National Geographic Journeys

Discover Sri Lanka

  • Duration 11 Days | Colombo to Marawila
  • Group Size Max 15
  • From $2,819 AUD
Call 1300 363 742

Trip Overview


Be enchanted by Sri Lanka on an unforgettable 11-day journey. Explore Sigiriya rock fortress and refresh your spirit at the unusual Golden Temple of Dambulla, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll spice gardens and tea plantations, and ride through Wilpattu National Park with a forest ranger in search of elephants and leopards. Come away with a deep understanding of why early Arab traders called this island country “Serendib,” a name that gave English speakers the word “serendipity.”


Trip Highlights

    • Explore four UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Sigiriya rock fortress, the Golden Temple of Dambulla, and the sacred cities of Kandy and Anuradhapura.
    • Learn about tea harvesting at a plantation in Ceylon, and stay at an eco-lodge located on a tea estate.
    • Join a ranger on safari in Wilpattu National Park, home to a thriving leopard population, and learn about local conservation efforts.

Itinerary - 11 Days

Day 1 Colombo

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Days 2 & 3 Colombo/Nuwara Eliya

Discover the colonial and modern mix of Colombo on a city tour. Then drive into the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country to Nuwara Eliya, stopping amid rain forests to visit the town of Kitulgala en route. The next day, enjoy a picnic breakfast and a hike in Horton Plains National Park, keeping an eye out for macaques and wild boars. Enjoy high tea at the historic Grand Hotel. Embark on an evening tuk-tuk ride and visit the town center and market. Opt for a rafting excursion on the Kelani River. (2B)

Days 4 & 5 Kandy/Madulkele

Travel to the former royal capital of Kandy, stopping at a Ceylon tea plantation to learn about the growing and harvesting of tea. Enjoy a tour around the city and lake, with a guided visit to the Temple of the Tooth, believed to house a tooth of the Buddha. Then head to our eco-lodge in Madulkele, which is located on a tea estate. The next day, set out on a hiking excursion in the Knuckles mountains, following lush forest trails past villages and tea plantations. Later, enjoy a lecture and demonstration on Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu art of medicine, by a local practitioner. (2B, 2D)

Days 6 & 7 Matale/Dambulla/Sigiriya

Visit a spice garden in Matale before arriving at the archaeological site of Nalanda Gedige. Our next destination is the Golden Temple of Dambulla, which has drawn Buddhist pilgrims for more than 22 centuries. Venture into this extraordinary rock sanctuary to admire ancient murals and statues. The next day, visit a local farm to observe traditional agricultural practices. Purchase fresh ingredients before heading to a farmhouse to prepare a traditional lunch with the resident family. At the legendary rock fortress of Sigiriya, climb to the top of Lion Rock—crowned by the ruins of a fifth-century royal city—and take in stellar views at the summit. (2B, 1L)

Day 8 Wilpattu National Park

Travel north to Wilpattu National Park, renowned for its leopard population. Explore the park by jeep and meet with a forest ranger to learn about conservation efforts. Continue to Anuradhapura for the night. (1B)

Days 9 & 10 Anuradhapura/Marawila

Explore the sacred city of Anuradhapura—a World Heritage site—and discover ancient Buddhist monasteries. Later, travel south to coastal Marawila and spend the next day relaxing at the beach. (2B, 2D)

Day 11 Marawila

Depart at any time. (1B)

Related Trips

Discover Sri Lanka

From AUD $2,819 Call 1300 363 742


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