Best of Sri Lanka

12 Nights / 13 Days

Overview

Sri Lanka is the perfect escape for you, so relish this unforgettable journey of enchantment and adventure where you cover this Paradise Island’s Sandy Shores of Bentota, Rich Cultural Heritage Sites such as Sigiriya Rock, Dambulla Cave Temple and Kandy Tooth Relic Temple, Avid Wildlife of Yala National Park along with Lush Hill Country and Tea factories. You will also experience the chilled breeze that will sway upon you when youtake the most scenic train route of the country from Nanu Oya to Ella.

Highlights

  • Colombo City Tour
  • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
  • Kandy Tooth Relic Temple
  • Peradeniya Botanical Garden
  • Kandyan Dance Performance
  • Scenic Train Journey from Nanu Oya to Ella
  • Half day tea experience
  • Galle City Tour
  • Sri Lankan Village Experience (Hiriwaduna)
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
  • Safari at Yala National Park

Colombo

Dambulla

Kandy

Nuwara Eliya

Yala

Bentota

Tour Route

1 Night

Colombo

1 Night

3 Nights

Dambulla

3 Nights

2 Nights

Kandy

2 Nights

2 Nights

Nuwara Eliya

2 Nights

2 Nights

Yala

2 Nights

2 Nights

Bentota

2 Nights

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
  • Day 13

Arrive Colombo

Upon arrival in Bandaranaike International Airport you are met and greeted by our driver and transferred to Colombo (approximate travel time from Airport to Colombo is 45 mins.) You will then check in to your pre-booked Hotel in Colombo and be welcomed by your Local Tour Manager who will brief you on the line up for the next few days.

Colombo City Tour and Meet with Local Vendorsin Pettah

Commencing with a visit to the Fort and the Pettah commercial hub with offices and shopping areas located amidst oldest colonial hotel GOH. You can meet the local vendors in these hubs and get to know about their lifestyles. You will find shops and restaurants facing Sri Lanka’s twin tower buildings. Continue to the old race course with a maze of buildings with colonial architecture, restaurants and shopping arcade passing through Colombo City Hall (mini replica of the White House in Washington, DC). Drive past the Town Hall, Independence Square, the B.M.I.C.H (International Convention Centre) and Cinnamon Gardens residential area.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Colombo

Colombo – Dambulla (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel and Check out

Proceed to Dambulla. Upon arrival, check in at Hotel in Dambulla and spend rest of the day at leisure

Optional Walk to a Sri Lankan Village in Habarana

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Dambulla

Dambulla – Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Dambulla

Early Breakfast at Hotel and leave towards Sigiriya

Morning climb and visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress (1 ½ hours approx.)

Sigiriya also known as the Lion's Rock is a rock fortress and a palace located in the Matale district of Sri Lanka. This ruin is surrounded by gardens, ponds and other structures. Sigiriya was built by King Kassapa and it is included as a World Heritage site. Sigiriya is the best-preservedCity Centre in Asia. Earlier is was a rock-shelter mountain monastery which was donated by Buddhist devotees. Later King Kassapa renovated it by building gardens and palace. After his death it was again used as a monastery. Human habilitation in Sigiriya at its earliest was found to be nearly five thousand years during the Mesophilic period. Rock inscriptions are carved near the drip ledges on many of the shelters, recording the donation of the shelters to the Buddhist monastic order as residences. These have been made within the period between the third century B.C and the first century A.D. In 1831 Major Jonathan Forbes of the 78th Highlanders of the British army while returning on horseback from a trip to Polonnaruwa came across the "bush covered summit of Sigiriya. Sigiriya came to the attention of antiquarians and later archaeologists.The Sigiriya complex itself consists of the central rock and two rectangular precincts which are surrounded by two moats and three ramparts. The city is based on a square module.

Transfer from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa (1 hour approx.)

Polonnaruwa is the Island's 2nd largest kingdom. Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned Archeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom's first rulers. Its beauty and serenity was captured in the Duran music video Save a Prayer in 1982. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

The Lankathilaka temple and a colossal statue of the Buddha made from stone is located here. Buddhist pilgrimages are organized among people to visit ancient ruins of temples, stupas and even Hindu temples. Rankot Vihara, the largest stupa in the city is about 180 ft. high. LankathilakaGedige, built during the rule of Parakramabahu, however the roof of it is missing but still is worth a visit to view the temple's magnificence.

Transfer back to Hotel in Dambulla

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Dambulla

Dambulla – Hiriwaduna Village – Dambulla

Breakfast at Hotel

Transfer to Hiriwaduna Village (15 mins approx.)

Hiriwaduna name comes from Siri+weda+unna or Himi+weda+unna, both meaning “Buddha was here”. The village temple at Hiriwaduna is the real Bodhgaya where Prince Siddhartha attained Buddhahood – the original Ficus religiosa still stands there. Hiriwaduna is a special place indeed, where the scenery and aura is like a different world, detached from the rest of Sri Lanka.
Your trip through the world of a typical Sri Lankan village is the Hiriwaduna Village Tour. The tour begins with a trip on a Bullock cart (ox cart) along a dirt track and down to the picturesque Hiriwaduna Lake through rice paddies. The journey continues with a catamaran trip on the lake with its wide range of bird life in the dry zone and views of local farmers' nearby trees, marshland and vegetable plots.

Spend time with the villagers and understand their lifestyles. Engage in many rural activities that are part of the everyday lives of the villagers; such as oxen cart rides, a catamaran rides and a walks through the fields. Then take a trip to a nearby home on the famed tuktuk where you can connect with the family by helping the women prepare a Sri Lankan lunch using the traditional Sri Lankan cooking methods. You will take a 150 meter stroll back to the main road after ending your tour with an exceptionally delicious buffet lunch, served in a rustic Sri Lankan fashion.

Transfer back to Hotel

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Dambulla

Dambulla –Matale – Kandy (Drive)

Breakfast at hotel and Check out

Transfer to Kandy via Matale (2 ½ hours approx.)

En-route, Lunch at a Local Spice Garden in Matale

Matale, nestled in the central hills and at an altitude of 546 meters, is yet another bounty of nature’s abundance with captivating landscapes of fertile greenery and scattered mountain ranges decorated with blankets of cascading water. Today, the town of Matale is a center of activity, propelled by the daily hustle and bustle of urban life, with thousands of commuters thronging the urban center for sundry errands. Matale is a small town renowned for its Spice Gardens. The world’s best cinnamon comes from here. Visit these gardens and see how these spices are grown and processed. You can watch a cookery demonstration on how these spices are used in Sri Lankan Cuisine and they may take home a selection of garden fresh spices with them. Enjoy a Traditional Sri Lankan Cuisine Lunch before proceeding towards Kandy.

Transfer to Kandy from Matale

Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka and lies in the midst of hills. It is the Capital of the Central Province. It is both an administrative and religious city. Kandy is the second largest city in the country and is frequently visited by Buddhists especially of the Theravada School. Kandy is very famous among tourist for three main reasons: It is home to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic; Dalada Maligawa), The Botanical Gardens (Located in Peradeniya) and it always has a special place when it comes to festivities such as the EsalaPerahara.Kandy is must for anyone's itinerary when visiting Sri Lanka which is why we recommend the city as it is considered one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka which at the same time show cases the Sri Lankan Culture at its highest level.

Check in at the hotel in Kandy and Relax for the day

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Kandy

Kandy - Pinnawala – Kandy

Breakfast at Hotel

Transfer from Kandy to Pinnawala (1 ½ hours approx.)

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, halfway between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department in a 25-acre coconut property adjoining the Maha Oya River. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the many orphaned Elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka.In 1978 the orphanage was taken over by the National Zoological Gardens from the Department of Wildlife. A captive breeding program was launched in 1982. Since the inception of the program over 20 elephants have been bred here. The aim of the orphanage is to simulate a natural habitat to these elephants. However, there are some exceptions: the elephants are taken to the river twice a day for a bath, and all the babies less than three years of age are still bottle fed by the mahouts and volunteers.The orphanage which boasts to have the largest herd of captive elephants in the world is very popular and visited daily by many Sri Lankan and foreign tourists. The main attraction is clearly to observe the elephants bathing which is quite a spectacle. We make way for you to experience an enchanting adventure and to observe the majesty of these tuskers.

Kandy City Tour

Shopping in Kandy – known for exotic arts and crafts and world-famous gem stones
Take a stroll or drive along the Kandy Lake and Upper Lake Drive enjoying breath taking views of the country’s Hill Capital

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Kandy

Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel and Check out

Transfer from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya (3 hours approx.)

En-route visit a Tea Plantation

Upon Arrival, Nuwara Eliya City Tour
Nuwara Eliya meaning "city on the plain or "city of light" is a town in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is one of the major tea producing areas in the world. The tallest mountain in Sri Lanka "Pidurutalagala" oversees this beautiful city. It is the most visited hill country.

Nuwara Eliya is said to have been founded by a couple of British officers who apparently got lost while elephant hunting. The British Governor Sir Edward Barnes was notified about the town and he himself decided to reside at Nuwara Eliya and subsequently creating a health resort that was internationally renowned. The town was later the ultimate destination for English pastimes such as golf, fox hunting, polo, etc. Nuwara Eliya also has an archeological importance as well in which pre-historic human remains are found. The city has a good reflection of the colonial period while new hotels are furnished according to the colonial era.

Sri Lanka produces a significant share of the world's best tea and in the meantime is also one of the world's largest exporters of tea. Since the introduction of tea to Sri Lanka in mid 19the century Nuwara Eliya has been the capital of the tea industry. “Little England" is also home to some beautiful waterfalls such as Ramboda Falls, Devon Falls, and Laksapana Falls. Trekking and hiking expeditions usually evolve around these land marks.

Transfer to Hotel in Nuwara Eliya and Check in

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

Breakfast at Hotel

Visit a Local Village in Nuwara Eliya and experience tea plucking

The best pleasure you will take away from visiting a tea factory would be plucking tea from a real tea plantation. You can also have the full experience of adorning the classic saree that is so synonymous with Sri Lankan tea pluckers. Obviously, men can wear sarongs and you'll be given your own basket to store your leaves in. You are then taken down to the tea fields with the full kit complete.

The local planting guides will show you which tea leaves to pluck to get the best tea tasting menu. The plucking process can be a little difficult to complete, as you will usually find yourself with the tea leaves ended up on the floor instead of the container. In spite of how many leaves you pick, the professional tea pluckers that follow you will leave you way, way behind. They are like machines filling their buckets with amazing energy. This is mainly because they must reach their 15 kilogram leaves daily target.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya – Ella – Yala (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel and Check out

Proceed to Nanu Oya Railway Station

Proceed to Ella from Nanu Oya – the most scenic route in Sri Lanka
It’s hard to forget the experience of taking the train through Sri Lankan tea country. Nothing compares to the cold air that comes in through the windows and the endless rolling hills of tea plantations and lush forests. The Eastern train route takes you from Kandy to Nanu Oya, on to Ella and Badulla.

The Demodara nine arch bridge close to Ella station is as picturesque as bridges get. Visitors can ride the train over the bridge and also walk along it in the other direction if they spend a night in the area. The bridge was constructed in the early 1900’s and is built completely out of rocks and cement without a single bit of steel. The local name is Sinhala which translates to “nine skies”, due to the framing of the sky when the bridge arches are seen from below. The views from the window will have you snapping photos at every turn. The journey through the hill country not only gives you countless breathtaking sights, it also takes you through long dark tunnels where there is always fun to be had for the passengers, yelling while the train travels through the tunnels.

Proceed to Yala by road from Ella (2 ½ hours approx.)

Upon arrival in Yala, check in at hotel and relax

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Yala

Yala

Breakfast at Hotel and Check out

Morning Visit to the Yala National Park for a Jeep Safari

Yala National Park is situated in the south-east region of Sri Lanka and is the 2nd largest National Park in the island, situated some 300 km away from Colombo. It was at first established in the early 1890s as a game sanctuary. The park is located in the dry-zone region where the drought season is very long. The day time average temperature is over 30 degrees which is not uncommon in the region. “Yala Safari” A dream destination for all wildlife enthusiasts; be it its leopard cubs seeking refuge on a tree, or an adult leopard quenching its thirst at a water hole, the leopard sightings in this nature reserve are many and varied and you are able to witness these wonders on a jeep safari where you can literally observe them from a close range.The parkland makes up most of the reserve but also includes lakes, beaches, jungle, rivers and scrubland. This variety in habitats provides an excellent range in wildlife. The largest concentration of Leopards can be seen in this region though the chances of seeing this animal are very low, and the creature is said to be one of the most endangered species. About 32 species of mammals, 125 species of birds and many reptiles and lagoon fauna species have been recorded in the park. The Yala National Park is famous among visitors as the best place to view large mammals within one territory.

Evening Safari at Yala National Park

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Yala

Yala – Bentota (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel and Check Out

Proceed to Bentota, En-route Sightseeing of Galle

Galle is situated in the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka; it is one of the country's integral cities. Galle has a colorful history and beauty that renders many speechless. The city is filled with Dutch-colonial buildings people come from faraway places to see. The air is filled with the sweet smell of spices and the salty winds give it an authentic recognition. The fort built by the Portuguese in 1588 holds most of the attention as you can explore the city of Galle through its walls. The Fort has a multi-religious ethnic population and embedded deep inside its walls is a rich history people are besotted with. This glorious building suffered through the Boxing Day Tsunami and was later restored to its magnificent beauty. It has been given the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its endless glory. It's a beautiful travelling location which gives you an experience that's hard to forget.Galle is filled with art that's rare, the streets are filled with people who are ambitious and hardworking, showcasing their efforts in one the best displays that please the eye immensely. The classic architecture fuses with the tropical setting that's the envy of many man-made resorts and architects. Galle is said to be a heavenly piece of art, tropical heaven and rich in history.

Later proceed towards Bentota and check in at hotel

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Bentota

Bentota

Breakfast at Hotel

Full day at the beach enjoying the sea breeze with a touch of coastal warmth

Bentota is a small town situated on coastal areas in Sri Lanka. Positioned 65 kilometers south of Colombo the capital, in the Bentota region of the Southern Province It is quite famous for its breath-taking view, and especially the Bentota Beach. If you are looking to spend your holidays and give yourself a calm and natural treat, with no bars and restaurants, this is the most refreshing and relaxing site. The Bentota Beach which extends across 7-8 kilometers is truly a symbol of peace, calmness and cleanness. One of its strongest points is its quiet surroundings which, according to many people, run the natural and relaxing environment of the beach. There is plenty of space of everyone to settle in perfectly and enjoy the sun bath to the fullest.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Bentota

Bentota – Colombo (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel and Check Out

Proceed to the Airport with an abundance of memories from your unforgettable experience here at Sri Lanka – The Paradise Island.

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Pricing*

– £1845 / $2545 per person for a minimum of 2 travellers on a twin or double sharing basis.
– £1125 / $1550 for single room supplement.

Price valid till 30th April 2023 & based in Standard Hotels.

Included

  • Accommodation on Twin / Double Sharing basis
  • Daily Breakfast and Dinner
  • Private Transfers
  • City Sightseeing
  • Air Conditioned Private Car with English speaking Driver Guide
  • Entrances to Monuments
  • Two Game Drives at Yala National Park
  • Train Ticket as per program
  • Govt Taxes

Not Included

  • International Flight
  • Insurance
  • Expenses of Personal nature
  • Meals -Lunch
  • Camera and Video charges
  • Tips
  • Visa Charges

* Terms and Conditions Apply

  1. Prices applicable for standard hotels, luxury accommodations available on request.
  2. Prices valid upto 30th April 2023.
  3. Christmas and New Year supplement applicable extra.
  4. Local taxes apply.

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Tour interested in: Best of Sri Lanka

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