National Geographic Journeys

Discover Sri Lanka

  • Duration 12 Days | Colombo to Negombo
  • Group Size Small Group
  • From $2,699 AUD
Call 1300 363 742

Trip Overview

Soak in the enchantment of Sri Lanka on this unforgettable journey. Refresh your spirit at the unusual Golden Temple of Dambulla, stroll spice gardens and tea plantations, and ride through Wilpattu National Park in search of elephants and leopards. Come away with an understanding of why Arab traders called the island “Serendib”—a name that gave English speakers the word “serendipity.”

Trip Highlights

Explore ruins and archaeological sites with local experts, take in a lecture on elephant conservation, search out leopards at Wilpattu National Park, enjoy a taste of tea at its source, learn about local ingredients and flavours during a cooking demonstration

Itinerary - 12 Days

Day 1 Colombo

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Day 2 Colombo/Wilpattu National Park (1B, 1D)

Depart early and visit a coconut plantation, learning about farming and popular coconut-based products. Continue north to Wilpattu National Park, known for its leopard population. Explore the park on a 4x4 and meet with a local expert to hear about conservation efforts and the issues of human encroachment on wildlife reserves. Overnight at a safari camp, located just outside the National Park.

Day 3 Wilpattu National Park/Anuradhapura (1B)

Travel to the sacred city of Anuradhapura — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through the ruins and discover ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples. Enjoy some free time this afternoon and opt to rent a bike.

Day 4 Anuradhapura/Dambulla (1B, 1L)

Enjoy a walk through Habarana, a rural farming village, and learn about daily life. Relax with a canoe trip on the lake, ride on a bull cart, taste a local lunch, and venture out into the rice and vegetable fields. Later, continue on to Dambulla for the evening.

Day 5 Dambulla (1B)

Head to Sigiriya (Lion) rock fortress and climb the steps to the top of this captivating site to discover UNESCO-listed ruins and take in stellar views. After, enjoy some free time to explore Dambulla.

Day 6 Dambulla/Kandy (1B)

Tour the impressive Dambulla Cave Temple and admire ancient Buddhist murals and statues then visit a spice garden in Matale to learn about the theraputic uses of local spices. Continue on to Kandy and enjoy a tour of the Temple of the Tooth, which houses an important relic — a tooth of Lord Buddha kept in a well-preserved golden casket. This evening, listen to some traditional music at a cultural show.

Day 7 Kandy (1B)

Today, visit the impressive Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, considered a national asset. Enjoy the lush surroundings, pavilions, conservancy, orchid house, and stunning Javan fig tree. After, visit Sthree Craft Shop and Café, a G for Good-supported social enterprise that helps local women and youth. Here, we view a handicraft demonstration, listen to a lecture lecture, and enjoy afternoon high tea. Taste local teas, scones, clotted cream, jam, and an assortment of sweet cakes and pastries. Later, enjoy some free time to walk through the city and around Kandy Lake.

Day 8 Kandy/Nuwara Eliya (1B)

Travel through scenic mountains to the tea-producing town of Nuwara Eliya, stopping at a traditional tea plantation in the central highlands to gain insight into the process of growing tea and its effect on the Ceylon region. Enjoy a cup of perfectly blended pure Ceylon tea then continue exploring the English countryside atmosphere which was once governed by English and Scottish planters. Walk through the green grass and lanes, enjoying stunning views of this countryside hamlet. Opt to enjoy high tea at the Grand Hotel.

Day 9 Nuwara Eliya/Udawalawe (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a picnic breakfast and hike through the highlands in Horton Plains National Park. Continue on to our tented camp on the border of Udawalawe National Park. This evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration by the camp chef to learn about local specialties.

Day 10 Udawalawe (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a wildlife safari drive into the park to observe elephants who are in abundance here. After, visit and enjoy a lecture at the Elephant Transit Home, a haven for orphaned elephants who are rehabilitated then released back into the wild, many directly into Udawalawe National Park.

Day 11 Udawalawe/Negombo (1B)

Drive to Negombo and enjoy free time to explore the city and check out the beautiful Portuguese and Dutch architecture.

Day 12 Negombo (1B)

Depart at any time.

Discover Sri Lanka

From AUD$2,699 Call 1300 363 742Book Online

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