12 Nights Sri Lanka

Walk among ancient ruins, travelling from the sandy beaches of down south to the green hills of the highest parts of the country. Choose adventure as well as relaxation as you go on wildlife safaris and visit national parks.

A whirlwind tour of all that Sri Lanka has to offer awaits you!

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Days

Nights

Itinerary

Day 1
  • ARRIVAL COLOMBO / NEGOMBO
  • Arrival assistance at Colombo International airport.
  • Transfer to Negombo.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Arrival in Sri Lanka, you will be met on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport by our Guide who will assist you with your luggage and guide you to your vehicle.
And transfer to Negombo.

Negombo
Located within a fairly close range to Bandaranaike International Airport, Negombo – the cinnamon hub of the Colonization of Dutch – offers some of the most exiting diving stretches in the country. With quite a pleasant beach and lagoon watch how Negombo dishes out some of the best lobsters, prawns and crabs found in the country, right on to your table or simply grab your kiteboards for an enthralling fly over crashing waves. Today Negombo also represents an ultimate nightlife featuring bars, disco bars and clubs. So, jazz up to the rhythm of the West, and be ready for a night of ‘fest’, because at Negombo everything is ‘best’.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Negombo.

Day 2
  • NEGOMBO / DAMBULLA / SIGIRIYA
  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Visit the Negombo Fish Market in the Morning.
  • Visit Dambulla Cave Temples en-route to Sigiriya. (Approximately 1 ½ hours)
  • Transfer to Sigiriya.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Negombo Fish Market

The Negombo Fish Market is interesting because it takes place right on the beach, fresh from fishing boats. Crowds of fishermen are seen untangling their fishing nets, playing with their kids, and stretching out miles of fish to dry in the sun on Negombo’s shore.

Dambulla Cave Temples

As one reaches the city of Dambulla lies a hub which has been treasured by many kings since the 1st century B.C. Today, an icon in the face of Sri Lanka Dambulla Rock Temple houses some of the most unique drawings in magnificently constructed 5 cave temples flanking the golden temple of Dambulla. Observe how exquisitely cave paintings are done along walls that shelter 150 statues of Lord Buddha. As you enter the retreat look straight up to the gigantic Buddha statue glittering in gold over a land which today houses an important junction in the country’s economic and cultural uplifting.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Sigiriya.

Day 3
  • SIGIRIYA / HIRIWADUNA / SIGIRIYA / SIGIRIYA
    .

  • Breakfast at the Hotel.
  • Visit the Hiriwadunna Village & Lake in the Morning. (Approximately 3 hours)
  • Visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the Afternoon. (Approximately 2 and ½ hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Hiriwadunna Village Trek

Hiriwadunna is all about Sri Lankan village life. In other words, it is a tale garnished with chirps of birds, fishermen carrying their nets and rods praying for a fine catch as well as an occasional crocodile basking on a shore of the lake. Do not have doubts about ample birdlife and butterflies as blessing visitors with the ‘soft winged’ is a part of Hiriwadunna’s schedule. Roam around with a local farmer before you hand-pick vegetables and join the experts in preparing them. Or hop into a bullock cart and toss along the gravel road for a memorable sightseeing tour that will remain memories of a lifetime.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The 5th century rock citadel of King Kasyapa and World Heritage Site – Sigiriya – doesn’t only boasts of ancient Sri Lankan engineering & urban planning supremacy but also acclaims to be one of the finest monuments of art & culture. Step through the gigantic ‘Lion Paws’ – overlooking the symmetrical royal gardens below – to comprehend the absolute splendor that once dominated this rock fortress. Surrounded by ramparts & moats the Lion Rock – resembling the mythological ‘City of Gods’ – is coated by frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in Ajanta caves of India. Walk in the shade of an eminent ‘mirror wall’ embracing the Western face of Sigiriya representing an artistic hundred meters laminated with graffiti.

Wander into the well-fabricated museum downstairs for an epic journey of yesteryears to realize how the citadel floated above citizens with the castle, ponds and irrigation systems that pumped water right onto its summit with an ingenious hydraulic system describing a colossal masterpiece of the great king which remained a wonder in Asia for centuries.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Sigiriya.

Day 4
  • SIGIRIYA / POLONNARUWA/ MINNERIYA / SIGIRIYA
  • Breakfast at the Hotel.
  • Lunch at the Local Restaurant
  • Evening do Elephant Back ride in Habarana
  • Visit the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa in the Morning. (Approximately 3 and ½ hours)
  • Game Drive in the afternoon at Minneriya National Park. (Approximately 3 hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

Rising with the decline of Anuradhapura, the city of Polonnaruwa – medieval capital & crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I – remains superior proof of ancient culture & heritage blended with religious beliefs. Walk across its scattered walls of the World Heritage Site – blessed by stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures – while observing the relic house – Watadage – which boasts of beautiful stone carvings. Take a close glance and you will realize a subtle Hindu influence on architecture and statues found in Polonnaruwa. Or sit by the side of Galviharaya and observe the absolute beauty gushing out of every bend of its huge Buddhist statues. Nissankamalla Council Chamber is however, a head-spinning beauty to just sit back and observe with its swaying pillars reminding the aesthetics of a powerful kingdom which rests beside Parakrama Samudraya – sea of Parakramabahu & masterpiece of irrigation!

Game Drive at Minneriya National Park

If you’re up for a serious rumble in the jungle, then Minneriya is your Colosseum! Spreading over 8800 hectares, this is a sanctuary for elephants. Minneriya is home to herds of deer and ample birdlife, but its spotlight remains between swaying trunks & flapping ears. Park your jeep on the bank of the reservoir and switch off its engine. Watch carefully as herds of elephants – one by one – roll on to the grass-covered banks, to feed on tender shoots. In fact, this is the largest elephant gathering in the world – over 700 at a time – which has garnished the park to become a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts across the globe.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Sigiriya.

Day 5
  • SIGIRIYA / MATALE / KANDY
  • Breakfast at the Hotel.
  • Visit Matale Spice Garden en- route to Kandy. (Approximately 45 mins to 1 hour)
  • Visit the Kandy bazaar and arts and craft center as well as the Temple of Tooth. (Approximately 3 ½ hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Matale Spice Garden

An agricultural zone in the Central Province, Matale seldom drops off the maps due to its remarkable contribution through flagship crops of the island extending from tea, rubber & vegetables to spices. Spearheading the Rebellion back in 1848, Matale today takes immense pride in its story woven around spices. Stop by the side of a spice garden – into which you will be most welcome – and observe the therapeutic values of spices & processes over a refreshing cup of herbal tea! Or spend some time idling on the hardened streets if you mean a real town adventure filled with voices and colors.

Visit the Kandy city center and the art bazaar and also the Tooth temple

Last ruled by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe – before it was brought under the British rule in 1815, Kandy – the World Heritage Site & last royal capital of Sri Lankan kings – crafts an array of culture, history and heritage in the minds of visitors across the globe. Experience an ancient Kandyan legacy engraved around its crown jewel, the temple of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. A stroll across this small lakeside town – cradled among the misty hills – will feature the Kandy City Centre – bundled with latest and world class brands, bazaar, an arts & crafts centre, as well as a gem museum & lapidary. Drive towards Victoria Golf Course, undoubtedly one of the best golf courses in the world for a sweep blended with class and style. Or walk in color as you glide through fresh fruits and vegetables in the Kandy market. Fine tune your evening by stepping to the beat of traditional music & drumming amplified by a cultural show enhancing the rich and vibrant culture of the Wonder of Asia, Sri Lanka.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Kandy.

Day 6
  • HABARANA / KANDY/ NUWARA ELIYA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Transfer to Nuwara Eliya (Optional – By Train)
  • Walk in Nuwara Eliya City.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Nuwara Eliya City Tour

Misty steep roads, twisting through lush green blankets of tea bushes in a cool climate, remind visitors that they are within the range of the renowned British colonial retreat, Nuwara Eliya. Augmented by an English countryside atmosphere, the city of light – once governed by English & Scottish planters – is still studded with colonial bungalows, hedgerows & one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world. A hike through the green grass and red-brick walls should present breathtaking views of a buzzing countryside hamlet.

OPTIONAL – Train Ride to Nuwara Eliya From Kandy

Hop into a rattling train smoking and hissing its way through green valleys of the hill country pierced by endless waterfalls & dotted by tea pluckers draped in bright-colored saris.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 7
  • NUWARA ELIYA / ELLA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Transfer to Ella.
  • Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Ella

Ella is known as everyone’s favorite hill country village and the place to ease off the travel accelerator. Only 8Kms from Bandarawela, this small town is used as a base for plenty of trekking expeditions to the surrounding country side. A taste of the breathtaking scenery of Ella could be had, if you just walk into the Garden of the Grand Ella Motel (Formerly Ella Rest House), where you seem to be standing at the edge of the world, and everything around you seems to disappear at your feet. Some of the places you could see in Ella are the Ella Gap, Ravana Ella Falls, Little Adam’s Peak and Bambaragala Peak among the other many varied pleasant walks with stunning scenery.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Ella.

Day 8
  • UDAWALWE / YALA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Jeep Safari at Udawalawe National Park. (Approximately 3 and ½ hours)
  • Proceed to Yala.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Jeep Safari at Udawalawe National Park

Be ready to witness trumpets across the border as you approach elephant country around the corner! Udawalawe truly is a sanctuary for the big footed & tusked. Marked by relatively large herds of elephants, the national park proves to be one of the best places one could observe them in their natural habitat. Hop into a safari jeep and head into the park, you are most likely to drive into your first herd of giants within the maiden hundred meters. Turn on your radar into other species – such as potted deer, sambur, barking deer, water buffalo and jackal – found within the park.

Meanwhile, Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home bears a different story. Established in 1995, it caters to all injured elephants found in the area before releasing them into their natural habitat. So, make sure to just watch – rather than touch – these gentle giants as they feed, play and mingle with each other, before heading into the wild with one another.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Yala.

Day 9
  • YALA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Game Drive at YALA National Park.(Approximately 3 and ½ hours)
  • Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Game Drive at YALA National Park

Spreading into a vast 1259 Km2 Yala – with its glory spinning around vast grasslands, shrubs, tanks and dunes – rightfully is the heartland of wildlife in Sri Lanka. As your jeep rumble through the giant gates of Yala, you are not only stepping into the most visited national park in the country, but also the lands of a civilization which thrived during the reign of Sri Lankan kings. You name it, and Yala has it! Its usual inmates cover herds of elephant, sloth bear, spotted dear, jackal, extensively populated birdlife as well as the highest density of leopards in the world that garnish the park to be one of the finest destinations in the country. Feel the rough track as your jeep thunders over rocks and swish passing narrow bends for an exhilarating experience blended with the cries of wilderness under the tropical sun.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Yala.

Day 10
  • YALA / GALLE
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Transfer to Galle.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Galle City Tour

Galle, the epic Southern capital, is the intersection where classic Dutch architecture meets a tropical setting creating a vivid atmosphere in beauty. Walk the Dutch-haunted streets listening to the creaks of wooden saloon doors and observe how European architecture mingles with South Asian traditions today flooding cultural enthusiasts on a global scale. Its original ramparts and bastions preserved up to date showcase evidences of a heritage preserved for more than 3 1/2 centuries. Walk clockwise within the fort to observe the ‘old gate’ carrying the British coat of arms. Flanking the old gate is the Zwart bastion – the oldest of all – and the lighthouse standing 18 feet in its glory next to the Point Utretcht Bastion. This Dutch bliss is painted with streets that spread in a rectangular grid pattern pierced with houses carrying Dutch colonial style verandas. However, its hallmark stands a reality where the Dutch fort remains a working community with its usual buzz of administrative offices, court complex, commercial buildings, churches and Southern folks frequenting its streets bracing the air of the Elysium of architecture, Galle!

Overnight stay at a hotel in Galle or Unawatuna.

Day 11
  • GALLE / BALAPITIYA OR KALUTHARA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Proceed to Balapitiya or Kaluthara.
  • OPTIONAL – BALAPITIYA BOAT RIDE
  • Rest of the day at leisure at beach.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Balapitiya Boat Ride – OPTIONAL

Balapitiya is where one could just sit back and observe how ecology and culture combines under the sun! Cut through the clear water of Madu River – a lifeline of Balapitiya – and head towards Kotu Duwa, the small island housing a temple that dates back to ancient Sinhalese kings. Or, sail through tunnels of shady mangroves swaying alongside Madu River – hiding an ecological treasure – to witness the tranquility of this bio-diversity hot spot which boasts of reptiles, mollusks and over 70 species of fresh water fish. Today the region – which is strong in observing rural folk life in the island – does not only boast of cinnamon plantations in abundance, but also has a fine ‘fish pedicure center’ – one of the most potent & latest rejuvenation techniques. Apart from these amenities Balapitiya has also become a household name in the minds of bird watchers ensuring a thrilling offshore experience.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Balapitiya or Kaluthara.

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Day 12
  • BALAPITIYA OR KALUTHARA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Leisure at Beach.
  • OPTIONAL – VISIT KOSGODA TURTLE HATCHERY
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Visit Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery – OPTIONAL

Both locals and international volunteers battling it out for ”Sea Turtles’ Sake” is a common sight at Kosgoda. This vibrant tourist destination sitting calm along the Southern coast of Sri Lanka – apart from its traditional industries of fisheries and cinnamon cultivation – was later recognized by the Wildlife Protection Society who studded the region with a Sea Turtle Conservation Project which operates on a formidable scale today. Indirectly, this has become a watering hole of flipper & shell enthusiasts!

Overnight stay at a hotel in Balapitiya or Kaluthara.

Day 13
  • BALAPITIYA OR KALUTHARA / AIRPORT
  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • • Leave to Airport for departure to Maldives.

You will be transferred to the Airport to board your flight for onwards journey.

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