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The Best of Sri Lanka

Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,709

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.


This 10-day Sri Lanka vacation takes you across the South Asian nation to showcase its most famous sites, from the bustling capital, Colombo, to the rock of Sigiriya to the temples and holy sites of Polonnaruwa and Kandy.

Like most Sri Lanka vacations, your journey begins in Colombo, the nation’s capital. Although it has not regained the mantle of “Garden City of the East,” Colombo continues to restores its colonial charms and innovate against growing urban sprawl. It also remains a meeting point for East and West, where local culture still has traces of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial influences. Take a drive through the pristine streets of Race Course to experience one of the city’s glitzy neighbourhoods before heading to Pettah to visit the floating market and get some local souvenirs. Also be sure to visit Viharamahadevi Park to see the giant Buddha statue and shop at some of the buzzling local malls before continuing on to Dambulla.

Dambulla is Sri Lanka’s most impressive cave temple, dating back from the 1st century B.C. and containing 150 images of the Buddha and bodhisattvas carved across the walls of its five caves. Head on to Polonnaruwa to explore hundreds of temple ruins and tombs spread out across an ancient royal city. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa reigned for 800 years and many of its greatest sites, including the spectacular Buddhist enclosure known as the Quandrangle, remain in Polonnaruwa to this day.

Your Sri Lanka vacation continues on to the massive rock of Sigiriya, the country’s most iconic site. The rock of Sigiriya rises out of the misty forests of the country’s centre and has steep vertical walls culminating in a massive plateau adorned with ancient ruins. While the nature of these ruins is unknown, it’s possible the rock was once home to an ancient monastery or royal palace. Regardless of their true nature, the ruins of Sigiriya are incredible historical marvels. Once you climb the steep staircases of the rock and achieve the summit, you’ll also be treated to breathtaking sights of the surrounding countryside.

Continue on to Kandy, where you’ll get a taste for ordinary Sri Lankan life. The city combines urban bustle with ancient Buddhist relics. While the city is humid and often rainy, it sits on the shores of the gorgeous Kandy Lake and offers incredible sights, rain or shine. Chief among Kandy’s landmarks is the sacred Temple of the Tooth, which holds a tooth of the Lord Buddha himself. Afterwards, explore the lakefront and visit a bazaar to peruse local arts and crafts. Continue on to the seaside village, Ella, where you can spend your time strolling alongside temples and waterfalls. Along the way, you’ll stop to tour a tea plantation to learn about the production of world famous Ceylon tea. While in Ella, you will also visit The Nine Arches, or The Bridge in the Sky, one of the most iconic bridges in the island nation.

From Ella, continue your Sir Lanka vacation by heading to Tissamaharama (just “Tissa” to the locals), which is the gateway to several nearby national parks. In Tissa, you’ll have the opportunity to pass into Yala National Park, the country’s most famous nature reserve, where monkeys, elephants, and buffalo roam across a landscape of plains, forests, and lagoons. A game drive through Yala is a great way to spot some incredible animal life.

Pass westward along the coast to Galle, an old Dutch trading port that is famous for its colonial buildings, mosques, churches, and mansions. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galle is a great place to explore. The 16th century Portuguese Fort is the chief attraction here; it is unique for being surrounded by the ocean on three sides. You’ll also visit the Cathedral of St. Mary and the Japanese Peace Pagoda. As a whole, Galle is one of the most charming spots in the entire country. Close out your Sri Lanka vacation in Bentota, a coastal resort town to the south of Colombo. Relax on the golden-sand beaches and enjoy the easygoing atmosphere supplied by the resorts, boutique hotels, and abundant warm weather.

This trip to Sri Lanka promises the best of this incredible South Asian nation.


 

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Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,709

Itinerary View Trip Map

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.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Shangri-La Hotel Colombo

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    Shangri-La Hotel Colombo



    Every great city deserves a truly great international hotel - a special place that reflects the importance and the beauty of its location with world-class luxury and the very finest service. Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo is delighted to welcome you to the enchanting capital of Sri ...

    Every great city deserves a truly great international hotel - a special place that reflects the importance and the beauty of its location with world-class luxury and the very finest service.

    Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo is delighted to welcome you to the enchanting capital of Sri Lanka - a precious jewel in the Indian Ocean, with a glittering cultural heritage and a long, proud history.

    The hotel benefits from a prime location by the sea that is in the heart of the business district and buzzing social hotspot. A personal tropical sanctuary that is perfect for escaping the city, it offers some of the finest, most modern accommodation in the country, with 500 luxurious guest rooms and suites, and 41 serviced apartments.

    Facilities

    • Car Rental Service
    • Conference Facilities
    • Doctor on Call
    • Foreign Exchange
    • Parking
    • Tour Desk

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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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Cinnamon Lodge Habarana

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    Cinnamon Lodge Habarana



    A haven for the time traveller, the nature lover, the escapist, and the explorer, Cinnamon Lodge Habarana is a 5-star resort nestled in nature's serenity right in the heart of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle. A place that soothes the soul, rejuvenates the senses, and awakens ...

    A haven for the time traveller, the nature lover, the escapist, and the explorer, Cinnamon Lodge Habarana is a 5-star resort nestled in nature's serenity right in the heart of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle. A place that soothes the soul, rejuvenates the senses, and awakens the mind with heavy doses of nature's tranquillity and centuries-old hospitality.

    Just 4 hours from the airport, located in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka's North Central Province, the Cinnamon Lodge Habarana is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Built on a replica of the foundations of the nearby Ritigala ruins, an ancient palace-turned-monastery, our resort brings the original concept of a royal retreat to the 21st century, with luxurious private cottages and suites all fitted with ultra-modern amenities.

    Facilities

    • Dining facilities
    • Meeting Facilities
    • Spa and Fitness
    • Sports center
    • Swimming Pool
    • Weddings

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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!

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Earl's Regency

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    Earl's Regency



    The Earl's Regency gives you a unique experience that surpasses all other hotels in Kandy. We bring together professional staff, award-winning meals, supplementary facilities and astounding accommodation that when combined will ensure you have an incredible vacation. Of this ultra luxurious Kandy Sri Lanka hotel, ...

    The Earl's Regency gives you a unique experience that surpasses all other hotels in Kandy. We bring together professional staff, award-winning meals, supplementary facilities and astounding accommodation that when combined will ensure you have an incredible vacation. Of this ultra luxurious Kandy Sri Lanka hotel, the 134 rooms in seven different styles are available to meet the needs of any type of traveller, while the food in our restaurants and bars will satisfy any palette. All rooms are fitted with basic amenities while certain rooms have unique facilities such as an in-room Jacuzzi. Our wedding planners and event planners excel in their fields and will manage venue, catering, decor and all the details of your special day, because if it's important to you, then it's important to us.
    The Earl's Regency is a castle in the clouds. We're here to make your dreams come true no matter what they are.

    Facilities

    • Currency Exchange
    • Spa and Wellness Centre
    • Swimming Pool
    • Tennis
    • Transfer Service
    • Travel Desk

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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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

98 Acres Resort & Spa

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    98 Acres Resort & Spa



    Experience the beauty and serenity of Sri Lanka's scenic hill country within the luxurious comforts of a boutique hotel par excellence. 98 Acres Resort and Spa is an elegant, chic hotel that stands on a scenic 98 acre tea estate, surrounded by a stunning landscape. ...

    Experience the beauty and serenity of Sri Lanka's scenic hill country within the luxurious comforts of a boutique hotel par excellence. 98 Acres Resort and Spa is an elegant, chic hotel that stands on a scenic 98 acre tea estate, surrounded by a stunning landscape.

    The uniquely designed resort blends well with nature, and consists of charming chalets mostly made of recyclable substance. Discarded railway sleepers are put to good use in the making of decks and walls at the resort. Rough, hewn granite lend simple elegance to the floors of chalets adorned with thatched roofs of 'Illuk' straw that adds to their rustic beauty. The exquisite country side, breathtaking views and exciting nature trails will assure you of a memorable holiday at one of the most breathtaking Ella hotels in the region.

    Facilities

    • 24 hour Front desk
    • Doctor on Call
    • Ensuite Bathrooms
    • Free WiFi
    • Game Room
    • Gym
    • Helicopter Pad
    • Housekeeping Service
    • Swimming Pool
    • Yoga

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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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Jetwing Yala

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    Jetwing Yala



    Jetwing Yala is a hotel which seeks to heal both the environment and the individual. Not only is the hotel situated next to one of the best wildlife destinations in Asia, the Yala National Park, it also hosts one of the largest privately owned solar ...

    Jetwing Yala is a hotel which seeks to heal both the environment and the individual. Not only is the hotel situated next to one of the best wildlife destinations in Asia, the Yala National Park, it also hosts one of the largest privately owned solar park in Sri Lanka and features recently developed beach access complete with a mini-bar, lounge area and manned by internationally trained lifeguards. Our spa rejuvenates your mind, body and soul while the natural habitat will help you reconnect with nature. The food is superbly delicious and caters to diverse palettes. Come, see and conquer.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Room Service
    • Beach Access
    • Conference Hall
    • Daily Housekeeping
    • Doctor on Call
    • Free WiFi
    • Laundry Service
    • Parking facilities
    • Spa
    • Swimming Pool

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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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Jetwing Lighthouse

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    Jetwing Lighthouse



    On the fringe of the former Dutch Colonial town of Galle stands Jetwing Lighthouse, a testament to the iconic work of the Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa. This elegant hotel is the ultimate tropical retreat amidst the sun, sea and sands of the southern coast. ...

    On the fringe of the former Dutch Colonial town of Galle stands Jetwing Lighthouse, a testament to the iconic work of the Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa. This elegant hotel is the ultimate tropical retreat amidst the sun, sea and sands of the southern coast. Jetwing Lighthouse exudes an old world charm of elegance and minimalism that is combined with fantastic service, scrumptious cuisine and a wide selection of facilities and activities. The hotel terrace is ideal for a drink and a chat while overlooking a spectacular Sri Lankan sunset.

    Facilities

    • Currency Exchange
    • Laundry Service
    • Room Service
    • Spa and Wellness Centre
    • Swimming Pool
    • Transfer Service

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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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Blue Water Hotel

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    Blue Water Hotel


    Designed by world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, The Blue Water hotel offers 5 star luxury accommodations in Sri Lanka with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Nestled amongst the wild coconut groves of Wadduwa, The Blue Water Hotel is truly a laid back paradise. The cool ...

    Designed by world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, The Blue Water hotel offers 5 star luxury accommodations in Sri Lanka with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Nestled amongst the wild coconut groves of Wadduwa, The Blue Water Hotel is truly a laid back paradise. The cool palms cast their shadow over the blue water, lit only by the last streaks of the setting sun, retreat from reality and surrender to the sublime serenity of the tropical island.

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Day 9

Bentota

Day at leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 10

Bentota - Colombo

Proceed to Colombo and proceed to the airport to connect with your onwards flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 9 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast daily
  • All transportation in an air conditioned vehicle
  • English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees
  • Meet and greet on arrival
  • Airport transfers
  • All government taxes

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB TRAILBLCOL0420SG: BSLD 2
2 Jun 2020
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