What you get
Discovering Sri Lanka: Holy sites, mountains, whales and beaches
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
The price of the trip 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).
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!
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.
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.
Day 4 - 5
In the morning we take a train to Hatton (about 3 hours on the way), and then travel to the nearby foot of the Sri Pada mountain along the scenic tea plantations. Here we will continue our guided tour to Sri Lanka and check into a guesthouse with a beautiful view of the mountains covered with emerald jungle. The next morning, at about 2 in the morning, we begin to walk to the top of the sacred mountain to meet an unforgettable sunrise at an altitude of more than 2000 meters above sea level. This hike will take us about 4 hours. All our efforts will be generously rewarded with unforgettable views - the sun rises over the valley under our feet and breaks through the fluffy clouds of the morning fog.
We walk down, have breakfast and some rest, and then go for a walk around tea plantations and small villages. We will reach the lake and relax at the waterfalls, enjoying the sound of the water and wild jungle.
Day 6 - 7
In the morning we take a train to the mountain town of Ella (4 hours on the way). For four hours we will be admiring tea plantations, jungles, rivers directly from the window of our car, traveling along one of the most picturesque railways in the world. The most daring can take the vestibule, sitting on the floor and dangling their feet from the steps. Cliffs and valleys will float right under your feet! In Ella we check into a hotel and relax.
Early in the morning we begin our mini-hike to the Ella rock. We will walk for about 4 hours, enjoying stunning views of the valley. We get down from the cliff and take a small path to the tea factory. Here we will learn about the entire process of green tea manufacturing - from leaf collection to packaging, and of course we will try the freshest tea. A beautiful cup, delicious aromatic tea - and the views of endless tea fields. Yes, happiness is in simple things! The end of a beautiful day should be beautiful - we will enjoy a lovely sunset on top of the hill, known as Little Adam's Peak.
Day 8 - 9
Our guided tour to Sri Lanka continues. After breakfast we drive to the southern coastal town of Weligama (a 6 hours trip). On the way we will stop for lunch, and also drop by several Buddhist temples. We check into a guesthouse near the sea, and enjoy ourselves on endless sandy beaches.
Early next morning you can take a boat trip to the open sea to watch whales! Those who wish can also take surfing lessons, go on a tour of the spice plantations on Lake Kogalla, visit a turtle or snake nursery. You can also go to Yala National Park (2 hours on the way) to see herds of wild elephants, leopards, crocodiles and exotic birds. Finally, you can do absolutely nothing, and just relax, lying in the shade of palm trees, and listening to the eternal sound of waves.
We go to Galle (about 1 hour on the way) - a city inside an old Dutch fort. Let`s enjoy the elegant architecture of the colonist era, explore the museums, Catholic cathedrals, and observe local life on the colorful streets.
Next, we head to Unawatuna, a small town five kilometers from Galle. Here we will visit Shanthi stupa - a Buddhist stupa built by the Japanese Buddhist order. Together with the pilgrims, we walk around the stupa clockwise three times, examining the Buddha statues facing the four cardinal points. And what a view opens from this spot!
Day 11 - 12
We leave for the capital Colombo (about 6 hours on the way). We check into a hotel and go out for a walk around the city. We begin in the main temple of Colombo - Gangaramaya, built in the 19th century. Experienced travelers will recognize Thai, Indian and even Chinese elements in the architecture of this shrine! With a little luck, we will be able to attend the ceremony and watch the local monks and parishioners.
Next, we head to the Viharamahadevi park, named after the queen, which ruled the country in the first century BC. In the evening we walk along the seafront promenade. Schoolchildren from all over the country are brought here to relax after tours of the capital. We can join them for eating street food, or flying kites.
The next day, we go to the airport and fly home. Our group trip to Sri Lanka has come to an end. Thank you for exploring with us!
Is this trip for you?
Citizens of almost all countries need a visa to enter Sri Lanka.
We provide free visa consulting for our clients.
Accommodation in single room in Sri Lanka
Price: + $250
Accommodation in single rooms during the entire trip
Local sim card with 3G internet
Price: + $15
Sim card of the local provider with 3G internet packadge
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