New Paths Expeditions

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Sri Lanka Private Expedition

Sri Lanka Private Expedition

Wild Sri Lanka Expedition! The natural wonders and culture of the country will take your breath away. You will be astonished that such a relatively small geographic area can contain such a diversity of wildlife – not only Sri Lankan elephants, but leopards, sloth bears, and the rare slender Loris among so many others. The number of well kept Unesco World Heritage Sites is impressive, the food amazing and locals truly welcoming. Sri Lanka is one of the greatest travel destinations today.
  • Sri Lankan Leopard

Sri Lanka Private Expedition

Situated off the southeastern tip of India in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a tropical island that comes close to being a paradise for wildlife and remote cultures enthusiasts.

The architectural heritage of Sri Lanka, comprising temples, cities, monasteries, and palaces, are some of the most impressive ever made by humans, and, gladly, they have been carefully restored and preserved.

It’s a land of ‘never winter’ where blue ocean waters wash beautiful sandy beaches the color of gold, and where locals receive visitors with open arms and big smiles.

The natural wonders and wildlife of the country will take your breath away. You will be astonished that such a relatively small geographic area can contain such a diversity of wildlife – not only Sri Lankan elephants, but leopards, sloth bears, and the rare slender Loris among so many others. An extensive list of endemic Birds and rare amphibians round out the land-based fauna, and the ocean waters abound in dolphins and whales. NOTE: Sri Lanka Yala National Park has the highest density of Leopards in the world!

One of the fabled Spice Islands, Sri Lanka was visited over the centuries by Arab traders, Chinese merchants, and European explorers in search of rare spices. Sri Lankan food is a highlight of the destination and an excellent showcase of this riches. Ceylon tea will take us back to colonial periods and help us get in close contact with the local culture.

The New Paths Expeditions journey to Sri Lanka will provide you with an adventure like no other: well paced, packed with content, led by an NPE’s Sri Lanka Head Naturalist, using fine hotels (Several 5-star) and top class transportation.

Check this website for more details, download the complete itinerary or call us now to speak with a destination specialist: 888 832 7280


  • Explore the Cultural Triangle in detail, visiting its three UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Anuradhapura)
  • Birdwatch and search for endemic loris in the central part of the Island
  • Close contact with locals by spending quality time at a local village
  • Visit the best spice garden in the country and enjoy a cooking class
  • Kandy cultural event and visit the famous temple of the tooth
  • Travel by first class trains up to the tea country
  • Stay at the British-classic Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
  • Enjoy birding, wildlife viewing and botanizing at Horton Plains National Park
  • Safari at Undawalawa, the park with the highest concentration of wild Sri Lankan Elephants!
  • Spend two nights at Yala National Park with safaris. Yala has the highest concentration of Leopards in the World!
  • Birdwatching and botanizing at Bundala Park (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve)
  • Whale excursion from Mirissa. Multiple species
  • Visit Galle Fort, A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore Colombo highlights
  • Sinharaja National Park, the best birding destination, filled with endemics
  • Travel with one of the most recognized naturalists in the country.

Main Expedition


Day 1: Arrive in Colombo

Upon your arrival at the Colombo International Airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Negombo.In the evening, you will meet with your Senior Leader and Local Head Naturalist for a complete expedition briefing followed by a cocktail and a welcome dinner.

Overnight at Suriya Hotel. (D)


Day 2: Habarana and Sigiriya

You will leave in the morning towards Habarana, the city that will be your base to explore Sri Lanka’s impressive cultural triangle. You will stop along the way several times for cultural and wildlife experiences.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most important archeological destination in Sri Lanka. You will have the chance to climb to the top and admire the remains of the palace, the frescoes, and the top gardens.

Overnight at Cinnamon Lodge. (B, L, D)


Day 3: Polonnaruwa and Loris night excursion

You will drive to Polonnaruwa to visit this ancient city, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Habarana and enjoy an amazing typical Sri Lanka lunch.

In the afternoon, you will visit a local village to interact with locals, learn their uses, customs, and traditions.
During the late evening, you will go to Popham Arboretum for superb bird and wildlife watching, including a fascinating Loris-watching excursion with a knowledgeable local specialist.

Overnight at Cinnamon Lodge. (B, L, D)


Day 4: Anuradhapura and Aukana

Today, you will drive to Anuradhapura to visit its ancient city (UNESCO World Heritage Site). You will learn why the place is so meaningful for the Buddhists, Tamils, and Hindus alike.

After lunch, you will continue to the impressive Aukana Temple. The Aukana Buddha Statue is 36 feet high and represents a Buddha in Asisa mudra or the “posture of blessing”, and is carved out of a single rock boulder.

Overnight at Cinnamon Lodge. (B, L, D)


Day 5: Dambulla, Matale, and Kandy

After breakfast, you will drive to Dambulla and visit the Golden Temple. The temple is Sri Lanka’s most popular historic site.

After your visit to the Golden Temple, you will travel to Matale to visit the Spice Garden where you will learn about the local spices and herbs, and their incredible medicinal and cosmetic values. You will share a traditional Sri Lankan cookery demonstration followed by a delicious lunch.

Then you leave for Kandy where you will take a tuk-tuk tour to attend a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing, and visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic complex.

Overnight at Kandy Cinnamon Lodge. (B, L, D)


Day 6: Kandy, Train Ride to Nanu Oya, and Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast, you leave for Peradeniya railway station to board the scenic train “Nanu Oya” in a first class coach. This is the most beautiful train ride in Sri Lanka and will provide great interactions with locals and their culture.

Upon arrival, you will travel to Nuwara Eliya, located in the heart of Sri Lankan hill country, with lush green tea plantations carpeting the rolling hills.

Overnight at the Grand Hotel. (B, L, D)


Day 7: Horton Plains National Park and Nuwara Eliya

Today it will be an early departure for Horton Plains National Park with a packed breakfast. You will enjoy an extraordinary morning of birding and photography at Horton Plains.

Return to the hotel for lunch, and afternoon at leisure follows, to enjoy the calm and charming environment of your British colonial style hotel.

You will meet again in the evening for a city tour of Nuwara Eliya where many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period.

Overnight at the Grand Hotel. (B, L, D)


Day 8: Tea Plantation, Udawalawe National Park, and Yala

After breakfast, you will visit a local tea plantation and factory to see the process of producing one of the finest tea in the world. Nowadays, Sri Lankan tea is considered to be one of the best varieties in the world.

You will drive to Udawalawe for lunch.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a safari at Udawalawe National Park. This is an important habitat for water birds and several mammal species, including Sri Lankan elephants!

In the evening drive to Yala.

Overnight at Cinnamon Wild Hotel. (B, L, D)


Day 9: Yala National Park

You will leave the hotel in the early morning with a packed breakfast for your first safari at Yala National Park. Among its more famous residents are the populations of leopards, majestic elephants, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted dear, peacocks, and crocodiles. Yale has the highest concentration of leopards in the world!

Lunch at the hotel.

Second safari at Yala National Park in the late afternoon. In the evening; you will listen to an exciting lecture on leopards by your master naturalist.

Overnight at Cinnamon Wild Hotel. (B, L, D)


Day 10: Bundala National Park and Mirissa

Today you will explore another National Park, Bundala . In 2005 the National Park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, as it is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds with no less than 197 species found here, the highlight being the greater flamingo.

Transfer to Mirissa.

Overnight at Mandara Resort Mirissa. (B, L, D)


Day 11: Whale Watching Excursion, and Galle

You will leave the hotel in the early morning for a spectacular whale watching excursion. The chances of spotting the whales are about 90%. Blue whales, Bryde’s whales, pilot whales, sperm whales, and fin whales are the most commonly seen species.

Return to the hotel for lunch.

In the afternoon, you will visit Galle Fort. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

Overnight at Mandara Resort Mirissa. (B, L, D)


Day 12: Colombo, Katunayake, and Fly US

After breakfast, it will be time to drive back to Colombo, a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings. During your journey around the city, you will witness many interesting sights and places, such as Independence Square, the Old Parliament Building, and Galle Face Green, all of which are a representation of Sri Lanka’s colorful character.

Then you will be ready for your farewell lunch at a first class restaurant.

And transfer to the airport or continue with the extension to Sinharaja. (B, L)

The Extension: Sinharaja Birding Extension

Three days of outstanding endemic wildlife encounters

Day 12: Mirissa and Sinharaja Wildlife

After breakfast at 7.30 AM, you will undertake a 4 hour, 30 minute drive to Sinharaja. Lunch at the hotel.

During the afternoon, you will conduct your first birdwatching excursion at the incredible Sinharaja Reserve (a UNESCO Wildlife Heritage Site). Sinharaja is the country’s last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic. There is a lot of native wildlife, especially birds. The reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s native species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles, and rare amphibians.

Dinner and overnight at the Blue Magpie Basic Lodge (B, L, D).


Day 13: Sinharaja Wildlife

Early breakfast followed by a full-day bird watching at Sinharaja Rain Forest and surrounding forests of the lodge. You will be accompanied by your Master Local Naturalist, who is a specialist in birds. The Sinharaja Reserve is the home of 19 of Sri Lanka’s 20 species of endemic bird species, many of which are endangered, including the Ceylon hanging parrot (Loriculus beryllinus), the Ceylon grey hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis), the ashy-headed laughing thrush (Garrulax cinereifrons), Layard’s parakeet (Psittacula calthripae), the jungle fowl (Gallus lafayetii ), the spur fowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata), the Ceylon wood pigeon (Columba torringtonii), the brown-capped babbler (Pellorneum fuscocapillum), the red-faced malkoha (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus) and, of course, the Ceylon blue magpie (Urocissa ornate).

Dinner and overnight at Blue Magpie Lodge (B, L, D).


Day 14: Colombo and Fly Back Home

After breakfast, drive to Colombo and enjoy a short city tour and lunch before driving to Katunayake and check in at the Airport Garden Hotel. We have included a day-use room so you can prepare for your flight back to the US. In the late evening, transfer to the airport and fly back to the US (B, L.)

Important Note:

The Sri Lanka Expedition has been crafted in detail, following the ideal pacing for the destination. However, unpredictable circumstances such as weather, flight delays or cancellations, labor strikes, road conditions, traffic, hotel overbookings, and other factors may force adjusting the program on site. These events or realities are out of our control and an inherent risk when traveling, especially on expeditions to this kind of remote destinations. Your Expedition Leader might also decide to alter the program in case opportunities to improve the cultural or wildlife experiences are found. Please note that the expedition leader and hotels could change without notice due to conditions beyond our control. No refunds will be given for program changes beyond the control of New Paths Expeditions.


This expedition can depart on the day of your preference, between November to March.


Prices from:


Note: All prices are in US$, per person, and based on double occupancy.
These prices do not apply for departures between December 20th to January 15th,
if you would like to travel during those dates, surcharges may apply.
Call your Travel Agent or us for details.

Prices are subject to change depending on availability.
Talk to an expert for more information.


Included in Land Cost:

  • Services of an English-speaking Local Head Naturalist (Rahula is one of the most recognized naturalists of the country and has worked in several continents).
  • Services of local guides.
  • All ground transportation (Including airport transfers) if arriving on day one, and leaving on the last day (If you arrive before day 1, or leave after the expedition ended, extra charges for airport transfers may apply).
  • Safari vehicles excursions ay Udawalawa, Bundle and Yala National Parks (Please note that this are open vehicles and thus, do not have A/C)
  • Accommodations as noted.
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees, and visits as noted.
  • Meals as noted.
  • Bottled water at included meals, transfers and tours.
  • Services of transfer assistants, drivers, and local staff.
  • Gratuities for luggage porters, transfer assistants and restaurant staff.

Not Included:

  • International flights.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Gratuity for Local Guides; Drives and Expedition Leader.
  • Personal expenses and incidentals, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, e-mail, and laundry.
  • Trip cancellation, travel delay, and baggage loss insurance.

Deposits and final payments:

  • A deposit of US$ 1500.00 per participant is required at the time of booking.
  • The remaining balance will be charged 120 days before the expedition begins.
Download the Complete Expedition Details


“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!”
Jack N. Douglas-CO

“Our three expeditions with you were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!”
Harriet T. Saugerties-NY

“NPE always provides excellent expedition guiding services where ever in the world we go. They attend to every detail, and NPE always has surprising added elements that are delightful. The best!”
Charlene P. La Jolla-CA

“Well planned, good local guides, top expedition leader. The trip far exceeded all expeditions.”
Frederic K. Orange-CA

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