From the central highland plains and mountain ranges that rise high above the clouds to the coastal lowlands with gold-sand beaches washed by crystal clear azure waters. Experience all of the facets of Sri Lanka with this 9 days Sri Lanka itinerary, beautiful tropical island of ancient legends, thousands of years old culture, breathtaking natural beauty, and open and welcoming people. See the ancient temples and fortresses where myths, legends, and history intertwine and become one. Experience what Sri Lanka once was and what it still is, the Jewel of the Indian Ocean.
Upon your arrival at BIA, a T2 Travels representative will wait for you to meet and greet you, and we will head straight for Negombo.
If time allows it, on our way we will visit the Angurukaramulla Temple. It is one of the historic temples of Negombo, and very popular among visitors for its imposing entrance in the form of wide open dragon’s mouth, and ruins of more than three centuries old library.
Then we will visit the Negombo Fish Markets, the largest one in Sri Lanka, where you can witness the hustle and bustle of fish trade, for which this city is famous.
Afterward, we will visit the Saint Sebastian Church in the Wellaweediya neighborhood. This Roman Catholic church is dedicated to Saint Sebastian, patron saint of Negombo was built in the Gothic Revival style and is reminiscent of the Reims Cathedral in France.
Then we will take a Boat Tour on the Dutch Canal, a manmade watercourse that runs in a north to south direction and connects Negombo Lagoon and Kelani River on the outskirts of Colombo.
A direct trip from Bandaranaike International Airport to Negombo typically takes 20 minutes, and you will stay overnight at hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will head straight for Sigiriya.
In the morning we will walk through the Lion’s Gate and climb the Lion Rock to explore the Sigiriya Fortress.
Afterward, we will climb up to the summit of nearby, and less tall, Pidurangala Rock which offers a breathtaking view of Sigiriya.
To break the somber atmosphere of this ancient city, we will have a jolt of fun on the Elephant Ride.
In the afternoon we will embark on a Jeep Safari through the Minneriya National Park. This wildlife sanctuary is located on the banks of Minneriya Tank, a historic water reservoir constructed in the 3rd century AD, which serves as an important water and food source for local wildlife during the dry season. It is home to the largest wild herd of Sri Lankan elephants, which numbers between 150 and 200 individuals.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will start a day trip to Trincomalee.
In the morning we will have a Whale Watching boat trip. During the migratory season, you can see the blue whales, Bryde’s whales, sperm whales, and occasionally orcas. Very often the ever joyful dolphins follow the tour boats. Bottlenose, spinner, Risso’s and striped dolphins are among the most common.
After the boat trip, we will visit Pigeon Island, one of the only two marine national parks. The waters which surround this island are a thriving coral reef that provides a habitat for many marine species, and a very popular snorkeling spot.
On our way back to Trincomalee we will land on the Nilaveli Beach, a beautiful expanse of gold sand gently washed by the azure sea.
In the evening we will visit Koneshwaram Kovil, a Hindu temple that draws its tradition since 205 BC, and is related to events of epic Ramayana. Throughout history, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. To Portuguese traders, it was known as the Thousand Pillars Temple.
We will also visit a nearby shrine, the Shankari Devi Shakthi Peetam, which stands on the spot where for which it is believed to be a place where one of the parts of the body of a goddess Sita fell on Earth.
If time allows it, we will visit the Kanniya Hot Springs, an ancient complex of seven hot springs that was made by Lord Ravana when he hit the ground seven times with his sword.
Afterward, we will head back to Sigiriya.
A direct trip from Negombo to Sigiriya typically takes 3 hours and 35 minutes, and from Sigiriya to Trincomalee typically takes 1 hour and 45 minutes. In Sigiriya, you will stay at the Hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel in Sigiriya, we will start the trip to Kandy, with few stops along the way.
The first stop we will make is in Dambulla, where The Golden Temple is located. This Buddhist temple was founded in the 1st century BC and consists of five caves adorned by numerous statues of Buddha and more than 2,100 square meters of religious wall paintings.
We will continue our trip by passing through the village of Hasalaka, where Vadda Pani and Rathna Ella waterfalls are located, two among the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka.
Afterward, we will visit Dunuwila Lake in the Wasgamuwa National Park. This protected area is famous for the Sri Lankan elephant and Sri Lankan axis deer populations.
Our next stop will be in the village of Gurulupotha and visit Seetha Kotuwa. According to the legend, this place is the location of the city of Lankapura, from which the antagonist of epic Ramayana Lord Ravana ruled. While here we will also visit the Seetha Ella waterfalls.
The next stop we will make is near the village of Werangantota, where the Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya temple is located. Constructed at the place of Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka, the dagoba of this temple contains relics of Buddha’s hair and collarbone.
After breakfast at the hotel in Kandy, we will embark on the trip exploring the city and its surroundings.
In the morning we will make a trip to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, an elephant sanctuary founded with the aim of caring for calves of elephants found across Sri Lanka abandoned or injured. Here you can see them being herded to the river every morning for watering and bathing.
In the afternoon we will attend a cultural heritage show. The Kandyan Dance Show, which is a must-see for any visitor of Sri Lanka. Through centuries Sri Lankan national dances have developed from various religious rituals, as a representation of historical events, legends, and nature.
In the evening we will visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is home to the sacred relic of Buddha’s tooth. It is one of the most important Buddhist relics, and according to a legend who possess it will rule the island of Sri Lanka.
A direct trip from Sigiriya to Kandy typically takes 2 hours and 35 minutes, and you will stay at the Hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel in Kandy, we will start our trip to Nuwara Eliya.
In the morning we will visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. Located just a few kilometers from the hotel, and built on the location of the palace gardens of one of the first Kandyan kings, this botanical garden is world-renowned for the collection of orchids, which are just a small part of a collection of more than 4,000 plant species.
Continuing on our way, we will visit a Tea Factory, where through a guided tour you can experience the history and present of the production of some of the best tea in the world.
After the tour, we will make the next stop at Shri Bhakta Hanuman Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Hanuman, one of the central characters of epic Ramayana. After visiting the temple, we will proceed to nearby Ramboda Falls, stunningly beautiful waterfall which with 109 meters of height is the 11th highest in Sri Lanka.
The mild climate of the Nuwara Eliya region is favorable for growing vegetables and fruits which are more characteristic to continental Europe. Thus we will visit Strawberry Farm, where you can sample some of the most delicious fruits and fruit products.
We will continue our trip by visiting the Gayathri Amman Temple. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Gayathri and was constructed at the place for which is believed to be where a son of Ravana prayed to Lord Shiva, as depicted in the epic Ramayana.
Then we will continue our trip by visiting the Seetha Aman Temple, one of the rare Hindu temples dedicated to the princess Sita, wife of Lord Rama and central character of epic Ramayana.
If time allows it, we will also visit the Lake Gregory, an artificial lake from the colonial times in Nuwara Eliya, which is a popular trout fishing and boating spot.
A direct trip from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya typically takes 2 hours and 10 minutes, and you will stay overnight at hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel in Nuwara Eliya, we will start our trip to Bentota.
Upon arriving in Bentota we will embark on a River Boat Safari in Madu Ganga River. This one-hour safari will take you through stunningly beautiful mangrove forests, mostly untouched and with power to make you feel that you are thousands of miles away from civilization.
Traveling upriver on Madu Ganga will take us to Madu Ganga Lake, where the Cinnamon Island is located. Here you can learn about the process of growing the true cinnamon trees and production of the spice from its bark.
The rest of the day you can spend on leisurely activities.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will have a day trip to Galle.
On the way to Galle, we will visit the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project. This hatchery is operated by Wildlife & Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka and provides a sanctuary and conservation of these magnificent animals from extinction.
The city of Galle is best known for the Galle Fort. This walled fortress was originally built by Portuguese in the 16th century, and it was expanded by Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. Today, it is breathtakingly well-preserved example of European fortifications building in South Asia.
While in Galle, we will also visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda. Located just across the harbor from Galle Fort, this pagoda was built by members of the Japanese Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order as a shrine to world peace.
Afterward, we will head back to Bentota.
A direct trip from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota typically takes 4 hours and 55 minutes, and from Bentota to Galle typically takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. In Bentota, you will stay at the hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will embark on our trip to Bandaranaike International Airport.
On the way to the airport, we will take a sightseeing tour of Colombo, and visit the most important landmarks of the largest city in Sri Lanka.
A direct trip from Bentota to Bandaranaike International Airport typically takes 1 hour and 40 minutes.
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