Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
Experience the highlights of this amazing island nation with our luxury 12-day Classic Sri Lanka itinerary. Soak up the culture, history and landscapes of Sri Lanka as you visit Colombo, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Bogawantalawa Valley, Tangalle and Galle, staying at some of the most luxurious hotels the country has to offer.
Begin your Sri Lankan adventure in the nation's capital, Colombo. The day begins with a visit to one of the most important places of learning and spirituality - The Gangaramaya Temple. Continue your spiritual experience by touring the Seema Malaka Temple, a tiny temple that is built on a lake and can only be reached by a small bridge. Next, get a bit competitive while watching a Sri Lankan cricket match. Head on over to the local markets, and stock up on traditional goods. The day finishes with an evening stroll along the half kilometer Galle Face Green Promenade. Revel in a sunset view over the sea. Retire to Uga Residence or Tintagel.
On to Dambulla, a 4-hour drive from Colombo. Explore the UNESCO sites, the Dambulla Cave Temple and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. There’s an archaeological burial site located next to the temple. Take an elephant safari, and make friends with the massive native animal as you take a tour of the natural surroundings. Enjoy an unrivaled view of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress from your hotel, the mountainside Heritance Kandalama.
Take a half-day trip to Polonnaruwa, another UNESCO site around 80 minutes away from Dambulla, and a well-preserved ancient kingdom. Observe the time-honored ruins and imagine life in ancient times. Finish the day with a safari at the Minneriya National Park. The park is a wildlife refuge and if you’re lucky, you may even spot elephants feeding! Return to your luxury hotel to relax for the evening.
The next leg of your trip will take you to the lush green city of Kandy (2 hours away), the island nation’s cultural capital. This was the last kingdom of Sri Lanka. Take a tour of the Bahirawakanda Monastery, and see how Sri Lankan monks live and worship. See the Temple of the Tooth lit up at night by thousands of tiny white lights: a magical sight to behold. The temple contains the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Come nighttime, Earl’s Regency Hotel is the perfect place to relax poolside and catch some shut-eye.
See the stunning rolling hills as you travel 2 hours to Nuwara Eliya - located in Sri Lanka’s hill country. This is the temple where Sita, lover of the Hindu God Rama, prayed for Rama to rescue her from the evil King Ravana. Enjoy a fresh picnic overlooking the picturesque waterfalls nestled among the hills. Be enchanted by the flowers in the city’s sprawling botanic garden. For your accommodation in Nuwara Eliya, the Grand Hotel balances both old world charm and unending luxury.
Start off your second day in the big town of Nuwaray Eliya with a refreshing excursion. Spend the day hiking the Horton Plains National Park, another one of Sri Lanka’s gorgeous UNESCO sites. Return to your hotel and rest your tired feet, perhaps even indulge in a spa treatment.
Your next stop is the Bogawantalawa Valley, around 2 hours' drive away - a small town known for its tea estates. Stretch your legs post-journey by taking the Ceylon Tea Trail working plantation hike. Get the royal treatment and feel refreshed at a tea tasting at the plantation. You will be staying at the all-inclusive Ceylon Tea Trail Hotel, nestled in the middle of the tea plantation’s grounds, where you’ll be fed and pampered as royalty.
On your second day in the valley, take a half-day hike up Adam’s Peak. The Peak has been an object of worship for centuries. Take a tea plantation bike tour and see the greenest landscape you may ever have set eyes on. But don’t worry - you’ll want to exercise after indulging in the scrumptious, multiple-course meals served by the Ceylon Tea Trails hotel.
Drive 3 hours to Tangalle today, where you’ll have the once in a lifetime experience of watching baby sea turtles hatch on an isolated beach. The Rekawa Turtle Conservation works to preserve marine life and promote the turtles living in their natural habitat. This is a unique, intimate experience not soon forgotten. Learn to cook the flavorful local Sri Lankan dishes at a cooking class. Unwind beachside at the welcoming Amanwella resort.
Rising 676-feet into the sky, the Mulkirigala Rock Temple is unlike any other temple in the world. Wind your way through Mulkirigala’s cave temples carved into the terraces and see the many cave drawings of Buddha. Next take a safari through Yala National Park. The park is a wildlife sanctuary located seaside and hosts several aquatic bird species.
Galle, a beautiful coastal city some 90 minutes away, is our final stop. Marvel at the world’s wonders as you embark on a whale watching tour. Stop at another UNESCO Site - the Ancient Port of Galle, and see where commerce happened for centuries. Wrap up the day by paying the Yatagala and Rhumasala temples a visit. Amangalla, your hotel in Galle, is built in the old Fort within the Ancient Port. While the hotel may be historic, it’s 5-star treatment all the way.
Appreciate the rainforest during a hike in Hiyare. One of the best-kept secrets of the South, the forest is alive with wildlife. Rest for a picnic underneath the lush, green overgrowth and absorb in your surroundings. This is where we end our journey, and drive back to Colombo for an evening departure.