Day 1 Welcome to Sri Lanka

Upon arrival, your local guide from U Travels will meet you at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. Today, you will be given the opportunity to rest and relieve jet lag. Your overnight stay will be in Katunayake.

Day 2 Wilpattu safari

Your tour will begin by first travelling to Wilpattu National Park which is approximately a 3-hour drive from Katunayake. You will get to enjoy a safari ride through Wilpattu National Park with the chance to come across various animals. Your overnight stay will be in Anuradhapura.

Found near the north western coast line, Wilpattu sanctuary was converted to Wilpattu National Park in 1938. Even though it is located in the dry zone, the national park has a dense foliage that is home to a wide variety of animals including leopards, elephants, Mugger crocodile, Common cobra, Sambar deer and a diverse range of birds.

Activities: Safari at 3 pm

Day 3 Explore the kingdom of Anuradhapura

Today you will travel to various Buddhist landmarks in Anuradhapura, gaining an insight into Buddhism, a religion with several million worshippers worldwide. You will visit Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Ruwanweliseya, Jethawanaramaya, Kuttam Pokuna, Moonstone, Isurumuniya and Ranmasu Uyana. Your overnight stay will be in Anuradhapura.

The sacred city of Anuradhapura has received the title of World Heritage by the UNESCO due to the long standing presence of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi since december 236 BC. It is the oldest living tree in the world with a written history. It is known to be the southern branch of the original Bodhi tree from India against which Lord Gautama Buddha rested during his attainment of enlightenment.
Ruwanwelisaya, constructed in 140 BC by King Dutugemunu is one of the most ancient and well preserved stupas in the world. However, prior to its completion King Dutugemunu became gravely ill and passed away. Before his death, the King’s brother draped the incomplete structure with white cloth to create an image of a complete stupa. The weak King could not see through the illusion and died thinking that the structure was complete.
Glorified as the world’s tallest stupa at its point of construction in 276 - 303 AD, Jethawanaramaya still stands strong as one of the most magnificent stupas in Sri Lanka. It was first built at a height of 122 m and following renovations it presently stands at a height of 71 m.
Kuttam pokuna or the twin ponds are considered as a significant achievement in the field of hydrological engineering in ancient Sri Lanka. It is thought to have been built by King Aggabodhi between 575- 608 BC and has been used by monks for bathing.  Whilst the water is passed through an underground pipeline, it is carefully filtered before falling into the northern pond through the mouth of a dragon.
Originating from ancient Sri Lankan architecture, the moonstone or Sandakada pahana is a unique feature placed at the bottom of ancient staircases and at the entrance of temples.
From 307 BC to 267 BC, King Devanampiyatissa, who ruled the ancient city of Anuradhapura built Isurumuniya as a residence for 500 high - caste children who were ordained. This site also contains a figure of the famous Isurumuniya lovers, royal family carvings and elephant pond carvings.
Located between the Tissa wewa and Isurumuniya, Ranmasu Uyana is a 40 acre pleasure garden used as a recreation park by several generations of royals from the Kingdom of Anuradhapura. Ranmasu Uyana is also famous for what is known by some as a stargate engraved on the surface of a rock. Archeologists have also suggested that the carving could be a simple map of the earth but no theory has yet been confirmed.

Day 4 Long journey to Jaffna Peninsula

Today you will embark on a drive to Jaffna, the northern tip of this little island. This journey will cover an approximate distance of 200 km and will take about 4 hours. Once you reach Jaffna you will visit the famous Jaffna fort and following this you will have time to rest and relax. Your overnight stay will be in Jaffna.

First built by the Portuguese in 1619, Jaffna fort underwent renovations that were completed in the second half the 18th century by the Dutch who invaded Sri Lanka. The fort has been constructed in the shape of a pentagon with each vertex forming a bastion. Presently, Jaffna Fort stands strong even after sustaining damage from the Sri Lankan civil war that ended in 2009.

Day 5 Explore Jaffna Peninsula

Today you will uncover the cultural and religious beauty of Jaffna, a region that was torn apart by the Sri Lankan civil war that lasted several decades. First, you will visit the Jaffna archaeological museum followed by Nallur Kandaswamy temple, a major Hindu attraction in Jaffna. Then you will visit Kantharodai ruins and Sri Sangamitta temple, two significant Buddhist landmarks. This day will end with a visit to Point Pedro, the northernmost point of this tear-shaped island and on the way, you will stop at Keerimalai springs. Your overnight stay will be in Jaffna.

Located in the heart of Jaffna, this museum provides an insight into Hinduism, the religion of Tamil people populating the area and also displays some Buddhist artefacts. This museum also holds pieces found through excavations conducted at Kantharodai. Kantharodai is believed to have been a small hamlet acting as a centrepoint connecting the Tamil Kingdom.
Founded in the 10th century, Nallur Kandaswamy Temple underwent renovations in the 15th century but was destroyed post colonisation by the Portuguese. Following this a church was built in the area. Presently the temple has been built at another location but it is labeled as the most magnificent Hindu temple in Jaffna.
In a region where Hinduism is prominent, Kantharodai ruins is an archaeological site with a special collection of 50 stupas that are made out of coral stone and plastering. Approximately 20 of these stupas have been restored and have a size range of 2 - 7m in diameter. Buddhist statues, Buddha footprints and ancient coins have been unearthed from the area.
Sri Sangamitta temple was built in honour of the arrival of Sanghamitta who brought a sapling of the bodhi tree in India under which Buddha gained enlightenment. Subsequently this sapling was planted in Anuradhapura and is presently known as the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
Titled as the northernmost point of Sri Lanka, Point Pedro is a small town that was previously rich in cotton plantations and was under the control of Dutch, Portuguese and English. Presently it is under the control of the Sri Lankan army after they defeated the Tamil Tigers.
Found at the northern tip of Jaffna, it is believed by locals that Keerimalai springs possess a remarkable healing power. According to legends, in 7th century a Chola princess with a facial deformity and digestive disorder was healed following a visit to the springs.

Day 6 Coastal drive to Nilaveli

Day 6 will begin early with an approximately 4-hour drive to Trincomalee, a major port city in the northeastern province of Sri Lanka. There you will visit Koneswaram temple, the heart of Hinduism in Trincomalee. You will also catch a glimpse of Trinco harbour, one of the most significant natural harbours in the world. Your overnight stay will be in Nilaveli. 

Dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, Koneswaram temple sits on a promontory offering breathtaking views of the aqua blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Whilst the construction of the temple cannot be pinned to an exact point in time, this Hindu temple was at some point the largest and grandest Hindu temple in Sri Lanka. 

Known as one of biggest natural harbours, many battles for power have been fought in Trinco harbour by the Dutch, Portuguese, French and English. The harbour consists of 1630 hectares of water and the entrance channel is approximately 500 meters wide

Day 7 The ocean view

Today you will have the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach, smelling the salt from the sea and feeling the warm rays of the sun fall on you. Your overnight stay will be in Nilaveli. 

Day 8 Explore Sigiriya rock fortress

After breakfast, you will kick start the day by driving to Sigiriya, a town in the central province of Sri Lanka. Once you reach Sigiriya, you will head to Lion Rock (Sigiriya) and a local tour guide will join the climb. He will walk you through the ancient tale of King Kasyapa and the remains of his palace. This segment of the day will take approximately 1.5 - 3 hrs. Following this, you have an option of enjoying a complementary elephant ride in the area surrounding Lion rock. Thereafter, you will head to Giritale, which will take approximately 1 hour. Your overnight stay will be in Giritale. 

Having come to life in 4th century AD, Lion Rock is considered to be the 8th wonder of the world and has been classified by UNESCO as a world heritage site. While exploring this ancient rock fortress, which was created by King Kasyapa, you will come across the ruins of the palace and its vast gardens, canals, alleys and fountains. You will hear more about this impressive creation from our local tour guide.

Day 9 Human families meet monkey families

Today, you will be introduced to the world of primates in Polonnaruwa at the Smithsonian primate research station. You will begin the tour at 6 am which will run for approximately 3 hours to witness and learn about some remarkable creatures in their natural habitats. Following this, you will explore the ancient archaeological ruins of Polonnaruwa that have influenced the Sri Lankan culture. In the afternoon, you will head back to the research station to enjoy a documentary and watch some primates enjoy their last feeding of the day before huddling for a good night's’ sleep. Your overnight stay will be in Giritale. 

The well-known monkey camp located in Polonnaruwa found neighbouring the great reservoir Parakrama Samudraya is a non-profit organisation which aims to conserve the primate diversity in Sri Lanka. Human families meet monkey families program is composed of a morning and an afternoon field session where you will be introduced to troops of gray langur and Toque macaques. Some days there would be spectacular territorial fights between inter
species or langurs and macaques or hours of grooming sessions with some younger monkeys approaching the guests with a bit of curiosity towards the bags they hold and its contents or just to groom them. You may also have the opportunity to meet Maya, Kip and other ‘actors’ of Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom.

Polonnaruwa, the second most ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka was named the capital city by then King Vijayabahu I who defeated Chola Invaders in the 11th century. Thereafter, he developed the area and it was during his time that Polonnaruwa was most glorified. Ruins of this ancient city that must be seen include that of the Royal Palace from the 12th century, King’s audience hall, King’s swimming pool, Sacred Quadrangle, Shiva Devale, Pabalu Vehera and Rankot Vihara.

Day 10 Giritale to Kandy

 

The day will begin with a visit to a wood carving workshop where you will have the chance to purchase a custom piece made by talented locals. From there you will travel to Kandy, a city surrounded by mountains, home to lush tea plantations and rainforests boasting biodiversity. On the way, you will go to Matale, a town known for its agricultural contributions where you will have an opportunity to visit Euphoria spice and herbal garden to get an insight into the fascinating world of spices and herbs. The day will end with a captivating show in Kandy demonstrating the culture that has been preserved over many decades. Your overnight stay will be in Kandy. 

Over a period of 4 decades Karu Arts has carefully mastered the craft of carving wooden sculptures, producing pieces unique to each customer.

Activities: 

~1 hour tour around the workshop demonstrating the process of producing sculptures

Herbs and spices have long played a crucial role in Sri Lankan cuisine as well as in Ayurvedic medicine. This spice and herbal garden tour provides an insight into the ways in which a variety of herbs and spices such as Nutmeg, Turmeric, Citronella, Cardamom and Sandalwood can be used in day to day life.

Activities:

-          45 min - 1 hr tour around the spice and herbal garden

The Esala Perahera or the festival of tooth in Kandy is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka. Dancers, drummers, jugglers, musicians and fire-breathers are key features of this grand festival which is held only once a year in July or August. However, you will get to experience a few of these memorable features through the short cultural show taking place every day of the year.

Day 11 : Explore Kandy

You can expect a much more relaxing day today as you will first explore the Temple of the Tooth Relic of Buddha and witness how the teachings of Buddhism have been preserved over many years. Thereafter you will be lead on a short tour around the Kandy Lake, a man-made lake known by the locals as the ‘Sea of Milk’. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Kandy. Your overnight stay will be in Kandy. 

Situated in the former royal palace complex of Kandy, this temple is of immense significance to Buddhism as it holds a tooth of Buddha. This precious relic is heavily guarded inside 6 gold stupas of decreasing size. In addition to this temple, there is a series of shrines and museums in the palace complex.

Built in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy, this artificial lake is also known as the Sea of Milk. According to folklore the king had created a dam across the lake however it was destroyed from both ends and as a result all that remains is an island in the middle of the lake. It is believed by the locals that this island was used by the Queen and the ladies of the court.

Activities: Complementary boat ride on Kandy Lake

Day 12 Scenic train ride

Day 12 of your tour will begin with a train ride from Kandy to Ella which will last approximately 6 hours. After dropping you off at the Kandy railway station, your driver will pick you up from Ella railway station and drive to your accommodation. 



This picturesque ride is a must for anyone who is visiting Nuwara Eliya, the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka. Starting at Kandy Station, you will pass through misty mountains, mesmerising waterfalls and abundant tea plantations before reaching Ella, a small town rich in biodiversity and many tea plantations.

Day 13 The famous World’s End

Day 13 of this tour will begin with a physically challenging exploration of Horton Plains National Park. There you will have the chance to visit the famous World’s End, an escarpment falling at 900 m found at the southern tip of the park. Subsequently, you will visit Adisham monastery, a bungalow that has been transformed into a chapel. Your overnight stay will be in Ella. 



Glorified as Sri Lanka’s coldest and windiest locations, Horton Plains National Park sits at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level and stretches over an area of 3169 hectares. A breathtaking view of the sunrise can be captured at this location.

Previously used by Sir Thomas Villiers, an English tea planter, Adisham Bungalow is presently known as Adisham monastery of Saint Benedict. The chapel found within the house holds a fragment of a bone of St. Sylvester, the 33rd pope of the Catholic church.

Day 14 Explore Ella

This day will begin at the crack of dawn when you will set out on an approximately 1-hour drive followed by a short hike to reach Lipton’s seat, a famous lookout located in Haputale. You will then visit Uva Halpewatte tea factory in Kumbalwela to gain an insight into the production of tea that is savoured by all Sri Lankans. Your overnight stay will be in Ella. 



Enjoy the mind blowing view offered at Lipton’s seat, a lookout in the hill country of Sri Lanka. Sir Thomas Lipton, a Scottish nobleman who produced the brand Lipton tea is said to have stood at this point and looked out over his empire of tea estates.

Located in Kumbalwela, Uva Halpewatte tea factory provides guided tours for tea lovers interested in the production of tea that is the main beverage of Sri Lankan people. This tour provides a chance for you to pluck tea with the local tea pluckers.

Day 15 Meet more elephants

Today you will leave behind the hill country and travel to Hikkaduwa in the southwestern Province of Sri Lanka. On the way, you will stopover at Udawalawe elephant orphanage where orphaned elephant calves are protected. Your overnight stay will be in Hikkaduwa. 

Udawalawe elephant orphanage was established in 1995 with the aim of providing a home for orphaned calves. Here calves are cared for until they are mature enough to join a herd at which point they are tagged and released into the Udawalawe National Park.

Day 16 Explore Hikkaduwa

The second last day of this tour will begin with a visit to a sea turtle hatchery where you will gain an insight into the efforts put in by locals to save an endangered species. Following this you will visit Galle fort, an ancient fortification that stands strong decades after its creation. Your overnight stay will be at in Hikkaduwa. 

Sea turtles have a very difficult life facing danger caused by both nature and humankind and as a result turtle numbers have dropped drastically. This sea turtle hatchery attempts to fight this by protecting eggs and providing a home for hatchlings to mature before releasing them to the ocean.

Galle fort located near the Southwestern coast was constructed by the Portuguese who invaded Sri Lanka in the 16th century and further modifications were completed by the Dutch in the 17th century. It has been well preserved over several centuries and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site displaying the cooperation between European architecture and Asian traditions.

Day 17 Farewell Sri Lanka

Today you will travel from Hikkaduwa to Bandaranaike International Airport to board your flight and say your farewell till next time.

Inclusion & exclusion

1INCLUSIONS
  • Accommodation ( 16 NIGHTS ONLY INCLUDING DAILY BREAKFAST) in the hotels mentioned or similar comfort (Standard rooms) including breakfast – Best Rated by Tripadvisor and our past clients. Double sharing basis (BB/DBL).
  • On ground transportation - air conditioned vehicle with an English speaking chauffeur guide throughout the tour (Includes fuel) with comprehensive insurance. All safari jeeps are without comprehensive insurance and non air conditioned.
  • Airport transfers- all tours from & to the airport unless any special request made by the client with different pick up or drop off points, which could be arranged.
  • Entry fee into attractions. ( Buddhist landmarks in Anuradhapura, Nallur Kandaswamy Temple,Keeramali springs, Sigiriya rock fortress, Human families meet mankey families, Polonnaruwa archaeological ruins, Karu arts, Euphoria spice and herbal garden, Cultural show in Kandy, Temple of tooth relic, Train ticket, Horton plains National park, Lipton seat, Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory tour,Udawalawe elephant orphanage, Galle Ramparts, See turtle hatchery.)
  • Thrilling jeep safari at Udawalawe National park and Wilpattu National Park.
  • 24/7 customer service
2COMPLEMENTARY
3EXCLUSIONS
4PAYMENT TERMS
5OTHER CONDITIONS
6CANCELLATION CHARGES
7IMPORTANT NOTE
8HOTEL RULES AND REGULATIONS
9GENERAL REMINDER
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