Explore the best of Sri Lanka and visit the country’s natural and historical sites. As you traverse the island, you’ll experience the markets and bustle of Colombo, see hundreds of Buddhist temples in Polonnaruwa, ascend the rock of Sigiriya, and head on game drives in Yala National Park.
- Round trip airfare to Colombo, Sri Lanka
- 9 nights at moderate accommodation
- Breakfast daily
- Private transfers
- Private sightseeing
|November 1-30, 2019||daily departures|
|Vancouver||from $4099 + $559 tax|
|Victoria, Kelowna||from $4399 + $559 tax|
|Calgary, Edmonton||from $4399 + $559 tax|
Day 1 – Arrive Colombo
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Seductive beaches and tempting water sports, magnificent landscapes featuring lazy lagoons, fertile wetlands, ecologically-wondrous types of forest, imposing mountains, bounteous rivers and waterfalls, an abundance of wildlife – much of it endemic – unique ecosystems, inspiring heritage sites from ancient cities to colonial forts, a vibrant culture including fine arts and crafts and grand festivals, and a people of diverse ethnicity and religious persuasion, charming and hospitable.
The throbbing metropolis, Colombo, located in the West – is not only the country’s commercial capital, but also the turbine that impels above 50% of the national GDP flanking Colombo’s fancy urban development effort. Drive along the clean streets edging the crystal white Race Course – horse racing hub in 1893 and World War II airstrip – furnished today with lavish clothing, food & tea boutiques. Enjoy a visit to Pettah & tune into the Floating Market – an offbeat shopping experience – or feel the buzz surrounding the upcoming inspiration, the Colombo Port City. The face of the city is fast changing its face. Almost overnight, skyscrapers arise from where old buildings once stood. Yet in some parts, the old world charm is retained. For example, there is a 100-year-old clock tower and several British built colonial buildings. Other places of interest are the Pettah bazaar – where one can shop for bargain, a Hindu and a Buddhist temple, residential areas – where you find stately homes of the affluent and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) – an outright gift to Sri Lanka from the People’s Republic of China.
Arrive and proceed to your hotel.
Accommodation: Global Towers Hotel and Apartment
Day 2 Colombo – Dambulla – Polonnaruwa – Habarana
Today you will drive to Dambulla. Dating back to the 1st Century BC is the most impressive cave temple in Sri Lanka — The Dambulla Rock Temple. It has five caves under a vast overhanging rock, carved with a drip line to keep the interiors dryThere are images of the Lord Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses. It contains over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 metres. This temple is also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Continue to Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka’s medieval capital & crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I. Walk across its scattered walls of the World Heritage Site – blessed by stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures.Take a close glance and you will realize a subtle Hindu influence on architecture and statues found in Polonnaruwa. Here you will visit the ruins of the Royal Palace, of King Parakramabahu I built in the 11th Century, The Gal Vihara which is one of the most famous sites in Sri Lanka. It consists of three figures of Lord Buddha carved out of a cliff of granite. The first figure is a sitting Buddha with an artificial cavern cut out of the rock. The other two are an upright Buddha and a reclining Buddha. The reclining Buddha is 14 m (46 ft) in length. Other places that you will visit is The Audience Hall which contains exquisite stone carvings, bas-relief elephants support the base of this building and the entrance has two flights of steps with moonstones flanked by mythical dragons. The Lotus Bath located within the Jetavanarama Monastery is this elegant pond built in the shape of an open lotus. Nissanka Latha Mandapaya is a square building with fine rock cut railing going all around the Dalada Maluwa area of the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa. A must see is the Parakrama Samudraya – this vast water reservoir was built by King Parakramabahu-the Great (1153-1186) acres of paddy land is supported by this reservoir.
After your visit proceed to the hotel.
Accommodation: Sorowwa Resort and Spa
Day 3 Habarana – Sigiriya – Kandy
Today you will drive to Sigiriya – rising 200m straight up over the dusty plains of north central Sri Lanka, the flat-topped rock formation of Sigiriya is not only one of the island’s most impressive geological formations but also one of its greatest archaeological legacies. Sigiriya (Lion’s rock) is an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin situated in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka. This is one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.
Thereafter you will drive to Kandy which is the he English name for the city of Maha Nuvara . It was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an administrative and religious city.
Arrive and proceed to the hotel.
Later today you will explore the city and visit The Temple of the Tooth Relic and it was declared by the UNESCO has a world heritage in 1988. According to Sri Lankan legends, when Buddha died in India his body was cremated in a sandalwood pyre and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre by a spiritual practitioner — Khema who in turn gave it to King Brahmadatte for veneration. Your tour also includes a drive around the Kandy Lake. You will also explore the Kandy town and bazaar, the arts and crafts Center, a gem museum and a lapidary!
Accommodation: Oak Ray Heritage Hotel
Day 4 Kandy – Tea Plantation – Ella
Today you will drive to Ella – a quaint hill side village offering the most amazing view in all of Sri Lanka, Ella is ideal for leisurely treks. Trudge through tea plantations, temple sites and waterfalls through the day.Welcome the night with clear skies, twinkling stars and the distant glow of light houses in the Southern Coast. En route you will visit a Tea Plantation. Sri Lanka, Tea and Tourism are words which cannot be separated. Take a tour to the cold & misty hills that take pride of an ultimate tea tour, covering lush green blankets of tea plantations. Or just step into a tea factory processing the prestigious brand of Ceylon Tea, to observe a rich tradition kept alive up to date. As you observe the hissing and swishing of machines, inhaling the heavenly scent arising from these facilities, make sure to end your day in style over a perfectly blended cup of pure Ceylon Tea.
Accommodation: Oak Ray Ella Gap (2 nights)
Day 5 Ella
Today you will explore the area and visit The Nine Arches also called The Bridge in the sky) is one of the most iconic bridges in Sri Lanka and is one of the best examples of British railway constructions when Ceylon was yet a colony of the British Empire.
Day 6 Ella – Tissamaharama
Today you will drive to Tissamaharama one of the most pleasant towns in the southern coast! It used to be the capital of the Sinhalese Kingdom of Ruhuna as early as the 3rd century B.C. Only few buildings from that period can still be seen today. The large artificial Tissa Wewa Lake, which was a part of a sophisticated irrigation system, also dates from that time. Arrive and proceed to the hotel.
Spreading into a vast 1259 sq. km., Yala – with its glory spinning around vast grasslands, shrubs, tanks and dunes – rightfully is the heartland of wildlife in Sri Lanka. As your jeep rumble through the giant gates of Yala, you are not only stepping into the most visited national park in the country, but also the lands of a civilization which thrived during the reign of Sri Lankan kings. You name it, and Yala has it! Its usual inmates cover herds of elephant, sloth bear, spotted dear, jackal, extensively populated birdlife as well as the highest density of leopards in the world that garnish the park to be one of the finest destinations in the country. Feel the rough track as your jeep thunders over rocks and swish passing narrow bends for an exhilarating experience blended with the cries of wilderness under the tropical sun.
This afternoon you will enjoy a safari through the park.
Accommodation: Oak Ray Lake Tissamaharama
Day 7 Tissamaharama – Galle
This morning collect a packed breakfast and proceed to Yala and enjoy another safari through the park. Thereafter you will drive to Galle, the capital city of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. The port town of Galle is Sri Lanka’s fourth biggest town and its history dates back to 1505 when a Portuguese fleet bound for Maldives was blown off course and took shelter in the Galle Harbor. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Europeans in in south and Southeast Asia and displays the unique blend between European architectural styles and south Asian traditions. The Galle Fort was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese and then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The fort has a colorful history, and is also known as the Dutch Fort or the “Ramparts of Galle “withstood the Boxing Day Tsunami which damaged part of coastal are of Galle town. You will also visit The Cathedral of St. Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galle. It is a landmark in the City of Galle, Sri Lanka. The church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Japanese Peace Pagoda is one of the most tranquil attractions of the city and it exudes a sense of calm. A must-visit for those seeking spirituality and inner peace, this attraction makes for an excellent trek and also offers mesmerizing views from the top of the double-storey structure.
Accommodation: The Long Beach Resort and Spa
Day 8 Galle – Bentota
Today you will proceed to the coastal town of Bentota, check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Accommodation: The Palms (2 nights)
Day 9 Bentota
Day at leisure.
Day 10 Bentota – Colombo
Proceed to Colombo and proceed to the airport to connect with your onwards flight.
General Information – Sri Lanka Visa Information
US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand visitors need an electronic visa for travel to Sri Lanka which can
be obtained online at; https://eta.gov.lk/etaslvisa/etaNavServ?payType=1
The approximate fee is $35 USD per person.
For more detailed information ask your agent for details.
Sri Lanka Facts and Information
Please click on the below link to view facts and information on Sri Lanka:
SRI LANKA TIPPING INFORMATION
In Sri Lanka, we suggest the following tipping guidelines:
– Local guides: USD $10 per person, per day
– Drivers: USD $5 per person, per day approx.
– Porters (luggage handling) USD $1 per piece of luggage.
– Although a 10% service charge is added to food at restaurants, we still suggest you add a 10% tip to your
restaurant bill as this goes to your server.