Cruise around in a 4WD on a wildlife safari, searching for elephants and leopards, then relax lakeside at tranquil Tissa.. Shark, squid, barracuda and hundreds of things with fins that nobody knows the name of – visit the sensational Negombo Fish Market.. Learn the benefits of washing down a spicy curry with piping-hot Ceylon tea during lunch in a lush mountain village near Ella.. Leave the imprint of you face on the train window as you stare out wide-eyed from Kandy to Ella – it’s basically a 6-hour movie of amazing scenery.
On this trip we’ve taken Sri Lanka, boiled it like the tea leaves the country is famous for and strained out the most delicious stuff. Wandering past barracuda at the Negombo Fish Market, searching for elephants in Yala, munching a spicy curry in Ella and getting horizontal on the beach in Unawatuna, this 11-day tour is a Sri Lanka snapshot.
Breakfast Included: 9 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included:
Welcome to Negombo, Sri Lanka. There are are no activities planned today so you're free to arrive at any time. Your adventure kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. Although Colombo is the commercial capital and by far the largest city in Sri Lanka, it's still relatively small. You won't be staying in the capital itself, but in a place by the beach. There are plenty of beach bars, pubs and restaurants available close by.
Head to the fish market in Negombo this morning. This can be quite an intense affair, but the variety of fish being presented by the locals is a great experience. From here, begin your journey by private vehicle to Kandy and visit a spice garden on the way, which should take around three hours in total (120 kilometres). On arrival to Kandy, there's an optional visit to the Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa), the most important shrine in the country. It's also worth attending a cultural show while in town - the Kandyan dance performances are awesome. The Royal Botanical Garden is just ten minutes away from your accommodation and there is access to the swimming pool of Kandyan Residencies (next door). Your evening is free to do as you wish.
Today is a free day to explore Kandy or perhaps organise a day trip to visit both Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Dambulla Caves Temple. The World Heritage-listed temple has been a pilgrimage site for 22 centuries and for good reason, these interconnected caves offer ancient Buddhist cave art. At Sigiriya, also on the World Heritage list, you can scale the remains of an ancient fortress carved into the magnificent rock that juts from the low-lying plains. Chat to your leader and fellow travellers about organising and booking optional activities while in Kandy.
Feeling a little worse for wear? If you’re looking to relax you might want to book an Ayurvedic massage to relax those weary muscles. Or if you haven't had a chance to visit the Royal Botanical Garden yet, then why not take a stroll around it today.
This morning, say goodbye to Kandy as you hop on a train for around 6 hours to Ella. It’s a kinda long trip, but you can buy all sorts of yum treats from the onboard sellers. On arrival to Ella, check in to your accommodation which is within walking distance of the station. Once you've dropped off your luggage, perhaps head out for a visit to a local tea factory. If this doesn't take your fancy, go for dinner in one of the many local restaurants and bars.
Venture out on an included half day trek to Ella Gap this morning. We'll stop in a small mountain village for a spicy curry lunch and a pot of Ceylon tea. This is an awesome way of getting to know the area and a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals. The rest of the day is then free to do what you want.
Head out of Ella in a private vehicle for around three hours to your resort on the edge of Tissa Lake. Once settled, you'll head out on a jeep safari where you'll come across the area's native wildlife such as elephants, leopards and aquatic birds. This is an amazing experience that you'll never forget. After your day in nature soak in the view from the lovely hotel pool overlooking lake Tissa.
Journey west in a private vehicle for around three and a half hours to Unawatuna. This fantastic stretch of beach has plenty of local restaurants and bars to relax in. There are no included activities today, so you'll have plenty of free time to explore Unawatuna and its surrounds.
Life’s a beach, so spend the day on one. With a book and a cocktail and a bottle of sunscreen. Possibly head out early on an optional whale watching tour or take a day trip to visit the Galle Royal Dutch Fort. Walk around the fort for free or 'bikesplore' the lesser known areas of the city on an Urban Adventure. You'll be staying at a guest house on the beach tonight, so make use of the many beach restaurants and bars that line the shore.
Leave Unawatuna behind and make the short journey to Galle, where you'll jump on a train to Colombo (approximately four hours). On arrival to Sir Lanka's capital, why not head out on an optional city walk with your leader? If you'd rather pick up some last-minute shopping, then pay a visit to the mass amounts of shops that are available. Tonight is free but your leader will suggest a spot for an optional final group dinner.
Have string hoppers and a super-black coffee for breakfast, then pull your saddest face as our trip comes to an end.