Groups Size: Small Group tours 2 to 10 people.
Departures: Available November 2023 - December 2024 - Please select your departure date on the registration page.
Dates are based on Day 1, arrival day in destination.
November 26, 2023
December 03 and 17, 2023
January 07 and 21, 2024
February 04 and 18, 2024
March 03 and 17, 2024
April 14 and 28, 2024
May 12 and 26, 2024
June 09 and 23, 2024
July 14 and 28, 2024
August 11 and 25, 2024
September 08 and 22, 2024
October 13 and 27, 2024
November 10 and 24, 2024
December 08 and 22, 2024
Themes: History & Culture
Activity Level: Moderate
What to Expect: This tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Expect early wake up times and very long days in order to fit in all included visits.
Sri Lanka Tour - "Land of Gods"
Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, and southeast of the Arabian Sea; it is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with India and the Maldives. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is its legislative capital, and Colombo is its largest city and financial centre. Sri Lanka's documented history goes back 3,000 years, with evidence of prehistoric human settlements that dates to at least 125,000 years ago. It has a rich cultural heritage. The earliest known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, known collectively as the Pāli canon, date to the fourth Buddhist council, which took place in 29 BCE. Sri Lanka's geographic location and deep harbours have made it of great strategic importance, from the earliest days of the ancient Silk Road trade route to today's so-called maritime Silk Road. Because its location made it a major trading hub, it was already known to both Far Easterners and Europeans as long ago as the Anuradhapura period.
Day One: Negombo
On arrival in Sri Lanka you will be met and assisted by our Airport Representative, who will direct you to your very own Chauffeur who will transfer you to Negombo, once a trading port for the Dutch and British, Negombo has developed into a bustling modern town with a handful of reminders of its colonial past. Situated close to the international airport, it makes a convenient rest stop before heading inland to explore or before an onward flight. The wide golden sand beach is dotted with fishing boats and the inland resort road offers a selection of restaurants and bars. Check in to the hotel, relax and recover from any jet lag.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Pledge Scape (Deluxe Room) Meals: None
Day Two: Negombo
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day at leisure.
Overnight: Pledge Scape (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Three: Negombo - Dambulla - Habarana
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out of the hotel and head to Dambulla and explore the famous Golden Rock cave temple which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, a vast isolated rock mass with its five caverns is the largest best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 sq. meters) are of particular importance as are the 157 statues including a 47 foot long statue of the recumbent Buddha.
(Please dress appropriately when visiting Dambulla temple, with shoulders and knees covered. It is a steep uphill walk to the temple. Have an extra pair of socks to wear to prevent from the ground heat since you have to walk barefoot.)
Then leave for Habarana, a small village and a central location for all the ancient city sites. Check in to the hotel.
In the afternoon leave for Minneriya for a Jeep Safari. Minneriya National Park is about 8889 hectares in extent and is an ideal eco-tourism location in Sri Lanka. It is home to Sri Lanka’s favorites such as spotted deer, sambar and wild Asian elephants, particularly numerous in August and September when they migrate along a corridor from neighboring parks to feed on the fresh grass on the lake bed - an annual event known as "The Gathering".
(Please be prepared for some rough and dusty road. National park can be crowded especially over weekends and festivals.)
Overnight: Sigiriana Resort & Spa (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Four: Habarana - Kandy
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out of the hotel and leave for Sigiriya. Climb the rock fortress of Sigiriya - a 5th Century "Fortress in the Sky". Built by King Kassapa the fortress was a Royal Citadel for more than 18 years. The lion rock (A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SIGHT) is a citadel of unusual beauty, rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The base of the rock is ringed by a moat and rampart and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens. The majestic Lion’s Paw picturesquely guards the stairway of the palace on the summit. See the famous frescoes of the “Heavenly maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered pocket of the rock and the 10 foot high Mirror Wall.
Later leave for Hiriwadunna Village, enjoy a traditional cooking session at a local house. Sri Lankan traditional cooking techniques take their best form in the southern part of the island. The cuisine relies heavily on the core ingredients of coconut, vegetables, rice, fresh chillis, spices, and curry leaves, all of which grow in abundance on this part of the island. Spend the day learning how to cook a traditional Sri Lankan meal and enjoy lunch.
Walk through the peaceful village where your guide will talk to you about the daily lives of the local people. Meet one of the local villagers continue along a scenic trail past crop fields and a boat ride in an ancient reservoir where you can spot many birds, butterflies and perhaps other wildlife.
Thereafter leave for Kandy. En route visit a peaceful & green spice garden, where you can see how herbs are grown in their natural environment, then learn how you can use them to enhance the taste of specialty meals. These spices will reveal to you the secret of traditional Sri Lankan dishes, which have great nutritional value as well as being delicious.
Continue to Kandy, the bustling hill country capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for the pink painted Temple and the Kandy Lake built in 1807 which is an attractive centerpiece to the town. Check in to the hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Thilanka (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Day Five: Kandy
Breakfast at the hotel. Set off on to your guided tour of Kandy. Start with a drive up the hill to the south of the lake to a special vista point, where you can get a bird’s eye view of this remarkable city. The famous Kandy Lake was built in 1807 and forms an attractive center-piece for the town. Return to the city center, where your guide will take you on a walking tour around the famous shopping streets and to points of interest such as the central market and the historic railway station. Visit the colossal Bahirawakanda statue, a Gem Museum and a wood carving shop.
In the Evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, known locally as Sri Dalada Maligawa, the most sacred temple in the whole of Sri Lanka. It is the prime monument, the supreme edifice not only of the Sinhalese Buddhist populace of Sri Lanka but also of the Buddhists all over the world. It is within this magnificent temple that the sacred Tooth relic of Buddha (Danta Dhatu), the palladium of the Sinhalese nation & Buddhist faith is enshrined. This important shrine boasts intricate carvings and beautiful Sri Lankan art. During the evening ‘puja’ throngs of pilgrims visit the temple to line up to glimpse the golden casket said to hold the sacred relic and to make offerings of flowers.
(Please dress appropriately when visiting The Temple of the Tooth Relic, with shoulders and knees covered. Have an extra pair of socks to wear to prevent from the ground heat since you have to walk barefoot.)
Thereafter enjoy the Kandyan Cultural show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre. The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display.
Overnight: Hotel Thilanka (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Six: Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out of the hotel and leave for Kandy railway station to board your train to Nuwara Eliya - A journey said regarded as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world with sceneries of rolling mountains and green valley’s. Meet up with the driver at the Nanu Oya station and leave for the hotel in Nuwara Eliya.
(Train tickets are subject to availability and train times are subject to change due to regular delays)
Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Later, proceed on a sightseeing tour of the city. Located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country at an elevation of 1900m, Nuwara Eliya was a favoured retreat of the British in the19th Century thanks to its cool climate. With an abundance of red and green roofed plantation bungalows, English country style homes, a fine 18 holes golf course and a racecourse, the town still has a decidedly British feel. The surrounding mountain slopes and valleys are carpeted with lush green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls.
Take a walk around the town centre, Market place, passing the Victorian post office, the old Hill Club and golf course before a stop at Holy Trinity Church, a quaint building constructed by the British in the mid-19th Century and drive around this hill station viewing Lake Gregory.
Overnight: Araliya Red (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Seven: Nuwara Eliya - Colombo
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out of the hotel and depart for Colombo, the commercial and city center known as the “Fort”, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century where grand colonial era buildings stand alongside modern office structures.
Arrive and check into the hotel.
Later, proceed on a sightseeing tour of the city. See the vibrant markets and bazaars of Pettah and the National Museum with its fine collection of lovely antiques and art of Sri Lanka. Then proceed to Independence Square, the location where Sri Lanka proclaimed its independence from British rule in 1948. Drive past the Town hall, Cinnamon Gardens and Galle Face Green. Make the last stop of the day at Gangaramaya Temple, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Colombo. Explore the architecture and paintings of this religious site before cross the street to Bera Lake, is a lake in the center of the city of Colombo.
Enjoy a farewell dinner at a nice restaurant in Colombo.
Overnight: The Kingsbury (Superior Room) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Eight: Colombo - Departure
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before your 12:00pm noon check out.
Now that you are at the end of your journey with us, you will be comfortably taken to the international airport in time for your departure flight.
End of our services
Your tour includes:
- Meet and assist on arrival & assist on departure.
- Accommodation on mentioned meal basis at the mentioned hotels or hotels with similar standards.
- Transportation by A/C vehicle with an English speaking guide.
- Entrance fees at visiting sites as per the given itinerary.
- Porterage at the airport and at all hotels.
- Applicable safari jeep hires at Minneriya National Park.
- Train ride on best available class. (Seats are subject to availability).
- Lunch at Hiriwadunna Village on Day 4.
- Dinner in Colombo on Day 7.
- International or domestic airfares.
- Meals not mentioned.
- Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages at all hotels.
- Kandy Esala Perahara supplement at Kandy hotel. (Only 10 days in July or August).
- Items of personal nature such as, laundry, telephone calls, tipping etc.
- Any other special supplement introduce by the government or hotel due to various reasons ex: cricket etc.
**Times may vary according to traffic and weather