Sri Lanka

Explore Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and largest city. Its array of Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques, and churches reflect the beliefs practiced throughout the island and the beautiful facades of the old colonial buildings contrast with modern shopping arcades. Also visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, founded to protect the jungle’s many injured and orphaned elephants. Watch an entire herd make its way through the town for bath time in the Maha Oya River. Then journey through rural villages in Habarana and admire the frescoes as you climb the famous Rock Fortress in Sigiriya. Witness prayer offerings at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, go whitewater rafting on the Kelani River and see Asian elephants and Sri Lankan leopards on game drives in Udawalawe and Yala National Parks.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Language

Sinhala, Tamil

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Time Zone

GMT+5:30

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Currency

Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Average Temp

78° F

Sri Lanka Expedition

Smiling Land of Serendipity

Inspire Your Expedition with Our Sample Itinerary

Day 1 – COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

Arrive in Colombo

Private transfer to hotel

Private afternoon tour:

  • Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
  • 18th century Wolfendhal Dutch Church
  • Old Parliament complex
  • Bandaranaike International Memorial Hall
  • Nelum Pokuna Theater
  • Viharamahadevi Park
  • Independence Square 
  • National Museum
  • Pettah Bazaar
  • Galle Face Green

Accommodations: Taj Samudra
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 2 – COLOMBO / PINNAWALA / HABARANA

Private transfer to Pinnawala:

  • Elephant Orphanage & Breeding ground
  • Hiriwadunna Village & Lake 

Traditional Sri Lankan lunch

Accommodations: Cinnamon Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 – HABARANA – ANURADHAPURA – MIHINTALE – HABARANA

Private full-day tour:

  • Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese Capital

UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Mihintale – birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Accommodations: Cinnamon Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 – HABARANA – SIGIRIYA – POLONNARUWA – HABARANA

Full-day private tour:

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress 
  • Polonnaruwa – royal ancient city & second capital
  • Gal Viharay or “Rock Temple”

Accommodations: Cinnamon Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 – DAMBULLA / MATALE / KANDY

Full-day private tour:

  • Dambulla cave complex & Rock Temple
  • Matale Spice Garden
  • Kandy Temple of the Sacred Tooth

Accommodations: Cinnamon Citadel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 – KANDY

Full-day private tour:

  • Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya
  • Victoria Golf Club
  • Gem & Lapidary Lab
  • Evening Cultural Dance performance

Accommodations: Cinnamon Citadel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 – KANDY / KITULGALA / NUWARA ELIYA

Kitulgala Whitewater rafting on Kelani River

Nuwara Eliya Tea Plantation & Factory

Accommodations: Grand Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 – NUWARA ELIYA / UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK

Afternoon Game drive

Accommodations: Cinnamon Wild
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 – YALA NATIONAL PARK

Morning & afternoon Game drives

Accommodations: Cinnamon Wild
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 – YALA / TANGALLE

Private transfer – day at leaisure

Accommodations: Rana 212
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11 – TANGALLE / MIRISSA / GALLE

Mirissa Harbor Whale & Dolphin watching by boat

Accommodations: Tamarind Hill
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12 – GALLE

Full-day private tour:

  • The Fortress
  • Galle Fort – Maritime Museum, Old Dutch Reformed Church, Sun & Moon Bastions, Lighthouse
  • Stilt Fishermen

Accommodations: Tamarind Hill
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 – GALLE / HOMEWARD BOUND

Private transfer to airport for flight home

Meals: Breakfast

Starting at $3,200 per person
(two travelers, double occupancy, airfare not included)

Itineraries are customized to travelers’ interests and preferences.
Final prices will vary based on dates of travel and number of travelers.

We took three trips arranged by NEI to Peru, Ecuador and Tanzania. Our private tours, with just the driver/guide, my wife and me, were planned with great attention to detail and helped us enjoy ourselves without having to worry about the logistics. All vacations were spectacular, done very well by the NEI staff and their local contacts. Highly recommend.

Lou D.
Lakewood Ranch, FL

When to go:

Year-round (best times are from December to April)

What to eat:

Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry), Hoppers (pancakes), Kukul mas curry (chicken curry)

What to pack:

Conservative clothing, light jacket or sweater; shawl or scarf; swimwear, comfortable walking shoes; sunscreen, sunglasses, hat; insect repellent; camera equipment; universal adapter

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