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Discover Sri Lanka’s legendary natural beauty and centuries-old culture on this 11 day trip across the island’s southern and central provinces. Starting on the high energy streets of Colombo, dive in to the chaos of the Pettah Bazaar. Climb the colossal Sigiriya Rock Fortress, catch an exhilarating live Kandyan drumming performance in the island’s second city and discover the wild beauty of the tea-growing highlands. After a safari expedition at Yala National Park, journey to the southern coast to explore Unawatuna and Galle Fort.
Our Classic itineraries cover the key attractions with carefully selected experiences to ensure you get the most out of your holiday. Classic itineraries include time for relaxation or for adding extra activities. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.
On arrival at the Colombo Airport International Airport, you will be met by a representative of GetAboutAsia and transferred for your hotel. During your drive, your guide will be pleased to answer your questions and discuss plans for the next day.
Day 2: Colombo
Spend the morning at leisure. Enjoy a city tour of Colombo in the afternoon. A dynamic and multicultural capital, Colombo is changing rapidly, yet there’s still plenty of evidence of old world charm to be found in its colourful and hectic streets. The chaotic energy of the Pettah Bazaar shopping district is unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka, while Slave Island, with its ornate temples and colonial-era railway station is a fascinating place to spend an afternoon wandering. The city’s dining scene is as diverse as its population and includes a full range of European and Asian dishes. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.
This morning you will be collected from your hotel by your driver to commence your exploration of Sri Lanka. Drive to Sigiriya.
This afternoon visit Minneriya National Park and experience a jeep safari. If you're up for a serious rumble in the jungle, then Minneriya is your Colosseum! Spreading over 8800 hectares, this is a sanctuary for elephants. Minneriya is home to herds of deer and ample birdlife, but its spotlight remains between swaying trunks & flapping ears. Park your jeep on the bank of the reservoir and switch off its engine. Watch carefully as herds of elephants roll on to the grass-covered banks to feed on tender shoots. In fact, this is the largest elephant gathering in the world - over 300 at a time - which has garnished the park to become a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts across the globe.
Spend the day at Sigiriya rock fortress. Soaring 200 metres above the jungle, this striking citadel is surrounded by a moat, rampart, and an extensive network of gardens that invite exploration. Only the adventurous will want to take on the 1,200 steps to the top of the fortress, but no one should miss the chance to admire the beautiful frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, located around halfway up the rock.
Located just a short tuk tuk or bike ride from Sigiriya, perched beneath another rocky outcrop, you’ll find Pidurangala Royal Cave Temple. The natural rock caves here were transformed into a monastery in the 5th century AD after the arrival of King Kashyapa in Sigiriya. A set of steep steps lead up the hillside to the temple, where the main attraction is a huge, semi-restored Buddha reclining in a pocket of rock. From here it’s just a short five minute climb to the summit of the rock, where you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of Sigiriya’s lesser seen but perhaps even more fascinating northern face.
Leave for Kandy, stopping at Matale en-route to explore one of Sri Lanka’s traditional spice gardens and enjoy a live cooking demonstration.
After checking into your hotel in Kandy, embark on an afternoon tour of the city.
Perched between craggy hills in the heart of Sri Lanka’s central province, Kandy is the island’s second largest city and its renowned cultural capital. After a scenic drive around Kandy Lake, tour Kandy with your guide, starting with some laid back browsing at the Bazaar and gem museum before venturing to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic to see the revered Buddha tooth in its ornate two storey shrine.
In the evening, unwind and enjoy a live Kandyan dance performance. Blending elaborate costumes with frenetic dance moves and pulsating, infectious tribal drum rhythms, this unforgettable explosion of colour and sound is Sri Lanka’s most iconic performing art. Legend has it that the dance was originally developed as part of an exorcism ritual performed by Indian shaman visiting the island. It quickly became popular under the rule of the kings of Kandy and was eventually incorporated into religious ceremonies and festivals across Sri Lanka, never losing its strong ties with the city.
Enjoy a stroll through the lush Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, before setting off for the mountainside town of Nuwara Eliya in the heart of the island’s tea growing highlands.
Nestled between verdant slopes in the shadow of Pidurutalagala, Sri Lanka’s tallest mountain, Nurwara Eliya has been nicknamed ‘Little England’ thanks to its fine colonial architecture, boating lake and frequent rain.
This morning enjoy some time at leisure wandering the town’s narrow cobbled streets, soaking up the invigorating mountain air and quaint architectural blend of English country town and seaside kitsch. Victoria Park, with its neat rolling lawns and colourful flower beds, is modelled on an English municipal park and offers a relaxing place to rest awhile, picnic and watch rare native and migratory birds.
This afternoon you will leave the hill country behind and head down to the plains. You’ll notice the temperature rise as you descend. Your destination is Udawalawe National Park where you will go on safari the following morning!
Enjoy the journey to Udawalawe National Park for safari.
The National Park is adjacent to the Udawalawe reservoir and Walawe river and is surrounded by the scenic beauty of the mountain ranges that wind endlessly through the Balangoda, Kalthota and Haputale escarpments. Udawalawe National Park is the largest National Park in Sri Lanka, covering 30,821 square kilometres of wild and unspoilt scrubland and light forest. The park’s most famous residents are its elephants, which can be seen marching sedately across the scrub or congregating socially at watering holes where they bath and play in the water. This is considered the best place in the world to view wild Elephants in their natural habitat.
In addition, there are Spotted, Sambur and Barking Deer, Leopard, Water Buffalo, Jackal, Peacocks and Crocodiles, among many other wild animals found in this park.
Set off for the beach resort of Unawatuna on the island’s southern coast, stopping at Galle on the way to explore the city and its iconic fort. Nestled on the shores of the Indian Ocean, this 36 hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest intact Dutch fort in Asia and one of the best preserved examples of 17th century colonial fortifications in the world. The refreshingly quiet and traffic-free streets of the Dutch quarter are lined with elegant colonial-era villas and towering churches. Enjoy a leisurely wander, stopping to admire the stunning ocean views from the fort walls.
Venture into the heart of the town to experience Galle’s unique fusion of modern and ancient, where jewellery and book shops abound and alfresco cafes are half hidden behind magnificent towering columns.
While away the day on the beach or browsing for souvenirs in nearby Galle. Those with energy left to burn may be able to fit in some snorkelling in the inviting waters around Jungle Beach and Rock Island, where you’ll find live coral and shoals of colourful fish. Surf boards are also available for hire from the Submarine Diving School. In the evening, join the locals at a casual beachside cafe and sip cool beer overlooking the ocean. Ask your guide for personal bar and restaurant recommendations.
Transfer to Colombo airport for your departure.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Standard:||from AU $1,792|
|Superior:||from AU $1,980|
|Deluxe:||from AU $2,364|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
Availability of accommodation and season.
|Start:||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|End:||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
"We had a fantastic trip to Sri Lanka. Everyone enjoyed it and could not fault the holiday at all. Everything went according to plan – couldn’t have been better. All the hotels were excellent, the service faultless and the food superb. It is a very rare occasion when you can see a leopard in the wild (the guide and the driver were equally as excited as us!). I would like to commend our guide / driver (Bandu.) He went out of his way to do everything to make our time in Sri Lanka a great success and I would recommend his services to anyone in the future. All in all we had a wonderful time and are already contemplating our next holiday. Many thanks for all your help!" — Jarrit Family, Melbourne, January 2018
"Our trip went well and we saw some fantastic sites. The Perahera festival was a unique experience and the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa area were amazing. Our guide was knowledgeable, polite and friendly. He was always on time and was a careful driver. Thank you for organising the trip." — Mr and Mrs Bowyer, Sydney NSW, August 2016
"We had a great holiday and found the island just fantastic. Much less crowded than India, beautiful food, nice and friendly people and outstanding and very varied scenery. Nothing beats waking up and being able to walk out onto the palm-fringed beach. The driver/guide could not have been better! A very safe driver, good and immaculate car, knowledgeable about Sri Lanka’s History and altogether a great guy we could happily chat with during the trip. " — Mr and Mrs Tykocinski, Glenhuntly VIC, January 2016
"Sri Lanka was phenomenal! The food, the climate, the beaches and the culture are just captivating. We couldn’t be happier with our trip. Our custom designed tour went everywhere we wanted within the timeframe we decided. There is so much culture and history in Sri Lanka and the local people are so friendly. We loved the ‘real’ experience, not tainted by westernised tourist companies. Sri Lanka is a must see destination, with every area offering difference experiences! We will return for sure!" — Sarah and Rutger, Mornington Victoria , July 2015
"Sri Lanka was a revelation. Superb scenery, wonderful food, accommodations and friendly people. What more could you want in a holiday! We can't recommend it highly enough. Your company was efficient, helpful and prompt replies to any of our queries. Thank you. We will certainly be using GetAboutAsia again." — Mr and Mrs Clayton - Jones, Mulwala NSW, August 2015