Vivacious Sri Lanka
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Join us and explore the best of inland Sri Lanka on this fascinating eight-day round-trip starting in Colombo City. This route covers some of Sri Lanka’s most inspiring cultural landmarks, tea plantations, national parks and colonial buildings. It is the perfect tour for lovers of history, wildlife and culture.
Yala National Park: One of the oldest and most popular national parks in Sri Lanka, this nature reserve is home to a rich and unique collection of flora and fauna, including one of the highest densities of leopards in the world. It also houses several archaeological sites, as the region was the home to several sophisticated ancient civilizations.
Kandy: A beautiful city set on a plateau in Sri Lanka’s central region surrounded by mountains covered in tea plantations and a bio-diverse rainforest. This UNESCO Sacred Site is bursting with palaces and gardens and it is home to the outstanding Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
Nuwara Eliya: Often referred to as ‘Little England’, this highland community has a British feel to it, with its colonial-era bungalows, Tudor-style hotels, well-tended hedgerows and pretty gardens. It is also one of the major tea producing areas in the world and the views are breathtaking.
Operated with English-speaking drive / wildlife guide on shared basis
7 nights´ accommodation
Day 1,5 Colombo: Superior Hotel Category = Ozo Colombo or similar 4*; Deluxe Hotel Category = Cinnamon Grand or similar 5*
Day 2,3 Habarana/ Sigiriya: Superior Hotel Category = Habrana Village by Cinnamon or similar 4*; Deluxe Hotel Category = Habrana Lodge or similar 5*
Day 4 Kandy: Superior Hotel Category = Earl’s Regency or similar 4*; Deluxe Hotel Category = Earl’s Regent or similar 5*
Air-conditioned transportation as stated in the programme
Arrival airport transfer / Departure airport transfer
Tuk-Tuk on day 2
Jeep safari in Yala National Park on day 6
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
Entrance fees included: Colombo city tour (day 2), Sri Lankan cooking session (day 2), Peradeniya botanical garden (day 3), Temple of tooth (day 3), Kiriwaula Village Excursion (day 4), Tea plantation (day 5), Yala National Park (day 6), Yala national park jeep safari (day 6)
Meet and Greet on day 1
- Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals or items not stated explicitly in the programme
- Lunch throughout the tour
- Gratuities for drive and guide
- Any alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, mineral water, etc
- Video camera permits at Elephant Orphanage
- Travel Insurance or any loss or extra cost arising due to unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays, accidents, etc
- International flights
- The standard hotel check-in time is from 12-14pm (depending on the hotel).
- The standard hotel check-out is at 11am
- Hotel early check-in, late check-out, connecting or adjoining rooms, smoking rooms & non-smoking rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed
- The Validity of the passport should be 6 months from the date of departure.
- Please note alcohol will not be served in public areas in hotels and restaurants during religious holidays.
What do I need to bring?
Comfortable and warm clothing is the most suitable for travelling. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Shoes should be removed before entering a temple or private house. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.
- Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVE COLOMBO
Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport. There you will be met by our representative and the transportation service will then transfer you from the airport to Colombo, where you will check in to your hotel and enjoy some free time to relax and freshen up after your flight. You can then enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, relax in the hotel or head out into the vibrant city of Colombo for a sneak preview of its historic streets, colourful back alleys and most famous landmarks. Visit the Pettah District, one of Colombo’s oldest regions and imagine a time when the streets were teeming with ox carts loaded up with the island’s most important exports such as rubber, tea, cinnamon, kithul treacle, rope and peacocks. Head over to Colombo’s more cosmopolitan side for stylish eateries, galleries and shops or walk to the sea front to look out over the Indian Ocean.
*Overnight In Colombo.
Day 2 : COLOMBO
After breakfast at the hotel, why not engage in a traditional Sri Lankan cookery session. Discover the flavours, spices and preparation techniques of this fiery, colourful cuisine. Try your hand at everything from cracking a coconut in half to frying spices and poppadums, then sit down to enjoy the meal you prepared together. In the evening, join a walking tour of Colombo, the ‘City of Everything’. This charismatic, historic and commercial capital has always been a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Visit the Gangaramaya Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo, then take a short-cut through to one of the best and not-so-secret street food spots in the city. The bustling streets of Slave Island and Pettah will give you a true feel for Colombo life. Enter a Sri Lankan bar and taste Sri Lankan arrack and sample a selection of authentic Sri Lankan street food. Don’t forget to try a traditional Kottu Roti. When you can’t eat any more, jump aboard one of Sri Lanka’s famous tuk-tuks and enjoy the ride back to your hotel.
*Overnight in Colombo. Breakfast included.
Day 3 : COLOMBO – PERADENIYA – KANDY (230KM – 7hrs)
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel, then travel to Peradeniya to visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, the largest and most impressive gardens in Sri Lanka. These stunning gardens were once reserved exclusively for Kandyan royalty, but now all visitors are free to stroll around the 147 acres of well-tended lawns, orchids, pavilions, an octagon conservatory and a giant Javan fig tree. It really is a serene experience after the hustle and bustle of the capital city. After Peradeniya, continue on to Kandy to visit the Temple of the Tooth, the golden-roofed temple that houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. In the afternoon, visit the city of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Sacred City, which boasts a wealth of culture, history and religious heritage. Stroll around the lakeside city surrounded by misty hills and take in the sights and sounds of the fresh fruit and vegetable stands in Kandy market. In the evening, join a cultural show and move to the beat of traditional Sri Lankan music and drumming.
*Overnight in Kandy. Breakfast included
Day 4 : KANDY – KIRIWAULA VILLAGE – KANDY (45KM – 1.5hrs)
Wake up to breakfast at the hotel, then prepare for an authentic Sri Lankan experience at Kiriwaula Village. Hidden in the suburbs of Kadugannawa, Kiriwaula Village is seldom spoke of, but there are few villages with such an authentic cultural heritage and tradition of craftmanship as Kiriwaula. Spend the day engaging with the locals and experiencing everyday life in the village. Learn about the traditional brass industry, an artform that has been passed down from generation to generation. Then visit the last remaining traditional optician in the village and see how he crafts his own lenses by hand. Your tour of Kiriwaula will also involve a visit to the ancient Buddhist temples Gadaladeniya, Lankathilake and Ambekka which can all be reached by following a scenic footpath. All three temples were constructed during the pre-Kandyan Kingdom of Gampola in the 13th century. At the end of the tour, return to Kandy for dinner at your hotel.
*Overnight in Kandy. Breakfast included.
Day 5 : KANDY – NUWARAELIYA (80KM – 3hrs)
Today, breakfast is followed by a visit to a tea plantation and the town of Nuwara Eliya. In Sri Lanka, tea and tourism are two words that can’t be separated. The lush, green and misty hills dotted with waterfalls and the brightly coloured saris of the tea pickers is a sight that simply can’t be missed. We will take a tour of a tea factory where the prestigious Ceylon tea is produced. As you observe the hissing and swishing of machines, inhale the heavenly scent of freshly-picked tea leaves and end the tour in style with a perfectly blended cup of pure Ceylon tea. In the afternoon, continue on to Nuwara Eliya, often referred to as ‘Little England’ due to its British feel, colonial-era bungalows, Tudor-style hotels, well-tended hedgerows and pretty gardens. Hike through the red-brick buildings and into the greenery of the hillside for breathtaking views of Sri Lanka’s hill country or hire a bike and go for a gentle ride along the banks of Lake Gregory.
*Overnight in Nuwaraeliya. Breakfast included.
Day 6 : NUWARAELIYA – YALA – TISSAMAHARAMA (395 km – 9hrs)
Start the day with an energising breakfast before heading to Yala National Park for a jeep safari. Covering an area of 1,259 km2, this vast grassland is not just one of the largest and oldest national park in Sri Lanka, but it is also the land where ancient civilisations reigned centuries ago. Remnants of civilisations such as the Indo-Aryans can be witnessed here, as well as ancient tanks that indicate that a well-developed agricultural system was present in this region in the past. In terms of wildlife, Yala is home to endangered animals such as the Sri Lankan sloth bear and the Sri Lankan elephant, as well as spotted deer, jackals and an extensive bird population. It is also one of the best places to spot the Sri Lankan leopard in its natural habitat. Being the largest cat in Sri Lanka, leopards fearlessly prowl the jungle and open areas of Yala, even in the daytime. At the end of the jeep safari, continue on to Tissamaharama for the night.
*Overnight in Tissamaharama. Breakfast included.
Day 7 : TISSAMAHARAMA – GALLE (150Km – 3.5hrs)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel then transfer to the fortified town and World Heritage site of Galle. Once a vital trading post between the east and west, Galle was the essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab and Indian traders. Later, the city was inhabited by the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British, leaving behind a combination of colonial buildings, an old fortified quarter and narrow streets which are now bursting with cool cafes and tiny bohemian boutiques. Today, we will take you on a city tour of this fabulous southern capital. Walk the Dutch-style streets with colonial verandas and see how European architecture blends with South Asian tradition. Visit the fort and see the original bastions and ramparts which have been well preserved for over three centuries. Observe the fort’s old gate which carries the British coat of arms and then visit the lighthouse which stands next to Point Utrecht Bastion. There will also be time for a spot of shopping from the vast array of souvenirs on offer.
*Overnight in Galle. Breakfast included.
Day 8 : GALLE – COLOMBO AIRPORT ( 155KM – 2.5hrs)
After breakfast, prepare for your departure and transfer to Bandaranaike International Airport in time for your onward or return flight. Although this is the last day of your journey through some of the most fascinating locations in Sri Lanka, we hope that your memories and photographs of this remarkable, colourful island nation will last a lifetime.