Twelve days of ancient temples, mountain tea estates, and tropical beaches await on this luxurious Sri Lankan escape. Sit back as your private driver whisks you through the island's natural wonders and historic monuments in style, from the Cultural Triangle to the Hill Country and on to the wildlife haven of Yala National Park. End your trip with a champagne toast and some blissful free time on the palm-fringed beaches of Tangalle.

Highlights

  • Discover the ancient sites of Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa & Dambulla
  • Head to the Hill Country to tour a lush tea plantation
  • Watch a colorful spectacle of traditional dance & music in Kandy
  • Search for leopards & elephants on safari in Yala National Park
  • Sunbathe & swim on the golden, palm-fringed beaches of Tangalle

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo, Explore the Commercial Capital Colombo
Day 2 Private Transfer to Sigiriya, Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress Sigiriya
Day 3 Champagne Breakfast at the Hotel, Discover Ancient Polonnaruwa Sigiriya
Day 4 Private Transfer to Kandy via the Dambulla Cave Temple Complex Kandy
Day 5 Discover Kandy: Temple of the Sacred Tooth & Cultural Show Kandy
Day 6 Private Transfer to Nuwara Eliya, Tour a Sri Lankan Tea Plantation Nuwara Eliya
Day 7 Wildlife Spotting in Horton Plains National Park, High Tea in the Evening Nuwara Eliya
Day 8 Visit Lipton's Seat & Tea Estate, Private Transfer to Yala Yala
Day 9 Yala National Park Jeep Safari Yala
Day 10 Private Transfer to Tangalle via Galle Dutch Fort Tangalle
Day 11 Champagne Breakfast at the Hotel, Relax on Tangalle's Beaches Tangalle
Day 12 Private Transfer to Colombo & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Colombo, Explore the Commercial Capital

Get to know Colombo today
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, you will be escorted through the VIP Silk Route, where a representative will be waiting to welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. After settling in, spend the rest of today exploring Colombo, Sri Lanka's commercial capital and its largest metropolis. A lively city with a fascinating history, Arab sailors once frequented these ports to trade with the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonists that occupied the city. Today, Colombo has something for everyone.
 
Visit the National Museum and Zoological Gardens, or take a walk through the city's commercial center, where grand colonial-era buildings stand alongside modern hotels and office structures. Stroll the vibrant markets and bazaars in Pettah, then end the evening sampling Sri Lankan specialties at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Private Transfer to Sigiriya, Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The iconic rock fortress of Sigirya rises 1,124 feet (349 m) out of the jungle

Your private guide/driver will be waiting this morning to transfer you northeast towards Sigiriya. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic drive. After getting settled into your hotel, spend the afternoon exploring the "eighth wonder of the world" that holds important cultural significance to Sri Lankans.

The UNESCO-listed Sigiriya rises high out of the surrounding jungle and is home to the remains of an ancient fortress built in the late 5th century CE. The name translates to "Lion Rock," a reference to the way visitors traditionally began their final ascent to the top of the monument, passing through the open jaws and throat of a lion. Today only the gigantic paws sculpted into the rock remain. Climb a series of dramatic stairways to find beautiful water fountains, boulder gardens, frescos, mirror walls, and relics of the castle.

Day 3: Champagne Breakfast at the Hotel, Discover Ancient Polonnaruwa

One of the resident monkeys at the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa

Start your morning in style with a delicious champagne breakfast at the hotel. When you're ready, your driver will be waiting to accompany you on a day trip to the magnificent ruins of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage site and medieval capital of Sri Lanka. Enclosed by stone walls, the city was dotted with palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds, and irrigation lakes. Don't miss a visit to the spectacular Gal Vihara temple complex, with its many statues of reclining, sitting, and standing Buddhas.

Day 4: Private Transfer to Kandy via the Dambulla Cave Temple Complex

Intricate ancient art fills the caves of Dambulla
Intricate ancient art fills the caves of Dambulla
Join your driver today for the journey south to Kandy, stopping en route to delve into the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dambulla. This sacred cave temple complex dates back to the 1st century BCE and is home to some of the country's most important religious artifacts. Wander through a series of caves to marvel at gilded interiors, dramatic murals, and an incredible collection of holy statues, including a 47-foot (14 m) reclining golden Buddha. Then climb to the temple's rocky clifftops for views across the surrounding forests and countryside.

Day 5: Discover Kandy: Temple of the Sacred Tooth & Cultural Show

Serene views across Lake Kandy to the Royal Palace
Serene views across Lake Kandy to the Royal Palace
Strategically situated between three mountain ranges, the city of Kandy serves as a welcoming gateway to Sri Lanka's Hill Country. Spend today touring Kandy's historic Royal Palace on the edge of Lake Kandy. Stroll through the palace's shrines, temples, and gardens before visiting its crown jewel: Sri Dalada Maligawa (the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic). Dating to the 16th century, it's home to Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic: a tooth from the Buddha. As evening falls, you can attend a fascinating cultural show to see some great examples of traditional Sri Lankan music and dance.

Day 6: Private Transfer to Nuwara Eliya, Tour a Sri Lankan Tea Plantation

Lush tea-growing landscapes around Giragama
Lush tea-growing landscapes around Giragama
Your driver will transfer you into the Sri Lankan Hill Country today, passing waterfalls, tea plantations & picturesque mountains on your way to the town of Nuwara Eliya. Along the way, learn more about Sri Lanka's most famous export with a visit to a working tea plantation at Giragama.  Meet the staff, take a walk through the lush fields to see how tea leaves are picked, and stop in the factory to watch the drying, rolling, and tasting processes. Cap off the tour with a cup of freshly-brewed Ceylon tea—and make sure to pick up a box or two to bring a little bit of Sri Lanka home. 
 
Continue to the magical highland town of Nuwara Eliya, situated high above sea level. Boasting a climate unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka, its misty altitudes and cooler temperatures make it a haven for growing colorful flowers and exquisitely flavored teas. Colonized by the British and often referred to as "Little England," it retains a distinctly old-world atmosphere. Spend an afternoon discovering the town's gardens, temples, museums, and tea plantations before settling in for a peaceful evening in the Hill Country.

Day 7: Wildlife Spotting in Horton Plains National Park, High Tea in the Evening

A sambar deer in the mists of Horton Plains National Forest
A sambar deer in the mists of Horton Plains National Forest
Today you'll explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Horton Plains National Park, a reserve characterized by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills, forests, and grassland. Home to various mammal species, including elk, deer, giant squirrel, wild boar, wild hare, porcupine, and leopard, the park also has unique vegetation which attracts many rare and endemic highland birds.
 
A highlight of the park is its towering escarpment that falls dramatically to the lowlands. Aptly known as the "World’s End," the precipice offers a fabulous view of the tea estates below. On a clear day, you can see all the way out to the distant southern coastline. Upon your return to the hotel in the evening, a traditional high tea will be waiting, accompanied by the world's finest, locally-grown Ceylon tea.

Day 8: Visit Lipton's Seat & Tea Estate, Private Transfer to Yala

Look out over the Sri Lanka's lush tea country from Lipton's Seat
Look out over Sri Lanka's lush tea country from Lipton's Seat
Start your morning with a visit to Lipton’s Seat, one of Sri Lanka's most impressive viewpoints. The Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton used to survey his burgeoning empire from this lofty spot, and today you can enjoy similar views looking out across emerald hills and tea estates. Learn more about the area's history with a stop at the surrounding tea estate, where you'll tour the fields and factory before meeting your driver for a transfer deep into the wilds of Yala National Park, located on Sri Lanka's southeastern coast. 

Day 9: Yala National Park Jeep Safari

Keep an eye out for the elusive Sri Lankan leopard
Keep an eye out for the elusive Sri Lankan leopard
Covering almost 621 square miles (1,000 km), the spectacular Yala National Park is the second-largest national park in Sri Lanka. Designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, the reserve is best known for its variety of wild animals and has an important role in the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards, and aquatic birds. 
 
Spend today exploring this natural wonder on a guided Jeep excursion. The park's landscape of dry thorn scrub, interspersed with small dusty glades, is reminiscent of Africa, and a perfect environment for safaris. Take your time as you search for rare flora and fauna and keep an eye out for the Yala's most famous inhabitants—a sizeable herd of Sri Lankan elephants.         

Day 10: Private Transfer to Tangalle via Galle Dutch Fort 

Tour the incredible fortified city of Galle
Tour the incredible fortified city of Galle
Today you'll transfer west along the coast towards the beaches of Tangalle, stopping en route in the fascinating UNESCO-listed city of Galle. Tour its 300-year-old Dutch fortifications surrounded on three sides by the Indian Ocean, then take some time to browse its Dutch-colonial buildings, historic mosques, grand mansions, and museums. Wander the streets and discover stylish cafés, shops, and boutique hotels owned by local and ex-pat artists and designers.

Day 11: Champagne Breakfast at the Hotel, Relax on the Beaches of Tangalle

Tangalle's palm-lined beaches and turquoise waters
Start the day in style with a champagne breakfast at your hotel. Afterward, the rest of today is free to spend at your leisure. Swim, sunbathe, or go for a walk to find the secluded beaches and hidden coves of this beach paradise. Take a short trip to fascinating historic attractions nearby like the rock temples of Mulkirigala and the Buddhist shrines of Wewurukannala, or indulge in some watersports like snorkeling and surfing. The waters around Tangalle are also famed for their whale and dolphin watching—book a private excursion to spot blue whales and bottlenose dolphins on a half-day adventure.

Day 12: Private Transfer to Colombo & Depart

A colorful Sri Lankan sunset over the beaches of Tangalle
Enjoy a leisurely final morning at the beach. When the time comes, your driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to Colombo Airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map

Map of Sri Lanka Luxury Getaway - 12 Days
Map of Sri Lanka Luxury Getaway - 12 Days