Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Private

Historic Sri Lanka Odyssey (14 days)

Remote Lands, Inc

Colombo, Sri Lanka To Galle, Sri Lanka

Valid for Departures Now Through: 28 Mar 2019

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Park Street Hotel Dinner

You'll begin your luxury 14-day tour of Sri Lanka in the capital of Colombo. On your arrival, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Colombo has a great range of luxury accommodation, and for your stay, we recommend the grand heritage-style Tintagel or the boutique Park Street Hotel, with its wide verandas and collection of contemporary Sri Lankan art. In the evening, you are free to enjoy dinner at your hotel, or find a restaurant in the city center serving spicy Sri Lankan curry.

Day 2
Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Kandalama Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning you will make your way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Anuradhapura. Along the way, you'll visit Puttalam, 80 miles north of Colombo, and home to Munneswaram Hindu Temple. This elaborate tribute to Shiva dates back to 1,000 CE and still hosts major religious festivals. You'll reach Anuradhapura in the afternoon, where you'll set off on a sightseeing tour of this ancient city. Major sites here include remnants of the ancient kingdom – stupas, a moonstone, the Abayagiri Dagoba Theravada Buddhist monastery and the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a tree said to have grown from a branch of the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Proceed to Dambulla, where you will stay this evening at Heritance Kandalama, a green hotel overlooking the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Day 3
Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Kandalama Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, you'll depart for the ancient city of Polonnaruwa – another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you'll see 12th-century palace ruins, religious and royal statues, stupas and more. For a proper understanding of the site, you'll visit the Archaeological Museum. For lunch, enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan meal with a family in the local village. Next, you have the option to take an elephant ride through the jungle of Habarana. In the evening, you'll visit Dambulla Cave Temple, a sacred site with cave shrines containing ancient statues and paintings. Most caves feature effigies of the Buddha, but some pay tribute to Hindu gods, such as Vishnu and Ganesh. There are five main caves, the oldest dating back to the 1st-century BC. Return to relax at your hotel.

Day 4
Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Kandalama Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you'll leave the hotel early to explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress with a picnic breakfast to enjoy at the top of the rock. Sigiriya, which means Lion Rock in Sinhalese, is a revered site with a long, fascinating history. Its surrounds are believed to have been inhabited since prehistoric times and the rock itself was once the site of a monastery. It features frescoes, water gardens and fountains, as well as the Lion Gate – huge stone paws that guard the staircase to the top. For lunch, you'll dine in a local restaurant, and in the afternoon you'll see the striking Namal Uyana and forest – the largest ironwood forest in Asia – and the striking pink quartz mountain. Return to the beautiful Kandalama Hotel for the night.

Day 5
Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Jungle Beach Resort Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast at the hotel, you'll make your way to Trincomalee, a major port city that overlooks the stunning Trincomalee Harbor. Here, you will visit the Koneswaram Temple, a medieval Hindu temple complex that sits atop a cliff at the edge of the sea. Next, you'll see the Kanniya Hot Water Wells, where locals bathe in square, shallow wells full of hot spring water. In the afternoon you have free time to spend on the beaches of Trincomalee. The coastline here features wide sandy shores and bright blue waters, perfect for a romantic afternoon stroll before you settle into your hotel in Trincomalee for the night. We recommend the luxurious Nilaveli Beach property or the Jungle Beach Resort.

Day 6
Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Jungle Beach Resort Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you'll see the Girihandusaya Buddhist Temple, just north of Trincomalee in the small Tamil village of Thiriyai. The temple houses what may be the oldest dagoba – Sinhalese for stupa – in the world. Next, you'll take a trip to Pigeon Island, where you can enjoy leisure time exploring the protected coastline here. Pigeon Island is located in one of Sri Lanka's two National Marine Parks, and is actually two rocky islets – one of which is surrounded by coral reefs. A variety of turtles and rock pigeons call this area home - you may be lucky enough to spot some. In the evening, return to your beachside resort in Trincomalee.

Day 7
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Earl’s Regency Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you’ll head to the picturesque hillside city of Kandy, the second-largest city in Sri Lanka. En route, you'll visit the Spice Garden to learn all about the health – and taste – benefits of herbs and spices often used in Sri Lankan medicine and cuisine, such as turmeric, citronella grass, vanilla, cocoa, and cinnamon. Whet your appetite by observing a cooking demonstration, then enjoy lunch in a rice paddy in tranquil Kamatha. After that, visit the wonderfully-elaborate Hindu Temple in Matale. In the evening, you'll see one of Kandy's most famous sites – the Temple of the Tooth Relic, said to hold a piece of the Buddha's tooth. Tonight, you'll stay overnight in Kandy – we recommend the Earl’s Regency Hotel, a luxurious property located in spectacular tropical gardens.

Day 8
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Earl’s Regency Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy another day in Kandy today, starting with a morning excursion to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This nursery and breeding ground has around 90 elephant residents you can observe as they play and bathe in the Oya River. Next, you'll visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, just outside of Kandy, featuring meticulously-tended gardens with more than 4,000 species of plants, including a wide range of orchids. In the afternoon, you'll enjoy more sightseeing in Kandy, then be treated to a cultural show with traditional music and dance. Spend another night in your luxury Kandy hotel.

Day 9
Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Grand Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you'll depart Kandy for the scenic colonial hill town of Nuwara Eliya. This beautiful outpost of waterfalls and tea plantations is located at the foot of Pidurutalagala, Sri Lanka’s highest mountain. Here, you'll visit one of the area's many tea factories and enjoy a walking tour through parks, gardens and colonial squares. Today you'll check into a hotel in Nuwara Eliya – for an authentic colonial ambience we recommend the Grand Hotel, with its Tudor-style façade and lush, green lawns. Enjoy a romantic dinner in the garden, or stroll the streets to find a cozy local restaurant. Be sure to sample some local orange pekoe tea.

Day 10
Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Grand Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Get an early start today as you head out to Horton Plains National Park for a picnic breakfast. This nature reserve is home to the famous "World's End", a precipice with a vertical drop of more than 2,600 feet. This verdant, mountainous area is crisscrossed by numerous walking trails where you can enjoy the pure mountain air and some of Asia’s most lush scenery. You'll spend the day here exploring the grasslands and the forests, spotting Sri Lankan Sambar Deer and a wide array of birdlife, and seeing unique flora such as the famous "twisted trees" – a result of prevailing strong winds. In the evening, enjoy a relaxing night at the colonial Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 11
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Amanwella Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you'll leave the hotel for the long drive to Yala. Along the way, you'll pass through Ella on a spectacular journey through mountainous scenery, past waterfalls and through emerald-colored forests. This afternoon, embark upon a safari in the Yala National Park, the second-largest park in the country and a wildlife sanctuary, home to leopards, Sri Lankan elephants and a vast array of waterbirds. The park comprises wetlands, monsoon forests, scrub, grasslands and beaches, supporting a range of different ecosystems. Tonight, you have the option of staying near the park in a comfortable-yet-basic hotel, or driving an hour to the luxurious Amanwella resort.

Day 12
Galle, Sri Lanka
Amangalla Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you will make your way to the old port town of Galle. This beautiful fort city was colonized by the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British, and its colonial ramparts still remain, achieving UNESCO World Heritage status for the city. Here, you will visit Mulkirigala Rock Monastery, a rock temple complex with intricate frescoes, stone stupas and hidden Buddha statues. Next, visit another prolific religious site, the colorful Wewurukannala Temple. This temple site houses graphic dioramas of "Buddhist Hell" and various other mythological scenes, painted statues of Hindu gods and Buddha statues showing different stages of enlightenment. Tonight, check into your hotel in Galle. We recommend the elegant Amangalla, housed in a restored 17th-century building, or The Fortress Resort and Spa, located right on the beach.

Day 13
Galle, Sri Lanka
Amangalla Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a gourmet breakfast in your hotel, you'll explore the Dutch Fort with its mix of Dutch and Portuguese colonial architecture. Here, you'll find the Galle National Museum, where you can view old military artifacts, turtle shell ornaments and native handicrafts. After a leisurely half-day tour of the fort, you'll head to the Rhumasala and Yatagala Temples in the afternoon. Yatagala Buddhist Temple is a fascinating site, more than 2,300 years old, built around boulders and carved into rocks. Exploring this site, you'll discover moss-covered Buddha statues hidden between boulders, and a sacred Bodhi tree. Conversely, Rhumasala is a modern temple, a gift from Japan that overlooks the water towards Galle. Tonight, enjoy the final night of your journey in night in your luxury resort in Galle.

Day 14
Galle, Sri Lanka
None Breakfast

Today, enjoy breakfast at your hotel, before driving 3 hours to the airport to catch your departing international flight.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

VIP Arrival

The following VIP services are complimentary for all Virtuoso guests upon arrival at participating airports.

  • Meet and greet as you disembark the aircraft
  • Luggage assistance
  • Escort through immigration and customs formalities
  • Escort to your private guide

Further services may be available, contingent upon individual airport regulations. Please enquire for further details.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

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Description

This luxurious 14-day Sri Lanka itinerary will take you to the island's most important religious, historic and natural sites. You'll see remnants of ancient civilizations and visit intricately-adorned Hindu and Buddhist temples, some of them millennia old. On this tour you'll also see more recent history preserved in the inland cities of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, home to colonial vestiges and stunning mountain scenery. You'll also take safaris through Sri Lankan wilderness, seeing the country’s protected areas and spotting a wide range of wildlife including elephants, monkeys and deer. Each night of your trip, you'll stay in a luxury resort, relaxing in style after a full day exploring Sri Lanka's treasures.


Highlights


  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Anuradhapura, an ancient Asian capital with many intact relics

  • Enjoy a breakfast picnic atop the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of Sri Lanka's most beautiful natural and historical sites

  • Stay in Nuwara Eliya, a scenic colonial hill-town and a popular regional getaway

  • Experience a safari in Yala National Park, a beautiful animal sanctuary of wetlands, monsoonal forests, mangroves and beaches

About Us

Remote Lands creates highly personalized itineraries with extraordinary experiences for discerning travelers, based on their own passions, interests and needs. The world’s most elite travel advisors rely on us for our deep knowledge of Asia and entrust us with their highly discerning clients, from celebrities to CEO’s, Wall Street titans to professional athletes. We are available to travel advisors 24/7 from the initial consultation to the day your clients return from Asia.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Payment Notes
  • Payment by wire transfer or by cheque; American Express, Visa and MasterCard also accepted.
  • 25%

Refund Policy
  • Fully refundable, less a 15% of total trip price cancellation fee, if cancelled 91 days or more before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • 50% of total trip price refundable if cancelled 30-90 days before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • No refund less than 30 days before departure

  • Please note that some vendors have onerous cancellation policies with substantial penalties for changes where funds paid are non-refundable


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highly recommended

By: Squash1


Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2013

excellent at making sure everything is taken care of...personal cell phone contact appreciated and very customized orientation...also very nice
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Excellent package

By: Mike53-Birmingham


Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2013

Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu was fantastic as was the Kinabatangan River Resort. Raimie our guide was first-rate!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Perfect

By: Dustin and Eli


Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2018

Remote Lands coordinated our trip and made the experience worry-free. All of our transfers and guides were on time, professional, kind and even went above and beyond when a couple of unexpected needs arose. Thank you!
Travel Advisor:  Geraldine Hasting

Taiwan 2018 trip

By: Cindi


Reviewed on: 29 Mar 2018

Wonderful experience! This was my daughter’s senior trip prior to going away to college and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. Great guide, driver, travel agent, etc. Overall a very positive experience!!
Travel Advisor:  Deanna Byrd

far east

By: Mike


Reviewed on: 18 May 2018

we had to different tour guides, both were just excellent and well worth the money definitely made the trip more memorable
Travel Advisor:  Jason Swaye

Japan

By: Joel and Kathy


Reviewed on: 17 Jun 2018

The Remote Lands Guides were excellent. The cars used for transportation were roomy and clean. The hotels were 5 star and their attention to detail was over the top. There was only perfection from the people we met and it was also comforting to know that our trip was being carefully monitored by Remote Lands supervisors every step of the way. We would recommend Remote Lands to anyone needing exceptional service in Asia.
Travel Advisor:  Kate Winslow