Sri Lanka Explorer

19 Nights & 20 Days

 Covering the length and breadth of the emerald isle, this itinerary is designed for you to experience the very best of Sri Lanka. You will meet its warm and hospitable people, spend some time relaxing by the beach, indulge in mouthwatering curries and tropical fruits, enjoy some truly breathtaking landscapes and immerse yourself within some truly incredible archaeological sites and have the opportunity to see herds of wild Asian Elephants, Leopards and Crocodiles as you go on safari.

Day 01

Anantaya Resort, Chillaw
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

On arrival, you will be met by your chauffeur guide and travel to Chillaw where you will spend the remainder of the day to unwind and relax. Time permitting, a guided excursion to a locally run Prawn farm can be arranged upon request

Day 02

The Palmyrah House, Mannar
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Morning, leave for Mannar on the north-west coast and check-in at the Palmyrah House stopping en-route to see Giant’s Tank. In the afternoon, go on a guided tour of Mannar visiting the Doric House Bungalow, the remains of the Arippu Fort and the Dutch Fort in Mannar town. During the winter months, flocks of Greater Flamingo and a variety of migrant waterfowl can be observed

Day 03

Jetwing Jaffna, Jaffna
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Morning, leave for Jaffna stopping en-route briefly to see the remnants of the old ruined Fort at Pooneryn. Upon arrival in Jaffna, check-in at Jetwing Jaffna. Spend the afternoon exploring Jaffna town visiting its colourful markets, the historic Jaffna library, the iconic Dutch Fort and the Nallur Kandasamy Hindu Temple. 

Day 04

Jetwing Jaffna, Jaffna
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Morning, travel with a packed breakfast and head to Kayts and take the government run ferry to Delft Island. Spend the full day sightseeing visiting the old Boabab Tree, Banyon Tree, the Wild Horse conservancy, Quindaw Tower, Old Stables, The Dutch Fort, ruined Pagoda and the Pigeon Holes and have a rice and curry lunch at the home of a local resident. 

Day 05

Fort Hammenhiel, Jaffna
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Morning, visit the ancient stupas at Kantharodai, Point Pedro and the ruined remnants of the old St. Anthony’s Church. Afterwards, check-in at The Fort Hammenhiel, initially built by the Portuguese and then reinforced and expanded by the Dutch and was also used as a prison, which today functions as a quirky boutique hotel operated by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Day 06

Trinco Blu by Cinnamon, Trincomalee
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Morning, leave for Trincomalee on the East Coast. Spend the afternoon exploring Trincomalee visiting the Commonwealth War Cemetery,  Fort Federick, Swami Rock and the Konneswaram Hindu Temple. 

Day 07

Morning, visit the Pigeon Island marine national park where you can snorkel in one of the last protected coral reef habitats in Sri Lanka, home to over 100 species of coral, 300 coral reef fish species along with Hawksbill Turtle, Green Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtles. 
Afterwards, leave for the Aliya Resort & Spa, which overlooks the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress. In the late afternoon, visit Minneriya National Park to visit ‘The Gathering of Elephants’, ranked among the world’s top wildlife spectacles. 

Aliya Resort, Sigiriya
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Day 08

Aliya Resort, Sigiriya
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Spend the full day exploring Anuradhapura, the island’s first capital between 5th century BC and 11th century AD. You also have the option of  visiting the sacred rock in Minintale, which is widely known as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. 

Day 09

Aliya Resort, Sigiriya
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Morning, climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. In the afternoon, go on a guided tour exploring the ancient archaeological sites in Polonnaruwa. 

Day 10

Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Morning, leave for Kandy stopping en-route first at the Dambulla Cave Temple and then at a local Spice Garden near Matale, where you can also enjoy a Sri Lankan rice and curry lunch. Upon arrival in Kandy, check-in at the Cinnamon Citadel, which overlooks Sri Lanka’s longest river, the Mhaweli. In the late afternoon, attend a cultural dance show. 

Day 11

Morning, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, regarded among the best in Asia. Spend the remainder of the day exploring Kandy which will include a visit to the Hantana Tea Museum and a guided walk around the town exploring the Kandy lake and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.                                                                                                                                                                       

Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Day 12

Thotalagala Estate, Haputale
Junior Suite – All Inclusive Basis

Morning, travel to the Peradeniya Railway station and go on a scenic train journey to Haputale passing through patches of cloud forests, numerous waterfalls and the tea fields. Upon arrival in Haputale, check-in at The Thotalagala Estate. 

Day 13

Thotalagala Estate, Haputale
Junior Suite – All Inclusive Basis

Early morning, go on a guided nature walk to see the World’s End viewpoint and Baker’s Falls in Horton Plains National Park. Afternoon at leisure. 

Day 14

Mandara Rosen, Kataragama
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

 

Morning, visit Lipton’s Seat viewpoint. Afterwards, visit the Tea Estate. Afterwards, visit the Dambatenne Tea Factory, which is regarded as the home of Ceylon Tea and was built in 1890 by Sir Thomas Lipton himself and is still in operation today. 
After lunch, leave for Kataragama in the south stopping en-route at Buduruwegala, a hidden gem of an archeological site near Wellawaya comprising of seven large precisely cut rock sculptures  which are believed to date back to the 10th century AD

Day 15

 

Early morning and late afternoon safaris in Yala National Park, where you can encounter a variety of wildlife including Leopard, Sloth Bear, Asian Elephant, Mugger Crocodile, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Jackal and over 300 species of birds. 

Mandara Rosen, Kataragama
Deluxe Room – H/B Basis

Day 16

The Fort Bazaar, Galle Fort
-    B&B Basis

Morning, explore the sacred town of Kataragama. Kataragama is a pilgrimage town sacred to Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim as well as the indigenous Veddha people of Sri Lanka. The ul-Khizr mosque has the tomb where a Muslim saint is buried , while the  Hindu Kovil adjacent to the mosque pays tribute to the Hindu God Shiva. The main shrine at the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya (Temple) is dedicated to Skanda-Murugan also known as the Kataragama deity while there are other shrines dedicated to the Buddha and Ghanesh.  The Kiri Vihara Dagoba which was built in the 1st century BC is believed to be one of the sites visited by the Buddha during his third visit to the island. 
Afterwards, leave for Matara, where you can break for lunch and visit the Star Fort and the Dutch Fort. Afterwards, proceed to the Fort Bazaar located within the 17th century Dutch built Galle Fort stopping over briefly in Ahangama to see Sri Lanka’s iconic stilt fishermen, which are found only in this region

Day 17

The Fort Bazaar, Galle Fort
-    B&B Basis

Early morning, go whale watching from Mirissa, regarded among the world’s top locations for viewing the Blue Whale. Spend the afternoon, going on a guided walk around the Galle Fort. 

Day 18

Galle Face Hotel, Colombo
Landmark Room – B&B Basis

After breakfast, leave for Balapitiya, where you can go on a scenic boat ride on the Madu Ganga, which takes you through the estuary of the river which comprises of dense mangrove forests and 64 islands. A variety of birdlife can be seen along with  troops of Toque Macaques and  Bengal Water Monitors where fully grown specimens can get to over 6 feet in length. One of the islands has a Buddhist monastery which is decorated with some sculptures and art work, the highlight being a 150 year old book made of palm leaves. You can see the local villagers extract cinnamon oil from the trees. 
Afterwards, proceed towards the capital Colombo and check-in at the iconic Galle Fort Hotel, which opened in 1869. Remainder of the evening at leisure.  

Day 19

Galle Face Hotel, Colombo
Landmark Room – B&B Basis

Spend the morning, going on a guided city tour of Colombo and its street markets by tuk tuk, one of the most popular ways of traveling around the city. Colombo is an open and attractive city with a fascinating mix of 19th and 20th century colonial buildings, and more recent modern architecture. Some of the main sites covered during your guided city tour of the capital includes the Galle Face Green, Old Parliament, Gangaraamaya Temple, Beira Lake, Viharamahadevi Park and Independence Square.
In the afternoon, go on the Colombo City Walk, which takes you to the heart of the city and is an area lined with old colonial buildings from the periods of Dutch and British rule

Day 20

BIA, Katunayeke

Today, you will be dropped off at the Bandaranaike International Airport. 

Colombo 00300, Sri lanka.

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