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Sri Lanka holidays
This introductory tour combines the Cultural Triangle’s ancient cities with scenic hill country, man-made marvels and abundant wildlife. Finish the tour with a relaxing 2-night stay on a palm-fringed beach.
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Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines. (N)
Land in Sri Lanka's cosmopolitan capital and transfer to the Anantaya Hotel (or similar) in Chilaw for 1 night. This evening get to know your fellow travellers over a welcome dinner. (D)
Drive to the region of Anuradhapura for a 3-night stay at the Forest Rock Garden Resort (or similar). En route stop at Wilpattu National Park for an afternoon wildlife safari in search of leopards and sloth bears. The park is the oldest and largest wildlife park in Sri Lanka and is characterised by its open grasslands and dense jungle scrub. As well as leopards and sloth bears, you may also be able to spot elephants, mugger crocodiles and an array of endemic birds. (B, D)
Rise early to explore Wilpattu when the wildlife is at its most active. Return to your resort for breakfast and to rest before taking a further safari in the afternoon. (B, L, D)
Explore Sri Lanka's first ancient capital, Anuradhapura, which was established around the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree, said to be the oldest tree planted by hand in the world. The city was the capital for nearly 1,500 years and has a beautiful array of Buddhist shrines and relics waiting to be explored. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. (B, D)
Continue your exploration of Sri Lanka's famed Cultural Triangle by transferring to Dambulla for a 2-night stay at the Amaya Lake Hotel (or similar). This afternoon learn authentic local cooking techniques and dishes with an interactive culinary class. Later, take a gentle boat ride on the peaceful Dambulla Lake to watch the sunset over the hills. (B)
Visit one of Sri Lanka's most iconic sights this morning - the Unesco Sigiriya rock fortress that dramatically rises 370-metres from the central plains. A climb to the top offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Continue to Polonnaruwa, an impressive archaeological site packed with ancient structures including tombs, temples and stupas. (B)
Morning visit to Dambulla, home to Asia's most impressive and well-preserved cave temples. Admire the many Buddhist murals and statues, some of which date back as far as the first century BC. Leave the Cultural Triangle towards the beautiful hill station of Kandy and stay 2 nights at the Amaya Hills (or similar). Afternoon orientation tour before enjoying a traditional and colourful Kandyan dance performance. Nearby you will find one of Sri Lanka's holiest sites, the Temple of the Tooth, said to contain a tooth relic of the Buddha. The evening Puja ceremony held here is a fine spectacle where prayers and music fill the air. (B, D)
Kandy is set on the shores of a beautiful man-made lake and the area abounds in rich and varied plant life. After a leisurely breakfast, stroll through the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens and admire the flora, butterflies, birdlife and most notably, the impressive collection of exotic orchids. Spend the afternoon at your leisure - maybe explore Kandy's bustling markets or just relax at your hotel. (B, D)
This morning drive the scenic route towards the hill station of Nuwara Eliya. En route visit a historic tea planation where you can observe the tea pickers in the fields and learn about the process of tea production. On arrival in Nuwara Eliya, stay 2-nights at the Araliya Green Hills (or similar). Situated at 2,000 metres above sea level, Nuwara Eliya attracted the British in the 18th century and their legacy is still visible. (B, D)
Early morning visit to Horton Plains National Park, situated on Sri Lanka's highest plateau (this excursion involves a 2.5-hour walk*). Horton Plains is inhabited by large populations of monkeys and sambar deer and offers one of the best vantage points to view the spectacular Central Highlands. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B, D)
Drive to Wadduwa, a beach town on the west coast. Stay 2 nights at the Blue Water Hotel, a luxury hotel with breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean. (B, D)
Day at leisure to relax on the beach. Farewell dinner with the group. (B, D)
Transfer to Colombo and fly to London with
Sri Lankan Airlines. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
These small group tours have been specially created
for solo travellers. Benefits include single
occupancy of double / twin rooms as standard
and at sensible prices, plus the company of
like-minded travellers. View the complete
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
Due to high altitude and uneven
terrain, the Horton Plains trek requires a
good level of fitness. Visits to certain ancient
monuments in the cultural triangle require steep
climbing, including ascending more than 1,800
steps in one instance.
Due to changes to seasonal
schedules and opening times, there are minor
itinerary variations for certain departure
dates. Please check with your Cox & Kings tour
consultant for details.
This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits
you, for which guideline prices are shown.
Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact
requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
SCN2019: 12 Nights
In the Udawalawe National Park the wild elephants, several females with two babies, came right up to the jeep and continued to feed beside us without moving away. It was lovely seeing the elephants at the orphanage too, but a sight I shall not forget was watching a young one standing at the bottom of the slipway, crossing his front legs back and forth in time to the beat of the music coming from a restaurant nearby. He was dancing for fun! The visit to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandi made a deep impression on me. It was intensely crowded with devout Buddhists and I was in the middle of the crush when the doors of the casket opened, yet felt perfectly safe. I have a high regard for the gentle Sri Lankan people. I find tea plantations exceptionally beautiful, and am thrilled with the rich colours and patterns of the small fruit and spice stalls. Ms Phyllis Babb
Anuradhapura, ancient Sri Lanka’s first capital, was founded during the 4th century BC b...
Kandy, situated at an altitude of 500m, is the cultural centre of Sri Lanka and was the capital...
Located in the middle of tea-growing country. Nuwara Eliya, meaning ‘City of Light’, is...
Wadduwa The small resort of Wadduwa lies 32 kilometres south of Colombo and 8...