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Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive colombo & transfer to kandalama

Kandalama Heritance HotelKandalama Heritance Hotel

On arrival at the Colombo International Airport, you will be met and transported to Kandalama, where the remainder of the day will be yours at leisure to rest from your travels and acclimate to this amazing country. You'll be conveniently based here for the next four nights.

Meals
None
Lodging
Heritance Kandalama or similar

Day 2: dambulla & polonnaruwa

Explore the ruins at PolonnaruwaExplore the ruins at Polonnaruwa

After breakfast, drive to Dambulla to visit the largest and best preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka. This World Heritage site consists of five caves that contain painting and statues related to Lord Buddha and his life. This temple complex dates back to the first century BC when King Valagamba sought refuge here, but there is evidence of prehistoric Sri Lankans living in the temples some 2700 years ago.

Later, transfer to Polonnaruwa, the island's medieval capital (also a World Heritage Site), founded by King Vijayabahi I in the 10th century. Some of the ancient sites you'll see here include the Gal Vihara Rock Temple to see the rock carved Buddhas, the Royal Palace complex ruins, the Alahana Pirivena Buddhist Temple complex and Thuparama, the best preserved ancient site in the city. From Parakrama Samudra (Sea of King Parakrama) Lake, you can see the remains of the Royal Palace.

Return to your hotel in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Heritance Kandalama or similar

Day 3: anuradhapura & mihintale

The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa located within the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa located within the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Today you will drive to Anuradhapura, the first capital and once the grandest city of ancient Ceylon, where Sinhalese kings ruled for more than a thousand years. It is the home of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and while there, you’ll visit several places of historical and archeological interest. For example, Sri Maha Bodhi (sacred bodhu tree), is more than 2,200 years old and the oldest documented tree in the world. It was brought to the site as a sapling, where Prince Siddhartha is said to have attained enlightenment. The Brazen Palace, built more than 2,000 years ago, is remarkable for its 1,600 stone columns, all that’s left of a magnificent nine-story home to more than 1,000 monks. Ruvanvelisaya, also more than 2,000 years old, is the most famous of all the dagobas, or Buddhist monuments. The Samadhi Buddha statue (4th century) depicts the Buddha in a state of “samadhi,” or deep meditation, and is one of the finest statues in the country. Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd century BC) is well known for its very fine, well-preserved rock carvings.

In the afternoon, head to the high rocky ruins of Mihintale, where Buddhism was first introduced more than 2,300 years ago. Climb a grand stairway of some 1,840 ancient granite steps to the summit from which there is a great panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. Along the way, the hillside is filled with shrines, sculptures, stupas, and rock dwellings.

Return to your hotel in Kandalama for your overnight.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Heritance Kandalama or similar

Day 4: sigiriya

Explore Sigiriya RockExplore Sigiriya Rock

Today, you’ll climb the spectacular fifth century rock fortress of Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of Sri Lanka’s most significant attractions. Built by King Kasyapa (477-495 AD), the “Lion Rock,” as it’s known, is a citadel of unusual beauty rising more than 650 feet above the jungle in a sheer and mysterious manner. The rock was initially the innermost stronghold of a large (175+ acre) fortified town that later became a monastic refuge in the 16th-17th centuries. It then fell into disrepair and was only rediscovered during 19th century British colonial rule. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens, including beautiful water gardens with royal bathing pools, moated islands, and pavilions, ring the base of the rock. While at the site, you’ll also visit the world-renowned frescoes of the “Heavenly Maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered rock niche approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster and, despite being only 22 of what were some 500 frescoes originally, are in remarkable condition, with colors still glowing brightly.

Note: Access to most of the rock is by stone steps. The final ascent to the top is via a series of metal staircases attached to the walls.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Heritance Kandalama or similar

Day 5: drive to kandy

Visit the Temple of the Tooth in KandyVisit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy

In the morning, set out on a drive to Kandy (approx. 3 hrs), via a spice garden, where you will learn about different spices, including how they are grown and processed. Also, observe a demonstration to learn how the spices are used in traditional medicine of Sri Lankan dishes.

Afterward, continue on to Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drive around the scenic Kandy Lake, built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasingha, in 1807. Explore the town including its bazaar, the arts and crafts center, a gem museum, and a lapidary as time permits. In the evening attend the Kandy Cultural show, a one hour show featuring traditional dances fire walking over hot coals. This is followed by a sunset ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth, a holy Buddhist temple that houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. You'll see white-robed pilgrims making offerings to the relic in procession through the temple.

Overnight in Kandy at one of the best available hotels.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Viyana Boutique Hotel Kandy or similar

Day 6: kandy gardens & temples

Kandy town from a viewpointKandy town from a viewpoint

After breakfast at the hotel, you'll set off for the highly regarded Perandenya Botanical Gardens, famous for its orchid collection. Perandenya dates back to the 14th century during the reign of King Wickramabahu III and formerly established in 1843. Its a great place to take a leisure stroll and admire its more than 4,000 species of plants, flowers, spices, and trees. 

Next, visit the three ancient 14th century Buddhist temples just outside of Kandy - Lankatilaka, Embekka, and Gadaladeniya. Lankatilaka Vihara, built by King Bhuvanekabahu IV, is considered to be the most impressive architectural structure built during the Gampola era. Embekka Devalaya was also built during the Gampola Era by King Vikramabahu III. This temple features beautiful carved wooden pillars and a roof in images of swans, eagles, elephants, female dancers, and lotus designs. Gadaladenyia Vihara, also known as Saddharmatilaka or Dharma Kirthi Viharaya, another temple built under the orders of King Bhuvanekabahu IV, is considered to be one of the largest rock temples in Sri Lanka. The architecture style of this temple is Dravidian with Sinhalese and other Indo-Chinese patterns incorporated into the design. During the 18th or 19th century, a tiled Sinhalese roof was added, concealing the flat roof and shikharas.

Return to your hotel in Kandy where you have the rest of the day free to relax, or head back into town to pick up some local items at the market such as handicrafts and paintings by local artists or Batik textiles. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Viyana Boutique Hotel Kandy or similar

Day 7: nuwara eliya

Visit a working tea estateVisit a working tea estate

Depart for Nuwara Eliya, an old British village known for its location in the heart of tea-growing country, its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, and its quaint hilltop resort atmosphere.  Along the way, stop at a tea plantation and tea factory, where it is said the best tea in the world is produced. Upon arriving in Nuwara Eliya, you'll visit another tea factory and estate to learn all about the country's tea industry.  Sri Lanka’s highest mountain, Pidurutalagala (about 8,300 feet) is also located here. You'll stay in the town of Nuwara Eliya for dinner and overnight.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Grand Hotel or similar

Day 8: drive to galle

Spend some time exploring intriguing GalleSpend some time exploring intriguing Galle

After breakfast, you will depart for Galle, which was once the chief port of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was named by the British), and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was and is still well known for its hand-made lace. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure, either for relaxing at your hotel or exploring on your own.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Galle Fort Hotel or similar

Day 9: galle

Explore Galle Fort and other city sightsExplore Galle Fort and other city sights

You'll spend some time exploring Galle including the Galle Fort, which was originally built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663. The Old Galle Gate at the fort's entrance bears the mark of the Dutch East India Company and leads to the National Maritime Museum, which contains exhibits of sea life including a whale skeleton and items salvaged from shipwrecks. The Galle National Museum displays exhibits from Sri Lankan artifacts such as ritual masks, wood-carvings, and items from the colonial period. The Galle Lighthouse (Pointe de Galle), the oldest lighthouse in Sri Lanka, sits at the southern edge of the fort. The Japanese Peace Pagoda is a unique Buddhist temple with a deck from where you can enjoy the views of the ocean. Just outside the fort is the Galle International Stadium where cricket matches are played.

Return to your hotel, where the rest of the day is free to do as you like. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Galle Fort Hotel or similar

Day 10: sea turtles & folk art

Watch the newly hatched turtles at the turtle hatcheryWatch the newly hatched turtles at the turtle hatchery

Sri Lanka is home to a number of endemic sea turtle species that aren't found anywhere else in the world. Today, at the Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery in Habaraduwa, you'll get up close and personal with some of these majestic creatures. The turtle farm breeds, releases, and rehabilitates sea turtles of all ages. Tour the sanctuary with one of their knowledgeable guides, who will teach you about the turtles. You may also even have the opportunity to hold and, with some luck, release the turtles into the ocean!

Afterwards, visit the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Art Museum, which includes the house where respected Sinhalese author Martin Wickramasinghe (1890–1976) was born. Exhibits are well displayed, with information in English, and with a good section on dance (including costumes and instruments), puppets, kolam (masked dance-drama) masks, carriages, and Buddhist artifacts. This is a great way to learn about Sri Lankan folk culture and the life of Martin Wickramasinghe. The Hall of Life tells the story of Wickramasinghe's life through photographs, awards, and souvenirs.

Return to your hotel in Galle for your final night.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Galle Fort Hotel or similar

Day 11: depart sri lanka

One of the many Buddhist temples in Sri LankaOne of the many Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in Colombo for your flight home (approx. 2.5 hrs), or perhaps onward for more adventures in this fascinating corner of the world. If your schedule permits, ask us for suggestions on extending your trip such as a few days of rest and relaxation on one of Sri Lanka's west coast beaches.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$2,600
2-3 people: $3900 4-5 people: $3000 6+ people: $2600
Single Supplement:
$1,300
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips and cannot be guaranteed, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Superior boutique hotels
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Optional hiking
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Top Travel Destinations for 2017

Where will your adventures take you in 2017? For curious explorers eager to see the world, it can be hard to narrow down travel options. So, the team at Journeys International has …

Explore the ruins at Polonnaruwa
Explore the ruins at Polonnaruwa
One of the many Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka
One of the many Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka
Visit a working tea estate
Visit a working tea estate
Spend some time exploring intriguing Galle
Spend some time exploring intriguing Galle
Reclining Buddha at Gal Vihara Rock Temple
Reclining Buddha at Gal Vihara Rock Temple
Monkeys can be found all over the island
Monkeys can be found all over the island
See the stilt fishers at Galle
See the stilt fishers at Galle
Sigiriya from Pidurangala Rock
Sigiriya from Pidurangala Rock
Visit the Abhayagiri Dagoba in Anuradhapura
Visit the Abhayagiri Dagoba in Anuradhapura
Dambulla Rock Temple
Dambulla Rock Temple
Visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
Visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy

Splendors of Serendib

A wide-ranging exploration of Sri Lanka's cultural, natural, and historical sights

overview

A teardrop-shaped island nation off India’s southeast coast, Sri Lanka, rich in natural beauty and cultural splendors, is a world apart and offers a fantastic combination of tropical forests, beaches, otherworldly landscape, Buddhist ruins, and diverse wildlife. Sri Lanka is also a well-known producer of tea, coffee, coconuts, rubber, and native cinnamon; it’s home to many UNESCO World Heritage sites; and its animal and bird life abound.

On this trip, you will experience a wonderful blend of cultural and historical attractions sure to intrigue and delight. Visit Habarana, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya National Park, the rock fortress of Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, the rock temple at Mihintale, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Galle, and more.

This trip combines well with travels to other parts of South India. Contact us for more information on how to make the most of your time in this amazing corner of the world.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

A teardrop-shaped island nation off India’s southeast coast, Sri Lanka, rich in natural beauty and cultural splendors, is a world apart and offers a fantastic combination of tropical forests, beaches, otherworldly landscape, Buddhist ruins, and diverse wildlife. Sri Lanka is also a well-known producer of tea, coffee, coconuts, rubber, and native cinnamon; it’s home to many UNESCO World Heritage sites; and its animal and bird life abound.

On this trip, you will experience a wonderful blend of cultural and historical attractions sure to intrigue and delight. Visit Habarana, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya National Park, the rock fortress of Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, the rock temple at Mihintale, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Galle, and more.

This trip combines well with travels to other parts of South India. Contact us for more information on how to make the most of your time in this amazing corner of the world.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive colombo & transfer to kandalama
    Kandalama Heritance HotelKandalama Heritance Hotel

    On arrival at the Colombo International Airport, you will be met and transported to Kandalama, where the remainder of the day will be yours at leisure to rest from your travels and acclimate to this amazing country. You'll be conveniently based here for the next four nights.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Heritance Kandalama or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: dambulla & polonnaruwa
    Explore the ruins at PolonnaruwaExplore the ruins at Polonnaruwa

    After breakfast, drive to Dambulla to visit the largest and best preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka. This World Heritage site consists of five caves that contain painting and statues related to Lord Buddha and his life. This temple complex dates back to the first century BC when King Valagamba sought refuge here, but there is evidence of prehistoric Sri Lankans living in the temples some 2700 years ago.

    Later, transfer to Polonnaruwa, the island's medieval capital (also a World Heritage Site), founded by King Vijayabahi I in the 10th century. Some of the ancient sites you'll see here include the Gal Vihara Rock Temple to see the rock carved Buddhas, the Royal Palace complex ruins, the Alahana Pirivena Buddhist Temple complex and Thuparama, the best preserved ancient site in the city. From Parakrama Samudra (Sea of King Parakrama) Lake, you can see the remains of the Royal Palace.

    Return to your hotel in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Heritance Kandalama or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: anuradhapura & mihintale
    The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa located within the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa located within the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

    Today you will drive to Anuradhapura, the first capital and once the grandest city of ancient Ceylon, where Sinhalese kings ruled for more than a thousand years. It is the home of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and while there, you’ll visit several places of historical and archeological interest. For example, Sri Maha Bodhi (sacred bodhu tree), is more than 2,200 years old and the oldest documented tree in the world. It was brought to the site as a sapling, where Prince Siddhartha is said to have attained enlightenment. The Brazen Palace, built more than 2,000 years ago, is remarkable for its 1,600 stone columns, all that’s left of a magnificent nine-story home to more than 1,000 monks. Ruvanvelisaya, also more than 2,000 years old, is the most famous of all the dagobas, or Buddhist monuments. The Samadhi Buddha statue (4th century) depicts the Buddha in a state of “samadhi,” or deep meditation, and is one of the finest statues in the country. Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd century BC) is well known for its very fine, well-preserved rock carvings.

    In the afternoon, head to the high rocky ruins of Mihintale, where Buddhism was first introduced more than 2,300 years ago. Climb a grand stairway of some 1,840 ancient granite steps to the summit from which there is a great panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. Along the way, the hillside is filled with shrines, sculptures, stupas, and rock dwellings.

    Return to your hotel in Kandalama for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Heritance Kandalama or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: sigiriya
    Explore Sigiriya RockExplore Sigiriya Rock

    Today, you’ll climb the spectacular fifth century rock fortress of Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of Sri Lanka’s most significant attractions. Built by King Kasyapa (477-495 AD), the “Lion Rock,” as it’s known, is a citadel of unusual beauty rising more than 650 feet above the jungle in a sheer and mysterious manner. The rock was initially the innermost stronghold of a large (175+ acre) fortified town that later became a monastic refuge in the 16th-17th centuries. It then fell into disrepair and was only rediscovered during 19th century British colonial rule. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens, including beautiful water gardens with royal bathing pools, moated islands, and pavilions, ring the base of the rock. While at the site, you’ll also visit the world-renowned frescoes of the “Heavenly Maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered rock niche approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster and, despite being only 22 of what were some 500 frescoes originally, are in remarkable condition, with colors still glowing brightly.

    Note: Access to most of the rock is by stone steps. The final ascent to the top is via a series of metal staircases attached to the walls.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Heritance Kandalama or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: drive to kandy
    Visit the Temple of the Tooth in KandyVisit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy

    In the morning, set out on a drive to Kandy (approx. 3 hrs), via a spice garden, where you will learn about different spices, including how they are grown and processed. Also, observe a demonstration to learn how the spices are used in traditional medicine of Sri Lankan dishes.

    Afterward, continue on to Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drive around the scenic Kandy Lake, built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasingha, in 1807. Explore the town including its bazaar, the arts and crafts center, a gem museum, and a lapidary as time permits. In the evening attend the Kandy Cultural show, a one hour show featuring traditional dances fire walking over hot coals. This is followed by a sunset ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth, a holy Buddhist temple that houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. You'll see white-robed pilgrims making offerings to the relic in procession through the temple.

    Overnight in Kandy at one of the best available hotels.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Viyana Boutique Hotel Kandy or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: kandy gardens & temples
    Kandy town from a viewpointKandy town from a viewpoint

    After breakfast at the hotel, you'll set off for the highly regarded Perandenya Botanical Gardens, famous for its orchid collection. Perandenya dates back to the 14th century during the reign of King Wickramabahu III and formerly established in 1843. Its a great place to take a leisure stroll and admire its more than 4,000 species of plants, flowers, spices, and trees. 

    Next, visit the three ancient 14th century Buddhist temples just outside of Kandy - Lankatilaka, Embekka, and Gadaladeniya. Lankatilaka Vihara, built by King Bhuvanekabahu IV, is considered to be the most impressive architectural structure built during the Gampola era. Embekka Devalaya was also built during the Gampola Era by King Vikramabahu III. This temple features beautiful carved wooden pillars and a roof in images of swans, eagles, elephants, female dancers, and lotus designs. Gadaladenyia Vihara, also known as Saddharmatilaka or Dharma Kirthi Viharaya, another temple built under the orders of King Bhuvanekabahu IV, is considered to be one of the largest rock temples in Sri Lanka. The architecture style of this temple is Dravidian with Sinhalese and other Indo-Chinese patterns incorporated into the design. During the 18th or 19th century, a tiled Sinhalese roof was added, concealing the flat roof and shikharas.

    Return to your hotel in Kandy where you have the rest of the day free to relax, or head back into town to pick up some local items at the market such as handicrafts and paintings by local artists or Batik textiles. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Viyana Boutique Hotel Kandy or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: nuwara eliya
    Visit a working tea estateVisit a working tea estate

    Depart for Nuwara Eliya, an old British village known for its location in the heart of tea-growing country, its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, and its quaint hilltop resort atmosphere.  Along the way, stop at a tea plantation and tea factory, where it is said the best tea in the world is produced. Upon arriving in Nuwara Eliya, you'll visit another tea factory and estate to learn all about the country's tea industry.  Sri Lanka’s highest mountain, Pidurutalagala (about 8,300 feet) is also located here. You'll stay in the town of Nuwara Eliya for dinner and overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Grand Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: drive to galle
    Spend some time exploring intriguing GalleSpend some time exploring intriguing Galle

    After breakfast, you will depart for Galle, which was once the chief port of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was named by the British), and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was and is still well known for its hand-made lace. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure, either for relaxing at your hotel or exploring on your own.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Galle Fort Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: galle
    Explore Galle Fort and other city sightsExplore Galle Fort and other city sights

    You'll spend some time exploring Galle including the Galle Fort, which was originally built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663. The Old Galle Gate at the fort's entrance bears the mark of the Dutch East India Company and leads to the National Maritime Museum, which contains exhibits of sea life including a whale skeleton and items salvaged from shipwrecks. The Galle National Museum displays exhibits from Sri Lankan artifacts such as ritual masks, wood-carvings, and items from the colonial period. The Galle Lighthouse (Pointe de Galle), the oldest lighthouse in Sri Lanka, sits at the southern edge of the fort. The Japanese Peace Pagoda is a unique Buddhist temple with a deck from where you can enjoy the views of the ocean. Just outside the fort is the Galle International Stadium where cricket matches are played.

    Return to your hotel, where the rest of the day is free to do as you like. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Galle Fort Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: sea turtles & folk art
    Watch the newly hatched turtles at the turtle hatcheryWatch the newly hatched turtles at the turtle hatchery

    Sri Lanka is home to a number of endemic sea turtle species that aren't found anywhere else in the world. Today, at the Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery in Habaraduwa, you'll get up close and personal with some of these majestic creatures. The turtle farm breeds, releases, and rehabilitates sea turtles of all ages. Tour the sanctuary with one of their knowledgeable guides, who will teach you about the turtles. You may also even have the opportunity to hold and, with some luck, release the turtles into the ocean!

    Afterwards, visit the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Art Museum, which includes the house where respected Sinhalese author Martin Wickramasinghe (1890–1976) was born. Exhibits are well displayed, with information in English, and with a good section on dance (including costumes and instruments), puppets, kolam (masked dance-drama) masks, carriages, and Buddhist artifacts. This is a great way to learn about Sri Lankan folk culture and the life of Martin Wickramasinghe. The Hall of Life tells the story of Wickramasinghe's life through photographs, awards, and souvenirs.

    Return to your hotel in Galle for your final night.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Galle Fort Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: depart sri lanka
    One of the many Buddhist temples in Sri LankaOne of the many Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka

    After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in Colombo for your flight home (approx. 2.5 hrs), or perhaps onward for more adventures in this fascinating corner of the world. If your schedule permits, ask us for suggestions on extending your trip such as a few days of rest and relaxation on one of Sri Lanka's west coast beaches.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$2,600
2-3 people: $3900 4-5 people: $3000 6+ people: $2600
Single Supplement:
$1,300
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips and cannot be guaranteed, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Superior boutique hotels
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Optional hiking
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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