Map loading...

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 negombo

Relax at your beachfront hotelRelax at your beachfront hotel

You will be met on arrival at Colombo International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Negombo (about 45 minute drive), where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure prior to dinner at your hotel.

Consider arriving a day or two earlier to spend relaxing or walking along the soft, sandy beaches of your shoreline hotel.

Meals
Dinner
Lodging
Goldi Sands Hotel or similar

Day 2: wilpattu national park

Black-winged stilt in Wilpattu National ParkBlack-winged stilt in Wilpattu National Park

After breakfast, transfer to Wilpattu National Park (4.5 hr drive), where you'll board a safari vehicle to travel to your campsite within the park. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "willus," natural, sandy water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. There are around 60 of these willu basins throughout the park, which is also the largest and one of the oldest national parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is also among the top national parks in the world, renowned for its leopard population. After a camp lunch and a bit of leisure time, head out on an evening game drive, then return to your quarters, a lovely mobile tented camp equipped with beds (ask about upgrading to deluxe with private toilets), your base for the next two nights.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mahoora Tented Camp (Explorer Tent) or similar

Day 3: wilpattu national park

See elephants and other threatened species in the parkSee elephants and other threatened species in the park

After a hearty camp breakfast, head out on a morning game drive in Wilpattu in search of some of the 31 known species of mammals in the park, including threatened species such as elephants and leopards. The park is also home to a rich variety of birdlife such as storks, owls, eagles, cormorants, egrets, and more. You'll return to camp for lunch and some leisure/relaxation time, then head out for an evening safari, looking for noctural creatures which don't come out until dusk.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mahoora Tented Camp (Explorer Tent) or similar

Day 4: habarana

Today you'll transfer to Habanara (2.5 hr drive), a small town that's a good base for wildlife and an excursion to Minneriya National Park. In the afternoon, head out on a safari in search of twilight and noctural wildlife at Minneriya, then return to your hotel for dinner.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Habarana Village or similar

Day 5: sigiriya

Marvel at the rock fortress of SigiriyaMarvel at the rock fortress of Sigiriya

Today you'll visit Sigiriya (30 min drive), where you will climb the 5th century rock fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site built by King Kashyapa in the 1st century A.D. The “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70-hectacre fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens, including the renowned water gardens, ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the “Heavenly Maidens” of Sigiriya, which are in sheltered pocket of the rock and are seen as you approach a spiral stairway.

Afterward, head back into Minneriya National Park for a game drive in search of elephants and other wildlife. Return to Habarana for the evening.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Habarana Village or similar

Day 6: hiriwaduna & polonnaruwa

Explore the ruins at PolonnaruwaExplore the ruins at Polonnaruwa

After breakfast at the hotel, drive out to Hiriwaduna Village (20 min drive) for a village safari by bullock cart. This is a really great way to get a feel for village life in Sri Lanka. Here they grow their own crops and barter their produce with each other! You'll have some time to explore the village and then transfer to Polonnaruwa (1 hr drive), arriving in time for lunch. Afterwards, transfer to Polonnaruwa, the island's medieval capital (also a World Heritage Site). Walk around the ancient palace and temples, sit by the artificial lake that covers 6,000 acres, and view the remains of the Royal Palace. Return to your hotel in Habarana for your overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Habarana Village or similar

Day 7: kandy

Temple of the ToothTemple of the Tooth

After breakfast, head for Kandy (3 hr drive), the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Drive around Kandy Lake, built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798, visit the Kandy town including the arts & crafts center, a gem museum, and a lapidary, and stop at the Temple of the Tooth. Wrap up the day with a Sri Lankan cultural show!
 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Amaya Hills or similar

Day 8: peradeniya/nuwara eliya

You'll encounter smiling faces from the locals everywhere!You'll encounter smiling faces from the locals everywhere!

In the morning, set off for Peradeniya, a 147-acre garden built by the Sinhala King. The garden contains numerous pavilions, an actagon conservatory, a giant Javan fig tree, and an orchid house. After exploring the garden, transfer from Peradeniya to Nuwara Eliya (2.5 hr drive), Sri Lanka's most popular hill resort. In addition to providing brilliant mountain views, Nuwara Eliya is the core of Sri Lanka's tea country and produces a significant share of the world's best tea. You can also see Sri Lanka's highest mountain here, Pidurutalagala (8,282 ft)
 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Jetwing St. Andrews Hotel or similar

Day 9: horton plains national park

"World's End" at Horton Plains National Park"World's End" at Horton Plains National Park

Drive about one hour and 15 minutes to Horton Plains National Park, a protected area in the central highlands of the island. Rich in biodiversity, Horton Plains is home to many species endemic to this region. The main attraction here is "World's End," a dramatic 4,000 foot drop-off that is believed to be the finest view in Sri Lanka. The seven mile hike around the park offers fantastic views and possible wildlife sightings. Return to your hotel at Nuwara Eliya.
 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Jetwing St. Andrews Hotel or similar

Day 10: udawalawe national park

Wild elephant and its young at Udawalawe National ParkWild elephant and its young at Udawalawe National Park

After breakfast, transfer to Udawalawe National Park (3 hr drive), famous for spotting herds of elephant, spotted deer, sambur, barking deer, water buffalo and jackal on its 30,821 hectares of land. When you're not admiring one of these animals, appreciate the beauty of the surrounding mountain range. You'll  have an afternoon game drive and return to your hotel for dinner.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Kalu's Hideaway or similar

Day 11: situlpahuwa/tissamaharama

Monkeys can be found everywhere in Sri LankaMonkeys can be found everywhere in Sri Lanka

Head to the town of Tissamaharama (3 hr drive) with a stop at Situlpahuwa, a monastic settlement that formerly housed 12,000 inhabitants. The settlement has been restored and is now an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Continue on to your lodge at Tissamaharama, your base for exploring Yala National Park. You'll have the rest of the afternoon free to relax and enjoy your peaceful surroundings. You may even see some wildlife crossing the hotel property!

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Cinnamon Wild Hotel or similar

Day 12: yala national park

You're in luck if you see some of Yala's majestic leopardsYou're in luck if you see some of Yala's majestic leopards

In the morning, head to Yala National Park in search of wildlife. Get ready to see elephants, wild boars, buffaloes, leopards, bears, deer, and crocodiles. The park is located in the southeastern corner of the island, so you will also have some great ocean views! Return to your hotel, where you have the rest of the day free to relax. Afternoon safaris are available at additional cost.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Cinnamon Wild Hotel or similar

Day 13: galle

Visit imposing Galle FortVisit imposing Galle Fort

After breakfast, you'll depart for Galle (3 hr drive), which was once the chief port of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was named by the British), now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also well known for its handmade lace. You'll visit Galle Fort, originally built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663, the Old Town, the Dutch Church, the Japanese Peace Pagoda, and the Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel and Spa or similar

Day 14: whale watching

Observe these giants of the deep (photo by Rinie van Meurs)Observe these giants of the deep (photo by Rinie van Meurs)

You'll head out very early this morning (approx. 5:30 am) with a packed breakfast in time to catch a fishing boat headed out to sea for your whale watching adventure (Nov-Apr). Sri Lanka is the only country in the world where you can see the world's largest land mammal, the elephant, and the largest marine mammal, the blue whale, all in a single day! The deep waters off Dondra Point are considered one of the best places in the world to see blue and sperm whales. You'll spend anywhere from two to eight hours in search of these mighty creatures (time varies depending on how quickly they are spotted - average time is 4-5 hours from start to finish.) Once the pods have been spotted, you'll sit back and watch them as they swim and then come to the surface to breath, spraying water high into the air. If you're lucky, the whales may even do tricks for you such as jumping out of the ocean and into the air! In addition to the blue whales, other marine life you might see are fin and sperm whales, orcas, dolphins, flying fish, turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. After your adventure, return to your hotel in Galle where the rest of the day is free.

NOTE: The Indian Ocean waters are generally rough and choppy, so if you tend to get sea sick, we highly recommend taking prevention medicine such as Dramamine at least an hour before entering the boat. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel and Spa or similar

Day 15: colombo/onward

After breakfast, transfer to Colombo (3 hr drive), Sri Lanka’s largest city and former (now administrative) capital, where you’ll take a city tour of both old and new sights. With a long history dating back to the 5th century when it was a stop on the sea trade route between Asia and the West, Colombo is changing quickly these days, with skyscrapers being built in some old sites and old world charm preserved in others. Visit British-era colonial buildings, the old clock tower, the Pettah bazaar (a great place for picking up a few mementos of your travels), mosques, churches, and Hindu and Buddhist temples.

Afterwards, transfer to the airport where you check-in for your onward flight. Depending on flight times, you may want to book a room near the airport (not included in cost).

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$5,100
Travel between Dec 19-Mar 31 additional cost
Single Supplement:
$1,100
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, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Duration:
15 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 tented camps and 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 …

Udawalawe National Park has a sizeable elephant population
Udawalawe National Park has a sizeable elephant population
Relax at your beachfront hotel
Relax at your beachfront hotel
Black-winged stilt in Wilpattu National Park
Black-winged stilt in Wilpattu National Park
See elephants and other threatened species in the park
See elephants and other threatened species in the park
Settle in at your comfortable lodge hotel
Settle in at your comfortable lodge hotel
Settle in at your comfortable lodge hotel
Settle in at your comfortable lodge hotel
You're in luck if you see some of Yala's majestic leopards
You're in luck if you see some of Yala's majestic leopards
You'll encounter smiling faces from the locals everywhere!
You'll encounter smiling faces from the locals everywhere!
You'll see monkeys everywhere in Sri Lanka
You'll see monkeys everywhere in Sri Lanka
Drive past tea lush plantations
Drive past tea lush plantations
Enjoy watching a traditional dance in Kandy
Enjoy watching a traditional dance in Kandy

Wild and Sacred Sanctuaries

Deep exploration of the island nation's impressive array of national parks and reserves

overview

Seek out Sri Lanka's fascinating mammals and birdlife, and explore its ancient sanctuaries on this diverse overview trip.  Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island nation off India's southeast coast and is rich in natural and cultural beauty. A world apart, it offers a fantastic combination of diverse wildlife, Buddhist ruins, tropical forests, beaches, and other worldly landscape for your discovery and enjoyment. In the country's distinctive and unique natural areas, observe many indigenous mammals, birds (more than 200 species), other animals, and plants of the island while based at ecolodge accommodations that afford easy, direct access to these rich environmnents. Sri Lanka is also home to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, several of which you'll visit. On this trip, you will visit the wildlife parks of Wilpattu, Minneriya, Horton Plains, Udawalawe, and Yala, as well as Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, and Colombo.

This trip also combines well with travels in southern 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

Seek out Sri Lanka's fascinating mammals and birdlife, and explore its ancient sanctuaries on this diverse overview trip.  Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island nation off India's southeast coast and is rich in natural and cultural beauty. A world apart, it offers a fantastic combination of diverse wildlife, Buddhist ruins, tropical forests, beaches, and other worldly landscape for your discovery and enjoyment. In the country's distinctive and unique natural areas, observe many indigenous mammals, birds (more than 200 species), other animals, and plants of the island while based at ecolodge accommodations that afford easy, direct access to these rich environmnents. Sri Lanka is also home to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, several of which you'll visit. On this trip, you will visit the wildlife parks of Wilpattu, Minneriya, Horton Plains, Udawalawe, and Yala, as well as Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, and Colombo.

This trip also combines well with travels in southern 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 negombo
    Relax at your beachfront hotelRelax at your beachfront hotel

    You will be met on arrival at Colombo International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Negombo (about 45 minute drive), where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure prior to dinner at your hotel.

    Consider arriving a day or two earlier to spend relaxing or walking along the soft, sandy beaches of your shoreline hotel.

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Goldi Sands Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: wilpattu national park
    Black-winged stilt in Wilpattu National ParkBlack-winged stilt in Wilpattu National Park

    After breakfast, transfer to Wilpattu National Park (4.5 hr drive), where you'll board a safari vehicle to travel to your campsite within the park. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "willus," natural, sandy water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. There are around 60 of these willu basins throughout the park, which is also the largest and one of the oldest national parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is also among the top national parks in the world, renowned for its leopard population. After a camp lunch and a bit of leisure time, head out on an evening game drive, then return to your quarters, a lovely mobile tented camp equipped with beds (ask about upgrading to deluxe with private toilets), your base for the next two nights.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mahoora Tented Camp (Explorer Tent) or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: wilpattu national park
    See elephants and other threatened species in the parkSee elephants and other threatened species in the park

    After a hearty camp breakfast, head out on a morning game drive in Wilpattu in search of some of the 31 known species of mammals in the park, including threatened species such as elephants and leopards. The park is also home to a rich variety of birdlife such as storks, owls, eagles, cormorants, egrets, and more. You'll return to camp for lunch and some leisure/relaxation time, then head out for an evening safari, looking for noctural creatures which don't come out until dusk.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mahoora Tented Camp (Explorer Tent) or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: habarana

    Today you'll transfer to Habanara (2.5 hr drive), a small town that's a good base for wildlife and an excursion to Minneriya National Park. In the afternoon, head out on a safari in search of twilight and noctural wildlife at Minneriya, then return to your hotel for dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Habarana Village or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: sigiriya
    Marvel at the rock fortress of SigiriyaMarvel at the rock fortress of Sigiriya

    Today you'll visit Sigiriya (30 min drive), where you will climb the 5th century rock fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site built by King Kashyapa in the 1st century A.D. The “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70-hectacre fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens, including the renowned water gardens, ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the “Heavenly Maidens” of Sigiriya, which are in sheltered pocket of the rock and are seen as you approach a spiral stairway.

    Afterward, head back into Minneriya National Park for a game drive in search of elephants and other wildlife. Return to Habarana for the evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Habarana Village or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: hiriwaduna & polonnaruwa
    Explore the ruins at PolonnaruwaExplore the ruins at Polonnaruwa

    After breakfast at the hotel, drive out to Hiriwaduna Village (20 min drive) for a village safari by bullock cart. This is a really great way to get a feel for village life in Sri Lanka. Here they grow their own crops and barter their produce with each other! You'll have some time to explore the village and then transfer to Polonnaruwa (1 hr drive), arriving in time for lunch. Afterwards, transfer to Polonnaruwa, the island's medieval capital (also a World Heritage Site). Walk around the ancient palace and temples, sit by the artificial lake that covers 6,000 acres, and view the remains of the Royal Palace. Return to your hotel in Habarana for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Habarana Village or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: kandy
    Temple of the ToothTemple of the Tooth

    After breakfast, head for Kandy (3 hr drive), the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Drive around Kandy Lake, built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798, visit the Kandy town including the arts & crafts center, a gem museum, and a lapidary, and stop at the Temple of the Tooth. Wrap up the day with a Sri Lankan cultural show!
     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Amaya Hills or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: peradeniya/nuwara eliya
    You'll encounter smiling faces from the locals everywhere!You'll encounter smiling faces from the locals everywhere!

    In the morning, set off for Peradeniya, a 147-acre garden built by the Sinhala King. The garden contains numerous pavilions, an actagon conservatory, a giant Javan fig tree, and an orchid house. After exploring the garden, transfer from Peradeniya to Nuwara Eliya (2.5 hr drive), Sri Lanka's most popular hill resort. In addition to providing brilliant mountain views, Nuwara Eliya is the core of Sri Lanka's tea country and produces a significant share of the world's best tea. You can also see Sri Lanka's highest mountain here, Pidurutalagala (8,282 ft)
     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Jetwing St. Andrews Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: horton plains national park
    "World's End" at Horton Plains National Park"World's End" at Horton Plains National Park

    Drive about one hour and 15 minutes to Horton Plains National Park, a protected area in the central highlands of the island. Rich in biodiversity, Horton Plains is home to many species endemic to this region. The main attraction here is "World's End," a dramatic 4,000 foot drop-off that is believed to be the finest view in Sri Lanka. The seven mile hike around the park offers fantastic views and possible wildlife sightings. Return to your hotel at Nuwara Eliya.
     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Jetwing St. Andrews Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: udawalawe national park
    Wild elephant and its young at Udawalawe National ParkWild elephant and its young at Udawalawe National Park

    After breakfast, transfer to Udawalawe National Park (3 hr drive), famous for spotting herds of elephant, spotted deer, sambur, barking deer, water buffalo and jackal on its 30,821 hectares of land. When you're not admiring one of these animals, appreciate the beauty of the surrounding mountain range. You'll  have an afternoon game drive and return to your hotel for dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Kalu's Hideaway or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: situlpahuwa/tissamaharama
    Monkeys can be found everywhere in Sri LankaMonkeys can be found everywhere in Sri Lanka

    Head to the town of Tissamaharama (3 hr drive) with a stop at Situlpahuwa, a monastic settlement that formerly housed 12,000 inhabitants. The settlement has been restored and is now an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Continue on to your lodge at Tissamaharama, your base for exploring Yala National Park. You'll have the rest of the afternoon free to relax and enjoy your peaceful surroundings. You may even see some wildlife crossing the hotel property!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Cinnamon Wild Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: yala national park
    You're in luck if you see some of Yala's majestic leopardsYou're in luck if you see some of Yala's majestic leopards

    In the morning, head to Yala National Park in search of wildlife. Get ready to see elephants, wild boars, buffaloes, leopards, bears, deer, and crocodiles. The park is located in the southeastern corner of the island, so you will also have some great ocean views! Return to your hotel, where you have the rest of the day free to relax. Afternoon safaris are available at additional cost.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Cinnamon Wild Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: galle
    Visit imposing Galle FortVisit imposing Galle Fort

    After breakfast, you'll depart for Galle (3 hr drive), which was once the chief port of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was named by the British), now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also well known for its handmade lace. You'll visit Galle Fort, originally built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663, the Old Town, the Dutch Church, the Japanese Peace Pagoda, and the Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel and Spa or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: whale watching
    Observe these giants of the deep (photo by Rinie van Meurs)Observe these giants of the deep (photo by Rinie van Meurs)

    You'll head out very early this morning (approx. 5:30 am) with a packed breakfast in time to catch a fishing boat headed out to sea for your whale watching adventure (Nov-Apr). Sri Lanka is the only country in the world where you can see the world's largest land mammal, the elephant, and the largest marine mammal, the blue whale, all in a single day! The deep waters off Dondra Point are considered one of the best places in the world to see blue and sperm whales. You'll spend anywhere from two to eight hours in search of these mighty creatures (time varies depending on how quickly they are spotted - average time is 4-5 hours from start to finish.) Once the pods have been spotted, you'll sit back and watch them as they swim and then come to the surface to breath, spraying water high into the air. If you're lucky, the whales may even do tricks for you such as jumping out of the ocean and into the air! In addition to the blue whales, other marine life you might see are fin and sperm whales, orcas, dolphins, flying fish, turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. After your adventure, return to your hotel in Galle where the rest of the day is free.

    NOTE: The Indian Ocean waters are generally rough and choppy, so if you tend to get sea sick, we highly recommend taking prevention medicine such as Dramamine at least an hour before entering the boat. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel and Spa or similar
  • Day 15: colombo/onward

    After breakfast, transfer to Colombo (3 hr drive), Sri Lanka’s largest city and former (now administrative) capital, where you’ll take a city tour of both old and new sights. With a long history dating back to the 5th century when it was a stop on the sea trade route between Asia and the West, Colombo is changing quickly these days, with skyscrapers being built in some old sites and old world charm preserved in others. Visit British-era colonial buildings, the old clock tower, the Pettah bazaar (a great place for picking up a few mementos of your travels), mosques, churches, and Hindu and Buddhist temples.

    Afterwards, transfer to the airport where you check-in for your onward flight. Depending on flight times, you may want to book a room near the airport (not included in cost).

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$5,100
Travel between Dec 19-Mar 31 additional cost
Single Supplement:
$1,100
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, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Duration:
15 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 tented camps and 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.

×

Download Trip Itinerary

Subscribe me to The Bird's Nest (the Journeys blog)
Please tell us specifically the name of the website, publication or friend, or 'other' place where you heard about us.
× 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.
Share