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Discovering Sri Lanka: Holy sites, mountains, whales and beaches

Price
$1024
Days
12 +2 to transfer
Book

Tour description

To see the most interesting of Ceylon island you have to forget about all-inclusive hotels and sightseeing buses. We will immerse ourselves in real local life! 

  • Feel the wind on your face while traveling on one of the most beautiful railways in the world 
  • Admire the holy sites of the Dambulla caves, which housed a huge Buddhist monatery centuries ago
  • Enjoy the unforgettable sunrise above the clouds on top of the sacred Sri Pada mountain
  • Watch herds of wild elephants, leopards in Yala National Park and whales in the open ocean
  • Jump into the warm waterfalls in the jungle and enjoy sandy beaches

Tour departures

09 March 2022 - 20 March 2022
$1024

The price of the tour includes

All accommodation including hotels, guesthouses/bungalows during the entire trip All transportation including public buses and trains, rented vehicles, speed boats and airport transfers Breakfasts in Weligama hotel Professional guiding services.

What is NOT included

Flight to Colombo and back home. (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals) Insurance (mandatory) Food ($10-20 per person per day) Tickets to museums, temples and other attractions ($55) Surfing lessons (from $20 per hour) Additional excursions: Boat trip to see whales ($40), trip to Koggala lake ($15) and Yala national park ($90), elephant safari ($35).

Tour map

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Tour itinerary

Day 1

Negombo, Beach

We arrive in Colombo, and travel to the neighboring city of Negombo, where we will check into a hotel. Let`s get our group trip to Sri Lanka started! Enjoy the beach and watch hundreds of fishermen return with a catch on traditional sailing catamarans. A very unusual sight! We will also visit the fish market to take a closer look at the catch and get to know locals. 

In the evening we watch the sun go down to the sea, and enjoy our first dinner. Allow us to recommend the traditional curry of fish or shrimp, as well as pol sambola - an appetizer of freshly grated coconut with hot pepper, lime juice and fish fillet. Very tasty!

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Day 2

Kandy, Temple of the Tooth Relic, Botanical garden

We take a bus to Kandy (about 3-4 hours on the way), the mountain capital of the island. After checking into a hotel near the lake, we head to explore the main shrine of the country - the famous Temple of the Tooth Relic. According to local beliefs, the tooth of the Buddha Shakyamuni, whose body was cremated after death, is enshrined in the temple. Buddha's ashes were distributed to the rulers of different countries, and the king of Sri Lanka got the tooth of a great saint. 

Legend has it that the descendants of a king who has this relic will rule the country forever. Unfortunately, the last ruler of Kandy, Sri Vikrama Raja Singh, was deposed by the British colonists in 1815. We will visit the palace where he lived, and also take a walk through the famous Kandy Botanical Garden, founded in 1371. It boasts unique collections of spices, medicinal plants, and orchids.

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Day 3

Dambulla caves , Palace ruins of the 5th century

Early in the morning we leave for Dambulla, known for the oldest Buddhist caves in the country (5 hours on the way). More than two thousand years ago these caves were home to the large Buddhist monastery. The monks hollowed out huge caves in the rocks, and inside unique statues of Buddha and his disciples were placed. The walls were covered with bright paintings depicting scenes from Buddha's life and teaching. The colors are preserved so well that we will "read" these paintings easily to learn more about Buddhism. 

We continue our small group trip to Sri Lanka and head to the nearby Sigiriya - the ruins of a 5th-century palace located on the top of a very unusual mountain. It quite unexpectedly grows in the middle of a plain. King Kashyapa ordered the construction of the palace on this peak, however, his descendants did not like the idea and the palace was given to a Buddhist monastery, which was open until the 14th century. We will explore the ruins of the palace, see stunning frescoes, pools and gardens. And the views of the valley from here are simply amazing!.. It is difficult to imagine what the life of the people from this rock was like hundreds of years ago, but one thing is certain - they were surrounded by extraordinary beauty! In the evening we return to Kandy.

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Is this trip for you?

This trip is of easy physical grade. It includes walks in towns and several short nature walks (up to 4 hours). We will also hike to the top of two peaks 2000 meters above sea level. These hikes will take us about 4 hours each. We will be moving around in public buses and trains, as well as rented vehicles and speed boats. Most of these trips will be short, some will take up to 6 hours. Accommodation in double/twin rooms of tourist class hotels and guesthouses, most will have hot water and wi fi internet.

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