Discover Sri Lanka

From Colombo to Negombo

Visiting: Colombo, Wilpattu National Park, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Udawalawe, Negombo


Tour Operator: G Adventures

Physical rating: 3 - Average

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans

Group size: 1 - 16

Age range: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

Tour operated in: English


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Tour Overview

Sri Lanka was known by early Arab traders as “Serendib,” a name which gave rise to the English word “serendipity.” Set out on an adventure through this serendipitous Indian Ocean isle, exploring stunning palaces, ancient cities, and intricately decorated Buddhist temples. Take a stroll through fragrant spice gardens and lush tea plantations, tasting world-renowned Ceylon tea right at the source, and look out for elephants and leopards on safari in two celebrated national parks.

Highlights

  • icon search out leopards at Wilpattu National Park
  • icon Udawalawe Your G for Good Moment: Sthree Craft Shop and Café
  • icon Habarana Your Journeys Highlight Moment: High Tea and Handicrafts
  • icon Colombo Your Foodie Moment: Sri Lankan Cooking Demonstration
  • iconExplore ruins and archaeological sites with local experts
  • icon Wilpattu National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Agricultural Village Experience
  • iconExplore ruins and archaeological sites with local experts, take in a lecture on elephant conservation, search out leopards at Wilpattu National Park, enjoy a taste of tea at its source, learn about local ingredients and flavours during a cooking demonstration
  • icon Kandy Your Hands-On Moment: Visit a Coconut Plantation
  • icon take in a lecture on elephant conservation
  • icon enjoy a taste of tea at its source
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Places You'll See

Countries:

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Colombo

Location: Colombo

Accommodation: The Steuart by Citrus

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

ACTIVITY: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

TRANSPORT: You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure.

icon Day 2: Colombo/Wilpattu National Park

Location: Colombo

Accommodation: Big Game Camp Wilpattu

Meals: BREAKFAST, DINNER

Begin the day with a visit to a coconut plantation. Coconut is one of Sri Lanka’s major exports, and many local industries utilize coconut-based by-products. Continue north to Wilpattu National Park, one of the oldest parks in the country and home to a significant leopard population. Explore the park on a 4x4 with a local expert, hearing about conservation efforts and the issues of human encroachment on wildlife reserves, and keep an eye out for elephants, wild boar, sloth bear, spotted deer, and of course, leopards. Spend the night at a safari camp located just outside the park.

Wilpattu is the oldest National Park in the country and home to Sri Lankan leopards. We will do our best to search some out with our local ranger, as well as enjoy the stunning flora and fauna. Our safari camp is located 10 minutes to the Southern boundary of the park entrance, on the boundary of a lake surrounded by bush forest. While a bit more simple than our other accommodations in Sri Lanka, a stay in a tented camp offers a unique and fun experience. Tents are heavy canvas with 2 raised beds, electricity, fan and ensuite toilette. The camp offers open air dining with exceptional food and service in a natural surrounding. On occasion, due to the remote location electricity and hot water can be sporadic. A flashlight is provided and should be used when walking at night.

ACTIVITY: Visit a local coconut plantation and learn about the importance of this crop to local people and the country as a major export. Sri Lanka is fortunate that the coconut palm is native to the island and lush plantations cover a large portion of coastal areas. Many local industries are founded in coconut based products using all parts of the fruit including the kernel, shell, husk, and fiber.

ACTIVITY: Explore Wilpattu, one of the largest and oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka, renowned for its leopard population. Explore the park by jeep with a local expert to observe the local flora and fauna, but be on the lookout for the parks most famed resident, the leopard. Also discuss wildlife conservation in the area and the conflicts of human encroachment on wildlife reserves.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 3: Wilpattu National Park/Anuradhapura

Location: Wilpattu National Park

Accommodation: Palm Garden Village

Meals: BREAKFAST

Travel to the sacred city of Anuradhapura, an ancient capital of Sri Lanka dating to the third century B.C. Take your time to wander the palaces, gardens, Buddhist temples, and monasteries of this splendid UNESCO World Heritage site, and opt to explore the ruins by bike with a professional cycling guide.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Tour the ruins and monasteries of Sri Lanka's first capital. A symbol of Sinhalese power, this is the nation's most extensive and important ancient city.

icon Day 4: ANURADHAPURA/HABARANA/DAMBULLA

Location: Anuradhapura

Accommodation: Sigiriana Resort by Thilanka

Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH

Venture to the thriving village of Habarana, where we’ll get a chance to glimpse daily rural life. Explore the area by traditional bull cart, visiting lush vegetable fields and rice paddies. Take a stroll through town and meet some of Habarana’s residents. Float in a canoe down a picturesque lake, and sit down for a lunch of local specialties. Later, continue to Dambulla for the evening.

ACTIVITY: Visit the thriving Village of Habarana for a glimpse of authentic rural life in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province. Travel by foot, traditional bull cart and canoe in this scenic region, visiting farms of lush vegetable fields and rice paddies, surrounded by a landscape of green jungle and picturesque lakes. Walk through the town to meet some of its residents and vendors and gain an understanding of their largely agricultural life. Take a canoe ride on the lake, then sit down to a lunch of local specialties.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 5: Dambulla

Location: Dambulla

Accommodation: Sigiriana Resort by Thilanka

Meals: BREAKFAST

This morning, discover one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sights—the striking fortress of Sigiriya, or the Lion’s Rock. This royal city and UNESCO World Heritage site was built in the fifth century on the slopes and summit of an imposing granite peak. Climb up a series of steep steps to reach the top, and encounter beautiful gardens, caves, monasteries, and palaces adorned with frescoes. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle, and return to Dambulla for some free time around town.

ACTIVITY: Be mesmerized by this rock fortress, which captivates every visitor with its well-laid out gardens, caves, monasteries, and palaces adorned with beautiful wall motifs. Start at the water gardens and climb more than 1,200 steps to reach the top. Pass caves with frescoes and boulders to find the ruins of a palace on the flat surface of the old volcanic magma rock. The rock rests 370m (1,213 ft) above sea level with a shear drop on all sides.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 6: Dambulla/Kandy

Location: Dambulla

Meals: BREAKFAST

Set out to explore the impressive Dambulla Cave Temple, the largest and best-preserved collection of cave shrines in Sri Lanka. Admire stunning Buddhist murals and a trove of Buddha statues, including a spectacular reclining Buddha carved out of solid rock. Then visit a spice garden in Matale to learn about the therapeutic uses of local spices. Continue to Kandy and enjoy a tour of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, an important pilgrimage site which houses a tooth of the Buddha. This evening, we’ll take in a performance of traditional music at a cultural show.

ACTIVITY: Visit the ancient Dambulla cave temples at one of the most well-preserved temple and cave sites in Sri Lanka. See Buddhist mural paintings that line the walls of the seventh-century caves as well as a collection of hundreds of statues of Buddha in different poses.

ACTIVITY: Visit a spice garden and marvel at the various spices used as natural medicines and as condiments in food.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a tour of the Temple of the Tooth, which houses an important relic – a tooth of Lord Buddha kept in a well-preserved golden casket. Learn about the importance of this site from local guides.

ACTIVITY: Be swept away by an entertaining performance that will provide insight into the local culture in Kandy.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 7: Kandy

Location: Kandy

Meals: BREAKFAST

Kandy served as the last capital of Sri Lanka’s Sinhala dynasty before the British took complete control of the island in 1815. Spend the day exploring the city, visiting the breathtaking Royal Botanic Gardens of Peradeniya, once accessible only to the royal family. Afterward, stop by Sthree Craft Shop and Café, a G Adventures–supported social enterprise that works to empower local women and youth. View a handicraft demonstration and hear a talk about the enterprise before enjoying a tasting of local teas, accompanied by scones and pastries. Later, opt for a stroll through the city and around Kandy Lake, or enjoy a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a leisurely walk in the colourful Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. See 300 varieties of orchids of Sri Lanka as well as a range of other plants.

ACTIVITY: Stop by Sthree Craft Shop and Café, a G for Good-supported social enterprise created in partnership with The Women's Development Centre, an organization that supports training and work opportunities for local women and disabled youth from the Kandy area. "Sthree" means "women" in both Tamil and Sinhala – fitting as the shop and café is both a place for local women to hone their hospitality skills, while selling handicrafts sourced from all over Sri Lanka.

ACTIVITY: Visit Sthree Craft Shop and Café to indulge in High Tea and a handicraft-making demonstration from a member the shop’s training program. Sit down for a talk from one of the project organizers about what they do, while you enjoy a taste of local teas and an assortment of sweet cakes and pastries.

FREE TIME: Opt to visit an Ayurvedic hospital to learn about Ayurvedic oil massage treatments or explore the well-laid out walkways of the city and don't miss the famed Palm Avenues.

icon Day 8: Kandy/Nuwara Eliya

Location: Kandy

Accommodation: Grand Hotel

Meals: BREAKFAST

Travel through scenic mountains to the town of Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of Sri Lankan tea country. Visit a tea plantation to gain insight into the cultivation and production of this beloved beverage, and savour a cup of perfectly blended Ceylon tea. Then head out on a tour of Nuwara Eliya and its lush surroundings, once governed by English and Scottish planters, following cool, misty roads through blankets of tea bushes. This afternoon, opt to take high tea at the colonial-era Grand Hotel, originally the holiday home of Sir Edward Barnes, the fifth Governor of Ceylon.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: The town of Nuwara Eliya produces the finest Orange Pekoe Ceylon tea, and is inhabited mainly by tea planters and plantation workers. Pay a visit to one of the factories to learn all about tea production.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a tour of colonial Nuwara Eliya and its lush surroundings. Follow misty roads, through lush green blankets of tea bushes into a cooler climate, that remind visitors of an English countryside atmosphere. Once governed by English and Scottish planters - the area still offers colonial bungalows, hedgerows and one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world.

icon Day 9: NUWARA ELIYA/HORTON PLAINS NATIONAL PARK/UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK

Location: Nuwara Eliya

Accommodation: Big Game Camping Udawalawe

Meals: BREAKFAST, DINNER

Venture out early this morning into Horton Plains National Park, a protected natural area encompassing high altitude grasslands and hilly cloud forest. Enjoy a picnic breakfast, and culminate your trek at a point known as World’s End—a majestic drop that provides incredible views over the verdant plains and coastline to the south. Then continue to our tented camp on the border of Udawalawe National Park. This evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration by the camp chef, learning about local specialties.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Get close to nature and stunning scenery on this Horton Plains Trek. Hike 9km (6 mi) into the Horton Plains and walk through the clouds to discover a majestic drop that provides amazing views over the plains into the sea.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a cooking demonstration and see how local Sri Lankan delicacies are prepared.

icon Day 10: UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK

Location: Udawalawe

Accommodation: Big Game Camping Udawalawe

Meals: BREAKFAST, DINNER

A sanctuary for large herds of elephants, Udawalawe National Park is one of the best places in the world to observe these majestic pachyderms. Embark on a jeep safari through the park seeking out the abundant wildlife, including water buffalo, jackals, and various species of deer. Afterward, visit the Elephant Transit Home, a refuge and rehabilitation center for orphaned elephants. Watch the resident elephants as they feed, play, and mingle with each other, and hear from one of the facility’s conservationists.

ACTIVITY: Drive through this massive nature reserve and keep an eye out for the mighty Sri Lankan elephants – they live in abundance here and often wander along the road. Make several stops to observe these beautiful animals.

ACTIVITY: Sri Lanka is home to a significant elephant population – estimated at approximately 4,000. The Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home was established in 1995 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation, to treat and rehabilitate injured elephants that have been found in the area – before releasing them back into the wilderness. Drop by this incredible facility to watch – rather than touch – these gentle giants as they feed, play, and mingle with each other. Meet one of the centre’s conservationists who will talk about the work they do here, including its challenges and its successes.

icon Day 11: Udawalawe/Negombo

Location: Udawalawe

Accommodation: Jetwing Sea Hotel

Meals: BREAKFAST

Drive to Negombo and spend the day at leisure. This small port town has seen Portguese, Dutch, and British rule—reflected in the architecture of the old quarter—and used to be a centre of the cinnamon trade. Choose to visit the Old Dutch Fort, step into one of the town’s ornate Catholic churches, or enjoy a stroll on the beach.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 12: Negombo

Location: Negombo

Meals: BREAKFAST

Depart at any time.

Hotel check out is at 12:00pm. Your CEO can assist you with arranging an easy transfer to Colombo or the International airport.

ACTIVITY: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

What's Included

  • icon
    Accommodation

    Hotel/lodges (9 nts), tented camp (2 nts).

  • icon
    Meals

    11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

  • icon

    Arrival transfer

  • icon

    Visit a Matale spice garden

  • icon

    Tour the Sigiriya rock fortress

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Wilpattu Safari and Conservation Talk, Wilpattu National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Agricultural Village Experience, Habarana Your Journeys Highlight Moment: High Tea and Handicrafts, Kandy Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, Udawalawe Your G for Good Moment: Sthree Craft Shop and Café, Kandy Your Hands-On Moment: Visit a Coconut Plantation, Colombo Your Foodie Moment: Sri Lankan Cooking Demonstration, Udawalawe

  • icon

    Tour of Anuradhapura ruins

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    Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens

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    Safari drive in Udawalawe National Park

  • icon

    Tour the Temple of the Tooth

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    Dambulla cave temple visit

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    Cultural show

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    All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

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    Tour Nuwara Eliya area and a Ceylon tea plantation

  • icon

    Hike in Horton Plains National Park

Accommodation

Hotel/lodges (9 nts), tented camp (2 nts).

Transport

Private vehicle, boat, 4x4, walking

Meals Included

11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
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Dates & Availability

Select departure month

Monday Jul 19, 2021

Nights

11

Available

13

Monday Aug 02, 2021

Nights

11

Available

14

Monday Aug 30, 2021

Nights

11

Available

12

Monday Sep 13, 2021

Nights

11

Available

11

Monday Sep 27, 2021

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Oct 04, 2021

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Oct 18, 2021

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Nov 01, 2021

Nights

11

Available

13

Monday Nov 29, 2021

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Dec 06, 2021

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Dec 20, 2021

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Jan 17, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Feb 14, 2022

Nights

11

Available

11

Monday Mar 14, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Apr 11, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Jul 18, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Aug 15, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Sep 12, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Oct 10, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Nov 07, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday Dec 05, 2022

Nights

11

Available

15

Monday, Jul 19, 2021

11Nights

13Available

Monday, Aug 02, 2021

11Nights

14Available

Monday, Aug 30, 2021

11Nights

12Available

Monday, Sep 13, 2021

11Nights

11Available

Monday, Sep 27, 2021

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Oct 04, 2021

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Oct 18, 2021

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Nov 01, 2021

11Nights

13Available

Monday, Nov 29, 2021

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Dec 06, 2021

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Dec 20, 2021

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Jan 17, 2022

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Feb 14, 2022

11Nights

11Available

Monday, Mar 14, 2022

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Apr 11, 2022

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Jul 18, 2022

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Aug 15, 2022

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Sep 12, 2022

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Oct 10, 2022

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Nov 07, 2022

11Nights

15Available

Monday, Dec 05, 2022

11Nights

15Available