Introduction 

Thirteen days Sri Lanka individual round trip for connoisseurs with 34 excursions, 6 UNESCO sites, three safaris, train ride, cooking course, accommodation & private driver! Experience the full diversity of culture and life in Sri Lanka intensively.   

Visit the most famous sights and the “Big Five” of Sri Lanka: whale, sperm whale, elephant, leopard, and sloth bear. Take the time to get to know the beauties of Sri Lanka better and discover some as-yet-unknown treasures: hidden temples, authentic villages, and remote natural wonders.   

Visit a giant, hike through the rainforest, cycle through ancient times and become a tea picker!   

 

Why this travel package? 

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13 days Sri Lanka individual round trip to immerse yourself in nature, culture, and daily life on the tropical island

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Excursions to the most important sights and places of the established visitor routes

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Ride in an air-conditioned vehicle with a licensed private driver

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Certified, German-speaking guide on request

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High-quality & quality-tested accommodations with breakfast

Itinerary: 13 days round trip   

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Starts in:

Colombo

National Park safari: 2

(Toyota High Luxury Jeep)

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Ends:

Airport/Hotel

Excursions: 34

(6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

Duration: 13 days

(with breakfast)

Places visited: 8

(12 nights) 

Day 1: Airport - Colombo

Welcome to Paradise! 

Highlights 

  • Colombo Fort- Independence Memorial Hall- Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple – Town Hall – National Museum Colombo – Viharamahadevi Park – Pettah – Galle Face Green 

Your 13-day tour of Sri Lanka begins today. Your private driver will meet you at Bandaranaike International Airport and take you to your hotel in the Colombo area in your air-conditioned vehicle. Here you will be greeted with a welcome drink. Relax from the long journey or take a guided tour of Colombo. 

Experience the eventful history of the capital with its impressive colonial buildings. Modern skyscrapers are evidence of Colombo’s recent development into a vibrant one 

Metropolis of Asia. Stroll through the winding streets of Colombo Fort and Pettah or take advantage of the many shopping opportunities. Experience the variety between the hustle and bustle of a colorful, oriental port city and oases of calm in the middle of the big city: quiet parks, temples, and beach promenades invite you to linger. 

Floating markets and food stalls lure with their exotic smells to get to know the delicious cuisine of Sri Lanka for the first time. 

Overnight and breakfast in Colombo 

THE KINGSBURY

Day 2: Colombo - Anuradhapura

Reservoirs & stupas – travel back in time by bike! 

Highlights 

  • By bike through the holy city of Anuradhapura (UNESCO World Heritage) 
  • Sri Maha Bodhi tree 
  • Archaeological Museum 

After breakfast, drive towards Anuradhapura. On the journey, the unbelievable diversity of the Sri Lankan landscape spreads out in front of you: tropical vegetation, lovely rice fields, and coconut plantations alternate with wide plains and colorful villages. 

On the way, you can stop as you please to refresh yourself with coconut milk at one of the numerous fruit stands typical for the country, with a straw straight from the freshly picked fruit. Or you can try some of the lesser-known exotic fruits. 

Anuradhapura is the oldest city in Sri Lanka and was the country’s capital and seat of several Sinhalese royal dynasties for around 1,000 years. The legendary city, idyllically located on a reservoir, is said to have had more than 100,000 inhabitants. The former splendor of the historic metropolis can be glimpsed in the extensive field of ruins: majestic dagobas, magnificent palaces, imposing temples, and fascinating monasteries have stood here. Cycle through the ancient world! 

The focus is on the 2,000-year-old, sacred Bodhi tree. It is said to be an offshoot of the Indian Bodhi tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. Buddhist pilgrims come to this place every day to honor the tree. 

Overnight and breakfast in Anuradhapura 

UGA ULAGALLA

Day 3: Anuradhapura - Minneriya - Habarana

Village life & pachyderms – take a country tour and meet wild elephants! 

Highlights 

  • Aukana Buddha statue 
  • Visit the village by catamaran and tuk tuk ride and lunch 
  • Jeep safari in Minneriya National Park 

In the morning you leave Anuradhapura towards Habarana. The imposing Aukana Buddha, located in the middle of the jungle, is one of the largest ancient statues in Sri Lanka and an important sanctuary for Buddhists. Pilgrims ask for rain here by laying flowers and dousing the feet of the statue with milk. 

The figure, about 14 meters high and carved out of granite rock, is probably from the 5th / 6th centuries. It was created in the 19th century and is one of the masterpieces of stone carving. When it rains, you can see how the rainwater falls from your head over your nose and, due to the perfect symmetry, ends up exactly in the middle between the feet of the statue. 

In the authentic ox cart, you then go to a traditional farming village. The farmers will guide you through the vegetable garden and across the fields, show you their daily handicrafts, and describe their problems with wild elephants and the consequences of climate change. 

The village women prepare a traditional lunch that is eaten in the farm workers’ hut. Young visitors are allowed to eat in the treehouse, which is used at night to spy on predatory elephants! 

A special kind of meet & greet awaits visitors in the Minneriya National Park: groups of up to 400 pachyderms gather in the afternoon to swim and drink at the reservoir. In the jeep, you get closer to the animals and see their companions up close: birds, monkeys, buffalo, crocodiles, and other wild animals. 

Overnight and breakfast in Habarana 

JETWING VIL UYANA

Day 4: Habarana - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa

Cloud Girls & World Heritage Sites – Admire ancient It-Girls and visit a royal city! 

Highlights 

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage) 
  • Bike tour through the ancient royal city of Polonnaruwa (UNESCO World Heritage) 

In the morning you visit the 200-meter high rock “Sigiriya Rock”. 1860 steps lead up to the ruins of the 1500-year-old, legendary Royal Palace on the Lion Rock. Many a spiral staircase is a real thrill! Halfway through the ascent, you will reach the Cloud Maiden: around 20 impressively well-preserved frescoes as witnesses of Sinhala art. Once at the top, you will be rewarded for the arduous ascent with a fantastic view over the extensive gardens and the jungle of Sri Lanka. 

Those who do not dare to climb the rock can walk in the surrounding gardens and irrigation systems of the palace or watch the numerous monkeys that frolic at the foot of the rock and provide good entertainment. 

The holy city of Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka for about 200 years after the conquest of Anuradhapura in the 11th century. After the Sinhalese rulers gave up the city, the magnificent buildings were overgrown by the jungle and only rediscovered by the British in 1820. 

The imposing ruins of the formerly magnificent buildings are spread out over a wide area and are therefore easy to explore by bike. Between the main sights, the ruins of the monastery, and the impressive Buddha statues, a considerable population of monkeys has settled in Polonnaruwa, which provides free entertainment. 

Overnight and breakfast in Habarana 

JETWING VIL UYANA

Day 5: Habarana - Dambulla - Matale - Peradeniya - Kandy

Tobacco & Temple Caves – A Journey into the Cultural Triangle! 

Highlights 

  • Cave temple in Dambulla (UNESCO World Heritage) 
  • Spice garden in Matale 
  • Sri Muthumariamman Kovil 
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Peradeniya with picnic 
  • Temple of the Tooth in Kandy (UNESCO World Heritage) 
  • Walk-in Kandy old town 

The rock temple of Dambulla is famous for its 5 caves, in which there are 153 statues of Buddha carved out of the rock and well-preserved paintings depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha. It is said that the water on the ceiling of the main cave flows uphill! 

The temple is one of the oldest monasteries in the world. The focus is the huge resting Buddha in the first temple cave. From the viewing platform on the hill, you also have a beautiful view of the surroundings. 

The traditional spice and herb gardens are located along the “Spice Road” between Dambulla and Kandy. Here visitors can see, smell, and feel how pepper, cinnamon, and vanilla, or cocoa beans grow and how they are used in food or medicine. 

In Matale, there is also the sensational Sri Muthumariamman Kovil, a 300-year-old, colorful Hindu temple. At the back, you can take a look into the classroom of an elementary school. 

You will have lunch today in front of a tropical backdrop: on a picnic blanket in the Royal Botanic Garden in Peradeniya, one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Asia. Then stroll through the tropical park with avenues lined with coconut palms and cannonball trees. Here you will gain an excellent insight into the sometimes strange tropical flora: over 4,000 plant species and 10,000 giant trees grow here. Hundreds of fruit bats hang in the treetops. And hordes of monkeys cavort in the meadows. 

After a short drive, you will reach the old royal metropolis of Kandy. There you will visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Temple of the Tooth is the holiest site for Buddhists in Sri Lanka and at the same time the most beautiful Buddhist temple in the country. A Buddha’s canine tooth is kept as a relic in the main temple. According to tradition, the owner of the relic has the right to rule over Sri Lanka. The room with the shrine in which the tooth is kept is opened three times a day for pilgrims and visitors in a puja ceremony. Here you can offer flowers and light an oil lamp. 

Overnight and breakfast in Kandy 

THE KANDY HOUSE

Day 6: Kandy

Monastery caves & cooking course – a day in nature and an evening at the stove! 

Highlights 

  • Kandy Market & Old Town 
  • Bambaragala Purana Rajamaha Viharaya 
  • Pettigala skirt 
  • Cooking course “Flavors of Sri Lanka” 

Stroll through the central market and the old town or stroll around the idyllic Kandy Lake. In the colorful market, visitors experience the haggling of the traders and the lush, colorful stalls with exotic fruits and vegetables, but also with high-quality handicrafts and antique jewelry. Have yourself dressed in a colorful sari at one of the stands and feel elegant like a local! 

In the cave monastery Bambaragala Purana Rajamaha Viharaya, you can see rock inscriptions and wall paintings that are over 2,000 years old. It is one of the oldest temples in Sri Lanka. The priestly residence and the hermitages are well preserved. 

A visit to the hidden temple should be combined with a detour to the Pettigala rock. After a short hike through the forest, you will reach the monolith and after an easy climb on the plateau, you will experience a fascinating 360-degree view of the charming surroundings, the Victoria reservoir, and the highlands. 

In the late afternoon, you will be initiated into the preparation of a typical “Rice & Curry” in a private cooking studio. An experienced cook will introduce you to Sri Lankan dishes such as string hoppers, curries, rotis, and pittu, as well as exotic ingredients and spices. The family connection is guaranteed, and dinner is included. 

Overnight and breakfast in Kandy 

THE KANDY HOUSE

 

Day 7: Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Ella

Landscape cinema in Lipton’s footsteps – with the retro train into the enchanting mountains! 

Highlights 

  • Tea plantations and tea picking 
  • Visit a tea factory 
  • Ramboda waterfalls 
  • Nuwara Eliya – city above the clouds 
  • Train ride from Nanu Oya to Ella (1 st class) 

Today you can expect a spectacular drive into the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Passing rolling hills, rice fields, palm, bamboo, and eucalyptus forests, you can enjoy an unforgettable, lush green backdrop. 

You reach Nuwara Eliya, the “city above the clouds” in the heart of the highlands. The place surprises with a typical British colonial settlement in the Tudor style with a racecourse, golf course, and traditional telephone booths. Stroll through the town and feel transported to England in the Victorian era. 

You will then visit one of the traditional tea factories and learn everything there is to know about the cultivation and processing of the tea plant. On the tea plantations and in the tea factories, you can follow the entire process of tea production, which is still as devout and quality-conscious there today as it was 100 years ago, from planting to harvesting and processing to tasting. You also have the opportunity to pick tea yourself and learn about this hard work. 

In the tea factory, you can try different types of tea and have a light lunch before the journey continues. After a short stop at the spectacular Ramboda Waterfalls, you will arrive at Nanu Oya, from where you will continue your journey on the train. 

Past waterfalls and nostalgic train stations, the train winds its way up into the enchanting mountains. Enjoy the panorama! After about 2 hours you will reach the mountain village of Ella, which has developed into a popular hiking paradise amid gorges, jungle forests, waterfalls, and caves. 

Take a short evening stroll through the town. 

Overnight and breakfast in Ella 

THOTALAGALA

Day 8: Ella

Hikes in the world’s natural heritage – on foot through the Central Highlands! 

Highlights 

  • Hike to Little Adams Peak 
  • Walkthrough Ella 
  • Hike to the Nine Arches Bridge 
  • Dowa Rajamaha Viharaya 

The picturesque mountain village of Ella lies at an altitude of 1,000 m and there are delightful hiking destinations in the vicinity of the village. Ella Rock is a well-known rock high above Ella, about a two-hour hike from town. The rock offers a breathtaking view over the hill country and the plains below. 

The Nine Arches Bridge is a masterpiece of colonial railway construction and one of the most famous photo opportunities in Sri Lanka. 

Little Adam’s Peak protrudes from the tea plantations and also offers an excellent panoramic view of the mountain landscape. 

The small, original village of Dowa near Ella is home to a holy temple in a scenic location by a small stream. A picturesque forest path leads to the quiet refuge with the 12-meter high relief of Buddha and the frescoes in the stone cave. 

Overnight and breakfast in Ella 

THOTALAGALA

Day 9: Ella - Buduruwagala - Tissamaharama

Audience with the king of the jungle – visiting wild animals and ancient giants! 

Highlights 

  • Ravana waterfalls 
  • Ella Gap Valley 
  • Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya & Reservoir 
  • Jeep safari in Yala National Park 

Today you leave the mountainous country on the winding panoramic road through the Ella Gap Valley to the south. You will arrive at Ravana Ella Falls, where you can take a refreshing break. The waterfalls are named after the legendary King Ravana, in whose footsteps you have already walked in Sigiriya. According to legend, Ravana kidnapped a princess and hid it in the caves behind this waterfall. 

The Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya Cave Temple is a typical example of the many hidden treasures in Sri Lanka. The seven Buddha statues carved into the rock on the temple grounds are around 1,000 years old and are an impressive example of the great art of stonemasons in ancient Sri Lanka. The sculptures were once brightly painted, as remains of paint show. 

On the way to the temple, make a stop at the idyllic Buduruwagala Reservoir and enjoy the swarm of water birds and the beauty of the surroundings. 

In the afternoon your jeep safari through Yala National Park starts. This is an absolute highlight on your trip. With a bit of luck, you will see three of the “Big Five” Sri Lanka’s within walking distance: elephant, leopard, and sloth bear. In addition to these, 30 other mammal species and 130 bird species live in the extensive national park, which is characterized by savanna-like plains and monsoon forests, including crocodiles. 

Overnight and breakfast in Tissamaharama 

UGA CHENA HUTS

Day 10: Tissamaharama - Madunagala - Udawalawe - Singharaja

Umbrella rocks & trunk animals – lunch with the Jumbos and an adventurous climbing party! 

Highlights 

  • Visit the Elephant Transit Home 
  • Madunagala Hermitage 

Today you drive into the last lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka. The trip leads through remote areas, where you get a good insight into the everyday life of the local population. 

Dating back to the Anuradhapura era, the Madunagala Hermitage is a hidden gem and an insider tip for travelers. It was founded by Sri Gnananandabhimana Mahanayake Mahimi, who retired here as a hermit. According to legend, he gave his first sermon to wild boars, which is why there is a statue of the monk surrounded by pigs on the site. 

Monks still live here today. The connected Kudalena Cave is the only cave in Sri Lanka with 2 floors. On the plateau, there is a natural pool that is populated exclusively by cheeky monkeys. The rock is shaped like an umbrella. Anyone who manages to climb up here has escaped the world. 

In the vicinity of the temple is the Madunagala Hot Springs, which are largely unknown to tourists, but which are even more popular with the locals, which are said to have a cleansing and healing effect. 

At noon you will visit the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawa. You can reach it on time for the feeding time of the pachyderms. In this protection project, the animals are carefully prepared for their release into the wild. 

Overnight and breakfast in Singharaja 

THE RAINFOREST ECO LODGE

Day 11: Singharaja

Flora & Fauna – Discover a world full of wonders! 

Highlight 

  • Guided hike through the Singharaja Forest Reserve (UNESCO World Heritage Site) 

The Singharaja Rainforest is a world of wonders! The more than 10,000 hectares forest reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the last tropical lowland rainforest on the island. The area is a unique refuge for flora and fauna. Many of these plants and animals are unique to Sri Lanka and with a little luck, you will encounter many of them on your hike. 

Because of its biodiversity and the countless colorful plants, birds, and insects, Singharaja is one of the most important hotspots of biodiversity in the world. 

The forest is full of life and the play of light and shadow through the ancient, tall trees is fantastic. 

Overnight and breakfast in Singharaja 

THE RAINFOREST ECO LODGE

Day 12: Singharaja - Galle

Colonial buildings & coconut trees – Experience the historic port city of Galle! 

Highlights 

  • Galle Fort & Old Town of Galle (UNESCO World Heritage) 

After about an hour’s drive through the jungle, you will reach the coastal road directly on the Indian Ocean. The view of the turquoise blue sea with the golden yellow beaches and the coconut groves is breathtaking. A swim stop on one of the numerous dream beaches is a must! 

You visit the old port city of Galle with its colonial flair. Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, Galle was the island’s main port and reached the height of its development in the 18th century during the Dutch colonial era. Magnificent buildings and the fortress around the old town bear witness to the eventful history of the historic port city. 

Stroll over the walls of the well-preserved fortress and through the old town with its lovely shops and cafes. On the promenade in front of the lighthouse, snake charmers and cliff divers provide easy thrills! 

Overnight and breakfast in Galle 

TARU VILLAS

Day 13: Galle - Mirissa - Airport

Save turtles & admire whales – a day by and in the Indian Ocean! 

Highlights 

  • Whale watching offshore safari 
  • Turtle sanctuary 
  • Transfer to the airport/hotel 

Today you set out on an early morning whale watching tour. The sea in front of Mirissa is one of the favorite places to stay for blue and sperm whales. Dolphins are always romping around them. With this, you complete Sri Lanka’s “Big Five”. 

In the early afternoon, you will visit a turtle sanctuary. To prevent the illegal sale of eggs laid on the beach, the employees collect the eggs immediately after they are laid and release the animals a few days after they hatch. You get an insight into the work of the animal rights activists and can experience the animals up close. 

Now it’s time to say goodbye! An eventful Sri Lanka tour comes to an end. Hopefully, you will leave our beautiful island with many unforgettable impressions and memories! Get home well! 

Ayubowan! 

Or stay a few more days to relax and bathe on the coast! 

Services

Entrance fees according to the itinerary

Accommodation in a double room with breakfast 

Transfers and round trip in an air-conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking private driver 

Transfer to the airport / extension hotel 

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Have you picked your interest? Book here in order to prepare your trip as best as possible, please answer the following questions. We will get back to you within 48 hours 

 

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