BEST OF SRI LANKA

Itinerary

  • Day 01

    Airport / Colombo

    You can be as flexible as you like and do what you want, when you want: it’s your holiday! We have included the main sites and all the entrance fees but there is much more to find and discover along the way. There are lots of varied experiences included and we also ensure that plenty of time is left free so you can relax or follow the serendipitous whims that often strike in Sri Lanka.

    (AIRPORT-COLOMBO-30Kms-1 1/2Hrs.)

  • Day 02

    Colombo / Yala

    After breakfast proceed to Yala. Arrive in Yala in the afternoon and check-into hotel in Thissamaharamaya or yala. In the early evening leave on a safari by jeep to Yala National park. Yala is a mixture of scrub, plains, brackish lagoons and rocky outcrops. Elephants, Sambhur deer, spotted deer, wild boars, crocodiles, Sloth bear, wild buffaloes and monkeys could be seen. and Highest concentration of leopards per square kilometer in the world- BBC/National Geographic. Return to hotel.

    (COLOMBO-TISSAMAHARAMAYA-260Kms.-05Hrs.)

  • Day 03

    Yala / Bandarawela, Nuwarea Eliya or Ella

    Departure after breakfast to Nuwara Eliya. On the way stop to see Buduruwagala in Buthtala. Buduruwagala is an ancient buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The complex consists of seven statues which belong to the Mahayana school of thought. The statues date back to the 10th century. The gigantic Buddha statue still bears traces of its original stuccoed robe and a long streak of orange suggests it was once brightly painted. Thereon proceed to Nuwara Eliya.

    Before arriving in Nuwala Eliya stop at Ella, view the beautiful Ravana falls. The falls have been named after the legendary king Ravana, which is connected to the famous Indian epic, the Ramayana. According to legend, it is said that Ravana (who was the king of Sri Lanka at the time) had kidnapped princess Sita (from India), and had hidden her in the caves behind this waterfall, now simply known as the Ravana Ella Cave. The cave was surrounded with thick forests in the midst of wilderness. It is also believed that Rama’s queen bathed in a pool that accumulated the water falling from this waterfall. Check into hotel Rest and Relax rest of the day.

    (TISSAMAHARAMAYA-NUWARA ELIYA-160Kms.-05Hrs.)

  • Day 04

    Nuwara Eliya

    After Breakfast drive through tea country in Nuwara Eliya. Proceed to visit the ‘little England’ created by the British tea planters in the 19th century. Nuwara Eliya at an altitude of 2000 meters is the summer capital attracting visitors throughout the year.

    Continue the sightseeing journey of the town’s attractions include the golf course- The 18 hole golf course is considered to be the most picturesque in whole of Asia, and pictureaque drive around Lake Gregory and visit Victoria Park is an attractive and well-used oasis.

  • Day 05

    Bandarawela, Nuwarea Eliya or Ella / Kandy

    After breakfast proceed to Kandy. Check into hotel in Kandy. Rest and Relax in the Afternoon. Thereon visit the Temple of the Tooth and cultural dance at the city center. (NUWARA ELIYA-KANDY-80Kms.-02 1/2Hrs.)

  • Day 06

    Kandy

    After Breakfast proceed to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Initiated in 1975 by the state zoological department with a few orphaned baby elephants today has developed into a major tourist attraction. The baby elephants are bottle- fed with milk and the herd numbering over 60 are driven to the nearby river Maha Oya for a refreshing river bath. It is a delight to watch them frolic in the water. Then proceed to Kandy. In the evening visit the Gadaladeneiya / Lankatilleke Temple and Emmbakke Temple. Evening city tour of Kandy.

    The Victorian style buildings, the old race course and Lake Gregory are reminiscent of the British rule. Check-in to Hotel in Nuwara Eliya. (KANDY / NUWARA ELIYA – 85 KMS + VISITS)

  • Day 07

    Kandy / Habarana or Polonnaruwa

    After Breakfast proceed to Habarana. On the way stop at a Spice Garden in Matale. Sri Lanka is world renowned for its valued spices and healing herbs. When visiting the spice gardens, make the most of the chance to experience first-hand how cloves, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron are grown in their natural surroundings. You can learn of their medicinal healing properties and how to use them in your day to day needs.

    Proceed to Dambulla. The second stop over before reaching Habarana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life.

    Proceed to Habarana. Arrive and check into hotel in Habarana or Polonnaruwa. OPTIONAL: In the evening Elephant back ride through the pristine village and forest of Habarana. (KANDY-HABARANA-100Kms.-03Hrs./KANDY –POLONNARUWA -72KM – 1 1/2Hrs)

  • Day 08

    Habarana or Polonnaruwa / Sigiriya

    After Breakfast proceed to Sigiriya. Sigiriya – the name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa the site was selected by King Kasyapa for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion.

    The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. It is the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka. Return to hotel for Lunch. Rest and Relax by the Pool. OPTIONAL: In late the Afternoon proceed to the Village of Hiriwadunna to experience an authentic village life. Walk through village paths, Lake Bund and forest trails. Ride in a Bullock Cart, Participate in an open fire cookery demonstration of village delicacies.

    (HABARANA –SIGIRIYA -45KM-1Hrs / SIGIRIYA-POLONNARUWA -57KM-1 1/2Hrs)

  • Day 09

    Habarana or Polonnaruwa / Passikudah

    After Breakfast proceed to Passikudah. OPTIONAL: Before proceeding to Passikudah, Clients can visit Hiriwadunna to experience a true Sri Lankan Village experience. At Hiriwadunna the clients can walk through village paths, Lake Bund and forest trails. Take a ride in a cart pulled by bulls from the area. Participate in a cookery demonstration on an open fire. Experience the simple way of village life.

    Arrive in Passikuda in the afternoon for check-into Hotel. Rest and Relax by the pool/beach. Enjoy the beautiful location of the Resort where you can take long walks on the white sandy beach or take a dip in the cool blue waters of the ocean. (HABARANA-PASSIKUDHA-116KM-3Hrs/ PONNARUWA-PASSIKUDHA-70KM-1 1/2Hrs)

  • Day 10

    Passikudah

    Rest and relax at the beach.

  • Day 11

    Passikudah

    Rest and relax at the beach.

  • Day 12

    Passikudah / Colombo

    After Breakfast leave to Negombo. Arrive in Negombo in late afternoon and check into hotel- Colombo. (PASSIKUDHA-COLOMBO 310KM-6 1/2Hrs)

  • Day 13

    Colombo / Airport

    Leave hotel after breakfast to the Airport. Check in for the Departure.(COLOMBO-AIRPORT-30Kms-1 1.2Hrs.)

Hotels

Deluxe

  • Cinnamon-Lodge-Habarana

    Cinnamon Grand Colombo

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Cinnamon-Citadel-Kandy

    Cinnamon Wild Yala

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Cinnamon-Grand-Colombo

    98 Acres Resort & Spa Ella

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Elephas-Resort-Sigiriya

    Cinnamon Citadel Kandy

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Thilanka-Resort-&-Spa-Dambulla

    Cinnamon Lodge Habarana

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Serene-Grand-Kandy

    Uga Bay Resort Passikudha

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

Standard

  • Mirage-Colombo

    Mirage Colombo

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Chaaya-Village-Habarana

    Priyankara Hotel (old wing) Tissamaharama

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Thilanka-Hotel-Kandy

    Bandarawela Hotel Bandarawela

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Mirage-Colombo

    Serene Grand Kandy

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Royal Lotus Polonnaruwa

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Amethyst Passikudha

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

Superior

  • Mirage Colombo

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Priyankara Hotel (new wing) Tissamaharama

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Heaven Seven Nuwara eliya

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Thilanka Resort Kandy

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Chaaya Village Habarana

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

  • Amethyst Passikudha

    Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of

Experience

Yala

Yala – Sri Lanka’s most known National Park is popular for Elephant, Leopard, Bear, Crocodile and Wild Boar. 97,800 hectares in extent, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka’s National Parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has also received much fame through publicity by National Geographic and the Discovery TV channels, which focused on a leopard research/conservation and identification project. Claims have subsequently been made that Yala National Park has the world’s highest concentration of leopard per square kilometre. Vegetation is primarily grassland and shrub jungle with patches of dense growth while several salt and fresh water lagoons are a haven for a large variety of resident and migrant birds. Areas popular with leopard are rock strewn hillocks with dense shrub in which the animals hide.

Colombo

Colombo – the trade and commercial capital has long been the traditional gateway to the Orient. Sri Lanka’s largest city, it is located on the west coast and draws together all the cultures, religions and influences of foreign lands into a pot-pourri of sounds, smells and a kaleidoscope of colour. The original traders and settlers – the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch and the British have left in their wake churches and monuments, names and religions, costumes and food and smatterings of their languages which have been absorbed into the speech of the Sri Lankan. Today, Colombo is a fascinating city – a happy blend of east & west, past & present, with a charm of its own. A less known but amazingly true fact is that Colombo has a superb range of high quality restaurants serving food from all over the world and some of the best shopping opportunities in Asia. The main seaport of Sri Lanka is in Colombo & adjoining it, is Pettah, a local bazaar & trading area. Other places of interest are the beautiful Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, mosques, the historic Wolfendhal church, (1749) residential areas where you find the stately homes of the affluent, the Colombo Museum, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, the New Parliament in Sri Jayewardenepura, the Folk Art Centre, Art Galleries, Parks, Independence Square, the Zoo, the Ceramic Corporation famous for its well known brand “Noritake” and ODEL the renowned shopping centre.

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya – Sri Lanka’s premier hill resort with a fine bracing mountain climate, Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country, producing some of the world’s best tea. The mountain slopes and valleys are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. Red or green roofed plantation bungalows, English country style homes and hotels with lovely flower gardens, a fine 18 hole golf course and a racecourse gives Nuwara Eliya a decidedly British character.

Kandy

Kandy – a lovely exotic city, the Hill Capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which retains an aura of grandeur, time has not affected. Encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake in its centre, it is the site of the renowned temple that enshrines the Tooth Relic of the Buddha and the Royal Botanical gardens – home to one of the world’s best collections of Orchids. A cultural sanctuary where many legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive, Kandy and its satellite villages are the centre of the islands handicraft industry (items of wood, brass & silver) exquisite silver or gold jewellery and precious gems of many varieties including the world’s best blue and star sapphires. The highlight of the city’s calendar is the Esala Perahera, when a replica of the casket enclosing the Tooth is taken in procession for ten glittering nights in July/August by exotically costumed dancers, drummers and approximately 100 Elephants.

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage – set amongst the verdant hills of Kegalle is a unique orphanage, where the tiny tots weigh 60 kg or more. This is the Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage, the world’s first and only elephant orphanage established to feed, nurse and house young elephants lost or abandoned by their mothers. Other occupants are elephants displaced from their natural environs by development projects or those found wounded. Visitors could see the baby elephants being fed milk from gigantic feeding bottles or bathed in the river which flows nearby – an unforgettable sight! Established in 1975, by the Wildlife Department and National Zoological gardens which subsequently led to a breeding programme through which more than twenty five elephants have been born since 1984.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa – this medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, rose to fame as the capital (10th – 12th century AD) after the decline of Anuradhapura. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the Parakrama Samudra or the Sea of Parakrama, larger in size than the Colombo harbour. The monuments are relatively well preserved and give clear evidence of the glory of Sri Lanka’s past. Highlights are the Royal Palace complex including the Kings Palace and Audience Hall, the Quadrangle with its concentration of ancient heritage and the spectacular Gal Vihare complex of four massive images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite – a highlight of ancient Sri Lankan rock carving. Some of the best examples of the Hindu influence – the Temples of Shiva, intricate statues of Hindu Gods, fascinating Budhist temples, the Lankatileka and Watadage, the Galpotha, the Lotus bath, the Kiri Vihare Dagoba and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth are other impressive sights.

Dambulla

Dambulla – located in the north central province this UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the 01st century BC, is an amazing complex of 05 caves, first used as a refuge by an ancient king who on regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent carved images within the living rock. Later kings made further improvements and the caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 meters. Cave inscriptions from the 2nd Century BC are found and on the walls are many paintings most of which belong to the Kandy period (early 19th century). This temple is a perfect location to view evolution of ancient Sri Lankan art and is an important historical site due to the amalgamation of the material from many eras.

Habarana

Habarana – the central point of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle and the most convenient base for excursions to the Ancient historical cities – Anuradhapura 60 minutes, Polonnaruwa 45 minutes, Sigiriya/Dambulla 30 minutes, Ritigala 10 minutes and Minneriya National Park (site of the renowned “Gathering” of over 300 Elephant between July and September) 15 minutes. Though in the “Dry Zone” of the country, thanks to the genius of ancient kings the Sri Lankan “dry zone” is anything but dry, with hundreds of lakes and reservoirs connected by an elaborate network of canals making up a fascinating irrigation system which also provides some of the most breathtakingly beautiful scenery and fertile habitat for Sri Lanka’s incredible bio-diversity. This contributes to a large range of activity in the area – village and forest walks, bird and wildlife watching, Elephant Back Safari, cycling, trekking and boating. Habarana is the location of two of the country’s best hotels – The Cinnamon Lodge and The Chaaya Village, idyllically located by a peaceful lake and in extensive landscaped gardens which retain most of the original forest trees.

Sigiriya

Sigiriya – this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a spectacular Rock Fortress, is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. The most impressive facets of the unique complex are the Water Gardens, the Frescoes of beautiful maidens, the Mirror Wall with ancient graffiti, the Lion platform and the Summit of 1.6 hectares, which was completely covered by buildings during the period of Sigiriya’s glory. Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 A.D), the “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200m from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town and the base is ringed by a moat, rampart, and extensive gardens. The world-renowned frescoes (originally 500, of which only 19 remain today) which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway are painted in earth pigments on plaster. The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a crouching lion but today only the huge paws remain giving an indication of the massive proportions of the head. Remains of the handsome royal citadel are on the summit and several caves for meditation, audience platforms and baths complete the unique site.

Hiriwadunna

Leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of early morning activity. The amazing birdlife, butterflies and possible sightings of crocodile only add to the charm of seeing the villagers as they go about their early morning tasks of fishing, or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake. You wade through a shallow stream and the sense of adventure heightens when you need to get a Chena Cultivation via a somewhat wider tributary which needs to be crossed on an obliging farmer’s catamaran!!At the Chena cultivation you will stop to enjoy the farmer’s humble hospitality. With the guidance of the farmer and his family, pick some of the fresh vegetables from their plot and join in the preparation of a simple meal prepared in the traditional method using earthenware pots and firewood as fuel. A great opportunity to sample authentic local cuisine.The journey continues through dense shrub forests, home to many forest birds and other wildlife including monkeys, bear, python and even elephant.

Passikudha

32 km. from Batticaloa, Kalkudah, with its clear calm reef protected sea is ideal for bathing. Passekudah, close by, has a fine bay with clear waters. A popular tourist centre with a modern hotel and other facilities.

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Testimonials

  • Hi Shan,
    We would thank you so much of your efforts to make our honeymoon trip the best we could ever imagine. The hotels, excursions, locals and nature were really wonderful. It was very nice to meet you for a short time. But one thing is for sure, we will come back to Sri Lanka. The short week at Maldives was a necessary stop to rest after a busy 10 days. All the views and impressions of Sri Lanka were overwhelming
  • Dear Shan,
    Hope you are all well. This is just a short note to say thank you for arranging our tour during our visit to Sri Lanka. We had a wonderful time visiting the old cities and all the ancient monuments, all very interesting and inspiring. The nature reserves, Horton Plains and Yala were also refreshing and calming, I could have easily spend a whole day at each location. Once again many thanks and best regards