9 Day Wild Sri Lanka Tour
Our "Wild" Sri Lanka package offers you the very best of what this amazing country has to offer, including an exhilarating Jeep Safari in search of the elusive leopard in Wilpattu National Park. You will journey into the central cultural area to marvel at fascinating Sigiriya or "Lion's Rock" and explore the ancient city of Anuradhapura before sampling some delicious local tea at a plantation in Nuwara Eliya. After this, you will travel along one of the World's most scenic railways on a train journey from Nanu Oya to Ella to spend a couple of nights exploring the stunning hinterland around this popular mountainous town, including Adam's peak and Ravana Waterfalls. The tour ends back in Colombo where you can fly home or venture along the west coast and explore the beautiful beach towns.
This package includes 8 nights quality accommodation, daily breakfast, wildlife jeep safari in Wilpattu National Park, one of the "World's most scenic" train journeys from Nanu Oya to Ella, airport transfers, a professional guide, all sightseeing and much more.
DAY 1: Arrival Colombo
On arrival at Colombo international airport you will be met by our tour representative and transferred to your hotel in Negombo.
OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Negombo
DAY 2: Negombo ~ Anuradhapura
Have breakfast and the hotel and then we drive to Anuradhapura (approx. 3.5 hours driving). The ancient capital of Anuradhapura reigned supreme for over a millennium as one of the greatest monastic cities of the ancient world famed for Buddhist culture and architectural achievements across Asia and Europe. Ruled by 113 successive kings and 4 queens, Anuradhapura was a majestic sprawl of magnificent palaces, ornate pleasure gardens, exquisite sculptures, and vast Buddhist temples. The three main ‘dagabas’ are amongst the biggest architectural creations of the ancient world smaller in size only to the pyramids at Giza. Take an optional afternoon tour of these amazing ruins or spend the day at your leisure.
OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Anuradhapura
OPTIONAL TOUR: Sightseeing around ancient city of Anuradhapura ($35)
DAY 3: Anuradhapura ~ Wilpattu National Park
Early start this morning as we take our packed breakfast and proceed to Wilpattu for an exhilarating jeep safari in Wilpattu National Park.
Wilpattu National Park declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1905 and is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest national parks. It covers an area of over 131,000 hectares stretching from the north western coast to the north central province, and comprises a complex of lakes called ‘Villus’ surrounded by grassy plains, set within scrub jungle. Although the biggest attraction at Wilpattu is the elusive Leopard, all of the `big game’ in Sri Lanka including elephant, sloth bear, water buffalo, and spotted dear are found in abundance here. Being less accessible than the other national parks, Wilpattu remains unspoilt and uncrowded – a haven frequented by true nature lovers. After the safari we continue to the cultural area where you will spend the night.
OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Cultural Area
DAY 4: Sigiriya ~ Hiriwaduna ~ Minneriya
In the morning you have the option to climb “Sigiriya” or Lion's Rock a UNESCO world heritage site, the unique icon of Sri Lanka. It is a steep climb with many steps and a decent level of fitness is required. A testimony to the inventiveness of the ancient civilizations of the land, the once impenetrable stronghold of King Kassapa, ‘Sihagiri’ or Lion’s Rock as it was called then, is considered to be the 8th wonder of the world today. The feats of artistry, architecture and engineering at Sigiriya continue to impress visitors with their utter magnificence, even thousands of years on. Intricately landscaped pleasure gardens sprawl out below the rock, giant lion paws hewn in stone mark the entrance to the fortress at its foot and a highly polished mirror wall still carries the scrawled writings of ancient poets. A somewhat treacherous climb up the rock is well worth it to see the impressive ruins of a once glorious city at the summit – 370m high. And the 360-degree view from the top is equally astounding.
Late morning we visit Hiriwaduna for a local Village tour. Take a fun ride in a bullock cart swaying from side to side on an unpaved trail, enjoy a nature walk through a scrub jungle, and wade through a local stream with low hanging branches and cross a lake in an ‘oruwa’, the traditional mode of over water transport. Spend time with a farmer harvesting crops under his guidance and taste authentic village cuisine prepared by the farmer’s family with freshly picked produce and local herbs cooked in clay pots over an open hearth fuelled by firewood. In the afternoon you have the option to take another jeep safari through the Minneriya National Park which is highly famous for its elephants and wildlife and especially the famous Elephant Gathering where you can see up to 300 majestic Asian elephants at once.
OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Cultural Area
OPTIONAL TOUR: Climb Sigiriya ($49) / Minneriya Elephant Safari ($60)
DAY 5: Cultural Area ~ Dambulla ~ Matale ~ Kandy
After breakfast we travel overland to Kandy stopping at the famous Dambulla Cave Temple. Standing approximately 100m high, the approach to the entrance of the caves entails climbing up the face of the rock, although stone steps have now been cut to make the climb easier. Whilst climbing to the entrance of caves, take time to stop and enjoy the view of the surrounding area, which is truly breathtaking. On the way to Kandy you can visit a spice Garden in Matale, as well as also enjoy a Head massage. There are shops where you can purchase different spices of Sri Lanka.
In the evening visit the sacred Temple of the sacred tooth relic (optional). Just north of the lake, the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth Houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. During puja (offerings or prayers), the heavily guarded room housing the tooth is open to devotees and tourists. However, you don’t actually see the tooth. It’s kept in a gold casket shaped like a dagoba (stupa), which contains a series of six dagoba caskets of diminishing size. The entire temple complex covers a large area, and as well as the main shrine there are numerous other temples and museums within the complex.
OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Kandy
OPTIONAL TOUR: Temple of The Tooth ($22)
DAY 6: Kandy ~ Nuwara Eliya ~ Train Ride to Ella
Experience the beautiful countryside as we travel to Nuwara Eliya today, also known as "Little England". Once here we take a short city tour before catching the train at Nanu Oya for the famous scenic train journey classed as one of the World's best! Sit back and relax as the 2.5 hour journey glides through rolling hills and over bridges until you get to Ella in the heart of the country. Once in Ella, check in to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at your own leisure.
OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Ella
DAY 7: Ella Sightseeing
Enjoy a full day sightseeing around stunning Ella today, including Little Adams Peak, Nine Arches Bridge, Ravana waterfalls and Ella Gap. The main attraction of Ella is the breath-taking view from the ‘Ella Gap’ – looking out between the towering bulk of Ella Rock on the right and through a gap in the hills to the plains far, far below. While the village itself may not offer much in the way of attractions the locality certainly makes up for it. The majestic Ella rock looming over the village provides an arduous but rewarding hike – and the views from the top are well worth the effort. The beautiful Ravana Ella waterfall is an impressive cascade – the widest in Sri Lanka, is also a sight not to miss. The nearby caves are steeped in legend according to which, the ancient king Ravana held the Indian princess Sita captive in them. Enjoy your second night in Ella.
OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Ella
DAY 8: Ella ~ Colombo
Quite a long drive today as we head back to the bustling city of Colombo. (approx. 5.5 hours) On arrival, check in to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at your own leisure.
OVERNIGHT: 3 or 4 Star Hotel, Colombo
DAY 9: Departure
After breakfast and check out you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home. If you are continuing your stay in Sri Lanka, your tour will end at the hotel.
September: 8, 15, 22, 29
October: 6, 13, 20
November: ^3, ^17, ^24
December: ^1, ^8
January: ^12, ^26
February: ^9, ^23
March: ^1, ^15
April: ^5, ^19
Dates marked with *or ^ incur the following surcharges:
- * Perehera Surcharge: $130 per person - add to cart
- ^ High Season Surcharge:
- 3 Star Hotels $150 per person - add to cart
- 4 Star Hotels $200 per person - add to cart
For more information please see our fine print section..