Discover Sri Lanka

National Geographic Journeys, Colombo to Negombo

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Become enchanted by Sri Lanka on an unforgettable 12-day journey. Explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress and refresh your spirit at the unusual Dambulla Cave Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll spice gardens and tea plantations, and ride through Wilpattu National Park with a forest ranger in search of elephants and leopards. Come away with a deep understanding of why early Arab traders called this island country “Serendib,” a name that gave English speakers the word “serendipity.”

What’s included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Wilpattu Safari and Conservation Talk, Wilpattu National Park National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Agricultural Village Experience, Habarana National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: High Tea and Handicrafts, Kandy National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, Udawalawe G Adventures for Good: Sthree Craft Shop and Café, Kandy Hands-on: Visit a Coconut Plantation, Colombo Hands-on: Sri Lankan Cooking Demonstration, Udawalawe
  • Arrival transfer
  • Tour of Anuradhapura ruins
  • Tour the Sigiriya rock fortress
  • Dambulla cave temple visit
  • Visit a Matale spice garden
  • Tour the Temple of the Tooth
  • Cultural show
  • Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Tour Nuwara Eliya area and a Ceylon tea plantation
  • Hike in Horton Plains National Park
  • Safari drive in Udawalawe National Park
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Explore ruins and archaeological sites with local experts
  • Take in a lecture on elephant conservation
  • Search out leopards at wilpattu national park
  • Enjoy a taste of tea at its source
  • Learn about local ingredients and flavours during a cooking demonstration

Itinerary

Day 1 Colombo Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Additional Notes: Arrive at any time and enjoy your day. Please meet your CEO in the hotel lobby at 6:15PM for the welcome meeting. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Arrival Airport Transfer
Day 2 Colombo/Wilpattu National Park (1B, 1D) Wilpattu is the oldest National Park in the Country and home to Sri Lankan leopards and we will do our best to search some out with our local ranger. As well, enjoy the stunning flora and fauna, keeping an eye out for elephants, wild boar, sloth bear, spotted deer and water buffalo. Our safari camp is located 10 minutes to the Southern boundary of the park enterence, on the boundary of a lake, surrounded by bush forest. Included Activities: Wilpattu Safari and Conservation Talk Visit a Coconut Plantation Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 155km)
Day 3 Wilpattu National Park/Anuradhapura (1B) Travel to the sacred city of Anuradhapura — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through the ruins and discover ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples. Enjoy some free time this afternoon and opt to rent a bike. Included Activities: Anuradhapura Excursion Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 35km)
Day 4 Anuradhapura/Dambulla (1B, 1L) Enjoy a walk through Habarana, a rural farming village, and learn about daily life. Relax with a canoe trip on the lake, ride on a bull cart, taste a local lunch, and venture out into the rice and vegetable fields. Later, continue on to Dambulla for the evening. Included Activities: Agricultural Village Experience Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-2.50 hours, 85km)
Day 5 Dambulla (1B) Head to Sigiriya (Lion) rock fortress and climb the steps to the top of this captivating site to discover UNESCO-listed ruins and take in stellar views. After, enjoy some free time to explore Dambulla. Included Activities: Sigiriya Rock Fortress Visit Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 6 Dambulla/Kandy (1B) Tour the impressive Dambulla Cave Temple and admire ancient Buddhist murals and statues then visit a spice garden in Matale to learn about the theraputic uses of local spices. Continue on to Kandy and enjoy a tour of the Temple of the Tooth, which houses an important relic — a tooth of Lord Buddha kept in a well-preserved golden casket. This evening, listen to some traditional music at a cultural show. Included Activities: Dambulla Cave Temple Visit Spice Garden Excursion Temple of the Sacred Tooth Tour Kandyan Cultural Dance Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 90km)
Day 7 Kandy (1B) Today, visit the impressive Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, considered a national asset. Enjoy the lush surroundings, pavilions, conservancy, orchid house, and stunning Javan fig tree. After, visit Sthree Craft Shop and Café, a G for Good-supported social enterprise that helps local women and youth. Here, we view a handicraft demonstration, listen to a lecture lecture, and enjoy afternoon high tea. Taste local teas, scones, clotted cream, jam, and an assortment of sweet cakes and pastries. Later, enjoy some free time to walk through the city and around Kandy Lake. Included Activities: Royal Botanical Gardens Visit Sthree Craft Shop and Café High Tea and Handicrafts
Day 8 Kandy/Nuwara Eliya (1B) Travel through scenic mountains to the tea-producing town of Nuwara Eliya, stopping at a traditional tea plantation in the central highlands to gain insight into the process of growing tea and its effect on the Ceylon region. Enjoy a cup of perfectly blended pure Ceylon tea then continue exploring the English countryside atmosphere which was once governed by English and Scottish planters. Walk through the green grass and lanes, enjoying stunning views of this countryside hamlet. Opt to enjoy high tea at the Grand Hotel. Included Activities: Tea Plantation Visit Explore Nuwara Eliya Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 80km)
Day 9 Nuwara Eliya/Udawalawe (1B, 1D) Enjoy a picnic breakfast and hike through the highlands in Horton Plains National Park. Continue on to our tented camp on the border of Udawalawe National Park. This evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration by the camp chef to learn about local specialties. Included Activities: Horton Plains Trek Sri Lankan Cooking Demonstration Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours, 30km) Private Vehicle (4.00-4.50 hours, 105km)
Day 10 Udawalawe (1B, 1D) Udawalawe is a sanctuary for large herds of elephants, and the national park proves to be one of the best places to observe them in their natural habitat. Hop into a safari jeep and head into the park, but keep an eye out for other wildlife such as spotted deer, sambur, barking deer, water buffalo and jackal - all found within the park. Included Activities: Udawalawe Reserve Safari Elephant Rehabilitation Centre
Day 11 Udawalawe/Negombo (1B) Drive to Negombo and enjoy free time to explore the city and check out the beautiful Portuguese and Dutch architecture. Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 210km)
Day 12 Negombo (1B) Hotel check out is at 12:00pm. Your CEO can assist you with arranging an easy transfer to Colombo or the International airport. Included Activities: Departure Day
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