- Enjoy a jeep safari to view the famous leopards of Yala National Park
- Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site - Dambulla Cave Temple
- Experience first-hand the local cuisine with a traditional lunch served in a village house
- Journey with expert guides to a local tea plantation for a tea-tasting session
DAY 1 NEGOMBO
Your tour commences with an arrival transfer to your hotel in the seaside village of Negombo. (D)
Stay at: Paradise Beach Hotel (3 star), Pledge3 Hotel (4 star), Jetwing Blue (5 star) or The Wallawwa (Luxury).
DAY 2 NEGOMBO – SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS – DAMBULLA
Depart Negombo and travel along the bustling Kandy Road past small villages, chaotic towns and roadside carts selling an array of local produce. On arrival in Dambulla, check in to your hotel before driving to the nearby Sigiriya Rock Fortress, or Lion Rock, one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sights. Take the opportunity to climb to the top of this striking rock with its sheer vertical walls supporting the remnants of an ancient 5th century city. This evening enjoy dinner and a bonfire by the lake. (B, D)
Stay at: Jose Habarana (3 star), Amaya Lake (4 star), Heritance Kandalama (5 star) or Jetwing Vil Uyana (Luxury).
DAY 3 DAMBULLA / POLONNARUWA
Explore the ancient royal capital of Polonnaruwa, one of the most beautiful centres in Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. Discover on foot, or by bicycle, the wonderful treasures that remain in the archaeological park including the four beautiful rock-cut Buddha statues at Gal Vihara Temple. A traditional lunch is prepared for you at a local village house where you can experience first-hand the cooking methods of this local family. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 DAMBULLA – KANDY
Proceed to Kandy, stopping en-route to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Dambulla Cave Temple, the best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. This Buddhist place of worship is thought to date back to the 1st century, and houses the country’s most sacred Buddha images. On arrival in Kandy check in at Swiss Residence (3 star), Hotel Suisse (4 star), Earl’s Regency (5 star) or The Elephant Stables (Luxury), before an evening Kandyan Dance performance, a colourful spectacle including fire-walkers. (B, D)
Stay at: Swiss Residence (3 star), Hotel Suisse (4 star), Earl’s Regency (5 star) or The Elephant Stables (Luxury).
DAY 5 KANDY
Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a complex said to hold the tooth of the Lord Buddha himself. Continue on to see the Royal Botanical Gardens before an afternoon free to wander around the city’s lake and explore the local markets. (B, D)
DAY 6 KANDY – HATTON – NUWARA ELIYA
Your journey today leads you through the scenic high country to Nuwara Eliya, stopping en-route at Devon Falls and the bustling city of Hatton surrounded by rolling hills and tea estates. On arrival in Nuwara Eliya, begin our exploration of the city where the colourful chaos of Sri Lanka meets colonial bungalows, well-tended lawns and red telephone boxes. (B, D)
Stay at: Glenfall Reach Hotel (3 star), Grand Hotel (4 star), Heritance Tea Factory (5 star) or Anilana Craigbank (Luxury).
DAY 7 NUWARA ELIYA / HORTON PLAINS
Enjoy the views as you depart early for Horton Plains National Park, travelling on scenic village roads past Ambewela and Pattipola. This stunning National Park lies in the shadows of some of Sri Lanka’s highest peaks and offers excellent hikes for all levels including World’s End and Baker’s Falls. You can choose to hike, or simply enjoy the stunning scenery and wait for wildlife to appear. Return to Nuwara Eliya. (B, D)
DAY 8 NUWARA ELIYA – ELLA – YALA NATIONAL PARK
Discover the journey from tree to cup of the world-famous high-grown Ceylon Tea. With your expert guide, walk through a local tea plantation, meet with a Tea plucker and visit the factory to see the processing stage followed by a tea-tasting session. Afterwards depart Nuwara Eliya aboard the local train travelling to Ella, a journey considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful. You will travel along the edge of mountains, passing tea estates in the spectacular high country whilst rolling in and out of pockets of mist filled mountain air. On arrival in Ella you will drive to Yala National Park, staying at Elephant Reach Hotel (3 star), Cinnamon Wild Yala (4 star), Jetwing Yala (5 star) or Jetwing Tented Villas (Luxury). (B, D)
Stay at: Elephant Reach Hotel (3 star), Cinnamon Wild Yala (4 star), Jetwing Yala (5 star) or Jetwing Tented Villas (Luxury).
DAY 9 YALA NATIONAL PARK
Depart early for your jeep safari in Yala, the second largest National Park in Sri Lanka and home to a great diversity of wildlife, most famous of which is the leopard. Look out for elephants, sloth bears, water buffaloes, wild boars, crocodiles and of course leopards. Yala is known as one of the best places in the world to spot the elusive
big cat. (B, D)
DAY 10 YALA NATIONAL PARK – GALLE – BENTOTA
Travel the scenic route from Sri Lanka’s southeast coast to Galle in the southwest. En route visit beautiful beaches, the Wevurukannala Buddha Statue (the largest in the island) and stilt fishermen in Koggala. Once in Galle you will enjoy a tour of the Heritage listed fort area with its charming laneways, rich trading history and Dutch-colonial buildings. Your last stop for the day is the stunning beach town of Bentota. (B, D)
Stay at: Earls Reef Hotel ( 3 star), Centara Ceysands Resort (4 star), Avani Bentota Resort (5 star) or Paradise Road The Villa Bentota (Luxury).
DAY 11 BENTOTA
Sri Lankan beaches are world-class and Bentota is one of the best. Enjoy a full day to experience the country’s coast and all it has to offer. (B, D)
DAY 12 BENTOTA – COLOMBO
Today explore the country’s capital, a diverse mix of people, architecture and religion influenced by ancient kingdoms and European settlers. Your guided tour will visit Pettah Bazaar, Wolvendaal Dutch Church, Gotami Vihara and Hindu Kovil at Slave Island, one of Colombo’s most impressive Hindu Temples. (B)
Stay at: Zmax (3 star), Cinnamon Lakeside (4 star), Cinnamon Grand (5 star) or Uga Residence (Luxury).
DAY 13 COLOMBO
Your tour concludes with a departure transfer to the airport. (B)
- 1 night hotel accommodation each in Negombo and Colombo
- 2 nights hotel accommodation each in Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Yala and Bentota
- English-speaking Driver-Guide
- Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
- Scenic high country train journey: Nuwara Eliya to Ella
- Entrance fees
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Services of a local representative
SIGHTSEEING & EXCURSIONS:
- Guided tours at Sigirya Rock Fortress, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Galle and Colombo
- Yala National Park jeep safari
- The “Tea Experience” – plantation and factory tour
Optional Tours: Horton Plains National Park