Discover a Surprisingly Diverse Island Nation Rich with Wildlife & Cultural Treasures
Lying in the Indian Ocean just off the southern tip of India, the compact island of Sri Lanka contains rich bounty for the nature traveler. Herds of Asian elephants and troops of monkeys roam its virgin rain forests in the tropical lowlands. Waterfalls plummet from cloud forest highlands that shelter hundreds of colorful bird species. Golden beaches ring the island, while offshore, great blue whales—the largest animal on Earth—swim alongside sea turtles in clear turquoise waters. A global biodiversity hotspot, Sri Lanka has many endemic flora and fauna to impress the traveler captivated by natural wonders that don’t exist anywhere else. Sri Lanka, earlier known as Ceylon, also has a diverse cultural heritage that dates back more than 2,000 years, with a vibrant Buddhist presence and lingering influences from Indian, Arab and European adventurers drawn here over the centuries.
The package has been designed for 11 Days/10 Nights, our team is geared to cater to your unique requirements by customizing the package for different durations as per your request. You will find some of the highlights of Explore Sri Lankan tour has to offer for her visitors. They are as follows,
* Enjoy some of Sri Lanka’s best primate watching among the 12th-century ruins of Polonnaruwa, with Toque macaques, leaf monkeys and gray langurs on view at close range.
* Look for leopards in Yala National Park, which boasts one of the world’s highest concentrations of this elegant cat, along with sloth bear, jackal, Asiatic buffalo, wild boar and more.
* From Mirissa Harbor, make cruise in search of blue whales on our private chartered boat, and keep an eye out for dolphins, orcas and sperm whales in season.
If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee. If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
Travel Duration 30 min
On arrival at the airport, north of the capital city of Colombo, you’re met and transferred to our hotel in Negombo, where your room is ready and waiting. The afternoon is free to relax.
Travel Duration 04 hrs.
After getting breakfast at the hotel Transfer to Habarana. Before arriving at your overnight destination Habarana, take a stop at Dambulla and visit the Dambulla Cave Rock Temple which lies atop a massive hill on the edge of the town. It is one of the eight UNESCO world heritage sites in the country.
After checking in to our lodge, spend the afternoon at the ruins of Sigiriya, the 5th-century capital built by King Kashyapa I, and the first of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites on our journey. The dominant landmark is a massive granite outcrop often referred to as Lion Rock, which rises 600 feet above the surrounding jungle. The edifice features giant carved paws and a set of stone stairs permitting access for those who wish to climb to the top. The rock was turned into a fortress by the king, who constructed his royal palace on the summit overlooking lavish gardens below. The tract of ancient forest around Lion Rock now forms the Sigiriya Reserve, sheltering 10 of Sri Lanka’s 33 endemic bird species, along with small reptiles, primates and numerous butterflies and dragonflies.
Overnight stay in a hotel at Habarana
Travel Duration 01 hour
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is our focus this morning. On a guided tour of the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa, we learn the rich history of Sri Lanka’s second capital, renowned for its well-preserved 12th-century ruins and impressive stone culture, as well as some of Sri Lanka’s best primate viewing. Three species of monkey—toque macaque and canopy-dwelling purple-faced leaf monkey (both endemics), plus gray langur—are observed here. Polonnaruwa’s “temple troop of toque macaques” has been featured in numerous natural history documentaries and is a part of the world’s longest continuous study of primates, initiated in 1968. Most recently they were the focus of Disneynature’s 2015 film Monkey Kingdom. The monkeys here are habituated to the presence of humans, enabling us to observe their social interactions at close range. Whether play-fighting, feeding or grooming each other, their behavior offers endless entertainment.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Hurulu Forest Reserve in search of small herds of Asian elephants that live among the tall grasses and jungle scrub. The reserve is also a sanctuary for many birds including Indian roller, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Indian peafowl, blue-tailed and green bee-eaters, and raptors such as changeable hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle and shikra.
Overnight stay in ahotel at Habarana.
Travel Duration 03 hrs
After getting the breakfast from the hotel proceed to Matale and walk around the well grown spice gardens.
Visit a spice garden in Matale to see many different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous for. Just 25 km from the hill capital of Kandy, the Matale spice gardens are among the best on the island. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed.
Then proceed to Kandy & engage with the following Activities,
Go on technical tours related to arts such as gem crafting, woodcarving and visit batik factory. Evening check in to witness of Kandiyan Cultural Show.
The Kandy Cultural Show gives an opportunity to experience some of the traditions of Sri Lanka. Enjoy this hour long extravaganza as some of the most popular art forms of the island take to the stage. Get wowed by fire dancers and sword dancers. Watch the colorful Kandyan dancers take to the air to the thrumming primal beat of the drums.
Visit Temple of Tooth Relic.
The Temple of the Tooth Relic a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was built in the 16th century as the place of veneration and protection for Lord Buddha’s sacred tooth. Walk through the beautifully embellished passageways and elaborately painted halls, done in red, cream and black. Lounge against delicately carved pillars and get amazed by the beautiful golden statues. Get an unforgettable experience of history and art.
Overnight stay in a hotel at Kandy
Travel Duration 03 hrs
After breakfast at the hotel We continue to Nuwara Eliya at the heart of Sri Lanka’s premier tea-producing region. The town was founded in the 19th century by the British, and its enduring nickname, “Little England,” harks back to the colonial heritage of Ceylon, when these subtropical highlands were the sanctuary of the British civil servants and plantation owners. The temperate climate of this hill country retreat was ideal for pastimes such as jackal and deer hunting, polo, golf and cricket, and it remains a popular travel destination for Sri Lankans today. The late afternoon is at leisure to relax and enjoy the peaceful setting and classic British ambience of our colonial-era hotel.
Overnight stay in a hotel at Nuwaraeliya.
Travel Duration 01 hour
Rising early for a pre-dawn start, we head out with a packed breakfast for Horton Plains National Park, part of the broader Central Highlands of Sri Lanka World Heritage Site. On a nature walk through the cloud forest and grasslands, look for a variety of wildlife including endemic rhino-horned and hump-nosed lizards, and colorful highland bird species including the Sri Lanka white-eye, Sri Lanka wood pigeon, dull-blue flycatcher and yellow-eared bulbul. With a bit of luck, we may encounter the elusive Sri Lanka whistling thrush and the old-world Sri Lanka bush warbler. Also, keep an eye out for sambar, Sri Lanka’s largest deer species, which often frequent the plains near the entrance of the park.
Next, we visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens. Originally created to grow cinchona (quinine), the gardens were established in 1884. The name comes from a legend that holds that Hanuman, the monkey god, was sent to the Himalayas to find a particular medicinal herb. He forgot which herb he was looking for and decided to bring a chunk of the Himalayas back in his jaw, hoping the herb was growing on it. The gardens grow atop a mountain called Hakgala, which means “jaw rock.” Today, thousands of species of flora are planted here, including a wide variety of orchids and roses. The gardens lie adjacent to Hakgala Nature Reserve, and we’ll look for wildlife such as the shaggy-coated bear monkey and highland avian endemics including Sri Lanka white-eye, Sri Lanka scimitar babbler and dull-blue flycatcher. This afternoon, we visit a nearby tea estate and factory to see how this essential commodity changed the landscape in the late 19th century.
Overnight stay in a hotel at Nuwaraeliya.
Travel Duration 04 hrs
On the morning of Day, we depart the central highlands on a scenic drive to the south coast. Our destination is Yala National Park, which protects more than 320,000 acres of habitat for a great diversity of native wildlife. While the park was originally a hunting ground for colonial elites under British rule, it was established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and designated a national park in 1938. From on high, Yala appears to be a variegated mosaic of green hues, a gently rolling carpet of shrub jungle, riverine forest and open plains, dotted with the deep blue mirrors of lakes and waterholes and punctuated by rocky outcrops, while the Indian Ocean coastline forms its eastern boundary.
Overnight stay in a hotel at Yala
we head out on early morning and late afternoon safaris in search of the many animals found throughout the park. Our visit occurs just after the monsoon season, when the forest has revived and is returning to its green lushness. Sightings may include Asian elephant, leopard, sloth bear, jackal, mugger crocodile, sambar, spotted deer, Asiatic buffalo, wild boar, gray langur, toque macaque and black-naped hare. Yala is also a superb birding location. Iridescent Indian peacocks and Sri Lanka junglefowl are plentiful, while white-bellied sea eagle, crested serpent eagle, gray-headed fishing eagle, brown fish owl and brahminy kite are among the raptors species most commonly spotted. A dazzling array of waders and waterbirds is also on display, including greater sand plover, Eurasian spoonbill and the endangered black-necked stork. Among the dry-zone species frequently observed are blue-faced malkohas, Malabar-pied hornbills, and chestnut, green and blue-tailed bee-eaters.
Overnight stay in a hotel at Yala.
Travel duration 04 hrs
Depart early this morning for Bundala National Park, with a packed breakfast en route. Bundala is one of Sri Lanka’s older parks, with an internationally recognized wetland. An interesting mosaic of salt pans, lagoon, seashore, grass flats and mixed dry evergreen scrub, it is the most arid landscape we visit. Since it lies at the end of the migratory flyway, many birds winter here. Other animals we may see include elephant, wild boar, spotted deer and land monitors. Continuing westward along Sri Lanka’s south coast, we stop for lunch at an interesting local hotel before arriving at Ahangama late this afternoon.
Overnight stay in a hotel at Ahangama
Travel duration 02 hrs
Early this morning, we set out for Mirissa harbor to go in search of blue whales—the largest animal on Earth—aboard a privately chartered vessel. Mirissa, located on the very southern tip of Sri Lanka, is the world’s top location for blue whale watching, with sightings occurring most mornings from mid-November through early April. Blue whales reside year-round in these warm Indian Ocean waters, and on our half-day excursion we may encounter mothers and calves, and pairs of males and females. We’re also likely to see pods of playful spinner dolphins, and occasionally sperm whales, sometimes in super pods of 20 or more individuals—a rare spectacle! Numerous other cetaceans make periodic appearances, too, including fin whale, Bryde’s whale, orca, Risso’s dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and striped dolphin.
Visit Galle Fort this afternoon, South Asia’s best preserved European fortress, where a stroll along the ramparts offers panoramic views of the old town. Constructed by the Portuguese in 1588, it fell to the Dutch in 1640 and was extensively fortified in ensuing decades, eventually coming under British control in 1796. Today, the fort bears architectural evidence of multiple colonial influences. Extensive reconstruction by government archaeologists has maintained the sprawling complex of buildings and streets in fine form. Once the main port of call for ships sailing between the East and Europe, today Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll explore its narrow lanes bustling with jewelry shops, numerous cafes and luxurious villas restored to their colonial splendor. Important sights within the fort are the Anglican and Dutch Reformed churches, the Galle Lighthouse and the National Maritime Museum.
Overnight stay in a hotel at Ahangama.
Travel duration 03 hrs
Departure via Colombo
After breakfast proceed to the airport via Colombo which is the commercial heart of Sri Lanka after spending a memorable time in this island.