Perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, this jam-packed 12-day itinerary highlights Sri Lanka's most dramatic and diverse landscapes. Hike to five of the country's most scenic waterfalls, raft down the raging Kelani River, see rare wildlife in Horton Plains and Udawalawe National Parks, and end your adventure with some well-earned downtime on the white sand beaches of Weligama.


  • Hike to breathtaking views from Sri Lanka's tallest waterfall
  • Raft down the exhilarating rapids of the Kelaniya River
  • Explore the mountain paradise of Nuwara Eliya
  • Spot diverse wildlife in Horton Plains & Udawalawe National Parks
  • Unwind on the Indian Ocean beaches of Weligama

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Negombo Negombo
Day 2 Transfer to Kitulgala, Whitewater Rafting Adventure Kitulgala
Day 3 Rain Forest Trekking in Kitulgala Kitulgala
Day 4 Transfer to Nuwara Eliya, Hike to Devon & St. Clair Waterfalls Nuwara Eliya
Day 5 Discover Horton Plains National Park, Explore Nuwara Eliya  Nuwara Eliya
Day 6 Transfer to Haputale, Hike to Diyaluma Waterfall Haputhale
Day 7 Hike to Bambarakanda, Sri Lanka's Tallest Waterfall Haputale
Day 8 Visit Lipton's Seat & Tea Estate Haputale
Day 9 Transfer to Udawalawe National Park & Wildlife Safari Udawalawe
Day 10 Transfer to Weligama via Galle Weligama
Day 11 Relax on the Beach at Weligama Weligama
Day 12 Transfer to Colombo & Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Negombo

Colorful boats along Negombo's canal
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at the Colombo Airport, you'll be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel in the laid-back beach town of Negombo. Known as “Little Rome” for its strong Catholic influence, Negombo transitioned over the centuries through Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial rule. Today its sandy beaches, welcoming locals, meandering canals, and colorful streets make it the perfect spot to enjoy your first evening in Sri Lanka.

Day 2: Transfer to Kitulgala, Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Experience the adrenaline rush of whitewater rafting down the Kelani River
After breakfast this morning, your driver will be waiting to transfer you inland to the small town of Kitulgala. Set within an incredible wet zone rain forest, you might recognize this lush region as the filming location of David Lean’s 1957 epic, Bridge on the River Kwai. The area's many nature trails and forests are ideal for bird watching, and rocky gorges and rushing rivers make it a prime spot for canyoneering and world-class whitewater rafting.
After settling into your accommodations, you'll prepare for an unforgettable whitewater rafting adventure down the nearby Kelani River. Suitable for both beginners and experts, the 90-minute runs travel along 4 miles (6.5 km) of incredible grade 2 and 3-rated rapids, with names like the "Rib Cage," "Head Chopper," and "Butter Crunch."

Day 3: Rain Forest Trekking in Kitulgala

Rain forest trail in Kitulgala
Trek through the lush rain forests around Kitulgala
Today a private driver will be at your disposal as you spend the day exploring the stunning rain forests of Kitulgala. Enjoy a guided hike through verdant forests, and climb to spellbinding views over the Kelani River Valley, the surrounding jungle, and the rocky hills of the Hill Country beyond. Walk through dense tea and rubber plantations, and continue through charming local communities to reach Beli Lena Caves, one of the largest prehistoric caves in Sri Lanka. Cool down with a refreshing dip under the waterfall that drops over the mouth of the main cave, then end your adventure at the towering 100-foot (30 m) Sandun Ella Waterfall, where you can soak in its natural infinity pool surrounded by panoramic views of the valley.

Day 4: Transfer to Nuwara Eliya, Hike to Devon & St. Clair Waterfalls

Trek to the "Little Niagara" of Sri Lanka
After breakfast, your private driver will pick you up for a scenic drive east into the beautiful tea country of Nuwara Eliya. Here another day of unforgettable trekking awaits, as you lace up your hiking boots and set out toward's two of Sri Lanka's most spectacular waterfalls. Your first stop is Devon Falls, known as the "Veil of the Valley," which plunges 318 feet (97 m). Then it's on to St. Clair's Falls, one of the widest waterfalls in the country and commonly known as the "Little Niagara of Sri Lanka." After an active afternoon of trekking, head to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya for a well-deserved rest.

Day 5: Discover Horton Plains National Park, Explore Nuwara Eliya 

Horton Plains national park
Sambar deer in the mist of Horton Plains National Park
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Today you'll explore the Unesco World Heritage Site of Horton Plains National Park, a reserve characterized by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills, forests, and grassland. It's home to various mammal species, including elk, deer, giant squirrel, wild boar, wild hare, porcupine, and leopard. The park also has unique vegetation and offers a perfect ground to observe many rare and endemic highland birds. One particularly impressive physical feature in Horton Plains is the escarpment that falls dramatically to the lowlands. Aptly known as the "World’s End," the precipice offers a fabulous view of the tea estates below. On a clear day, you can see all the way out to the distant southern coastline. 

The rest of the day is free to explore more of Nuwara Eliya. This magical highland town is situated high above sea level, so it has a climate unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Its misty altitudes and cooler temperatures make it a haven for growing colorful flowers and exquisitely flavored teas. Colonized by the British and often referred to as “Little England,” Nuwara Eliya still retains an old-world atmosphere. Famous for horse racing, the town also boasts an impressive golf club that dates back to 1889. Spend an afternoon discovering the town’s gardens, temples, museums, and tea plantations before settling in for a peaceful evening in the Hill Country.

Day 6: Transfer to Haputale, Hike to Diyaluma Waterfall

Climb to the top of Diyaluma Waterfall
After a leisurely breakfast in Nuwara Eliya, you'll say your goodbyes to the Hill Country as your driver picks you up for the transfer south to Haputale. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic drive. 
Upon arrival, you'll hit the trails again for another incredible trekking adventure. Your destination is Diyaluma Falls, the second-highest waterfall in the country. An enthralling and challenging hike takes you to the top of the 721-foot (220 m) drop, where several natural pools are surrounded by dense jungle and resplendent wilderness. Experience the thrill of swimming at the top of the towering natural wonder, before heading back to Haputale for the evening.

Day 7: Hike to Bambarakanda, Sri Lanka's Tallest Waterfall

Hike to the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka 
Today's trek takes you amongst the majestic mountains of Kalupahana in the Central Highlands to find the beautiful horsetail waterfall of Bambarakanda Ella. Descending 863 feet (263 m) down a vertical rock face, the island's tallest waterfall is situated among the steep pine-forested slopes of Badulla District. The area's panoramic views across the surrounding countryside make it an ideal setting for photography and picnics, and the natural pool complex at the base of the falls is a perfect spot to cool off after a strenuous hike. After another rewarding day of trekking, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to Haputale for the evening.

Day 8: Visit Lipton's Seat & Tea Estate

Views above the clouds at Lipton's Seat

Rise early this morning for the trip to Lipton’s Seat, one of Sri Lanka's most impressive viewpoints. The Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton used to survey his burgeoning empire from this lofty spot, and today you can enjoy similar views looking out across emerald hills and tea estates. Learn more about Sri Lanka's most famous export at the surrounding tea estate, where you'll tour the fields and factory and finish off the visit with a cup of world-class Ceylon tea before heading back to Haputale for the afternoon.

Day 9: Transfer to Udawalawe National Park & Wildlife Safari

Spot elephants in Udawalawe National Park
This morning you'll meet your driver for a transfer southwest toward Udawalawe National Park. After settling into your accommodations, journey into the heart of the park on an unforgettable wildlife safari. With an estimated 400 elephants living within the park's boundaries, you may be able to spot a herd gathering to feed and bath at a waterhole. Keep an eye out for water buffalo, monkeys, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, and even the occasional leopard. There are also many indigenous bird species like hornbills, eagles, and the distinctive red-faced malkoha.

Day 10: Transfer to Weligama via Galle

Tour the historic fortified city of Galle
Today's journey takes you southwest towards the coast, stopping along the way to explore the fascinating UNESCO-listed city of Galle. Step back in time as you explore its 300-year-old Dutch fortifications, surrounded on three sides by the Indian Ocean. After a tour of the city's remarkable historic past, you'll have time to explore its Dutch-colonial buildings, historic mosques, grand mansions, and museums. Wander the streets and you'll discover stylish cafes, shops, and boutique hotels owned by local and ex-pat artists and designers.
Back on the road, you'll continue to the coastal town of Weligama. Get settled into your hotel, then spend the rest of the afternoon discovering its spectacular beaches.

Day 11: Relax on the Beach at Weligama

Swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean at Weligama's beach
Spend today at your leisure, relaxing on Weligama's beautiful beaches and enjoying the sea, sand, and sun. If you tire of swimming and sunbathing, head out on a whale and dolphin watching expedition (depending on the season) or spend the afternoon sampling delicious Sri Lankan cuisine at the many local restaurants.

Day 12: Transfer to Colombo & Departure

Sunset over Weligama

After breakfast (and maybe one last morning at the beach) it's time to meet your driver for the transfer back to Colombo Airport and your departing flight. Safe travels!

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