Explore the incredible richness of Sri Lanka – the island Marco Polo described as a “Pearl in the Indian Ocean” – its ancient kingdoms submerged into lush vegetation, its exceptional wildlife and its palm-fringed golden beaches front azure waters.
With three Select and Mix experiences included in this tour, this itinerary is the perfect option for those wanting to see the very best of Sri Lanka while also including customisable options.
- Experience the rich heritage of the ancient cities of Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla.
- Take a scenic train ride to admire the stunning hill scenery of Ceylon’s lush tea plantations.
- Explore the Yala National Park on a safari searching of the elusive leopard.
Private Touring programme
Meals and sightseeing as per itinerary
Select & mix: your choice of 3 options
Day1: Colombo –Negombo
Upon arrival, you will be met and assisted by our local operator who will then transfer you to hotel in Negombo. The rest of the day is at leisure to unwind.
Day 2: Negombo – Pinnawala – Sigiriya (B)
Drive to Sigiriya through luscious countryside. Upon arrival in Sigiriya, the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 3: Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Sigiriya (B)
Visit the mighty Sigiriya Rock Fortress which dominates the surrounding landscape. One of Sri Lanka’s major attractions, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress was built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD) for the purpose of protecting him from his rivals. It is an UNSECO World Heritage listed site, also known as the “Fortress in the Sky.” The climb up to the top of the fortress doesn’t only offer the reward of breath-taking views but there is also much to discover during your climb to the top.
Continue to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa and visit the former capital’s royal buildings and Buddhist shrines.
Day 4: Sigiriya – Dambulla – Kandy (B)
Today drive to Kandy. Stop en route to visit Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as “The Golden temple.” This sacred pilgrimage site is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka and contains numerous statues and images of Buddha, including a colossal reclining Buddha.
Proceed to Kandy, Sri Lanka’s most vibrant and colourful city, and visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth. This sacred temple is also home to the palm-leaf transcripts and its history dates back to 1687. This stunning piece of architecture is instantly recognised by its octagonal shape and golden roof.
In the evening, enjoy a colourful and acrobatic Kandyan performance.
Day 5: Kandy (B)
Day at leisure to relax or opt for one of the Select & Mix experiences.
Day 6: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (B)
Morning drive to Peradeniya where you will board tour train to Nuwara Eliya. Enjoy this scenic and comfortable ride and take in the beautiful views of the lush rolling tea plantations dotted by the colourful saris of the Tamil women working in them. Later stop at a local tea factory to learn about the manufacturing process and taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea.
Day 7: Nuwara Eliya – Ella Gap – Tissamaharama (B)
Today drive to Tissamaharama stopping en route at the Ella Gap – a spectacular sight in the southern mountains where the land falls to a dizzying drop of 3000ft into the southern sea. Overnight in Tissamaharama, gateway to the Yala National Park.
Day 8: Yala National Park – Weligama – Galle (B)
This morning, depart for a Jeep safari at the Yala National Park, home of sloth bear and Asia’s densest population of the elusive leopard! Other highlights of Yala include the herd of wild elephants, bears, wild boars, buffalos, deer, crocodiles and many species of birds. The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle. There are also an abundance of water supply for animals and birds ranging from waterholes, streams, small lakes, and lagoons.
Later journey along the picturesque south coast to the fishing village of Weligama where you can enjoy the sights of local fishermen going about their daily routines. In chest-deep water just few meters off-shore, you will find the stilt fishermen, perched on a cross bar off a single pole planted into the sea-bed. This is a common method of fishing amongst the locals in the Southern part of Sri Lanka.
Day 9: Galle (B)
Morning tour of the fortified port city of Galle. Classified as a UNESCO Word Heritage Site, Galle is a veritable colonial gem – initially built by the Portuguese, expanded by the Dutch and later the British. Visit the Fort and the Old Dutch Church. Afternoon at leisure to walk along the ramparts and soak up the atmosphere of this charming town.
Day 10: Galle (B)
Day at leisure to relax or opt for one of the Select & Mix experiences.
Day 11: Galle – Colombo (B)
Drive to Colombo. Sightseeing tour of Sri Lanka’s effervescent capital. Drive through the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Fort, the former British administrative centre and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area, a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings and the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749. If time permits, you may also see the replica of Avukana Buddha & the Independence Square.
Day 12: Colombo (B)
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Your choice of 3 Select & Mix experiences (no extra cost, 3 experiences already included in the price of your holiday):
Kandy: Attend a colourful and acrobatic Kandyan performance (day 4 evening)
Kandy: Splurge on a shopping tour of Kandy, Sri Lanka’s best shopping destination. Your driver will be a disposal for half a day and take you to the best emporiums and craft centres (day 5 morning or afternoon)
Galle: Experience a fascinating walking tour of Galle Fort with Shanjei Perumal, a renowned guide also known as the Galle Fort Storyteller. (day 9 afternoon or day 10)
Galle: Take a hands on cooking class followed by lunch or dinner in a coastal village near Galle. All of the proceeds of this cooking class benefit the Foundation of Goodness, a local charity promoting the advancement of rural communities in Northern and Southern Sri Lanka.
During the 3 hours hands-on cooking class you will receive instructions from a professional local chef- Asiri Prasath. (day 10 morning or late afternoon)
Galle: Enjoy a bike ride in Galle countryside, exploring lagoons, mangroves, villages, temples, a coconut mill, lush green paddy fields. Great for families. You will be provided with a bike at your size, service of a local guide, helmets, water & refreshments. Simply bring sport shoes, hat, sunscreen and your camera! (day 10 morning)
Colombo: Take an evening street food tour of Colombo with renowned guide Mark Forbes. (day 11 evening)
- Air conditioned transportation with English speaking driver
- Accommodation in Tourist Class hotels
- Sightseeing with private local English speaking guides
- Scenic train ticket Kandy / Nuwara Eliya
- Jeep safari in Yala National Park
- Daily breakfast
- Entrance fees as indicated
- Porterage in hotels
- Two bottle of mineral water per person per day
- 3 Select & Mix experiences
- Travel Notes – issued by Innovative Travel
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.