With this amazing holiday experience in Sri Lanka, you will cover most of the cultural, historical and entertaining highlights that Sri Lanka has to offer in a relatively short time – in just 10 days.
You will get to: meet the local fisher folk in Negombo, climb Sigiriya also called the Lion Rock at sunset and Pidurangala at dawn for the sunrise, and visit Polonnaruwa, the city with ancient ruins. In between, witness the evening worship at the Kandy Temple, a ritual that has been carried out for thousands of years, then enjoy plucking some tea leaves with the locals in the picturesque Tea Capital, Nuwara Eliya. Then it is time for you to go ‘wild’! Taking you on an adventure, to encounter the elusive leopard in Yala and magnificent blue whales in Galle.
We have handpicked an assortment of Hotels, with the minimum transfer time to get to them from the city & to reach attractions – giving you more time to enjoy the hotels, the attractions & cities.
Ideal For – Solo travellers/ couples/ friends / families with kids and teenagers / small groups consisting of friends and family.
As this journey is available throughout the year, it is ideal for those who have busy schedules and are uncertain about the period of their holidays.
Highlights at a glance
- Local street food, spices & meeting the fisher folk in Negombo; fondly known as Little Rome.
- Take in the ancient engineering marvels of the 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress at sunset & then bravely climb the Pidurangala Rock to witness a glorious sunrise.
- You will walk through the 13th century mediaeval capital of Polonnaruwa and discover the ruins of palaces and temples, where the award winning movie “Monkey Kingdom” was also filmed.
- Witness age-old buddhist rituals, try your hand in traditional arts & crafts in the suburbs of Kandy; the island’s hill capital.
- A journey to the tea country of Nuwara Eliya with a visit to a Tea Plantation & a Factory. Visit a Hindu Shrine and get blessings bestowed by the local priest.
- Travel in a train to Ella with the locals and visit the magnificent 9 arch stone bridge.
- Stay at a Tented Camp in Yala bordering the national park and experience the guided safaris and enjoy a candlelight dinner under the stars, around the campfire followed by a night walk.
- Go on a boat safari to see the largest mammal on earth, the Blue Whale or discover the trail of Ceylon Cinnamon.
- Walk through the streets of UNESCO World Heritage - Galle Dutch Fort - which is one of the few living forts in the world. At the same time, you will discover the legacy of Portuguese, Dutch and the British.
The start of your adventurous holiday in Sri Lanka, just ease into it. Depending on what time you arrive, it really is up to you to decide what you would like to do on your brief stop here. You may fancy lingering on the beach or if you choose to venture out, Hotel Road teems with bars and seafood restaurants to check out.
Today will be your day to climb the Sigiriya Rock by early evening – a highlight of Sri Lanka tourism. The remains of gigantic sculptured lion paws will greet you at the start of the climb. You will ascend 600 metres to reach the zenith of the Lion Rock where you will be struck by the panoramic view and vantage point for a king. The foundations of what once housed a gathering hall, sleeping quarters – remain to be admired. There is the Mirror Wall which features the Sigiriya frescoes that are unfortunately fading. On descending, you will enjoy walking by once landscaped gardens with their own irrigation systems.
Veiled in the early morning chill and mist, you will head out to climb the Pidurangala Rock. At its zenith, you will be drawn by the unique view of Sigiriya’s ‘Lion Rock’ and the surrounding pristine splendour of the forest. Another treat for you to explore here: the remains of a monastery dating back to 2 BC.
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.
Leaving the Cultural Triangle, the Cave Temple of Dambulla is an epic site, housing impressive mural paintings and 157 statues including a 47 foot long statue of the recumbent Buddha. The UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts of the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka.
Then to Kandy, a gem to see on a tour to Sri Lanka: home to Sri Dalada Maligawa which dates back to the 16th century, The complex is made up of numerous buildings, decorated with paintings and carvings depicting Buddha. We will go to the temple right in time to see the most important evening ritual done as an offering to the sacred tooth relic.
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.
In the factory, with an expert tea maker, you will go through the entire tea-making process: from withering to grading. Similar to wine tasting, tea tasting is an art and at the end of the process, you will be guided to attempt tasting some of the tea varieties.
You will have about 3 hours of non-stop wanderlust when taking the Nanuoya to Demodara train journey. Regardless of the ticket you opt for, do walk through the carriages and meet the locals and other fellow travellers – you will be pleasantly surprised by the interaction you have. Like a film reel, you will seemingly transition through wondrous hills where tea pickers will be at work on the tea plantations, wave back to the school kids at railway crossings waiting for the train to pass. After passing Ella Station, the train will traverse the famous nine arch bridge built entirely with stones, before you get down at the Demodara Railway Station.
It’s Safari Time! Brace yourself for a full day guided safari in Yala National Park with a picnic breakfast. Your lunch will be brought in by our support vehicle. Yala National Park, situated in the southeast region of the country, covers almost 1000 sq km – a landscape blessed with Leopards & the Sloth Bears – the stars here. Also the Park is also home to the large herds of majestic elephants as well as to the spotted deer, sambar, wild boar, wild buffalo,jackal and mongoose. Watch out for the fantastic birdlife too. Over 215 species of birds have been recorded in Yala, with six being endemic to Sri Lanka. A night walk after dinner in the vicinity of the campsite will give you a chance to see and hear the nocturnal life, in the wilderness of Yala.
Galle is a picture book UNESCO heritage city that will mesmerise 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 chauffeur 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.
Depending on when you tour in Sri Lanka, 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. Or, you will go on the
Galle Cinnamon Experience; an interactive tour which gives you a sense of a cinnamon farmer’s life – visiting a beautiful, working cinnamon estate. Another option: you will take a walk in historical Galle Fort during your stay in Sri Lanka. Your chauffeur will take you to local restaurants and craft shops where you’ll find batiks, brassware and jewellery.
We’ve reached the end of your 9-night holiday to Sri Lanka and it is time to depart. You will be taken to Colombo Airport in time to catch your departure flight.
- 9 nights accommodation. HB at all hotels.
- Transportation in an Air conditioned Vehicle with an English Speaking Chauffeur throughout the tour including Airport Transfers.
- Jeep Safaris in the above mentioned National Park in a Private Jeep including the entry permit costs & government tracker fees.
- Entry Permits to all the sites, temples, museums & monuments mentioned in the itinerary.
- Costs of all experiences, community visits, hikes and village walks mentioned in the itinerary.
- Service charges at the hotels & current applicable taxes by the Sri Lankan Government.
- Any International or Domestic flights.
- Any Visa fee or ETA fee. (Electronic Travel Authorization)
- Christmas & New Year Eve dinner supplement. (24th & 31st December)
- Perahera Supplement at Kandy Hotel during the Perahera Period.
- Any additional beverage or food.
- Early Check-in or Late Checkout Charges at Hotels.
- Any tips to the staff.
- Any expense of personal requirements telephone, laundry, hotel extra bills etc.)
- Any additional expenses , other than mentioned in the inclusions list above.
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 guide 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. Dont try to photograph or take videos without permission. If you have any tattoos associated with buddhism, hinduism or islamism, its best that you cover them completely in public places. Smoking is prohibited in indoor public places, workplaces and on public transport.
- If you have any tattoos associated with buddhism, hinduism or islamism, its best that you cover them completely in public places.
- Smoking is prohibited in indoor public places, workplaces and on public transport.