Day 1 Departure from UK.
Day 2 Arrival in Colombo, meet your tour-leader and transfer to nearby Negombo on the island’s west coast for some relaxation time after your flight.
Day 3 Morning to relax before an afternoon introductory tour of some of the sites of the capital Colombo, including a guided evening street food tour.
Day 4 Morning drive to the atmospheric jungle-covered ruined monastery and caves at Ritigala. In the afternoon we’ll continue to Habarana - the base for our 2 day exploration of the ‘Cultural Triangle’.
Day 5 Early morning ascent of the rock fortress of Sigiriya itself to view the surrounding countryside at dawn. Tour of Sigiriya's rock palace, cliff paintings and ornamental gardens. In the afternoon, we'll head to the nearby picturesque medieval capital of Polonnaruwa – a World Heritage site - for a guided cycling tour of it's historic temples and exquisitely carved statues.
Day 6 Drive south to Kandy, one of the principal points of the 'Cultural Triangle'. Stops on the way will include UNESCO World Heritage site, Dambulla, location of Sri Lanka's finest cave temples, dating back to the 1st century BC, and an explanatory tour of a fascinating spice garden at Matale. Kandy, the second city of Sri Lanka has a picturesque lakeside setting, a rich historical and cultural heritage, a comfortable Mediterranean-type climate, and again, World Heritage Site status. Overnight at a picturesque colonial-style hotel and former governor's residence.
Day 7 Morning at leisure with an afternoon visit to the beautifully kept and well-presented Peradeniya Botanic Gardens on the outskirts of Kandy. In the evening, experience the Buddhist puja (blessing ceremony) at the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka’s most revered religious relic. (Yes, one of Buddha’s teeth!)
Day 8 Transfer to Kandy railway station for a scenic train journey into the upper Hill Country, passing through tea plantations and past spectacular waterfalls on our way to Nuwara Eliya, the former British capital of the Hill Country and the highest town in Sri Lanka at 1,900 m above sea level. On arrival, a tour of a working tea factory to see how ‘two-leaves-and-a-bud’ turns into your daily cuppa! Accommodation at Nuwara Eliya in another former governor's residence.
Day 9 Drive to Horton Plains for an early morning trek through the heath and forest of Horton Plains National Park, via Baker’s Falls, in time to see the awe-inspiring views at World's End before the cloud sets in. Return to Nuwara Eliya with some free time to explore the old colonial hill station.
Day 10 Drop down from the Hill Country to the southern plain over 1,000 m below and continue to Yala. Late afternoon jeep safari in Yala West National Park, Sri Lanka’s principal wildlife reserve, which has the highest density of leopards in the world. Other inhabitants include elephants, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boars, crocodiles, wild buffaloes, mongooses, jackals, monkeys, and over 150 species of birds.
Day 11 Leave the park and enjoy a leisurely drive west along the picturesque southern coastline to laid back Tangalle overlooking the Indian Ocean, where we’ll stay in a secluded beach resort set in a coconut grove next to a pristine bay.
Day 12 At leisure in Tangalle checking out the beach, going for a swim or exploring the area. Options for the more active include a bird watching boat safari through the lagoons and mangroves of Kalametiya Sanctuary, a coastal wetlands teeming with bird life, or a visit to Udawalawe National Park and it's Elephant Transit Home rehabilitation centre.
Day 13 Continue along the southern coast to Galle for a guided tour of the Old Dutch Fort, another World Heritage Site. Amble around the ramparts and stroll through the Arab Quarter. Overnight in Galle.
Day 14 Free morning with an optional whale watching boat trip at nearby Mirissa where sperm, humpback and blue whales are occasionally spotted as well as pods of dolphins. (Note this option is dependent upon weather and sea conditions but can be booked once in place without prior reservation.) Afternoon drive north up the West Coast back to Negombo, via Colombo.
Day 15 Transfer to the airport for your return flight and arrival home.
Note: This tour is offered with or without return flights from London to Colombo - those persons not wishing to take up the flight option should join the tour on day 2 in Colombo and would finish the tour in Colombo on day 15.
Please note these are photos of sample hotels and resorts; accommodation options may vary and are subject to availability
The comfortable Paradise Beach Resort with a garden and pool facing the Indian Ocean itself is our choice for a beginning and end of tour relaxation spot conveniently close to Colombo Airport
Excellent name for our comfortable lodge style accommodation in the small town of Habarana with an ideal central location among the Cultural Triangle sites.
Hotel Suisse in Kandy. A former British governor’s residence located in the heart of the town by the scenic lake
The atmospheric former governor’s residence is our choice in the old colonial tea capital of Nuwara Eliya. Convenient central location opposite Victoria Park and the town’s racecourse
And the picturesque adjacent beach at the aptly named Palm Paradise, Tangalle.
Lovely beach-side accommodation in traditional style, but comfortable wooden chalets at Palm Paradise in Tangalle on Sri Lanka’s scenic south coast.
"Sri Lanka is a fantastic holiday destination. I really enjoyed the trip, and it was a fantastic holiday, with just the right mix of activities and relaxation. I thought the itinerary was well planned and well paced.
I would particularly like to compliment our guide - a large part of the reason why the holiday was so enjoyable. He was very well informed, always friendly and helpful. He was also flexible, and took our preferences and requests into account. He explained everything very well, and I really appreciated how he explained about the realities of life in Sri Lanka, which helped you understand the country and what you were seeing much better."
Claire Dec 2015
"The holiday trip was everything I had hoped for and dreamt of in terms of the varied types of accommodation I experienced, places of interest...culturally and scenic, animals, and the warm-hearted people we met on our journey. The local curries were to just die for....amazing flavours. Our guide was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his country, it's history, wild life and people. I felt totally comfortable and safe with him. Also his adaptability and willingness to share his country with us was inspiring. I truly had an exceptional time in a wonderful country with special people."
Mo Sheen Dec 2015
"We had a wonderful holiday and it lived up to expectations.... our tour guide was absolutely wonderful. He was so helpful, informative and went out of his way to ensure we had an exceptional holiday. We would definitely book through yourselves again if & I hope we are able to, book another holiday to such a beautiful area of the world. Thank you very much from all of us."
Jackie Hatschek, 2012
"Sri Lanka was unbelievable - a country of contrasts - every day was exciting as we moved on to something new"
"Sri Lanka tour was our third tour with All Points East and again our good experience was confirmed. The tour is a perfect mixture of history and nature of the country. The itinerary led us not only to well-known tourist places but we could meet also local people and know their everyday life. All accommodations provided good comfort and one night in Yala West National Park was an interesting experience."
Igor and Magdelena - May 2014
Please find below a list of suggested extensions for this tour. For reservations please use the tour booking form on the same page
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