Maximum Group Size: 10
Tour Length 18 days / 18 nights
Starts in: Negombo on Sunday 12th August 2018
Finishes in: Colombo on Wednesday 29th August 2018
Entrance Fees: Included for all sites visited as part of the itinerary
Fully Escorted: by Deb Kindness who has been travelling and leading tours through the subcontinent since 1993
Cost: From USD4280 per person twin share (USD5235 with Optional Single Supplement)
|18 nights 3-4 star / Heritage Hotels||Airport Transfers||18 breakfasts|
|Private Vehicle (Minibus)||1 lunch|
Sri Lanka, the ‘Wonder of Asia’, has something to offer everyone, and this trip has it all. Ancient ruins, tea plantations, wildlife safaris, UNESCO World heritage sites, natural beauty, amazing beaches, fabulous food, spices and ayurveda, not to mention standout shopping.
We meet up at the beach resort town of Negombo before exploring the ancient capital of Annuradhapura and checking out the wildlife in Wilpathu National Park. We then head over to the east coast for 3 nights, experiencing some of the stunning coastal areas and beaches of Sri Lanka. Heading back to the ancient cities of Sigiriya and Dambulla we take a trip into the Elephant reserve of Minneriya National Park before exploring the hills and tea plantations around Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. Heading south, we have a night at a beach resort on the South Coast before checking out the colonial history in charming Galle Fort. We finish up our journey in Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, full of fabulous sights and amazing shopping. With many more hidden surprises, our travels around Sri Lanka will bring you face to face with fascinating culture, a beautiful people, fabulous food and an ancient and varied history just waiting to be discovered.
Experience Incredible Sri Lanka on this Small Group Tour, fully escorted within Sri Lanka by a western female tour manager and local full time tour guide.
Sri Lanka Group Tour
Day 1 Negombo
Arriving at Bandaranaike International Airport, we take a short drive to Negombo and our hotel by the beach to spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Hotel: Goldi Sands Hotel or similar
Day 2 Negombo
Today we visit the fish markets, and some of the interesting sights around Negombo including the Dutch canals and some of the religious buildings in what is known as Little Rome.
Hotel: Goldi Sands Hotel or similar
Days 3-4 Anuradhapura
Driving north to Anuradhapura – the old capital, we spend the afternoon visiting some of the remarkable sights, including the Sri Maha Bodhi, the oldest documented planted tree in the world, as well as Buddhist Dagobas or stupas and crumbling temples.
Day 4 we take a morning safari in Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka’s largest national park, home to elephants, leopards, deer, sloth bears and more. In the late afternoon we will visit the stunning Mihintale holy mountain.
Hotel: Alakamanda or similar
Days 5-6 Trincomalee
A morning drive east to Trincomalee where we spend the afternoon relaxing. On day 6 we visit the pristine Pigeon Island sanctuary, excellent for some reef snorkeling before an afternoon exploring the sights in Trinco.
Hotel: Nilaveli Beach Hotel or similar
Day 7 Passikudah
Heading south along the east coast we have an afternoon to relax and chill on the stunning Passikudah Beach.
Hotel: Calm Resort & Spa or similar
Days 8-9 Sigiriya
We head back inland to Sigiriya today and the heart of the Ancient Cities. We visit Minneriya National Park, a haven for huge herds of elephants, regularly spotted around the enormous water tank (lake) and even on the roads nearby. On day 9 we make an early morning climb up the legendary “Lion Rock”, probably the most impressive sight in Sri Lanka. Half way up are the Celestial Maiden frescoes and a little more effort to get to the top is well worth it for the views and ruins. We also take a village tour and enjoy a typical Sri Lankan lunch.
Hotel: Sigiriya Village Hotel or similar
Days 10-11 Kandy
Driving today into the hills, we visit first the beautiful Dambulla Cave Temples which house hundreds of Buddha statues, many carved out of the rock itself. Continuing on we stop at a spice plantation before finishing up at the old capital of Kandy where we’ll catch the evening ceremony at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. We will take a guided tour of Kandy city, enjoying free time for exploring or shopping (Kandy is famous for its gemstones and batik) before we take in a local dance performance. On day 11 we will get to experience the annual Kandy Esala Perahera, a historical procession held to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple in Kandy.
Hotel Suisse Hotel or similar
Days 12-13 Nuwara Eliya
We spend the day driving up further into the hills (with a short picturesque train ride en-route), through the tea plantations to Nuwara Eliya. Visiting a tea factory we also explore the colonial hill station and have a morning trek to ‘Worlds End’, with some of the best panoramic views in Sri Lanka.
Hotel: St Andrews or similar
Day 14 Tangalle
Heading south today, we have a free afternoon to enjoy the stunning Sri Lankan south coast beaches near Tangalle.
Hotel: Portofinho Resort or similar
Days 15-16 Galle
Today we drive eastwards along the South Coast to Galle, enroute passing by the Stilt Fishermen around Koggala. Galle City, the major port on the south coast has the charming 17th century Fort, with Portuguese, Dutch and English heritage. You have a free day to explore the ramparts and buildings and wandering through the quaint streets steeped in history, not to mention fabulous boutiques, bars and cafes.
Hotel: Lady Hill or similar
Day 17 Colombo
We have a leisurely drive north towards Colombo. On the way we stop off at Balapitiya and take a boat ride on the Madu Ganga river, famous for its Mangrove tunnels and birdlife. We also visit a Turtle hatchery in Kosgoda, set up to save and conserve the turtle population. Four of the five endangered species of sea turtles lay their eggs on the sandy beaches of Sri Lanka.
We then continue on to Colombo, arriving in time for an afternoon drink at our hotel by the sea.
Hotel: Galle Face Hotel
Day 18 Departure Day
We have a full day to explore the sights and the shopping in Colombo, including the Gangaramaya Temple and the markets of Pettah. Sri Lanka has a large clothing export industry and many of the seconds find their way into the outlet stores in Colombo. There are also many other wonderful buys, from homewares and textiles to gems and of course, Sri Lankan souvenirs.
You can arrange for your departure flight tonight from Colombo, although rooms will be available if your flight is an early morning flight tomorrow.
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