Single supplement $549
Age 5-12 $1262/child
Children below 5yrs FOC upto 2 children
Take an overnight flight to Colombo. After your flight, you make the short 20 minute transfer to your
first night’s accommodation in Negombo. Here you can relax after your long flight and acclimatize
near the pool or in the gardens of your hotel. Please meet your tour leader in the hotel reception for
a tour briefing at 6pm.
Overnight stay in Negombo.
Today we head inland to Habarana. The journey will take approximately 4 hours as we travel into the
dry zone in the heart of Sri Lanka's cultural triangle. The rest of the day is left free for you to relax or
explore. You may take an optional cycle around a local lake, or relax by the pool.
Overnight stay in Habarana.
Driving the short distance this morning, you’ll have the opportunity to climb to the summit of
Sigiriya’s famous Lion Rock using a series of steps and walkways which zig-zag their way up the
seemingly impenetrable rock cliffs. The site was occupied long before the citadel was built at the end
of the 5th century, and it later became a monastery before falling into disrepair. From the base, a
moat surrounds impressive water gardens of landscaped beauty.
To reach the summit, you’ll ascend 200m, passing an overhanging rock under which superb portraits of native maidens holding flowers and temple offerings still adorn the rock wall. Crowning the flat- topped summit of the rock are the extensive remains of King Kasyapa’s summer palace from where there are breathtaking views.
This afternoon, you mount an elephant for an exciting elephant-back ride. Sitting in a Howdah – an open basket fitted with safety rails and padded cushions - you roll gently from side to side as your elephants ramble for about an hour lazily through the bush. In the late afternoon you will return to your accommodation.
Overnight stay in Habarana.
Early this morning we make the one and a half hours drive with packed breakfast to Parakrama Lake.
You will drive via Minneriya National Park arriving at dawn, a very mystical way to start the day as
the plains are covered in mist. Parakrama Lake is known as one of Sri Lanka’s greatest man-made
lakes and you can watch the changing hues as the light comes up. These man-made lakes are known
as 'wevas' to the Sri Lankan people and were created to provide irrigation. It’s a fun, friendly
experience as you wait alongside the wives and young children of fisherman, who’ve gone out to
retrieve their fishing nets laid out the night before - a great way to get to know the locals.
After the fishermen have sorted their catch, it’s time to head out on a catamaran across the lake; a real adventure. You may even be able to spot white bellied fish eagles, Brahmini kites, Ibis, Cormorants and other native birds.. In the middle of the lake is a small island, a rocky outcrop that provides great 360° views of the lake and forests beyond.
Bidding the fishermen and their families’ farewell, you continue to your new hotel to check in. After a little time to refresh and to have some lunch, you'll continue to Polonnaruwa at about 2pm in order to explore the ancient ruins. Polonnaruwa was the capital from the 10th-12th centuries, following the decline of Anuradhapura. Here you can explore many monuments which pay great testimony to the city’s important role in Sri Lanka’s history, such as the Royal Palace complex and the Gal Vihare complex, with four impressive Buddha images cut from a single slab of granite. In the late afternoon you will transfer back to your accommodation in Polonnaruwa.
Overnight stay in Polonnaruwa.
This morning you explore dwelling Golden Dambulla temple to learn its fascinating history. The
Sinhalese King, Valagam Bahu, took refuge here when he was ousted from his capital. He
transformed the five caves of this granite outcrop into a rock temple, decorated by statues of
Buddha and frescoes, some of which are over 2000 years old but still as brightly painted. The steep
150m ascent to the top of the rock rewards you with more magnificent views down to the jungle and
We then travel southward along the main trunk road to Sri Lanka’s second city, Kandy, a journey of around two hours. You'll pass through a fertile spice-growing area and plantations where coffee, cocoa and rubber are cultivated.
This evening we will visit the Dalada Maligawa, the famous Temple of the Tooth. This is the major shrine where pilgrims have revered Buddha’s tooth since the 16th century; its gilded roof seems to act as a beacon to visitors throughout the day and into the evening.
Overnight stay in Kandy.
The royal city of Kandy is pleasantly set on the edge of a lake surrounded by hills. It was once the
capital of a kingdom, and managed to resist European dominance for hundreds of years - long after
the coastal areas surrendered.
This morning we will visit the magnificent Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, with their immense fig tree and exquisite orchid collection.
In the afternoon, we leave for Pinnawella Elephant Orphanage to see how elephants are fed milk and given care. In addition you will have a chance of seeing how the herd of elephants bathe and play in the nearby river.
Overnight stay in Kandy.
Leaving Kandy we take a train journey (approx. 2 hours) through the green tea fields which cover the
hills to Hatton on your way to Kitulgala. We continue to travel by road through this beautiful
landscape, to Kitulgala and arrive around lunchtime.
Located amidst thick forest on Sri Lanka’s second-longest river, the Kelani, Kithulgala is rapidly becoming an adventure center and is a great place for a variety of activities. The river, setting for the epic film ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ is an ideal location for swimming and other water-based activities. The surrounding forests with their wide variety of flora and fauna offer you a variety of spectacular walks, with some stunning views over the valley.
This afternoon we will first cross the Kelani River on a suspension bridge used by the local villagers. Then will proceed to walk through the small village and the forest reserve on the opposite bank and finally re-emerge on the bank of the Kelani River to take a canoe to get across to the night's accommodation.
Overnight stay in Kitulgala.
Today we drive about 80km (approx 3hrs) along winding roads lined by green slopes of tea
plantations. There is plenty of interests along the way, including a stop at some waterfalls. You'll
reach Nuwara Eliya, heart of the tea growing industry and full of colonial charm. Built entirely during
the 19th century, it's quirky architecture reflects what you'd normally expect to find in an English
country town, which will make you feel like you've stepped back in time. On the way we will visit
Devon and St Clare's waterfalls. This afternoon we make a visit to a tea factory to see the process of making one of our favourite drinks in action. You’ll see every step of the tea making process, from
bush to cup.
Overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya.
We set off through the hills once again. Along the way you’ll see tea pluckers deftly plucking the tips
of the tea bushes and throwing them into the baskets carried on their backs. Taking the winding
roads of hill country, you'll pass through the lush greenery of this region. Today's journey will end at
Bandarawela, another hill town once popular with British plantation managers. You can relax in the
evening with an overnight’s stay here.
Overnight stay in Bandarawela.
After a short walk around Bandarawella and vegetable gardens that surround it, we set off down out
of the mountains towards our bungalow, nestled in a clearing cut into the side of a tea mountain
which overlooks a beautiful valley. This fantastic hillside location is a climatically transitional area,
linking both the dry and wet zones and the hill and low country at an altitude of less than 1500m. At
this altitude you can see the mist gathering across the hills. As a result, the vegetation consists of
moist semi-evergreen forests, tropical Savannah forests, dry Patana grasslands and montane
temperate forests, making it one of the richest biodiversity spots in Sri Lanka- a perfect location for
We head to Ella by a short train ride and have a short hike to little Adams Peak, visit the famous Nine Arches Bridge. If time permits we would also visit Lipton seat and Pilkington Point. Also optional expereinces are Flying Ravana and Ella Swing.
Overnight stay in Ella.
This morning we head to south and visit the Diyaluma Falls, one of Sri Lanka's most spectacular
waterfalls, before venturing approaching Uda Walawe National Park. The park has an amazing array
of animal and bird life; herds of wild elephant are more numerous here than anywhere else in Sri
After lunch, you will visit the nearby Elephant Transit Home. Run by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation and set up in 1995, it provides shelter for orphaned or abandoned baby elephants, releasing them to the wild when they are strong enough to survive in their natural habitat. You will visit the Elephant Transit Home at feeding time and see the elephants from a viewing deck approximately 10m away; a great chance to learn more about Sri Lanka’s national animal.
Once feeding is over, you'll embark on a jeep safari inside the park. If you are really lucky you may also catch glimpses of macaque and larger monkeys, spotted deer and crocodile. This is a real safari experience; kids will love the thrill of coming across a herd of wild elephants; it’s nothing like a zoo or safari park!
Late this afternoon, we continue our journey south to reach the coast at Nonagama. Here you’ll take a short drive along the coast road west and soon arrive at your hotel near the small fishing village of Mirrissa where we will arrive early evening in time for dinner.
Overnight stay in Mirrissa.
Sri Lanka is justifiably famous for its exquisite tropical beaches, washed by the warm waters of the
Indian Ocean. Here, you have plenty of time to unwind on the white sandy beach listening to the
lapping of the waves after the previous day’s travelling. Your time is your own here and you can
either relax on the palm-fringed beach, splash around in the pool or explore further afield.
Overnight stay in Mirrissa.
After your time on the beach it's time to head north back to Colombo. As we head out along the
coast we reach the town of Galle. Here you can walk the walls of the famous Dutch fort or explore
the maze of backstreets and market stalls. En route we can pay a visit to the turtle hatchery at
Kosgoda. Turtles are kept here for the first few days of their lives before being released into the sea
and the project does much to help safeguard the welfare of these endangered animals.
Heading north, your last night will be spent at a hotel not far from the airport. Before you return home your Group Leader will probably arrange a final ‘last supper’ where you can reflect on the kaleidoscope of wonderful things you have seen.
Overnight stay in Colombo.
Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport for the flight back home.