a vast tropical rain forest that is home to over half of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of flora and fauna.
  • Stay in a variety of superb accommodations throughout your Sri Lanka adventure travels—from beach-side resorts and colonial-era mansions to world-class game lodges offering splendid vistas of the surrounding wilderness.

Short Description

Home to prolific birdlife, rich marine areas, dramatic landscapes, and a wide range of native species, to participate in Sri Lanka adventure travel is a nature lover’s dream. Travel in the company of wildlife expert, Mark Brazil, for over two weeks of in-depth exploration of this “Pearl of the Indian Ocean.” In addition to visiting a number of the country’s top natural areas, including Sinharaja Nature Reserve—where 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka have been recorded—enjoy a Yala National Park tour, an important conservation area for Sri Lankan elephants and aquatic birds. Also enjoy top-notch accommodations and visits to the World Heritage Site of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, on this Sri Lanka expedition.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Colombo
End City Colombo


Sri Lanka

Cities & Attractions


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Trip Includes

  • All accommodations
  • Group meals, including selected beverages with lunch and dinner
  • Group transfers
  • All gratuities
  • Guided excursions as stated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees for parks, reserves, etc.
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

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Day 1-2: Depart USA / En Route

Board your independent flight to Sri Lanka.

Day 3: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Accommodation: Gateway Airport Garden Hotel

Arrive Colombo in the very early morning and transfer to The Gateway Airport Garden Hotel, your home for two nights. After a welcome lunch and briefing, spend the afternoon searching for indigenous fauna and flora in the woodlands and wetlands near the hotel.

Day 4: Colombo / Negombo

Accommodation: Gateway Airport Garden Hotel

This morning visit the fascinating fish and street markets of Negombo. In the afternoon explore nearby wetlands by boat to search for pheasant-tailed jacanas, blue-tailed bee-eaters, and stork-billed kingfishers.

Day 5: Colombo / Sigiriya

Accommodation: Sigiriya Village Hotel

After breakfast, depart overland to the heart of Sri Lanka’s “cultural triangle.” Here visit Sigiriya, or Lion Rock, a huge granite monolith rising out of the jungle. This stunning World Heritage Site features the ruins of a 5th-century fortress and palace, colorful murals, and the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and fountains. Dinner and overnight for the next two nights at the pleasant Sigiriya Village Hotel.

Day 6: Sigiriya / Polonnaruwa

Accommodation: Sigiriya Village Hotel

Today drive to the magnificent ruined city of Polonnaruwa for a full day tour. A former Buddhist kingdom, Polonnaruwa is famous for its intricately carved stonework, including a stunningly beautiful reclining Buddha. As you wander the archaeological sites watch for troops of endemic toque macaques and, with luck, Sri Lanka gray hornbills.

Day 7: Sigiriya / Kandy

Accommodation: Earl's Regency Hotel

After breakfast, depart for the highlands, stopping en route to visit a spice garden and batik factory. After lunch in Kandy, spend the afternoon in the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens before checking in to Earl’s Regency Hotel for dinner.

Day 8: Kandy

Accommodation: Earl's Regency Hotel

This morning visit Udawattakele Sanctuary to search for the endemic Layard’s parakeet, yellow-fronted barbet, and brown-capped babbler, among other species. Return to the hotel for lunch. This afternoon tour the Temple of the Tooth, said to house a tooth of Buddha. This World Heritage Site was originally part of the Royal Palace complex of the Kandyan Kingdom, and is one of the holiest places of worship and pilgrimage for Buddhists around the world.

Day 9: Kandy / Nuwara Eliya

Accommodation: St. Andrew's Hotel

We then climb higher into Sri Lanka’s “Hill Country” to learn about the crop that has become almost synonymous with the island—tea. Verdant plantations stretch out in every direction and you will have the opportunity to investigate one of the colonial-era tea factories, where we will have lunch. Continue on to Nuwara Eliya, known locally as “Little England,” a hill station that was home to over 200 British families. Dinner and overnight for two nights at the splendid St. Andrew’s Hotel.

Day 10: Nuwara Eliya / Horton Plains

Accommodation: St. Andrew's Hotel

Depart before dawn to appreciate the beauty of early morning at Horton Plains, a grassy highland plateau studded with rhododendrons and surrounded by cool, mossy forests. Wildlife found here includes sambar deer, grizzled giant squirrels, and the endemic purple-faced leaf monkey. Also keep an eye out for avian endemics such as the yellow-eared bulbul, Sri Lanka white-eye, and the Ceylon whistling-thrush. Return to Nuwara Eliya for lunch, then spend the afternoon in Victoria Park, a great place to spot wintering birds from the sub-continent.

Day 11: Nuwara Eliya / Sinharaja

Accommodation: Sinharaja Rainforest Edge Resort

A scenic drive with lunch along the way brings you to the fabled Sinharaja Biosphere Reserve. Sri Lanka’s single most important conservation area, Sinharaja protects the largest remaining area of tropical forest on the island. An incredible two-thirds of the plants in the forest are found nowhere else on earth, along with all but one of Sri Lanka’s bird endemics. Dinner and overnight for two nights at the Rainforest Edge Resort.

Day 12: Sinharaja

Accommodation: Sinharaja Rainforest Edge Resort

A full day walking tour of this scenic park may reveal such spectacular creatures as Sri Lanka junglefowl (the national bird), yellow-fronted barbet, bizarre red-faced malkoha, and the exquisite Sri Lanka blue magpie.

Day 13: Sinharaja / Yala National Park

Accommodation: Cinnamon Wild Yala Hotel

Today, head east, descending into the lowlands of Yala, Sri Lanka’s most celebrated national park, with lunch en route. Arrive at Yala in the late afternoon, with time for a short nature walk, and check in to the Cinnamon Wild Yala Hotel, your base for three nights.

Day 14: Yala National Park

Accommodation: Cinnamon Wild Yala Hotel

Take morning and afternoon safaris into Yala; with over 100,000 hectares of thorn scrub and coastal wetlands, this park boasts the highest density of leopards in Asia. It is also home to healthy populations of wild water buffalo, Asian elephants, and spotted deer.

Day 15: Yala National Park / Tissa

Accommodation: Cinnamon Wild Yala Hotel

Enjoy your last safari in Yala, before an afternoon visit to the wetlands of Tissa to seek out colorful wetland birds including storks, egrets, herons, and kingfishers.

Day 16: Yala National Park / Bundala National Park / Mirissa

Accommodation: Mirissa Mandara Resort

After breakfast drive to nearby Bundala National Park, famous for its concentrations of shorebirds and waterbirds. Resident painted storks and gray-headed fish eagles are joined by migrant shorebirds, terns, and ospreys, while the surrounding thorn bush supports chestnut-headed and green bee-eaters, and Sri Lanka woodshrikes. Make a stop for lunch in Tangalle then continue westward to Mirissa and check in to the beachside Mandara Resort.

Day 17: Mirissa

Accommodation: Mirissa Mandara Resort

Southern Sri Lanka is one of the very best places in the world to encounter blue whales. Enjoy a morning cruise to view these leviathans, along with the spinner dolphins that are often sighted here.

Day 18-19: Mirissa / Colombo / USA

Accommodation: Gateway Airport Garden Hotel

This morning enjoy a second whale-watching cruise. In the early afternoon drive to Colombo and check in to The Gateway Airport Garden Hotel for dinner and a chance to relax. Board your late evening flight, arriving in the USA the next day.


Checking price
Price From $ 10,480
Price Per Day: $ 552 per day
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Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 14

Trip ID#:


Trip Excludes

  • All air transportation
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Trip insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages, e-mail/fax/telephone charges

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