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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 did have a great time - thanks for the organisation on your end. Sunil our driver was good and would recommend him. We enjoyed the beautiful hotels, animals, culture , food and drink " — Tanya and Toni, Brisbane, October 2019
"Patrick and I had a wonderful time together in Sri Lanka, which was totally enhanced by your expertise in organising the tour. I would certainly recommend yourself and Get About Asia as very professional travel agents. Sri Lanka was so diverse..... Beaches, safari, mountains, temples.... The security (@ hotels, the airport, the temples and generally in the streets) was rather amazing, and reassuring. The guide we had, Sujith, was brilliant. He was courteous, knowledgeable, punctual, a safe driver and guide. He is to be highly commended. All in all it was a wonderful experience and I wish to thank you for everything Andrew. " — Susan, Sydney, August 2019
"The Sri Lankan people were, without exception, extremely friendly and welcoming. The lack of tourists was sad, and the locals kept thanking us for coming – which only made us feel sadder for them, but glad we went. Everywhere we went, we felt like we were being treated specially, which was very flattering and nice. A great trip – well planned, both full and yet relaxing - and went without a hitch!" — Mr Oppel, Cheltenham, June 2019
"We had a great trip. Amazing diversity. We were really glad we included the two Bowa gardens. We also visited Geoffrey Bowa’s house in Colombo. Having a little time on Colombo was really worth doing. One of the many highlights was the safari at Yala where we saw a leopard on the prowl. " — John and Neville, Newtown, November 2018
"We thoroughly enjoyed Sri Lanka and feel our itinerary covered pretty much all the top sights and diverse landscapes and cultural aspects of the country. Sam, our guide, was great and provided a personal touch to quite a lot of our outings and was willing to stop and change timings to suit the photographers in the group. Kandy House and The Villa, Bentota were the standouts in accommodation but the Fort Bazaar and 98 acres were also lovely. We would certainly recommend Sri Lanka, and Get About Asia for a hassle free, good value holiday to a beautiful, friendly and safe destination. Thank you" — Mr and Mrs Ratcliffe, Sydney, September 2018
"We absolutely loved our holiday in Sri Lanka. Our guide was fantastic and our accommodation was wonderful. Certainly would recommend booking through you and our guide. This was our second tour through you and would book with you again. Thank you!" — Mrs Crawford & Party, Sydney, July 2018
" We would like to thank GetAbout Asia for arranging our recent tour of Sri Lanka. We really enjoyed ourselves and learnt so much about the history and culture of the country as we travelled around. Our driver/guide Kumar was very knowledgable and caring. He looked after us extremely well and we felt extremely safe driving with him along typical Sri Lankan roads. The itinerary was diverse and allowed us to see many aspects of Sri Lanka. Who knows, we may return and visit the northern parts and possibly return to Negombo and Galle and then do some birding. The accommodation throughout the trip was excellent and we felt really welcome at all properties. Please pass on our thanks to Kumar - he is a very approachable and personable guide/driver and full of knowledge. His command of English is very good and overall he is easy to understand. " — Mr and Mrs Cumming, Sydney, April 2018
"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