Days
14
Price from
$3,775CAD

Embark on an incredible journey around Sri Lanka, from Sigiriya to Kandy and Galle

Sri Lanka has just about everything a traveller could want - superb ancient sites, magnificent scenery, amazing wildlife, delicious cuisine, incredibly friendly and welcoming locals and lovely palm-fringed, white sandy beaches. Add to this a history touched by Portuguese, Dutch and British influences and a society with a strong and devout adherence to the Buddhist faith and we find an island-nation of incredibly rich diversity with much to offer. We discover all of this and more on a comprehensive journey of what has been affectionately called, due to its shape, the 'Teardrop Isle'.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Seeduwa, Sri Lanka
Finish
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Country
Sri Lanka
Style
Peregrine
Code
PISJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Included trips to key sites and plenty of free time to discover Sri Lanka yourself, this trip is the perfect balance between guidance and space

  • Contrast the mix of incredible landscapes, as you weave through the city, relax on white sandy beaches, delve into temple caves and wander ancient sites

  • With a history touched by Portuguese, Dutch and British influences and a society with a devout adherence to the Buddhist faith, this island-nation has incredible diversity

Is this trip right for you?

  • Day 2 is the longest travelling day at around 4.5 hours

  • Though its equatorial position means fairly constant year-round temperatures, the summer months in Sri Lanka are very hot with short, sharp monsoons in the south-west of the country. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • If you have issues with heights, you may wish to sit out the climb of Lion Rock at Sigiriya. there are lots of rough, narrow steps and tight walkways.

Itinerary

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. Your airport representative will be waiting in the arrival hall, located after passing through the customs area. Please look out for the signboard with your surname on it. A welcome meeting with your trip leader will take place at around 6 pm, so check with reception or the noticeboard for details. Although Colombo is the commercial capital and by far the largest city in Sri Lanka, it's still relatively small. You won't be staying in the capital itself, but in a place by the beach. If you have time, you can hire a bike here to explore the town or simply relax on the beach.
Accommodation
  • The Gateway Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast this morning, head to the fish market in Negombo. This can be quite an intense affair, but seeing the variety of fish being presented by the locals is a great experience. Afterwards, venture out in a private vehicle (approximately 4.5 hours) to the ancient city of Sigiriya. En route, stop at a coconut plantation, where you'll be able to see these tropical fruit in their perfect habitats. In the evening, 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.
Accommodation
  • Aliya Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Coconut and pineapple plantation
  • Negombo - Fish Market Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The visit to Lion Rock takes around 3.5 hrs. Start late afternoon, reaching the lion paw in around an hour and a half. On the way visit the water garden, boulder garden, Sigiriya Frescos and the mirror wall.
After the Lion Paw its a steep climb with plenty of steps and walkways along the side of the rock. This part of the climb takes around 30 minutes.
Those not wanting to go to the top can rest at the lion paw until the rest of the group return.
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. Join a local guide and 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.
Accommodation
  • Aliya Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Anuradhapura - Sri Maha Bo Tree
  • Anuradhapura - Ancient Site
  • Anuradhapura - Isurumuniya Temple
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.
Accommodation
  • Aliya Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Giritale - Polonnaruwa Site
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.
Accommodation
  • Ozo Kandy Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Matale - Spice Garden
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
While this city is the second largest in the country and capital of the central hill regions, it's very much a peaceful and attractive place. In the morning, take a guided tour of the Royal Botanical Garden with a botanist. These gardens are world class, and the largest botanical gardens in the country. 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. Next, pay a visit to the gem museum and lapidary in Kandy. Finally, in the evening, visit 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.
Accommodation
  • Ozo Kandy Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens
  • Kandy - Temple of Tooth
  • Kandy - Cultural Dance & Fire Walking Show
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say farewell to Kandy after breakfast and take the scenic train ride to Haputale (approximately 5 hours). Perched on a mountain ridge overlooking lush green countryside, this town offers many a photo opportunity. On arrival, check in to your accommodation and head out to explore your surrounds. Or simply soak up the views from the swimming pool and pristine lawns at your resort.
Accommodation
  • Melheim Resort or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Venture out this morning after breakfast and walk to a nearby tea plantation and factory. In the afternoon, you'll sit down for lunch at a local planter's bungalow, before having the rest of the day free to relax.
Accommodation
  • Melheim Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Haputale - Tea Factory Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Each September the Wildlife Conservation Department of Sri Lanka close Yala National Park for the development of infrastructure as well as for plant and wildlife rejuvination. 
We instead visit the Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe, followed by a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park.
Udawalawe is home to wild elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards.
Visit Kataragama Temple in the morning to see the shrine that's dedicated to Kataragama Deviyo (resident god). In the evening, 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 Veheragala National Park instead.
Accommodation
  • Kithala Resort or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer to Galle, a beautiful seaside town near Sri Lanka's southermost tip. Settle into your comfortable resort, 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.
Accommodation
  • Lady Hill Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kataragama - Kataragama Temple
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The morning and afternoon are yours to explore this charming town. Wander through the newer parts of Galle to experience a slightly moe hectic way of life that the fort. In the evening you will take a guided walk through town before enjoying a traditional Sri Lankan roti dinner.


Accommodation
  • Lady Hill Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Galle - guided walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
An afternoon transfer from Galle will leave enough time for you to take a guided tour of Sri Lanka's capital city. A spicy mix races, religions and cultures. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a laid-back ambience. After your walking tour head out for a final dinner with your group, or perhaps check out the city's nightlife. 
Accommodation
  • Ozo Colombo or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Colombo - Walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you’d like to stay on in Colombo, we can help arrange additional accommodation for you on request. Why not soak up all that Colombo has to offer on an immersive one-day Urban Adventure tour? Visit www.urbanadventues.com for more details.


Optional Activities
  • Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure - Colombo - USD55
  • Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure - Colombo - USD55
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Private van, Train, Taxi, Auto-rickshaw.

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (13 nights)

Included Activities

  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Coconut and pineapple plantation
  • Negombo - Fish Market Tour
  • Anuradhapura - Sri Maha Bo Tree
  • Anuradhapura - Ancient Site
  • Anuradhapura - Isurumuniya Temple
  • Giritale - Polonnaruwa Site
  • Matale - Spice Garden
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens
  • Kandy - Temple of Tooth
  • Kandy - Cultural Dance & Fire Walking Show
  • Haputale - Tea Factory Visit
  • Kataragama - Kataragama Temple
  • Galle - guided walking tour
  • Colombo - Walking tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available to purchase and is applicable for all nights on tour.

PERAHERA FESTIVAL:
A surcharge will apply for stays in Kandy during the Perahera Festival (dates are based on the lunar calendar, usually in July-August). The Festival is a 10 day period of evening processions to honour the Sacred Tooth, which is enshrined at Kandy's Temple of the Tooth. Each night features thousands of dancers and drummers, and a parade of more than 50 decorated elephants. Due to Intrepid's stance on Elephant cruelty we do not visit the Perahera and cannot purchase tickets on your behalf.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.