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Marvel at magnificent temples, see the World Heritage Rock Fortress at Sigiriya, search for elephants and other wild animals at Yala National Park, discover the fascinating caves at Dambulla and explore the ruined cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.
Wander through this UNESCO ancient kingdom
Visit this 1st century BC Dambulla Rock Temple
See these lovable Asian elephants at the Udawale Elephant Orphange
Tour the multi-religious city of Sri Lanka's capital
Our Highlights of Sri Lanka itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly to Colombo, arriving late at night. Transfer to your Negombo hotel for an overnight stay.
This morning travel to Sigiriya, home to the 5th-century UNESCO World Heritage listed Rock Fortress, also known as ‘Lion Rock’. The rock fortress was built by King Kashyapa and was named so because a massive lion was carved out of the rock and once sat at the entrance to the palace. Today only the lion’s paws remain. While here, you can climb to the top for panoramic views of the area and explore the surrounding gardens.
Visit the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka from 11th to the 12th centuries and is a well-preserved city of stupas, frescoes and statues. While here, explore the Gal Viharaya, a magnificent group of rock temples consisting of four separate statues; a meditating Buddha, a smaller Buddha said to be visiting heaven, a standing Buddha and the reclining Buddha entering Nirvana. Explore the Vatadage, an ancient structure with elaborate stone carvings that are commonly placed at entrances to monastic buildings of ancient Sri Lanka. Return to Sigiriya.
Drive to Anuradhapura, the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. The city’s greatest treasures are its dagobas; domes enshrining sacred relics. The most notable is the Ruvanveliseya Dagoba, dating back to the 2nd century BC, which you will visit today along with the Thuparamaya, said to contain the collarbone of Buddha. Discover the city’s most renowned relic, the sacred Bo Tree. Emperor Asoka’s daughter brought to Anuradhapura a branch of this tree under which Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment. Planted over 2,250 years ago, it is the oldest surviving historic tree in the world.
After breakfast, travel to Dambulla where you will tour the Rock Temple. Dating back to the 1st century BC, the temple is made up of five caves that have been converted into shrine rooms containing around 150 Buddha statues and colourful frescoes. Visit a spice garden in Matale en route to Kandy. Cinnamon, cardamom, pepper creepers and other spice trees are grown here. Learn about the use of spices in Sri Lankan cuisine and watch a cooking demonstration. Continue to the sacred Buddhist city of Kandy, famous for the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
This morning, take in the beauty of the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. Later, visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, one of the most revered Buddhist sites in the world. The temple houses an important Buddhist Relic, a tooth of the Buddha. Stolen at his funeral, the tooth was smuggled into Sri Lanka hidden in the hair of a princess who fled from India. The relic of the tooth is kept in a two-storey shrine fronted by large elephant trunks. Explore the remains of the Royal Palace, now a museum. This evening watch a colourful cultural dance performance.
Drive to Nuwara Eliya, the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka. Situated at 2,000 metres above sea level, Nuwara Eliya is the main hill station of Sri Lanka and is known for its excellent tea production due to the cool climate which creates tea with a unique flavour. Visit a tea plantation and tea factory en route.
Travel to the Elephant Transit Home located in Udawalawe National Park, where abandoned baby elephants are cared for before they are released into the Udawalawe National Park. Later, arrive in Yala (Ruhuna) National Park, famous for its herds of elephants.
Enjoy morning and afternoon jeep safaris to search for elephants, deer and elusive leopards. One of the world’s largest populations of leopards are found here.
Drive to the Hummanaya Blow Hole, the second largest of its kind in the world. After lunch, continue to Dikwella Wewurukannala Temple, dominated by an image of a seated Buddha that is over 48 metres high. Continue the drive along the coastline towards Ahungalla. Stop along the way at Weligama to see the unique stilt fishermen, an old tradition practiced by around 500 fishing families in the region. Each fisherman has a stilt and balances about two metres above the water. With one hand, they hold the stilt and with the other, they use their fishing rod.
Travel south to explore the city of Galle including the lighthouse and the Old Town. Also visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Dutch Fort, the largest intact Dutch fort in Asia. Within the ramparts and stonewalls of Galle Fort, outstanding buildings remain. The narrow streets are dotted with Dutch colonial villas, museums and antique shops.
Travel to Colombo, stopping at Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery en route. Several species of turtles, including the endangered hawksbill, are protected here. The hatchery is home to Sri Lanka’s pioneering sea turtle conservation project, established in 1981 to protect Sri Lanka’s turtles.
Embark on a city tour of Colombo this morning. Explore the Fort district, the historic centre of the city. Wander through Pettah Market. Visit the Dutch Church of Wolvendaal, dating back to 1749; Kelaniya Buddhist Temple, a major pilgrimage site for Buddhist devotees; and the Colombo and Natural History museums. After dinner you will be transferred to Colombo airport to board your flight to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
Wendy Wu Tours inspects all hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service, which we require for our guests. We pick the right hotel for the specific destination, meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family-run guesthouse in a smaller town. Hotels are also chosen for ease of navigation around tourist sights. View Hotels Here
Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to Sri Lanka. Travellers should arrange visas well in advance of departure. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your visa in the price of your tour. We handle the entire application process – all you need to do is complete the paperwork and send your passport to us eight weeks prior to departure. We are always on hand to help you with any queries you may have while completing the application form.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +61 2 9224 8888.
Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288.
You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave Australia. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is not commonplace in Australia. In Asia however, it is anticipated that a tip be given to reward good service. With that in mind, we have a tipping system for our group tours. Each passenger ‘tips’ a set amount to the National Escort at the start of the tour or on arrival in each country. They then distribute this as appropriate.
Tipping is appreciated for Private and Tailor-Made travel. In your final documents, we include guidelines for tipping when travelling independently.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or too unusual.
Breakfast at your hotel includes local and western dishes. A myth about Sri Lanka is that the food is of poor quality and always spicy. This is definitely not the case! In addition, a great deal of Sri Lankan cuisine is vegetarian.
Drinks are at your own expense. Beer is widely available. Bottled drinking water and soft drinks are widely available – you should only have ice, juices, or lassies from a trusted source that uses boiled or bottled water.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and Australia's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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