KANDAPOLA – HORTON PLAINS – KANDAPOLA
KANDAPOLA – ELLA
ELLA – GALLE
GALLE – NEGOMBO
ELLA – LIPTON SEAT – ELLA
ARRIVE IN COLOMBO
COLOMBO – DAMBULLA
DAMBULLA – MINNERIYA – DAMBULLA
DAMBULLA – ANURADHAPURA – DAMBULLA
DAMBULLA – KANDY
KANDY – NUWARA ELIYA – KANDAPOLA
WELCOME TO SRI LANKA
VISIT THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE OF SIGIRIYA
CYCLING AND MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK
DEPART FOR ANURADHAPURA, THE FIRST CAPITAL OF SRI LANKA, AND VIEW THE OLDEST LIVING TREE IN DOCUMENTED HISTORY
VISIT THE TEMPLE OF THE SACRED TOOTH RELIC IN KANDY
BOARD THE TRAIN TO NUWARA ELIYA, ENJOY THE MAGNIFICENT SCENERY EN-ROUTE, LATER PROCEED TO KANDAPOLA
EXCURSION AND TREK TO SRI LANKA'S HIGHEST PLATEAU
VISIT THE BUDDHIST AND HINDU TEMPLE AND CHURCH
VISITING A TEA PLANTATION AND FACTORY
DRIVE TO GALLE, AFTERNOON WALKING TOUR OF THE GALLE FORT
BEING AMONG BLUE WHALES OFF THE SOUTH COAST AND DRIVE TO NEGOMBO
THE BEST OF SRI LANKA
Declared by Marco Polo as “the finest island of its size in the world,” this teardrop shaped southernmost point of mainland Asia became an indispensable port of call to the earliest travelers. Sri Lanka today boasts mist-covered mountains, 3000 years of history, untamed jungles rich with wildlife, and a coastline lined with golden beaches. Come experience the Best of Sri Lanka!
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo
The trade capital of Colombo has long been the traditional gateway to the orient. Today, this fascinating city features a blend of east and west, past and present, with a charm all its own. Explore the local bazaar and trading area, beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples, and the historic Wolfendhal church.
Day 2 Colombo – Dambulla
Drive to Dambulla, and along the way visit the World Heritage Site of Sigiriya, a giant rock fortress built in the 5th century as a bastion and palace of King Kasyapa. Explore the geometrically laid water gardens, the frescoes of beautiful maidens, and the mirror wall with ancient graffiti.
Day 3 Dambulla – Minneriya – Dambulla
This morning, cycle through local villages, paddy fields, and alongside ancient temples. Visit Minneriya National Park for a once-in-lifetime elephant safari.
Day 4 Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Dambulla
Explore Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the center of the island’s Buddhist civilization, and undoubtedly the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. It contains the oldest historically documented tree on earth (over 2,200 years old) - the Sri Maha Bodhi – which was brought as a sapling from the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. View the island's oldest Buddhist shrines - some dating back to the 3rd century BC – along with monuments, gardens, beautifully executed stone baths, and a superb irrigation system of reservoirs and canals. Wander through the ruins of the Brazen Palace, an engineering marvel with 1600 significant stone columns and the remains of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks. Additional highlights include Samadhi Buddha, regarded as the finest rock sculpture on the island, rock temples, carvings, bathing pools, and an ancient dagoba said to be the largest brick built structure in the world.
Day 5 Dambulla – Kandy
Depart for Kandy. En route visit a massive cave temple with 2000 year old frescoes and a colossal figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of rock. Later, visit the Matale spice gardens for an opportunity to learn about the natural remedies the plants offer as well as the significance the spices have to the local cuisine. Arrive in the lovely and exotic city of Kandy, encircled by hills with a tranquil lake at the center. This evening participate in a pooja ceremony at the Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic, the most venerated place of worship for Buddhists throughout the world. Built in the 16th century, this temple houses the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha brought to Sri Lanka from ancient India in the 4th century.
Day 6 Kandy – Nuwara Eliya – Kandapola
Take a train ride to Nuwara Eliya, a mountain station with breathtaking views of valleys, mountains, and meadows. Wander through a tea plantation and witness how tea is plucked and processed.
Day 7 Kandapola – Horton Plains – Kandapola
Travel to Horton Plains for a lovely excursion and trek to Sri Lanka's highest plateau. Take in the spectacular view from the 'Worlds End,' where the plateau plunges a thousand feet down in a straight, sheer drop.
Day 8 Kandapola – Ella
Spend the day exploring the small but beautiful town of Ella. Used as a base for trekking expeditions to the surrounding countryside, Ella is blessed with some of the most beautiful views in Sri Lanka.
Day 9 Ella – Lipton Seat – Ella
Early morning walk to Lipton’s Seat, a plantation owned by the world-renowned Scottish Tea planter, Sir Thomas J. Lipton. Located 4,695 feet above sea level, Lipton’s Seat provides a 360-degree view of the picturesque mountains, tea plantations, and southern plains. Along the way you will have an opportunity to visit with the local Tamil tea pickers going off to work for the day. Remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 10 Ella – Galle
Explore the ancient trading post of Galle. This World Heritage fortified township was an essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab, and Indian traders. Javanese and Sumatrans came later, followed by Marco Polo in 1299 AD. The Portuguese arrived in the 1500’s and built a settlement with a fort of palm trees and mud. This was captured by the Dutch, and finally the British, who built the 400 year old fort with its great ramparts and bastions. Today narrow streets are lined with old houses and pillared verandahs, government offices remain in use, and the community within the fort bustles with daily life. Join the locals for tea, stroll past the Dutch church, visit spice warehouses, and perhaps watch a cricket match
Day 11 Galle – Negombo
Board a boat in the seaside province of Mirissa, and together with a marine naturalist search for blue, sperm, and killer whales. Dolphins are also in abundance, and often can be seen just a few miles off the coast. This afternoon visit the local fish market to gain insight into the vast fishing industry in this area. Finally, enjoy the fresh caught seafood during a special farewell dinner.
Day 12 Departure
Depart for the international airport for your flight back home.