DAY 01 – Negombo
Meet entourage at Airport and be whisked off to the busy little fishing town of Negombo. A small tiny coastal town near Colombo, Negombo is the right place to see local fishermen bringing in their daily haul and shout out their wares. This is also the town where you’ll taste the best sea food you’ll find anywhere on the island. A few popular sights around town are the Dutch Fort, the Lagoon and the Canal. Doze the night away in one of Negombo’s many lovely sea side resorts.
DAY 02 – Negombo (excursion Colombo)
Wolf down breakfast and start on the journey to the bubbling metropolis. More than just a busy capital, Colombo has plenty of beautiful landmarks and sights to explore. A patchwork of new and old architecture, modern hotel chains and flashy sky scrapers dominate the sky line while the city’s lower reaches in Pettah and Fort bustle with commerce. A few sights you’ll be able to see up close are the Old Parliament, the quiet Gangarama Temple, the National Museum, Independent Square and the dreamy Galle Face Green.
Museums and sophisticated restaurants dot the more high-end section of the vibrant city, but there are always good bargains to make, great food and surprises to be found in every nook and cranny of the city. When the day’s tour is done, it’s time to return to Negombo for one more night of sea food delicacies and rest.
DAY 03 - Sigiriya / Dambulla
Yawn your way down to breakfast and gorge yourself on a very large, very full breakfast plate. Then it’s time to go climbing up Sigiriya, the country’s most well-known national heritage site.Make a stop by the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to cuddle with baby elephants. If you love the idea of little baby elephants frolicking freely, then this is your kind of place. Pinnawala is among the worlds largest elephant sanctuaries and home to deserted or orphaned elephants. With around 90 elephants of all ages roaming about, take your time to observe these majestic creatures and bottle-feed one of the little cuties. One of the most spectacular sights here is the daily elephant bath, where the elephants are all herded off into the nearby river to splash around to their hearts content. Next we’ll be stopping by the little cultural town of Dambulla. A moderately busy town, Dambulla is best known for its ancient holy sites of worship. The famous Dambulla Golden Cave Temples stand high up in the southern end of the town with Sigiriya being another attraction close by.
Dambulla Golden Cave Temples
The trek up to the gigantic golden structure presents little challenge even to amateur climbers. As the ground drops away over 160 m from the bottom, a large Buddha statue comes into view. Ancient markings and lovely paintings dating back to the first century BC can be seen in these caves, along with several Buddha statues.
After digging around the Dambulla caves, it’s time for a tour around the charming village of Sigiriya. Then after dinner, fall asleep in the shadow of Sri Lanka’s most awe-inspiring archaeological wonder. .
Then it’s time to visit of Habarana, the main hub of action in North Central Sri Lanka. Being close to so many main attractions, Habarana has an excellent variety of small resorts and luxurious accommodations. Enjoy the beautiful views on your way in here and tuck yourself into bed for a relaxing night.
DAY 04 – Sigiriya
YOpen up to a new day of life and opportunity while being driven to ancient Polonnaruwa, right after wolfing down yet another of palatable Sri Lankan breakfasts.
A maze of archaeological spectacles from one end to the other, Polonnaruwa speaks of an age of long-lost glory when legendary kings walked the earth. Here, you can admire the ruins of carefully crafted masterpieces, numerous statues and brilliantly built stupas. Amongst a smattering of fascinating cultural sites, the Royal Palace, the Gal Vihara Statue and Lankathilaka Temple are a few of the more popular places you can check out.
Prepare to spend the rest of the day amidst fields of blue-green grass and terrains of raw wilderness stretching in every direction. A safari trip awaits your pleasure at either the Minneriya or Kaudulla National Parks. Welcome to beautiful Minneriya/Kaudulla, where the wild elephants lord over grassy fields and sambar deer dance away the golden hours. Witness nature at its loveliest as herd upon herd of elephants flock to the Minneriya reservoir for a truly spectacular ‘’Gathering’’ Minneriya and Kaudulla are both among the best places to get your fill of lazy full-sized crocs, buffaloes and even the occasional leopard. After a memorable jeep safari, go down on an elephantine dinner and settle for the night back in quiet Sigiriya.
DAY 05 – Kandy
Snooze away those extra precious minutes and wake up to a scrumptious breakfast and a morning of adventure at Sigiriya. Sigiriya, sometimes hailed as the worlds eighth wonder has a story going back as far as the 5th century AD. Constructed to be the apex of power and home to the genius King Kasyapa, this massive rock fortress shows off some of the worlds finest architecture and engineering. Climb right up to the top to be rewarded with a magical view of the beautiful surrounding landscapes. After you’ve got your breath back, it’s time to get going to the picture-perfect mountain city of Kandy. Make a stop by the super-fragrant spice gardens of Matale. Here you can check out the fabulously famous Sri Lankan spices at their home. With the demand for Sri Lankan spices only increasing over the centuries, these goodies will continue to be a popular export for a long while yet.Another must-visit spot in Matale is the iconic Hindu Temple here. Allow your mind to be carried away by the colorful ceremonies, dazzling festivities and fascinating people here. Once reaching Kandy, it’s off to the famous Batiq factory we go. Batiq art has been in Kandy for as long as anyone can remember. Be sure to pick up some great pieces of authentic batiq work while you’re here.
As the day comes to a close, it’s time to wrap it all up with an epic cultural finale. The Kandy Folk Show displays some truly amazing historical dances brought to you from generations past. The show reaches its climax with an impressive fire walking ceremony that will take your breath away. After the fiery showdown, float away to sleep on the softest of Kandyan beds and dream of elephants and dances.
DAY 06 – Kandy
Roll over, yawn and catch a few more Zzzs before toeing down to a herculean breakfast. Then we’ll be off to the Peradaniya Royal Botanical Gardens to bask in an endless assortment of fragrant flowers in every direction. Feel free to walk around this cosmic floral paradise, filled with rare and endemic flower species from one end to the other. Once you’re done seeing the best of Peradaniya, including the exotic garden of spices and the orchid house here, it’s time to get touring again.
Our next destinations include a trip to the beautiful Gem Museum and a tour around the infamous Kandy Temple. Glinting gold and pearl with the rays of the rising sun, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic houses the single most important relic of Sri Lanka’s religious history, a tooth of the Buddha himself. The chambers containing the well-guarded relic are open to Buddhist advocates and tourists alike. When the day is done, it’s time to bed down for the night in the quiet cool mountains of Kandy.
After wrapping up the fun at Pasikuda, it’ll be time to settle in for the night at yet another of Sri Lanka’s flawless beaches, Arugam Bay.
DAY 07 – Nuwara Elliya
Dig into a generous serving of healthy food from the mountains. Then it’s time to head off to Nuwara Eliya, the picturesque mountain town of flowers and horses. Make a stop by a tea plantation and factory for the freshest cup of tea you’ve ever had. Delectably sweet and perfectly fresh off the green mountains, you’ll be asking for seconds before you know it. Chill here awhile and set out on the remaining leg of the journey to Nuwara Eliya with one more break by the stunning Ramboda Falls.
Say hello to the loveliest of Sri Lanka’s old colonial towns. Past the gossamer curtains of gentle mists, Nuwara Eliya is a delightful little hill top haven with a distinct old England feel to it. Buildings from colonial times, beautiful rose gardens and neat hedges all add to the charm of being in this vibrant neighborhood. At the right season, Nuwara Eliya is also the perfect place for a hearty game of golf and some action-packed horse racing.
DAY 08 – Ella
Pull the sheets over your head and snooze a few precious minutes away. Scoot down to greet a perfectly scrumptious upcountry breakfast. A new adventure of sightseeing awaits at the Shire-like heavenly landscapes of Ella. With its sprawling forests, waterfalls and field upon field of flowery magic, Ella is just one of those places straight out of a fairy tale. Make a stop by Nanu Oya and take a train ride the rest of the way to Ella.
A few moments ride away, the pretty little village of Ella lies nestled high among the mountain tops. After checking in at the hotel here, we’ll be off to explore the famous Ella Gap. Then it’s time to settle down for the night in the romantic Ella hillsides.
DAY 09 -Yala
After a morning of lazing and scrounging down fresh country produce by the plateful, it’s off to the Little Adam’s Peak we go. A simple hike all the way up into the clouds looks down upon a truly stunning view of Sri Lanka at its most pristine and loveliest. We’ll also be taking a look at the fascinating Ella Waterfall amidst heavenly landscapes.
Then it’s time to set your heart towards the breath-taking undisturbed wildlife at Yala. Make one more stop by the Buduruwagala Temple to admire unique rock creations dating back to the tenth century. Flawless, intricate and carved by subtle clever hands, these rocky wonders are every sculptor’s sweetest dream.
Then we’ll be continuing the road trip down to the lovely evergreen forests of Yala. Open fields of endless grassy plains and lush thickets of greenery here play home to countless species of truly exotic wildlife. Yala is the place to watch the peacocks dance under silver moonlight, to witness the elephants roam freely and even to see elusive leopards in action. When the day is done, dream the night away in the best of Yala’s accommodations
DAY 10 – Mirissa
Yawn, hit the snooze and catch a few more winks before breakfast. After breakfast, prance the day with the deer and observe monkeys in their tree-top habitats. Once the Yala safari is done, it’s high time to treat yourself to some love. The soft sandy beaches of Mirissa await your travel-worn spirit. After an evening of kicking up some beach love, it’s time to hit the sack. Let the waves lull you to sleep as the gentle ocean breeze wafts you into dreamland.
DAY 11 – Hikkaduwa
Prepare to be swept off deep into the deliciously inviting waters of Mirissa. After a hearty breakfast there, we’ll be off voyaging through sparkling clear waters to get up close and personal with whales and dolphins. If a trip to see the great friendly beasts of the ocean inspires you, then Mirissa won’t disappoint. After a day with these beautiful ocean mammals we’ll be setting off to the lovely coastal town of Galle, where the wind sings a timeless melody among olden Dutch-colonial buildings. From the picturesque Galle Fort to the Old Gate and collection of charming Dutch Churches, Galle is a map of irresistible attractions from one end to the other.
DAY 12 – Bentota
Leave for Bentota, home to beautiful beaches and landscapes. Make a stop by the Tsunami Museum, a seemingly small tribute to memorialize the terrors of the tsunami that wreaked the island in 2004.
Next, it’s time to float away on yet another magical ride. A gentle cruise down the serene waters of Madu await your pleasure. Thick mangrove forests crowd the riverbanks on either side while clouds of colorful butterflies buzz overhead. With an ecosystem teeming with abundant life, keep your camera ready for monitor lizards, monkeys and bird species of every kind. The tour down the river takes you past an Old Buddhist Monastery. Other highlights of this tour include the sights of the Cinnamon cultivation fields and locals working away at their fishing nets.
Then we’ll be off to visit a Turtle Hatchery. Located quite close to the peaceful shores of Bentota, this destination offers an interesting insight into all things turtle. The hatchery goes to great lengths to conserve sea turtle life, even going so far as to pay local fishermen for stray eggs found on the beaches. The retrieved eggs are then buried in the sand and the new hatchlings are then carefully released into the sea.
Time to say hello to the kind of beach you’ve only ever seen in pictures; beautiful Bentota, where turquoise waters lap against a golden ribbon of pristine sand. With bath-tub warm turquoise waters and soft golden sands, the Bentota beach is enough to distract you for a long while yet. There are also diving and snorkeling activities available to keep you busy. The waters are abundant in shoals of colorful fish and beautiful reefs fanning across the shallow sea floors. After you’re done tanning, exploring and enjoying the best of the town, it’s time to fall asleep to the oceanic music of Bentota.
DAY 13 – Airport
Wake up, face the lovely ocean view and acknowledge that all good things come to an end. After a final sumptuous Sri Lankan breakfast, it’s time to head to Colombo for your flight back home.