Day 1 Welcome to Sri Lanka

Upon arrival, your local guide from U Travels will meet you at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. You will be given the opportunity to rest and relieve jet lag. Your overnight stay will be in Katunayake.

Day 2 Katunayake to Sigiriya

Your tour will begin by first travelling to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, where you will have an opportunity to participate in activities of your choice which are listed below. Following this you will embark on an approximately 2 hour drive to visit the Golden Temple of Dambulla and from there you will visit a wood carving workshop where you will have the chance to purchase a custom piece made by talented locals. Your overnight stay will be in Sigiriya.

Located at a distance of 100 km northeast of Colombo, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (PEO) is known for its excellence in ex – situ animal care. Having been founded in 1975, PEO is currently home to the largest herd of captive elephants in the world, including a total of 93 elephants. Lush coconuts plantations in the area and the Ma Oya running close by have helped the orphanage operate successfully.

- Milk feeding (9.15 - 9.45 am or 1.15 - 1.45 pm)
- Elephant bathing at Ma oya (10.00 am - 12.00 pm or 2.00 - 4.00 pm)
- Fruit feeding (9.00 - 9.45 am or 12.00 1.45 pm)
The golden temple of Dambulla is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka and has been known as a pilgrimage site for 22 centuries. As of 1991, it has been entitled as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. More than 80 caves have been discovered in the area surrounding the temple, however the major tourist attractions are spread over five caves. Majority of statues and murals present in these caves are of Lord Buddha and a few are of Hindu deities and kings of Sri Lanka.
Over a period of 4 decades Karu Arts has carefully mastered the craft of carving wooden sculptures, producing pieces unique to each customer.

Activities: ~1 hour tour around the workshop demonstrating the process of producing sculptures

Day 3 Lion Rock adventure

After breakfast, you will kickstart the day by heading to Lion rock (Sigiriya) and a local tour guide will join the climb. He will walk you through the ancient tale of King Kasyapa and the remains of his palace. This segment of the day will take approximately 1.5 - 3 hrs. Following this, you have the option of riding on the back of an elephant in the area surrounding Lion rock. Finally, at the end of the day you will get to witness the unforgettable scenery of the largest Asian elephant gathering at Minneriya National Park. Your overnight stay will be in Sigiriya.

Having come to life in 4th century AD, Lion Rock is considered to be the 8th wonder of the world and has been classified by UNESCO as a world heritage site. While exploring this ancient rock fortress, which was created by King Kasyapa, you will come across the ruins of the palace and its vast gardens, canals, alleys and fountains. You will hear more about this impressive creation from our local tour guide.

Activities: Elephant back ride

The largest Asian elephant gathering in the world is seen at Minneriya National Park located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. In addition, a vast variety of mammals, birds and reptiles such as deers, wild buffalos, crocodiles, iguanas, Purple faced leaf monkeys and Indian peacocks are seen in the park.

Day 4 Buddhist landmarks in Anuradhapura

Your day 4 will begin with a visit to Avukana statue, which is the tallest ancient Buddha statue in Sri Lanka. Then you will travel for approximately 1 hour to Anuradhapura town in which you will visit several Buddhist landmarks including Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, moonstone, Isurumuniya, Kuttam pokuna and finally to Mihintale, a famous pilgrimage site. Your overnight stay will be in Sigiriya.

Standing at a height of 11.36 meters, Avukana statue holds the title of being the tallest ancient Buddha statue in Sri Lanka. While this statue has been carved out of boulder, it includes intricate details such as Buddha’s robe and a face rid of expression suggesting an aura of spiritual supremacy.
The sacred city of Anuradhapura has received the title of World Heritage Site by the UNESCO due to the long standing presence of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi since december 236 BC. It is the oldest living tree in the world with a written history. It is known to be the southern branch of the original Bodhi tree from India against which Lord Gautama Buddha rested during his attainment of enlightenment.
Originating from ancient Sri Lankan architecture, the moonstone or Sandakada pahana is a unique feature placed at the bottom of ancient staircases and at the entrance of temples.
From 307 BC to 267 BC, King Devanampiyatissa, who ruled the ancient city of Anuradhapura built Isurumuniya as a residence for 500 high - caste children who were ordained. This site also contains a figure of the famous Isurumuniya lovers, royal family carvings and elephant pond carvings.
Kuttam pokuna or the twin ponds are considered as a significant achievement in the field of hydrological engineering in ancient Sri Lanka. It is thought to have been built by King Aggabodhi between 575 - 608 BC and has been used by monks for bathing.  Whilst the water is passed through an underground pipeline, it is carefully filtered before falling into the northern pond through the mouth of a dragon.
Located approximately 18 km from the sacred city of Anuradhapura, Mihintale is a mountain peak known to be the site where Buddhist monk Mahinda preached Buddhist teachings to King Devanampiyatissa, thus introducing Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Following this, the king proclaimed the site a sanctuary and presently it is a pilgrimage site containing religious structures.

Day 5 Sigiriya to Kandy

Today, you will travel to Kandy, a city surrounded by mountains, home to lush tea plantations and rainforests boasting biodiversity. On the way you will go to Matale, a town known for its agriculture, where tea, rubber, spice and herbal plantations are in abundance. You will have an opportunity to visit Euphoria spice and herbal garden to get an insight into the fascinating world of spices and herbs. The day will end with a captivating show in Kandy demonstrating the culture that has been preserved over many decades. Your overnight stay will be in Kandy.

Herbs and spices have long played a crucial role in Sri Lankan cuisine as well as in Ayurvedic medicine. This spice and herbal garden tour provides an insight into the ways in which a variety of herbs and spices such as Nutmeg, Turmeric, Citronella, Cardamom and Sandalwood can be used in day to day life.

- 45 min - 1 hr tour around the spice and herbal garden

The Esala Perahera or the festival of tooth in Kandy is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka. Dancers, drummers, jugglers, musicians and fire-breathers are key features of this grand festival which is held only once a year in July or August. However, you will get to experience a few of these memorable features through this short cultural show taking place every day of the year.

Day 6 Explore Kandy

You can expect a much more relaxed day today as you will first explore the Temple of the Tooth Relic of Buddha and witness how the teachings of Buddhism have been preserved over many years. Thereafter you will be lead on a short tour around the Kandy Lake, a man-made lake known by the locals as the ‘Sea of Milk’. Here you also have the chance to enjoy our complementary boat ride in Kandy Lake. Next you have the option of shopping for precious gemstones that have been carefully mined, checked by gemologists and cut to a specific shape by lapidarists. Your overnight stay will be in Kandy.

Situated in the former royal palace complex of Kandy, this temple is of immense significance to Buddhism as it holds a tooth of Buddha. This precious relic is heavily guarded inside 6 gold stupas of decreasing size. In addition to this temple, there is a series of shrines and museums in the palace complex.
With our National Gem being the Blue Sapphire, another element Sri Lanka is recognized for is our collection of gems. Other treasured gems found in Sri Lanka include Ceylon Ruby, Yellow Sapphire, White Sapphire, Amethyst and Citrine.
Built in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy, this artificial lake is also known as the Sea of Milk. According to folklore the king had created a dam across the lake however it was destroyed from both ends and as a result all that remains is an island in the middle of the lake. It is believed by the locals that this island was used by the Queen and the ladies of the court.

Day 7 Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

Day 7, the second half of your tour will begin with a train ride from Kandy to Nanu Oya that will last approximately 3 - 3.5 hours. After dropping you off at the Kandy railway station, your driver will pick you up from Nanu Oya railway station and head to Nuwara Eliya, a short drive from Nanu Oya. You will visit Pedro Tea factory in Nuwara Eliya to gain an insight into the production of tea that is savoured by all Sri Lankans. Your overnight stay will be in Nuwara Eliya.

This picturesque ride is a must for anyone who is visiting Nuwara Eliya, the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka. Starting at Kandy Station, you will pass through misty mountains, mesmerizing waterfalls and abundant tea plantations before reaching Nanu Oya, a small town located at a distance of about 10 km from Nuwara Eliya.

Located 3.5 km east of Nuwara Eliya Pedro tea estate provides guided tours for tea lovers interested in the production of tea that is the main beverage of Sri Lankan people. This tour provides a chance for you to pluck tea with the local tea pluckers.

Day 8 Explore Nuwara Eliya

Your day 8 will commence with a visit to Ambewela farm, the heart of dairy farming in Sri Lanka and on the way you will stop at Kande - Ela reservoir. Ambewela farm is famous for its immense output of dairy products including milk, yoghurt, ice cream and cheese that reaches all corners of the country. From here you will travel an approximate distance of 14 km to reach Hakgala Botanical garden where you can relax amongst the 10,000 species of flora present.  Your overnight stay will be in Nuwara Eliya.

Kande - ela reservoir is an artificial lake surrounded by green foliage with the occasional spread of pink flowers found in the water. Boat rides are offered at this location and food like vada can be bought from local vendors spread out across the area.
With an annual average temperature of around 17.5 degrees celsius, Ambewela is the ideal region for dairy farming in Sri Lanka.  The cattle are allowed to graze freely in the dense grasslands before the milking process takes place and the production of high quality foods.

Founded in 1861, Hakgala garden was initially used for the cultivation of the medicinal crop Cinchona and following this the garden was used as a tea plantation. Finally in 1884 it was transformed by planting many subtropical and tropical plants and currently 10,000 species of flora are found at Hakgala botanical garden. This garden is well known for its species of roses and orchids.

Day 9 Nuwara Eliya to Tissamaharama

Today you will leave behind the hill country and travel to Tissamaharama in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. On the way you will stop at the Nine Arches Bridge, a picturesque location with a bridge that was constructed in 1921 and still stands strong nearly after an entire century with trains using the track on a daily basis. From there on you will travel to Ravana Falls, one of the many majestic waterfalls found in Sri Lanka. It measures at an approximate height of 25 m and dominates as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka.  Your overnight stay will be in Tissamaharama.

This waterfall has been named Ravana, a character of an epic Indian Legend and was the king of Sri Lanka at that time who is said to have hidden a princess in the caves behind the waterfall. After climbing over some rocks you can get a closer look at this natural beauty and water lovers can jump in and be refreshed by the cool water.
Nine Arches bridge is known by the locals as the ‘Ahas Namaye Palama’ meaning nine skies and this name has been derived from the visual experience of seeing the sky through the nine arches when looking from the below the bridge.The bridge is surrounded by dense bushlands and an agricultural setting but can be reached after about a 20 minute walk or a quick tuk tuk ride from the main road.

Day 10 Tissamaharama to Hikkaduwa

Your day 10 will begin at the crack of dawn with your driver picking you up from your hotel around 5 am for a safari ride at Yala National Park which will begin around 6 am and will come to a completion approximately 4 hours after. From here you will travel for 4 - 4.5 hours to reach Hikkaduwa and on the way you will stop at Galle ramparts, an ancient fortification.  Your overnight stay will be in Hikkaduwa.

Spanning over an area of 979 km2 , Yala national park has 5 zones only 2 of which, zones 1 and 5, are available to the public. The other 3 zones are reserved for professional research and documentary filming allowing the majority of the park to remain a natural habit for animals that is free of tourists and general public. There you have the chance of witnessing a wide variety of animals including elephants, birds, buffalos, spotted deer and maybe even a leopard.
Galle fort located in the Southwestern coast was constructed by the Portuguese who invaded Sri Lanka in the 16th century and further modifications were completed by the Dutch in the 17th century. It has been well preserved over several centuries and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site displaying the cooperation between European architecture and Asian traditions.

Day 11 Relax at Hikkaduwa

The second last day of your tour will be a very relaxing day enjoying snorkeling and jet skiing at Hikkaduwa beach.  Your overnight stay will be in Hikkaduwa.

Hikkaduwa, a seaside town in Southwestern Sri Lanka is famous for its surf and Marine National park. Snorkeling and jet skiing allows visitors to explore the vast sea, coming across a number of shipwrecks, or any of the 60 species of coral and 170 species of tropical reef fish present in the area.

Day 12 Farewell Sri Lanka

Today, you will travel from Hikkaduwa to Bandaranaike International Airport to board your flight and to say your farewell till next time. If there is an adequate amount of time before your departure time, you have the option of visiting the following places in the city of Colombo.

Independence memorial hall was constructed in 1953 in celebration of breaking free from the British in 1948.
In a city packed with people, Gangaramaya temple is a place of tranquility that has been constructed through the combination of modern architecture and culture. Tourist attractions at the temple includes Buddha statues found at several locations, a museum with an impressive collection of statues, ivory carvings, ola leaf writings and vintage cars.

Galle Face Green is a half kilometer promenade in the heart of Colombo. It is a place for families, children and couples to enjoy the sunshine, the beach and may be even fly a kite. There are many food vendors along the beach that offer all sorts of Sri Lanka street food.

The 17th century Dutch hospital shopping precinct offers many restaurants of various flavours. Present within the historic charms of this place are jewellery and clothing stores, bars and cafes.

Inclusion & exclusion

  • Accommodation ( 11 NIGHTS ONLY INCLUDING DAILY BREAKFAST) in the hotels mentioned or similar comfort (Standard rooms) including breakfast – Best Rated by Tripadvisor and our past clients. Double sharing basis (BB/DBL).
  • On ground transportation - air conditioned vehicle with an English speaking chauffeur guide throughout the tour (Includes fuel) with comprehensive insurance. All safari jeeps are without comprehensive insurance and non air conditioned.
  • Airport transfers - all tours from & to the airport unless any special request made by the client with different pick up or drop off points, which could be arranged.
  • Entry fee into attractions. (Pinnawala elephant orphanage, Golden temple of Dambulla, Karu arts wood carving, Lion Rock (Sigiriya), Avukanna, Anuradhapura religious landmarks, Mihintale, Euphoria spice & herbal garden tour, Temple of the Tooth relic of Buddha, cultural show, Tea factory visit, Train tickets, Ambewela farm, Hakgala botanical garden, Galle Fortress).
  • Thrilling jeep safaris at Minneriya National Park and Yala national park
  • 24/7 customer service


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