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Jewels of Sri Lanka

Duration
14 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,970

Explore the wonders on Sri Lanka on this South Asian vacation. Passing from Sigiriya to Kandy to the capital, Colombo, you’ll explore ancient Buddhist ruins, explore verdant national parks, and experience the incredible cultural sights of this island nation.


This 14-day Sri Lanka vacation showcases the highlights of the island nation, taking you from beachside idylls to urban bustle and sprawling national parks.

Your Sri Lanka vacation begins in Seeduwa, an ocean-side suburb of the beach town of Negombo. Negombo is close to Bandaranaike International Airport, so it’s the perfect spot to find your bearings alongside friendly locals and get acquainted with the island’s mixture of European and island cultures. From Seeduwa, head to Sigiriya, the massive rock that’s perhaps the country’s most iconic sight. Jutting out of a misty rainforest, Sigiriya is known for its steep walls and plateau crowned by ancient ruins. The unknown nature of the ruins gives the rock an air of mystery, so climb the steep staircases and explore the ruins for yourself. Perhaps you’ll be the one to solve the mystery. Regardless of whether you do, you’ll enjoy breathtaking sights of the surrounding countryside from the plateau.

Continue your Sri Lanka vacation in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s renowned for its Buddhist archaeological sites and fascinating rituals and ceremonies. In nearby Polonnarwua, you’ll visit hundreds of temple ruins and tombs that are remnants of the royal city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa that controlled the region for 800 years. Be sure to visit the Quadrangle, a spectacular Buddhist enclosure, while you’re here.
Head south to Kandy, where you’ll get a taste for the ordinary rhythms of Sri Lankan life. The city combines urban bustle with ancients Buddhist sites, so you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied here. Although often wet, the city is gorgeous rain or shine, due to its picturesque location next to Kandy Lake. Visit the Temple of the Tooth to see a sacred tooth relic of the Buddha himself, Siddhartha Gautama, before strolling the lakeshore to take in the city’s beauty. In nearby Haputale, you can experience the Tamil culture of the country and visit the picturesque tea estates that surround the city.

Head to the coast to visit Tissamaharama, known as Tissa to the locals, and your gateway city to the incredible national parks nearby. You’ll have the opportunity to visit Yala National Park, the country’s most famous nature reserve. The park stretches over 1,200 square kilometres of plains, forests, and lagoons. While it can get busy during peak season, the crowds are worth braving for a chance to see monkeys, elephants, and buffalo, and to take in the natural beauty that surrounds you on all sides here.

Head west to Galle along the coast, an old Dutch trading port that has since become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is famous for its gorgeous colonial buildings, mosques, churches, and mansions, although you’ll also find plenty of cutting-edge style here, with its mix of boutique hotels, cafes, and restaurants. The Fort, which is surrounded by ocean on three sides and was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, is the chief attraction here. But the whole city adds up to be the most charming spot in southern Sri Lanka.

Close out your Sri Lanka vacation in the capital, Colombo. Once hailed as the “Garden City of the East,” Colombo has diminished a bit on the world stage since then, but it’s in the process of revitalization. The city continues to restore its colonial architecture and add urban charm to the sprawl that grows as the population does. The cultural conflux between East and West is what lends Colombo a lot of charm. A walking tour will show off the city’s landmarks, from the Colombo National Museum to Viharamahadevi Park where you’ll find a giant statue of the Buddha. Be sure to savour some local food and hit up the popular shopping malls before heading to the airport for your flight home.


 

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Duration
14 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,970

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Colombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport (the country's only international airport), you'll be met and transferred to your hotel close to Negombo, which is situated north of Colombo. Meet your leader and fellow travellers during a welcome meeting at around 6 pm.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Vivanta Colombo, Airport Garden

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    Vivanta Colombo, Airport Garden



    Nestled amidst a 38-acre coconut plantation bordering the tranquil Negombo Lagoon, Vivanta Colombo, Airport Garden, is located a mere 5 min drive from the Colombo International Airport and a 45 min drive from the capital city of Colombo. Making it the most preferred venue for …

    Nestled amidst a 38-acre coconut plantation bordering the tranquil Negombo Lagoon, Vivanta Colombo, Airport Garden, is located a mere 5 min drive from the Colombo International Airport and a 45 min drive from the capital city of Colombo. Making it the most preferred venue for the international business travellers to Colombo. Combined with a 24/7 attitude to cater to guest needs, Vivanta Colombo, Airport Garden is also perfect for leisure seekers to relax and unwind.

    Facilities

    • Banquet Hall
    • Currency Exchange
    • Fitness Centre
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 2

Sigiriya

Rise early this morning for a visit to the Negombo fish market. Morning is the best time to visit the market, which is a picture of organised frenzy as vendors display delicacies like crab, lobsters, shark and squid. Bid farewell to Negombo and continue by private vehicle (approximately 4.5 hours) to the ancient city of Sigiriya. In the late afternoon, head out for one of the highlights of any visit to Sri Lanka, a visit to the magnificent palace of Sigiriya (Lion Rock). This dramatic rocky outcrop, rising from the surrounding plains is topped by a ruined palace. It's a good workout to climb to the top, but well worth the effort.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Jetwing Lake

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    Jetwing Lake



    Sri Lankan hospitality has always graced the likes of kings who ruled civilizations, fought battles, and sought refuge. Today, the timeless warmth of our legendary care extends to the world in the luxury of a modern Dambulla hotel. Surrounded by a tempting blend of history …

    Sri Lankan hospitality has always graced the likes of kings who ruled civilizations, fought battles, and sought refuge. Today, the timeless warmth of our legendary care extends to the world in the luxury of a modern Dambulla hotel.
    Surrounded by a tempting blend of history and nature, its doors are now open for guests to discover the magic of the regal heritage from the fertile plains at the cultural heart of the island.

    Facilities

    • Room Service
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 3

Anuradhapura

Drive to Anuradhapura in a private vehicle after breakfast this morning (approximately 1.5 hours). The sacred city of Anuradhapura is one of the main shrines of Buddhism in the country. Take a walk through intricate monuments and amazing architecture. While here you witness the famous sacred fig tree, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. Also see Isurumuniya, a beautiful Buddhist temple nearby. After your visit to this ancient city, head back to Sigiriya. Your evening is then free to do as you wish.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Polonnaruwa

After breakfast, journey by private vehicle out to another of the area's ancient landmarks in Polonnaruwa (approximately 1.5 hours each way). There are plenty of temples, tombs and stupas to discover, as well as the spectacular Quadrangle. Today you also sit down to enjoy high tea in Dambulla. Later in the afternoon, head back to Sigiriya where you can have an optional ayurvedic massage.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Dambulla to Kandy

Make the short drive to Dambulla Caves Temple this morning and explore this magnificent cave complex. The World Heritage-listed monastery has been a pilgrimage site for 22 centuries and for good reason. In the afternoon, venture out in your private vehicle to Kandy (approximately 2.5 hours). You'll also visit a spice garden in Matale on the way. On arrival, check in to your hotel and head out to explore.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

OZO Kandy Sri Lanka

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    OZO Kandy Sri Lanka



    OZO Kandy Sri Lanka is a contemporary hotel offering cozy rooms inspired by Sri Lankan charm. Facilities include a rooftop lounge, outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Kandy's main attractions are only minutes away.

    OZO Kandy Sri Lanka is a contemporary hotel offering cozy rooms inspired by Sri Lankan charm. Facilities include a rooftop lounge, outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Kandy's main attractions are only minutes away.

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Day 6

Kandy

Though it's the second-largest city in the country and capital of the central hill regions, Kandy is tranquil and beautiful. In the morning, take a guided tour of the Royal Botanical Garden with a botanist. As well as 300 species of orchids, there are a number of bird species in the park, including the Yellow Fronted Barbet, Layards Parakeet, Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot and Brown Capped Babbler. You will also pay a visit to the gem museum and lapidary, where you can learn about the history of gem mining in Sri Lanka. At some point today you will be welcomed into the home of a local dancer to watch a cultural performance in an intimate environment. Capping off a day full of treasures is an evening visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa). Located in the heart of town, this is the most important shrine in the country, housing a relic of a tooth of Buddha taken from his funeral pyre.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Nuwara Eliya

Enjoy breakfast in Kandy and then board a 3.5-hour morning train bound for Nuwara Eliya. Nestled even deeper into tea plantation country, Nuwara Eliya sits at an elevation of 1800 metres, making it one of the coolest regions in Sri Lanka. The cool clime made it a favourite with the English and the Scots during the colonial-era, and remnants of this past can be seen in the sculpted gardens and manor homes that still decorate the city. You'll have free time here on arrival, so settle into your hotel and breath in the mountain air. If you're itching to explore further, the city of Ella is less than an hour away and a home to attractions such as the Nine Arches Bridge and Ravana Falls. Speak to your leader if you wish to visit Ella in your free time.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

The Golden Ridge Hotel

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    The Golden Ridge Hotel



    On a 5 acre ridge high above the Nuwara Eliya -- Kandy Road is The Golden Ridge Hotel which brings back memories of the olden days of Nuwara Eliya. All 56 rooms and suites offer magnificent views of the misty mountains and the furnishings of …

    On a 5 acre ridge high above the Nuwara Eliya -- Kandy Road is The Golden Ridge Hotel which brings back memories of the olden days of Nuwara Eliya. All 56 rooms and suites offer magnificent views of the misty mountains and the furnishings of the rooms and suites have been carefully curated to compliment the surrounding natural beauty.

    Facilities

    • Baggage storage
    • Foreign Exchange
    • Infinity Pool
    • Laundry Service
    • Restaurant
    • Valet Parking

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Day 8

Nuwara Eliya

Make a visit to the Pedro Tea Estate. Built in 1885, the plantation still features some original pieces of machinery. Once you've experienced the work that goes into the humble cup, sit down to enjoy one (or three) along with some finger food during an included high tea. The rest of your day is free to spend at your leisure. Perhaps head to Victoria Park for a relaxing stroll around a mixture of wild and sculpted plant life.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 9

Ella - Tissamaharama - Yala National Park

Transfer to Tissamaharama (known colloquially as Tissa). On the way there, make a stop at a beautiful small town in the highlands, Ella. Here, visit Ella Gap which offers beautiful vistas out across the plains. In the evening, head to Yala National Park, Sri Lanka's premier wildlife reserve. Here you board a 4x4 and embark on a safari. There's a good chance of spotting crocodiles, elephants, monkeys and buffaloes. When it's all over, retire to your resort to relax and unwind.

From September to mid October the Wildlife Conservation Department of Sri Lanka close Yala National Park for the development of infrastructure as well as for plant and wildlife rejuvination. Today we instead go on a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park. Udawalawe is home to wild elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Grand Tamarind Lake

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    Grand Tamarind Lake



    Stay lakeside in intimate luxury in a region renowned for its natural beauty and breathtaking safaris. The Grand Tamarind Lake in southern Sri Lanka is perfectly positioned in Katahragama within the reach of the untamed wildlife of Yala National Park, and each room looks out …

    Stay lakeside in intimate luxury in a region renowned for its natural beauty and breathtaking safaris. The Grand Tamarind Lake in southern Sri Lanka is perfectly positioned in Katahragama within the reach of the untamed wildlife of Yala National Park, and each room looks out over the serene expanse of the Detagamuwa Lake.
    Overlooking the Detagamuwa Lake and one km to the Seared temple Katharagama and ten minutes drive to the yala national wild life park.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Restaurant

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Day 10

Yala National Park

Today you will enjoy another safari in Yala National Park. Perhaps take the chance to do some birdwatching; Yala is home to some 215 bird species, including the Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Painted Stork and Crimson-fronted Barbet. If Yala is closed today, the group will visit Bundala National Park instead.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Galle

Take an optional visit Kataragama Temple in the morning to see the shrine that's dedicated to Kataragama Deviyo (resident god). Later we will transfer to Galle, a beautiful seaside town near Sri Lanka's southermost tip. Settle into your hotel, and perhaps stretch your legs with a stroll around a town considered the best preserved colonial town in Sri Lanka. At its core is a Dutch-built fort surrounded on three sides by the ocean but there's a trove of ancient mosques and churches, museums, boutiques and more. Between the months of November to April, whale watching is also a possibility in this area. If you have time in the day, pay a visit to the Handunugoda white tea plantation for a lesson in history and process.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Pinnacle Boutique Villas

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    Pinnacle Boutique Villas



    Pinnacle Boutique Villas is located in Galle about 3.6 km from Galle International Cricket Stadium. It is a wonderful place to stay at.

    Pinnacle Boutique Villas is located in Galle about 3.6 km from Galle International Cricket Stadium. It is a wonderful place to stay at.

    Facilities

    • Free WiFi
    • Restaurant
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 12

Galle

The morning and afternoon are yours to explore this charming town. There are a few options if you wish to add some structure to your day. Perhaps visit a cinnamon plantation 20 minutes outside of Galle to learn about the process of making the spice. Birders may wish to explore the Hiyare Rainforest Reservoir, also about 20 minutes from Galle. As always, speak to your knowledgeable leader for information on how to book or access these optional activities. In the evening, take a guided walk through this historic town.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 13

Colombo

An afternoon transfer from Galle will leave enough time for you to take a guided tour of Sri Lanka's capital city. Stop by some of the city's main sights on a bus tour including Independence Square, Parliament, and past the National Museum, finishing with a shopping opportunity for a good cause at the Barefoot Fair trade Store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries. If you are lucky enough to be in Colombo on a Saturday, visit Good Market, a local market full of stalls showcasing social enterprises and responsible businesses. After your tour head out for a final dinner with your group.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Jetwing Colombo Seven

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    Jetwing Colombo Seven



    When guests arrive for business, they can work fast with an array of modern facilities to suit their busy lifestyle. And when the stay is for leisure, slow down with a spa, infinity pool and one of Colombo's highest rooftop bars. The hotel's selection of …

    When guests arrive for business, they can work fast with an array of modern facilities to suit their busy lifestyle. And when the stay is for leisure, slow down with a spa, infinity pool and one of Colombo's highest rooftop bars. The hotel's selection of contemporary facilities is inspired by the fast-developing island capital, and has been designed to serve visitors with the finest of Sri Lankan hospitality.

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Day 14

Depart Colombo

Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.

Meal Plan Breakfast

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DEPARTURES:

2021: Jan 3; Feb 7; Mar 28; Apr 11, 25; May 16

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Arrival transfer
  • 10 nights hotel, 3 nights spa resort accommodation
  • 13 breakfasts and 1 lunch
  • Transportation: Private vehicle, Safari vehicle, taxi and train as per itinerary
  • Gratuities except for tour leader
  • Activities:
    • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
    • Negombo - Fish market
    • Anuradhapura - Bodhi Tree Temple, Ancient site, Isurumuniya Temple
    • Giritale - Polonnaruwa Site
    • Dambulla - High Tea
    • Matale - Spice Garden
    • Dambulla - Cave Temples
    • Kandy - Botanical Gardens, Temple of the Tooth, Cultural performance
    • Tea Factory Visit
    • Yala/Udawalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
    • Galle - guided walking tour
    • Colombo - City Tour

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

OTHER INFORMATION:

Occasionally these itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and research. Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so being flexible is key. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time

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 INTREPICOL21SG: PISJ
7 Feb 2021
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