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Undiscovered Sri Lanka

Tailor Made Itinerary

14 Days From C$3,710

Overview

Sinhalese history can be traced back over three and a half millennia, with the arrival of Buddhism around 250 BC having a major influence on its culture and architecture. An influence that can still be seen today amongst its stunning World Heritage Sites. The later arrival of the Tamils and the Europeans enhanced this cultural mix, to create a unique island that was once described as the finest in all the world.

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Galle and Kandy
  • Climb Sigiriya rock to see the frescoes and take in the stunning views, and meet the pearl fishermen of Mannar
  • Explore the east coast on boat trips to Nainathivu Island and Pigeon Island National Park
  • See the impressive temple in Trincomalee, a stronghold of Tamil culture
  • Enjoy the architectural marvel of Galle Fort and the beautiful beaches of the south coast
  • Embark on a whale watching boat journey and observe the highly skilled stilt fishermen

ITINERARY

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ARRIVE COLOMBO - ANURADHAPURA

DAY 1: ARRIVE COLOMBO - ANURADHAPURA

Your journey begins in Colombo, Sri Lanka's largest city and its de facto capital. Flying into the city today we then head north, driving up towards Anuradhapura, the site of the country's first capital and one of the greatest monastic centres of the ancient world. En route visit the fascinating Yapahuwa Rock Fortress. On arrival in Anuradhapura the evening is free to relax.

Forest Rock Garden

DAY 2: ANURADHAPURA

DAY 2: ANURADHAPURA

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Anuradhapura lay at the heart of Theravada Buddhism for centuries. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth, it is home to some of the most revered religious sites in Asia including the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, believed to have been grown from a cutting from the original Bodhi tree under which the Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment. You'll also have a chance today to visit the Mirisaveti Stupa, Abhayagiri Dagaba and the Isurumiya Temple, the first to be built on the island.

Forest Rock Garden
Breakfast

DAY 3: ANURADHAPURA - MANNAR

DAY 3: ANURADHAPURA - MANNAR

After breakfast this morning you will leave for the town of Mannar, a busy sea port that was once renowned as a centre for pearl fishing. Home to the historic Thiruketheeswaram Hindu temple, one of the main Eswara temples in the country, Mannar sits on an island overlooking the Gulf of Mannar and our journey takes us via the famous pilgrimage Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, the holiest Catholic shrine in Sri Lanka. You'll also take in the Dutch fort and the Thiruketheeswaram Temple, before ending at 'Doric Bungalow' to watch the pearl fishermen.

Palmyrah House
Breakfast

DAY 4: MANNAR - JAFFNA

DAY 4: MANNAR - JAFFNA

Head for the historic city of Jaffna today, capital of Sri Lanka's northern provinces. Hemmed in to the south and the west by Jaffna Lagoon, the city served as the power-base of the Jaffna Kingdom of the 13th-17th centuries and in later years came under the influence of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. The journey there today takes us via the newly built Sanguppidy Bridge, which connects the Jaffna Peninsula with the mainland. You’ll visit the Dutch Fort at Pooneryn, before taking a tour of Jaffna’s Public Library and Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, as well as the fabulous Chunnkam market where you can browse beautiful handicrafts and fresh produce. Finally reward yourself with a visit to Ammachi Unavagam where you can sample some of the country’s most fabulous food. 

Northgate By Jetwing Jaffna
Breakfast

DAY 5: JAFFNA

DAY 5: JAFFNA

A boat trip to nearby Nainathivu Island provides an opportunity to visit the Naga Poosari Amman Hindu Temple and the ancient Nagadeepa Buddhist Temple, said to occupy a spot blessed by the Lord Buddha during his second visit to Sri Lanka. Other sightseeing today includes the Buddhist ruins at Kadurugoda, the therapeutic hot springs at Keeramalai and the temple at Dambakolapatuna, where the sacred Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura first reached Sri Lanka's shores. En route visit Karainagar village where you can see the women weaving Palmyrah leafs into baskets and handicrafts – a traditional craft that’s sadly disappearing.

Northgate By Jetwing Jaffna
Breakfast

DAY 6: JAFFNA - TRINCOMALEE

DAY 6: JAFFNA - TRINCOMALEE

Lying along the eastern coast, some 113 miles south of Jaffna, is the port city of Trincomalee. A traditional stronghold of Tamil culture, the city is one of the oldest in Asia and was a major maritime trading centre during the island's long history of trade with South East Asia. A tour this afternoon takes in Fort Frederick and the city's famous Koneswaram Temple (The Temple of the Thousand Pillars). You'll also visit the Vilgam Vehera, one of the oldest shrines in the Eastern Province, where one of the first saplings of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi was planted.

Cinnamon Trinco Blu
Breakfast

DAY 7: TRINCOMALEE

DAY 7: TRINCOMALEE

A boat cruise out to the Pigeon Island National Park today presents a chance to visit one of Sri Lanka's two maritime parks. Home to some of the most pristine coral reefs in the country, the park provides a rich haven for more than 100 different types of coral, some 300 species of reef fish, black tip reef sharks, hawksbill and green turtles and breeding colonies of rock pigeons.

Cinnamon Trinco Blu
Breakfast

DAY 8: TRINCOMALEE - POLONNARUWA - SIGIRIYA

DAY 8: TRINCOMALEE - POLONNARUWA - SIGIRIYA

Turning away from the coast, we head next for the ancient city of Sigiriya, located in the central Matale District. En route visit the old medieval capital of Polonnaruwa today, a city that reached the height of its glory during the 12th century. Another of Sri Lanka's wonderful World Heritage Sites, the city is filled with a rich collection of ancient buildings and monuments. You'll visit the magnificent ruins of its Royal Palace, with its Audience Hall, Bathing Pool and Quadrangle. You'll also take in the curious Circular Relic House and the colossal carved figures of the Galvihara, hewn out of solid granite. Continue on to Sigiriya where you can relax for the rest of the day.

Sigiriya Village
Breakfast

DAY 9: SIGIRIYA

DAY 9: SIGIRIYA

The unique Rock Fortress, or 'castle in the sky' as it is sometimes known at Sigiriya, is a massive monolith of red stone that rises 600ft above ground. Its common name - Lion Rock - is derived from the way the entrance to the path that ascends the mountain is reached between the paws of a lion. The ruins of this 5th century fortress completely dominate the landscape and are one of Sri Lanka's major attractions. Spend some time with your guide exploring this splendid site, as you climb to the top where you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, as well as the remains of what is left of the palace of King Kasyapa. Halfway up, accessible by a spiral staircase and tucked beneath a sheltering overhang of rock, are the famous frescoes - the Sigiriya Damsels. Reward yourself with lunch at Heritance Kandalama, Geoffrey Bawa’s iconic hotel, before enjoying an afternoon at leisure.

Sigiriya Village
Breakfast

DAY 10: SIGIRIYA - DAMBULLA - KANDY

DAY 10: SIGIRIYA - DAMBULLA - KANDY

The journey to Kandy takes us by way of the UNESCO caves at Dambulla, where you'll find a remarkable collection of temples and statues that date back to the 1st century BC. Filled with images of the Buddha and sculptures of the Hindu gods, the caves have become an important pilgrimage site for countless thousands of worshippers, with the largest of the caves containing some 48 statues of the Buddha. Continuing on to the Matale Spice Gardens, you'll then get a chance to join a tour to learn more about the use of spices in day to day life, before completing the journey to Kandy.

The Secret Kandy
Breakfast

DAY 11: KANDY

DAY 11: KANDY

The last capital of the ancient Sri Lankan kings, Kandy is one of the country's cultural jewels. Home to the revered Temple of the Tooth, the city still retains a sense of its old-world charm and a guided tour of some of its highlights includes the beautiful Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, one of the finest of its kind in Asia. Continue on a culinary walk, exploring local markets and visiting Hela Bojun Hala, a spacious open-air food court set up with the aim of not only providing delicious Sri Lankan food at subsidised prices, but also providing employment opportunities for local women. 

The Secret Kandy
Breakfast

DAY 12: KANDY - GALLE

DAY 12: KANDY - GALLE

Another of Sri Lanka's impressive World Heritage Sites, Galle, on Sri Lanka's beautiful southwestern coast, is home to the largest European fortress left in Asia. Colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century, it is still infused today with a graceful charm that perfectly encapsulates its European history and a wander through its meandering streets reveals the ageing colonial era buildings. Explore on foot with your guide.

41 Lighthouse Street
Breakfast

DAY 13: GALLE

DAY 13: GALLE

There is an option this morning to join an early whale and dolphin watching trip at Mirissa. The journey there provides an opportunity to stop off and watch some fishermen practicing the traditional art of stilt fishing, a custom unique to Sri Lanka and kept alive today by about 500 families that still fish these southern coastal waters. Alternative options are to visit a Cinnamon tea plantation or enjoy some mask making at the nearby town of Ambalangoda.

41 Lighthouse Street
Breakfast

DAY 14: GALLE - DEPART COLOMBO

DAY 14: GALLE - DEPART COLOMBO

Drive back along the coast today towards Colombo. For those interested in Geoffrey Bawa you can stop along the way to explore his iconic country home and gardens - Lunuganga Estate. Continue on to Colombo airport in time to catch your onward flight.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Luxury

Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience

Luxury

Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

UNDISCOVERED SRI LANKA (14 DAYS) C$3,710

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra - The best of the best, the ultimate indulgence
Luxury - Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium - Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior - Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple - No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

If you book international flights through Wild Frontiers.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHEN TO GO

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Shalmali

Shalmali is our Indian Subcontinent expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Shalmali by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Early morning hike to Sigiriya rock, train journey from Kandy to Ella, walk with the Vedda in Gal Oya, visit a working tea factory, food walk in Colombo, leopard tracking in Wilpattu, visit Anuradhapura at night, best beach stay in Tangalla

OTHER ITINERARIES IN SRI LANKA