Sri Lanka Hidden Trails
Sri Lanka has so many hidden nature hiking trails, that few people have ever trekked. No Roads Expeditions has just opened up these trails and we are so excited to show you this side of Sri Lanka that has remained hidden for so long. If you love hiking in nature and would like to be introduced to Sri Lanka's wildlife, mountains and jungles, all part of a fully guided small group tour, then this is the Sri Lankan adventure you have been dreaming of. This expedition will be the first of many to come, so if you would like to be one of the first to explore the hidden trails of Sri Lanka, you have come to the right place. Welcome to No Roads Expeditions Hidden Trails of Sri Lanka.
- Trek the Knuckles Ranges staying in Luxury Tents
- Stay with the UNESCO World Heritage Site Horton Plains
- See Leopards, Sambar Deer, Eagles and more
- Traverse Adam's Peak, rarely done by visitors
- Ride a train through tea plantations and learn to cook in a local home
Sri Lanka is well known for it's wonderful beaches, tea plantations, Ayurveda, quaint hill towns and Buddhism. But Sri Lanka has another side; a wild, untamed side of rugged mountains, open plains and pristine rain forests. Through this landscape, there are hidden trails rarely trekked, other than by a local farmer or wandering monk. No Roads Expeditions is excited to offer you a way into this rugged side of Sri Lanka, all within the safety of a fully guided trekking tour.
Our expedition starts, of course, in the heart of Sri Lanka, Colombo where you will be shown Colombo's many sides and deep history, from Indian princes to the English and ultimately independence. We will visit a local market, drink at what was once the world's most exclusive hotel (where you had to apply to stay the night) and see the very cafe where Duran Duran filmed "Hungry Like a Wolf".
From Colombo, we head for Kandy, in the foothills of the central mountain range of Sri Lanka. Kandy is the last place of king rule, the holy resting place of the Temple of the Tooth and houses the most sacred Buddhist temple in all of Sri Lanka. We will stay in the same bungalow Lord Mountbatten stayed in during WWII and visit the Temple of the Tooth before we start our trekking the next day.
The first part of our trekking expedition is within the Knuckles Range, a rugged mountain range girt by tea plantations. We will traverse the range making summits of the first 2 knuckles of the range. We will overnight in our luxury tented camp, with built in shower and toilet facilities and wonderful large stretcher beds. We will also explore the tea plantation surrounding this area and attend a cooking display in the home of a local family.
From the Knuckles Ranges, we will take a train from Nuwara Eliya to Ohiya through beautiful tea plantations and small villages. From the train station we trek to a wonderful guest house overlooking deep ravines and valleys.
From Ohiya we hike into the World Heritage Site of Horton Plains. While this place is famous for the World's End trail, we are here to seek out Leopards and Sambar Deer. We have exclusive access to the basic accommodation here so that we have a chance to witness wildlife in the park at night and early morning. We will also trek to Sri Lanka's second highest peak, Kirigalpotha.
Our final trekking expedition is to traverse Adams Peak or Sri Pada, one of Sri Lanka's most sacred and spectacular mountains. While the trek up the 5000 plus steps will be with thousands of others, we will cross over the mountain and head down along a rugged natural trail only a few people do each year.
This is a truly unique Sri Lankan adventure. If you love nature, trekking and wildlife then don't miss out on this exclusive expedition along Sri Lanka's Hidden Trails.
For those who want to stay on for a Safari or a beach getaway afterwards please let us know because life is all about balance!
Day 1: Airport / Colombo
Day 2: Colombo
Day 3: Colombo to Kandy
Day 4: Kandy to Knuckles Ranges
Day 5: Knuckles Ranges Trek
Day 6: Knuckles to Ohiya
Day 7: Ohiya to Horton Plains
Day 8: Horton Plains trek to Kirigalpotha
Day 9: Horton Plains to Adam's Peak
Day 10: Traverse Adam's Peak then to Rathnapura
Day 11: Rathnapura to Colombo
Day 12: Colombo to next destination
If you would like to extend your trip please let us know as we can transfer you to where you need to go before you reach Colombo.
No Single Supplement can be applied to this trip due to the nature of accommodation along the way. Prices are based on twin share.
Note: For those that wish to do a beach getaway we suggest the southern and west coast beaches at this time of year around Galle. For those wishing to do a Safari, Yala is excellent this time of year.
This expedition is open between January - April for all group sizes of 4 or more. If the advertised dates do not suit, please contact the office on 03 9598 8581.
Despite its small size, Sri Lanka boasts one of the highest rates of biological endemism in the world, whether in plants or animals and is included among the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world. Sri Lanka boasts ninety-one species of mammals including the Asian elephant, sloth bear, leopards, sambar and wild buffaloes.
Despite the mighty elephants and rare amphibians found in the country, birds are the glory of Sri Lanka's wildlife. Boasting nearly 433 bird species of which 233 are residents of Sri Lanka and 20 are endemic.
SRI LANKA TOURIST VISA
Visa applications for Sri Lanka is a quick and simple online process with applications usually processed within 24 hours. Cost is approximately $35 USD. Passport and flight details are required to lodge an application.
Day 1 - Airport – Colombo– 40 Km 1hrs
Arrival at the airport of Colombo (BIA) (Airline to be confirmed)
Our Airport representative will greet guests in the arrival area after customs, with a garland of flowers
Transfer to Colombo
Relax by the pool
Dinner and Overnight Stay at hotel
Day 2 - Colombo Town Tour
Breakfast at the hotel
Guided City tour of Colombo in the morning (around 2-3 hours). Start city tour around 9 AM
Free time in the afternoon in Colombo.
Dinner & overnight stay at hotel
Day 3 - Colombo - Kandy 120 kms 03h By vehicle
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Kandy by Sea Plane. This is a wonderful way to get around. When we land in Kandy we will transfer to the Mountbatten Bungalow.
Transfer to hotel
Lunch at the hotel (Rooms available after Midday)
Panoramic city tour of Kandy in the afternoon then we will visit Kandy the Temple of the Tooth, a temple where one of Buddha's molars is said to rest.
Dinner and Overnight stay at Hotel
Return to hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
Day 4 - Kandy-Panwilla– 20 Km 1hrs 15min, Panwilla - Thangappuwa– 25 Km 1hrs 25min (Slowness due to road conditions)
Picnic Breakfast at the hotel
Leave hotel 5h30 AM, Transfer to Panwilla
Start trekking Knuckles (Approximate time around 7-8 hours), Climbing from Panwilla and descending from Thangappuwa (using 2 different trails)
Picnic lunch during the course of the trekking.
Transfer back from descending location to our Luxury tented campsite. We will have a BBQ meal prepared by our chef.
Overnight at campsite
Day 5 - Trek through tea plantation and cooking demonstration.
Early Breakfast at the campsite
Trek through the tea plantations and small villages from Knuckles campsite, trekking around 14 kms
Cooking demo at the village house.
Lunch at the village house.
Transfer back in a vehicle to the campsite, around 20 kms drive to the campsite, around 1h drive
Dinner and Overnight stay. (Knuckles Luxury Camp Site)
Day 6 - Thangappuwa – Nanu Oya 125 kms -4h by vehicle, Nanu oya - Ohiya– 1 h by local train
Early Breakfast at the campsite
Transfer to Nuwara Eliya by vehicle
We will arrive at Nanu Oya station for local train to take us to Ohiya Station, one of Sri Lank's highest rail stations. From there we will trek to the Ohiya Lodge with a warm welcoming tea and awesome views over the valley below. This is a family run lodge so we will all dine together in a very warm and family atmosphere.
Dinner & overnight stay
Day 7 - Ohiya-Horton Plains– (this stretch is done as part of trekking)
AM and PM
Breakfast at the hotel
Reminiscent of treks in Europe, this 8 kilometre walk will take us through agricultural land and finally into the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Horton Plains. We will have lunch along the way.
Once we are in the park, we will see sweeping open plains once home to over 150 wild elephants before the British hunted them. It is now home to Sambar Deer and the mighty Leopard.
At 6pm all visitors are asked to leave the park, but we will have special access staying inside the park at the Circuit Bungalows. The bungalows are situated in an open plain giving us excellent vantage points to see wildlife. We will have night vision monoculars to hopefully witness a Leopard hunt.
Samba Deer abound here.
Day 8 - Trek to Kirigalportha Sri Lanka's Second highest peak.
Early morning Leopard watching from the location before departing for trek. This is an excellent location to see Leopards in the morning.
The entrance to Kirigalpotha is the same as the World's End trail however while 1000's of people head to World's End, we will head along a beautiful trail, through open plains and thick jungle. Wildlife spotting is very possible. And the views are amazing even across to our next destinations, the jutting summit of Adam's Peak. Lunch will be had at the summit, what a place to eat.
Dinner at the Circuit Bungalows
Day 9 - Horton Plains – Nallathanniya 100 km -3h30 min by vehicle
Another chance for some early morning Leopard watching from our Bungalow. Then before the crowds get in we will trek Worlds End. This is a wonderful trail past waterfalls and then (if the weather is kind) to what seems to be the end of the world with a drop off of over 800 meters below down to the valley floor. It is breathtaking in more ways than one.
From there we head back to the Bungalows and then transfer to Nallathanniya
Arrival to hotel in Nallathanniya
Lunch at the hotel
Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel (Punsisi or similar )
Day 10 -Nallathanniya -Rathnapura– 130 Km
Trek to Adams Peak leave at 4am with picnic breakfast packet. This is a pretty long walk, mostly in the dark. However, you will be joined by 1000's of other pilgrims heading for the summit of Sri Pada. They say that every Sri Lankan must climb Sri Pada at least once in their life. A large bell at the top is rung for every time you have visited Sri pada.
Expecting reach summit at 7am.
Picnic Breakfast On the way
Leave 8am climbing down to Ratnapura via the Kuruwita Trail. The Kuruwita Trail is a steep and rugged trail that meanders down through rainforests, along the river and through very small hamlets. It is rarely used and is a wonderful though tiring conclusion to our trekking expedition.
Transfer to hotel around 30 min drive
Dinner and Overnight stay (Serenity Lakes hotel)
Day 11 - Rathnapura – Colombo– 95 kms 2h30 min
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Colombo
Arrive and check in to hotel (Rooms available after midday)
Free time for shopping or relax at the hotel
Dinner and Overnight stay (Cinnamon Lakeside)
Day 12 - Home or next destination (maybe a beach or a safari)
Breakfast at the hotel (depends on the departure flight timing)
Vacate rooms by Midday
Transfer to airport.
Note 1: Above mention timings are approximate and subject to change due to traffic, weather condition or unexpected interruptions on the road.
Note 2: All visitors to religious sites are expected to be unshod and have their heads uncovered. It is advised to be decently clad when visiting religious sites and any place of worship. Sun and beachwear is not the ideal for temples and shrines. Briefs, shorts, bare shoulders and backs may not be appreciated. Proper and decently covered dress code is appreciated.
NB: On Poya days which are the day of the Full Moon, it is forbidden to serve or sell alcohol. Hence the consumption of alcohol can only be done in private away from the public on this day.
Welcome assistance and transfers on arrival and on departure.
- Fully guided
- Nature Guide and First Aid Assistant on all trekking portions
- Meals as per itinerary
- Accommodation on Half Board basis through-out.
- Transport in an a/c vehicle with an English speaking guide.
- Visits / activities according to the program.
- Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the above itinerary.
- International Airfares
- Airport Tax
- Travel Insurance for your trip
- Alcoholic beverages
- Hiking equipment
- Photo and video camera permits at the sites