13-Day Best of Sri Lanka: Heritage, Tea Plantation & Wildlife Safari

Tour route:
Negombo - Sigiriya - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Yala - Galle - Hikkaduwa - Colombo
Highlights:
  • Visit the famous Lion Rock and Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic
  • Take a Train journey to Nuwara Eliya
  • Enjoye wildlife safari in Yala National Park

Tour Style: Tailor-made tour

Tour code: ODY-LK-001B

Travellers rating 4.9/5

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Best of Sri Lanka

Itinerary

Day 1

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.

Overnight: Negombo

Day 2

In the morning, start your exploration of Negombo, this historical commercial centre surrounded by a fascinating network of canals teeming with rural life. Wake up early and catch the action at the Negombo Fish Market

In the afternoon, drive inland to Dambulla (approximately 5 hours), 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. 

Overnight: Sigiriya
Meal: Breakfast

Negombo Fish Market Negombo Fish Market
Negombo Fish Market Negombo Fish Market
Day 3

In the morning, start with a visit to the landmark of this country, the 5th-century legendary sky citadel of “Lion Rock” - arguably the most impressive site in Sri Lanka; 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. At dusk, take a boat ride and sail to the other side of a lake, enjoying the fantastic sunset view.

Overnight: Sigiriya
Meal: Breakfast

Lion Rock Lion Rock
Frescoes at Lion Rock Frescoes at Lion Rock
Day 4

Today, get started with the famous Dambulla Cave Temple, home to many magnificent Buddha images and rock painting dating back to 2nd century BC. Later, head for Kandy, Ceylon's old capital, en route stop for an interesting visit to learn a wide range of spices at one of spice garden, a 15-minute complimentary Ayurveda Massage is recommended.

After arriving in Kandy (approx. 3.5 hrs by road), appreciate a vivid and traditional 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.

Overnight: Kandy
Meal: Breakfast

Temple of the Tooth Relic Temple of the Tooth Relic
Dambulla Cave Temple Dambulla Cave Temple
Day 5

In the morning, take an interesting visit to the 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, e.g. walking around Kandy Lake or go some shopping in the downtown markets. 

Overnight: Kandy
Meal: Breakfast

Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya
Kandy Lake Kandy Lake
Day 6

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 Station, your chauffeur guide will 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
Meal: Breakfast

Train to Nuwara Eliya Train to Nuwara Eliya
View of the tea plantation View of the tea plantation
Day 7

Get up in the early morning and head to Horton Plains National Park, where you take 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 learning 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
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8

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 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, sambar deer, 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 keeps closed during September, if so we will use alternatives (e.g. Bundala National Park).

Overnight: Yala
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9

This morning, you will take a second jeep safari in Yala National Park. The afternoon is left for relaxation. If possible, don't forget to taste the seafood at one of the local restaurants here, which is so popular among locals and travelers.

Overnight: Yala
Meal: Breakfast

Jeep Safari in Yala National Park Jeep Safari in Yala National Park
Elephants along the road Elephants along the road
Day 10

After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive around the south coast towards Galle (approx. 4 hours), 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 fortresses in Sri Lanka.

In the late afternoon, drive to Hikkaduwa beach nearby and unwind at the beach hotel in the next 2 days. Hikkaduwa Beach is 40 minutes' drive from Galle. One of the most popular beaches on the West coast, and also, a reef-protected beach which is suitable for bathing, swimming, creation and water sports. You could also stay at a hotel inside in Galle City if you prefer.

Overnight: Hikkaduwa
Meal: Breakfast

Stilt fishermen at the beach Stilt fishermen at the beach
Galle Fort Galle Fort
Day 11

Today is free for you to relax on the beach or enjoy the facilities at your hotel. Hikkaduwa offers many choices of water sports. Feel free to ask your hotel if interested.

Overnight: Hikkaduwa
Meal: Breakfast

Hikkaduwa beach Hikkaduwa beach
Free day on the beach Free day on the beach
Day 12

Today is free to relax on the beach or enjoy the facilities at your hotel. You may want to do nothing but stretch yourself out on the beach, with the cool sea breeze.

Overnight: Hikkaduwa
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13

Today, you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to Colombo (approx. 2.5 hours by road). Upon arrival in Colombo, take a guided city tour to explore Colombo's colonial legacies including the Independence Square, Gangarama Temple of Colombo, a mile-long promenade of Galle Face Green and Colombo's National Museum, etc. Stop for taking pictures when we drive by the former British Administrative Center, etc.

In the late afternoon, you will be escorted to CMB airport (1-hour drive from Colombo city) for your onward flight.

Meal: Breakfast

Colombo's National Museum Colombo's National Museum
Gangarama Temple Gangarama Temple
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