Sri Lanka highlights holiday
Includes activities listed, a private car and driver as well as in country assistance.
Tailormade to suit your departure date.
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Description of Sri Lanka highlights holiday
This two week, Sri Lanka holiday is a tailor made trip and so this is only our suggested itinerary, which of course we can adapt according to your interests. Although we believe it captures many of Sri Lanka’s highlights, both cultural and coastal, national parks and wildlife. Driven by your own driver and expert local guide, you will stay at a carefully selected mix of locally owned accommodations.
Starting in Colombo, we take you straight to the beach at Negombo on the west coast to be revived after your journey and to slowly but surely adapt to the laid back lifestyle of Sri Lanka. Moving on to the cultural segment of your tour, you will spend several days in Sri Lanka’s famous Cultural Triangle, based in a hotel in Polonnaruwa, an ancient kingdom with an incredible array of 10th century temples and palace ruins. From here, you will also visit Sigiriya’s incredible rock fortress and the cave rock complex at Dambulla.
The middle section of your trip is when we recommend you take in the centre of Sri Lanka, staying in the ancient city of Kandy, famous and revered for the Temple of the Tooth. And from this busy spot into the cooling hill stations and tea plantations. Similarly cooling is Horton Plains National Park, further south, where you can hike into mountainous, mist covered forest, with stunning waterfalls en route. Followed by more tropical wonders at Ella, which you can reach by train, and where you can hike up to Ella’s Rock or Little Adam’s Peak for the most stunning views.
Heading further south, one of the highlights of this trip for many is Yala National Park where a jeep safari will take you deep into the habitats of elephants, sloth bear, wild buffalo, sambhar elk and deer. And, most famously, leopard, with Yala boasting the highest, concentrated leopard population in the world. Although sightings are rare.
You will certainly have earned your few days at Unawatuna beach where you will stay just a quick walk from the shore. We also recommend one final stop at Galle, the magnificent 16th century fort town built by the Portuguese and now a buzzing hub of culture, markets and fine cuisine.
15 Reviews of Sri Lanka highlights holiday
Reviewed on 25 Jan 2022 by Christine WaddingtonIt's hard to give think of just one memorable part of the holiday. Watching a small group of elephants in Udawalawe National Park in the late afternoon, bathing in a pool, was certain a highlight. Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Aug 2019 by Chiara ZucconThe most memorable part of the holiday was learning about the culture and history of Sri Lanka. We also loved the snorkelling in Nevali. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Mar 2019 by Melanie FrankelBest holiday ever! Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Mar 2019 by Jill GethinThe holiday was well planned not only due to our research but informed discussion with the tour operators who adapted to suit our needs. It was a wonderful experience and we would highly recommend it to others. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Jan 2019 by kevin greenMagnificent, holiday of a lifetime. Will never forget it. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Feb 2019 by AnonymousUda Walawe was the most memorable part of the holiday. Not just elephants but buffalo, crocs, huge variety of birds... Great, especially the 'off piste' parts away from the crowds. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Oct 2018 by Fahmida ChoudhurySri Lanka is a beautiful country with beautiful people who welcome you so easily...My driver Dilan made this trip so smooth with his years of experience and every time we stopped for a comfort break he always knew where the clean toilets were. Read full review
Reviewed on 08 Mar 2018 by Jane ThackrayThe best part of Sri Lanka for me was the abundance of wildlife. We saw elephants, 2 leopards, crocodiles, beautiful birds and lizards, amongst other things. The safari in Yala and Minneriya were amazing. The people are very friendly and helpful, food good too! There is so mush diversity and lovely scenery. Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Jan 2018 by Sarah BoyceVery hard to single out one memorable moment, but we all loved the homestay, visiting the local market, the bakery, the cookery lesson and the temple. The train journey, despite being very crowded and having to stand for an hour was also a wonderful experience. Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Feb 2018 by Lucy StockleySeeing the 'Temple of the Tooth' in Kandy was also an amazing experience, as was the breathtaking views at the top of 'Worlds End' in Horton Plains. It was great getting to know our driver, who was able to give us lots of insights into the country. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Feb 2018 by Alan HuntonThe Botanic Gardens in Kandy was the most memorable. Strangely this was excluded from the itinerary of Rickshaw but added by request from myself. Whale watching and safari was good. Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Sep 2017 by Toby HepworthThe most memorable was the safari in Willapatu and seeing elephants, leopard and a sloth bear. Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Aug 2017 by Gillian BrownGoing to visit Trincomalee and all the places my parents lived many years ago. The Temple of Sacred Tooth, the Perahara Festival, The elephant Safari - all amazing. Read full review
Reviewed on 30 Jul 2017 by Emma BaconMost memorable was climbing Lion Rock (Sigiriya) which we'd read about - but it's nothing compared to when you get there. The view from afar is amazing... beautiful country, brilliant tour guide. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Feb 2017 by Christine CookDifficult to choose one memorable part - probably the visit to Sigiriya rock - unlike anything I have seen anywhere else. Probably followed by seeing the local fishermen working on the beach at Negombo. Read full review
PlanetWhen you embark on this itinerary you get several chances to spot wild animals, including elephants. We support the protection of the Sri Lankan environment by only visiting national parks which are responsible, and are in fact protecting the Sri Lankan wildlife. This includes the Minneriya National Park, Kaudulla National Park and Yala National Park. When in the Yala National Park you stay in tented accommodation which has little impact to the local environment. At the beginning of this itinerary when met by our local partner, our clients are also briefed on protection of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage.
Our local partner in Sri Lanka also shares the same values as us in terms of using as little energy in the office and also recycling. We both use minimal paper in our offices and have all paper used recycled. They also have strict times at which they use the air-conditioning in their office.
PeopleDuring this itinerary you will be staying in a mix of authentic small-scale accommodation including a family-run hotel in Kandy. By using this type of accommodation we support local families and local people who are employed by these hotels.
Throughout the trip you will be travelling around with your private driver. Our drivers are trained by our local partner and then given a permanent contract offering reliable work which earns them a wage higher than the national average.
Our local partner also runs a lot of charity projects in Sri Lanka and supports many local communities. In 2008, they provided emergency lights and installed lights at a girls home in Nugegoda. In 2013 our local partner bought 40 new mattresses for an retirement home near Colombo. Other projects that they have funded include providing food and rations to local charities, helping restore the homes of some of Sri Lanka's most needy, and paying for cancer drugs for patients at some local hospitals.