Explore Sri Lanka on this classic itinerary. Starting in Colombo, you will take in the city's key sites and then travel to the rock fortress of Sigiriya and the Dambulla cave temple. Travel to Kandy and enjoy a visit to a historic Buddhist temple and then watch a fascinating cultural show. Spend some time in the hill country scenery of Nuwara Eliya and then head to the coast for some R & R and a day trip to see the Dutch fortress in Galle before heading back to Colombo to end your tour.
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Accommodation in 4-star or similar on a double occupancy basis (upgrades/downgrades on request), daily breakfast at hotels, lunches and dinners if indicated, English speaking accredited driver-guides while touring, air-conditioned transportation, sightseeing tours and admissions as per itinerary, and airport transfers with meet and greet. International flights are not included; contact us for a no-obligation air quote. An entry visa is required for travel to Sri Lanka but is not included. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
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Optional Tours & Activities
The price above includes what is outlined in the itinerary, however we can further enhance your experience with additional optional tours, night activities, or cultural shows. Please contact a Trip Designer at email@example.com for more information.
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Upon arrival in Colombo, you will be met by your local guide in the arrivals area holding a name-board. After a warm welcome & brief introduction, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Today explore the city by wandering through the sprawling collection of ancient artifacts and colonial-era relics at the must-see National Museum, beautiful Buddhist & Hindu temples, the historic Wolfendhal church, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, the New Parliament in Sri Jayewardenepura, the Folk Art Centre, Art Galleries, Parks, Independence Square, and more.
After breakfast, drive through lush green countryside, a mix of coconut palms, paddy fields and banana plantations to the Dambulla cave temple. The Dambulla Rock Temple was built in the 1st century B.C. and is a world heritage site and the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. After your visit, drive to Sigiriya and check-in to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Meet your guide after breakfast and depart the hotel and head towards to the Sigiriya rock. After an ancient prince killed his father to claim the throne, he was forced to flee to his pleasure palace and convert it into a fortress to guard against his opposition. The spectacular citadel of Sigiriya built on a giant rock rises sheer and impregnable out of the plains below. This remarkable 5th century archaeological site is made unforgettable by its dramatic setting. A moat, rampart, extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock and the frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya (note - 1200 steps to the top). Return to the hotel for the balance of the day free or opt to join an optional local experience in a village.
Depart the hotel and head to the hills and onward to the picturesque town of Kandy. On the way stop at a spice garden near Matale. On arrival in Kandy, visit the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic. The Tooth of Buddha was taken from the funeral pyre in 543 BC and only found its way to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. Later, take a tour around this beautiful town. Thereafter, enjoy the Kandyan Cultural show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre. The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display.
Start the day with a visit to the Royal botanical gardens in Peradeniya. Started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the Kings of Gampola and Kandy, there are more than 4,000 species of trees, plants and creepers. Some rare and endemic as well as flora from the tropical world are found in the gardens. Take some time to explore the site and then depart for Nuwara Eliya, the heart of Sri Lankan hill country, visiting a tea plantation and factory en route. The stunning drive to Nuwara Eliya is a photographer’s paradise. Pause every now and again to admire the waterfalls, tea estates and the vegetable fields along the way. An orientation city tour of Nuwara Eliya is included on arrival.
After breakfast, you will take the scenic drive to the coast in southwestern Sri Lanka. Check-in to the hotel and have the balance of the day for some rest and relaxation.
After breakfast, we set off today and drive along the southern shores of Sri Lanka to Galle to visit the 17th century Dutch Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle city on the southern coast is a must-see for colonial architecture buffs. Its main attraction is a 17th-century Dutch fort, one of the most extensive monuments left by European colonialists. Although many of the structures that made up the fort are in serious decay, the outer walls are completely intact. If you walk along the top of the walls you'll see dozens of cricket games, an old lighthouse, beautiful views of the town's harbor and hundreds of Sri Lankans out socializing. Within the fort, visit any of the several old churches (including a Dutch church dating from the mid-18th century) or simply stroll the narrow streets to get a good look at the old buildings. You’ll return to your hotel at the end of the day.
Meet at the hotel at the appointed time and transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Day 2: Enjoy Colombo City Tour
Gain insight into local traditions .
This itinerary has been tried & tested and can be booked as-is. However, should you wish to customize your tour, you may contact us here.
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