Pure Sri Lanka (From October 2022)(Twin Share Room,Start Negombo, End Colombo)
From 10/10/2022 to 06/04/2023
13 meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Arrive Negombo Our Sri Lankan adventure begins in Negombo. Find your feet in this diverse & laid-back town with coastal beaches, local fish markets and a working Dutch-style canal system. This evening you'll meet up with your Trip Manager and your team for a full brief of the travels about to unfold, before heading out for the first taste of some local delicacies.
Day 2 - Negombo to Sigiriya This morning we'll drive inland to Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress town in the Matale District.Home to palace ruins set on a giant ancient lava rock, and surrounded by ancient relics of gardens and reservoirs, Sigiriya is a hotspot of historical significance here in Sri Lanka. After checking in to our accommodation, we'll begin our explorations with a guided visit to Hiriwadunna village, a spiritually important site where Prince Siddhartha was said to have attained Buddhahood. We'll sit down for an authentic Sri Lankan lunch here at the village, surrounded by greenery and wildlife. After waving goodbye to Hiriwadunna, we'll head back to our hotel where we'll join together for an included dinner tonight.
Day 3 - Sigiriya We couldn't visit Sigiriya with exploring the incredible Sigiriya Rock Fortress that's been dominating the skyline ever since we've arrived, and morning is the best time to visit. After our included breakfast we'll take a trip to the fortress to check out the UNESCO-listed 'Lion's Rock', with it's 5th-century buildings, painted rock frescoes and massive pair of lion paws at the entrance. We're back on the road, this time to visit the nearby town of Dambulla where you'll have the chance to find your own lunch. Here we'll find another World Heritage Site, the sacred Dambulla Cave Temple, the largest best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka complete with five inner sanctuaries, 150 gilded Buddha statues, and Buddhist murals.
Day 4 - Sigiriya to Kandy Feel like a morning adventure? You'll have the opportunity to explore the Pidurangala Rock -a rite of passage for Sigiriya first-timers - on a sunrise trek. Otherwise, catch some extra sleep and save your energy for later. Awed by our time brushing with the ancient world in Sigiriya, it's time to move on to the vibrant cultural scene in Kandy.Today we're gathering to watch history and mythology explode into colour & rhythm at a traditional Kandyan Folkdance show. Then tonight, you can choose to tuck into some local street food on a tuk-tuk food tour. Ever tried a 'Hopper'? We promise you've never eaten a curry like this before, and you haven't really tried Sri Lankan street food until now.
Day 5 - Kandy to Ella Today we head further into the hill country on the train, passing lush green hills and waterfalls enroute to Nuwara Eliya. This small town with colonial-era buildings is found in the heart of Sri Lanka's famous Ceylon tea industry. We'll stop to visit a tea plantation to find out how different teas are grown, plucked and packaged before continuing on to our next destination of Ella.
Day 6 - Ella The day is yours to explore the beautiful countryside and laid-back backpacker hub of Ella, nestled among green cloud forests and tea plantations. In the early morning, feel free to head to Horton Plains National Park and walk to "World's End", one of the highlights here. Or spend the day in Ella doing the local walks that show off the incredibly insta-worthy views down through the Ella Gap, including the cascading waterfalls this small town is famous for. If you're lucky, you might even get to meet one of the locals: the leaf-eating Langur monkey.
Day 7 - Ella to Udawalawe National Park Our journey continues south, as we head down from the hill country into the southern plains where a rich abundance of wildlife awaits us.Our first stop is at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, where orphaned baby elephants are cared for before being released back into the wild. In this unmissable experience that's sure to pull a few heartstrings, we'll get to watch the babies at feeding time, while you try to restrain yourself from adopting one then and there. But tear yourself away, because next we're heading to our Special Stay accommodation for the night: glamping alongside the Walawe riverbed in full Safari style, surrounded by the vibrant flora and fauna of the Sri Lankan jungle.
Day 8 - Udwalawe National Park to Unawatuna Say goodbye to the wilderness, because today you're heading along the coast to the beachside town of Unawatuna.The South West coast of Sri Lanka is famous for its beaches, mangrove forests and picturesque colonial port towns set up in turn first by the Portuguese, secondly by the Dutch and finally the English, and Unawatuna is no exception. This afternoon we'll take a trip to explore the UNESCO-listed historic fort city of Galle, a must-see for its distinctly unique mishmash of European and South Asian traditional architecture. Check out the Portuguese Franciscan chapel, Dutch coat of arms and British Queen Victoria Jubilee Tower. Later this evening, you can opt to learn the ways of Sri Lankan cooking with our cooking demonstration and dinner.
Day 9 - Unawatuna The Southern tip of Sri Lanka is a favourite hangout spot for some of the most majestic creatures in the world: whales. We're heading to Mirissa, considered to be the best place to get a glimpse of the Blue Whale, Sperm Whale and dolphins, and this morning is your chance to head out whale-watching for an unmissable up-close encounter. After the morning's excitement, the afternoon is yours to unwind on the tropical palm-studded beach with clear turquoise waters, or opt in for a surf lesson at nearby Weligama Bay.
Day 10 - Unawatuna to Colombo Today we'll reach our final destination, the bustling capital city of Colombo. Enroute we'll make a stop to learn about the traditional art of balsa-wood mask painting, followed by a visit to the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation centre.Once we hit Colombo, the best way to continue is with a sightseeing tour of this sprawling, richly multicultural city. Marvel at the atmospheric temples & showstopping mosques, check out the rose-tinted colonial buildings and, if you're brave enough, pick up some hot cobra chillies or souvenirs from the truly authentic (and famously chaotic) Pettah Bazaar. Tonight you can put on your party pants, because we've already sussed out the best rooftop bars and we're going out in style - the perfect way to cap off the last incredible 9 days with your Sri Lanka crew.
Day 11 - Depart Colombo Your Contiki trip finishes this morning in Colombo. Say goodbye to your new friends and plan a meet up somewhere in the world soon. Sigiriya Morning Visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress Visit Dambulla and Dambulla Cave Temple Kandy to Ella Local train journey from Kandy to Nanuoya Sip some ceylon at a lush tea plantation in Ella Unawatuna to Colombo Learn the traditional art of balsa-wood mask painting in Unawatuna Visit the locally-operated Kosgoda Turtle Conservation centre & project, protecting turtle nesting sites
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