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12 Day Island Tour of Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, separated from India by the Palk Straight. It is almost linked to India by a mostly underwater atoll called Adam’s Bridge. It is a very lush, tropical island setting just north of the equator. For over 2,000 years the island was ruled by a monarchy, which only ceased in 1815 with the invasion of British and subsequent independence with the appointment of a president. Sri Lanka’s population of around 21 million – it is a multi-ethnic with four main groups. Singhalese (mostly Buddhist) is the largest, followed by Tamils (mostly Hindu), Moors (with Arab origins) and Burghers – a mixed group of Portuguese and Dutch origin who are mainly Christians.

Its core source of income comes from tourism, gems, and exportations of traditional crops like tea, spices, rubber garments, and petroleum refining. About 30% of the island is covered by forest and about 10% of this is a national park. There are so many reasons to visit this country – there is so much to see and do.

Even though it is a relatively small country, each region is quite different. The indigenous and colonial history is fascinating. The food is fabulous. The scenery is spectacular. Plus, the abundance of wildlife — one of the draw cards for travelers — will take you by surprise. Visiting the national parks — and sometimes in the wild — you can spot sambar ,deer, Sri Lankan elephants, leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, water buffalo and hundreds of bird species. It’s no wonder that in 2013, Lonely Planet rated this wonderful country as the hottest travel destination on the planet, and they didn’t mean the weather. Join us on this in-depth tour which will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the Cultural Sri Lanka.

Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, rolling surf, value for money shopping, fun trains, famous tea and flavorful food describe Sri Lanka. On arrival at the Bandaranayke International Airport, you will be blessed to get your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality; A Representative from Seerock Holidays will welcome you at the Airport & proceed to Colombo.


Day 1Airport – Colombo

  • Arrival at the Katunayake International Airport BIA
  • Welcome by Rio Travels Representative/Guide usher to the vehicle
  • Leave for Colombo which is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
  • Check in at the Galle Face Hotel.
  • Depend on the time of arrival and time availability visit places of interests in Colombo.
  • Next Day either in Colombo city Tour or that can be put back to the last day and proceed to Sigiriya depending on time of arrival on the first day.
  • Dinner at the Hotel

Day 2Colombo – Sigiriya, Departure after Breakfast at the Hotel

  • Leave Colombo at 8.00am
  • Arrive in Sigiriya around mid-day (aprox.4 hours journey),
  • Check in to the Hotel Seerock The Kings Domain.
  • Lunch, swim or relax till hot sun turns and cool down a bit
  • Visit Sigiriya Rock Climb start around 3.00pm and it take about 2-3 hours for a detail visit
  • Return to Hotel Dinner at the Hotel

Sigiriya is a magnificent rock fortress built in the 5th century A.D. This majestic Citadel in the sky was the refuge of King Kashyapa who murdered his father and stole the throne from his elder brother – the rightful heir to the throne. Kashyapa built his fortress on this 182-meter-high rock to protect himself from his enemies. Sigiriya is world-renowned for its ‘Mirror Wall’, which consists of poems and paragraphs carved by some of the thousands of visitors who visited the rock many years ago, and of course for its magnificent frescoes, similar to the Ajanta frescoes of India. Sigiriya is in fact, the best-preserved city Centre in Asia from the first millennium and has been named as a world heritage site.

Stay at The Kings Domain

The King’s Domain, a Luxury Boutique Hotel, nestled on 14 acres of jungle land, surrounded by lakes and abundant wildlife, has been operational since April 2017, offering guests the perfect jungle getaway mixed with high end luxury and superior service standards. The spectacular views of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Pidurangala Rock Monastery make The King’s Domain, the preferred destination hotel of travelers’ the world over.

A total of 11 water villas are on offer, 9 of which are in the Superior Deluxe category with private Jacuzzi baths and Four Poster King or Twin Bed offerings.

The surroundings are teeming with wildlife, from birds and reptiles, to mischievous monkeys and wandering elephants. The gentle Slender Loris is a must see on our nightly Loris Watching Excursion.

Day 3Visit Polonnaruwa Ancient City

  • Leave hotel after breakfast
  • Arrive in Polonnaruwa (45mts to 1hour)
  • Visit Ancient City ruins of second oldest Kingdom of Sri Lanka (home town of present president)
  • Return after 3-4 Hours tour around
  • Come to Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park by about 2.00pm
  • Start Safari in jeeps to see largest gathering of wild elephants. (Approx. 4 hours safari)
  • Return to the Hotel Seerock
  • Dinner at the Hotel

Polonnaruwa is Sri Lanka’s second oldest kingdom and features a plethora of ruins and places of religious worship. Ancient Sinhala architecture combined with the South Indian architectural characteristics is what sets Polonnaruwa apart from Anuradhapura. Some of the many interesting places to visit in Polonnaruwa include the Gal Vihara (Stone temple), Lankathilake Buddhist shrine, the Tivanka Image House, the Nissanka Latha Mandapaya and of course the famous Moonstones – the unique rock carvings found at the entrances or at the bottom of stairways to temples, shrines, dagobas, and other important buildings

Minneriya National Park is a national park in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The area was designated as a national park on 12 August 1997, having been originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. The reason for declaring the area as protected is to protect the catchment of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. . Minneriya or Kaudulla Elephant Safari in the afternoon where you can see the largest gathering of wild Elephants in one place.

Day 4Visit to Anuradhapura

  • Leave hotel after breakfast
  • Arrive in Anuradhapura (1hr to 1.5hours)
  • Visit Ancient City ruins of oldest Kingdom of Sri Lanka (1st Official Capital of Sri Lanka)
  • Visit Temples, Dagobas and the Bo Tree a branch of original Bo Tree where Buddha enlightened.
  • Return to hotel in Sigiriya after tour in Anuradhapura around 5.00pm
  • Relax, Use Spa, Swim at the hotel
  • Dinner at the Hotel

Anuradhapura is a major city in Sr Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province of Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the first ancient Capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization.

The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the Centre of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. It is one of the oldest Continually inhabited cities in the world and one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.

Day 5Habarana Village Tour

  • Leave Hotel after breakfast
  • Several different modes of Transportation in the village such as traditional Bullock cart, Tuk Tuk, on gravel roads and jungle area. Canoe in the lake
  • Enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan village lunch cooked by village ladies etc.
  • Return to the hotel late afternoon
  • Relax, Use Spa, Swim at the hotel
  • Dinner at the hotel

Day 6Sigiriya to Kandy

  • Check out from the hotel after breakfast
  • Visit Dambulla Temple on the way to Kandy. (2 hours)
  • Arrive in Kandy by noon, the Last Sinhalese Kingdom of Sri Lanka, the second largest city after Colombo
  • Visit Temple of Tooth relic the most venerable temple in Sri Lanka
  • Dinner at the Hotel

The hill capital of Sri Lanka, the last stronghold of Sinhala kings against the British Empire, lies picturesquely surrounded by mountains and rivers. Kandy features the most sacred of all Buddhist shrines – the temple of the tooth or The Dalada Maligawa, which holds the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. The temple is surrounded by the charming Bogambara Lake, adding tranquility into the hearts and souls of the thousands of devotees that flock the city of Kandy each day. This is also the location in which the annual Esala Perahera, one of the most sought-after events in the country takes place. Other popular attractions in and around Kandy include the Royal Botanical Gardens, and also visit Gem lapidary and wood carving center.

Visit the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha Visit Cultural show in the evening (Optional) Kandy cultural show – Sri Lanka, a country rich with culture & tradition offers a very vibrant and unique show of Sri Lankan traditional dances, in the form of Kandy cultural show. The beat a dancing from “Salupliya” depicting several demons, “Thelma” vibrant expression of low country rhythm, Fire and Harvest dances accompanied by Ceremonial Drums and the Drum Orchestra rising and falling to the lively tempo. As many as 12 different folks and traditional dances are performed by Kandy lake club dance troop within the span of one hour. The Kandy cultural show is a great way to spend the evening in Kandy, arrive a little early to secure the front row center seats.

Day 7 Kandy Visits

  • Leave after breakfast to Pinnawala Elephant orphanage (1hr 30 mts)
  • See feeding baby elephants and bathing elephants in river
  • Visit Botanical Garden Peradeniya on return (around 4hrs visit)
  • If interested go to a cultural show in the evening (optional)
  • Dinner at the Hotel

Day 8 Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

  • Checkout from the hotel after breakfast
  • Leave for Nuwara Eliya hills and Tea Plantation area known as little England.
  • Depending on time period of the year need to be clad for cold weather at night can go down to 0 to 5 degrees Celsius
  • Visit city, gardens, boating, ski jet riding in lake if interested.
  • Arrive at the Uva Ben Head Villa on a Tea Estate
  • Dinner at Hotel

Nuwara Eliya Also known as “Little England”, the scenic town of Nuwara Eliya lies nestled in a valley more than 2500 m above sea level and is surrounded by misty mountain ranges covered in pine forests and tea cultivations. Nuwara Eliya has a much cooler climate, which is in stark contrast to the tropical climate experienced in other parts of the island. The mountains surrounding Nuwara Eliya is covered with a carpet of tea bushes and the whole process of tea manufacturing, from green leaf to the fragrant contents of a packet of Ceylon Tea, can be watched at many of the tea factories in the area. Also close by is the Hakgala Botanical Gardens.

Day 9 Visit Tea Plantation & Ella

  • After Breakfast visit Tea Plantation and Tea factory
  • Visit Hakgala Gardens or Ella to see scenic Ella Gap and Rawana Ella Water fall
  • If interested to see Rawana cave
  • Return to Hotel
  • Dinner at the Hotel

Day 10 Travel to Galle

  • Check out after breakfast
  • Leave for Galle (approx. 6 hours journey)
  • Arrive at Galle Fort UNESCO heritage site (2 hours visit)
  • Check in to Hotel
  • Dinner at Hotel

Day 11 Whale Watching

  • Leave early morning at 6.00am
  • Snack breakfast will be provided on boat
  • Leave hotel for whale and Dolphin watching (3-4 hours by Boat)
  • Visit Rumassala mountain for scenic view
  • Visit Temple in Galle
  • Return to Hotel
  • Dinner at the Hotel

Day 12 Come Back to Colombo for last night and City Tour or Direct to Airport

  • 12th Night can be back in Colombo if the second night was not spent in Colombo
  • Do the Colombo City Tour if it was not covered on the first day depending arrival time
  • Shopping in Colombo
  • Dinner at Galle face Hotel

Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo, Sri Lanka, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence. The temple’s architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture. This Buddhist temple includes several imposing buildings and is situated not far from the placid waters of Beira Lake on a plot of land that was originally a small hermitage on a piece of marshy land. It has the main features of a Vihara (temple), the Chaitya (Pagoda) the Bodhi tree, the Vihara Mandira , the Seema malaka (assembly hall for monks) and the Relic Chamber. In addition, a museum, a library, a residential hall, a three storied Pirivena, educational halls and an alms hall are also on the premises.

The Old Parliament Building.

The Old Parliament Building, is the building that houses the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka. Situated in the Colombo fort facing the sea, it is in close proximity to the President’s House, Colombo. The building houses the island’s legislature for 53 years until the New Parliament Complex was opened at Sri Jayawardenepura in 1983. It is next to the General Treasury Building.

National Museum of Colombo

National Museum of ColomboNational Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum is one of two museums in Colombo. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. It is maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government. The museum holds contains a collections of much importance to Sri Lanka such as the regalia of the country, including the throne and crown of the last Kandyan monarchs as well as many other exhibits telling the story of ancient Sri Lanka. Dinner & Overnight stay at Galle Face Hotel

Day 13Airport Drop

  • Depending on the flight time departure to Airport. You should be at the airport 3 hours prior to the time of departure

Accommodation Package Hotel Basis No of Nights Galle Face Hotel (1st Stay) HB 02 Suisse Hotel HB 01 Hill Club Nuwara Eliya HB 02 Cinnamon Jet Wing Yala HB 01 Seerock The Kings Domain HB 04 Galle Face Hotel (2nd Stay) HB 01 Hotel Web Links for easy reference

Galle Face Hotel – www.gallefacehotel.com

Suisse Hotel – www.hotelsuisse.lk

Uva Ben Head Villa, Welimada- Nuwara Eliya – templetreeint.com

Seerock The Kings Domain – www.seerockthekingsdomain.com

Valid From 01st of July 2018 31st of May 2019 Quoted in US$, Sharing DBL/ TWN, (TPL Supplement, to be notified) net per person. No of Pax Single Supplement Sharing Double & Twin (per person) Triple Supplement (per person) Allocated Vehicle 02 – 08 Persons.