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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Countries Visited

Sri Lanka

DAY 1, Sunday - Depart for Sri Lanka
Depart for Sri Lanka

DAY 2, Monday - Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Negombo
Welcome to Sri Lanka, an enchanting island with a fascinating heritage known as the "jewel" of the Indian Ocean. Upon arrival at the airport in Colombo, transfer to the palm-fringed beach town of Negombo. The rest of the day is yours to acclimate to your new time zone and enjoy the relaxing setting and gentle sea breezes
Overnight: Negombo

DAY 3, Tuesday - Negombo City Tour, Beach Walk
Begin the day with a city tour of delightful Negombo, once the most important source of cinnamon during the Dutch era. Visit the port, which was once a major trading port for the Portuguese and later for the Dutch after they took over during the middle of the 17th century. Due to the settlers' cultural, religious and architectural influences, you will view many colonial style buildings and a large number of elaborate Roman Catholic churches and statues of saints, the reason why Negombo has been nicknamed "Little Rome". Proceed to the ruins of a Dutch fort dating back to 1678. Nearby, on the green lawn of the Esplanade, perhaps watch children playing cricket - a big favorite in Sri Lanka! Afterwards, return to the hotel. Late in the afternoon, share coffee, tea and local snacks before a walk together on the nearby beach. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the journey that lies ahead, followed by a dinner. Try favorite dishes created from a delectable blend of Portuguese, Dutch, Malay and Indian influences accented by fragrant curries
Overnight: Negombo
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4, Wednesday - Habarana, Ancient Polonnaruwa
This morning, travel to Habarana, center of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka and check in to your hotel. In the afternoon, drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa, where kings ruled the central plains of Sri Lanka over 800 years ago. The glories of that era can be found in the archaeological park, with hundreds of massive ancient structures. Return to the hotel for dinner
Overnight: Habarana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Thursday - Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Hiriwadunna Village, Safari
Today will be a long and rewarding day. Early departure from the hotel to visit Sigiriya, where thriving ancient cities once existed. At the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, dating back 1500 years, delight in exhilarating views over the surrounding area of covered moats, lily-ponds nestled in water gardens and quiet shrines. Rising from the central plains, this iconic rocky outcrop is surely Sri Lanka's most dramatic sight! Near vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to be once the epicenter of the short lived Kingdom of Kassapa. Head back towards your hotel to discover what life is like in an authentic Sri Lankan village! Wander down a dirt lane off the main road to Hiriwadunna, a tiny settlement of less than 2,500 people where they grow their own food and raise cattle. During your walk, keep an eye out for colorful butterflies, birds and native plants. See how coconuts are harvested and try a drink from a freshly cut coconut! Visit a local house for a demonstration on how local products are processed followed by a typical Sri Lankan lunch with rice & curry. In the afternoon, a great experience lies ahead with a visit to a national park*, one of the best places in the country to view wild elephants. The parks are a mixed forest and wetlands that provide shelter for sambar deer, buffalo, and crocodiles. Return in the evening to your hotel in Habarana with time to freshen up before dinner*Visit will be at either Minneriya, Kaudulla or Eco Park depending on seasonal elephant migration patterns
Overnight: Habarana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Friday - Temples of Dambulla, Cooking Demo, Kandy
This morning, depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dambulla to visit the cave temples, filled with Buddha statues and huge wall paintings. This extraordinary rock sanctuary dating back over 2,000 years, serves as inspiration for Buddhist pilgrims. Depart and stop at one of many roadside stands to buy fresh vegetables for the chef-led cooking demonstration at a spice garden. You'll learn some of the secrets of typical and unique Sri Lankan cooking methods using coconut milk, curry and spices, followed by a delicious lunch of regional favorites. Afterward, tour the Euphoria spice garden which displays most of the spices Sri Lanka is famous for and find out the various uses of each plant. Then proceed to Kandy, the last capital of Sri Lankan kings. Tonight is yours to explore the variety of restaurants that Kandy has to offer on your own
Overnight: Kandy
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Saturday - Royal Botanical Gardens, Temple of the Tooth Relic, Home Hosted Dinner
Morning visit to the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, renowned for its collection of orchids. Take a stroll along the imposing Avenue of Royal Palms, before a visit to a family-owned gem lapidary where you learn about the different types of gemstones and how they are mined. Later, visit the gold-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Considered one of Sri Lanka's most sacred sites, this Buddhist temple is believed to house a tooth of Buddha. Explore the temple housed in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy visited by both locals and tourists bearing flowers and incense throughout the day in this genuine place of worship. Tonight, you're invited to the home of a local family for a specially prepared dinner of local favorites. Attend a performance by a Kandayan dancer and drummer before you're welcomed into the home with typical warm Sri Lankan hospitality. Enjoy a cup of tea and learn how to prepare a typical dish before sitting down to savor your meal
Overnight: Kandy
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Sunday - The Tea Experience in Nuwara Eliya
Today, travel to Nuwara Eliya via Ramboda with a stop at a tea estate and factory. Learn about the growing and harvesting of tea as you walk through the working factory to observe the processing of the leaves as well as how they are graded and packed. See how tea is traditionally picked and perhaps climb up into the steep terraced fields to try your hand at plucking tea leaves! End your visit with a sampling of different varieties of "Ceylon" teas. After lunch, proceed to Nuwara Eliya, nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country, surrounded by breathtaking views of bright green rolling hills, meadows, mountains and rushing waterfalls. This hill town was a popular 19th century resort and escape for the hard-working English and Scottish pioneers of Sri Lanka's tea industry. Check in to the hotel before a late afternoon walk through the charming center of the city with its old brick Post Office and country houses that evoke nostalgia of Colonial British Ceylon. A "tuk tuk" ride takes you to the Old Church with its pretty rose garden. After a visit to the church, complete your exploration of Sri Lanka's tea country with a proper cup of evening tea! Tonight is at leisure to explore the restaurants in Nuwara Eliya on your own
Overnight: Nuwara Eliya
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Monday - Ella, Yala National Park
Time at leisure this morning before departing for your journey through mountains and valleys covered with velvet green tea plantations to the hill town of Ella*. View the stunning Ravana Falls, the widest waterfall in the country. Arrive this evening at Yala National Park, a nature reserve that encompasses a vast wilderness of grassy plains, scrub jungle, lakes, and wetlands with the highest density of leopards in Asia. Dinner tonight at the lodge in Yala National Park*Some departures will travel to Ella by train while others will take a scenic road by coach
Overnight: Yala National Park
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Tuesday - Jeep Safari in Yala National Park
Linger this morning and savor your leisure time in this wildlife paradise. In the afternoon, get ready for the sights and sounds of a Jeep Safari -- you'll experience the best of the country's native wildlife and natural landscape. Set out in a 4x4 with an expert guide that will share facts about the endemic wildlife. If you're lucky, you may catch sight of the distinct Sri Lankan leopards. Spot crocodiles by the water and spot a variety of birdlife at many of the watering holes. Around the lagoons, perhaps see flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, rare black-necked storks, grey herons, and darters. An astonishing day! At tonight's dinner at the hotel, compare stories of today's adventure
Overnight: Yala National Park
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Wednesday - Coastal Road to Weligama Bay, Discussion with a Buddhist Monk
A gorgeous drive along the winding coastal road takes you to Weligama Bay, whose name means, "sandy village," after its soft pristine sand, rolling surf and endless sunshine. In the afternoon, visit a nearby meditation center to participate in a discussion with a Buddhist Monk on meditation. You'll have the opportunity to ask questions and learn how to apply these principles and teachings. Return to the hotel for dinner
Overnight: Weligama Bay
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Thursday - Galle Fort and City Tour
Morning drive to the pretty colonial town of Galle, the "jewel of the south", bursting with exotic scents of spices and sea air. En route, view the famous stilted fishermen that perch on handmade structures of wood and twine to catch their fish. Arrive at the historic Galle Fort, built in the 1500s by the Portuguese and extensively restored after the 2004 tsunami. Admire the sights in town including St. Mary's Cathedral, the picturesque natural harbor and the Galle International Stadium. Return to the hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure in picturesque Weligama Bay
Overnight: Weligama Bay
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13, Friday - Turtle Hatchery, Cricket Club, Colombo
Depart Weligama this morning and drive to Kosgoda, a prime turtle nesting site. Here, visit a turtle hatchery where you learn about the rescue and protection of turtle eggs while seeing newly hatched turtles. On to the capital city of Colombo for a panoramic tour of the city. A late afternoon visit to a cricket club where you may get a glimpse of a cricket match or a practice session. At tonight's dinner, share wonderful memories and bid farewell to your Tour Manager
Overnight: Colombo
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Saturday - Depart Sri Lanka
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

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Inclusions

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip flights New York-Colombo, Colombo-New York
    Other departure cities available. Please click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 12 nights First Class accommodations
  • 2 nights Negombo
  • 2 nights Habarana
  • 2 nights Kandy
  • 1 night Nuwara Eliya
  • 2 nights Yala National Park
  • 2 nights Weligama Bay
  • 1 night Colombo
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • Train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella*
  • 24 meals: 12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • National Park Fees  
  • *Some departures will travel to Ella by train while others will take a scenic road by coach

    Tour Highlights

    Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa, where kings ruled Sri Lanka over 800 years ago
  • Tour the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress dating back over 1500 years, rising from the central plains
  • Glimpse into village life in Hiriwadunna where you are welcomed with a hosted lunch
  • Visit a national park in the Cultural Triangle, one of the best places in Sri Lanka to view wild elephants
  • At the inspirational cave temples of Dambulla, view golden Buddha statues and murals
  • Tour the gold-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, one of Sri Lanka’s most sacred sites
  • In Kandy, dinner at the home of a local family with specially prepared Sri Lankan dishes
  • Travel to the town of Nuwara Eliya in the center of Sri Lanka’s magnificent tea country
  • Learn about the growing, harvesting and processing of “Ceylon” tea at a tea estate factory
  • A Jeep Safari at Yala National Park highlights Sri Lanka’s astonishing wildlife and stunning landscapes
  • Tour the colonial town of Galle, with its historic fort built in the 1500s by the Portuguese
  • Visit a turtle hatchery, to learn about the rescue and protection of turtle eggs
  • †Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

    Not Included:
    Gratuities.


    Additional Information:
    Land only prices do not include arrival/departure transfers.


    Accommodation Details:
    Triple rooms are not available for this package.

    Health and Safety Protocols for Gate1 Tours

    At Gate 1 we take your safety and security very seriously. We have a strong network of tour managers, local offices, ground operators and colleagues which help us stay informed in all the destinations that we operate. We closely monitor local situations which enable us to make the operational decisions necessary to keep our tours running safely. Millions of people travel the world each year and experience enjoyable and safe trips but crimes against people and property are sadly a fact of life. It is very important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Please remember that you have the same responsibility for your personal safety and possessions as you do at home. It is essential to prepare for a safe and healthy travel abroad. Therefore before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the US Department of State at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html for up-to-date travel advice on the countries that you are visiting. The website provides useful information on subjects such as safety and security information, health precautions and medications, health insurance and additional tips for traveling abroad. If you do not reside in the United States, we recommend you check your government's travel advisory website for any country you will be visiting. We recommend that you review the safety guidance that may be provided by us, our agents or suppliers, either before you go or when you arrive in your destination. You can also find helpful tips on our website in the "Trip Preparation" tab of each of our tour packages. We do know that in-spite of careful planning, things can sometimes still go wrong, so rest assured, we will be there to help and support you.

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    Accommodations

    Heritance Negombo
    This superior first class hotel overlooks the ocean.

    Cinnamon Lodge Habarana
    This superior first class hotel is located nearby Habarana Lake.

    Radisson Hotel Kandy
    This first class hotel is located in the city of Kandy.

    Araliya Green Hills
    This first class hotel is within walking distance of Victoria Park.

    Cinnamon Wild Yala
    This first class hotel is a short drive from Yala National Park.

    Marriott Resort Weligama Bay
    This deluxe resort overlooks Weligama Bay.

    The Kingsbury Colombo
    This first class hotel is situated in Colombo's central business district.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Customer Reviews

    Overall Rating
    5
    Accommodations
    5
    Itinerary
    5
    Professional Staff
    5
    Repeat with Operator
    5
    Value for Money
    5

    Ratings based off 3 reviews - currently showing 1 reviews with comments only

    Gate 1 Discovery Tour was more than we expected, hotels were excellent, attraction entrance fees were all included. Couldn't be more pleased!

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