Ultimate Sri Lanka 15 Days 17 Nights
If you like exploring ancient civilizations, watching wildlife in its natural environment and swimming in a balmy ocean, Sri Lanka is your kind of ultimate.
From Colombo you’ll be taken to Wilpattu National Park to see elephants and leopards, monkeys and sloth bear, before venturing on to the Cultural Triangle. The monuments of Anuradhapura, the rock fortress at Sigiriya and Dambulla’s cave temples await, followed by Kandy’s magnificent Temple of the Tooth.A scenic rail journey takes you to the cool tea plantations of upland Sri Lanka,then to Ellla hill station with panoramic mountain views, and to down south of srilankato feel warm of Indian ocean.
DAY WISE SUMMARY
Day 01-Arrival/Negambo(Approx Drive Time-30Mins/Distance 20kms)
Upon arrival, you will be met in the arrivals hall by our local representatives. Please look for them standing to the right-hand side of the Commercial Bank kiosk in the arrivals hall. They will be holding a sign displaying Ceyonl Lanka Travels (pvt)Ltd. You will also be handed a welcome pack which features amongst other things, a local mobile phone so you can contact your driver/guide, the hotels in which you are staying or our office in Colombo any time of the day or night. Should you need to exchange Euros to Rupees, this can easily be done at good rates from the kiosk in the arrivals hall. You will then be transferred 30 minutes to Negombo.
Overnight stay in Negombo(01night)
Day 02 and 03/Negambo/wilpaththuwa(Approx Drive Time-3Hours/Distance 132 kms)
This morning you’ll explore the Negombo fish market alongside a retired, characterful fisherman. After paying a visit to Negombo fish market you’ll make a 3 ½ hour drive through
picturesque countryside to Wilpattu National Park, where you’ll be staying in a traditional safari camp. Wilpattu is one of the largest and best established of Sri Lanka’s reserves, and features over 50 natural lakes and watering holes that attract a wide range of wildlife. You’ll venture out on not one but four shared game drives – all the better to see elephants, leopards, buffalo, sloth bears, samba, spotted deer and mongoose. You’ll spot birds like painted storks, little cormorants, owls, terns, kites and buzzards, plus reptiles like monitor lizards, crocodiles, turtles and various snakes.
Stay 2 Nights in Wilpaththuwa
Day 04to 06/wilpaththuwa/ Cultural Triangle (Approx Drive Time-2Hours/Distance 100 kms)
After breakfast you’ll set off for the Cultural Triangale, Today you will visit Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s first capital founded in the 4th century B.C. Over 100 Sinhalese kings ruled here for over 1000 years. This ancient civilization is credited with inventing one of the earliest and most advanced irrigation systems in the world (a set of channels and reservoirs locally known as ‘tanks’), enabling their society to flourish amidst the harsh aridity of their land. Set in rolling parklands, Anuradhapura is a complex of many fascinating monuments, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree) was brought as a sapling of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.
It is over 2,200 years old and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. At Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C.), the 1600 stone columns you see are all that is left of a magnificent multistoried residence for monks. Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C.) is the most famous of all the dagobas (the Sinhalese term for stupa). It originally depicted the perfect “bubble shape” that modern restoration has not been able to accurately reproduce. Jetavanaramaya (2nd century B.C.) at 400-ft tall, is the largest stupa in the world. Thuparama Dagoba (3rd century B.C.) enshrines the right collarbone of the Buddha. Samadhi Buddha (4th century A.D.) is one of the most famous statues, depicting the Buddha in a state of “Samadhi” or deep meditation. Isurumuniya Temple (3rd century B.C.) is well known for its rock carvings of “The Lovers”. The twin ponds of Kuttam Pokuna (6th century A.D.) were used by the Buddhist monks as a bathing pool
Afternoon at leisure
Following day morning visit Sigiriya to climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashapa (473-491 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster.
Please Note: There are about 1200 steps to climb to the very top of Sigiriya rock, so a certain level of fitness is required. There are several rest platforms to break the climb and you can take it entirely at your own pace or perhaps climb only half way to the Lion’s paw.
Afternoon at leisure or visit to a Srilankan village
A visit to a Sri Lankan village with lunch
Enlightening and exhilarating, this authentic experience gives you a glimpse of Sri Lankan village life where the villagers go about their daily lives with the greatest respect to nature. Spend a morning in a remote village near to the Cultural Triangle.
Swooping eagles and exotic butterflies are some of the visual highlights of the journey before the ultimate view of the majestic Sigiriya Rock Fortress and surrounding mountain ranges in the distance. Where the boat ride ends, a bumpy one on tractor begins. Take in wide open paddy fields and miniature forests that have a lot to offer by way of birds, lizards and butterflies. The tractor stops at another hamlet for a tour of vegetable and fruit plantations and a first-hand account of how traditional and superstitious farming are kept alive. Stop along the way at cool mud structures with palm-thatched roofs for refreshing fruit slices and native aromatic herbal brews served in coconut shells, which make this experience neither too hectic nor laid back. It does however work up a big appetite, so the mini-adventure is tied up with a feast of fresh vegetables harvested from the fields you have just explored. Prepared in Sri Lanka’s traditional clay cooking pots; olden day prep methods in cutting vegetables, pounding raw rice, weaving palm baskets, and cooking over a wooden hearth are demonstrated before the final reward of a large, delicious, warm meal served on lotus leaf, in keeping with good ol’ fashioned rural hospitality.
Includes:a bullock-cart ride and lunch (Lunch is only included if you start in the morning and end in Lunch – for those who visit in the afternoon, lunch is not included
Duration:Approximately 2 hours
Suitable for children:Yes very much so, kids will love it.
Dietary:Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.
What to wear or bring along:Light clothing, sun cream, a hat (careful with the wind).
Private or not?The visit is private however there may be a few other families in the vicinity visiting the village as well, though you are never mixed into a groupIt can be a little hot during the day particularly in April and May. It is important to drink plenty of water. The lunch is a basic rice and curry lunch in a traditional setting, nothing sophisticated.
Following day visit world Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa.
It also presents you with historic ruins like the Audience Hall, Lotus Bath and Royal Palace, plus a Shiva Temple and the Galpotha (Stone Book). Polonnaruwa – or to use its proper name, the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa – is the second oldest of Sri Lanka’s ancient kingdoms (after Anuradhapura), and was made the capital of the island in 1070 by King Vijaybahu I. Polonnaruwa is home to the extensive ruins of a medieval civilization which have been incredibly well-preserved and are still awe-inspiring to see. As well as ancient palace ruins and the remains of Buddhist and Hindu shrines, there are four breathtaking statues of Lord Buddha at Gal Vihara, a colossal dagoba and the ‘Satmahal Prasada’ – a seven-storey edifice which has such unusual architecture that modern-day historians remain baffled.
STAY 03 Nights in Cultural Tangle
Day 07/ Cultural Triangle /kandy(Approx Drive Time-3.5 Hours/Distance 95 kms)
This morning transfer 3 ½ hours to Kandy. Along the way stop for an hour or so at Dambulla Cave Temples.
Climb up to the temple, which was donated by King Walagambahu in the 1st century BC to Buddhist monks. Dambulla is a World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. metres of painted walls and the ceiling is the largest area of paintings found in the world. These caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14 meters.
After Dambulla you travel on to Kandy where you’ll be able to witness ceremonies in the Temple of the Tooth – named after the relic of Buddha’s tooth, now housed in the temple’s most sacred inner sanctum. The temple stands beside a magnificent lake where basking monitor lizards and a variety of birds are a common sight. Even more wonderful are the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, spread over 147 acres.
Day 08 / Kandy
Today explore Kandy with your chauffeur/guide. The highlight of Kandy is the Temple of the Tooth. According to legend, the tooth was taken from the Buddha as he lay on his funeral pyre. It was smuggled to Sri Lanka in 313 AD, hidden in the hair of Princess Hemamali who fled the Hindu armies besieging her father’s kingdom in India.
It immediately became an object of great reverence and was enshrined in a series of nested jewelled reliquaries. The tooth was brought out for special occasions and paraded on the backs of elephants, which are sacred to the Buddha. where it survived numerous attempts to capture and destroy it.
When the capital was moved to Kandy, the tooth was taken to the new city and placed in temples built to honor it. The temple was originally built under Kandyan kings between 1687 and 1707, but later severely damaged during the 18th-century colonial wars against the Portugese and Dutch. After the wars, the original wooden structures were restored in stone
Visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. This botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers.
There is also a cultural show that you may wish to attend one evening as well as the colourful bustling Kandy market.
Stay:Two Nights in Kandy – bed & breakfast
Day 09 /kandy/NuwaraEliya(Approx Drive Time-3Hours/by Train
In the morning transfer to the train station for the 2 ½ hour train journey up into Tea Country. Journey through the tropical lowlands before ascending into the cooler tea growing regions. Enjoy snacks from your picnic basket as you enjoy the views. The train is very basic but we do endeavour to secure tickets for either the first-class compartment on the morning departure or the observation carriage on the early afternoon departure which makes for a more comfortable journey. Tickets cannot be guaranteed however and if we cannot obtain the best tickets (only on sale a few days before) we will purchase lower category tickets and refund the difference. If in the highly unlikely event that we cannot obtain any tickets, the journey will be completed by road and the approximately $10 ticket fee refunded in local currency. Upon arrival at Nanuoya station in the highlands you will be met by your driver and transferred the remaining distance to your hotel.
Day 10/NuwaraEliya(A visit to Horton Plains)
The Horton Plains National Park, is a protected area covered by mountain grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 meters (6,900–7,500 ft.) and has been said by many to resemble the African savannah. The National Park is unlike any other in the island; it’s as beautiful as it is eerily, and offers a world that is oddly different from any other part of Sri Lanka. The Horton Plains National Park is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains.
The Horton Plains National Park offers amazing hikes amongst the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second and third-highest mountains; Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2359m), each of which rear up from the edges of the plateau. The ‘plains’ form a plateau of rises and fall over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The plateau’s sudden end is famously known as ‘World’s End’, a stunning near 880m drop. Entrance tickets are sold until 2:30pm daily, and travellers must exit the national park by 6pm.
Duration: Approx. 4 hours. If you are coming from Nuwara Eliya, the drive is approximately 45 minutes to get to the starting point for the trek.
Difficulty: Strenuous. We categorize this experience as strenuous due to the weather conditions, worn gravel pathways and occasional waterlogged paths.
Suitable For Children: The trek is suitable for older children.
Times:Early morning (between 6am and 10am) is the best time to visit, before the clouds roll in.
What To Wear Or Bring Along: Light, comfortable clothing, a raincoat as it sometimes rains, a jumper as it can get cold at the summit, and a cap to keep your ears warm. Wear trousers and a sweater for the evening and early mornings. We recommend wearing sturdy walking or trekking shoes.
Important To Know January to March are usually the clearest months, weather-wise. Other months mean heavy fog and poor visibility. We recommend that you carry a picnic lunch with you. If it rains, there will be leeches.
Stay 02 Nights in NuwarEliya
Day 11 /NuwaraEliya/Ella(Approx Drive Time-2Hours/by Train)
The Train Journey from Nuwara Eliya (Nanu Oya Station, 8 km outside of Nuwara Eliya) to Ella takes about 2-3 hours and goes through a beautiful landscape of tea plantations. (your chauffeer guide will take your lagers with him to Ella Railway station).
Evening you may relax or climb little Adams peak. Little Adam’s Peak Hike Ella,
A sleepy little town ringed by verdant mountains has become a sensation among travelers. The scenic hike to Little Adam’s Peak unveils lush landscape sand rewards you with sweeping views of the mountainside.
Walk along rustic footpaths sandwiched between tall grass and thorny bushes as the wind blow cold gusts in your faces every now and then. Covered in deep green vegetation that surroundings would stun you with the enormity of nature. This is approximately a 2km hike and is not as demanding as conquering Ella Rock. However, the views from the top of Little Adam’s Peak are bound to leave you awestruck. It is also believed to be the place where King Ravana engaged in his daily ritual of Worshipping the Sun God.
Approx. 2.5 hour
Suitable for children:
The climb could be too strenuous for small children. It is suitable for children around the ages of 12.
To be discussed with your guide.
What to wear or bring along:
Light, comfortable clothing.
Day 12to14/ Ella/Galle(Approx Drive Time-4.5 Hours/Distance 196 km)
After breakfast you’ll then make the four-and-a-half-hour drive to Galle. After a feast of wildlife watching and historic sightseeing, the chance to stretch out on a spectacular beach beside the welcoming Indian Ocean is irresistible. As well as fine white sand, blue waters and shady palm trees.
Stay:03Nights – bed & breakfast in Galle.
Galle covers a wide area, from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort to the beaches which surround it, including Unawatuna, Thalpe and Koggala, and some rural inland places. Ceylon lanka travels offers a vast range of experiencesin this area, as it is extraordinarily diverse and caters to a wide variety of interests, from thrill-seekers looking to indulge in exciting water-sports to those who are keen to explore Sri Lanka’s fascinating history and culture.
We also offer a range of exclusive experiences in the inland areas which surround Galle, all of which give an insight into authentic Sri Lankan culture. Visit the Virgin White Tea Factory, or learn all about the story of cinnamon. Go cycling along quiet paths passing picturesque paddy fields, or try our‘Bikes, Boats and Bites’ tour which takes you on a scenic journey along the river to a local village for some traditional hoppers cooked over an open fire.“
There are numerous experiences to try within Galle Fort as well. Foodies will love learning how to cook Biriyani with a local family, or taking the cooking class and discovering how to make a variety of traditional Sri Lankan curries.
Select what you like to do in Galle…. and let us know .we will arrange it for you…
A visit to the Virgin White tea factory – Koggala
30 minutes from Galle Fort lies the Handunugoda Tea Estate, perhaps the closest tea plantation in the world to the sea. However, this is not the only thing that makes the Handunugoda Tea Estate special. The estate is known as the Virgin White Tea Factory – it produces a white tea completely untouched by human hands. The process of tea plucking follows an ancient Chinese Ritual where the choicest of teas were cut by virgins who never touched the tea with their bare skin and offered the resulting produce up as a tribute to the Emperor. Handunugoda mimics this tradition, although these days the ‘virgin’ concept only applies to the tea, not the tea pluckers! This white tea is rich in anti-oxidants and is said to be the healthiest tea in the world. Coincidentally it is also one of the most expensive teas in the world fetching at over 1500 USD per kilo. According to the latest testing Virgin White has an anti-oxidant content of 10.11 percent, which is said to be the highest naturally occurring content of anti-oxidants in any beverage. Marriage Freres which is perhaps one of the world’s most exclusive Tea Salons situated at Faubourg Saint Honore in Central Paris offers its exquisite client Handunugoda’s virgin White tea.
A resident tea planter will meet you and take you around the private paradise of a working tea plantation. The plantation, which lies at sea-level, is the famed Handunugoda Tea Factory founded by Herman Gunaratne. Herman (or a team member) will take you on a private tour of his Virgin White Tea Estate plantations, where you will learn how the famous white tea is plucked and made into one of the best teas in the world. The visit ends with a tasting session and a piece of chocolate cake! There is also a small shop where you can buy Virgin White Tea – and other less expensive options as well.
learning about the procees, particularly in the Tea Factory which has lots of noisy machines.
Bikes, Boats and Bites
Experience the diversity and raw beauty of rural Galle. This stunning part of the island is best known for it’s Fort and beaches but in Galle’s hinterland areas the jungle, rice paddy, and quaint mud roads that make up the small villages surrounding the town are an attraction in their own right. In just three hours, this experience brings to life nature, wildlife, rural communities and all through a boat and bike ride.
Your journey begins with a boat ride that serenely floats down the Kapu Ela River. Sit back, and enjoy the ride as you pass along river banks, through canals, under bridges and by local village hamlets. Children will race up to the river bank to wave. Grey fish eagles swoop by. Water monitors lazily cling to low branches after a big meal, while others zip through the waters in search of unsuspecting prey. The ride passes through rubber and cinnamon plantations, and even a few low bushes of tea can be spotted from the back yards as you float on by. The ride will stop by where small mounds of coconut husk can be seen drying up in the sun; one of many places where coir rope comes to life from the humble coconut husk. From here you will mount your bike and begin a 9km breathtaking ride through rural Galle and the heart of the south. Whizz by paddy fields and through small villages, past humble markets where the villagers trade
and end up at a cool mud hut for refreshing herbal teas and traditional breakfast or cooking lessons with some traditional rice and curries, made in the ways of the past. From here you can choose to ride back to a pickup point or be driven back to the drop off point.
Bottled water, refreshments, boat ride, lightweight mountain bike, helmet. This experience has a breakfast option and a lunch option with cooking lessons.
Suitable for children:This would be suitable for older children, and smaller bikes for childrenare available on request
Times:7am -10.30am or 3pm – 6.30pm and 09am – 1.30pm for cooking lessons and lunch.What to wear or bring along:Light cool clothing, sun screen, a hat and shades, insect repellent.Important to know:
Longer bike rides are available on request. Any physical restrictions or injuries should be mentioned to SLIS prior to the bike ride. Parts of the mangrove were
Cook a meal with a local family
Out of humble Sri Lankan kitchens come plates full of rice served along with flavoursome curries, spicy sambols and wholesome salads. What is truly fascinating about Sri Lankan cuisine is witnessing the meticulous ways of traditional cooking that involve interesting methods and techniques. Learn to make a traditional Sri Lankan meal with a local family for an experience that is as immersive and authentic as it is delicious.
Arrive at the home of your host family nestled in a little village in Galle and be warmly greeted by your host, her husband and two children. Get to know each other, share your stories and enjoy a leisurely stroll in their garden surrounded by towering tropical trees. Next, hop on a tuk-tuk with the family and head for the nearest town to pick up vegetables from a local store. Enjoy a refreshing King Coconut once you come back to your host’s place after the market visit. Everything will be set up in the garden to start the cooking class by the time you finish your drink. Start preparing your local meal by chopping off local veggies and scraping coconuts with the members of your host family. Starting from tempering potatoes to cooking chicken and frying thin slices of ash plantain, you will learn various traditional cooking techniques involved with making each dish. Finally, sit down for a meal with the family and enjoy the food you have prepared from scratch. Please note that a shorter version of this cooking class (approximately 2 hours) can also be arranged on request.
Ceylon Cinnamon Expirience.
“Downwind of the island, one can smell cinnamon eight leagues out to sea,” a Dutch captain reported of Sri Lanka in the 18th century. Perhaps this was poetic license, but it is true that Sri Lanka has long been famed for its cinnamon, and this coveted spice has led to many wonderful stories, wild claims and even wars over the centuries. More recently, its health benefits are becoming accepted by modern science and its unique aroma puts it among the world’s favorite spices.
True cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka and is still known across the world as Ceylon cinnamon, the name under which it rose to fame between the 16th – 19th centuries. Cinnamon grows as a bush and goes through a complicated process to get to the products we find in shops. The bark is harvested at dawn, peeled and then carefully rolled into quills, whilst the leaves are dried and the essential oil extracted by steam-distillation. These techniques combine age-old skills fine-tuned with modern technology and are a completely self-sustaining process.
Here, in the heart of cinnamon country, you will learn about the history of Ceylon cinnamon and about the techniques of cinnamon production. You will also visit the plantation house for refreshments and gain an impression of the life of an expatriate cinnamon farmer.
Day 15Galle/Bandaranayake Aiport(Approx Drive Time-2 Hours/Distance 153 kms)
Time to say goodbye to wonderful Sri Lanka. You’ll be taken to Colombo’s airport to meet your flight back home.
PRICE INFOR & VALIDITY:
- The above holiday is valid for the dates mention in the itinerary only.
- The above mentioned price is valid until the end of 2021
- Normal check in /check out time of hotels is 12.00hrs.we can request for early check in or late checkouts but these cannot be guaranteed.
- The above quote is subject to availability of accommodation mentioned in the itinerary.
- The above quote is subject to change with the proviso that ,in case of a hike in price of fuel /tax ,the quote may vary accordingly.
- Accommodation with Breakfast & Dinner in a DBL/TWIN room at listed hotels or equivalent.
- All internal roads travel by private luxurary vehical as per itinerary.
- Assistance of an English speaking chauffer Guide.
- All applicable vat and tax .
- Unlimited water while travelling.
- Expenses of personal nature such as laundry ,telephone and beverages etc.
- All other than those listed in above inclusions.
- Entrance fees to any sights in SriLanka.
- Lunch on tour.
- International flight.