15 DAYS ●
A land ripe with incredible adventure, journey through Sri Lanka’s extensive history, culture and nature, discovering the ruins of ancient civilisations, spotting exotic wildlife and hiking the hill country as you go.
Look out for leopards in Wilpattu National Park, the largest park in Sri Lanka
Paddle in this tranquil river, looking for exotic birds and amphibians
Gaze over World's End and discover its wide variety of flora and fauna
Explore Sri Lanka's capital on a World War II-era jeep
Our Spirit of Sri Lanka itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly overnight to Colombo. On arrival you will be met by your expert tour guide and transferred to your hotel in the beach resort of Negombo, north of Colombo. The rest of the day is yours to explore.
Journey to Anuradhapura, which sits at the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. En route stop at the Wilpattu National Park for a safari. Whilst exploring amongst the ‘willus’, natural sand basins that fill with rainwater, keep an eye out for elephants, sloth bears and leopards, for which the park is world-renowned. (B,L,D)
The UNESCO World Heritgelisted Sigiriya, or Lion Rock, rises a sheer 180 metres out of Sri Lanka’s central plains. Marvel at it from below, before passing through two giant lion paws and climbing a series of galleries and staircases, many lined with magnificent frescoes. At the top you’ll find the remains to King Kassappa’s palace and incredible views. (B,L,D)
Head to the village of Hiriwadunna where you’ll get a glimpse at rural life. Starting on a path along an ancient reservoir, observe the rich bird life and the day-to-day activities of the local people as you walk. Paddle across a river to visit a family on their farm before continuing through the bush-terrain, home to monkeys and even the occasional elephant. This afternoon, continue to the 11th-century city of Polonnaruwa, also a UNESCO site. Wander amongst the well-preserved ruins and gaze on the Heavenly Maidens frescoes. (B,L,D)
Travel to Kandy, a city set tranquilly among forests and plantations at Sri Lanka’s heart. Another World Heritage site thanks to its rich heritage and cultural treasures, tour the city visiting the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, Sri Lanka’s most sacred temple, an arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and the market. This evening, join the locals in the quadrangle of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth to witness the evening puja. (B,L,D)
Venture out into the early morning mists of the Mahaweli River. Paddle through the city and out into the wilderness where the naturalist who will accompany you will point out the exotic birds and amphibians that make up just some of the area’s biodiversity. Later, travel to see a brass maker who will show you his home, his workshop and his craft – you can even help him
with his work. This evening tap your feet to the beat of traditional music and dancing at an optional cultural show. (B,L,D)
This morning is free in Kandy before heading for the station to catch the train to Nanu Oya – the scenery that you pass through is some of the best in Sri Lanka. Proceed to Nuwara Eliya, a 19th century British hill station, a place of cool climes enveloped in tea plantations. (B,L,D)
Set on a high altitude plateau, Horton Plains encompasses an eco-system so unique and fascinating that it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site that covers the whole of Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands. Discover the wide variety of flora and fauna and gaze over World’s End, pass through herds of sambar deer and keep an eye out for fishing cats, otters and leopards. Visit a tea plantation to learn about the process, from bush to brew, and proceed to the spectacularly-set hill village Ella. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, set out on a full day trek through the incredible countryside that surrounds Ella. Follow a trail through tea plantations, paddy fields and dense forest. For those feeling extra adventurous you can climb the steep route up Ella Rock, from the top of which are views over the breathtaking Ella Gap. Pass through rural villages, giving a glimpse of the routine of village life in Sri Lanka’s highlands. (B,L,D)
Leave Ella soaking up the final glimpses of lush highlands as you go and journey down to the golden sands and swishing palms of Hikkaduwa. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Sri Lanka’s greatest colonial treasure, Galle was once the great port of Ceylon, a tropical city surrounding a Dutch fort. Your local guide will take you on a tour that encapsulates its history, culture, food and legends, giving you the perfect overview of Galle and the people who call it home. Return to Hikkaduwa. (B,L)
Take a day to relax or to make your own explorations. (B)
Depart Hikkaduwa and travel to Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital city, Colombo. On arrival, transfer to World War II-era jeeps for a unique and adventurous city tour. Roaring around the city in these open-top antique vehicles, you’ll see the Dutch Hospital, Old Parliament, Colombo harbour, Slave Island and much more. This evening, sit down to a Sri Lankan-themed farewell dinner, full of delicious local flavours, in a traditional-style but carbon neutral venue set around a 200-year-old Banyan Tree. (B,L,D)
Transfer to Colombo airport to board your flight to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form.
To call the UK the international access code is 0044 then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625. Mobile Phones Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost.
Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Bhutan is no exception. We have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount is calculated for each tour. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.
Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste. Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and the UK's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th. Wendy Wu and the team look forward to welcoming you to Asia soon!
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