Ayubowan! This is a traditional greeting in Sri Lanka which translates into “may you live long”. Sri Lanka is a compact island with diverse offerings.
Spread across the north - central region of the island, Cultural Triangle area alone hosts four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla; our tour covers three of these places. It is a great place to experience country life in Sri Lanka and witness the warm hospitality offered by their villagers. Sri Lanka has a variety of national parks offering great wildlife-viewing opportunities. Minneriya National Park is an excellent place in which to view wild Asian Elephants in their natural habitat while Wilpattu National Park is full of small, natural lakes or “Willu” with higher chances of spotting the elusive leopards.
The scenic beauty and the cooler temperatures are just a few reasons why people are drawn to the city of Kandy surrounded by hills. The city it is home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Colloquially known as a ‘city within a city’ Galle is famous for its Dutch Fort, cobbled streets, outdoor dining, and stylish stores. While at southern coast it is still the season to go whale and dolphin watching in the area of Mirissa and later on to capture the iconic stilt fishermen, an age old fishing method unique to Sri Lanka. The city of Colombo, is a blend of both historic value and modern vibes, dating back over 600 years. An ‘old Colombo city walk’ is great (alternative) way to explore the heart of the country’s capital city.
• Visit the wonders of the ancient citadel and a UNESCO world heritage site, Sigiriya Rock Fortres, Polonnaruwa ancient cities and Dambulla temple
• Visit the UNESCO site of Temple of the holy tooth relic & the Peradeniya Botanical garden in Kandy
• Visit the UNESCO world heritage site and the 17th century dutch fortress, Galle.
• Witness the largest mammals on earth – blue whales in Mirissa
• Enjoy a walking tour of Colombo with an interesting story teller
• Visit the Wilpaththu National park to spot Leopards and other species.
* Visit Minneriya National Park an excellent place in which to view wild Asian Elephants
in their natural habitat
Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka Airport authority staff will page you at the gate and escort you through the immigration to a private exclusive lounge as we have signed you up for the Fast Track arrival service. At the entrance of the lounge you will be met by our airport staff.
Your baggage will be picked up by our airport staff while you enjoy refreshments after the long journey in the lounge and will be escorted to your vehicle for the transfer to your overnight Hotel (Approximate Duration 20 Minutes).
Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner by the beach entertained by a Calypso band.
Jetwing Blue 1 night Deluxe Room
Day 02 Negombo - Wilpattu – Thirappane
B - L
After breakfast checkout from your hotel and proceed to Wilpattu (Approximate Duration 3 Hours). Lunch en-route at a local restaurant.
Enjoy the afternoon game drive at the Wilpattu National Park which is one of the largest and also one of the oldest national parks. As you drive through you will notice many small natural lakes or ‘Willu’. These are a key feature of the park, which hosts nearly sixty of them in total, peppered between low scrub vegetation and dense forests. Look out for the spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar and wild buffalo that roam through the park. If you are lucky, you may be able to spot the Sri Lankan sloth bears as they feast on the berries of the Palu (Manilkara hexandra) trees during June and July. Spotting the elusive Sri Lankan leopard is difficult, but not impossible for the beady eye. Thanks to the coastal belt along the edge of the park, as well as the natural lakes, owls, eagles, storks, ibis, Asian open bills and kingfishers can also be seen soaring through the air or wading through the waters, and the dragon-like water monitors and large crocodiles are an added bonus.
On completion proceed to Thirappane and check-in at the resort (Approximate Duration 1 Hour & 30 Minutes)
Day 03 Thirappane – Polonnaruwa – Minneriya - Thirappane
B - L
After breakfast proceed to visit the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa (Approximate Duration 1 Hour & 15 minutes). An interesting blend of archaeological monuments, Polonnaruwa was the second kingdom of Sri Lanka and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The iconic man-made reservoir was appropriately named “Parakrama Samudra”, or “the sea of Parakrama”, due to its enormous size. Look out for the famous Gal Viharaya or “Rock Temple” where you will see four colossal statues of the Buddha cut into the stone, reflecting peace, serenity and strength. Polonnaruwa also boasts ruins of ancient palaces, intricately carved moon stones and royal baths.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant en-route. Later that afternoon proceed to the Minneriya National Park for an afternoon safari. The Minneriya National Park, located in the North Central district of Sri Lanka is a sanctuary for wildlife. Alongside the Udawalawe National Park it is one of the best places on the island to see the Sri Lankan Elephant up close, all year round. As well as elephants, you are likely to see a whole host of other mammals, birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. The park is also an important habitat for the two endemic monkeys of Sri Lanka - the Purple-faced Langur and Toque Macaque.
Aside from the wildlife, the impressive Minneriya tank - a reservoir built by an ancient civilization – is undoubtedly the highlight of the park.
*Depending on the period of the year / weather we will provide the safari at differ ent national parks with prior notice, Kaudulla National park or Eco Park which are located within the same region.
After your game drive return to your hotel.
Ulagalla Resort Chalets
Day 04 Thirappane – Sigiriya – Dambulla - Thirappane B - L
After breakfast proceed to Sigiriya (Approximate Duration 1 Hour). A UNESCO World Heritage site, Sigiriya is an enormous rock boulder rising up 200 meters above the surrounding jungle. Incredibly, the rock fortress was built by King Kassyapa I in the fifth Century and served as a royal citadel for more than 18 years, something that seems more astonishing with every step you climb. Pause occasionally during your ascent to admire the mirror wall, the sigiri graffiti, the famous Sigiriya frescoes (paintings) and the great lion paws. Upon reaching the summit you’ll immediately see that it was worth the effort. Wander through the ruins and admire the courage and work it must have taken to build this palace all those years ago- you will even find a fully-functional swimming pool up there.
Aside from the ruins, with the unparalleled 360 degree view of the surrounding jungle and hills, it will not be just be the climb that takes your breath away.
Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant.
Thereafter proceed to Dambulla (Approximate Duration 20 minutes) to visit the Dambulla Rock Temple. Dating back to the first Century BC, Dambulla is a vast cave complex, converted into a rock temple which is still regarded today as one of the most important Buddhist monasteries. Covering the rock ceiling is the largest collection of paintings in Sri Lanka within a cave temple, and surrounding you is the highest number of Buddha statues found in one single place. As you wander through the temple, notice the serenity and the exceedingly well-preserved nature of the place. It is no wonder the Rock Temple has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On completion return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at the peaceful surroundings.
Ulagalla Resort Chalets
Day 05 Thirappane – Matale – Kandy
B - L
After breakfast proceed to Kandy you will have a short visit to a Spice Gardens in Matale. A land mark destination in the ancient Spice Trails, Sri Lanka has been ever so famous for its aromatic cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and pepper which lured many ancient traders to the Island. Even at present, Sri Lanka produces some of the best quality cinnamon in the world.
At the spice garden you will get the opportunity to receive a relaxing shoulder massage by an experienced staff member.
Enjoy a spice infused lunch at the spice garden.
Upon your arrival in Kandy pay a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic - Tradition relates that a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka in 4th Century A.D. and was enshrined within the Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth. This sacred relic has ever since been the symbol of sovereignty for the Sinhalese kings and always enshrined in great splendor. Prayer services are held daily at dawn, midday, and in the evening and can be viewed by visitors. After your visit drive to your hotel and check-in.
Earls Regency Hotel 1 Night Luxury Room
Day 06 Kandy - Giragama - Galle B - L
After breakfast proceed to Giragama (Approximate Duration 1 Hour)
You will be guided through the whole tea-making process, where you will get up close and personal with handpicked Ceylon tea.
Upon your arrival check-in at your hotel.
Thereafter proceed to Galle (Approximate Duration 5 Hours) and check-in at your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Jetwing Lighthouse 2 Nights Deluxe Room
Day 07 Galle – Mirissa – Galle B - L
Early morning drive to Mirissa to engage in a Whale and dolphin excursion. (Approximate Duration 1 Hour)
Whale and dolphin watching off Sri Lanka’s south west coast is an exciting and unique activity and the frequent sightings all year round has put Sri Lanka and the Mirrissa area on the world’s top places for sperm and blue whale sightings. Whilst wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed, blue whales are frequently seen between December and March off the south and west coasts of Sri Lanka, due to their migration patterns. Whilst out on the boat it is common for you to be accompanied by pods of acrobatic spinner dolphins.
After your excursion proceed back to your hotel. En route witness the famous Stilt fisherman. Stilt fishing is an age-old method that is practiced on the southern coast of the island, mainly in areas like Weligama and Koggala, and is a tradition unique to Sri Lanka. The stilt, which is locally made by tying a small cross bar to a wooden pole, is mounted in the shallow sea while wooden rods are used to catch fish.
During your stay on the south coast, watch in awe at how carefully the fishermen have to balance on the thin stilt. The rest of the process demands much patience and requires the fishermen to wait in complete silence since the slightest disturbance will scare the fish away. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to spot this spectacle and watch how the fishermen go on to sell the fish, mostly spotted herring or small mackerel. If you’re feeling brave enough, try mounting the stilt yourself to win a catch! Enjoy some lunch at a local restaurant en-route. Return to the hotel and relax till late afternoon.
That afternoon commence a walking tour of Galle with your guide. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the city of Galle mixes the exotic with the colonial. The impressive Fortress, originally built by the Portuguese and followed by the Dutch, exists still today with only a few changes and is a living example of the interaction between European architecture and South Asian traditions during the 16th to 19th Centuries. Explore the Galle Fort on foot at your own pace, perhaps paying a visit to the Maritime Museum, the Old Dutch Reformed Church, the Sun and the Moon bastions, the lighthouse and the trendy souvenir shops afterwards.
Jetwing Lighthouse Deluxe Room
Day 08 Galle – Colombo B - L - D
After breakfast check-out from your hotel and drive to Colombo. (Approximate Duration 2 Hours)
Upon your arrival check-in at your hotel for lunch.
Later that afternoon proceed on a walking tour of Colombo. Join Mark Forbes or one of his team mates (host on availability), on a gentle walking tour through his city of old Colombo. Follow him/her as he leads you through the streets and listen as he recounts stories of the island’s capital. Your journey starts at the Old Dutch Hospital, a colonial treasure and former hospital from the 17th century which is now home to a number of high-end restaurants and boutiques.
Continue into the commercial hub of Colombo Fort, away from the tourist hotspots, and learn about the colonial buildings and important monuments whose stories have helped shape the Colombo of today. Perhaps stop for a refreshing cup of Ceylon tea and, if you have the energy, Mark will lead you to the bustling Pettah Bazaar. The bazaar is both a wholesale and retail market place, selling everything from trinkets to textiles, from vegetables to electronics and of course, plenty of spices.
Bid Farwell to your tour by enjoying dinner at Ministry of Crab- owned and managed by Sri Lanka’s very own celebrity chef Mr. Dharshan Munidasa along with legends of Sri Lankan Cricket – world hall of famers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena. The restaurant as the name suggests boasts of the best dish of crab anywhere in the world.
Shangri-La Colombo 1 night Deluxe Lake View Room
Day 09 Colombo – Airport B - L
Breakfast at the hotel.
Enjoy a gourmet set-menu lunch at the Gallery Café – which is the former office of world’s renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa.
Transfer to the Airport (Approximate Duration 45 Minutes) in time to connect with the international flight for departure
Inclusions: 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 2 dinners (welcome and farewell)
*Round trip air from Dulles to Colombo on Emirates Air
• VIP Fast Track on arrival
• Akorn welcome pack
• 08 Nights’ Accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis
• Welcome Dinner at Jetwing Blue with a Calypso band
• Lunch at local restaurants en-route from Day 02 to Day 09
• Farewell Dinner at Ministry of Crab
• Transportation by air-conditioned coach as per the above itinerary
• Services of English speaking National Guide throughout the tour
• Entrance fees - Willpathu National Park, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya National Park, Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy Temple, Galle Museum, Stilt Fishing, Whale watching in Mirissa, Wlaking Tour of Colombo with Mark Forbes or one of his associates. And currently applicalbe government taxes.
* Tipps for the National guide and bus driver (tipping in Wilpaththu National park to spot Leopards and safairi Minneriya National Park not included).
Complementary Amenities from Akorn Sri Lanka
• Tropical garlands and cold towels on arrival
• Disposable ankle socks during temple visits
• Free WIFI during transfers
• 02 bottles of mineral water per person, per day through out the tour
• Wraparounds during the temple visit (returnable)
• International flights
• Expenses of personal nature
• Any other services not specified above
• Cost for optional visits.
• Video /Camera permitsBuy Now