Sri Lanka is a perfect holiday destination; there’s something for everyone! Nature with so many different landscapes, beautiful wildlife, history etched into so many ancient ruins, beaches stretching forever, mesmerising mountains, and multicultural people with their spicy and colourful cuisine. And we haven’t even mentioned the adventures you can have in water sports, and much more.
In your 14 day tour, some of the highlights will be meeting the local fisher folk in Negombo; climbing the Sigiriya Rock Fortress; visiting the World Heritage Sites of Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Kandy & Galle; visiting the Kandy Temple of the tooth, go on a scenic train ride in the hills and trekking at remote village kinchigune, visit the Yala National Park, the land of leopards. Additionally, you will also enjoy experiencing Sri Lankan traditional village lifestyle!
Your accommodation will consist of handpicked hotels and campsites, designed to minimize time spent in travel, so that you can have the maximum time to focus on your Sri Lankan cultural holiday and enjoy your hotel, destinations, and the amazing cuisine in the area.
Highlights at a glance
- First you will get to visit colourful fish markets, vegetable & fruit markets… interact with the locals & learn a few “trade secrets”.
- Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and join devotees at the Dambulla Cave Temple.
- Then off to visit the 13th century mediaeval capital Polonnaruwa and discover the ruins of palaces and temples where the award winning movie “Monkey Kingdom”was also filmed.
- You will also be witnessing the biggest Asian Elephant gathering in the world; Minneriya National Park.
- Witness age-old Buddhist rituals and try your hand in traditional arts & crafts in the suburbs of Kandy; the hill capital.
- Art of tea making in Nuwara Eliya.
- Scenic train ride to Ella.
- Nature trails in remote village Kinchigune & Canoeing at Samanalawewa reservoir.
- Get into the wild at Yala National Park.
- Beach stay at the south coast.
Welcome to Sri Lanka! This is a private tour to enjoy at your own pace. On your arrival you will be picked up by your chauffeur who will be with you throughout the tour. The drive to Negombo will take about 25 minutes. On arrival you can either spend the day at the hotel or go for a walk on the beach. If you choose to venture out for dinner.
Your chauffeur will take you to visit the colourful authentic fish market and meet the fisher folk early in the morning. Then you will head to Sigiriya after breakfast. Excursion to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is set for late afternoon. At the Fortress, you can take your time leisurely exploring the vast boulder gardens and water gardens before heading up. The climb up the rock is quite easy, as it is made up of walkways and steps with guide rails. Halfway up the rock, you will encounter the famous Sigiriya frescoes and you will reach the summit just in time to catch a gorgeous sunset highlighting the panoramic view all around you.
Morning visit the UNESCO World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa, with its ruins in a resplendent state of preservation, was the Capital of Sri Lanka from 11th to 13th century. The ancient city defended by enclosing walls, is dotted with palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds and irrigation lakes. The Gal Vihara temple complex, cut from a single granite wall, consists of statues of the recumbent, standing and seated Buddha and ranks among the masterpieces of Sri Lankan Art.
In the evening, you will really be struck by witnessing the world’s most significant elephant phenomena at Minneriya National Park.
A short drive after breakfast will bring you to the Dambulla fruit & vegetable market which is a massive hub for fresh produce trading. After touring the market and sampling various produce, you will head over to the Dambulla Cave Temple. You can explore the 5 sacred caves of this World Heritage Site and also climb Dambulla Rock to enjoy the panoramic views. After a delicious lunch on your own, you will resume your journey and arrive in Kandy, in time to visit the Temple of the Tooth (the Sri Dalada Maligawa, where the sacred relic of a tooth belonging to Lord Buddha is kept) and also witness a daily sacred ritual known as Thewawa.
Today is a short drive to Peradeniya, to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens. A sprawling garden of about 60 hectares, hemmed in by the Mahaweli River, it also has a suspension bridge to cross to the other side of the river! In the evening you can go see a cultural dance show. Sri Lanka has dance styles from three different regions: Kandyan or Uda-rata (up country), Pahatha-rata (low country) and Sabaragamu (Ratnapura district). These cultural performances usually consist of a variety of Kandyan and low country dances. One of the highlights of the shows will be the devil dance which derives from the South-west coast and is performed wearing masks.
After breakfast at the hotel you will carry on driving to lush green tea plantations of the tea capital: Nuwara Eliya, sightseeing this quaint town will be peaked by your visit to a tea factory. With incredible dexterity and speed, versatile women pluck tea leaves filling up their tea sacks every day. At the tea factory, you will see the entire process of how tea is made from scratch, from tea bush to teapot. After that you will visit Gregory Lake and Victoria Park which is located in the town.
Hotel Grand Turf
After breakfast, you will be dropped off at the railway station. The train will take you all the way to Ella and the ride is wonderfully scenic. The ride will give you the opportunity to chat and connect with locals. Your vehicle will be waiting to pick you up at Ella railway station and take you to your hotel. The rest of the day is left free for you to explore your surroundings. Ella has some great hiking trails and all of them have amazing views. In the night you can check out the vibrant nightlife and enjoy the varied cuisines and local cocktails.
Ella 100 View Cottage
Today you will proceed to the Belihuloya to experience a truly village setup with a local and village trail. Go canoeing at Samanalawewa in the evening. Kinchigune campsite offers a tranquil and picturesque setting, surrounded by lush greenery, rolling hills and the cascading waters of the Belihuloya river. Village life in Belihuloya reflects a slower pace, close community ties and a strong connection to nature.
Kinchigune Camping Site
It’s time to head off to the land of the leopards, Yala National Park! Although it is most famous for Leopard sightings, Yala has a fantastically diverse population of animals. During your Private half day safari in the park you will encounter Elephants, Crocodiles, Sambar, Wild Buffalo, Eagles, Cobras, Peacocks and more. With rocky coasts, mountains, vast lakes and plains, the landscape of Yala is a treat for the eyes and is the perfect backdrop for exciting sightings! Your comfortable glamping accommodation will also offer up some great sightings, as it is situated right on the border of the Park.
Big Game Camp Yala
Today you’ll be going on a full day safari, and it is also the best when it comes to getting the most sightings in, as it allows you to be inside the park for an extended period of time. Yala is also culturally significant and you will come across the ancient temples and monasteries of Situlpawwa, Magul Vihara and Akasa Chaitiya during your time there. A significant part of Yala borders the Indian Ocean and your picnic-style lunch on this day will be served in a safe location by the beach, where Park visitors are permitted to disembark from their vehicles.
Today you will be travelling to Galle. Galle is a picture book UNESCO heritage city that will mesmerize you with its many charms. Depending on what time you reach your hotel, you can relax here with the sea breeze, or venture on a walk into the city. Galle Fort itself spans 90 acres overlooking the ocean. Your guide will be happy to accompany you and show you the Meeran Mosque, the Fort Lighthouse, the Dutch Reformed Church, restaurants, live music bars and quaint houses on cobblestone streets. Galle boasts of a museum you may like to visit, that offers an interesting historical insight of its past. There is also the Dutch Market and numerous spice shops to see.
Rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own or if you would like to see whales, remember, November to April is the best time and means spending about half a day out in the ocean. You will leave early by 6-6:30am to go whale watching from the Mirissa harbour. This is an exciting adventure when you may sight Blue whales and Bottle-nosed dolphins.
The South Coast is well known for its fantastic beaches, inviting waters, surfing, diving, multicultural cuisines, historical sites,. Galle is probably the best place for travellers to base themselves as they explore all that the South Coast has to offer. It is a destination in itself, with plenty to experience and has a wonderful variety of hotels that cater to everyone.
After breakfast and checking out, it is time for us to safely transfer you to the airport, well in time for an unhassled check in and safe journey back home or your onward destination. The drive to the Bandaranaike International Airport will be under 3 hours.
Sri Lanka bids farewell…wishing to see you again.
Includes / Excludes
- Accommodation above mentioned Hotels or of similar standards, with Below mentioned mail plan
- Transportation throughout the tour in an Air Conditioned vehicle with a top notch Driver Guide.
- All the experiences and activities mentioned in the itinerary with experienced naturalists.
- Entrance Fees for Sigiriya Rock , Polonnaruwa , Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy Temple ,
- Private jeep safaris for Minneriya & Yala national park
- Kinchigune Nature Trail & Canoeing at Samanalawewa reservoir
- Service charges and all Government taxes.
- All fuel, toll, insurance
- Driver guide's meals and accommodation
- Replacement of vehicle in case of breakdown or emergency.
- Optional Activities, not mentioned in the program. [if any additional service is required please inform us we will arrange the service accordingly.]
- X - Mas & New Year Gala Dinner Supplement
- Early check-in / late check-outs (in Sri Lanka the check-in is offered at 1400 hrs and the check-out is at 12 noon).
- Any Airfare, any insurance fee.
- Any Visa fee. Electronic Travel Authority could be obtained by following the below link (https://eta.gov.lk/etaslvisa/etaNavServ)
- Anything not mentioned in inclusion above.
- Any optional tours or transfers.
- Any expenditure of personal nature like table drinks, laundry, tip, telephone calls, soft/ hard drinks, still/video camera fee (if any) etc.
- Tipping to the local Driver Guide.
When it comes to the accommodation, all the reservations are subject to availability at the time of confirmation, and as soon as we have received the payment, our Tour Operations Team will take in charge of your tour and proceed with the reservations. In case a hotel mentioned in your itinerary has no availability, we will find you an alternative. No changes will be done without your approval!
We will make a rough day-by-day schedule for your tour, but won’t set you exact timings for each and every activity – unless there is a an activity which start at a specific time. Since you will be traveling by private vehicle, with a knowledgeable driver-guide, we want you to have your part in decision making. With the help from him, you may tune the schedule to your rhythm.
Along the destinations included in your itinerary, you are free to take as many stops as you want to. When it comes to additional visits and destinations that are located out of the original route, the extra kilometers will be taken in consideration. For your journey, we will calculate a total mileage that is sufficient for the whole tour and mentioned in your itinerary. If this limit is exceeded, we will charge a supplement according the extra mileage.
We’ll do our best to accommodate the programme in your needs and wishes, if something urgent occurs during your tour. In a situation that requires changing the accommodation, the cancellation policies of the hotels concerned are to be taken on account.
Since the 1st of January 2012, all travelers must be in possession of a visa when arriving in Sri Lanka. Citizens from Singapore and The Maldives are the only exempt. Visitors can apply for the official Electronic Travel Authorization (visa) via www.eta.gov.lk, or upon arrival at the airport. There is a small fee to pay, and you must have at least six months left on your passport at the time of travel to obtain one.
MasterCard and Visa are widely used and accepted by many local shops, restaurants and hotels, but it’s always better to double check. Other major cards such as AmEx and DinersClub are accepted often also.
The Important Stuff
Sri Lanka is a nation where religion and culture occupy an important place in the day-to-day lives of the local people. It is important to be aware of the customs and practices that are particular to the location you are visiting, so here are a few general tips to keep in mind during your travels. Your chauffeur will assist you with more detailed information.
- If you plan on visiting any temples, ancient or current, you should wear clothing that covers your body from your shoulders down to your knees. Head coverings such as caps or helmets should be removed and shoes must be taken off at the entrance. White coloured clothing is generally a good choice to go with here.
- Some religious places do not allow photography or videography without prior permission and some may not allow it at all. Refer to signage or ask your chauffeur guide about the policy or protocol. Don’t try to photograph or take videos without permission.
- If you have any tattoos associated with Buddhism, Hinduism or Islamism, it’s best that you cover them completely in public places.
- Smoking is prohibited in indoor public places, workplaces and on public transport.