Sri Lanka Northeast Explorer - 12 Days
From 2021-10-19 to 2022-12-20
Breakfast daily and 1 lunch.
11 nights 3-5 star hotels and heritage properties.
Guided sightseeing - Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Nuwara Eliya, Udawalawe, Gem Mine and Colombo.
Jeep safari/game drive in Udawalawe National Park.
Scenic train journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, canoe and tuk tuk trips.
Escorted by an English speaking national guide for groups of 6 or more (professional chauffeur guide for groups of 5 or less).
Airport arrival and departure transfer on days 1 and 12.
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned tourism vehicles.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Negombo Tuesday. Colombo - Negombo. Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at Colombo Airport and transferred to your hotel by the beach in Negombo. Our start hotel is located on the seafront and a short walk from Galle Road and many of the city highlights. Choose to head out and explore, take a dip in the pool or enjoy a cocktail whilst you watch the perfect sunset over the Laccodive Sea.
Day 2 - Anuradhapura Negombo - Anuradhapura. This morning we make our way to Anuradhapura, the first capital and grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka and home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Upon arrival, we embark on an afternoon sightseeing tour of the city, visiting both historical and archaeological sites of interest. Highlights include the sacred bo-tree which is the oldest documented tree in the world, the 1600 columns of Brazen Palace and Ruwanweliseya, the most famous dagobas in Sri Lanka.
Day 3 - Jaffna Anuradhapura - Jaffna. Today we journey north to Jaffna, located on the northernmost peninsula of the island. Here, we enjoy a sightseeing tour taking in sights such as the Jaffna Fort, the second largest in Sri Lanka which was built by the Dutch in 1619. Another highlight is the Nallur Hindu Temple, the most important place of Hindu worship in Jaffna. We’ll also take a boat ride to Nagadeepa Buddhist Temple, which is said to be the site where Buddha visited during his second journey to Sri Lanka.
Day 4-5 - Trincomalee Jaffna - Trincomalee. Departing Jaffna, we head back south to Trincomalee on the north-eastern coast. A sightseeing tour here takes us to Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple, the Temple of the Thousand Pillars and Dakshina-Then Kailasam - a classical medieval Hindu temple complex. Day 5 is free to spend relaxing in Trincomalee. Enjoy this stunning location on the coast, while away the day unwinding on the beach.
Day 6 - Dambulla Trincomalee - Dambulla - Polonnaruwa - Dambulla. This morning we leave the coast and begin our journey inland to the impressive Dambulla Cave Temple. A spectacular complex of five caves dedicated to the Lord Buddha, within the caves of Dambulla you'll find over 150 images of Buddha, including an impressive 14-metre rock cut statue.
After exploring this ancient site we continue to Polonnaruwa, an intriguing 11th century city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we explore many interesting and famous monuments including the Royal Palace and the Gal Vihara. We then return to Dambulla for an evening at leisure.
Day 7 - Polonnaruwa Dambulla - Sigiriya - Kandy. This morning we make our way to the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Built over 1500 years ago, this beautiful citadel stands 200 meters high in the middle of verdant jungle and is one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sites. A steep staircase up the rock side reaches the summit and on the way up you can stop to see the world-famous paintings of the Heavenly Maidens, which are hidden in a sheltered pocket of rock.
Leaving Sigiriya behind, we take a bullock cart ride and a short canoe trip to the village of Kayanwala. Here we are welcomed into the home of a local family where we try our hand at preparing a meal of curry, dahl, spiced rice and pickle. After enjoying our homemade lunch we continue onto Kandy, stopping along the way at a spice garden in Matale. Arriving to Kandy, the evening is at leisure.
Day 8 - Kandy This morning we embark on a sightseeing tour of Kandy, making our first stop at the Temple of the Tooth. The temple’s name derives from the legend that it houses one of Buddha’s teeth that was taken from him as he lay on his funeral pyre and then smuggled into Sri Lanka. From here we take a drive around Kandy Lake, visiting a local bazaar and gem museum along the way, before hopping on a tuk tuk for a ride up into the surrounding hills. In the afternoon we stop in at a working tea factory at Giragama, which has been manufacturing ‘Low Grown’ and ‘Long Leaf’ tea since 1903. This evening, we attend a cultural performance of traditional Sri Lankan music and dance.
Day 9 - Nuwara Eliya Kandy - Nuwara Eliya. Enjoy some free time this morning before our transfer to the train station for a scenic railway journey. Our journey to Nuwara Eliya will take us past verdant tea plantations, through winding mountain passes, across suspension bridges and much more.
Arriving in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country in the afternoon, we’ll take a drive through an area known locally as ‘Little England’.
Day 10 - Udawalawe National Park Nuwara Eliya - Udawalawe National Park. Today we make our way south to Embilipitiya, which will be our base for exploring Udawalawe National Park. Not only is this national park renowned as one of the best places to see the famous Sri Lankan elephant, it is also home to the elusive leopard, the Sri Lankan sloth bear and varies types of deer. This afternoon we enjoy a game drive through the park before returning to our hotel for the evening.
Day 11 - Colombo Udawalawe National Park - Colombo. Today we make our way back to Colombo, but not before paying a visit to the Gem Mine and Museum in Ratnapura. Sri Lanka is famous for its gem industry and is home to 40 out of the 85 types of gems in the world. Arriving to Colombo later today, we embark on a city tour taking in the Fort area in the north of the city, as well as the stunning Gangarama Temple. We’ll end the tour with a stroll along Galle Face Green, a popular spot for kite flying and games of cricket amongst the locals.
Day 12 - Colombo Saturday. Today offers free time for you to independently explore the city, before your included departure transfer to the airport.
- The following product terms and conditions apply in addition to our Booking Terms and Conditions (available on our website) and terms and conditions of the relevant travel service provider.
- Prices quoted valid for sale until 01 October 2021 for travel during the period specified (if applicable) unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
- All prices are per person (unless otherwise stated), subject to availability and may be withdrawn or varied without notice. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
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