Explore the enchanting island of Sri Lanka, an ancient land with a recorded history that began around 4th century BC. Our 12-day journey allows us to experience this Indian Ocean island at its best, showcasing breathtaking landscapes, a calm yet dynamic culture, and warm hospitality influenced by Buddhism. Discover moving Buddhist and Hindu temples, unparalleled ancient ruins, lush green tea estates, world renowned beaches and more.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour
|Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
|Golden Temple of Dambulla
|Ancient City of Sigiriya
|Sacred City of Kandy
|International air not included
Day 01: Arrive Colombo
Enna vishayam (Welcome in Tamil)! Upon arrival in one of the world's oldest countries, we are welcomed in traditional Sri Lankan style and transferred to our hotel.
Day 02: Colombo
A scenic drive through the city brings us to the busy commercial areas, as well as the tree-lined residential Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Sea Street, the Goldsmith's quarter in Pettah, the bazaar area, a Hindu Temple, the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal, dating back to 1794, the historical Davatagaha Mosque and the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara (Buddhist Temple), believed to be visited by Lord Buddha 2,500 years ago. (B, D)
Day 03: Colombo/Polonnaruwa (Drive)
After an early breakfast, we head to the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala to watch the elephants feed and bathe in the river (9:00 AM feeding time). After this unique experience with the animal giants of Sri Lanka, we visit Dambulla* to explore the rock cave temples, which have served as a pilgrimage site for 22 centuries. The complex is made of a series of five caverns with ceilings of natural rock covered with intricate paintings. Forty-eight statues of the Buddha and images of the various deities can be seen inside the caves, which have been home to Buddhist monks since the 3rd century BC. Afterwards, we proceed to the ancient capital city of Polonnaruwa*, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 11th century. Here, South Indian influence on the architecture is still noticeable. The Gal Vihare is where four colossal statues of the Buddha carved out of the living rock stand testimony to the skill of master craftsmen. We also visit the Tivanka Pilgrimage, with its priceless murals, and the vast man-made lake that is the Sea of Parakrama—a feat of ancient engineering.
Overnight: Deer Park Hotel, Polonnaruwa/Amaya Lake, Dambulla (1 night) (B, D)
Day 04: Polonnaruwa/Sigiriya/Kandy (Drive)
The day starts with a visit to the World Heritage Site of Sigiriya*, where we climb Sigiriya’s iconic Lion Rock, a fortress dating from the 5th century. The vision of a king named Kasyapa transformed an awesome monolith into a cloud swept city. The mirror wall that protects a series of exquisite murals (frescoes of celestial maidens using natural pigments) and the Lion's Paw entrance to the ruined palace on the summit are well worth the effort of the ascent. We proceed to Kandy, visiting the Spice Gardens at Matale en route. Kandy was the seat of the Kandyan kings from the 14th century onward, and is a repository of Sinhala culture. Evening, savour an interesting cultural experience as we enjoy a Kandyan Cultural Dance complete with fire-eating and fire-walking. The day culminates with a visit of the Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Tooth, in time for the Pooja (sacred offering).
Day 05: Kandy/Nuwara Eliya (Drive)
Our morning tour of Kandy* takes us around the beautiful lake and the upper lake drive. We first visit the Arts and Crafts center, where we can buy Kandyan silver and brassware, metal work, lacquer work, wood and bone carvings, pottery and hand woven fabrics. Next, we explore the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, formerly the pleasure gardens of the Sinhala Queens. The gardens contain more than 4,000 species of plants. The avenue of the Royal Palms, the bamboo-fringed Riverside Drive and the Bat Drive, with a vast collection of flying foxes who spend the daylight hours hanging upside down, are just some of the special features of this lovely garden. There is also an Orchid House, a Spice Garden, an Herb Garden and a Glass House of Begonias, African Violets and other greenhouse plants. We then proceed to Nuwara Eliya in the heart of tea country, which was established by the British as a replica of a little English village reminiscent of the Lake District. Even today, Tudor and Victorian style houses with trim English gardens abound. An 18-hole golf course and the picturesque lake are a year-round attraction. Tour this unusual little city and visit a tea factory, where you can see the intricacies that go into the manufacturing of famous Ceylon tea.
Day 06: Nuwara Eliya/Mount Lavinia (Drive)
An interesting day ahead as we head off for Ratnapura, the City of Gems, famous for blue, yellow and star sapphires, cat’s eyes, rubies, alexandrite and a multitude of semi-precious stones in every hue of the rainbow. Gems are found very close to the surface and a visit to a gem "pit" is on every visitor's itinerary. We then proceed to Mount Lavinia. Evening is at leisure to relax by the pool or walk along the beach.
Overnight: Mount Lavinia Hotel, Mount Lavinia (1 night) (B, D)
Day 07: Depart Colombo
VarOnga naan (goodbye in Tamil). After an interesting journey to the Jewel of the Indian Ocean, we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
We accept payments in US$, CA$ as well as in other convertible currencies like EUR, AUD and GBP. Tour prices have been costed in US$. CA$ price shown below is an indicative amount reached at by using the conversion rate at the time of web posting and will be applicable if there is no change in the conversion rate. Should the currency conversion rate change, the US$ pricing will prevail. Bestway Tours & Safaris offers a conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here
This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 14 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
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