Explore the main highlights of the Cultural Triangle and experience history, culture and wildlife followed by a stay in a unique property on one of Sri Lanka's finest beaches.
3 nights Cultural Triangle, including breakfast and excursions; 7 nights Jungle Beach Resort, including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers plus a night in Colombo.
13 days from £2,835pp
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On the beach - 8 days
Nestled between the Indian Ocean and a lagoon brimming with colourful birdlife, Jungle Beach is a wonderful escape for those seeking to get off the beaten track.
Set among mature trees and cradled by vines from the neighbouring mangroves, this tranquil retreat is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Teak walkways and stepping stones lead to the dining area, then on to the lotus pond, bar and floating lounge by the deep emerald pool. If you can tear yourself away, the hotel sits overlooking one of Sri Lanka’s best swimming beaches and offers excellent snorkelling in the calm seas of the natural harbour. You can take a boat to nearby Pigeon Island for some reef diving or go into the forest with the in-house naturalist to learn about the myriad colourful birds. Dining here is a treat and along with sophisticated Sri Lankan cuisine in the elegant restaurant you can enjoy a gourmet picnic on the beach or a romantic meal by the fire.
Using local materials but contemporary design, the rooms here are decorated in bright colours and feature dark wooden fittings and whitewashed walls. All come with a private balcony perfectly situated for birdwatching.
Before the beach - 4 days
The Cultural Triangle is an extraordinary area with four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit the ancient holy city of Anuradhapura and nearby Mihintale, the birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism. See the Vessagiriya cave monastery and the incredible frescoes of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. In Polonnaruwa the remains of temples, bath houses and monasteries are scattered around a huge area bordering a beautiful lake. You can also visit Minneriya or Kaudulla National Parks to view elephant, wildcat and birdlife.
Cinnamon Lodge is set in extensive landscaped gardens and within easy reach of the main sights. The hotel’s 137 rooms are in two-storey chalets that follow the traditional architectural style with columns and verandas, cooling terracotta floors and clay roof tiles.
48 rooms, 1 restaurant, 1 pool
Set in a secluded 10-acre reserve between the Indian Ocean and a bird-filled lagoon, this luxury beach hotel has over four kilometres of private beaches. Careful use of trees, plant life, teak and stone in the hotel’s design gives its 48 rooms the feel of a rustic but luxurious jungle house.
The open air restaurant on the deck overlooking the swimming pool is complemented by six separate areas for private dining.
The swimming pool with floating deck for loungers, a linked baby pool and a fitness centre are all on-site. A wide range of water sports activities is available from the hotel’s beaches and there is a 9-hole golf course in nearby Trincomalee.
The hotel has recently been accredited as a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Babysitting services are available on request.
The hotel is in the little coastal village of Kuchchaveli, on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Its grounds are ideal for peaceful nature walks or gentle cycle rides and the extensive beaches are completely private. Trincomalee is 27 km away.
This is a charming and remote boutique hotel that makes the most of its natural surroundings to blend into the jungle.
It is fairly remote, so not for those that want endless facilities and night life, but perfect for those looking to relax and get away from it all.
The hotel’s 48 air conditioned rooms, reached by teak walkways and stone steps, give a choice of being steps from the beach or the lagoon or being fully immersed in the jungle.
You can choose between Lagoon Cabins, Jungle Cabins, Beach cabins and Jungle Cluster Cabins.
All rooms have shower and balcony, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, free wireless internet, TV, Stereo/DVD player and dock.
These are based in a two storey building. On the first floor the rooms have twin beds and lagoon views. On the ground floor the rooms have king beds with jungle views.
Jungle Cabins are 650 square foot and stand alone, offering total privacy.
One has twin beds and twelve have a king size double bed. All cabins have an inside and an outside rain showers and the outdoor living area has two day beds, a dining table and chairs.
Beach Cabins are steps from the Indian Ocean.
They are 650 square feet in size with vaulted ceilings, roofs thatched with Iluk leaves and a private outdoor terrace. Flooring is of highly polished cement; furnishings are of organic cotton complemented by Sri Lankan artefacts. All cabins have an inside and an outside shower and their own private walkway to the seashore.
Jungle Cluster Cabin
The Jungle Cluster is a cluster of three cabins, each 650 square feet, allowing groups to share. All cabins have a double bed. There is a private pool that can be used by all three rooms.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
Bicycles are available free of charge for cycling in the grounds but a charge is made for use further afield.
Water sports that are available include jet skiing, sailing, snorkelling, scuba and snuba diving and fishing.
The beach is ideal for a variety of games including volleyball and cricket, and also for sand sculpture. Body boards, snorkelling equipment and sand building kits are provided at no charge.
There is a nine hole golf course at a Trincomalee, 45 km away.
The hotel has a fully equipped fitness centre; library books and DVDs are available at no charge.
The hotel can arrange diving and snorkelling. The nearby Pigeon Island National Park with its coral reef is one of the best known snorkelling sites in Asia.
Food & drink
The main restaurant, on a covered terrace overlooking the pool and gardens, serves Sri Lankan, Western, Eastern, Indian and seafood menus and is open from 7.00am to 11.00pm.
There are six separate areas for private dining in secluded locations by the beach, on the decking, in the gardens and by the pool.
A small spa is available.
The northernmost point on the Cultural Triangle, and the site of a 4th century BC settlement, the ruins at Anuradhapura are still considered a holy city to Buddhists. Dozens of worshippers bring offerings of flowers to give to the saffron robed monks, and tie new scraps of fabric to the huge Bodhi tree, thought to have been grown as a cutting from the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. A cutting from this tree has, in turn, been returned to Varanasi and now attracts devotees on the Ganges. Several huge dagobas, bell shaped brick structures holding relics of the Buddha, are set around deep tanks, or reservoirs, where monks would have once bathed.
Accommodation: Cinnamon Lodge
Located only 30 minutes from the main sites in the Cultural Triangle, Cinnamon Lodge has recently been refurbished and is set in 12 acres of landscaped gardens replete with botanical splendour. Its nearby wooded parkland and lake behold a plethora of endemic flora and fauna.
Recreation and entertainment abound with boating, tennis, badminton, birdwatching as well as occasional live music in the evenings. There are 150 rooms in two-storey chalets which follow the traditional architectural style with columns and verandahs, cooling terracotta floors and clay tiles on the roof.
Each has en suite bathrooms and a veranda or balcony overlooking the lake or garden. The room interiors follow a traditional colour palate of ochre, saffron and olive green with antique bed heads, couches and planter's chairs.
Day by day
Overnight flight to Colombo
After your arrival you will be met by our friendly representative who will drive you to Vil Uyana. This is at a beautiful location in the heart of the Cultural Triangle not far from Sigiriya Rock.
Your driver will meet you at your hotel and take you for a visit to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress followed by an exploration of the ancient Dambulla Cave Temple, filled with around 150 Buddha images.
Today you will be taken to the fascinating ancient city of Polonnaruwa and then later in the afternoon you will proceed to a national park for a safari searching for the wild Indian elephant.
After a leisurely start in the morning your driver will drive you to Jungle Beach where you will have the next seven nights to relax and enjoy its idyllic setting.
Days 6 - 11
Time at leisure
In the afternoon the hotel will organise a transfer for you to the airport of Trincomalee for you to catch the short flight back to Ratmalana in Colombo. From here you will be taken to the Wallawwa which is not far from the airport.
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Tailoring your trip
This itinerary is designed to give you a flavour of what is possible.
We can tailor this trip to suit your specific requirements
Any aspect of the itinerary can be altered, from excursions to accommodation
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