Sri Lanka Itineraries

Northern Wonders

Sri Lanka’s highlights with the added adventure of the relatively unexplored northern regions, where Sri Lanka once joined India. Your journey takes you through the lush green tea regions with colonial history, through bustling cities, local markets and small local towns, visiting Budhist temples and colourful Hindu Kovils along the way. Explore Sri Lanka’s rich history in the UNESCO sites of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. Watch the sunset from the iconic Sigiriya Rock and soak in the fresh spring water baths in Jaffna. Keep your camera handy, as you head deep into two of Sri Lanka's northern national parks spotting majestic wildlife in their natural habitats.

Duration

14 Days

Budget Style

$$

Trip Style

Hosted Tour

Fitness Level

Easy - Moderate

Why you’ll love this trip

• Tuk Tuk around ruins of the first kingdom in the UNESCO site of Anuradhapura

• Pigeon Island boat and snorkelling

• Witness the herds of wild horses left by the Portugese on Deft Island

• Visit Chunnakam local market

• Learn the art of traditional Sri Lankan Cooking

• Walk or cycle around a colonial Ceylon tea estate

• Two 4×4 wildlife safaris

Trip Itinerary

Map View
Detailed View
Day 1 Colombo
Day 2 Hatton
Day 3 Kandy
Day 4 Kandy
Day 5 Sigiriya
Day 6 Sigiriya
Day 7 Nilaveli
Day 8 Nilaveli
Day 9 Nilaveli
Day 10 Jaffna
Day 11 Jaffna
Day 12 Anuradhapura
Day 13 Colombo
Day 14 Colombo
Day 1 Colombo
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“Ayubowan” Welcome to Sri Lanka! Your adventure begins when your local host greets you at Bandaranaike Airport, Colombo. A small relaxing property awaits your arrival.

If you arrive earlier in the day, spend time enjoying the peaceful garden and pool or walking around the fishing village of Negombo. Alternatively there is a lovely walk around Pilikuttuwa Rajamaha Temple & Cave Hill.

Accommodation: Boutique Guesthouse

Meals: No meals are included on this day

Special information: Meet your local host

Day 2 Hatton
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Leaving the coast behind head inland to the lush green tea hills. Spend your evening in a restored historic tea planters residence on the Ceylon tea trail.

Walk or cycle around tea estates and enjoy an afternoon high tea on the verandah or on the manicured lawn, surrounded by tropical gardens.

Accommodation: Colonial Tea Planter Residence

Meals: Breakfast, High Tea & Dinner

Special information: High tea experience

Day 3 Kandy
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Discover the process of tea from the plant to your cup at the quintessential Dunkeld Tea Factory. Try your hand at picking tea with the local ladies. Visit the local produce market in the bustling city of Kandy to gather your fresh ingredients and participate in an authentic Sri Lankan cooking experience.

Accommodation: Boutique Guesthouse

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Special information: Free time in Kandy for shopping at leisure is an option on this day

Day 4 Kandy
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Rise early to join the locals with the morning Tevava at the Temple of the Tooth, enjoy the quiet city as it comes alive for the day with locals going about their business. After breakfast head to the banks of the Mahaweli to follow the river to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens.

Your guide for today will talk you through the interesting history of the gardens once reserved only for royalty. Watch the cheeky monkeys playing by the river bank, marvel at the tree-lined avenues and explore the extensive collection of orchids. An afternoon of shopping, relaxing or a lovely forest walk awaits.

Accommodation: Boutique Guesthouse

Meals: Breakfast

Special information: If you would prefer a sleep in, a visit to the Temple of the Tooth in the evening is possible. Please cover knees and shoulders for the Temple visit. Wearing white is another way to show respect, it is however not necessary.

Day 5 Sigiriya
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Leaving Kandy behind we head North, our day begins with a very interesting visit to a local medicinal garden. Your host welcomes you to his home and garden to explore the use of plants in everyday life.

Mountains of pineapples, trucks filled with bananas and hessian bags filled with ginger greet you at the largest fruit and vegetable market in Sri Lanka.

At our next stop, playful monkeys welcome you along the tree lined stone stairs as you head up to UNESCO world heritage site, Dambulla Cave Temple. Well preserved frescoes cover the cave walls and Buddhist monks go about their daily routines.

Accommodation: Boutique Eco Resort

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Special information: Knees and shoulders need to be covered for Dambulla cave temple. There is a small shop at the medicinal garden, it is however a very local experience.

Day 6 Sigiriya
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Today is full of adventure and wildlife as you head off on a private 4×4 safari into Kaudulla National Park. Elephants, deer, wild boar, painted stork, and the grey headed eagle frequent the area. Leopards and sloth bears can also be in the park’s forest areas on the rare occasion. The ride is bumpy through evergreen forest, emerging on the grasslands by the water tank where the elephants tend to gather.

After a relaxing afternoon, Sigiriya Rock is waiting. Climb the many stairs to the top to see the ruins of the kings palace and the breathtaking 360 degree views at sunset. Trust us, if you are able it’s worth the climb! Alternatively enjoy the sunset colours by wandering the ancient royal water garden at the base of the rock.

Accommodation: Boutique Eco Resort

Meals: Breakfast

Special information: The Royal Gardens at the base of the rock fortress are an alternative for sunset

Day 7 Nilaveli
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This morning, take a spectacular hot air balloon floating across the jungle, see local villages as they wake for the day, and lush green rice paddies. Still on the rice theme, lunch is in a small local restaurant set on a rice paddy field where you will enjoy a range of Sri Lankan curries cooked in clay pots served on a lotus leaf.

Heading over to the Eastern Coast we stop off at the ancient citadel of Polonnaruwa. With a local guide you will explore the history of this incredible UNESCO world heritage site by tuk tuk. (Or bicycle if you prefer).

Accommodation: Beachside Jungle Eco Resort

Meals: Breakfast & Local Lunch

Special information: Hot air balloon is available from Nov- April only. There are areas in Polonnaruwa that require guests to cover knees & shoulders.

Day 8 Nilaveli
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After a lovely breakfast in the jungle setting, take a short and interesting drive to visit the stunning Hindhu Koneswaram Kovil, built on the cliff top in Trincomalee. On your way, stop whenever you would like, maybe to watch the local fishermen bringing in their catch, or to take photos of spotted deer walking in the sand.

Enjoy the beach, relax by the pool, take a stroll in the surrounding coastal jungle area.

Accommodation: Beachside Jungle Eco Resort

Meals: Breakfast

Special information: Conservative dress is expected for your Kovil visit

Day 9 Nilaveli
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Spend the morning boating along the Nilaveli coastline if you’re lucky you may spot the giant blue whales which frequent the waters. Playful dolphins are also regularly spotted from the boat.

If you love colourful marine life, head by boat to Pigeon Island for some snorkelling and relaxation.

Accommodation: Beachside Jungle Eco Resort

Meals: Breakfast

Special information: Generally whales are spotted in March/April and Aug/Sept

 

Day 10 Jaffna
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Travelling further north to the relatively untravelled, battle scarred north. The scenery on route is diverse and unlike any other areas of Sri Lanka.

Take a look around Naguleswaram Hindu Temple in Keerimalai and a refreshing dip in the Keerimalai fresh spring water pool before visiting the old halls at Chunnakam market. Sample fresh produce and immerse yourself in local life.

Accommodation: Boutique Local Guesthouse

Meals: Breakfast

Special information: Take your bathers for a dip in Keerimalai Pool

Day 11 Jaffna
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With your guide, take the local ferry to explore the ruins and witness the wild horses on Delft Island left by the Portugese. Marvel at homes made with earthen walls and coral and enjoy a simple local lunch & insight into rural village life.

Accommodation: Boutique Local Guesthouse

Meals: Breakfast & Local Lunch

Special information: More conservative clothing is appropriate in the Northern regions

 

Day 12 Anuradhapura
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Relax on the scenic drive from Jaffna to Anuradhapura before heading off into the Wilpattu National park on a private 4WD safari. Wilpattu is known for sightings of leopards and the endangered Sri Lankan sloth bears.

Accommodation: Safari Tents

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Special information: Alternative accommodation can easily be arranged

Day 13 Colombo
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Explore the important Buddhist citadel of Anuradhapura by tuk tuk with a local who is passionate about the history of the area before heading to Sri Lanka’s largest city, Colombo.

Relax with a drink on the verandah of the historic Galle Face Hotel as the sun sets. Head along Galle Face Green for some local street food and lively atmosphere.

Accommodation: Colonial Heritage Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Special information: Conservative clothing is required to visit Anuradhapura Temples

Day 14 Colombo
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Your local guide will escort you to the airport to say farewell and see you to your onward journey. Or if you are staying in Colombo take a look through the backstreets with a local or enjoy a hosted ceylonese meal.

Meals: Breakfast

Special information: Your host will farewell you at Colombo International Airport

What's included

Accommodation

13 Nights

Meals

13x Breakfast, 2x Lunch, 4x Dinner, 1x High Tea

Transport

14 Days with a local driver/ host

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