Day 1 - Negombo
Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your journey starts from the coastal town of Negombo, a short drive from the international airport. You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5:30 PM, when insurance details and next of kin information are collected. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is best explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception.
Day 2 - Anuradhapura
In the morning weave through stalls piled with shark, squid, barracuda and all types of sea creatures as the sellers call out their wares in Negombo fish market. Continue on to a coconut plantation to learn how all parts of the tree play an important part in daily life and sip the refreshing water of a king coconut. Travel north by private vehicle to Anuradhapura, stopping at Wilpattu National Park en route. This fine National Park is filled with unique water basins and lakes and is known for the leopards, elephants and sloth bears that call it home.
Todays travel time is approx. 5 hours.
Day 3 - Anuradhapura
The grand ruins of Anuradhapura point to its status as Sri Lanka’s ruling city for almost one and a half millennia. Take a guided cycling tour of the large number of archaeological sites – the stupas, citadel and monasteries – and stop by the Bodhi Tree Temple, the second-most sacred site in Sri Lanka.
If you don't feel like cycling, there is the chance to have a wander around the ruins or jump in a rickshaw and follow the group.
Day 4 - Jaffna
This morning transfer to the station to catch the train north to the coastal Tamil town of Jaffna, inaccessible for years due to the civil war. Journey around the Jaffna Peninsula, taking in Point Pedro (Sri Lanka’s northernmost point) the healing waters of Keerimalai Spring, the ruined dagobas of Kantarodai, and Nilawari, a bottomless well where it’s said that the Hindu God, Rama, shot an arrow to get water. Travel time approx 4 hours by local train.
Day 5 - Jaffna
Rise early this morning and stroll around the ancient Buddhist temple of Nagadeepa, once visited by Buddha to settle a dispute between two local kings, and the colourful Nagapoosani Amman temple. Take a tour of Jaffna city and the sprawling Hindu temple complex of Nallur. In the evening spend time with a local Jaffna family and learn to cook traditional cuisine.
Day 6 - Trincomalee
Leave Jaffna today and transfer to Trincomalee by public bus (approx 4 hours)
Discover the beach vibes of Trincomalee, relax in the shade of a palm tree and drink ‘toddy’ straight its flowers. Trincomalee is said to be one of the world’s finest deep-water harbours, attracting famous sailors like Marco Polo to its shores. there are no activities planned today so its a great chance to relax by the pool.
Day 7 - Trincomalee
Take the free day to enjoy a range of optional activities like snorkelling at Pigeon Island, or climb aboard a boat for some whale and dolphin watching in the bay. Don’t feel like doing anything? Then simply sit back, relax and enjoy the peaceful beach lifestyle.
Day 8 - Batticaloa
Explore the town of Trincomalee in the morning, stopping at Fort Frederick, the hilltop temple of Koneshwaram, and the natural hot springs of Kanniya. Continue by private vehicle for around 2 hours along the coast to Batticaloa, a lagoon-surrounded town that’s the home of the famous Sri Lankan street food Kottu Roti.
Day 9 - Mahiyangana
Travel by private vehicle this morning as you head inland to the small town of Mahiyangana. Visit Mahiyangana temple and the country’s first dagoba, marking the spot where Buddha is said to have first preached. In the evening visit the Vedda tribal community in Dabana.
Day 10 - Kandy
Continue into the physical and spiritual heart of the country travelling via the Knuckles Mountain Range to Kandy, the former home of the last Sri Lankan king. this evening observe locals worshiping in Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth, one of Sri Lanka’s most sacred shrines and home to a tooth relic of Buddha. Travel time approx. 3 hours
Day 11 - Colombo
Leaving Kandy this morning, we stop en route to visit the Giragama tea factory, where we can sample some of the best of Sri Lankas biggest industry. (120km/approx. 3.5hrs). Continue to Colombo.
After check in we set off for a city walk via the bustling Petta Bazaar, Independence Square, Parliament, past the National Museum, before finishing at a shopping opportunity for a good cause at the Barefoot fair trade store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries.
Tonight we celebrate our journey around Sri Lanka with an optional final night group dinner.
Day 12 - Colombo
There are no activities planned for day 12 and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. Additional accommodation is available through your booking agent at the time of booking your trip.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money