Highlights of Sri Lanka - 12N/13D

Colombo - Negombo - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya – Kandy - Nuwara Eliya – Yala – Sinharaja - Galle – Bentota - Colombo


Arrival Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo
Languages English, Spanish, German, Italian, French
  • Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela
  • Wildlife museum in Giritale
  • Jungle Safari in Minneriya National Park
  • Visit Golden Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Visit Batik Factory in Kandy
  • Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Cultural show in Kandy
  • Visit Royal botanical gardens in Kandy
  • Enjoy a train ride to Nanu Oya from Kandy
  • Visit Sigiriya Lion Rock
  • Hiriwaduna trek
  • Peradeniya Botanical Garden
  • Jeep safari in Yala National Park
  • Trek in Sinharaja Rainforest
  • Colombo city tour by Tuk-Tuk as per the program

Tour Map

Tour Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive at Colombo / Negombo

    Arrival in Bandaranaike International airport, you will be welcomed by representatives and transfer to Negombo. (Rooms will be available from 14:00 hrs)

    On arrival in Colombo, drive to Negombo.

    Negombo - “Little Rome” is an exciting city in the western coastal belt. Easily being invaded by different nationalities, Negombo defines a multicultural society. The city is of a vivid combination of a range of cultures mixed within. From the people living to the architectural appearance, Negombo has always homed multi nationalities and religions for people of all types. Aged monuments built during the Dutch Colonial period stands to date. The coast of the city had once been a Fort to the Dutch. The nightlife at the beach side in Negombo is splendid with more happenings than doings. Lively beaches being the entrance, a wide range of seafood cuisines are demanding along the hotels near the beach. From religion to cast, lifestyle to behaviors and edibles to fish equals Negombo.

    On arrival in Negombo, transfer to hotel.

    Overnight at the hotel

  • Day 02: Negombo / Sigiriya

    After breakfast drive to Sigiriya.
    Sigiriya - The rocky outcrop of Sigiriya holds the ancient remains of King Kassapa’s palace from the 5th century AD. The top is reachable by stairs built on the side of the mountain and features the Lion Rock and the remains of the palace and fortress. Visitors will see the magnificence of the place when they reach the top, complete with a 360-degree view of the jungle below. The water reservoirs that collect rainwater are still there and in good condition. Sigiriya was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
    Hiriwadunna Village Tour with Local Lunch - Later experience local village life starting with a ride on a Bullock cart (ox cart) along a dirt track and through rice paddies down to the picturesque Hiriwaduna Lake. The adventure continues with a boat ride on the scenic Hiriwaduna Lake with its large variety of dry zone bird life, views of the surrounding forest and vegetable plots of local farmers. Upon arrival at the village hut you will be greeted by the local family and shown around the hut. They will also demonstrate the tools they use to prepare their meals. A short tour of the area will show you how they take care of their crops from atop a tree house and other aspects of their daily life. The experience is concluded by enjoying a local lunch prepared using traditional methods of cooking and served in clay pots.

    Overnight stay Hotel in Sigiriya

  • Day 03: Sigiriya

    After breakfast drive to Polonnaruwa.

    Polonnaruwa - After the destruction of Anuradhapura in the 1st century, Polonnaruwa became the second capital of Sri Lanka. The remains include Bhramanic constructions from the Cholas civilization as well as the garden city that was constructed on the site in the 12th century. Polonnaruwa is part of the Cultural Triangle, along with Anuradhapura and Sigiriya. This site was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.

    Visit the Wildlife museum in Giritale - The Wildlife Conservation Department has opened the first ever wildlife museum in Sri Lanka at the Wildlife Training Centre in Girithale. The objective of opening the museum is to provide knowledge on wildlife to the public. Several officers will be on duty to brief the public and conduct sessions for schoolchildren.

    Afterwards visit Minneriya National Park Safari with Experienced Wild Life Guide.

    Minneriya National Park 8889 hectares in extent is famous for its large population of Elephants, reports of sighting range from 100 to a surprising 700 roaming in the jungle and seen in the catchment area of the lake. Entrance is at Ambagaswewa about 6 km from Habarana on the main Habarana Polonnaruwa road. There are endemic reptiles that dwell here are the salt water crocodiles, the Indian python, water monitor, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sloth Bear, Sāmbhar, Leopards and Jackals. The national park’s faunal species include 25 species of mammals, 9 kinds of amphibians, 160 species of birds, 26 varieties of fishes, 78 varieties of butterflies are recorded from the Minneriya National Park.

    Overnight stay Hotel in Sigiriya

  • Day 4 : Sigiriya / Kandy

    After breakfast drive to Kandy

    En route visit Dambulla Cave Temple - The Golden Dambulla Cave Temple has been a pilgrimage destination for the past 22 centuries. It’s also the largest and best-preserved cave temple on the island (there are others). The Dambulla Cave Temple was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 in order to preserve the magnificent wall paintings and over 150 statues in and around the temple.

    Kandy - a mountain city in Sri Lanka was home to the Sinhalese kings from 1592 to 1815. It is also the site of Sri Dalada Maligawa, also called the Temple of the Tooth, as a special container holds a tooth of the Buddha. Over the years, the relic came to be very important politically; the belief was that the holder of the sacred tooth was the one who would have power over the Buddhist population. The Sacred City of Kandy was appointed the status of World Heritage Site in 1988, mainly due to the Temple of the Tooth.

    Visit Batik Factory in Kandy - Our first stop in Kandy is a Batik factory. To reach this factory, high on a hill overlooking Lake Kandy we have to wind our way up a set of narrow bumpy roads. Batik for the uninitiated is a cloth material painted with a pattern or picture which can be used for table cloths, table mats, sheets, clothes, wall decorations etc. However its manufacture is very unusual in that instead of being painted on plain cloth it is almost the reverse. The picture or pattern is painted onto the cloth with wax and then the cloth is dyed. The picture is therefore protected from the dye where the wax has been painted. By adding or removing wax different areas of the cloth are coloured until the final picture is revealed.

    In the evening visit temple of the tooth relic - In the heart of the town is the Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa), the most important shrine in the country, which houses a relic of a tooth of Buddha taken from his funeral pyre in 543 BC. It is renowned for its daily 'Thewawa' ceremony. Each evening, the day's worship culminates when the casket containing the tooth relic is put on display to devotees who have travelled from all over the Buddhist world. (Please ensure that you wear long pants or a long dress when visiting the temple out of respect to the local community)

    Evening also witness the Kandy Cultural Show - Sri Lanka, a country rich with culture and tradition offers a vibrant and unique show of Sri Lankan traditional dances in the form of the Kandy Cultural show. Traditional dances from the different regions of the country are performed to the rhythm of drums rising and falling to a lively tempo. The highlight of the show is definitely the fire walking show where artists walk through a specially prepared fire pit covered with red hot charcoal completely barefoot. The devotees who perform the fire walking seek divine blessings of the Gods.

    Overnight stay at Hotel in Kandy

  • Day 5: Kandy / Nuwara Eliya

    After breakfast drive to Royal Botanical Garden – Peradeniya As Sri Lanka’s largest garden an elegant and spacious 147-acres (60-hectares) plenty of time is needed to stroll Peradeniya’s imposing Avenue of Royal Palms. There are some 4,000 different species of plants at Peradeniya Gardens. The 10,000 or so trees, which are the stars, are mature, lofty giants, many of them tropical timber trees. Highlights of the collection include the Giant Bamboo of Burma, capable of growing to 40 meters height (130 feet) with a 25-centimetre (10-inch) stem diameter. And it can grow by a rapid 30 centimeters a day (12 inches). Afterwards continue head to the railway station to catch your train to Nanu Oya. (Afternoon Train) This will be a journey that will rattle you straight into the heart of the tea country where pure Ceylon Tea is being processed. Enjoy your surroundings as your train will journey through dense vegetation, narrow tunnels while cutting through mountains hissing its way to a picture-perfect serenity among the lush green mountains. Get off the train with a bag full of memories and head to your next stop. You will be picked up from Nanu Oya station and then transfer to Nuwara Eliya city. Nuwara Eliya - Nuwara Eliya is known as, “Little England” of Sri Lanka. Is set against beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations, It is supposed to be one of the coldest places on the island, but is really just like an England spring day although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence. Houses are like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions. Overnight stay at hotel in Nuwara Eliya

  • Day 6 : Trincomalee / Dambulla(Or Sigiriya)

    After breakfast drive to Dambulla.

    Dambullais mainly known for Dambulla Cave Temple – the largest, best-preserved, cave-temple complex in the country. The complex has sculptures, including a 47 feet long rock-cut reclining Buddha, pre-Christian rock inscriptions, and Buddhist murals, which cover more than 20,000 square feet of the walls and ceilings.The mural paintings here belong to different time periods. Ancient marvels of engineering—like the drip-ledge drainage that still keeps the caves free of seeping water—reflect the sophistication of planning and thought behind this marvel in stone.A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dambulla Cave Temple is a treasure trove of artistic heritage.

    On arrival in Dambulla, transfer to hotel.

    Dambulla Cave Temple
    A complex of five cave shrines, Dambulla in the Central Province of Sri Lanka is a rock temple from the 1st century BCE..The complex has sculptures, including a 47 feet long rock-cut reclining Buddha, pre-Christian rock inscriptions, and Buddhist murals, which cover more than 20,000 square feet of the walls and ceilings.

    The mural paintings here belong to different time periods. Ancient marvels of engineering—like the drip-ledge drainage that still keeps the caves free of seeping water—reflect the sophistication of planning and thought behind this marvel in stone. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dambulla Cave Temple is a treasure trove of artistic heritage.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 7 : Dambulla / Sigiriya / Hiriwadunna / Sigiriya

    After breakfast, enjoy the visit of Sigiriya Lion Rock - Sigiriya is situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka close to Dambulla. It is a fortress complex of a ruined palace and one of the World Heritage sites declared by UNESCO. Undoubtedly the most treasured historical monument in Sri Lanka and probably the most visited tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, The most looked forward feature of the fortress is the frescoes. Another fascinating detail is its mirror wall. Every step from the entrance to the top is a marvel on its own, and the interesting surroundings make the tedious climb to the top.

    Later drive to Hiriwadunna and enjoy the Village of Hiriwadunna- Start the Hiriwaduna trek. Trek will be through the archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins transferring the clients in Land Masters. You can see the amazing birdlife, butterflies and possible sightings of crocodile only add to the charm of the trek. If you are lucky you can see the villagers as they go about their morning tasks of fishing or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake. Initially one wades through a shallow stream and thereafter crosses a wider tributary in a catamaran of an obliging farmer to inspect cultivation. You can enjoy a catamaran ride, bullock cart ride and finally a tasty Sri Lankan meal made at home by the villagers

    After visit drive back to Sigiriya.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 8 : Dambulla (Or Sigiriya) / Kandy

    After breakfast drive to Kandy.

    Kandy –Sri Lanka's picturesque highland capital, last stronghold of Sri Lankan kings against European conquest from the 16 th to the 19 th centuries. It is the sanctuary of traditional culture, and the island's most visited tourist resort. Its diverse charm offer a feast of memorable sight-scenery and exciting experiences. Kandy is set amidst tea and spice gardens, mountains, lake and a river, 490 metres above sea level. Road and rail access from Colombo through the Kadugannawa and Balane passes is picturesque, dramatic and befitting a medieval mountain stronghold.

    On arrival in Kandy, transfer to hotel.

    Enjoy the Dance & Music at the daily Cultural Performances held at several places in the city

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 9 : Kandy

    After breakfast enjoy the visit of Kandy including following:
    Peradeniya Botanical Garden - Peradeniya Botanical Garden is situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka and visited approximately 02 million people annually. The unusual name is Sinhalese translation of guava plain. The garden is notable for its collection of a variety of Orchids. It is home to various species of plants, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. It is also one of the largest botanical gardens of Sri Lanka, An artificial lake with water plants including giant water lily and papyrus seeds is found in the centre of the garden.

    In the evening visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Cultural Show - Ever since 4th Century A.D, when the Buddha’s Tooth was brought to Sri Lanka hidden from sacrilegious hands in an Orissan princess’ hair, the Relic has grown in repute and holiness in Sri Lanka and throughout the Buddhist world. It is considered Sri Lanka’s most prized possession.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 10 : Kandy / NuwaraEliya

    After breakfast drive to NuwaraEliya.

    NuwaraEliya - NuwaraEliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province in Sri Lanka. The city is considered to be one of the most important locations for tea cultivation and well known for its cool climate being the coolest area in Sri Lanka. Many of the buildings have still preserved features from the colonial period. Many private homes have also maintained their old English-style lawns and gardens. The town wakes up with many activities in April for the Sinhalese and Tamil New year. Main allure during April season includes the motor and horse racing events.

    On arrival in Negombo, transfer to hotel.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 11 : NuwaraEliya/ Yala

    After breakfast , drive to Yala.

    Yala - Sri Lanka's oldest national park the Yala National Park is located in the south-east corner of Sri Lanka and has an area of about 127,000 ha. The major activities are bird and game watching, especially elephants which are best seen from October to December. It is 305 km from Colombo and access to the Park is via Ratnapura, Tissamaharama. Yala is by far the most popular national park in Sri Lanka and renowned for the variety of the wildlife, largely characteristic of dry zone tropical thorn forest and fine coastline and associated coral reefs. Large number of important cultural ruins bear testimony to earlier civilization and indicate that much of the area was populated and well developed, with an irrigation system supplying water to the surround paddy fields, including those of Yala. The vegetation at the Yala National Park comprises secondary forest, possibly a few hundred years old. It is predominantly semi-arid thorn scrub, interspersed with pockets of fairly dense forest. In respect of Fauna a total of 32 species of mammals has been recorded. The lagoon fauna includes various species of prawns, crabs and fish.

    On arrival in Yala, transfer to the hotel.

    In the evening enjoy Jeep safari in Yala National Park

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 12 : Yala

    After breakfast enjoy Jeep safari in Yala National Park - Yala is approximately 1259 Kms in extent and is located in the south eastern corner of the Island. The terrain is varied, flat plains alternating with rocky outcrops. The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle a must for any wildlife enthusiast with the specialty being the large number of Elephants, Deer, Wild Boar and Sāmbhar.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 13 : Yala / Sinharaja

    After breakfast drive to Sinharaja.

    Sinharajais located between the Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces of Sri Lanka. It is a rain forest and national park.School children in the age group of 13 and above are often taken on excursions to this forest reserve as it is included intheir school curriculum. This is one of world heritage sites declared by UNESCO and is home to a variety of endangeredmammal, birds, reptiles, butterflies including leopards. It is ideal for trekking but advisable to do so with a forest guide.

    On arrival in Sinharaja, transfer to the hotel.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 14 : Sinharaja

    After the breakfast at hotel enjoy a trek in Sinharaja Rainforest. (Duration of the Trek: 04 Hours)

    Trek through the quaint paths of Sinharaja where placid undergrowth lie in wait for the appreciation of all whowish to indulge in an adventure to the tranquil wilderness of Sri Lanka’s world renowned rainforest.

    Highlights of the trek
    - Walk through the best rainforest in South asia
    - Endemic Birds
    - Endemic fauna and Flora
    - Waterfalls

    What kind of terrain - Main trail – 4km through varying rain forest types, 3 ft clearance, erosion prevention, and steep slopes avoided

    Difficulty level – Easy to Moderate

    Elevation or Altitude - 636m / 2087feet
    Distance – 4 Km
    Appx Travel time – 3 Hours

    After the scenic trek in Sinharaja return to the hotel and the rest of the day free at leisure.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 14 : Sinharaja / Colombo

    After breakfast drive to Colombo.

    On arrival enjoy the Colombo City Tour by Tuk - Tuk- a drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith's quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area, where is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings and the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749. The historic Dawatagaha Mosque and the former Eye Hospital are two buildings in Cinnamon Gardens worth looking at. Also visit the BMICH, see the replica of Avukana Buddha and the Independence Square

    On arrival in Colombo, transfer to hotel.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 14 : Colombo Departure

    After breakfast transfer to the Airport to board a flight for your onward destination or back home. (Room will be available till 12:00 hrs only)