- Ground Operators
Easy to Moderate Touring
Easy to Moderate Touring generally indicates walks or time on one’s feet of 3-5 hours each day during sightseeing excursions; possible adverse weather conditions (heat, humidity); and some driving on dirt or poorly maintained roads. Please note that road conditions in Sri Lanka leave a lot to be desired: The traffic can appear to be wild and unregulated, and horns are used more often than brakes. Bathroom facilities during excursions and long drives are frequently nonexistent or limited to the facilities at a local restaurant or shop. Overnights will be in deluxe accommodations/lodges. Elevation throughout the trip remains below 5,000 feet.
Flexibility, a good sense of humor, and an adventurous spirit are essential on this tour.
Day 1: Arrive Colombo, Sri Lanka
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your flight schedule, you may have time to explore this capital city, which has been heavily influenced by the cultures and religions of its inhabitants past and present—including Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, and British.
Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel
Day 2: To Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Drive today to Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a UNESCO Nature World Heritage Site spanning 18,900 acres of tropical lowland rainforest that is most notable for its large variety of birdlife. Your hotel for this evening lies on the border of the reserve. This afternoon we explore the buffer zone of the forest reserve.
Day 3: Exploring Sinharaja Forest Reserve
This morning, go for a guided walk through the rainforest, with its amazing biodiversity of fauna and flora. The rest of the day is at your leisure; enjoy the birdsong from your chalet’s private deck.
Day 4: To Yala National Park via Koggala
Today you make the journey to Yala National Park. On the way, visit a turtle hatchery in Koggala. Yala, the second-largest of Sri Lanka’s national parks, is known for elephant, leopard, bear, crocodile, and wild boar.
Cinnamon Wild Hotel
Day 5: Exploring Yala National Park
Today you enjoy morning and evening Jeep safaris into the park; the midday is free to relax at your hotel.
Cinnamon Wild Hotel
Day 6: To Bandarawela
Head into Sri Lanka’s hill country today. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Bandarawela. This evening, trek on village paths and through vegetable plantations to the Bogoda Buddhist temple (where King Walagamba hid from invaders for over two years) and Bogoda Bridge, constructed entirely of wood.
Day 7: Excursion to Horton Plains
This morning, take a train to Horton Plains, Sri Lanka’s highest plateau at 7,200 feet above sea level. From here, it’s a two- to three-hour hike to Worlds End—where the plateau plunges 1,000 feet in a sheer drop—and the beautiful Bakers Falls. After returning to your hotel, the rest of your day is at your leisure.
Day 8: Exploring Bandarawela
After breakfast, visit Lipton’s Seat, the favored viewpoint of esteemed tea planter Sir Thomas Lipton. Thereafter visit Ella and trek to Little Adams Peak; from here you can see the distant coast.
Day 9: To Kandy via Nuwara Eliya
Today you’ll explore Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka’s premier hill resort with a decidedly British character. The surrounding slopes are carpeted by velvety tea plantations. Then continue to the hill town of Kandy, the last stronghold of the Sri Lankan kings and the site of the renowned Temple of the Tooth Relic. Visit the Tea Museum, and this evening witness a cultural dance performance.
Earls Regent Hotel
Day 10: To Habarana via Matale and Minneriya National Park
After breakfast you will be transferred to Habarana, visiting a spice garden in Matale en route to learn about the local culinary and medicinal uses of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and more. This evening, you have the option to take a Jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, where in certain months as many as 300 elephants gather at a watering hole.
Chaaya Village Hotel
Day 11: Excursion to Sigiriya
This morning you will get a sense of rural Sri Lanaka as you hike through villages, rice paddy fields, and forest cultivations. Late this afternoon, bike 10 miles and then climb the 5th-century rock fortress of Sigiriya—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—famous for its entrancingly beautiful frescoes.
Chaaya Village Hotel
Day 12: To Colombo via Pinnawala
You’ll return to Colombo today, stopping first at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage; located on the banks of the Maha Oya River, it is home to dozens of elephants that have been orphaned or displaced from their natural habitat. This evening, take a tour of Colombo.
Mount Lavinia Hotel
Day 13: Depart Sri Lanka
You will be transferred back to the airport in time for your flight home.
2015 Trip Dates
Private Departures Only – On Demand Year-round
Trip Duration: 13 days/12 nights
Starting City: Colombo (airport code – CMB)
Ending City: Colombo (airport code – CMB)
2015/2016 Land Cost
Low Season: May 1 – July 15 & September 1 – October 31
2 – 3 participants: $2,350 per person
4 + participants: $2,125 per person
Shoulder Season: March 1 – April 30 & July 16 – August 31
2 – 3 participants: $2,600 per person
4 + participants: $2,325 per person
High Season: November 1 – February 28
2 – 3 participants: $2,900 per person
4 + participants: $ 2,650 per person
Minimum: 2 participants
Internal Asia Airfare: none
IMPORTANT NOTE: Kindly note that names of hotels mentioned above only indicate that the Land Cost is based on usage of these hotels; it is not to be construed that accommodation is confirmed at these hotels until and unless we convey such confirmation to you. In the event that any of the above-mentioned hotels are not available, we shall book alternate accommodation at a similar or next-best available hotel, and shall pass on the difference of rates (supplement or reduction, as applicable) to you.
Included in Land Cost:
• All accommodations, based on double occupancy
• All transportation in a private, air-conditioned vehicle
• Breakfast each day
• All arrival/departure airport/hotel transfers
• All entry fees at all temples, museums, and monuments on sightseeing excursions
• Services of an English-speaking chauffeur/guide during your entire stay
• Elephant-back safari through Habarana
• Jeep safari through Minneriya National Park
• Hiriwaduna village experience
• All service charges and current government taxes
• Two bottles of water per person per day
• TourDirect’s Medical ($25,000), Accident and Evacuation Insurance ($500,000) and Assistance Plan
Not Included in Land Cost:
• International airfare to/from Sri Lanka
• Lunch and dinner throughout the tour
• Items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone calls, shopping, etc.
• Movie, video, and still camera fees
• Gratuity to Chauffeur/Guide
• Gratuities to other local staff (bell boys, etc.)
• Trip Cancellation insurance
At TourDirect, we will assist you in obtaining any necessary visas or other travel permits required for your journey, all done through our Visa Service Partner. Detailed visa instructions, application forms, and information about applicable visa fees will be included in your Pre-Departure Packet.
You must have a valid passport with an expiration date more than 6 months from the date of your return to the U.S. The passport must also have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you will be visiting in Asia.
Sri Lanka: All visitors to Sri Lanka must apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to their arrival. An actual visa is given upon your arrival in Colombo.
No immunizations are required for entry into Sri Lanka or to return to the U.S. However, proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from (or have recently visited) a country that has risk of yellow fever. Several immunizations are recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control. A copy of the CDC’s recommended immunization list and additional health information will be included in our Pre-Departure Packet.
Please let us know if you wish to extend your stay to visit other sites in Sri Lanka; extensions are also possible to neighboring countries such as India and the Maldives.
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