Tour Details at a glance
18 August - 6 September 2019
18 days / 18 nights
US$3990pp twin share US$5015pp including Optional Single Supplement
Minimum 4, Maximum 10
18 nights 3-4 star / Heritage Hotels
Private air-conditioned minibus 1 day train
18 breakfasts 1 lunch 8 dinners
Arrival and departure transfers; Entrance fees to all sights as per the itinerary; Guide fees; Tips and gratuities
Incredible Sri Lanka Tour
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 ofAnnuradhapura 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.
• explore the Dutch canals and fishing village in Negombo
• keep your eyes peeled for wild leopards in Wilpattu National Park
• discover the ancient city of Anuradhapura
• snorkel the pristine Pigeon Island reef near Trincomalee
• laze the afternoon away on an impossibly beautiful beach in Passikudah
• be on the lookout for herds of wild elephants in Minneriya National Park
• climb the unique monolithic rock fortress at Sigiriya
• be amazed at the interiors of the remarkable Buddhist cave temples at Dambulla
• explore the charming city of Kandy
• wander the hills and tea plantations around Nuwara Eliya
• recharge your batteries on a south coast beach in Tangalle
• ramble through the quaint narrow streets of Galle Fortress
• shop till you drop in the outlet stores in Colombo
Day by Day Itinerary
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.
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
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 theGangaramaya 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.
Minimum 4, maximum 10
18 days and nights
Arrival and departure transfers
All accommodation as specified
All transportation between overnight stops and to and from included sightseeing
Entrance fees for all sites listed as part of the itinerary
Kandy Esala Perahera Festival viewing seats
Meals as specified
Bottled drinking water (2 x litres per person per day)
Gratuities for hotels, drivers and guides
Meals other than those listed
Drinks, meal tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature
18 nights hotels
Optional Single Supplement
If you are a single traveller, you are not required to pay a single supplement as we will match you up with other travelers. However if you do not wish to share accommodation, but would like to guarantee your own room throughout the tour a single supplement of USD1025 will be payable.
Private air conditioned minibus, Jeep in Wilpattu National Park, Boat ride on the Madu Ganga River, Boat trip to Pigeon Island, Trincomalee, Train ride to Nuwara Eliya
The following is a list of included activities on this trip. Other activities are optional and will be at your own expense.
Fish Markets, Town tour (Negombo)
Ancient City, Wilpattu National Park, Mihintale (Anuradhapura)
Pigeon Island, Trincomalee Town Tour (Trincomalee)
Mineriya National Park, Sigiriya Rock Fortress,
Village Tour, Dambulla (Sigiriya)
Botanical Gardens, Spice Farm, Dance Program,
Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy Esala Festival (Kandy)
Tea Factory, Hortons Plains National Park,
Town tour (Nuwara Eliya)
Town Walk (Galle)
Boat Cruise, Turtle Hatchery (Madu Ganga/Kosgoda)
Gangarama Temple, National Museum,
Pettah Markets (Colombo)
18 Breakfasts, 8 Dinners, 1 Lunch
Traveling with Incredible Indian Tours we ensure that you will experience a vast array of the gustatory treats available in Sri Lanka. Many hotels we stay are a little away from the town, and when this is the case, we have included dinner in the hotel, which is usually buffet style. Where there are a choice of eating options nearby we have not included dinner. This allows you to choose where, and what to eat. More often than not however we eat together as a group.
Exchange rates as at April 2018
AUD1 = 120 LKR
CAD1 = 123 LKR
EUR1 = 192 LKR
GBP1 = 221 LKR
NZD1 = 114 LKR
USD1 = 155 LKR
There are many ATM machines (which accept both Cirrus/Maestro debit cards and Visa and MasterCard) throughout Sri Lanka. This is a safe and convenient way to access money, however we suggest that you bring a small amount of money in cash ($100) in case there are times that ATMs are not available. The major currencies, including AUD and CAD are no problem in general to exchange. Travellers cheques are no longer commonly accepted. Visa & MasterCard credit cards are accepted in major shops and restaurants in the bigger cities.
Although entrance fees to specified sites are included in the tour price, there are additional sights that you may like to visit. Some sites levy camera and video fees.
Spending money requirements will differ from one person to the next. You will need to take into consideration your spending habits when allowing for drinks, shopping, and optional activities
You will need to allow enough money for the following:
Meals – USD200 (or equivalent)
Optional Activities – USD50 (or equivalent)
Money for drinks, shopping and incidentals.
Tipping is an integral part of life on the Subcontinent and is essential to a smooth trip. To make things easier we cover tips for hotel porters, local guides and for drivers of private transport we use. This does NOT cover restaurant tips (allow 10% on top of your restaurant bill).
Physical rating 2/5
There will be plenty of walking around towns or sites, which due to the hot climate of Sri Lanka will make general sightseeing a little more strenuous.
Culture shock rating 2/5
Conditions in Sri Lanka are not always as comfortable as in other countries. You will be exposed to some poverty and chaotic road traffic. Bargaining is a way of life in Sri Lanka, so come prepared.
Travel Insurance is highly recommended whilst traveling to the Indian Subcontinent and is compulsory for any group tour with Incredible Indian Tours.
All foreign nationals require an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to enter Sri Lanka. For information and to apply, visit the following website:
We recommend that you consult your doctor for current medical travel information about before departure. Your leader will be carrying a basic first aid kit, but we suggest you bring along your own as well as any personal medical requirements .
The following websites have up-to-date information about health requirements.
New Zealand http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/travelling
Most of our hotels will have Wifi. You can also purchase a local prepaid sim card (for unlocked cell phones) easily and inexpensively in Sri Lanka. We recommend you purchase a sim card at the airport on arrival.
Your tour manager & tour guides
Your tour manager is there to organise and streamline your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Whilst they are not a guide per se, they will share their local knowledge, give you suggestions for your free time and manage the day to day running of the tour. They will introduce you to their local friends and recommend great local restaurants and experiences. They will have a broad general knowledge of Sri Lanka, so do feel free to tap into their wisdom.
We also have a full-time local tour guide in addition to your tour escort.
We believe strongly in responsible travel. This includes being respectful to the local culture (ie dressing appropriately, and learning a few basic cultural do’s and don’ts), being mindful of the environment, and leaving a positive image behind. Remember we are ambassadors for our country. Bringing a few photos of your family and home with you is a great way to interact with the locals by giving them a glimpse of your world whilst you visit theirs.
Joining hotel and arrival instructions
Goldi Sands Hotel
Porutota Road, Negombo, Sri Lanka
Ph: +94 31 227 9021
Your airport transfer pickup will await you holding a sign with your name when you exit the baggage claim area of the arrivals hall. There may be large crowds here so please look carefully for your transfer.
Negombo is a popular beachside retreat situated just minutes away from the International Airport. It boasts some of the finest beaches in the country. The Muthurajawela Marshes are home to many varieties of fauna, flora and birds. The 100km long canal network, the Dutch Fort and the second largest fish market in the country and nearby Whale & Dolphin watching provide much to see and do here.
Our hotel is situated on the beach with a pool, watersports, an excellent restaurant and an ayurvedic spa. Rooms contain a refrigerator, tea & coffee making facilities, hair dryer and electronic safe.
Early arrival information
If you are arriving earlier than day 1, extra accommodation in Negombo is available at USD100/110 Single/Double per night per room. Please notify us as early as possible if you require extra accommodation as this hotel can be booked up well in advance.
Galle Face Hotel
2 Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 11 254 1010
If you are staying on in Colombo after the tour, extra accommodation at the Galle Face Hotel is available at USD150/165 Single/Double per night per room.
What to take
We will be on the move a lot, so try to pack as lightly as possible. Additionally you will want to leave space in your bag for all that shopping.
Sri Lanka is conservative and we ask that you dress accordingly. Although locals are used to seeing tourists wearing skimpy clothing we would ask that you do not wear short shorts and strapless tops. Unless we are visiting temples, shorts or skirts above the knee are suitable attire.
Laundry facilities will be available in locations we have a two night stay.
The weather during our journey should be great. Daytime temperatures will be warm to hot, in the range 23-35oc and humid. Bring an umbrella and also sun protection and a hat.
Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance (don’t forget your emergency insurance contact details), air tickets.
Photocopy of above documents
First aid kit
Money: ATM card (widely available and easy to access); credit cards (widely accepted in big cities); cash (for emergencies)
Alarm clock and torch/flashlight
Mosquito repellent (hard to find in Sri Lanka)
Ear plugs can be useful if you are a light sleeper
Lock for your bag or suitcase
We recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt to store your passport, air tickets, credit cards and cash. Avoid bringing valuable jewellery with you. Most hotels we use have safety deposit boxes.
Read the full tour Dossier here on Issuu