Days
15
Price from
£2,277GBP

Explore Sri Lanka, from Kandy to Kataragama 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-sand 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’.

Independent Journeys

Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Journeys are a range of Peregrine's best-selling group tours, available for 1-3 people. They depart on any day and are accompanied by a Peregrine guide in each location and 24/7 support from the local Peregrine office. /journeys

PLEASE NOTE:
Bandaranaike International airport in Colombo Sri Lanka will undergo maintenance work daily between the hours of 0830am – 1630 (430pm) between 05th Jan – 05Apr 2017.
All flights scheduled to arrive or depart during these times will be affected and be subject to a schedule change. Please consult your airline or travel agent with regards to changes and advise Peregrine as soon as possible so we can rebook arrival and/or departure transfers. Please note that during this time, your flight may change several times. It’s a good idea to recheck your flight details several days prior to travelling.


Start
Seeduwa, Sri Lanka
Finish
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Country
Sri Lanka
Style
Independent Journeys
Theme
Adventure
Code
PISPJ
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
2 reviews
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Sri Lanka has just about everything a traveller could want - superb ancient sites, magnificent scenery, amazing wildlife, delicious cuisine, incredibly friendly locals and lovely white sandy beaches.

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

  • Discover all of this and more on a comprehensive journey that has been affectionately called, due to its shape, the 'Teardrop Isle'.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is an independent trip, suitable for up to three people travelling together.

  • You will be accompanied by an experienced driver/guide on this trip

  • Transport will be in a private vehicle

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

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport (the country's only international airport), you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Marawila, situated just north of Colombo.
Your airport representative will be waiting in the arrival hall, located after passing through the customs area. Look out for the signboard with your surname on it.
Although Colombo is the commercial capital and by far the largest city in Sri Lanka, it is still relatively small by Asian standards.
You will not stay in the capital itself, but in a place by the beach. Here, you can hire a bike to explore the town or relax on the beach and soak up the sun, sand and surf before heading off on your tour.
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 the variety of fish being presented by the locals is a great experience. Afterwards, venture out in a private vehicle for around four and a half hours to the ancient city of Sigiriya. En route, stop at a coconut plantation and pineapple plantation, where you'll be able to see these tropical fruits in their perfect habitats. Late this 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. Its a good work out to climb to the top, but well worth the effort. This evening relax by the pool in your resort.
Accommodation
  • Aliya Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The visit to Lion Rock takes around 3.5 hrs. 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, which should take around one and a half 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. 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 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. 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
  • Polonnaruwa - Site Entrance
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 for around two and half hours to Kandy. 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 or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dambulla - Cave Temple Entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
While Kandy is the 2nd largest city in the country after Colombo and capital of the central hill regions, it is a peaceful and attractive place. There are plenty of scenic walks through the hills and forests that surround the town as well as along the lake that forms its centre.
You will start your day with a city tour. In the heart of the town is the Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa), the most important shrine in the country, which houses a relic of a tooth of Buddha taken from his funeral pyre in 543 BC.
It is renowned for its daily 'Thewawa' ceremony.
You will also visit the world-class botanical gardens and the local market. There will be plenty of free time to explore this pretty town on your own. Tonight enjoy a traditional Kandyan Dance performance with fire walking.
Accommodation
  • Ozo Kandy 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 train to Bandarawela, which can take around five hours. On arrival, check in to your accommodation and head out to explore the town. This place is known for its markets, so wander around and see what you can find.
Accommodation
  • Melhaim 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
  • Melhaim Resort or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel from Bandarawela to Kataragama after breakfast, which usually takes around three hours. On your way to Kataragama you'll stop at Ella Gap for a scenic panorama of the stunning valley. On arrival into Kataragama, settle into your accommodation and then head out for an evening jeep safari of Yala National Park. This is a unique opportunity to witness Sri Lanka's native wildlife in their natural environment.
Accommodation
  • Mandara Rosen or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yala National Park Jeep safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit Kataragama Temple in the morning to see the shrine that's dedicated to Kataragama Deviyo (resident god). Later on, jump in the car once again and head to Galle (approximately three hours). On the way you'll come across the amazing sight of the stilt fisherman, who sit perched far from shore on contraptions of sticks, dangling makeshift fishing rods into the water. Your evening is then free to explore Galle.
Accommodation
  • Closenberg Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to do as you wish in Galle. Have some breakfast and then perhaps hire a bike, so you can get to see as much as you can in the time that you have. 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. In the evening, head out for an included guided walk around the Galle Royal Dutch Fort.
Accommodation
  • Closenberg Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Galle behind today and travel for around two hours to the scenic resort town of Kalutara. This afternoon is free to relax on this lovely stretch of coastline. In the evening, perhaps take a walk down the beach as the sunsets.
Accommodation
  • Kamili Beach Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You have a full free day to get under the skin of Kalutara. After breakfast, perhaps visit the temple of Kalutara Bodhiya, explore Richmond Castle or relax on the amazing beaches this city has to offer.
Accommodation
  • Kamili Beach Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll head back to where you started, as you leave Kalutara for Colombo (approximately one hour). On arrival venture out on an included guided city tour of the Sri Lankan capital, before having the rest of the day to do your own thing. In the evening, possibly head out to dinner to reflect on an amazing trip around this fascinating country.
Accommodation
  • Ozo Colombo or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Turtle Hatchery
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip will come to an end in Colombo this morning after breakfast. Check out time is usually between late morning and midday, but may vary. If your flight leaves in the evening you may wish to book additional accommodation so you have a room until departure. Your tour guide can advise you on how to arrange a transfer to the airport. These are not included, but can be booked through your travel agent or us.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Bicycle, Private van, Taxi

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights)

Included Activities

  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Anuradhapura - Sri Maha Bo Tree
  • Anuradhapura - Ancient Site
  • Anuradhapura - Isurumuniya Temple
  • Polonnaruwa - Site Entrance
  • Dambulla - Cave Temple Entrance
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens
  • Kandy - Temple of Tooth
  • Kandy - Cultural Dance & Fire Walking Show
  • Yala National Park Jeep safari
  • Turtle Hatchery

Reviews

Our Classic Sri Lanka - Independent Journey trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Classic Sri Lanka - Independent Journey, August 2016

Robyn Dianne Brien

Classic Sri Lanka - Independent Journey, August 2016

Mike Dowsett

Dates & availability

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Important notes

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. .

PLEASE NOTE:
Bandaranaike International airport in Colombo Sri Lanka will undergo maintenance work daily between the hours of 0830am – 1630 (430pm) between 05th Jan – 05Apr 2017.
All flights scheduled to arrive or depart during these times will be affected and be subject to a schedule change. Please consult your airline or travel agent with regards to changes and advise Peregrine as soon as possible so we can rebook arrival and/or departure transfers. Please note that during this time, your flight may change several times. It’s a good idea to recheck your flight details several days prior to travelling.

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.