Be enchanted by Sri Lanka on an unforgettable 11-day journey. Explore Sigiriya rock fortress and refresh your spirit at the unusual Golden Temple of Dambulla, 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.”
Explore four UNESCO World
Heritage sites: the Sigiriya rock fortress,
the Golden Temple of Dambulla, and the sacred cities of Kandy and Anuradhapura.
Learn about tea harvesting at a plantation in Ceylon, and stay at an eco-lodge located on a tea estate.
Join a ranger on safari in Wilpattu National Park, home to a thriving leopard population, and learn about local conservation efforts.
Itinerary - 11 Days
Day 1 — Colombo
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
Days 2 & 3 — Colombo/Nuwara Eliya
Discover the colonial and modern mix of
Colombo on a city tour. Then drive into the
heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country to Nuwara
Eliya, stopping amid rain forests to visit the
town of Kitulgala en route. The next day,
enjoy a picnic breakfast and a hike in Horton
Plains National Park, keeping an eye out for
macaques and wild boars. Enjoy high tea at the
historic Grand Hotel. Embark on an evening
tuk-tuk ride and visit the town center and
market. Opt for a rafting excursion on the
Kelani River. (2B)
Days 4 & 5 — Kandy/Madulkele
the former royal capital of Kandy, stopping
at a Ceylon tea plantation to learn about the
growing and harvesting of tea. Enjoy a tour
around the city and lake, with a guided visit to
the Temple of the Tooth, believed to house
a tooth of the Buddha. Then head to our
eco-lodge in Madulkele, which is located on
a tea estate. The next day, set out on a hiking
excursion in the Knuckles mountains,
following lush forest trails past villages and tea
plantations. Later, enjoy a lecture and demonstration
on Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu art
of medicine, by a local practitioner. (2B, 2D)
Days 6 & 7 — Matale/Dambulla/Sigiriya
Visit a spice garden in Matale before arriving at the archaeological site of Nalanda Gedige. Our next destination
is the Golden Temple of Dambulla, which has drawn Buddhist pilgrims for more than 22 centuries. Venture into this extraordinary rock sanctuary to admire ancient murals and statues. The next day, visit a local farm to observe traditional
agricultural practices. Purchase fresh ingredients before heading to a farmhouse to prepare a traditional lunch with the resident family. At the legendary rock fortress of Sigiriya, climb to the top of Lion Rock—crowned by the ruins of a fifth-century royal city—and take in stellar views at the summit. (2B, 1L)
Day 8 — Wilpattu National Park
Travel north to Wilpattu National Park, renowned for
its leopard population. Explore the park by jeep
and meet with a forest ranger to learn about
conservation efforts. Continue to Anuradhapura
for the night. (1B)
Days 9 & 10 — Anuradhapura/Marawila
Explore the sacred city of Anuradhapura—a
World Heritage site—and discover ancient
Buddhist monasteries. Later, travel south to
coastal Marawila and spend the next day relaxing
at the beach. (2B, 2D)
Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354
Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.
All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.
My Own Room
During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.
My Own Room Option: From $1,649
Arrival transfer, transport
between destinations and to/from included
activities, and activities as listed in the itinerary.
The optional rafting excursion on the Kelani River
is at an additional cost.
Accommodations Comfortable, mid-range
hotels and resorts that reflect the local character
Meals Included 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch,
4 dinners. Allow an additional $220–290 for
meals not included.
You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.