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Essential Sri Lanka

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203 786 2345

11 days / 10 nights
Availability : July - November 2019; December 2019 - February 2020 (except Christmas and New Year); March - April 2020

Tour Details

Off the Southeast coast of India situated is a teardrop shaped Island called Sri Lanka, primarily a Buddhist country. To some it seems like a tear drop, to others a beautiful pearl but whichever way you look at, you will experience Sri Lanka as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Hanging at the Southeast tip of India, this tiny little island offers treasures of natural & cultural experiences with some amazing

UNESCO world heritage sites, the best bird watching in Asia, glorious beaches and the grandeur of British, Portuguese and Dutch colonisations.

Departure & Return Location


Price Includes

  • International flight tickets: London - Colombo; Colombo - London
  • Airport fees for international flights
  • 10 nights accommodation at the mentioned hotels, in the specified type of rooms
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All the transfers and tours as described above
  • Transportation in sharing basis
  • Entrance fees
  • English speaking local guide for the included tours and visits
  • Travel tips
  • Medical & Travel insurance
  • Service fees
  • 24/7 emergency phone number

Price Excludes

  • Visa fee & formalities: £45 / person (£30 visa fee + £15 service fee)
  • Excess baggage charge
  • Tips for local guides and drivers
  • Early check-in, late check-out
  • Optional tours
  • Non-included meals (lunch and dinner do not include drinks)
  • Personal expenses (minibar items, phone, internet, safe lock, cleaning services, babysitting, etc.)


Day 1Arrival Negombo

Transfer airport – hotel in Negombo (PVT)
Upon arrival, after the immigration process and claiming your luggage, our representative along with the designated chauffeur guide will take you through to the exit and will escort you to your vehicle, where you will be transferred to Negombo. Approximate travel time will be 25 minutes.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Optional: City tour of Negombo
The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the major attractions of Negombo, a traditional fishing town. Besides the beach, the fish market is worth visiting where busy trading of a variety of fish including prawns, crabs and seer takes place in the mornings when the fishing crafts return to the shore with their catch. The most popular fishing craft is the outrigger canoe called oruwa dug out from a huge log and is seen in large numbers in the Negombo-lagoon.

Day 2Negombo - Sigiriya - Habarana

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer Negombo – Sigiriya – Habarana (PVT)
After breakfast you will check-out and leave for Sigiriya. Approximate travel time is 4 hours and 30 minutes. You will stop to visit Sigiriya Rock and after the visit you will continue the transfer to Habarana, for about 30 minute, where you will spend the night.

Visit to Sigiriya Rock
After an ancient prince killed his father to claim the throne, he was forced to flee to his pleasure palace and convert it into a fortress to guard against his opposition. The spectacular citadel of Sigiriya built on a giant rock rises sheer and impregnable out of the plains below. This remarkable 5th century archaeological site is made unforgettable by its dramatic setting. A moat, rampart, extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock and the frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya.

Note: Please note that to reach the top of Sigiriya Rock, there are nearly 1,200 stone steps up and then down. Anybody in reasonably good condition will be able to venture to the top of Sigiriya Rock and it’s certainly worth the effort, however important to know these little details before embarking on this outing.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 3Habarana - Senadiriyagama - Habarana

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer Habarana – Senadiriyagama – Habarana (PVT)
This morning, after breakfast, you will proceed to the Senadiriyagama to immerse in a local village experience. After the visit you will come back to your hotel.

Visit to Senadiriyagama village
You will set out on an exciting excursion to Senadiriyagama, a beautiful little village close to Sigiriya. Your first visit is to the village temple with a history spanning over 300 years. You will be greeted by the village folk with lotus flowers which are customarily believed to represent purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. The short tractor ride along the gravel road through the village that leads up to the temple is an experience as you will see the smiling faces of villagers engaging in their daily routines and children walking to school by the roadside in their pristine white uniforms.
Once you arrive at the temple, you will light oil lamps, incense sticks and offer flowers to the Sacred Bo Tree and stupa. You will then walk towards “Budu Geya” – the main house with Senadhira, a local farmer who will fervently explain the history of the temple and the village relating to stories about how Senadiriyagama temple was once used as a resting camp for troops during the period when the land was ruled by kings. After a “Pirith” chanting, you will be blessed by the temple monk for the onward journey by tying a white string commonly known by the locals as a “Pirith Noola”. Thereafter you will walk along the reservoir bund towards the pier to experience a catamaran ride on the Senadiriyagama Lake. If you are lucky you will catch a glimpse of the local fishermen by the lake and maybe even purchase the catch of the day! Once you arrive you will take a short walk towards the “Wadiya” – a mud hut, where a cool king coconut awaits to beat the hot sun. You will then partake in a delicious Sri Lankan meal with local delicacies and tropical fruits prepared for you by a local family. After lunch, a tuk tuk will transport you back to the vehicle to take you back to the main road.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 4Habarana - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya - Habarana

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Visit to Polonnaruwa (PVT)
After an early breakfast, proceed to visit the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa is the 2nd capital of Sri Lanka. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries A.D, and is a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya (3 splendid statues of the Buddha in upright, sedentary and recumbent postures carved out of rock). The audience hall, the lotus bath, the Polonnaruwa statue (12th century) and the Parakrama Samudra tank (lake) built by king Parakramabahu the great. There are also ruins of famous places of worship such as the Shiva temple, the Lankatileka, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vihare Dagoba and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth.

Safari in Minneriya National Park
In the afternoon, you will experience a jeep safari at the Minneriya National Park. Famous for its wild herds of elephants congregate on the edge of rivers and reservoirs to bathe and “socialize”, it’s one of the best parks in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants. The park covers 8,890 hectares and consists of a mixed forest of evergreen shrubs, a favourite habitat for animals, which include deer, wild elephants and monkeys. After the safari you will be transferred back to the hotel.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 5Habarana - Dambulla - Matale - Kandy

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer Habarana – Dambulla – Matale – Kandy (PVT)
This morning, after breakfast, you will travel to Kandy, en route you will stop to visit Dambulla Cave Temple and Matale Spice Garden.

Visit to Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla Rock Temple – was built by king Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. 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. meters of painted walls and ceilings is the largest area of paintings found in the world. The caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 meters.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

Visit to Matale Spice Garden
Afterwards you will proceed to Kandy and along the way you will visit the Matale Spice Gardens. You will enjoy a ‘Kamatha’ lunch in the paddy fields at the spice garden.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 6Kandy

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Visit to Peradeniya Botanical Garden (PVT)
After breakfast, you will proceed on your sightseeing tour in Kandy. Royal botanical gardens of Peradeniya is 147 acres in extent; Started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the Kings of Gampola and Kandy. There are more than 4,000 species of trees, plants and creepers. Some rare and endemic as well as flora from the tropical world are found in the gardens. Spice Garden and Orchid House are popular with tourists. There are 5 Palm Avenues beautifying the gardens, the earliest and tallest Palm Avenue (Royal Palm Avenue) was planted in 1905 and the Double Coconuts from the Seashells Island, with the largest seed of all plants in the world is one such avenue. Return to Kandy to visit the temple of the tooth relic and enjoy a brief tour of the beautiful Kandy town.

City tour in Kandy (PVT)
Unconquered for centuries, this capital city held the Sinhalese culture and sacred Buddhist Relics safe against the unsuccessful onslaught of Dutch and Portuguese invasions, before finally falling to British political tricks at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Amongst other fascinating sights, Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world.

Traditional cultural dance show
In the evening witness a traditional cultural dance show starting at 17:00hrs.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 7Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (PVT)
After breakfast, you will check out from the hotel and will be transferred to Nuwara Eliya. The stunning drive to Nuwara Eliya is a photographer’s paradise. Pause every now and again to admire the waterfalls, tea estates and the vegetable fields along the way. Once you arrive in Nuwara Eliya, you will notice the sudden drop in temperature. Check in to the hotel where you will be spending the next two nights. Spend rest of the day at leisure enjoying the hotel’s amenities.

Visit to a Tea plantation and a Tea factory (PVT)
Along the way, you will have the opportunity to visit a Tea plantation and a Tea factory.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 8Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Trek to Horton Plains National Park
You will leave the hotel early in the morning for a trek in Horton Plains National Park. After one hour drive you will reach the park where you will start the trek. Lying at an altitude between 2,100 and 2,300 meters (7, 500 feet), and in stark contrast to the climate found elsewhere in Sri Lanka, Horton Plains National Park is often shrouded in mist, ground frost and low-lying cloud. A UNESCO nature site, it is the only national park in the central highlands. Trickling streams lead you to the picturesque Baker Falls and Slab Rock Falls, and no trek through Horton Plains would be complete without taking in the views from World’s End, where the southern plains suddenly drop to 1,050 meters (3,500 feet) below.

City tour in Nuwara Eliya (PVT)
In the afternoon you will proceed for a city tour in Nuwara Eliya. With log fires and blankets in the Victorian-style bungalows and the beautifully kept lawns and flower gardens, it is no wonder this part of the country has become known as ‘Little England’. Wander through the fruit and vegetable markets and strike a bargain at the night ‘bale’ market to understand the local community on this part of the world. After the city tour return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 9Nuwara Eliya - Yala

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer Nuwara Eliya – Yala (PVT)
Today you will be transferred to Yala for a safari in Yala National Park. The approximate travel time is 5 hours.

Safari in Yala National Park
Enjoy an afternoon safari in the Yala National Park. Yala National Park covers 126,786 hectares including the Strict Natural Reserve (Block II). The most familiar is Block I (14,101 hectares) and this were established in 1938. Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of Elephants, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Crocodiles, Mongoose, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, and many other animals. More than 130 bird species are recorded which includes the resident and winter visitors. After the safari you will proceed to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 10Yala - Galle - Hikkaduwa

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer Yala – Galle – Hikkaduwa (PVT)
Today you will be transferred to Galle and the approximate travel time is 4 hours. After visiting the city you will proceed to Hikkaduwa for about 1 hour travel time.

Visit to Galle Fort (PVT)
The South Coast’s major city is Galle, whose oldest landmark is the massive Portuguese and Dutch Fort which is a “World Heritage Site” in which the central city is contained. But the city may be much older. Some scholars believe it to be the “Tarshish” of the Old Testament, to which King Solomon sent his merchant vessels, and to which Jonah fled from the Lord. Today, the 90-acre Galle Fort shows no evidence of the Portuguese founders. The Dutch incorporated the Portuguese northern wall in a great rampart in 1663. A second, taller wall was built inside of it. Between the two walls, a covered passage connected the central bastion with the Fort’s two half bastions overlooking the sea.
The Dutch also installed a sophisticated drainage system, complete with brick-lined underground sewers that were flushed twice a day by the high and low tides. The original gate to the fort was by the harbour. It is still there, marked by the British Coat-of-arms on the front and the Dutch V.O.C. (Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) with the Coat-of-arms with a rooster crest, on the inner side of the Fort. After the visit continue your transfer to Hikkaduwa.

Enjoy dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 11Departure Hikkaduwa

Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer hotel – airport in Colombo (PVT)
Today you will be transferred to Colombo in time for the departure flight. The approximate time travel is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Meals included: 10 breakfast, 1 lunch, 9 dinner

Accommodation options

Availability Rates

July – November 2019

£2,320 per person

March – April 2020

£2,670 per person

December 2019 – February 2020

(except Christmas and New Year)

£2,730 per person