Spirit of Sri Lanka


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.

tour duration 15 Days from
tour price 3,190pp
tour type Group Tour

Places Visited

UK - Colombo (1N) - Negombo (1N) - Anuradhapura (1N) - Sigiriya (2N) - Kandy (2N) - Nuwara Eliya (1N) - Ella (2N) - Hikkaduwa (3N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Look out for leopards in Wilpattu National Park
Ascend the famous Lion Rock in Sigiriya
Trek through Hiriwadunna, where you'll get a glimpse at rural life
Paddle the Mahaweli river, looking for exotic birds and ampihbians
Gaze over World's End and discover its wide variety of flora and fauna
Explore Colombo on a World War II-era jeep

Days 1-2 Fly to Colombo
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.
Days 1-2 Fly to Colombo
Day 3 Wilpattu National Parl
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)
Day 3 Wilpattu National Parl
Day 4 Sigiriya
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)
Day 4 Sigiriya
Day 5 Hiriwadunna Trek
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)
Day 5 Hiriwadunna Trek
Day 6 Journey to Kandy
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)
Day 6 Journey to Kandy
Day 7 Mahaweli River Expedition
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)
Day 7 Mahaweli River Expedition
Day 8 Travel to Nuwara Eliya
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)
Day 8 Travel to Nuwara Eliya
Day 9 Horton Plains Safari
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)
Day 9 Horton Plains Safari
Day 10 Ella Trekking
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)
Day 10 Ella Trekking
Day 11 Ella to Hikkaduwa
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)
Day 11 Ella to Hikkaduwa
Day 12 Explore Galle
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)
Day 12 Explore Galle
Day 13 At leisure in Hikkaduwa
Take a day to relax or to make your own explorations. (B)
Day 13 At leisure in Hikkaduwa
Day 14 Explore Colombo
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)
Day 14 Explore Colombo
Day 15 Depart Colombo
Transfer to Colombo airport to board your flight to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Day 15 Depart Colombo

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

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 Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

12-Oct > 26-Oct - £3,190 BOOK NOW
23-Oct > 07-Nov - £3,290 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £2,590 (Colombo - Colombo)
Single room from £990
Tipping paid locally US$80

19-Jul > 02-Aug - £3,790 BOOK NOW
11-Oct > 25-Oct - £3,590 BOOK NOW
22-Nov > 06-Dec - £3,690 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £2,590 (Colombo - Colombo)
Single room from £990
Tipping paid locally US$80

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. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), 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 good coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. 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.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Sri Lanka is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so 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 for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over Sri Lanka where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
 
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
 
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades, tie-dyed cottons, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets or the woollen shawls.
 
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in Sri Lanka. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
 
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India and Sri Lanka is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars, and tea/coffee from home.
 
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
 
Tea is very popular and Sri Lankans simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.

What's Included

Most meals
International flights and current taxes
Domestic transportation
Accommodation
Touring with guides and entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those who are looking to explore the country of Sri Lanka on a Discovery Tour. As part of your Discovery Tour, you will be given a more immersive experience of Sri Lanka. Some meals are included on this tour allowing you the opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture and dining culture.

Download Discovery Brochure

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Immersive group tours in Asia, featuring authentic, cultural and more active experiences

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