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14 Days Meditation and Vinyasa Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka

  • Ulpotha, near Dambulla and Annuradhapura, Sri Lanka


Vinyasa Yoga Vacation in Sri Lanka

Step away from the usual holiday routine and take yourself on a unique exploration of yoga and meditation. Ulpotha is about experiencing a relaxed and contented lifestyle. Its practice is based on the appreciation and need for leisure and pleasure, whether in work or play, and the need for adequate rest if a life is to be well lived. The traditional lifestyle experienced in Ulpotha provides all ingredients necessary for a balanced existence and the closeness of nature combines, to offer you the holiday of a lifetime.


  • Yoga sessions twice daily
  • Explore local cultural heritage sites
  • Restorative meditation and pranayama
  • Delicious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks
  • Transportation to daily and weekly excursion trips
  • Daily scrumptious vegetarian meals
  • Weekly rejuvenating massages
  • 14 nights accommodation

Good to know

  • All ages are welcome as participants.

  • 14 days with instruction
  • English
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Guests are accommodated in one of a number of tastefully decorated traditional wattle and daub huts sprinkled through Ulpotha, where living is by design a communal and shared experience in natures embrace.

There are 11 charming guest huts in Ulpotha, 10 of which are for two guests and one for three.

All of them are built using traditional wattle and daub with comfortable beds, excellent mosquito nets, cupboards, fresh water, towels, and offer a sarong to wear and take home. The huts are of an open, airy design that facilitates the sense of being one with nature. Twice a year, each hut is hand painted using different colored clays, where no designs are ever repeated. Much use has been made of clay, stone, wood, pottery, and fabrics that reflect traditional village practices and aesthetics. With one or two exceptions, Ulpotha adheres to the Sri Lankan village tradition of keeping toilet/loo spaces separate from living spaces. The enchanting showers are open to the stars and the toilets are modern.

All our accommodations are on a Sharing basis, which means that a Solo traveler will be automatically allocated, in a spacious double hut (Twin beds), with another like minded guest of the same gender. Guests booking, and coming together, will be allocated in a Double hut (Double bed, or Twin beds, if not a couple). Sharing with someone is more welcome than one might usually expect, though ultimately soothing to the ears, the unusual jungle noises can take some getting used to and its quite reassuring to have a companion sharing ones space. The guests will anyway find that they end up spending very little time in their hut, except, at night.

On your day of arrival, you will be collected from the airport by one of Ulpotha's excellent drivers and welcomed in Ulpotha with a coconut juice, herbal tea, fruits, and healthy snacks. The day begins with a birdsong, as well as light tea and fruit before your dynamic morning class.

After breakfast, choose an Ayurveda detox package and enjoy the oil applications and herbal baths and steams under the supervision of our resident doctor, or simply go for a swim or relax on a swing bed. Lunch is served in the Ambalama, where you can enjoy a delicious array of veggie dishes, juices, and teas while chatting with fellow guests.

In the afternoon, have a massage with one of outstanding international therapists, take a bike ride and visit the local village, roam the hills, visit the neighboring Buddhist temple, boat on the lake, or simply relax.

Afternoon classes held at sunset are restorative and include meditation and pranayama. Enjoy a sumptuous candlelit veggie dinner, borrow a book from our library, or chat with the owners. Head up to the lake and dance under the moonlight.


For the tailored ayurveda treatment packages, we do a very simple traditional Panchakarma, which depending on one's dosha-type (determined via consultation with our in-house doctor), involves oleation (oil application to the body), herbal baths, steam baths, saunas, inhalation, rice milk packs, facials, etc, nothing too heavy. It is a great detox and combined with the yoga and Ulpotha's delicious food, leaves one feeling super relaxed, toned and cleansed. Dr. Srilal leaves a couple of days for the guests to acclimatise, before starting a treatment.

For your info, our little Ayurvedic clinic offers a limited amount of Ayurveda packages/per day (8, for women & 3, for men), therefore, to avoid any disappointment, we recommend for the guests to pre-book and pre-pay their Ayurveda package, at the time of their booking, and prior their arrival at Ulpotha as we will give the priority to the guests who will have pre-booked and pre-paid their packages.


For your info, the holiday cost includes two daily Yoga classes of 1 & half to two hours/per day, one class in the morning, around 7:30am, the second class, in the afternoon, around 5:00pm. Please note that the Yoga starts on the 1st Sunday evening and finishes after class, on the final Saturday night, to allow guests to check out, by 10:30am, in the final Sunday. There is no Yoga, on the afternoon of the 1/2 day excursion trip (week one), Nor, on the day of the excursion trip of week two.

  • Nigel Gilderson

    Nigel Gilderson has been teaching yoga in the UK and on retreats around the world since 1997. He is founder and senior teacher of Brockwell Lido yoga centre in London. Nigel Gilderson's teaching has evolved over the years and incorporates a blend of many yoga styles, with influences from tai chi and shadow yoga and Alexander technique integrating the celebration of the heart, universal principles of alignment, and balanced energetic action in the performance of asana. Each student's abilities and limitations are deeply respected and honored.

  • Pauline Koinis

    Pauline is a positive and inspirational holistic healing expert with over 30 years experience. Her signature therapeutic massage focuses on relieving specific areas of tension, pain or imbalance in the muscular systems and opening and restoring your energetic body. Starting with reflexology of the feet, Pauline will “read” you from the inside out to gauge exactly what you will need in a session.

  • Kenneth Takade

    Kenny believes that Prana and Qi crossed paths on the silk road and have become intertwined over the ages. He combines his understanding of Zen and barefoot-style Shiatsu, Tuina, traditional Thai massage, osteo -Thai bodywork, Chi Nei Tsang, Ruesi Datton (Thai yoga), Hatha yoga, and Qi Gong with compassionate intention to create his own style of bodywork. He refined his yoga practice with the help of Don and Amba Stapleton and received his 500 hour teaching certification through the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica in 2002.

Ulpotha is located in the heart of Sri Lanka by a lakeside at the foot of the Galgiriyawa mountains - off the beaten track. About 1 hour drive north from Kurunagala, 2 hours northwest from Kandy, and 2 - 3 hours from the airport. The first thing that was done when Ulpotha was re-inhabited was to address the aridity of the land that had resulted from the years it had been reduced to a mono culture coconut plantation prior to its abandonment. This was done through the management of planting patterns, as well as the building of ponds and bunds, all of which were designed to increase the soils water retention capacity and protect its fertility. Ulpotha then later on transformed into the self-sustaining, bio-diverse organic farm it is today; one where the practice of farming is holistic and includes paying respect to the land and its resources as well as to the deities protecting it.


  • Bandaranaike International Airport - 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Colombo - 4 hours
  • Kandy - 2 hours
  • Kurunagala - 1 hour
  • Massage
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Guided walks
  • Excursions
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Library
  • Laundry

Ulpotha will be providing tasty vegetarian meals and snacks. The food at Ulpotha is simply delicious and very healthy. It is almost entirely vegan, naturally wheat free, with an abundance of fresh vegetables, organic red rice, and tropical fruit freshly picked from Ulpothas gardens. A good opportunity to detoxify your system without fuss.


  • Meals that will be eaten outside of the facility are to be paid for additionally.

The western massage treatments range from Thai, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, to Shiatsu. They are done by fully qualified massage therapists from Europe. Massage styles change from month to month, as Ulpotha uses different massage experts each month. So, if you yearn for a particular type of massage, its wise to ask when its available before booking your holiday. Guests can expect one free massage from visiting therapists per week. Any further massages can be arranged with the therapists subject to availability at a cost of 60 USD per hour. Ulpotha also has an exciting program of Ayurveda treatments and, by the very definition of "holistic", possesses the ideal climate and environment for the practice of this deeply therapeutic and traditional art.

  • 14 nights full board shared accommodation
  • 3 daily organic and vegetarian meals
  • All yoga and meditation classes
  • Guided walks within Ulpotha and to the neighboring temple
  • One excursion per week to a cultural site or the beach
  • One free consultation with resident Ayurveda doctor
  • One herbal steam bath in the Ayurveda center
  • One massage from an international therapist per week
  • Use of all amenities
  • Additional massages with respective therapists (These can be arranged with the therapist, subject to availability at 80 USD per hour, and paid for, in cash, directly at Ulpotha)
  • Excursion entrance fees and meals, additional van hire
  • Flights, visa, and airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
For information about the booking conditions, please send Ulpotha an inquiry.
  • Review by Traveler
    10 out of 10

    "It's hard to put into words how amazing this place is, the nature, and the people, The food, the whole atmosphere is one of rest, relaxation and healing. As a Vedic treatment center, it has a wonderful rustic elegance about it. The doctor is wonderful and the staff are always smiling.If you can make it here you should do so!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Shay Xianyi
    10 out of 10

    "Paradise! Counting the days until I come back."

    Ulpotha Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Cristina Balcells from Barcelona, Spain
    10 out of 10

    "Amazing and unique place in the world."

    Ulpotha Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Armelle Planchon from Biarritz, France
    10 out of 10

    "A magic, pure place to go! When you Have the chance to come In Ulpotha. Your Life Will Not be the same. I'm gonna miss the place and all the people there. Thanks Life, "

    "thanks Ulpotha!"

    Ulpotha Facebook page, edited

  • Review by PJ Peajay
    10 out of 10

    "After the first week, the magic starts to take effect. Ulpotha holds a very special place in my life. Perhaps I am an Ulpotha addict as I have been to Upotha six years in a row. This is the one place in the world I have found where I can completely unplug and connect to myself. Where I say goodbye to the digital world and hello to whoever is that person inside. At Ulpotha, being embraced by nature is a big part of the transformative experience - the mud huts are open to the jungle air and the paths are compacted sand. At the same time, everything is clean - the paths and mud huts are swept twice a day, the mossy nets over the bed are brought up in the morning and down in the evening. If it's chilly at night you get a warm water bottle. The guests drawn to visit Ulpotha come from interesting walks of life - often quite open-minded and intellectually curious. And thus, I have met many friends from all over the world with whom I keep in touch. Alternatively, you can get lost from the crowd if you wish, as the grounds are quite expansive. Sit on a swing by the lake and listen to the birds forgetting that there is even a book in your lap and unintentionally take an afternoon nap. Come without prejudice or expectations, be open to the flow and allow whatever is coming to you to transpire. You will be held on a soft cloud from which you will not wish to descend."

    Ulpotha Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Felix and Katie from UK
    10 out of 10

    "It's almost impossible to review this incredible place, words don't seem to do it the justice it deserves. It is so much more than it promises, it is overwhelming, a beautiful, peaceful community. Attention to detail everywhere you look, food is outstanding, rooms and showers stunning, and the whole place is other worldly but intimate and friendly at the same time. Giles, Viren, Suzie, Anthe what a world you have created and what fabulous hosts! You are all welcome at our humble B&B if you are ever in the UK. Thank you for this unforgettable time."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "A remarkable, otherworldly place. The natural beauty, a (near) prohibition on cell phones (enforced by no electricity, with a solar charger for mobile phones - usage limited to lakeside - and small cameras), delicious food, and lovely staff all combine to deliver a deeply recharging experience - one from which even the very enthusiastic Sri Lankan mosquitoes cannot detract."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Susie from Oxford, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "Ulpotha is as it is described on their website. Anyone thinking of going should read what they say and realise it has a unique quality of basic, fine living, the most delicious vegan food and well thought out routine for yoga enthusiasts of all levels. I had a very special Christmas here at Ulpotha made exceptional by the group of people who were fellow travellers. Ulpotha has a community feeling from the beginning of your visit - there is a routine of food, yoga, treatments but also the chance for your own time if it is 'reflection' you are seeking. The yoga teaching obviously varies each week - I was really lucky and loved our teacher. I believe the standard is pretty good throughout the year but imagine it will change according to personal preference so if you are fussy about your technique do look at the teaching schedule before you go.There is no electricity or internet - it is such a relief to be away from it as the surroundings take over. The 'tank' (lake) is amazing and the fresh water and spring water in the taps is such a rare treat.I'd highly recommend Ulpotha - as a single traveller it was a particularly brilliant discovery as it ticked the box of space with the added extra that you could choose fine, like minded company."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Davwal Dylan from Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "A truly beautiful and spiritual place has been created in the Sri Lankan jungle. Courteous, obliging staff, amazing food and total escapism. An uplifting and inspirational place to visit. I was there for a week. 10 days or two weeks would have been better."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Dogwalker from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "I'm always a bit reluctant to review Ulpotha because it's one of those magical places in the world that you want to keep returning to time and again. So I guess if too many people feel the same way I might not get a hut the next time. I feel so blessed in my life to have found Ulpotha - a yoga village in the jungle which is run to the most ethical and highest standards. The Ayurveda centre is bliss with the most caring and wonderful therapists. The massage therapists are also world class. There is no mobile phone coverage except by the lake, there is no wifi coverage - so you really do get a chance to chill. It's a bit strange at first, slowing down and then you realize that slowing down could be normal. There is no electricity and torches light your magical way back to your hut at night. You sleep at sundown and wake up at sunrise. The food is excellent and grown locally - all the dishes are vegetarian. We eat communally, getting to know each and having inspired conversations, or not. The choice is yours - to swim in the lake or not. Do a yoga class or not. The last time I was there the yoga teacher was James and he was truly one of the best teachers, ever. So I'm going back - back for some more yoga with James, back to my jungle village with those smiling happy faces ready to greet you. I am now ticking off the months, then the days, then the hours."

    Tripadvisor website, edited

  • Review by Georgina W. from Oxford, UK
    10 out of 10

    "Knowing places like Ulpotha exist, makes the whole world seem more magical. I stayed for a week with my sister in March and a week was just not long enough... If you need to relax, re-charge, or simply feel alive you would be hard pushed to match this place. There is magic to it which is hard to explain. If you have the chance to visit Ulpotha do not hesitate for a second. Just do it! Your body and your mind will thank you!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Sara M from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "I last visited Ulpotha 15 years ago; having just spent a week there I can report it is just as magical as it was then. The whole experience is like a dream. To spend a week without wifi, minimum phone use, and to be immersed in nature is completely restorative."

    "I would advise prospective guests to read the website properly - there really is no electricity - no fans, no hairdryers! It is really remote and there are frogs in the shower, geckos in the roof and monkeys in the trees. If you want a western spa with chlorinated pool this is not for you."

    "Also if you are only going to stay for a week, go for the first week of a course - there is a lot of information given and general bonding of the group in the first few days. If you arrive for the second week it is likely to be harder to "get" Ulpotha. Suzi was a wonderful hostess and the villagers are amazingly gracious and helpful. Gingi is a fantastic yoga teacher and managed a very mixed group brilliantly."

    "Ulpotha is not a hotel or a normal holiday..I highly recommend it if you are open to new experiences and a chance to escape the madness of western life."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Europe
    10 out of 10

    "I was blessed with the opportunity to spend two weeks in Ulpotha in February. The whole experience was so amazing. The village, the villagers, the yoga, the food.. it's un-describable. "

    "To have such haven, with no electricity, no internet, no television, no radio, and no phone is't just so relaxing and wonderful. I truly loved my stay at Ulpotha, and returning to a normal life was much harder then living without all the technology that we are used to. I am will always bring the experience with me, and will definitely return as soon as life gives me the opportunity again. Thanks to Suzy for your way of making everyone's stay a true fairy-tale, thanks to Viren and Giles for creating this haven, and for keeping it unspoiled."

    "Thanks to Mika for his yoga lessons, which was both fun and challenging, and to the therapists which both went beyond and above to give us all massages, and therapy and sharing their philosophy on life even on their time off...For anyone who want to have a genuinely different journey and a time spent in "heaven", I highly recommend Ulpotha! Can't wait to return!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Mathew
    10 out of 10

    "Ulpotha is a charming and special place. Suzie is an incredible hostess and we were made to feel welcomed and very well looked after. Travelling with our eight years old twin daughters, we were a little apprehensive as to how they would experience Ulpotha - needlessly as it turned out. They had a wonderful time and enjoyed the experience, especially the yoga, their massages, and the 'tank'. "

    "How you find your time at Ulpotha probably boils down to your expectations, and the website and Trip Advisor give a good oversight of this. The food indeed is lovely - it is nourishing, healthy, and 'clean'. It can also feel quite monotonous however, so I would suggest packing some 'treats' for a bit of variety if this may be a concern for you - it certainly was not for many others on our retreat. "

    "The excursions alternate - a half day and a full day excursion on alternate weeks, so if you only go for a week, you may get either a full day or a half day trip. If you do go pack plenty of bug spray and topical ointments for treating bug bites that you invariably will get; go with an open mind and enjoy your time on retreat."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Stina from Sweden
    10 out of 10

    "The most amazing place on earth. I have just returned home after my second visit to Ulpotha. Last time I visited, I stay one week. This time I had the opportunity to stay two weeks I was a little bit worried if it was going to be too long."

    "Now I understood why they to recommend a stay of two weeks. I was not bored or regret staying two weeks at once. A two week stay gives you the opportunity to really get into your yoga properly as well gives you time to wine down and build up your stamina in a god way. If I ever get chance to visit again will I aim for a three week stay."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Leonie M
    10 out of 10

    "Ulpotha is probably the most magical place I have ever experienced. If you want to recharge your batteries and disconnect from the world there is no better place. Living for a week with only the sound of birds and crickets was extraordinary. It makes one realize how utterly disconnected we all are from nature. Thank you Suzi for making me feel at home."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Rina from Hamburg, Germany
    10 out of 10

    "I had the most amazing time during my stay in Ulpoltha and made only the best of experiences. i would definitely recommend to stay min 2 weeks to feel the full benefit of this secluded place and to really unwind. The yoga classes have been great, the food is more than amazing und the hospitality of suzi and the villagers leaves nothing to be desired."

    Tripadvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Germany
    10 out of 10

    "I just came back from a wonderful restorative vacation at Ulpotha! Ulpotha is really one of the best places I have been in a long time. Surrounded by a stunning landscape, you can totally disconnect and find inner peace. The food is absolutely amazing, the massages are heaven, staff is so warm and friendly and the yoga is great. Suzie is an amazing host and does everything to ensure that everyone has an amazing experience at Ulpotha. My only regret was that I only stayed one week - you really need two weeks to totally 'come down' and relaxIf you are looking for a place without any technological 'interference', do not need luxury, do not being close to nature and look for an authentic & different experience - then you have to come to Ulpotha!"

    Tripadvisor website, edited

  • Review by Jessie A. from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "Ulpotha is a sacred place. We felt immediately at home in our rustic yet comfortable mud hut. The food is beyond delicious, incredibly nourishing, everything made with love. Although my boyfriend isn't a yogi, he loved it too and was able to relax, join in when he wanted to, but there is no pressure at all, you are able to create your own schedule at Ulpotha, the emphasis is on reconnecting with yourself and the earth, slowing down, being still."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Mahitab W
    10 out of 10

    "I had a wonderful time in Ulpotha with my two young boys aged 7 and 5. Our experience was surreal. The place, food, yoga, treatments and hospitality was way more than what I had expected. It was a great time for me and my boys to unplug and bond together. I highly recommend Ulpotha to anyone wanting to disconnect from the busyness of the fast paced life including children."

    Tripadvisor website, edited

  • Review by Phil M
    10 out of 10

    "Firstly this isn't a resort, its in the Jungle not on the coast there is no pool or room service, youre only going to get out what you put in, and it will take commitment and a little work. The end result is an enriching, satisfying and joyful experience as well as an escape from the grind of western capitalist, consumerist and city life. If youre prepared to spend two weeks without hot water, electricity, wifi and a phone signal this could be the place for you. The reward is spending time with a group of diverse wonderful people in an eco-village where you are treated not like a guest but part of the community. You are provided with a tasty vegetarian buffet meal three times a day. You can practice yoga twice a day then relax with a massage, swing in a hammock next to the paddy field or take advantage of the Ayurvedic clinic which is run by a local doctor. I have taken away from this trip an appreciation of quietness a sense of inner peace and my own yoga practice that I can do anywhere without the need of a led class. Dare I say life changing"

    Tripadvisor website, edited

  • Review by Shay from from Melbourne, Australia
    10 out of 10

    "Ulpotha is such a special place. Serene, beautiful, nourishing, warm, and inviting. The food is amazing - so fresh, fragrant, vibrant, and with so much variety! The perfect place to unwind, connect with nature, reflect, meditate, and practice yoga with some of the best teachers. The people that you meet makes it even more special. I can't wait to go back."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Manchester, UK
    10 out of 10

    "I went looking for nothing and came back with everything I needed. Food for the soul. A friend and I spent a week at Ulpotha and it will stay with us forever. We were looking for a yoga holiday with a difference, not a boutique hotel with yoga classes.This place is founded on land worked by local villagers, who will be your neighbours, staff and friends. The concept is raw, and basic. There are no doors or windows to your accommodation, no electricity throughout the village, and no hot running water, no reliable mobile signal. But there are large lakes to swim in, delicious locally grown organic vegetarian prepared meals, twice daily yoga, lots of wildlife, beautiful sunsets, and stars galore. You go to bed by the moon and get up with the sun. This place will push you, but it will be to a better place.They offer Ayurveda treatments in the local clinic; your payments for such go towards running a clinic for the local villages. Our yoga teacher was Padma, one of the longest associated with the village. She was inspirational. The massage therapists were Victoria and Julie - both were very talented.Pack - a head torch, mosquito spray, and not as many clothes as you think.As many have said I too am a bit reluctant to review Uplotha, I don't want to share this secret, I don't want it to ever change.Till next time, and there will be a next time."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Trine from Drammen, Norway
    10 out of 10

    " I had the best time at Ulpotha and I will definitely go back very soon. The food, the people, the yoga, and the atmosphere were all amazing! I loved every minute! We were seven girls traveling from Norway and we all had the best time. Being there for the right reasons is important. Finding inner peace and being tuned with nature"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Gry from Berlin, Germany
    10 out of 10

    "As a former travel journalist, I have travelled a lot, but no place ever changed me so much as Ulpotha: When I arrived, I was over-worked, borderline burned-out, sleep deprived, and so white, it was actually more like I was see-through. When I left, I was super rested out and energetic as a seven year old, stronger than I've ever been, tanned as a coconut and -quote my wonderful Ulpotha Thai massage therapist - had not a single tension in my body. Not to forget that I also swam every morning and evening in the lake, were surrounded by more animals than in a Disney movie, massively improved my yoga skills, found the love of my life, and met amazing people I am sure will both change my life and stay my friends forever. Oh yeah, and the food is heavenly. I'm still dreaming of the hoppers and the eggplant - and garlic curries and the red rice and the coconut balls and everything else I stuffed myself with constantly. Quite a miracle that I actually still lost weight, but I guess that just proves that its true what the Ulpotha people say: It might all be out of this world tasty, but surprisingly enough, it's still extremely healthy. It was a blast. I'll be back for sure."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Ulpotha is a beautiful private hide-away open to guests for part of the year for relaxation, rejuvenation and resourcing through yoga and traditional Ayurveda.

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from US$2,940

15 days / 14 nights

Sunday January 22, 2017
(15 days / 14 nights)

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