12 Day Cultural Sri Lanka Tour

Sri Lanka is a fantastic destination that should be on the top of everyone's bucket list for their next getaway. The country offers everything you could ever want from a holiday, from stunning hot beaches and clear blue ocean, to cool climates and hill stations, from rich history and ancient cities to amazing wildlife and relaxed friendly people. Not to mention, the food is delicious too! Our Sri Lanka tour is a must for wildlife enthusiasts, as you can witness the famous elephant gatherings in Minneriya National Park, visit the elephant orphanage at Pinnawela and spot elusive leopards on an exhilarating jeep safari in Yala National Park.

 

All of these amazing highlights are covered in this 12 day cultural tour of Sri Lanka, as well as 11 nights accommodation, a professional English speaking chauffeur guide, new comfortable air conditioned vehicles, daily breakfast, quality hotel accommodation, airport transfers, all entrance fees and much more! 

DAY 1: Colombo Arrival

Welcome to Sri Lanka! On Arrival at Colombo International airport you will be welcomed by our Chauffeur guide and transferred to the hotel for check in. The remainder of the day is at your own leisure. 

 

MEALS: None

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel Colombo

 

DAY 2: Colombo ~ Pinnawela ~ Habarana

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and begin our journey to Habarana. On the way we stop of Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. It was built in 1972 and is a remarkable project created to protect abandoned and orphaned elephants who would not otherwise have survived in the wild. The elephants roam free in the sanctuary and you will get to see them at feeding time and when they are lead down to the river for a bath. Relax on the banks of the river and watch these gleeful herds of elephants splashing around freely in the water. Continue on to Sigiriya, the ultimate icon of Sri Lanka's historic past. A giant rock fortress rises high above the flat landscape surrounded by jungle on all sides. One the impenetrable stronghold of Kind Kassapa, Sigiriya or ‘Lion’s Rock’ is considered to be the 8th Wonder of The World. 

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel Habarana

OPTIONAL: Evening Climb up Sigiriya (AUD$49)

 

DAY 3: Habarana ~ Minneriya National Park ~ Polonnaruwa

The Minneriya National Park encompasses the ancient Minneriya Tank which was built in the 3rd century AD by King Mahasen. Today, the ancient reservoir fills during the North Eastern monsoon, but gradually shrinks as the dry season approaches. During this time herds of majestic Asian Elephants, sometimes over 300 in number, converge onto the receding shores of the Minneriya tank to forage on the surrounding greenery. This unique phenomenon is the highest concentration of wild Asian Elephants on Earth and has come to be known as “The Gathering”. This phenomenon peaks during the months of August and September which is the height of the drought and is an opportunity not to be missed by wild life enthusiasts and casual travellers alike. We then continue for a tour around Polonnaruwa; one of the most significant kingdoms in Sri Lankan history which holds a well-preserved city of ancient stupas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and imposing statues. The ruins of this ancient city stay scattered over an extensive area of woodland and can be explored within a day.

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel Habarana

OPTIONAL: Safari in Minneriya National Park (AUD$60)

 

DAY 4: Dambulla ~ Kandy

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before a visit to Dambulla Cave Temple. This is the best preserved cave monastery in Sri Lanka and is a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists. En route to Kandy we stop to visit the Spice Garden in Matale where you can enjoy a 20 minute complimentary head massage.

Kandy is Sri Lanka's second city and home to the Temple of The Tooth - the country most religious shrine. Although modernity and urban sprawl has changed the face of this once quaint hill station, it still carries a regal atmosphere with graceful Kandyan style architecture mingling with colonial buildings set around a tranquil lake surrounded by green hills. Visit the Temple of The Tooth in the evening. 

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Kandy

 

DAY 5: Kandy ~ Peradeniya ~ Kandy

This morning you will visit the Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, followed by a visit to the Silk Factory and Gem Museum in Kandy. Return the the hotel and have a relaxing afternoon at your own leisure. 

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Kandy

 

DAY 6: Kandy ~ Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast and check out, we leave for Nuwara Eliya via a Tea Plantation to witness the process of the world famous Ceylon Tea. Hidden away high in the central mountains at an altitude of over 6000 feet, Nuwara Eliya is the resort capital of the hills – and a world away from the hot tropical beach atmosphere of the coast, not just in climate but in its character too. The British planters who flocked to the region to grow tea in the mid-19th century developed Nuwara Eliya as their summer retreat. Created as an exact replica of an English town it is often called ‘Little England’; and with its primarily colonial architecture, the stately Victoria Park, golf course, racing track, boating lake and grand period style hotels – and the cold, frequent showers of rain adding to the illusion, you could well be in an old English country town. This is the heart of the tea country, and is also a good base for excursions to discover other attractions of the hills.

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

 

DAY 7: Nuwara Eliya ~ Ella ~ Yala National Park

Take the train to Ella this morning. The train journey from Nuwara Eliya to Ella was one of the famous ever train rides, this train rides through Sri Lanka’s southern hill country, through the tea plantations, into the clouds and then weaves in and out of the many mountain tunnels as it descends to reach Ella; a small town with breathtaking views from the 'Ella Gap'.  Conitune on to Yala, check in to hotel and spend your evening at leisure.

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Yala

 

Day 8: Yala National Park Safari

An exciting day ahead as we embark on a Jeep Safari through Yala National Park. Situated in the arid South East region of Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is home to the greatest variety of the nation’s wildlife and therefore, its most popular wildlife destination. Declared a Game Reserve in 1938, Yala comprises five blocks covering an area of 151,778 hectares. The park comprises several major habitat types - dunes, scrub forest, riverine forests, rocky out-crops, secondary forests and coastal lagoons with mangrove forests which are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The 44 mammal species found here includes the endangered leopard sub-species Panthera pardus kotiya, which found only in Sri Lanka. Yala is also known to contain the highest Leopard concentration in the world. Other ‘big game’ such as sloth bear, herds of elephants, buffalo, sambar, spotted deer and crocodiles are also found in great numbers.

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Yala

 

DAY 9: Yala ~ Galle ~ Hikkaduwa

This morning we travel to Hikkaduwa. On the way visit the Dutch Fort of Galle as well as the National Maritime Archeological Museum. Galle and its outskirts have now become a favoured hotspot for travellers looking for an all-round holiday. The main attraction of Galle is the 17C Dutch Fort, a UNESCO protected World Heritage site. Historically, Galle was a location of paramount importance due to its strategic location on the South coast as well as its natural harbor. The center of ancient trade in gems, pearls, spices and more Galle was the port of call for many seekers of tropical treasure. 

Bentota is a famous coastal town situated approximately 65 km south of Colombo and a tourist hotpot with a local airport and a handful of World Class hotels right on the beach including the lower and budget categories.  It is a destination for water sports such as jet skiing, deep sea and river fishing, banana boat rides, river cruises...etc., to name a few. It is an ideal place for a sea swim or if you just want to sit out in the sun reading a book.

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Hikkaduwa

 

Day 10: Hikkaduwa Free Day

Spend the day at leisure enjoying the beach or take advantage of our optional excursion to Balapitiya for a River Safari Cruise (AUD $20)

Balapitiya is a picturesque coastal town, located in the Southern Province in Sri Lanka. It is the nearest town to the infamous Maadu River. Surfing and snorkeling facilities are available and even deep sea fishing trips can be enjoyed. One of the main attractions is the Maadu River safari. Maadu River which flows across Balapitiya, boasts of having many small islands most of which are uninhabited and covered with mangroves. With its variety of flora and fauna, it is fast becoming a popular spot for ECO tourists and bird watchers alike. On route visit Kosgoda turtle hatchery (entrance AUD$7)

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Hikkaduwa

 

Day 11: Hikkaduwa 

Enjoy another full day at leisure, soaking up the sun and relaxing after a busy few days touring the country. 

 

MEALS: Breakfast

OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Hikkaduwa

 

DAY 12: End of Tour

After breakfast and check out you will be transferred back to Colombo (2.5 hour drive) in time for your return flight home. We hope you had a magical holiday to Sri Lanka with MyHoliday2!

 

MEALS: Breakfast

 

DEPARTURE DATES 2020:

January: *13, *27

February: *3, *17

March: *2, *16

April: *6, *20

 

 

Dates marked with * incur a high season surcharge of $150 per person - add to cart

 

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