Sri Lanka Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 

Depart / Colombo / Negombo
Arrive in Colombo aboard your independent flight, transfer to Negombo and check into the Blue Hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore Negombo. The city has a colorful history, with the Dutch, Portuguese and British all claiming the city at various times. Evidence of their occupation is seen in the colonial architecture, During the Dutch rule, Negombo flourished as an important source for highly profitable cinnamon. Join the rest of our Sri Lanka tour group for a festive welcome dinner. (D)

Days 3 & 4 

Wilpattu National Park 
Morning and afternoon safaris in Wilpattu are perfect for exploring Sri Lanka’s largest national park. These forests are home to 30 recorded mammal species, including leopard, sloth bear, Sri Lankan elephants and spotted deer. Our naturalists point out bird species such as whistling teal spoonbill and while ibis. Spend two nights at Mahoora Mobile Tented Camp. (B,L,D Daily)

Day 5 

Wilpattu / Habarana 
En route to Habarana, stop to tour the sacred city of Anuradhapura. The famed Sri Maha Bodhiya, or Bo Tree, is said to be from a sapling of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. This was the first Sinhalese capital of Sri Lanka, and the city’s glorious past is still evident in the ruins dating back to the 3rd Century BC and earlier. Continue to Habarana and spend two nights at Cinnamon Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 6 

Habarana: Polonnaruwa 
Walk through the ruined city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s medieval capital, seeing the massive buildings and ornate parks constructed by King Parakramabahu. Enjoy an afternoon safari looking for wild elephants. (B,L,D)

Day 7 

Habarana / Sigiriya / Matale / Kandy 
The rock fortress of Sigiriya, a giant granite monolith, was built in the shape of a lion. Giant lion paws and intricate surrounding brickwork are all that remain of the once-forbidding entrance to the Upper Palace. Visit a spice garden en route to Kandy, where we enjoy a city tour and show featuring traditional dance. Spend tonight at Earl’s Regency Hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 8 

Kandy / Nuwara Eliya / Kandapola
Begin our day at the morning drumming session at the Temple of the Tooth Relic before traveling to Kandapola, near charming Nuwara Eliya. Stop in at a tea factory, learning the process of plucking to processing tea leaves. Spend tonight at Heritance Tea Factory Hotel. (B,L,D)

Days 9 & 10 

Yala National Park
Tucked into semi-arid thorny scrub along southeast coast, Yala boasts the world’s highest density of wild leopards. Our safaris in the early morning and at dusk put us in prime position to spot leopards, as well as the park’s endangered black-necked stork and other birdlife. Additionally, a large number of other species roam Yala National Park. There are a total of 44 mammals within the confines of the park, including Sambar deer and Asiatic water buffalo. A total of 46 species of reptiles, including the threatened Sri Lankan crocodile, are found at Yala. Designated as one of the 70 important bird areas of Sri Lanka, there are 215 bird species — with six endemics. Spend two nights at Cinnamon Wild. (B,L,D Daily)

Day 11 

Yala / Galle
En route to Galle, meet the stilt fishermen and even attempt this ancient fishing method. Continue to Galle and spend tonight at Lighthouse Hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 12 

Galle: Mirissa & Galle Fort / Colombo En Route
Enjoy a picnic breakfast while whale-watching, hoping to see both blue and sperm whales. Join a local author and photographer for a walking tour of Galle Fort. Dayrooms are available at the Lighthouse Hotel until you transfer to the airport for your independent flight home. (B,L,D)

Day 13 

Arrive Home
Arrive home and board connecting flights. (Meals Aloft)