Duration
13 Days Itinerary
From
USD $2,495 Dates/Prices
Visiting

Sri Lanka

Transportation

Coach, Train, Tuk Tuk

Sri Lanka is a destination with so much to offer from thrilling jeep rides, lush jungles, ancient temples, and tropical beaches to a vibrant culture that prides itself on a tradition of warm hospitality. Discover the spice plantations of Matale and the tea factories in Nuwara Eliya, spot the elusive leopard in Wilpattu National Park, and admire the spectacular panorama when we stand atop the Lion Rock, Sigiriya.

Tour highlights

Sri Lanka is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites, 5 of which can be found in the country’s cultural triangle. Visit the 11th century ruins of its ancient capital, Polonnaruwa before traveling to the towering rock fortress of Sigiriya.

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is famed for its quality tea. The charming hillside resort of Nuwara Eliya continues to bear witness to the country’s colonial past with tea factories and large tea plantations still in operation today. The Matale spice plantations are not far off, producing cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg that flavor the delicious Sri Lankan cuisine.

Witness the plentiful wildlife in some of the finest national parks. Spot the elusive leopard in Wilpattu National Park and keep your eyes peeled for some of the 160 species of birds, 75 types of butterfly, and sambar and axis deer in Minneriya National Park.

Itinerary (13 Days)

Curated destinations, lifetime memories.

Day
Day 1
1

Negombo: welcome to Sri Lanka

Welcome to Sri Lanka, where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes, and nature’s beauty remains relatively unspoiled. Stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and wildlife experiences await!

Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Rest up, our touring begins tomorrow!

[Dinner]

Day 2
2

Negombo: city tour and seafood galore

Welcome to the coastal town of Negombo, set alongside a picturesque lagoon and home to an impressive network of canals built in Dutch colonial times. Negombo was an important strategic outpost for the trade of cinnamon in colonial times and has been ruled at varying times by the Dutch, Portuguese and British empires.  

Our day begins after breakfast with a city tour of Negombo. We explore the city, learning about its history and culture before enjoying our afternoon at leisure to explore further, or make use of our hotel’s amenities.  

Special Experience

We enjoy a walking tour of some of Negombo’s best seafood restaurants this evening. Discover Negombo’s night fish market, learn about the city’s strong seafood culture and meet some of the locals as you taste your way through delicious dishes of pan-fried king prawns, Negombo style crab curry, calamari and more, yum!

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 3
3

Negombo to Anuradhapura: Wilpattu National Park

Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka and the capital of the North Province, is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed city. Known for its many ruins of temples, ancient pools and dagobas, the fascinating city is our destination today. We arrive in Anuradhapura and visit a local school. Here, we learn about the school and have a chance to connect with the teachers and students.

Cameras at the ready! Anuradhapura is the gateway to Wilpattu National Park, home to approximately 30 species of mammals. This afternoon we jump in jeeps and head into the national park for a safari drive through its stunning jungle landscape. Keep an eye out for the elusive leopard, elephants, deer, a variety of birds and more as we explore the national park.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 4
4

Anuradhapura to Habarana

We continue north into the Sri Lankan highlands to Habarana today. Habarana is the gateway village to Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle and national parks.

This morning we take in the sights of Anuradhapura, gaining insight into its rich history, before making our way to Habarana. Upon arrival in Habarana we enjoy a sundowner on a river bank in Sigiriya, before dinner at our hotel.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 5
5

Pidurangala and Polonnaruwa: sweeping views and medieval ruins

Sri Lanka is home to no less than 8 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites. Five of these ancient sites are situated in what is known as the cultural triangle, in the center of the island. Polonnaruwa lies at the triangle’s easternmost point and became Sri Lanka’s second capital in the 11th century.

This morning we enjoy an early morning breakfast on top of Pidurangala Rock. Offering panoramic views of the landscape below and uninterrupted views of the iconic Sigiriya rock fortress. We return to our hotel and enjoy the rest of the morning and lunch at our own leisure.

We visit Polonnaruwa this afternoon where we see well-preserved ruins of palaces, bathing pools, stupas and exquisite rock sculptures of Buddha at the Gal Vihara.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 6
6

Sigiriya and Minneriya National Park

Regarded as one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive sites a visit to the famous rock fortress of Sigiriya is a must. The remains of a fifth-century fortress lie perched high atop a rock plateau with views upon a vast plain and dense jungles. Built by King Kasyapa, an impressive 5-acre fort sat astride the rock and a city nestled at its base, but now the city is gone and the fortress is in ruins.

We depart our hotel early this morning to visit Sigiriya. We brave the spiral staircase to see the 21 frescoes of female nature spirits (Apsaras) painted beneath an overhang about 90 meters up the rock. The frescoes are beautiful – their colors still vibrant after 1,500 years. A wall covered with 1,000-year-old graffiti and poetry (left by visitors who recorded their impressions of the painted women) lies just above the frescoes.

Special Experience

Our small group tour enjoys a cooking demonstration and lunch today at a local house. It is an opportunity to get acquainted with Sri Lankan culture and spend time with local families. We watch how they prepare their meals before enjoying a traditional lunch together.

This afternoon we travel to Minneriya National Park for a thrilling jeep ride through evergreen forest and scrub. The park is home to sambhur deer, elephants and huge flocks of cormorants and painted storks. The central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in the 3rd century AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is a fantastic place to observe the wildlife coming to drink and graze.

[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]

Day 7
7

Habarana to Kandy: Cave Temples and Spice Plantations

Dambulla is home to the best-preserved cave temple complex of Sri Lanka and is another key site of the cultural triangle. The cave temples were built in the 1st century BCE and the gigantic granite outcrop towers more than 160 meters above its surrounds. We explore the caves covered by ancient frescoes and their interior where hundreds of statues of Buddha (157 in fact) are housed, some carved from the rock itself.

Our small group continues to the spice plantations of Matale. Here we visit a spice garden where a variety of spices such as cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg are grown.

We continue to the southern tip of the cultural triangle to the sacred city of Kandy, the final UNESCO World Heritage-listed site of this area. Kandy is a sacred Buddhist site and each year home to the Kandy Festival which pays homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. This evening we enjoy a guided night walk through Kandy before dinner at a local restaurant. 

Note

Today we visit the cave temples of Dambulla which has approximately 500 stairs to enter the caves. If you choose not to enter the cave complex, you may wait at the coffee shop at the main entrance. Bring an old pair of socks to wear into the temples—when you are required to remove your shoes you may find that the ground is quite hot to walk on. Also wear clothes that you will be cool in as you will likely get a little warm climbing the stairs into the caves. 

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 8
8

Peradeniya and Kandy: Botanical gardens and local dance

Kandy is a truly charming town, set around an artificial lake and amidst rolling hills covered by forests and tea plantations. Our destination this morning is the luscious Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. It was initially designated a Royal Park but in 1821, under British colonial rule, it became a Botanical Garden. Exotic crops including cinchona (quinine), rubber, nutmeg, coffee and tea were all first tested here, all of which became a major part of the country’s economy. A beautiful orchid house sits within the Botanical Gardens with over 300 species of orchids. There are also a large number of bird species in the park for the keen birders amongst us.

We then explore the city sights of Kandy on a tour. The former capital of Ceylon and the last seat of the Sinhalese Kingdom, Kandy is known as the country’s cultural capital. The city has a distinctive style due to the impressive colonial architecture that still survives today. This afternoon we are treated to a cultural show and traditional Kandyan dance performance before we visit the famous pilgrimage site, the Temple of the Tooth Relic. We visit the temple that has housed Buddha’s tooth after it was purportedly smuggled in to Sri Lanka more than 400 years ago.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 9
9

Kandy to Nuwara Eliya: Time for tea

Nuwara Eliya, the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and heart of the lush-tea growing region, is our destination today. Founded by the British explorer Samuel Baker in 1846, Nuwara Eliya was a sanctuary to the colonialists keen to escape the humidity and heat of Sri Lanka. The region’s temperate climate makes this the coolest area in the country.

Special Experience

We enjoy a scenic local train journey from Kandy to Nanu Oya Station before we continue by road to Nuwara Eliya. We pass through some of Sri Lanka’s incredible scenery throughout the train journey and have the opportunity to mingle with the locals who ride the train daily.

We then continue to our hotel before our dinner this evening.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 10
10

Nuwara Eliya: a city tour

Set at an altitude of 1,800 meters, Nuwara Eliya has more to offer than respite from the heat of the lowlands. It is today a bustling town and the major food-producing region of the country. We learn more about this old colonial town on a city tour. We visit the city’s bustling markets, where vendors sell fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing and other produce.

Next, we tour a tea plantation learning about the tea estate and its laborers. Upon arrival we are treated to a freshly brewed cup of tea with the Superintendent before we are taken on a tour of the plantation. We enjoy lunch at the estate.

Our afternoon is at leisure to allow us to personally connect with our surrounds.

[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]

Day 11
11

Nuwara Eliya to Galle

We travel south this morning before arriving at the coastal walled city of Galle, capital of the South Province. Galle is best known for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Galle Fort, a fantastically preserved colonial sea fortress. Built by the Portuguese in the late 16th century, the old trading port was further fortified by the Dutch and British colonialists. The narrow streets of shuttered mansions and churches are protected by the stone walls, bastions and ramparts, and are a delight to stroll along. We enjoy a tour of the Galle Fort this evening before enjoying free time for dinner.

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 12
12

Galle to Colombo: Journey to the capital

Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, the ‘Garden City of the East’, faces the Indian Ocean and stretches along almost 9 miles of the island’s western shores. A bustling city crowded with buses and minivans has overtaken the once quiet roads laden with bullock carts. Tree-lined boulevards, colonial buildings, open air markets, temples, lakes and churches add great character to this city.

Today we journey from Galle to the capital, Colombo. We stop en route at the Tsunami Monument that remembers the 35,000 people who lost their lives in 2004 when the tsunami hit. We learn more about the natural disaster and the devastating effect it had while also witnessing significant renewal in the country.

Special Experience

Upon arrival in Colombo, we embark on a city tour in open-top WW2 4x4 Jeeps. We drive around the city streets immersing ourselves in the atmosphere of Colombo before visiting some key sights including the famous Gangarama Temple. This Buddhist temple combines an eclectic mix of architectural styles with Sri Lanka, India, Thai and Chinese influences. We also see the historical Museum of Colombo, a stunning example of British colonial architecture in the city. Importantly it houses the throne and crown of the Kandyan monarchs and many ancient Sri Lankan artifacts.

Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner at Colombo’s Gallery Café.  Housed in the former offices of world-renowned Sri Lanka architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa, the internationally acclaimed restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy our last group meal together.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 13
13

Depart Colombo

Our tour concludes after breakfast this morning. We bid farewell to our new friends and to the wonders of Sri Lanka.

Note

You need to be at the airport three hours prior to your scheduled flight departure due to Sri Lanka’s security screenings.

[Breakfast]

Inclusions

No last minute surprises, these are all part of your trip.

Travel

  • Travel in a small group of 6 to 16 passengers
  • All touring conducted in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Jeep safari in Minneriya National Park and Wilpattu National Park
  • Local train journey between Kandy and Nanu Oya station
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour

Stays

  • 12 nights in superior accommodation
  • Hotel highlight, Colombo. Spend an evening at the seaside Galle Face Hotel

Meals

  • 26 meals, including 12 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 10 dinners
  • Food highlight, Negombo seafood tour. Take to the streets of Negombo and enjoy a walking tour of the city’s best seafood restaurants
  • Food highlight, Sigiriya. Enjoy a cooking demonstration and traditional lunch at a local house, an opportunity to get acquainted with Sri Lankan culture and spend time with local families
  • Food highlight, Nuwara Eliya. Sample the produce that Sri Lanka is famed for, tea! We visit a tea factory and sample the local brew

Guides

  • A small group tour leader accompanies the group on the entire tour
  • Specialist local guides join the small group tour in selected locations

Special Experiences

  • Enjoy a walking tour of Negombo’s best seafood restaurants
  • Enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan cooking demonstration and lunch at a local village
  • Board a scenic local train for a ride to Nanu Oya Station
  • Experience a city tour of Colombo in open-top WW2 jeeps

Sightseeing

  • Negombo Seafood Tasting Tour
  • Negombo city tour
  • Wilpattu National Park
  • Sundowner on a river bank in Sigiriya
  • Optional Breakfast on top of Pidurangala
  • Polonnaruwa ruins
  • Tuk Tuk and Boat Village tour including a visit to a local house for a cooking demonstration and lunch
  • Minneriya National Park
  • Dambulla Cave Temples
  • Matale Spice Garden
  • Kandy night walk
  • Kandy city tour including the Gem Museum
  • Kandy local dance performance
  • Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
  • Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya
  • Scenic local train ride to Nanu Oya Station
  • Visit a tea factory
  • Evening Galle Fort tour
  • City tour of Colombo in open-top WW2 Jeeps

Accommodation

Accommodation, a superior and safe retreat.

Sri Lanka flag Negombo Sri Lanka

Hotel Jetwing Blue

4-star

This beachfront luxury hotel located on the coastline of Negombo is equipped with all of the modern comforts you would expect for beachfront accommodation. Two swimming pools, a spa and in-house boutiques complement the stylish and spacious guest rooms that feature picturesque views, free wifi, air-conditioning and a safe deposit box.

Sri Lanka flag Anuradhapura Sri Lanka

Ulagalla by Uga Escapes

5-star

This boutique hotel surrounded by the lush greenery of Anuradhapura, offers a relaxing and luxurious stay. Exquisite rooms feature elegant and charming styling accompanied with the creature comforts of free wifi, a coffee maker, a safe deposit box and much more. An onsite restaurant serves delicious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the onsite spa offers a superior pampering option for guests, and the outdoor infinity pool is a relaxing oasis.

Sri Lanka flag Habarana Sri Lanka

Habarana Village by Cinnamon

4-star

Bordering a picturesque lake and located in the quaint Habarana area of Sri Lanka, the Habarana Village combines a traditional village atmosphere with modern day luxury comforts. Rooms are surrounded by luscious green gardens and feature free wifi, a coffee maker, a safe deposit box and king-sized bed. 2 restaurants, a bar, swimming pool, spa and sports center complete Habarana Village’s relaxing offering.

Sri Lanka flag Kandy Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Citadel Kandy

4-star

Nestled on a hill in the countryside next to the Mahaweli River, the Cinnamon Citadel Kandy offers a relaxing retreat not far from the city of Kandy. The hotel features a large outdoor pool with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape and three dining options for guests. Rooms are spacious and feature a separate seating area, free wifi, air-conditioning, a safe deposit box and more.

Sri Lanka flag Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka

The Grand Hotel

4-star

Originally built in 1891 as the palatial residence of the former Governor of Sri Lanka, the grand Hotel has been restored to its former colonial splendor offering a unique stay in Nuwara Eliya. Rooms feature colonial style décor, heating, and a safe deposit box. The Grand Hotel boasts 8 different dining options, a billiards and snooker room, a shopping arcade and free wifi.

Sri Lanka flag Galle Sri Lanka

Le Grand Galle

5-star

Overlooking the Galle Fort, the Le Grand Galle offers a modern luxurious oasis in this historic destination. World-class service, modern décor and a relaxing atmosphere combine to offer an ultra-luxurious stay. Spacious rooms feature a separate sitting area, a king-sized bed, air-conditioning and a coffee maker. The property also boats an outdoor swimming pool with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, a relaxing spa, a gym, 2 restaurants, and a pool side bar.

Sri Lanka flag Colombo Sri Lanka

Galle Face Hotel

5-star

Situated in the heart of Colombo is the elegant and luxurious Galle Face Hotel. Embracing its history, the charming hotel is one of the oldest hotels east of the Suez – built in 1864 and recently restored back to its former glory. Free wifi, air-conditioning, a safe deposit box and complimentary soft drink is combined with colonial style décor and wooden floors in each room. The hotel boasts many facilities including 6 restaurants and bars, an outdoor swimming pool, a luxury spa and fitness center.

Information

Details for your small group tour.

01

Currency

Sri Lanka

The official currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee, although the recommended currency to take on your tour is the US Dollar. When you arrive in Sri Lanka you will be able to change your US Dollars into the required currency. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.

Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many destinations.

Currency
Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
02

Fitness Level

Sri Lanka - Fitness Level

To get the most out of your Small Group Touring Co. tour, you will need a good level of fitness. There are a variety of activities in our Sri Lankan Journey itinerary that require physical activity, including walking tours, temple visits, jeep safaris and more. You must be able to walk at least 2-3 hours on uneven ground and climb several flights of stairs. It’s not every day you come face to face with Sri Lanka’s traditional architecture, beautiful landscapes and historic traditions. We want you to be able to soak up every moment of your tour and create lasting, fond memories of your time in Sri Lanka. 

Walking Ability
2-3hrs
03

Arrival Time

Sri Lanka - Arrival Time

We don’t want you to miss out on any aspect of your Small Group Touring Co. tour. To ensure that you don’t, we recommend you arrive at your starting destination by 14:00h in order to take part in your welcome dinner.

Dates and Prices

Don’t wait, reserve your place today.

*Prices shown are in USD.

Start Date   End Date Tour Price Offer Price Savings Status  
02 Feb 20
14 Feb 20
$2,795
$2,795
On Request
16 Feb 20
28 Feb 20
$2,795
$2,795
On Request
01 Mar 20
13 Mar 20
$2,695
$2,695
On Request
15 Mar 20
27 Mar 20
$2,695
$2,695
Available
29 Mar 20
10 Apr 20
$2,695
$2,695
Available
12 Apr 20
24 Apr 20
$2,695
$2,695
Available
26 Apr 20
08 May 20
$2,695
$2,695
Available
10 May 20
22 May 20
$2,495
$2,495
Available
24 May 20
05 Jun 20
$2,495
$2,495
Available
14 Jun 20
26 Jun 20
$2,495
$2,495
Available
05 Jul 20
17 Jul 20
$2,495
$2,495
Available
19 Jul 20
31 Jul 20
$2,895
$2,895
Available
26 Jul 20
07 Aug 20
$2,895
$2,895
Available
06 Sep 20
18 Sep 20
$2,495
$2,495
Available
11 Oct 20
23 Oct 20
$2,495
$2,495
Available
08 Nov 20
20 Nov 20
$2,695
$2,695
Available
29 Nov 20
11 Dec 20
$2,695
$2,695
Available

Additional Info

Single Supplement

The above pricing is based on twin share per person. If you are interested in single pricing please contact one of our tour consultants and they would be glad to assist in providing a detailed proposal including pricing.

Tipping

Tipping has been included in your tour price for drivers, porters, waiters, any specialist local guides and your small group tour leader.

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