Walking in Sri Lanka: Along the Pekoe Trail

Suggested Itinerary

Overview

Explore the timeless beauty of Sri Lanka's hill country with a journey along part of the Pekoe Trail, a newly-developed 300km-long hiking odyssey that weaves through the lush tea plantations, local villages, and scenic railway routes of this enchanting region. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of tea cultivation dating back to the mid-19th century, as you traverse the verdant landscapes that have long captivated travellers from around the world.

The Pekoe Trail helps empower local ...

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Suggested Itinerary

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

Day 1 Colombo – Kandy: Arrival

Day 1 Colombo – Kandy: Arrival

Arrive at Colombo airport and transfer directly to Kandy for check in to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or explore at leisure with a stroll around this vibrant city.

Ellerton Bungalow

Day 2 Kandy: Sacred Sites

Day 2 Kandy: Sacred Sites

Begin your adventure with a day exploring Kandy. This one-time capital city is a blend of historic and modern sights, and is now considered the cultural centre of Sri Lanka, Beautifully located amongst the thickly forested mountains of the central interior, its impressive Botanical Gardens provide a wonderful respite from the heat of the day and are home to the largest collection of orchids in Asia. After a visit to the Temple of the Tooth, you’ll also pop into Hela Bojun Hala, a spacious open-air food court set up with the aim of not only providing delicious Sri Lankan food at subsidised prices, but also providing employment opportunities for local women.

Ellerton Bungalow
Breakfast

Day 3 Pekoe Trail: Hanthana - Galaha

Day 3 Pekoe Trail: Hanthana - Galaha

Set out today on your first hike of the Pekoe Trail. This 12km section is classed as easy and takes you from the Ceylon Tea Museum through the Hanthana Tea Estate, one of the largest and most impressive in Sri Lanka. Journey alongside the ridge of Katusu Konda, where you soak up stunning views of the peaks of the Hanthana Range and also out towards the Knuckles Range. Passing through many villages today, you will also see the rocky mountain façade used in the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The walk ends in the charming town of Galaha where you will be met and transferred back to your hotel.

Pekoe Trail Stage: 1
Approx. 4 hrs walking (458m ascent, 410m descent. Total distance 12.8km)

Ellerton Bungalow
Breakfast

Day 4 Pekoe Trail: Galaha – Loolkandura

Day 4 Pekoe Trail: Galaha – Loolkandura

Transfer back to the start of the trail and set off through the Deltota Estate passing a Dravidian temple before climbing and up and over mountain peaks. The trail through the tea plantation takes many turns before you arrive at Deltota village where you can stop at the busy market. Continuing on, the Loolkandura Estate provides views of rainforest, rock formations and of course the delightful tea fields. The end of the 15km trail is in Loolkandura where you will be transferred to your accommodation.

Pekoe Trail Stage: 2
Approx. 5hrs walking (853m ascent, 520m descent. Total distance 14.7km)

Ellerton Bungalow
Breakfast

Day 5 Kandy – Hatton: Tea Country Train

Day 5 Kandy – Hatton: Tea Country Train

A more restful day today sees you take in the views of the lush tea country from the train, one of the most breathtaking train journeys in the world. Boarding the train in Kandy, you will travel to Hatton from where you will transfer on to your accommodation close to Castlereagh Reservoir. This afternoon, if you are still feeling energetic, perhaps take one of the bikes out to explore the area, or for those looking for some downtime, enjoy the peaceful gardens and rooms which offer beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Mandira Craig Appin Bungalow
Breakfast

Day 6 Pekoe Trail: Watagoda – Kotagala

Day 6 Pekoe Trail: Watagoda – Kotagala

Begin today’s hike at Watagoda Train Station and set off on a day filled with mountain lakes, streams and beautiful trees such as the banyan tree. You will hike through the Holyrood Estate, through small villages and on to the largest tea growing area, Dimbula. With rolling hills stretching out before you, hike up and down valleys, each bringing new panoramic views across the mountains. Once you reach Kotagala you will be transferred back to your accommodation.

Pekoe Trail Stage: 6
Approx. 4.5 hrs walking (534m ascent, 637m descent. Total distance 15.3km)

Mandira Craig Appin Bungalow
Breakfast

Day 7 Pekoe Trail: Kotagala – Norwood

Day 7 Pekoe Trail: Kotagala – Norwood

Today’s hike of 16km passes Chrysler’s Farm Tea Factory before taking you up a peak to enjoy spectacular views over the town of Hatton. Pass by Singamalai Lake and soak up views of Castlereagh Reservoir, and discover small areas of tea worker housing where you will also find Hindu temples and Christian churches. The end of the trail gently descends into Norwood, from where you will be transferred back to your accommodation.

Pekoe Trail Stage: 7
Approx. 4.5 hrs walking (438m ascent, 568m descent. Total distance 16.3km)

Mandira Craig Appin Bungalow
Breakfast

Day 8 Pekoe Trail: Norwood – Bogawantalawa

Day 8 Pekoe Trail: Norwood – Bogawantalawa

This next stage of the trail will take you through the Norwood Estate, climbing to a ridge which divides the Bogawantalawa and Maskeliya Valleys, the latter being thought of as one of the most picturesque in the area and also home to Adam’s Peak. Descending into the Bogawantala Valley, known as the Golden Valley of Tea, the trail takes you along village roads and past churches, temples and cottages until you reach the town of Bogawantala and are transferred back to your accommodation.

Pekoe Trail Stage: 8
Approx. 4.5 hrs walking (562m ascent, 377m descent. Total distance 15.8km)

Mandira Craig Appin Bungalow
Breakfast

Day 9 Hatton – Ella: Tea Country Train

Day 9 Hatton – Ella: Tea Country Train

Travelling further on by train today, you will pass through some of the most beautiful of Sri Lanka's tea country on this scenic train line. The track passes through Horton Plains National Park as well as giving more views out over the tea plantations, cloud forests and mountains. Arrive into the small town of Ella and transfer to your accommodation on the organic farm of Amba.

Amba Estate
Breakfast

Day 10 Pekoe Trail: Makulella – Ella

Day 10 Pekoe Trail: Makulella – Ella

Transfer to the small village of Makulella which overlooks the Ambagaswatte Valley. The trail begins by the Buddhist Temple and takes you through areas of eucalyptus forest and past tea bushes with panoramic views. Climbing up towards Ella Rock takes you through jungle, and on reaching the rock you will be able to see Ella Gap, Little Adam’s Peak and the town of Ella. Continue on to Ella through more eucalyptus and local homes and gardens, before arriving along the railway track and transferring to your accommodation.

Pekoe Trail Stage: 15
Approx. 3 hrs walking (216m ascent, 423m descent. Total distance 9.5km)

Amba Estate
Breakfast

Day 11 Pekoe Trail: Ella – Demodara

Day 11 Pekoe Trail: Ella – Demodara

Starting back in Ella you will cross forest reserves and pass by the Nine Arch Bridge, often busy with tourists taking photos. Continue along village roads taking you past tea estates, a small lake and railway tracks. Arrive at Demodara Tea Estate, a highlight of the day before arriving into Demodara railway station where this stage pf the trail ends. The station itself is known for its train loop round the hill, emerging from a tunnel underneath the station.

Pekoe Trail Stage: 16
Approx. 3 hrs walking (393m ascent, 524m descent. Total distance 8.8km)

Amba Estate
Breakfast

Day 12 Pekoe Trail: Demodara – Hali Ela

Day 12 Pekoe Trail: Demodara – Hali Ela

Your final day of hiking takes you through more tea plantations again with stunning views, crossing bridges and winding your way along tea trails. Don’t forget to stop and take in the huge vistas you are treated to as you climb. Pass through forested areas and enjoy the shade of the trees as well as seeing bougainvillea and a large tea weighing station. Your journey ends at Hali Ela train station from where you will be transferred back to the hotel. This evening you can reward yourself with some of Sri Lanka's most delicious culinary delights as you take part in a cookery class on the farm, hosted by local chefs.

Pekoe Trail Stage: 17
Approx. 4h15  walking (531m ascent, 688m descent. Total distance 13km)

Amba Estate
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 Ella – Udawalawe – Galle: Elephant Transit Home

Day 13 Ella – Udawalawe – Galle: Elephant Transit Home

This morning you will slow make your way by road to the coast where you can enjoy a couple of days of well-earned rest after your hike. Along the way, stop off in Udawalawe at the Elephant Transit Home where orphaned elephants are taken care of before being released back into the wild. On arrival in Galle, check into your hotel, and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Why House
Breakfast

Day 14 Galle: Day at Leisure

Day 14 Galle: Day at Leisure

Today is free to relax and enjoy the beautiful beach, take a walk through the villages that dot the coastline or perhaps head into Galle to explore the fascinating 16th century fort. Built originally by the Portuguese and added to by the Dutch, this mini city is encircled by high walls, ramparts and bastions.

Why House
Breakfast

Day 15 Galle – Colombo: Departure

Day 15 Galle – Colombo: Departure

Transfer up the coast to Colombo Airport for your return flight.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT'S INCLUDED

15 days from £2,990

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 10828 Wild Miles

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Wild Miles Club

When you book a trip with Wild Frontiers you are awarded points, which are based on the return distance from London to the arrival city of your trip. Points are awarded for all our holidays, including both our escorted group tours and tailor-made trips. When you accrue points, you will qualify for the following discounts on all future bookings:

Blue More than 10,000 points 2.5% discount
Bronze More than 30,000 points 5% discount
Silver More than 45,000 points 7.5% discount
Gold More than 60,000 points 10% discount

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Shalmali

Shalmali is our Indian Subcontinent expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Shalmali by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Early morning hike to Sigiriya rock, train journey from Kandy to Ella, walk with the Vedda in Gal Oya, visit a working tea factory, food walk in Colombo, leopard tracking in Wilpattu, visit Anuradhapura at night, best beach stay in Tangalla

OTHER ITINERARIES IN SRI LANKA