Indulge in sustainable luxury on this exclusive tour of Sri Lanka. Visit the Buddhist cave temples and ancient palaces in the Cultural Triangle, experience the tea plantations in the emerald hills, and discover the seaside attractions on the southern coast. Learn about sea turtle conservation at a renowned hatchery and explore the vibrant alleys of an exotic trading port.
This luxury tour is a mix of highly rated experiences, popular landmarks, and Sodha Travel favorites. Our team has negotiated incredible rates and upgrades, allowing you to travel like royalty in Sri Lanka!
*International airfare is not included
Style: Private tour.
Book with Confidence. Change your travel dates with no fees! *A supplement may apply for peak and holiday travel.
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Choose Your Travel Dates. Select your preferred travel dates. No fixed departures!
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival, a private transfer will be provided to the hotel.
Sri Lanka, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, is an island nation home to more than 20 million people. Colombo, the commercial capital, is a vibrant mix of modernity and colonial ruins. Because of its natural harbor and positioning along sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders from 2,000 years ago.
After breakfast, drive to Habarana, considered the Cultural Zone of Ancient Kingdoms (4 hours). En-route, visit the Dambulla Cave Temple. Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the area but the major attractions are spread over five caves that contain statues and paintings. Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site near Dambulla is the latest archaeological site providing evidence of the presence of indigenous civilizations long before the arrival of Indian influences in Sri Lanka.
Your afternoon is reserved for a 4x4 jeep safari in Minneriya National Park. Minneriya is one of Sri Lanka's formative national parks where elephants and other wildlife can be observed.
In the morning, visit Sigiriya, an ancient palace located in the central Matale District. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 ft) high. According to an ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, the site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes. On a small plateau, he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king's death and it was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. It is considered one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning.
After lunch, visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa was a Sri Lankan kingdom and remains one of the best planned archaeological relics in the country. The UNESCO site houses the ruins of a garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century and Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas.
Habarana - Kandy
After breakfast, drive to Kandy (3 hours). En-route you will learn about the story of Sri Lankan spices and have a spice infused Sri Lankan lunch at a private garden. Sri Lanka has long been renowned for its spices. Since ancient times, traders from all over the world brought their native cuisines to the island, resulting in a rich diversity of cooking styles and techniques. Sri Lankan people use spices liberally in their dishes and typically do not follow an exact recipe. Additionally, some of the spices are also used for medicinal purposes in the indigenous medical method called Ayurveda.
Arrive at Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. After time at leisure, experience the puja ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa), considered one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. The sacred tooth relic of Buddha, brought to Sri Lanka during the reign of king Meghavarna (301-328), is encased in seven caskets, one kept inside the other, the outmost of which has a shape of a stupa adorned with many gold ornaments.
In the morning, transfer to the rail station for your train journey to Nuwara Eliya. The route is often considered the most scenic journey in the world.
Nuwara Eliya is located in the heart of Sri Lankan hill country. It is the home of the famous Ceylon Tea and the rolling mountains are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations interspersed with tumbling waterfalls. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to soak in the views and flavors of tea.
In the morning, drive to Horton Plains by jeep for a picnic breakfast. The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers - Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala, the plains are known as Maha Eliya and stone tools dating back to Balangoda culture have been found on site. The vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan Sambar Deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an important birding region with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to Horton Plains.
Return to Nuwara Eliya and explore the tea plantations. Overnight.
Nuwara Eliya - Bentota
In the morning, drive to Bentota (5 hours). Bentota is a beautiful seaside town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Evening at leisure and overnight.
In the morning, drive to Galle (1 hour). Stone sea walls, expanded by the Dutch, encircle car-free streets with architecture reflecting Portuguese, Dutch, and British rule.
Visit the Galle Fort. Also known as the Ramparts of Galle, it was built by the Portuguese in 1558, fortified by the Dutch in 1649, and came under British control in 1796.The fort layout resembles a small town and residents still live inside the walls, including Sinhalese, Dutch, Germans, Portuguese, English, and Muslim Moors.
You will then proceed for a river cruise. The estuary of the Madu Ganga River is a complex coastal ecosystem of mangroves and islands. It may be one of the last remaining tracts of pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka. A boat trip is a wonderful way to view the hundreds of species of plants and animals – monkeys eating fruit in the trees, a water monitor lizard gliding slowly through the water, and cormorants, egrets, and kingfishers waiting patiently on the banks, eyeing the water for prey.
Finish the day with a visit to the turtle hatchery at Kosgoda. Kosgoda is famous for its sea turtle conservation project, operated by the Wildlife Protection Society of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1988 to protect Sri Lanka’s turtles from extinction. Since then, it has released about 3.5 million baby turtles into the wild. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the long sandy beach. Although October to April is the main laying season, some eggs (mostly green turtles) can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year. The hatchery buries the eggs in sand, and when they hatch around 50 days later, the baby turtles are released into the sea at night. Only about one in 1,000 turtles survive to maturity. Kosgoda turtle hatchery also has tanks for injured or disabled turtles, including albino turtles that would not survive in the wild.
Return to Bentota and overnight.
Bentota - Colombo and Departure
Day at leisure.
Later, drive to Colombo (2 hours) and transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Other Tour Details
9 nights of luxury hotel accommodations
Daily breakfast and one lunch
Private air-conditioned vehicle with driver for touring and transport
Train Ticketing from Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
Comprehensive touring, including curated private guides
All entrance fees
Jeep safari in Minneriya National Park
Boat ride on the Madu River
Private airport and rail station transfers
Road/Interstate taxes, fuel surcharges, and parking fees
Mineral water during touring and transport
Any items of a personal nature
Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization
Special Promotional Pricing
Book with confidence! Change your travel dates with NO fees!
This is a private tour with no fixed departure date! Select any travel date in the following blocks for the same price! Upon payment and confirmation, a Sodha Travel Specialist will contact you to finalize your preferred arrival date.
January 6 - February 28, 2023 $2397 per person, based on double occupancy
March 1 - August 31, 2023 $2097 per person, based on double occupancy
When reserving your flights, arrivals and departures will be from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB).