Tour route: Negombo - Sigiriya - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Yala - Mirissa - Galle - Unawatuna - Colombo
Welcome to Sri Lanka, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean! On arrival at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, you're met by your private chauffeur-guide and driven to your hotel in Negombo, a seaside town which is only 20 minutes away from the airport. Rest of the day is at your leisure.
In the morning, start your exploration of Negombo, this historical commercial centre surrounded by a fascinating network of canals teeming with rural life. Wake early and catch the action at the Negombo fish market.
In the afternoon, head inland to Dambulla (about 5 hours drive), home to vibrantly decorated cave temples and a great base to explore the wide array of natural wonders and historic sites in this fascinating area.
In the morning, start your Sigiriya trip with a visit to the 5th-century legendary sky citadel of “Lion Rock”, - the Landmark of this country; although a steep climb is requested, the story behind the monument, and the panoramic view of Dambulla seen on the top are definitely worth the effort.
In the afternoon, continue your exploration in the rural village of Hiriwadunna. Travel into the lush Sri Lankan countryside by a jeep or a tuk tuk. Hop into a bullock cart alongside paddy fields and rural vegetable plantations. At dusk, take a boat ride and sail to the other side of a lake, enjoying the fantastic sunset view, and looking out for birds, butterflies, as well as the villagers fishing or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake.
Today, get started with the famous Dambulla Cave Temple, home to many magnificent Buddha images and rock painting dating back to 2nd century BC. Then head for Ceylon's old capital of Kandy, en route stop for an interesting visit to learn a wide range of spices at one of spice garden, whose 15-minute complimentary Ayurveda Massage is recommended.
After arriving in Kandy (approx. 3.5 hrs by road), appreciate a vivid and traditional Rangahala Cultural Dance (Kandyan Dance) before walking to the nearby Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic - Sri Lanka's most sacred Buddhist shrine, the Puja Ritual held in the temple with all the fanfare, drums, trumpets and brightly colored Monks definitely shows you how special and spiritually important the temple means to Sri Lanka.
In the morning, take an interesting visit to Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya which boasts 300+ varieties of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees at. This afternoon is at your leisure. You could either rest at your lovely hotel or explore the city with your chauffeur, like walking around Kandy Lake in city centre or go some shopping in the downtown markets.
After breakfast, set off for Nuwara Eliya by train (subjected to availability), a picturesque journey packed with beautiful mountains, waterfalls and tea plantations. The train takes about 4 hours. Upon your arrival at Nanu Oya Railway Sation, your chauffeur guide pick you up and escort you to your Nuwara Eliya hotel, rest of the day is at your leisure after check-in.
Overnight: Nuwara Eliya
Wake up in the early morning and head to Horton Plains National Park, where you take a 3-4 hours easy trek and see sambar deers, waterfall, diverse flora & fauna, and the stunning views over World's End.
In the afternoon, pay a visit to a tea plantation and a tea factory, where the world's best Ceylon Tea is produced. After learn about the process of manufacturing tea, get hands-on experience of tea picking, and don't forget to sip a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory.
Overnight: Nuwara Eliya
Check out after breakfast and head for Yala (approx. 3 hours by road), en route enjoys the beautiful scenery of Ella. Upon arrival at Yala, check in to the hotel and have a rest before your afternoon jeep safari at Yala National Park, home to a diverse range of wildlife including elephants, leopards, wild buffalo, sambardeer, musk deer, black bears, macaques, jackals and a numerous variety of birds. The park is renowned as the best park in the world to observe and shoot pictures of leopards.
Note: Yala National Park would be keep closed during month September, if so we will use alternatives (e.g. Bundala National Park).
This morning we take a second jeep safari in Yala National Park. Afternoon is left for relaxation. If possible, don't forget to taste the sea food at one of local restaurants here, which is so popular among locals and travelers.
After breakfast, check out and head for Mirissa (approx. 3 hrs by road). Located in the Southern tip of Sri Lanka, Mirissa is the very place to sit back and spoil yourself in some of the best beaches and most stunning sunrise & sunset in the island.
Take morning boat (starts at 6:30 am) into the ocean to watch whales.
After breakfast, set off for Galle Dutch Fort (approx. 1 hour by private A/C vehicle), en route you might see the iconic stilt fishermen at the beach.
Upon arrival at Galle, a colonial port fortified by Portuguese first then Dutch, spend your time at the Galle Dutch Fort, regarded as one of the best preserved fortress in Sri Lanka.
In the late afternoon, drive to Unawatuna beach (approx. 15 minutes) nearby and unwind at the beach hotel in the next 2 days. You could also stay at hotel inside Dutch Fort or in Galle city if preferred. Unawatuna is known for one of the most suitable for swimming beaches in the South, as it is protected from waves by a coral reef.
Breakfast at the hotel, and enjoy your free full day relaxation. You could either unwind at the beach, or head to Galle and wander the rampart walls and enjoy the views. In the evening, it is suggested that you try one of the local restaurants for dinner in the fort, is lit up at night and many of the small boutiques stay open into the evening.
Today you will board on a train at Galle Railway station northwards to Colombo City, the capital of Sri Lanka. The railway from Galle to Colombo follows the coastal route and is scenic and enjoyable. The 3-4 hours journey offers chances of photos with locals, as well as beautiful views of ocean and some spectacular places the train passes by.
Picked up by your chauffeur guide at Colombo railway station upon your arrival, and then take a guided city tour to explore Colombo's colonial legacies including the Independence Square, Gangarama Temple of Colombo, mile-long promenade of Galle Face Green and Colombo's National Museum etc. Stop for taking pictures when drive by the former British Administrative Center etc.
Morning at leisure. In time, you will be escorted to CMB airport (1-hour drive from Colombo city) for your onward flight.
Recommended Accommodation for Your Journey
Good accommodation choice will in no doubt enhance your tour experience. Our well-established partnership network with key hotel chains in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri-Lanka will bring you the benefits of competitive hotel rate and guaranteed room availability.
We pick hotels for you based on:Location: geographically convenience values for your precious holiday time. So properties we use are either in downtown area close to main city attractions and amenities, or convenient for sightseeing or transportation.
Hotel Criteria for Each Tour Class
Note: Bhutan is less developed with fewer hotels criteria for choice, and most of the hotels there aren't as high standard as those in Western society.
Hotel Arrangement for Standard Tour ClassUsually conveniently located and meet the basic requirements of a comfortable stay: decorative lobbies and nice guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants may be average in size but offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. In most cases, staffs have basic command of English. Usually 3 star hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for Comfortable Tour Class
Normally you'll stay at formal and large hotels conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, room service, fitness center and swimming pool (in some cases there is no pool) all together offer an above-average accommodation experience.
Usually good 4-star hotels are adopted or boutique hotels at request. Hotels best available will be arranged if no qualified choice, e.g. in remote area.
Hotel Arrangement for Superior Tour Class
Usually properties are conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby and offer a better service and hotel facility than that in hotels of Comfortable Tour Class. Usually 4-4.5 star hotels or boutique hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for First Tour Class
Deluxe hotels with high-end service and an extensive range of facilities for an excellent accommodation experience. Multiple restaurants on site with extensive menus for choice, room service available 24/7, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience. Usually 5 star hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for Deluxe Tour Class
The most luxury hotels are used and only available in some particular cities. These properties have top-notch service and unique location, such as a lake or a historic site, and usually incorporate some of the country’s most exquisite architecture traditions. Usually top 5 star or the best available hotels are adopted.
Normally, India Odyssey Tours put breakfast in your itinerary except for in Bhutan (all meals included). Lunch won’t be included for the sake of tour convenience, while dinner is also excluded as some travelers might want a little culinary adventure themselves. But surely your tour guide/driver is always glad to offer their advice.
It is normally served at the hotel where you stay. Depending on the hotel, the breakfast would be in western style, local style, or a combination.
Usually lunch won’t be included considering the fact that sometimes travelers may want to stay somewhere longer/shorter or need other minor changes during daily sightseeing, and it’s better to decide the lunch site then rather than pre-arranging it. For sure our tour guides/drivers will be happy to advice good places to you, and we strongly suggest qualified local restaurant or hotels around the scenic spots for the sake of your health.
Dinners will not be included in your meal plan unless you have that requirement. Enjoying the local food could be one of your best experiences in the incredible India & South Asia. This is why we offer you this flexibility of food choice, and you can always get advice from your tour guides/drivers.
If you have certain food allergies or special requirements such as vegetarian food, let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Private Guide & Transfer
You will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel across South Asia. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility.
All tour guides of India Odyssey Tours are qualified professionals and registered English Speaking Tourist Guides who are reassessed annually. All of our tour vehicles are clean and in excellent condition, manned with licensed & experienced drivers.
You will always be greeted punctually on arrival at each destination airport. At every departure, you’ll be escorted & assisted until you have checked in and passed through the security checkpoint.
All of our tour guides in every destination are locals. Knowing the area well, they are good at guiding you around and telling background stories of the tour sites, as well as showing you the secret spots for best photos.
If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience.
With our comfortable and safe private transportation, your tour will be more relaxing and less tiresome, keeping you in the best spirits to make the most out of your journey across South Asia.
Your vehicle in each destination is air conditioned, insured, clean, and regularly maintained. Your private driver is licensed and always put your safety first.
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