Best of Sri Lanka


Best of Sri Lanka

Was From $ 3,485 AUD
Now From $ 3,311 AUD


This tour eliminates guess work and immerses you in the must-sees, must-tastes and must-meets of this beautiful country. In other words, the best stuff. Like summiting Lion Rock in Sigiriya, cycling through sprawling ancient city ruins in Anuradhapura and touring massive granite Buddha carvings in Polonnaruwa. But the best doesn’t just mean the biggest. The best is also having lunch with a Tamil tea worker in their home, relaxing with a cold beer and your feet in the sand in Mirissa and hiking between plantations and villages in Haputale. In fact, we think the best is doing all that and more in one 15-day tour.

Trip Name
Best of Sri Lanka
Last Updated
  • Ride around the ancient ruins of Anuradhapura on a bike tour, cycling through the jungle to see the dagobas, palaces, and pools of a city abandoned over 1000 years ago.
  • Climb the rock fortress of Sigiriya to the ancient ruins that lie atop the 200-metre-high summit and get panoramic views over the surrounding wilderness.
  • Explore the divine city of Kandy, mingling with pilgrims at the Temple of the Tooth, touring a tea factory, and taking in the views of this lush lakefront town.
  • Fall in love with Sri Lankan food and get to know locals during experiences like lunching with a Tamil tea worker and a home-cooking demonstration.
  • Unwind on the sandy beaches of Mirissa, where the waters are clear and warm, and monkeys play in the swaying palms that line the shores.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Zero Plastic. Donations help them educate Sri Lankan communities about the impact of plastic on the environment and reduce plastic pollution in the UNESCO-listed Sigiriya.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Negombo
Ayubowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to the international airport. There are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5.30 pm. Those who arrive early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is best explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception.
Day 2 - Anuradhapura
You will leave Negombo after breakfast, and along the way visit the Negombo Fish Markets. Your private vehicle takes you to ancient Anuradhapura via the small town of Chilaw. Those keen on history and archaeology might like to visit Mihintale, the sacred birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism, a recommended optional activity. The price of this will depend on the number of people sharing the vehicle.
Day 3 - Anuradhapura
A guided bicycle tour of the city will take place today. Among the ruins, you'll see the sacred old Bo Tree, a spiritual reminder of the beginnings of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, and the inspiration for Anuradhapura's great buildings. The ruins themselves are spread over quite an area, some in woodland settings and others appearing park-like with columns and ponds dotted about.
Day 4 - Polonnaruwa
Travel on to Polonnaruwa via Maradankawala by public bus and private vehicle, the capital of the Indian Chola Dynasty after Anuradhapura was conquered in the late 10th century. These ruins are close together and generally in much better repair than those you have just seen. Cycling amid the remains of 1000-year-old Polonnaruwa is once again the best way to get around. Once the heat of the day has eased you'll visit more palaces, temples, and stupas. A likely highlight will be the massive stone Buddhas: 14-metre-high granite carvings of the iconic reclining Buddha which represent the zenith of Sinhalese rock carving. You'll also visit the well laid-out museum, which has scale models of many of the buildings to show how they would have existed in their time.
Day 5 - Dambulla
Depart Polonnaruwa this morning and travel to Dambulla by private vehicle. Explore the amazing Dambulla Cave Temples which are located high on a stone cliff face, with numerous steps to enter. Some 150 Buddha images adorn the five caves, with fascinating frescoes and paintings on the walls and roofs. In the afternoon, you may like to relax by the hotel pool or take an optional wildlife jeep safari to Minneriya, Kaudulla, or Eco National Park where you might spot some wild elephants with a bit of luck. Which park is available to visit depends on the season, but both Minneriya and Kaudulla are within easy reach of Dambulla. 
Day 6 - Sigiriya – Kandy
Early this morning, before the heat is too intense, head to Sigiriya. This ruined fortress is one of Sri Lanka's premier sights. Those who make it to the top are rewarded with astounding views. Make sure you are wearing sturdy footwear, as this is a very steep climb with some uneven slopes. Those unable to climb to the top can explore the gardens at the base of the rock and still get some fantastic shots of the fortress from below. Return to the hotel to freshen up before heading to Kandy. On the way, there's the option of stopping at one of the region's wonderful spice gardens for lunch and to learn about the medicinal properties of ingredients used in cooking and treatments. In beautifully located Kandy, visit the Dalada Maligawa (aka Temple of the Tooth), Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist site, and mingle with the white-clad pilgrims who come here to worship. Time permitting, you'll have the option of visiting the National Museum or the world-class Botanical Gardens.
Day 7 - Kandy
Today you will visit a nearby tea factory and take a guided tour to learn about the production of Sri Lanka's best-known beverage. Of course, you will also sample some of the delicious varieties while you're here.  Your hotel in Kandy, located far from the noise and bustle of the city, is a great place to unwind with lovely views over the town.
Day 8 - Bandarawela
Start your day with a scenic train journey to Bandarawela, passing through tea plantations and winding along mountains into the highlands. Once in Bandarawela, you will visit a local home for a cooking demonstration to learn some secrets of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. Enjoy the delicious meal afterward.
Day 9 - Haputale
Drive to the starting point for our walk today. This hike takes you through picturesque tea plantations and small Tamil villages. Lunch will be arranged at Tamil tea worker’s house. Tonight's accommodation is in a comfortable local lodge. Total walk distance: 12km Time: 4-5 hours
Day 10 - Udawalawe Jungle Camp
Embrace an early start this morning and take the train to Idalgashinna. Take a walk to explore more of the beautiful surroundings of Sri Lanka's Hill Country (walk will take approximately 4.5 hours). Enjoy this chance to meet the tea pickers along the way and stop for an included lunch in Haldummulla. After eating, make the drive to tonight’s jungle camp accommodation at Udawalawe, stopping en route at Diyaluma Falls. Your accommodation this evening is a lake-facing camp that backs onto a forest reserve where many herbs used in ayurvedic medicine are grown. When you arrive, you can choose to go on a short tour of the local village.
Day 11 - Mirissa
There’s a chance this morning to take an optional excursion to Udawalawe National Park to look for elephants, just keep in mind that participating will require a wake-up call of around 4.30 am. Alternatively, you could sleep in and then choose to visit a local home to watch curd being made, or head to a nearby ayurvedic medicine manufacturing centre. Speak to your leader about these optional activities in advance for details. Later, set off to Mirissa by private bus. This is your paradise for two days of relaxation, with your comfortable accommodation just metres from the water.
Day 12 - Mirissa
Enjoy a day of beach splendour in Mirissa. The beach itself is a long curve of sand with lovely clear waters for swimming – a great spot to watch the sunset. Consider taking a bicycle ride or tuk-tuk to nearby Weligama, where colourful fishing boats bring fresh fish to sell along the shore or Explore the UNESCO World Heritage coastal city of Galle by bicycle. From September to April there is an optional whale-watching excursion. Please ask your leader as you'll need to book at least one day in advance.
Day 13 - Galle
Head further down the coast. Arrive in Galle, home to an impressive World Heritage-listed Dutch fort with extensive walls and many interesting old buildings. Along the way to drop into a centuries-old Buddhist temple and meet our local artisan friend Mr Sunil. A traditional woodcarving expert, he will take you through a practical demonstration of the craft and encourage you to give it a go yourself. In the evening, enjoy a stroll around the historic fort and watch the sunset from the ramparts.
Day 14 - Colombo
Leaving Galle, we travel on to Colombo by train, the nation's capital. Stop by some of the city's main sights on a bus tour including Independence Square, Parliament, and past the National Museum, finishing with a shopping opportunity for a good cause at the Barefoot Fairtrade Store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries. If you are lucky enough to be in Colombo on a Saturday, visit Good Market, a local market full of stalls showcasing social enterprises and responsible businesses. Tonight there's an optional final group dinner to celebrate your journey together.
Day 15 - Colombo
Your trip comes to an end today, with no activities planned. If you'd like to stay longer, just speak to your booking agent.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
06-03-202420-03-2024AUD $ 3,660-
08-03-202422-03-2024AUD $ 3,835-
13-03-202427-03-2024AUD $ 3,555-
15-03-202429-03-2024AUD $ 3,835-
17-03-202431-03-2024AUD $ 3,660-
20-03-202403-04-2024AUD $ 3,660-
22-03-202405-04-2024AUD $ 3,695-
24-03-202407-04-2024AUD $ 3,311-
27-03-202410-04-2024AUD $ 3,695-
31-03-202414-04-2024AUD $ 3,835-
03-04-202417-04-2024AUD $ 3,520-
05-04-202419-04-2024AUD $ 3,695-
10-04-202424-04-2024AUD $ 3,555-
14-04-202428-04-2024AUD $ 3,555-
19-04-202403-05-2024AUD $ 3,835-
24-04-202408-05-2024AUD $ 3,520-
28-04-202412-05-2024AUD $ 3,625-
03-05-202417-05-2024AUD $ 3,350-
10-05-202424-05-2024AUD $ 3,650-
26-05-202409-06-2024AUD $ 3,385-
05-06-202419-06-2024AUD $ 3,350-
09-06-202423-06-2024AUD $ 3,350-
16-06-202430-06-2024AUD $ 3,485-
21-06-202405-07-2024AUD $ 3,485-
28-06-202412-07-2024AUD $ 3,520-
07-07-202421-07-2024AUD $ 3,520-
12-07-202426-07-2024AUD $ 3,485-
14-07-202428-07-2024AUD $ 3,555-
19-07-202402-08-2024AUD $ 3,485-
21-07-202404-08-2024AUD $ 3,520-
26-07-202409-08-2024AUD $ 3,350-
28-07-202411-08-2024AUD $ 3,350-
31-07-202414-08-2024AUD $ 3,350-
04-08-202418-08-2024AUD $ 3,385-
08-08-202422-08-2024AUD $ 3,385-
10-08-202424-08-2024AUD $ 3,450-
14-08-202428-08-2024AUD $ 3,350-
16-08-202430-08-2024AUD $ 3,350-
18-08-202401-09-2024AUD $ 3,350-
21-08-202404-09-2024AUD $ 3,350-
23-08-202406-09-2024AUD $ 3,685-
25-08-202408-09-2024AUD $ 3,520-
28-08-202411-09-2024AUD $ 3,450-
01-09-202415-09-2024AUD $ 3,350-
08-09-202422-09-2024AUD $ 3,385-
13-09-202427-09-2024AUD $ 3,350-
20-09-202404-10-2024AUD $ 3,350-
25-09-202409-10-2024AUD $ 3,350-
29-09-202413-10-2024AUD $ 3,350-
04-10-202418-10-2024AUD $ 3,485-
06-10-202420-10-2024AUD $ 3,485-
13-10-202427-10-2024AUD $ 3,485-
18-10-202401-11-2024AUD $ 3,485-
20-10-202403-11-2024AUD $ 3,485-
27-10-202410-11-2024AUD $ 3,590-
03-11-202417-11-2024AUD $ 3,485-
08-11-202422-11-2024AUD $ 3,485-
10-11-202424-11-2024AUD $ 3,485-
15-11-202429-11-2024AUD $ 3,620-
17-11-202401-12-2024AUD $ 3,620-
22-11-202406-12-2024AUD $ 3,620-
24-11-202408-12-2024AUD $ 3,620-
29-11-202413-12-2024AUD $ 3,620-
01-12-202415-12-2024AUD $ 3,690-
06-12-202420-12-2024AUD $ 3,620-
11-12-202425-12-2024AUD $ 3,620-
14-12-202428-12-2024AUD $ 3,620-
18-12-202401-01-2025AUD $ 3,620-
20-12-202403-01-2025AUD $ 3,620-
22-12-202405-01-2025AUD $ 3,620-
25-12-202408-01-2025AUD $ 3,620-
27-12-202410-01-2025AUD $ 3,620-
29-12-202412-01-2025AUD $ 3,620-
03-01-202517-01-2025AUD $ 3,800-
05-01-202519-01-2025AUD $ 3,800-
08-01-202522-01-2025AUD $ 3,660-
12-01-202526-01-2025AUD $ 3,660-
15-01-202529-01-2025AUD $ 3,660-
19-01-202502-02-2025AUD $ 3,660-
22-01-202505-02-2025AUD $ 3,660-
26-01-202509-02-2025AUD $ 3,660-
29-01-202512-02-2025AUD $ 3,520-
02-02-202516-02-2025AUD $ 3,520-
05-02-202519-02-2025AUD $ 3,520-
09-02-202523-02-2025AUD $ 3,520-
12-02-202526-02-2025AUD $ 3,520-
14-02-202528-02-2025AUD $ 3,520-
16-02-202502-03-2025AUD $ 3,520-
19-02-202505-03-2025AUD $ 3,520-
23-02-202509-03-2025AUD $ 3,520-
26-02-202512-03-2025AUD $ 3,520-
28-02-202514-03-2025AUD $ 3,520-
02-03-202516-03-2025AUD $ 3,660-
05-03-202519-03-2025AUD $ 3,660-
09-03-202523-03-2025AUD $ 3,660-
12-03-202526-03-2025AUD $ 3,660-
14-03-202528-03-2025AUD $ 3,660-
16-03-202530-03-2025AUD $ 3,800-
19-03-202502-04-2025AUD $ 3,800-
21-03-202504-04-2025AUD $ 3,800-
23-03-202506-04-2025AUD $ 3,980-
26-03-202509-04-2025AUD $ 3,800-
28-03-202511-04-2025AUD $ 3,800-
30-03-202513-04-2025AUD $ 3,800-
02-04-202516-04-2025AUD $ 3,800-
04-04-202518-04-2025AUD $ 3,800-
06-04-202520-04-2025AUD $ 3,660-
09-04-202523-04-2025AUD $ 3,660-
11-04-202525-04-2025AUD $ 3,660-
13-04-202527-04-2025AUD $ 3,660-
16-04-202530-04-2025AUD $ 3,660-
18-04-202502-05-2025AUD $ 3,660-
20-04-202504-05-2025AUD $ 3,660-
23-04-202507-05-2025AUD $ 3,520-
25-04-202509-05-2025AUD $ 3,520-
27-04-202511-05-2025AUD $ 3,520-
02-05-202516-05-2025AUD $ 3,520-
09-05-202523-05-2025AUD $ 3,520-
16-05-202530-05-2025AUD $ 3,520-
23-05-202506-06-2025AUD $ 3,520-
30-05-202513-06-2025AUD $ 3,520-
01-06-202515-06-2025AUD $ 3,520-
04-06-202518-06-2025AUD $ 3,520-
11-06-202525-06-2025AUD $ 3,520-
15-06-202529-06-2025AUD $ 3,520-
18-06-202502-07-2025AUD $ 3,520-
25-06-202509-07-2025AUD $ 3,520-
29-06-202513-07-2025AUD $ 3,520-
02-07-202516-07-2025AUD $ 3,520-
06-07-202520-07-2025AUD $ 3,520-
09-07-202523-07-2025AUD $ 3,660-
16-07-202530-07-2025AUD $ 3,660-
20-07-202503-08-2025AUD $ 3,660-
23-07-202506-08-2025AUD $ 3,660-
27-07-202510-08-2025AUD $ 3,660-
03-08-202517-08-2025AUD $ 3,660-
06-08-202520-08-2025AUD $ 3,660-
10-08-202524-08-2025AUD $ 3,660-
13-08-202527-08-2025AUD $ 3,660-
17-08-202531-08-2025AUD $ 3,660-
20-08-202503-09-2025AUD $ 3,800-
24-08-202507-09-2025AUD $ 3,800-
27-08-202510-09-2025AUD $ 3,800-
29-08-202512-09-2025AUD $ 3,800-
03-09-202517-09-2025AUD $ 3,800-
07-09-202521-09-2025AUD $ 3,800-
10-09-202524-09-2025AUD $ 3,800-
14-09-202528-09-2025AUD $ 3,800-
17-09-202501-10-2025AUD $ 3,800-
21-09-202505-10-2025AUD $ 3,800-
24-09-202508-10-2025AUD $ 3,660-
28-09-202512-10-2025AUD $ 3,660-
01-10-202515-10-2025AUD $ 3,660-
05-10-202519-10-2025AUD $ 3,660-
08-10-202522-10-2025AUD $ 3,660-
12-10-202526-10-2025AUD $ 3,520-
15-10-202529-10-2025AUD $ 3,520-
19-10-202502-11-2025AUD $ 3,520-
22-10-202505-11-2025AUD $ 3,520-
26-10-202509-11-2025AUD $ 3,520-
29-10-202512-11-2025AUD $ 3,520-
02-11-202516-11-2025AUD $ 3,520-
05-11-202519-11-2025AUD $ 3,520-
07-11-202521-11-2025AUD $ 3,520-
09-11-202523-11-2025AUD $ 3,520-
12-11-202526-11-2025AUD $ 3,660-
14-11-202528-11-2025AUD $ 3,660-
16-11-202530-11-2025AUD $ 3,660-
19-11-202503-12-2025AUD $ 3,660-
21-11-202505-12-2025AUD $ 3,660-
23-11-202507-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
26-11-202510-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
30-11-202514-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
03-12-202517-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
05-12-202519-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
07-12-202521-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
10-12-202524-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
12-12-202526-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
14-12-202528-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
17-12-202531-12-2025AUD $ 3,800-
19-12-202502-01-2026AUD $ 3,800-
21-12-202504-01-2026AUD $ 3,800-
24-12-202507-01-2026AUD $ 3,800-
26-12-202509-01-2026AUD $ 3,800-
27-12-202510-01-2026AUD $ 3,800-
28-12-202511-01-2026AUD $ 3,800-
31-12-202514-01-2026AUD $ 3,800-


Hotels (11 nights),Lodge (1 night),Guesthouse (1 night),Permanent Tented Camp (with basic facilities) (1 nt)


Private vehicle,Public Bus,Train,Bicycle