Receive a welcoming introduction into Asia with this curated trip of Sri Lanka. Explore architectural treasures of historic temples and colonial culture. Home to the renowned Ceylon tea, your private Sri Lanka vacation is incomplete without visiting the hillside plantations where the tea is grown and manufactured!
Negombo is a bustling beach town with plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation! Nestled on the rim of Negombo Lagoon, the town boasts a long stretch of buzzing yet beautiful beach, and is located close to Colombo.
Dutch Canal Boat Ride Enjoy the sights and sounds of life in Sri Lanka with a boat ride along the Dutch-made Hamilton Canal. Once a supply route for the Dutch administration, old churches and fishing villages, this 100km long still used Dutch Canal running through the town, is an ideal way to gain insight of the area from a different perspective. Along the way, see water monitors, crocodiles, monkeys, varieties of fish and birds. Visit Muthurajawela and take a nature trip to Negombo lagoon in a small boat.
Sigiriya is the ideal location if you wish to venture back in time! Unearth this UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back 5,000 years to the Mesolithic period.
Highlights Of Sigiriya Sigiriya, which translates to Lion’s Rock, is aptly named as it juts out of a granite peak, standing tall at 180 meters and dominating the surrounding dense jungle. Witness Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which is uniquely shaped and can be seen from great distances. You can also discover the fascinating rock paintings and frescoes of Sigiri apsaras (mythical dancing damsels), painted inside the cavity of the western rock face. Discover the style of 7th to 10th century graffiti by visiting the Mirror Wall! Kindly note that this activity requires a good level of physical fitness due to the steep steps to reach the fortress.
Dambulla Rock Cave Temple Visit Encounter the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka during this one hour visit! Dating back to the 1st century, the Dambulla rock caves became a Buddhist temples when they were converted into residential quarters for monks. You will be amazed by the five caves that sit under a vast overhanging rock. Each one now acts as a shrine room and contains numerous images of Lord Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses. Mural paintings line the walls, depicting Buddha’s journey to enlightenment and his teachings. Throughout the centuries, this has been a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
Day Trip To Polonnaruwa (From Sigiriya) Polonnaruwa..the medieval capital of Sri Lanka, was the second capital city of the country after the destruction of the ancient city of Anuradhapura in 993 (from 10th-12th century AD). Note ancient Sri Lankan architecture from the 12th Century..see Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas and the monumental ruins of the garden city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. Visit the ruins of the King’s Council Chamber, the Royal Citadel, the Kumara Pokuna, the Royal Pavilion, the Vatadage Relic House, Kiri Vehera and Gal Vihare; see Art, Architecture and Sculpture at Gal Viharaya, Thuparamaya Image House and Lankatilaka Image House.
Kandy was established in the 14th century and was the last independent city and capital of the Singhalese kingdom.
Highlights Of Kandy Delve into regality as you explore the last royal capital. Venture to Dalda Maligawa, the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth, which houses the most sacred Buddhist relic, a tooth of Lord Buddha. Observe the many pilgrims conducting pujas (prayers) throughout the temple complex. Surrounded by aromatic tea plantations, magnificent hills and set by a lake, you can also enjoy some wonderful scenic views. Take a leisurely stroll around Lake Kandy, a protected lake where fishing is banned. Sip up the history of tea drinking pioneers like Lipton and Taylor at the Ceylon Tea Museum, a 1920s vintage tea factory. Enjoy traditional dance performances that capture the imagination and connect audiences to the tribal roots of the performers.
City Highlights of Kandy Explore Kandy, the last royal capital and a major city in Sri Lanka. Located at an altitude of about 500 m above sea level, the valley of Kandy is surrounded by magnificent hills, aromatic tea plantations, and is set by a lake. Visit the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dalda Maligawa) housing the most sacred Buddhist relic, a tooth of Lord Buddha. A pleasant way to spend a few hours is to take a leisurely stroll around Kandy Lake, a protected lake where fishing is banned. Enjoy traditional dance performances that capture the imagination and connect audiences to the tribal roots of the performers.
Half Day Visit To Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (From Kandy) Spend a half day at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a three hour drive (80km) from Negombo. Witness the biggest herd of captive pachyderms in the world who journey to the river twice a day to bathe. Managed by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department, Pinnawala encourages both breeding and aiding the recovery and release of injured wild elephants back into the forest. The little jumbos, orphaned as their parents were victims of poachers/accidents, also splash about. Learn how they are tamed, reared and trained by their human keepers (known as mahouts) who bottle feed and bathe them.
Half Day Kandy Temples Tour Explore a Sri Lankan jewel! Located at an altitude of almost 500 m above sea level, the ancient capital city of Kandy offers a rich amalgam of ancient wonders. Visit centuries-old famous temples and architectural marvels on a pleasant Kandy loop, past three 14th century Hindu-Buddhist temples and back through Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Embekka Devalaya, Lankatilaka Vihara and Gadaladeniya Temples are among the other famous sites in the city. Discover fascinating traditional and contemporary motifs and colors during your visit to a local batik printing factory, before you return to your hotel.
Nuwara Eliya, which translates as the city of lights, is a beautiful city within the hill country of Sri Lanka’s Central Province that overlooks its rolling lush green vegetation.
Bird Watching (if you stay at Tea Factory) Heritance Tea Factory follows a strict green philosophy and does much to conserve nature. The lovely tea gardens are home to several rare species of birds and flora. Feast your eyes on the myriad colors of this avian paradise and marvel at the 50 varieties of migratory birds that come from as far away as Europe and Siberia. You can also observe the yellow-eared bulbul and the Sri Lanka white eye that are endemic to this region.
Half Day Nuwara Eliya Tea Plantation Tour Tickle your tastebuds with a cup of world-renowned brew! A cup of delicious Ceylon tea is so much more when you discover the history and process of making the blend. Embark on an hour-long tour of learning at one of Nuwara Eliya’s famous tea factories, accompanied by an expert. Observe the process of harvesting, manufacturing and quality control – including an insightful look into the tea leaf grading techniques. End your visit with your own well-deserved fresh brew – right at the source!
Galle offers a unique historical and cultural perspective into the development of Sri Lanka during its colonial era.
Highlights Of Galle Fort Unearth history and glance into what life in a 16th century port city would have been like as you experience the legends and myths of Galle Fort as you amble around. There are many archaeological artefacts on display at the Maritime Museum, including 800 year old items salvaged from shipwrecks. Witness how today’s locals live within this colossal Dutch fortress and UNESCO World Heritage site. There is an abundance of chic and boutique shops, where you can purchase gems, handmade lace and antiques. Unwind in pretty garden and terrace cafés, and admire the coastal beds of pure blue ocean and coral reefs.
Geoffrey Bawa Architecture Tour (Galle Fort) Enjoy an experience of some amazing architectural highlights of one of Sri Lanka’s highly celebrated architects
Colombo, the bustling capital city of Sri Lanka, has something for everyone! A strategic port on the ancient Spice Route, the city is a potpourri of colonial influence, from the British to the Portuguese and Dutch.
City Highlights of Colombo Venture out to explore the interesting and historical landmarks of this colourful and teeming city. Wander the exciting Pettah area where you can soak up the hustle and bustle of the bazaar. Religions peacefully co-exist in this neighborhood and you can discover many temples and mosques. Discover the affluent residential area of Cinnamon Gardens and take a trip to the town hall, located close to Independent Square and Old Parliament. If you get tired of the urban jungle, the sea front awaits you at Galle Face Green. As Colombo strives to join the cosmopolitan chic clique, there are an increasing number of stylish eateries and boutique galleries for you to indulge in.
We had a well-planned itinerary, with the ability to quickly modify elements as per our request. We felt safe and unhurried – the trip unfolded at our own pace. The country and its sites were well presented.