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Classic Sri Lanka

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Classic Sri Lanka

Was From $ 2,180 AUD
Now From $ 1,744 AUD
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Description

The remnants of a spiritual past await your discovery in Sri Lanka, from the ancient cliff-built complex of Lion Rock in Sigiriya to the ruins of the Sinhalese capital in Anuradhapura. Explore wonders of nature and humanity – often both at once – on this 8-day adventure through the cities, jungles and caves of Sri Lanka. Beginning in Negombo, travel through verdant countryside, past tea plantations, into the wildlife-filled Minneriya National Park and to the thriving capital of Colombo. An immersive and cultural Sri Lankan escapade awaits – the only thing left to choose is when to go.

Trip Name
Classic Sri Lanka
Last Updated
2024-05-25
Days
8
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Head off on safari – Sri Lanka style! Look for elephants and leopards while you cruise the beautiful Minneriya National Park in a jeep with expert local guides.
  • See one of the world’s most revered relics at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, home to an earthly remain of the Lord Buddha, and discover the cave temple of Dambulla.
  • Travel through highlands so green they almost glow in Nuwara Eliya, and sample some of the acclaimed tea varieties that grow on the hillsides with your small group.
  • Learn about the varied cuisine and local customs of different regions around Sri Lanka and join local families to dine on traditional dishes like fragrant fish curry and rice.
  • Take a guided bike tour around Anuradhapura City, an impressive World-Heritage listed site, soaking up the splendour of the ruins which date back to the city’s heyday hundreds of years ago.

Itinerary

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
Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to Bandaranaike International Airport. You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting at 6pm. Those arriving 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 - Kandy
After breakfast, take a private transfer to the lush, rainforest-rimmed Kandy where you’ll enjoy a delicious home cooked lunch on arrival. Refresh with a home grown juice welcome drink then feast on traditional Sri Lankan cuisine with a slice of sweet kithul thalapa for dessert. After lunch, check in to your hotel then visit the temple that holds a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha. Aptly named Temple of the Tooth, it is one of Sri Lanka’s most sacred places and no matter your spiritual inclination, the hush of the temple and the atmosphere of reverence is incredibly powerful. If you have spare time this afternoon, you may like to visit the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens which were once a private playground for Kandyan royalty. This evening, join your group for a traditional dance performance set to traditional music with percussive rhythms.
Day 3 - Kandy
The gorgeous highlands await you today, so rise and shine for the scenic train journey to Nuwara Eliya. The evergreen hills and cool climate made this town a primary retreat for British colonialists in the 19th century, and many buildings remain from this period. Stop in at a tea factory and learn about the process of cultivating the region’s fragrant, highly regarded varieties. Nuwara Eliya remains an incredibly important tea-growing area, and the plantations that dot the hillside make for lovely scenery. After the tour, drive back to Kandy and maybe ask your leader where you can grab a nice kottu roti (chopped roti with vegetables and plenty of spices). Kandy was one the world’s primary source of cinnamon and a variety of spices are grown the area, which makes for food that is bursting with flavour.
Day 4 - Habarana
This morning, bid farewell to Kandy and transfer to Habarana, located just 12 km from Sigiriya, where the immense Lion Rock dominates the landscape. This afternoon you will explore this behemoth, but first some other unique sites await. Visit a spice garden and see how the popular spices you use at home are grown then travel onward to the cave temple of Dambulla with its five caves filled with paintings and statues of Lord Buddha. Murals cover the rough walls and sloping ceilings of the caves, which once served as dwellings for prehistoric Sri Lankans before the arrival of Buddhism. Check into your hotel then set off to experience Lion Rock which features ancient paintings, the remains of a great lion sculpture and some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Climb the winding walkways and explore this incredible example of ancient urban planning as you take in the beauty of the sunset.
Day 5 - Habarana
This morning, enjoy a relaxing sleep in then join your leader and group for a home-cooked lunch with a local family. After a welcome drink made with home-grown tropical Sri Lankan fruits, head outside to the garden and take a seat under the trees where you’ll dine on traditional dishes like rice and curry, perhaps made with fresh fish caught from the local lakes. After lunch, jump in a jeep and go on safari at Minneriya National Park where elephants, sambar deer and leopards can be spotted amongst the evergreen forests and scrublands.
Day 6 - Anuradhapura
Say ayubowan – used for both greetings and farewells – to the verdant plains of Sigiriya and travel to Anuradhapura where you’ll discover some of the best-preserved ancient ruins in the country. Take a guided bike tour around Anuradhapura City, an impressive World-Heritage listed site, soaking up the splendour of the ruins as you gain an appreciation of what this area must have looked like during its heyday hundreds of years ago. If you would prefer to skip the bicycle, a tuk tuk is available to take you on the tour. Anuradhapura is also home to a sacred, ancient Bo tree, which originally came from a branch of the famous Bo tree in Budda Gaya.
Day 7 - Colombo
After breakfast, watch the world go by on the drive to Colombo and take in some of the city's main sights on a bus tour including Independence Square, Parliament and the National Museum, exploring Pettah Market on foot, and 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 the chance to have a group dinner with your travel crew to celebrate your Sri Lankan journey together.
Day 8 - Colombo
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave any time after breakfast, provided you comply with the hotel’s internal check-out times. If you would like to spend more time in Colombo, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
14-07-202421-07-2024AUD $ 1,816-
04-08-202411-08-2024AUD $ 1,764-
18-08-202425-08-2024AUD $ 1,744-
15-09-202422-09-2024AUD $ 1,956-
22-09-202429-09-2024AUD $ 1,796-
10-11-202417-11-2024AUD $ 1,796-
24-11-202401-12-2024AUD $ 1,864-
15-12-202422-12-2024AUD $ 2,330-
22-12-202429-12-2024AUD $ 2,330-
05-01-202512-01-2025AUD $ 2,470-
09-02-202516-02-2025AUD $ 2,470-
02-03-202509-03-2025AUD $ 2,470-
16-03-202523-03-2025AUD $ 2,470-
30-03-202506-04-2025AUD $ 2,380-
06-04-202513-04-2025AUD $ 2,380-
13-04-202520-04-2025AUD $ 2,380-
27-04-202504-05-2025AUD $ 2,380-
11-05-202518-05-2025AUD $ 2,380-
06-07-202513-07-2025AUD $ 2,290-
27-07-202503-08-2025AUD $ 2,290-
10-08-202517-08-2025AUD $ 2,290-
24-08-202531-08-2025AUD $ 2,290-
07-09-202514-09-2025AUD $ 2,290-
21-09-202528-09-2025AUD $ 2,290-
16-11-202523-11-2025AUD $ 2,380-
07-12-202514-12-2025AUD $ 2,470-
21-12-202528-12-2025AUD $ 2,470-
28-12-202504-01-2026AUD $ 2,470-
04-01-202611-01-2026AUD $ 2,280-
08-02-202615-02-2026AUD $ 2,280-
01-03-202608-03-2026AUD $ 2,280-
15-03-202622-03-2026AUD $ 2,280-
29-03-202605-04-2026AUD $ 2,280-
05-04-202612-04-2026AUD $ 2,280-
12-04-202619-04-2026AUD $ 2,280-
26-04-202603-05-2026AUD $ 2,280-
10-05-202617-05-2026AUD $ 2,280-
05-07-202612-07-2026AUD $ 2,280-
26-07-202602-08-2026AUD $ 2,280-
09-08-202616-08-2026AUD $ 2,280-
23-08-202630-08-2026AUD $ 2,280-
06-09-202613-09-2026AUD $ 2,280-
20-09-202627-09-2026AUD $ 2,280-
15-11-202622-11-2026AUD $ 2,280-
06-12-202613-12-2026AUD $ 2,280-
20-12-202627-12-2026AUD $ 2,280-
27-12-202603-01-2027AUD $ 2,280-

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Transport

Private vehicle

Map