Sri Lanka, like a small teardrop in the ocean, is where terraced Ceylon tea plantations are enveloped by misty highlands, herds of elephants criss-cross the lush wilderness, and balmy palm-fringed beaches are blessed by tranquil cerulean waters of the Indian Ocean.
Enjoy a tour of Sri Lanka’s premium natural and historical attractions, encountering wildlife, ancient and colonial architecture, and the gracious people of this beautiful land. Provides a varied itinerary covering guided sightseeing of Sri Lanka’s main tourist attractions, wildlife encounters, sampling tea at a plantation, and is suitable for travellers of all ages.
Optional Activity Day 6: Yala National Park Safari $150
Includes Transfers, guide, park entry, safari by jeep.
NOTE: Optional activities require a minimum of two people.
Fly to Colombo via a connecting city. On arrival, you will be met at the airport by a tour representative and transferred to your hotel.
Please note: Depending on the city of departure, some flights may depart the night before (i.e. on Day 0). Flights will be via connecting cities and may involve more than one transit.
This morning, visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The orphanage was established in 1975 to house abandoned and injured elephants. Today, the number of elephants in the orphanage has increased to more than 40, including baby elephants brought in from various parts of the country and those born as a result of the captive breeding program.
Optional Activity: Habarana Village Tour – Experience a special village tour of Habarana. Hop on a bullock cart ride through verdant paddy fields and appreciate the simple lifestyle of the local farmlands and its people. Then, board a canoe for a short trip to a farmer’s house for a feel of authentic Sri Lankan countryside hospitality. Discover the life of a farmer in Sri Lanka and the variety of crops being harvested. Lunch is served at the farmhouse. Head back on a thrilling tuk tuk ride.
Journey on to the ancient city of Sigiriya this morning and climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress passing by a sheltered gallery of elaborate painted frescoes as well as a pair of massive lion’s paws. Drive onwards to the UNESCO World Heritage Dambulla Cave Temple, which was once the spiritual heart of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. This massive complex houses five sacred cave temples decorated with intricate Buddhist mural paintings and hundreds of invaluable statues.
En route to Kandy, spend time in a spice plantation in Matale and discover the variety of plants being cultivated, from cinnamon to cardamom, and nutmeg to pepper vines. Drive to Kandy and visit The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is said to house one of the Buddha’s teeth. Enjoy a lively cultural dance performance tonight.
This morning, enjoy a train ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya – the ‘City of Light’. On arrival, visit a Tea Factory & Plantation. The tea here is famous for its distinct flavour and aroma. Nuwara Eliya is known as the ‘Little England of Sri Lanka’ as it was first established in 19th century, by the British. This charming city is set against a backdrop of misty mountains and valleys, cascading waterfalls and acres of fragrant tea plantation.
Arrive in Yala and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Optional Activity: Afternoon safari at Yala National Park. Yala National Park was established in 1938 originally as a sportsman’s shooting reserve and is home to the world’s largest population of leopards. Travel by Jeep to get up close to elephants, wild boars, buffaloes, crocodiles, peacocks, jackals, sloth bears and more. You can also spot many colourful resident and migratory birds that are scattered throughout the national park.
Bid farewell to the wilderness this morning and retreat to the timeless seaside town and harbour of Galle. On arrival, explore Galle Dutch Fort, which was once the port of call for ships that sailed in from Europe. Visit a turtle hatchery and watch sea turtles being released back into the sea. Depart Galle this afternoon for Bentota, a quiet and soothing coastal town bordered by sun-baked sandy beaches and beautiful coconut palm trees affording dreamy views of the Indian Ocean.
Return to Colombo this morning. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight or journey home via connecting cities.