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Activities & Transport
- Meet the Locals
- Bird Watching
- Zip Lining
- Hot Air Balloon
- Traditional Medicine
- Photography Workshop
- Whale Watching
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Watching
- City Tour
- Fixed Departure
- Public bus
- Car with driver
- Rental Car
- Boat | Sailing Boat
- Private Bus
Main travel focus
Sri Lanka In-Depth
- Climb up the Sigiriya Rock, Visit a tea factory & the English town
- Train journey past beautiful waterfalls and hilly tea estates and ride with the locals
- Jeep Safari in the National Park
- Elephant safari in Minneriya National Reserve
On first glance, Sri Lanka might look like a little country, but that's only because you haven't been here yet. Sri Lanka is a wildly diverse land, packed full of a kaleidoscope of delights. This trip will guide you through its many treasures: from ancient cities, sprawling tea estates, unique wildlife reserves and enchanting beaches. Sri Lanka has a bit of everything, and this personally-tailored trip with give you the best taste of it all.
- Accommodation as per itinerary
- Entrance fees to all sites as per the itinerary
- Meals as per itinerary
- Transport in a private air-conditioned van/car
- English speaking chauffeur guide for all sightseeing
- Train journey on day 10
- All currently applicable taxes
- International airfare
- Visa fees, airport tax or any kind of insurance cover
- Items of personal nature (drinks, laundry, telephone)
- Tips to guide and drivers
- Travel in the observation train carriage on Day 10
Example Trip to customize
Welcome to Sri Lanka!
On arrival in Colombo, our driver will welcome you at the airport and take you on a half hour drive to your hotel in Negombo. After the long flight, you'll probably like to take it easy, so the hotel is within walking distance to the beach and close to local restaurants. Or enjoy a tuk-tuk ride into the center of town.
During the day you can take it easy and relax after your journey. You can take a leisurely stroll to the beach or soak up the first of the Sri Lankan sun from a lounger by the pool of the hotel. In the evening you can head out to one of the many local restaurants for your first taste of the delicious authentic curries that Sri Lanka has to offer.
The city of the fishermen
Your driver guide will pick you up after breakfast for a tour of the city. Discover the colonial past of Negombo, wander around tropical palms and ferns. In the afternoon, a local fisherman will show you around the local fish market, where men sell their morning catch. Afterwards, take a stroll around the bazaar where you'll find the local fruits and vegetables being sold.
You'll also visit an impressive temple and church before ending the day with a boat ride through the "Dutch" channels of Negombo. In the afternoon you'll have some free time to explore the rest of the city at your own pace. Walk along the beach or wander through the quaint streets of the center.
Journey to the king's ruins
As you drive out of Negombo you'll pass through green rice paddies and palm trees, while the landscape changes gradually. Your driver takes you through the countryside and past small villages, approaching Anuradhapura. The city about a 5-6 hours away from Negombo.
After you've checked into your hotel, your driver will be ready to take you on a visit to the ruins of Anuradhapura. For over 1,000 years Anuradhapura was the capital of Sri Lanka. Dozens of kings have left their mark here in the form of magnificent buildings. You can visit the three largest stupas (temples) ever built and discover the history of the sacred tree. Seedlings of the tree can be found all over the world. Back at the hotel, after a day of exploring, you can relax in the cozy garden and tuck into a tasty curry.
Buddhas footprint & the fortress
Your day starts with a visit to Mihintale, where it's said that Buddha left a huge footprint after his visit. After, you'll enjoy the low morning sun at the highest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka, Aukana.
To be safe from the armies of his brother the king built this fortress on top of the rock where he lived with all of his wives. As you climb the stairs around the rock to the top, the view changes constantly. It will be well worth the effort when you reach the summit.
At the end of the day you'll arrive in Polonnaruwa, where you'll spend the night in a boutique hotel on the lake. Take a refreshing dip in the pool to relax after a day taking in the fascinating Sri Lankan culture.
Jeep Safari in the National Park
After breakfast it's time to discover the city of Polonnaruwa. Your driver guide will show you around the most important palaces, bathhouses and temples. For a long time Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka and there are many relicts still left from this period.
Halfway through the afternoon it's time for something completely different. You'll travel by jeep into the surrounding countryside and look out for wild elephants. The park ranger will take you to Kaudulla or nearby Minneriya National Park. The one you visit depends on where the elephants are roaming today, since the parks have no borders. In the early evening you'll be back at your hotel where you can let your memories of the day sink in. Enjoy watching the sunset on the lake with a refreshing drink.
Sri Lanka's colors
Today it's time to head inland, to colorful Kandy. On route you'll stop off at the magical caves of Dambulla. This is where the ancient kings of Anuradhapura left their mark with a collection of temples. There is a fascinating series of majestic Buddhas all in various postures. There is a really magical feeling here as you wander around and touch the brightly colored ceilings and walls.
Kandy is an interesting town and it's easy to spend a few days exploring here. Set on the shores of a peaceful lake, you'll find many charming streets to wander through. It's the perfect choice for some relaxation, good food and culture. Your hotel whilst in Kandy is a cozy and comfortable hotel located in the hills. The hotel has a pool where you can take a refreshing dip to cool down.
Local arts, belief & culture
After a restful night and a hearty breakfast, you will have gathered enough strength to go on a individually designed city tour with your driver and visit the Bahirawakanda temple. Sitting high on the hill, you will probably have already spotted this white marble Buddha statue as it can be seen from all corners of the lake. This imposing statue looks out to the golden roof of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Your tour ends at the local market where you can buy some fresh exotic fruits and try local snacks.
In the evening, you can head out to a traditional Kandy Dance Show and visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic after. Myth says that a canine tooth of Buddha is kept here, making Kandy a sacred pilgrimage for Buddhists. During the Puja ceremony at around 18:30 Buddhists will bring offerings.
Visit a tea factory & the English town
Your holiday in Sri Lanka continues as you travel on towards Nuwara Eliya. As you drive around this part of the island you can see the colorful clothes of the tea pickers speckled amongst the seas of green. They mostly come from South India to work here, picking leaves by hand and working in the factories.
On the way to Nuwara Eliya, you'll stop off at a factory where you can follow the tea picking process from fresh leaves to dried tea and sample the variety on sale here. At the end of the day, you'll arrive in Nuwara Eliya, a very English town with many Victorian style homes. You'll spend the night in a comfortable hotel, centrally located in Nuwara Eliya.
Horton Plains & World's End
On the morning of day 9, you will be picked up by a Jeep or Van to visit Horton Plains and World's End. Very early in the morning when the sky is still clear you'll drive about 45 minutes to the Horton Plains National Park where you can take a walk on the plateau. Every turn and direction you look gives you a completely different view of Sri Lanka. The highlight of the tour is actually the lowest point, World's End, a spectacular gorge where you really get the feeling that the country has come to an end. It’s the perfect place to take a picnic breakfast in the quiet and enjoy the breathtaking view.
For the rest of the day, you'll have some time to explore Nuwara Eliya at your own pace. You'll spend another night here but, be warned, due to the high altitude temperatures can drop at night.
Train ride with the locals
Today you'll take the train through the hills of Nuwara Eliya into the mountains of Ella. With your third class tickets you'll travel with the locals who live here. Take in the spectacular scenery as you chug past impressive depths and vistas. It certainly makes a change from the air-conditioned car.
When you arrive at the station your driver will be waiting for you and you'll walk with him along the tracks to your hotel. This may sound a little strange but it is very normal to follow this path in Sri Lanka. Your driver will have left your luggage at the hotel, so you can take it easy and walk alongside the local population. Your accommodation for the night is in a quiet area in the mountains and it's not far from the charming station.
Discover the endless mountains
Take it easy over breakfast as today it's time for some hard work. We'll provide you with a packed lunch for your challenging hike. Which route would you like to take? You might choose to climb Little Adam's Peak. It's a brisk 2 hour walk through tea plantations, beautiful train bridges and remote villages before you climb the summit via large steps. Once at the top, put your feet up and enjoy the amazing views.
Alternatively, you could climb Ella Rock which is a much harder and longer trek, taking about 3-4 hours. However, the view from the highest point is breathtaking. As you walk along the track, the splash of waterfalls in the distance, you'll wind through jungle trails until you reach the top. In the evening, you can head back to Ella and treat yourselves to an herbal massage to help relax your muscles.
The last rainforest
After breakfast, your journey continues as you head towards the only remaining Sri Lankan rainforest. Leave Ella and the green, cool mountains behind and travel south west as you take in the sweeping views across a varied landscape. If you want to stop for a photo or a tea break you can just ask your driver. It’s a 4-5 hour drive to the Sinharaja Rainforest, known for its huge diversity of flora and fauna.
You'll stay in a simple guest house with a friendly atmosphere, located near the entrance to the park. In the afternoon you'll have some free time to do as you please. Simply relax at your accommodation or take a stroll through the neighborhood. In the evening you can enjoy dinner at the hotel - the ladies of the house prepare excellent curries - and then drift off to sleep to the sounds of the jungle all around you.
After breakfast, you'll drive along the bumpy dirt road by jeep to the starting point of your hike. You'll pay the entrance fee to the Sinharaja reserve and decide, depending on your physical condition and mood, which hike you would prefer to take. You can choose between several routes that range from 4 to 14 km.
It is mandatory for a guide to accompany you and he will teach you about the unique flora and fauna that you can find in the forest. On the way, you'll meet a few locals who live in one of the villages lying in the park. We recommend that you prepare a packed lunch at your accommodation in the morning so that you can picnic in the jungle or at the small visitors' center. The afternoon you can spend at your own leisure.
Crocodiles, elephants & co.
On day 14 of your holiday in Sri Lanka, you'll drive towards Yala National Park where you can settle in to your campsite where you spend tonight. Stop off en route at the Elephant Transit Home where injured babies and orphans are cared for. You will visit around feeding time and watch as the young elephants wait patiently at the gate for the carers to come around and feed them milk.
The afternoon you'll start your search for the animals that live in the Yala National Park. As you drive along the small roads, you'll head to the places where the elephants and deer can be found. Look out for crocodiles around the lakes. Afterwards, you'll drive back to the campsite where you can let all your memories of the day sink in. You'll spend the night in a tent with a comfortable bed and a private bathroom.
One temple, many beliefs
After breakfast your holiday in Sri Lanka continues as you head towards the nearby Tissa Kataragama Temple, an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. You'll find it's very different from the other temples you will have seen so far on your Sri Lanka holiday. A river flows through the temple complex and you can watch believers praying.
The afternoon you'll arrive at your cabana in Tangalle. Put your feet up, sit back on the veranda and watch as the waves crash on the beach. The cottages here are on stilts and mainly decorated with local materials. Enjoy a refreshing shower in your small bathroom and dream away in your cosy bed.
Enjoy a free day!
In the grounds of your cabana is an outdoor restaurant where you can taste the local cuisine of Tangalle. Although, if you prefer to venture out from your accommodation, there are also a few restaurants at the nearby beach.
Tangalle is not only a relaxed beach resort, but also a traditional Sri Lankan town with a nice market and lovely streets for you to wander around. Rent bicycles at the resort and cycle to the town center. Enjoy watching the locals at the large fishing fleet, when they bring their catch to shore at the end of the day. There are also many bays in the area that are perfect for snorkeling and diving.
Lost in paradise
On day 17 of your holiday in Sri Lanka, you'll leave the beach of Tangalle behind you and head towards another beach paradise of Unawatuna. As soon as you arrive, you'll immediately feel like you have discovered something unique.
Dive, relax or explore
Enjoy a tasty breakfast on the veranda or in the garden with the tropical birds chirping in the background. Unawatuna beach is about few meters away from your accommodation. Here, you can relax amongst the swaying palm trees, golden sands and clear blue sea.
However, you can also enjoy plenty of water activities during your time on the beach. Unawatuna has a perfect cove for surfing, offers daily excursions and snorkeling is also a fun thing to do. If you are more of a diving enthusiast, there are regular trips that you can book to nearby dive sites.
In the shops nearby you can pick some lovely souvenirs of typical Sri Lankan handicrafts. Be careful if you are buying Jewellery though, because the stones can be fake.
Beach holiday at its best
This will be your last morning on the white shore of Unawatuna. Enjoy the light sea breeze that keeps you cool as you relax on the beach. It's your decision, if you'll enjoy more activities today or if you just relax.
Back to the city
Today it’s time to travel back to Colombo where you will eventually catch your international flight back. You will stop off en route in a town called Galle, where the influences of the Portuguese and the Dutch can easily be seen. In the narrow streets you'll find many antique shops selling relicts from days gone by such as pottery, coins, furniture and glass.
After visiting Galle, you will head to Colombo where you'll go on a city tour. You'll also be treated to a very British high tea in the colonial Galle Face Hotel. You'll spend this last night in a stylish boutique hotel by the lake.
Goodbye Sri Lanka!
Today is the last day of your holiday in Sri Lanka but if you would like to extend your trip for more time on the beach, just let our travel specialist know when you make your enquiry.
When it is time to leave, our driver will pick you up and take you to the airport for your flight back home. As you board the plane you can look back on the memories of an incredible journey across Sri Lanka.