In our express discovery tour of Sri Lanka, we capture the different landscapes, cultures, history and wildlife of this beautiful island nation. Guests experience evidence of Sri Lankan history dating back over 2,000 years, visit wildlife in their natural settings and enjoy the exciting local Sri Lankan cuisine in a timeline to fit your busy schedule. We explore the history of Sri Lanka as we trace the various kingdoms that ruled Sri Lanka until the British defeated the last kingdom in Kandy. Our groups are very small, with a maximum of 8 guests on our standard departures. If you don’t want to travel in a group, let us know and we can easily customise your trip to a private tour.
As a bonus, all of our small group tours to Sri Lanka have a guaranteed departure – if you book, we will deliver. Whether you’re the only traveller or our small group is full, our guarantee means you can book your holiday in the confidence it will go ahead.
Multiple two-night stay destinations ensure you aren’t rushed off your feet, yet this express tour ensures you can see a lot in your short break. We also allow you to add your own adventures to the already very generous inclusions list.
This tour of Sri Lanka includes such a great variety of experiences that it is bound to appeal to people with a wide range of interests. It’s for anyone who loves the great outdoors and spotting wildlife and marine life. The tour will also satisfy those who want to experience a truly authentic sense of place when they visit a small regional town. History buffs will enjoy the journey back in time from modern times to colonial remnants and relics from thousands of years ago.
Many of the experiences are outlined in the day-to-day program below, with further details on separate pages for each tour day. For a quick overview, here is a snapshot of what is included in the program:
On arrival at Colombo International Airport, your guide for your Sri Lanka tour will meet and greet you and transport you to your beachside resort in Negombo. During 2017, the airport is closed during the day, so most fights will arrive in the evening or early morning. Guests have the option to arrive a day earlier if they wish to spend a day on the beach recovering from any jetlag before commencing their Sri Lanka tour.
Hotel: Jetwing Blue (or similar)
Meals: Nil (guests arriving early can have meals added if required)
Our first morning starts with a journey from the beachside resorts of Negombo to the drier region around Sigiriya. On our journey we visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a home where orphaned elephants and raised to health. We also visit the stunning rock caves in nearby Dambulla, each containing a different representation of Buddha before arriving in Sigiriya in the late afternoon.
Hotel: Hotel Sigiriya (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our journey today explores Polonnaruwa as we trace the steps of kings across ancient ruins. The ruins we explore today are younger than those in Anuradhapura, making it easier to imagine how the palaces once rose into the sky. We wander ruins of palaces, shrines and temples of the old capital of Sri Lanka. Exploring can build up an appetite, so we visit a local home turned restaurant to experience some authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. We enjoy the local food against a scenic backdrop of farms and rice fields. The afternoon is yours to explore the local village in Sigiriya, where your guide will help out to ensure an enjoyable afternoon.
Detailed Itinerary: Polonnaruwa Palaces and Authentic Cuisine
Hotel: Hotel Sigiriya (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Visiting the impressive Sigiriya rock fortress, we enter the stairs between the giant stone Lion Gate, of which only the paws remain, and make our way up to the palace ruins perched on top of the flat rock. We admire ancient rock art and impressive engineering feats as we explore this sacred and unique part of Sri Lankan history. We also visit the stunning rock caves in nearby Dambulla, each containing a different representation of Buddha. As we approach Kandy, we visit a commercial spice farm and learn about the spices that once enticed many traders to Sri Lanka. This is followed by lunch in the nearby restaurant. Our arrival in Kandy allows guests to relax or create their own adventures in the afternoon and evening.
As Sri Lanka’s last kingdom, Kandy resisted both the Portuguese and Dutch before falling to the British empire in 1815. The capital of each kingdom before Kandy protected the Buddha’s tooth relic within the palace complex. As the last kingdom, Kandy remains home to the Buddha tooth relic, a most precious and sacred site in Sri Lanka. We explore the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy’s most visited site, during morning offerings before the crowds become too intense. The afternoon and evening are open to guests to discover some of the British contribution to the region or the remains of the Kingdom of Kandy. Colonial experiences include visiting a tea museum and having lunch in the nearby botanical gardens. Historical experiences include exploring the rainforest above Kandy and viewing the ancient town from the hills above. Whatever your adventure, your guide will help you to get the most out of your visit to Kandy.
Detailed Itinerary: Kandy, Sri Lanka’s Last Kingdom
Hotel: Cinnamon Citadel (or similar)
Train travel in Sri Lanka is one of the best ways to get off road and see parts of the countryside that are inaccessible by car. Our Sri Lanka train journey takes place on one of the most scenic sections of railroad in Asia: the line between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. Our day starts on the outskirts of Kandy, from where we climb 1,300m into the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country. Although we travel less than 100km, the four-hour journey takes in some breathtaking scenery that can only be seen from the rails. Riding in second class, we feel the temperature drop with fresh burst of air flowing freely through open windows. The train weaves its way along hillsides covered in tea plantations towards Sri Lanka’s high tea country. On arrival in Nuwra Eliya, guests have the afternoon to explore the small colonial town or organise their own adventure in what we think is one of the most beautiful parts of Sri Lanka.
Detailed Itinerary: Sri Lanka Railway to the Sky
Hotel: Jetwing St. Andrews (or similar)
Horton Plains National Park is the destination of today’s trip for our early morning hike to World’s End. Once the hunting grounds for the elite, these plains are now a national park perched over 2,100m above sea level. Hiking to World’s End takes us across grassland plateau and through jungle to the breathtaking precipice dropping 1,200m to the valley below. The view extends to tiny towns surrounded by tea plantations. On clear days, you can see Sri Lanka’s south coast from here. Heading back, we pause at the beautiful Bakers Falls before descending to the town of Haputale and then making our way to the southern plains of Udawalawe. We explore historic railway bridges, waterfalls and ancient rock carvings before arriving at Udawalawe National Park. We take to a jeep for a safari of a national park that rivals the savannah of Africa. As the sun sets across Udawalawe dam, we search for elephants, the elusive leopard and crocodiles on our Sri Lanka Safari. After an exciting day witnessing the circle of life, our evening ends with a group dinner
Detailed Itinerary: Udawalawe National Park Safari
Hotel: Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We start our day with a visit to the elephant transit home where elephants are rehabilitated for release into the wild. Leaving the savannah-like plains of Udawalawe, we head towards the commercial and trading hub of Sri Lanka: Colombo. After visiting a unique turtle conservation facility that has assisted in the safe hatching and release of thousands of baby turtles, we take one of the country’s few highways into Colombo. Our guide takes us on a tour of the highlights of this hectic city before we take a sundowner on the checkerboard of the famous Galle Face Hotel to conclude our tour of Sri Lanka.
Hotel: Galle Face Hotel (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Sundowners.
Although the tour program is complete, your trip doesn’t need to end just yet. For those wishing to explore Colombo further, we can arrange add-on accommodation. And for anyone wanting the ultimate in island paradise relaxation, we can assist in booking a few nights in the Maldives to complete your holiday.
What’s included and not included in this Sri Lankan packaged tour is pretty clear, we think. We like to keep things simple, so you won’t find page after page of terms and conditions (although we are required to have some to protect both you and us).
For this program, we include 8 nights’ accommodation at the hotels listed above, or if they are unavailable for whatever reason, something of comparable rating and value. If we say we include an activity in the itinerary above, then we include it. Optional activities or what we suggest you could do in your free time are just that – optional and not included – although we have tried to include as much as possible so you get the best experience possible.
However, we do not include airfares to and from Sri Lanka, or airfares between Sri Lanka and the Maldives if you choose to extend your holiday.
Our 2017 brochure can be downloaded here: YourTrip Brochure 2017.
|Departure Date||Conclusion Date||Included Nights||Twin Share Price From||Booking Details|
|19 Aug 2017||27 Aug 2017||8||$2,299 AUD pp*||Available|
|15 Sep 2017||23 Sep 2017||8||$2,299 AUD pp*||Available|
|6 Oct 2017||14 Oct 2017||8||$2,299 AUD pp*||Available|
|17 Nov 2017||25 Nov 2017||8||$2,399 AUD pp*||Available|
|8 Dec 2017||16 Dec 2017||8||$2,999 AUD pp*||Available|
|5 Jan 2018||13 Jan 2018||8||$3,099 AUD pp*||Available|
|4 Feb 2018||12 Feb 2018||8||$2,299 AUD pp*||Available|
|18 Mar 2018||26 Mar 2018||8||$2,299 AUD pp*||Available|
|14 Apr 2018||22 Apr 2018||8||$2,299 AUD pp*||Available|
|5 May 2018||13 May 2018||8||$2,599 AUD pp*||Available|
|16 Jun 2018||25 Jun 2018||8||$2,599 AUD pp*||Available|