Wonders of Sri Lanka - 9 Days
Tour Code: SL-9D8N-1
For a relatively small Island, there are a truly amazing variety of attractions for the visitor to see on a holiday to Sri Lanka. From the sleepless and fast developing capital, Colombo, to the cultural triangle, Sigiriya, and the ancient city, Polonnaruwa, to the rolling tea plantations and green hills of the Hill Country region, to the well preserved national parks. Add to all of this the thousands of kilometres of coastline, studded with idyllic palm-lined beaches, the delicious food and the friendly, welcoming people and it is little surprise that Sri Lanka has earned itself a reputation as one of the world’s best holiday destinations.
Start ~ Colombo, Sri Lanka
Finish ~ Colombo, Sri Lanka
Physical rating: 2 out of 5
“Welcome to Sri Lanka” at the airport by your EMH tours’ transfer team. We then transfer you to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Meals: Meal is not included on this day.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll set off to the cultural triangle “Sigiriya”. The driving time is around 3½ hours.
Upon arrival, we’ll check in the hotel. After a short relax, we’ll head out to the Minneriya national park. There, we’ll hire a safari jeep to explore the park.
Minneriya National park is one of the only places in the world to witness the largest Asian elephant Gathering known to exist in the planet. Watch as these huge animals drink, play and snack on the green, lush grasses that have been exposed by the receding water.
Unlike in other national parks, elephants can be spotted at a relatively close range. About 160 species of birds, 9 different types of amphibians, 25 reptiles, 26 fish, and more than 78 butterfly species have been found in this area. There are also rare bamboo trees not found in other national parks.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most impressive sites you’ll see when you visit Sri Lanka and indeed across Southern Asia and is without a doubt, a must-do when you find yourself in the country.
When we arrive, we’ll take the opportunity to climb to the top of this striking rock with its vertical walls supporting the remnants of an ancient city constructed in the 5th century. Along the way you will see the Fountain Gardens, Boulder Gardens, the Mirror Wall, frescoes of the ladies of the king’s harem, the Lion’s Staircase and finally Sky Palace for spectacular panoramic views.
The hike up is not quite as scary as it seems from afar. There is a halfway point for you to catch your breath. The last part of the walk uphill actually has stairs so it’s fairly easy though. It takes a little over an hour to get to the top.
After that, we’ll head out to the village, where we will take a Bullock Cart Ride while enjoying sightseeing of the rural village life. Our next phase of adventure will be a Catamaran Boat Ride at the scenic lake. Finally, we’ll enjoy Traditional Lunch at a local house prepared by the village women before driving back to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll take a day trip to the “Polonnaruwa” from Sigiriya.
Polonnaruwa is an ancient city in Sri Lanka. It served as the capital city for nearly 2 centuries between the 11th and 13th centuries AD and is an incredible day trip destination in Sri Lanka. Much like the ancient city of Angkor in Cambodia, being able to walk relatively freely through the ruins, temples and shrines is an incredible way to take in the history of the country and imagine what it must have been like in its heyday.
After exploring this ancient capital, we’ll return to the hotel in Sigiriya.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast at the hotel , we’ll leave Sigiriya and continue our journey to the hill country capital “Kandy”.
En-route stops at the Dambulla Cave Temple, UNESCO World Heritage site. It is situated on top of a rock, and is built around a series of 5 caves. The oldest one dates from 10th century and it is extremely well preserved. The newest is only 150 years old. There are some cute monkeys in the trees near the entrance which is great as well.
Then, continue our journey to Kandy. On arrival, we’ll check in the hotel and we’ll spend our afternoon at leisure.
In the evening, we’ll head out to the Dalada Maligawa, also known as the temple of the tooth, one of the landmark sites in the city of Kandy. It is located in the heart of Kandy town surrounded by the lake and the commercial district. The Maligawa was once the royal palace inhabited by the king and his consorts, but after the demise of the Kandyan Kingdom the palace was transformed into a Buddhist temple that holds Buddha’s tooth. The sight of flowers, fragrance of the incense and the continuous chanting of Buddhist hymns by the worshippers creates a magical impact. Rituals and stories related to the temple are amazing. Temple is fully decorated by century-old wood carvings, paintings.
Before returning to the hotel, we’ll have the opportunity to witness the Kandy cultural show and meet the traditional dancers.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll take a scenic drive to “Ramboda” village to take a Tea Plantation and Tea factory tour.
Sri Lanka’s lush green hill country is a patchwork of rolling, seemingly endless tea plantations. A visit to one of these estates is a defining experience of any trip to this magnificent country.
This tour will give you the insight into the manufacturing process as well as an opportunity to taste the different grades of hill country tea.
Then, we’ll set off to explore:
- Ramboda waterfalls
- Royal botanical garden
- Wood carving centre and
- Gem museum
We’ll return to the hotel in Kandy at the end of the tour.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive to the “Bentota” beach. The driving time is approximately 4½ hours.
Upon arrival, we’ll check in the hotel and we’ll spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
A little quaint resort town, Bentota is located towards Sri Lanka’s southwest coast. Today, it is one of the island nation’s most popular destinations due to its incredible charm and beauty. Bentota attracts visitors from near and far, and is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to enjoy activities like fishing, diving, snorkeling, parasailing, paragliding, dolphin watching and more. Bentota beaches are especially beautiful and offer you the perfect location for your dream beach holiday.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Today, we’ll take an hour River Boat Safari. This one-hour tour takes you on a boat safari through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes in Madu River. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns formed by the thick mangrove forests; interspersed with bright open stretches of water. Learn more about mangroves and their positive effect on ecology. Get a chance to see crocodiles, water snakes, tree snakes and wild boars in their natural habitat. Watch the cormorants; storks and many other avianlife hunt for their prey in swift flow of Madu River. View the pots for catching prawn and shrimp left in some of the shallower areas of the river.
At the end of the tour, we’ll return to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Suggestions for your free time:
- Visit Turtle hatchery; The Turtle Hatchery Project at Bentota Beach is another important attraction. Up to five endangered species of turtles have been frequenting a stretch on this undisturbed beach for a long time now. The turtles are allowed to hatch and thrive in a protected area before being set free. A visit to the turtle hatchery is a must for nature lovers.
- Witness stilt fishing, one of the most interesting traditional fishing methods of Sri Lanka .
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Breakfast and free time until time to go to the airport for departure flight. Then, transfer you to the Colombo International Airport according to your flight departure time.
~ 8 nights accommodation: Standard Option (3 Star Hotels) or Premium Option (4 Star Hotels)
~ 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 5 dinners as mentioned
~ service of English speaking chauffeur guide
~ transportation by a private air-conditioned vehicle
~ Road Toll Fees
~ bullock cart to explore the village on Day 3
~ catamaran ride in the lake on Day 3
~ tea factory & tea tasting
~ one hour mangrove river boat safari tour in Bentota
~ daily bottle of water per person
~ tours & sightseeing as described in the itinerary
~ return airport transfers
Don’t forget you can modify this tour. Whether you enjoy travelling as a part of a small group with other like-minded travellers, or perhaps you are looking for your very own private journey, we have the right option for you. Click on talk to us button to send us your enquiry.