Essential Sri Lanka
Enjoy experiencing the ‘must see’ sites of Sri Lanka – from exciting city life to ancient civilization ruins; from a wildlife safari to pristine beaches on luxury resorts. You may choose to add diving or golfing to this adventure and wish you had more time to spend in this paradise.
See for yourself why clients are calling their private trip to Sri Lanka “amazing”…..
Day 1 Colombo
Your arrival in Colombo marks the start of your experience on the Isle of Serendib. In the arrival hall of Bandaranayake International Airport you will find your English speaking host and driver. You will be at ease as we take pride in selecting professional and personable drivers.
Once outside the airport you’ll be enthralled with warm temperatures and the whisper of palm leaves colliding in the gentle breeze. Visually you’ll be pleasantly overwhelmed with color and greenery.
You’ll be taken directly to your hotel to refresh yourself before your Colombo city tuk-tuk safari. While touring you will visit the magnificent stone edifice at Independence Square which commemorates Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948. Then enjoy a tour of Gangarama Temple which is the oldest Buddhist temple in Colombo.
If time permits the Red Mosque in the bustling market area known as Pettah is a must- see. Nearby the Dutch hospital is considered to be the oldest building in the Colombo Fort area. Dating back to Dutch colonialism, it has now been refurbished to offer the best of dining, shopping and spa. Enjoy high tea at the world-famous Galle Face hotel. Then, to wrap up the city tour, you can take a stroll oceanside on the Galle Face Green as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
Day 2 Colombo
Today a private guide will take you more into the depths of the history of Colombo. You will visit the Colombo Museum which was established by the British in 1877. There are many artifacts and interesting exhibits that highlight the history of Sri Lanka.
You could choose an afternoon massage or ayurvedic treatment at your hotel. In addition, you could cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a cool drink poolside. For dinner you’ll be pleasantly surprised by all Sri Lankan fare as you discover different varieties of curry.
Day 3 Kandy
Today you’ll be winding your way to Kandy by private vehicle. As the city fades you’ll begin to see agricultural and village life. Your driver may stop on the way for you to taste fresh cashews that are sold along the roadside just before you begin the climb up into the mountains to the largest city in the Central province. On the way you may choose to take a detour to walk alongside the majestic Asian elephant at the Millenium Elephant Foundation.
You’ll now enjoy the Royal Botanical Gardens which are the largest gardens in Sri Lanka. The climate of Kandy allows for hundreds of species of fauna and flora at about 500 meters above sea level. Imagine being surrounded by nature and clean mountain air that inspires.
Following the gardens you’ll be transported to your hotel for the evening. Be sure to try a King Coconut water or Elephant House Ginger Beer which are both favorite beverages here.
Day 4 Kandy
The magic of the former Kandy Kingdom comes alive as you visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese kings. This Buddhist temple is a UNESCO world heritage site that is within the royal palace complex. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in the local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic of the Buddha’s tooth holds the governance of the nation. Take a few minutes to visit the Sri Dalada Museum, also on the same site, and keep an eye out for monkeys who prowl around this area.
Following the temple and museum your private guide will take you on a tour of the town of Kandy including the famous Kandy Lake. Be sure to make a few stops along the way and enjoy a cold drink or ice cream offered by the many vendors along this paved route. Also, don’t miss the newly renovated Queens’ bathing house situated on the west side of the lake.
If you’re visiting during the month of August, you’ll be in for the experience of a lifetime with the Esala Perahera. This annual procession of dancers, drummers, costumed participants, silk gowned elephants, spearmen and flag bearers parade around the city with great flair!
Day 5 Dambulla
Travel to Dambulla in the morning after your final breakfast in Kandy. In the quiet village of Dambulla, you will dive into the history and culture of ancient Sri Lanka. With gorgeous views of wildlife and nature, you will be enveloped in the peaceful scenery. The highlight is Sigiriya which sits 200 meters on top of a flat rock known as the Lion Rock. There are beautiful caves and water gardens around the base of this great mountain. Hiking and walking through winding staircases to the top of the mountain you will see Sri Lanka’s famous damsel frescoes. Tonight you’ll rest in the shadow of this one time fortress mountain.
Day 6 Sigiriya & Minneriya
This morning you’ll experience the natural wonder of Sri Lanka on a jeep safari meandering from plains to jungles with your private ranger guide. Here elephants, peacocks, monkeys, birds, and more roam in freedom, creating a picture perfect experience for safari guests.
Day 7 Trincomalee
Today the east coast awaits! On this leg of the tour, get ready to soak in the sun, enjoy the ocean view and take in the smells as you lounge on the perfect white powdery sand of Nilaveli Beach. Another favorite is Marble Beach, a cove where white sand joins turquoise water awaiting your arrival.
Day 8 Trincomalee
Check out the Koneswaram Temple situated on a cliff above the Indian Ocean. This is a Hindu temple dating back to 1580 BC located inside Fort Fredrick and built by the Portuguese in 1624 from the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple. Take some time here to learn about the history of the east coast of Sri Lanka. After the morning of adventure and exploration, you could play a round of Golf at Eagles’ Golf Links.
Day 9 Trincomalee
You will have the chance to snorkel at Pigeon Island where some of the best coral reef in the Indian Ocean lies undisturbed. You will also have a chance to scuba dive and see underwater ancient Hindu statues. There are many sites for diving and snorkeling where you can see fish, sharks, and sea turtles. Take a private boat out to see the Blue Whales, Sperm Whales and dolphins. Recently the world’s largest mammal, the Whale Shark, has been seen here!
Day 10 Anuradhapura
Travel to Serenity. Your next site on this tour is the serene and quaint city of Anuradhapura, where the first ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka ruled around 380 BC. This Sacred city is revered in Buddhism, where you can see the oldest living tree planted by humans. It was planted from a sapling of the tree where Buddha was enlightened. This UNESCO world heritage site is home to three great monasteries and multiple ruins.
Day 11 Negombo
Travel to Negombo. Finally, before your adventure is over, reflect on your experience at the relaxing beach town located a short distance from the airport. Watch local fisherman pull in their catch for the day. Chill out on the beach with the astonishing views and sounds of the Indian Ocean. One final time you may want to take advantage of a fresh seafood meal before dozing off for your last night in Sri Lanka.
Your final day in paradise will conclude with one last trip to the ocean or a swim in the pool. Enjoy your last cup of Ceylon tea as you prepare to head back to the airport.
Essential Sri Lanka Pricing:
|Season||3 star||4 star||5 star|
(April, July – Sept. 15, Dec. – Jan. 31 )
| Mid Season
(Feb. – Mar. 31, Nov.)
| Low Season
(May – June, Sept. 16 – Oct. 31)
For single rooms, a single supplement fee will be applied.
Contact us for larger group pricing.
2 people at a 4-star level
Quick Tour Overview
Day 1 – Colombo
Day 2 – Colombo
Day 3 – Kandy
Day 4 – Kandy
Day 5 – Dambulla
Day 6 – Sigiriya & Minneriya
Day 7 – Trincomalee
Day 8 – Trincomalee
Day 9 – Trincomalee
Day 10 – Anuradhapura
Day 11 – Negombo
Day 12 – Departure
All Our Tours Include:
- Private English-Speaking Guide
- Premium Quality Hotels
- Informative Historical Tours
Request a quote today and tell us what will make your trip unique;
Our Sri Lanka experts tailor the itinerary that’s right for you;
We keep working with you to perfect your itinerary; and
You easily book through our American office.
What you’ll see on the Essential Sri Lanka