Discover the island nation, Sri Lanka, on this comprehensive 13 day journey. Start the in capital, Colombo, exploring the city sites and then head to Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka's ancient capital. Take an excursion to the Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in the country, see the masterfully carved and well-preserved statue in Aukana and then explore the monumental ruins in Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the remains of the fortified palace on the rock of Sigiriya, and then depart for the town of Kandy to take a day trip to visit the Botanical Garden in Peradeniya and the revered Temple of the Tooth Relic whilst enjoying a tour of the city. Head to the heart of Sri Lanka's hill country in Nuwara Eliya and admire the rolling mountains of green tea plantations, see the 'World's End', and then head to Yala National Park for some time to explore this natural reserve before a tour of the historic Galle Fort and some leisure time on the coast relaxing among the beach's swaying palms.
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Accommodation in 4-star or similar on a double occupancy basis, 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. If time permits, your guide will take you on a city tour.
Depart Colombo and head to Anuradhapura, the island’s ancient capital and present day holy city, where you will enjoy a city tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Meet at the hotel and depart for the mountain peak of Mihintale. Mihintale is where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka, and is regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is riddled with shrines and rock dwellings. This is the world’s first declared sanctuary from 247BC and continues to be one up to this day. Some of the monuments found her are the oldest in the country. In the afternoon, visit the village of Aukana, located close to the large ancient Kala Wewa rainwater reservoir, home to the most perfectly preserved ancient statue in Sri Lanka. The Aukana Buddha statue in Asisa Mudra or the “posture of blessing” is carved out of a rock boulder. Continue onward to your hotel in Sigiriya for check-in.
After an early breakfast, depart the hotel to visit all of the key ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa - is the 2nd capital of Sri Lanka. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries A.D, and is a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the audience hall, the lotus bath, the Polonnaruwa statue, and plenty more. Return to your hotel for the balance of the day free at your 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). Continue your drive to Kandy, en route visiting a spice garden in Matale.
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 return to Kandy to visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the town of Kandy. This evening, watch a traditional cultural dance show before retiring back to the hotel for the evening at your leisure.
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. Check in to the hotel where you will be spending the next two nights.
Spend the morning hours at leisure in the hotel. This afternoon, proceed on a city tour in Nuwara Eliya. With log fires and blankets in the Victorian-style bungalows and the beautifully kept lawns and flower gardens, it is no wonder this part of the country has become known as ‘Little England’. Wander through the fruit and vegetable markets and strike a bargain at the night ‘bale’ market to understand the local community on this part of the world. An optional trek to the Horton Plains National Park is on offer, please enquire.
Meet at the hotel and depart for Yala. The Yala National Park is approximately 1,259 sq kms in extent and is the largest national park in Sri Lanka. It is located in the south eastern corner of the island and it has the added bonus of a scenic ocean frontage. The park is the home for wild elephants, wild boars, wild buffaloes, leopards, bear, deer and crocodiles. Large flocks of migratory and indigenous birds are also found here. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a jeep safari in the park. Check-in to your hotel in the nearby town of Tissamaharama.
Checkout of the hotel after breakfast and depart for the coast. On route visit the 17th century Dutch Fort of Galle, 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.
After your tour of Galle, continue to your beach resort where you will check-in for some leisure time among the white sand beaches, colourful coral reefs, and excellent surf.
Enjoy the full day at your leisure.
Meet at the hotel at the appointed time and transfer to the airport in Colombo for your departure flight.
Day 2: Take a city tour of bustling Colombo.
Day 8: See magnificent views from Horton's Plains.
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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