Treasures of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is renowned for its cultural heritage, ancient temples and historic fortresses. The country is also rich in natural wonders with national parks where elephants, leopards and abundant birdlife can be seen. This tour includes World Heritage Sites, wildlife sanctuaries, an elephant orphanage, a tea plantation and the famous World’s End view.

15 days/14 nights
Hotels
Departs daily ex Colombo

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Highlights:

  • Go on safari in Wilpattu, Minneriya and Yala national parks
  • Meet the residents of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
  • See the many sights of the Cultural Triangle including Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa
  • Spend time in the former colonial hill station of Nuwara Eliya and in the World Heritage Site of Galle Fort
  • Explore the old and new landmarks of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s bustling capital

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Treasures of Sri Lanka

Itinerary

15 days/14 nights

Day 1

Negombo
Arrival transfer to your hotel in the relaxed coastal town of Negombo. Rest of day at leisure. B

Days 2/3

Anuradhapura
Drive to Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka’s largest wildlife sanctuary. Explore by jeep with possible sightings of deer, elephant, sloth bear and leopard. Continue on to Anuradhapura for overnight. On Day 3 visit the sacred Buddhist site of Mihintale, and tour Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to a 2,200 year old bodhi tree and various magnificent Buddha statues. B

Days 4/5

Cultural Triangle
Depart for Habarana for overnight, with a 4WD safari in Minneriya National Park (2hrs) en route. This reserve is popular with leopard and Asian elephant, as well as huge flocks of bird. Next day, tour the east coast deepwater port city of Trincomalee and the Kanniya hot springs. B

Day 6

Polonnaruwa
Scale the impressive Rock Fortress at Sigiriya, which rises 200m above dense jungle. Afterwards, inspect the well-preserved ruins of Sri Lanka’s former capital – Polonnaruwa – constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. B

Days 7/8

Kandy
Drive to Kandy (6 hrs), stopping around the halfway mark to examine the colourful frescoes inside the Dambulla Cave Temple. Highlights of Kandy include the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world. In the evening, enjoy a cultural performance. On Day 8, visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to view the herd bathing in a river. Return to Kandy to stroll the exquisite botanical garden at Peradeniya. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Days 9/10

Nuwara Eliya
Early drive to the hill station of Nuwara Eliya. In the afternoon visit Victoria Park before taking a guided walk to see some of the city’s fine colonial buildings. On Day 10, tour the beautiful Horton Plains, a unique flat plateau famous for the cascading Bakers Falls and ‘World’s End’, a 1,000m sheer drop overlooking banks of thick clouds. B

Days 11/12

Yala National Park
Drive to Yala National Park. This vast region of dry woodland and open grasslands is famous for its variety of wild animals including leopards, its aquatic birds as well as its conservation of Sri Lankan elephants. Afternoon safari by jeep accompanied by an experienced tracker. On Day 12 enjoy a full day safari in the national park. BLD

Day 13

Galle
After breakfast depart for the coastal southern port city of Galle. Visit the historic Dutch Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. B

Day 14

Colombo
Proceed to Sri Lanka’s bustling capital, where skyscrapers rise high above charming old British colonial buildings. Bargain for a souvenir at the vibrant Pettah bazaar and visit various temples.

Day 15

Tour ends Colombo
Transfer to Colombo airport for your onward flight. Tour ends. B

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Itineraries

Sri Lanka Overview

Why Sri Lanka: This remarkable island off the south eastern coast of India might be small but it is jam packed with spectacular landscapes, a rich cultural heritage and ancient historical sites including 7 World Heritage Sites! Sri Lanka is also still relatively unspoilt by tourism, although there are many unique and wonderful hotels throughout the country.

When to Go: Dec – Mar is considered the best time to visit, being the driest season on the west and south coasts, in the ‘Cultural Triangle’ and up in hill country. The east coast is best from May – Sep when many of the beaches along the west and south coasts are experiencing the monsoon. During the monsoon, it is possible to travel as the rain is not constant – you’ll also enjoy lower prices and less crowds. The temperatures are high throughout the year, averaging around 27°C.

Combine With: Neighbouring India, Bhutan or Nepal.

Getting There: Fly into the international airport north of Colombo, the capital.

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