- 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 and music in Kandy
- Search for leopards and elephants on safari in Yala National Park
- Sunbathe & swim on the golden, palm-fringed beaches of Tangalle
|Arrive in Colombo, Explore the Commercial Capital
|Private Transfer to Sigiriya, Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress
|Champagne Breakfast at the Hotel, Discover Ancient Polonnaruwa
|Private Transfer to Kandy via the Dambulla Cave Temple Complex
|Discover Kandy: Temple of the Sacred Tooth & Cultural Show
|Private Transfer to Nuwara Eliya, Tour a Sri Lankan Tea Plantation
|Wildlife Spotting in Horton Plains National Park, High Tea in the Evening
|Visit Lipton's Seat & Tea Estate, Private Transfer to Yala
|Yala National Park Jeep Safari
|Private Transfer to Tangalle via Galle Dutch Fort
|Champagne Breakfast at the Hotel, Relax on Tangalle's Beaches
|Private Transfer to Colombo & Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Colombo, Explore the Commercial Capital
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 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
Your private guide/driver will be waiting this morning to transfer you northeast toward Sigiriya. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic drive. After settling 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 castle relics.
Day 3: Champagne Breakfast at the Hotel, Discover Ancient 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 ComplexJoin 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 first 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.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Discover Kandy: Temple of the Sacred Tooth & Cultural ShowStrategically situated between three mountain ranges, 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 the 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
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, 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 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 elsewhere 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
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 YalaStart 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
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.