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Rural Sri Lanka: off the beaten track
8 days from CAD4,680pp
Relax on a coconut plantation.
Explore some of Sri Lanka's cultural treasures.
Stay in a lodge built out of mud in the heart of rural Sri Lanka.
Enjoy the sunshine on untouched beaches.
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Day 1 Wadumunnegedara
Colombo , Wadumunnegedara
On arrival in Colombo you will be met by one of our representatives and then driven to your accommodation in the countryside. Horathapola Estate is an old planter's house set in the middle of a coconut plantation, surrounded by paddy fields.
Day 2 Wadumunnegedara
Visit Yapahuwa this morning. Built around a granite rock, the remnants of this city show where one of the ancient capitals of medieval Sri Lanka once was. Explore with your chauffeur-guide before returning to Horathapola to relax this afternoon. The swimming pool and gardens are ideal to unwind.
Day 3 Pallepolla
Wadumunnegedara , Pallepolla
After a leisurely breakfast you will be driven (approximately three hours) to your next hotel, a farmstay which is more luxurious than it sounds - an Audley favourite. Jim's Farm is a wonderful base for exploring within the cultural triangle. En route you will have chance to stop for photo opportunities or for a refreshment break.
Day 4 Pallepolla
This morning you will visit Sigiriya Rock accompanied by your chauffeur guide, who will be able to provide you with the history of the rock as you admire the views on the top. Ensure you wear sensible shoes and take water with you - although not the easiest of climbs, the views reward your hard work. Afterwards you will visit the Dambulla Caves, dating back to the 1st Century. All of the caves contain varying sizes of statues of Buddha and several have impressive ceiling frescos.
Day 5 Pallepolla
Today you will visit nearby Aluvihara and Matale. In Aluvihara, you can spend time exploring the rock temple, which is said to date back to the 1st Century BC. If you like temples, the Sri Muthumariamman Temple in Matale is also worth seeing. Otherwise, Matale is well known for its spice markets, which are fun to explore.
Day 6 Pallepolla
Your chauffeur guide will collect you after breakfast and accompany you to Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka's second capital. The drive there takes around 90 minutes. The ancient city ruins have a mix of both Buddhist and Hindu influence, and are a great place to learn more about the history of Sri Lanka.
Day 7 Anamaduwa
Pallepolla , Anamaduwa
This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, you will drive north to The Mudhouse. The drive will take around three hours, but you will get to see more of the lovely Sri Lankan scenery en route. On arrival you will be made to feel very welcome by the staff who will show you to your accommodation for the next two nights.
Day 8 Anamaduwa
Enjoy a leisurely day today taking in the surroundings of The Mudhouse. You can take kayaks out onto the lake, borrow bicycles to explore, or if you are interested in learning about Sri Lankan cookery you would be most welcome in the kitchen to watch or help out.
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