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Serendipity Trail

Serendipity Trail - 15 Days

15 Day Tour of Sri Lanka

The beauties of Paradise Island are yours to witness. Go on a scenic train ride through the rolling hills and valleys and experience the picturesque Nuwara Eliya and Ella. Discover the myths and stories behind the City of Ruins, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s ancient capital, and the famous Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’ Fortress. Bask in the scent of Sri Lanka’s renowned spices and herbs, and also take part in a cooking demonstration that lets you taste those exotic spices with a traditional Sri Lankan meal. Spend a memorable time among the Gentle Giants of Pinnawala and take your time to explore Kandy- Sri Lanka’s last kingdom. Marvel at the artistic beauty of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, where the Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha remains preserved and protected, worshipped by religious devotees and pilgrims the world over. Journey into the untamed wilderness of Minneriya, Yala and Horton Plains National Parks and spend a long relaxing few days on the breezy, sun-kissed beaches of the south coast.

Highlights

  • World Class – Top UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
  • Gentle Giants – Millennium Elephant Foundation in Pinnawala
  • Into The Wild – Minneriya, Horton Plains and Yala National Parks
  • Spice Trails – Spice & Herbal Gardens in Matale
  • Last Kingdom – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic & Kandyan Culture
  • Misty Mountains – Evergreen peaks and cosy little towns in Nuwara Eliya & Ella
  • On the Shores – Postcolonial City of Galle, Galle Dutch Fort, and Unawatuna Beach
  • Urban Adventure – Discover the commercial hub, Colombo

When to go on this trip?

The best time of the year you can enjoy this trip is from December to May. Calm south coast beaches, cool and sunny climate and green sceneries that blend perfectly with the locations you are travelling to.

What add-on’s are available for this trip?

  • Water Sports in Bentota.
  • Sinharaja Rain Forest.
  • Madu River Boat Safari.
  • Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project.
  • Geoffrey Bawa’s Lunuganga Estate.

We can arrange for just about any add-on’s on this trip. Discuss with our travel expert to help you decide.

When to book

We recommend that you book this tour at least 6 months ahead.

Day 01 - Airport - Negombo

Arrive at Colombo International Airport and after the formalities proceed to Negombo and check in to the hotel.

Overnight Stay –

Day 02 - Negombo - Pinnawala - Dambulla - Sigiriya

After breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed to Pinnawala and visit the Millennium Elephant Foundation.

Millennium Elephant Foundation

The Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) is a family run non-government organization (NGO) dedicated to improving the welfare of domestic elephants throughout Sri Lanka. The Foundation provides and funds the care, medical treatments, food, mahout salaries, the running costs of the charity as well as having an on call Mobile Veterinary Unit which travels around the country treating sick elephants in need. The Elephant Walk Experience is another alternative to elephant riding for tourists, which is an ethical, up close and personal experience for tourists.

Thereafter proceed to Dambulla and visit Cave Temple.

Dambulla Cave Temple

Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King and the Great New Monastery. See the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex.

On completion, proceed to Sigiriya, check in to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 03 - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya - Sigirya

After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Polonnaruwa and visit Ancient Kingdom Polonnaruwa.

The Ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa

Which was the second major capital of Sri Lanka. Walk through the ruins of the city that flourished between the 10th to the 13th century AD. View important monuments such as Gal Vihara, Vatadage, the lotus bath, Lankathilaka Temple and the statue of King Parakramabahu whose reign was considered the golden age of Polonnaruwa. Get to know more about Sri Lanka’s ancient history.

Thereafter proceed to Minneriya and go on a lovely jeep safari in Minneriya National Park.

Minneriya National Park

This safari takes you on a ride through the Minneriya National Park. Enjoy the sight of over 150 elephants congregating in one place during the famous Great Elephant Gathering, which happens in the dry season between May to October. In addition to elephants, get a chance to also see many mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in the scrublands, forests and other areas.

On completion return back to the hotel and relax

Overnight Stay –

Day 04 - Sigiriya - Sigiriya

After breakfast at the hotel, visit the famous Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’ Fortress.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The 5th century AD rock fortress Sigiriya, once ruled by the Sri Lankan King Kashyapa, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Sri Lanka’s most historical landmarks. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion that is quite appropriate for its name, ‘The Lion Rock’. View the beautiful unfading murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns, that are a mind blowing example of ancient Sri Lankan hydraulic engineering.  Walk through the tunnels leading to the palace as you get a feel for times long past.

After making your descent, proceed to a local village in Sigriya and get an authentic experience in Sri Lankan Village Life.

Sigiriya Village Tour

Get a chance to go on an oxen cart ride, and experience the world from the view of a village farmer. Enjoy a relaxing catamaran safari across a calm lake. Walk through the golden fields ripe with their harvest of paddy. Watch an enjoyable traditional cooking demonstration that teaches you the basics of Sri Lankan cuisine. Delight your taste buds with a home cooked lunch; made over a wood-fire and served on fragrant lotus leaves placed over woven trays. Enjoy the life of a Sri Lankan villager, just this day.

On completion return to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 05 - Sigiriya - Matale - Kandy

After a relaxing morning and breakfast at the hotel check out and proceed to Kandy. En-route make a stop at Matale to visit a Spice Garden and take a guided tour.

Matale Spice Tour

The Matale Spice Tour gives you a hands on experience of a Spice & Herbal Garden within the Spice capital of Sri Lanka, Matale. Here you will learn about Sri Lanka’s famous spices such as coriander, chili, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and their uses. The garden is enriched with herbs, spice groves and plants with fragrant greenery shading from the tropical trees that heighten the unique aroma of each spice and herb. Apart from gaining knowledge on Sri Lankan spices, this unique tour also let’s you learn about Ayurvedic medicine. The tropical climate in which the plants and herbs are grown helps them preserve its ancient originality.

Thereafter, continue to Kandy, check in to the hotel and relax.

Later, go on technical tours related to arts and crafts such as gem crafting, woodcarving, and batiks and watch the Kandyan Cultural Show with its colorful traditional dances and delightful music.

Kandy Cultural Show

Watch the Kandyan Cultural Show with its colorful traditional dances and delightful music. The Kandy Cultural Show gives you an opportunity to experience some of Sri Lanka’s traditions. Enjoy this hour long extravaganza as some of the most popular art forms of the island take to the stage. Get mesmerized by fire dances, sword dances, and watch the talented Kandyan dancers take to the air to the thrumming, primal beat of the drums.

Upon completion return to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 06 - Kandy - Kandy

After breakfast at the hotel go on a temple run tour in Kandy.

Temple Trio

Get amazed by the wood crafting masterpiece that is the Embekke Temple. Wander through the historic and beautiful Gadaladeniya Temple and view its wonderful paintings and sculptures. Visit the Lankatilaka temple that was quite architecturally advanced for its time. See awe-striking sight of the Degaldoruwa Cave Temple, the inside walls of which are covered in painstakingly restored paintings. Visit the internationally famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic with its palatial cream and gold interiors.

Thereafter proceed to Peradeniya and visit Royal Botanical Garden.

Royal Botanical Garden

Which were formed in the early 19th century. Walk through the vast area containing over 4000 species of plants. Enjoy the learning more about the orchids, spices and medicinal plants. Wander down avenues shaded by large and rare trees, or bordered by flowering plants. Enjoy seeing the cannonball tree, walking over the wobbly suspension bridge and through the short hedge mazes or even climbing the twisty trees that make wonderful jungle gyms.

On completion back to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 07 - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast at the hotel check out and proceed to Nuwara Eliya, en-route make a pause at Ramboda and visit Ramboda Falls, which is the 11th tallest in the country and get a guided tour through a Tea Estate and learn more about the varieties, processing methods and qualities of tea.

Tea Factory Visit 

Tea Factory to learn how tea is manufactured in Sri Lanka. You can observe the tea pickers, locally known as ‘tea pluckers’ as they move between the lush green rows along the mountains with their large baskets.Thereafter you will be given a guided tour explaining fermentation, rolling, drying, cutting, sieving and the grading of tea. Finish with a tea tasting process and learn of the history, and why Ceylon Tea is considered among the best in the world.

Thereafter continue to Nuwara Eliya go on scenic tour in Nuwara Eliya and check in to the hotel.

Later go on a scenic tour in Nuwara Eliya City.

Explore the beautiful city

The highland city that was the premium holiday resort town of the British in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Enjoy walking through the streets with their pretty little cottages, quaint villas, and beautiful mansions. Make a memory in the old red-bricked post office as you purchase an inexpensive and colorful postcard to take home or send to your friends. Relax at Queen Victoria Park or on the shores of Lake Gregory.

On completion return back to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 08 - Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya

With breakfast at the hotel proceed to Horton Plains on a Jeep to the entrance and go on a lovely trek.

Horton Plains National Park

Visit the beautiful Horton Plains National Park in Ohiya, with its montane grasslands and cloud forests. Enjoy the majestic views from the precipice of World’s End and the cooling sprays from Baker’s Falls. Catch glimpses of the many endemic fauna that make their home in the plains. Get to know more about the archeological finds that were discovered in the area.

After the trek, return to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 09 - Nuwara Eliya - Ella - Yala

After breakfast at the hotel check out and proceed to Ella. On arrival to Ella explore marvellous Ella.

Explore the Beauty

Explore three of Ella’s most interesting places. Pass through bright green tea fields, and tough stretches of rock, and get to see the magical views of Little Adam’s Peak. Walk over the history seeped Nine Arches Bridge and listen to the story of its construction. End your hike at the Demodara Railway station with its unique loop-over track design. This tour gives you the chance to see the best sights of Sri Lanka

Thereafter proceed to Yala, check into the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 10 - Yala - Koggala - Galle - Unawatuna

Early in the morning proceed to Yala National Park to go on a lovely jeep safari in Yala National Park.

Yala National Park

This amazing Safari offers the opportunity to visit Yala National Park, the second largest in the island based off the Southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. Get a chance to see the famous Sri Lankan leopards, indigenous wild water buffalo, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear and large herds of Sri Lankan Elephants. The park is also home to many other species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates.

After the safari return to the hotel, check out and proceed to Koggala and visit Stilt Fisherman.

Stilt Fisherman in Koggala

Watch the captivating sight of fishermen perched on stilts in the waters along the coast of Koggala. Hear the stories of how stilt fishing came to Sri Lanka, from the mouths of the fishermen who have practiced the craft for generations. Learn how the stilt fishing is done in detail and marvel at the level of skill that goes into it. Get some amazing photographs of the fishermen silhouetted against the shoreline at sunset.

Thereafter continue to Galle and visit the Old Colonial City.

Old Colonial City of Galle

Discover the city of Galle, where the Portuguese and Dutch made their headquarters, and its secrets. Visit the Galle Fort which is one of the best-preserved fortifications in Asia. View the Maritime Museum, Galle National Museum, and the lighthouse. Walk through the cobblestoned streets with their Dutch names as you learn more about their histories.

On completion proceed to Unawatuna and check in to the hotel.

Overnight Stay –

Day 11 to 14 - Unawatuna (4 Nights)

Free and easy on the beach.

Overnight Stay –

Day 15 - Unawatuna - Colombo - Airport

After breakfast at the hotel check out and proceed to Colombo and go on a city and shopping tour.

Colombo City Tour

Experience the colorful lights and bright life of Colombo, the capital City of Sri Lanka. Visit historic monuments such as the Old Lighthouse, the Old Parliament, Galle Face Hotel, Galle Face Green, Gangarama Temple, the National Museum and more. Enjoy the malls of Independence Square or the Race Course. Visit boutique shops and designer stores.

On completion proceed to Bandaranaike International Airport for your departure from Sri Lanka after spending a memorable time on the island.

Price

The price quoted is valid till April 2018. Will be subject to seasonal supplements. Speak to your travel expert to learn more details.

VISA

Visa can be obtained online via www.eta.gov.lk. You can obtain Visa on arrival as well, however, this option is not available for some countries. Do read more on this topic here.

Travel Information

Sri Lanka is a developing nation. Yet, there are many things you must look out for during your travel. For example; when visiting religious sites, it is important that you dress to cover. All key information you need to know before traveling is right here.

Packing Essentials

When packing for Sri Lanka, you only need to remember that this is a tropical country. Sunny weather & warm water. Hence, packing thin cotton clothing is essential. However, if your stay includes places like Kandy, Nuwara Eliya & Ella, we recommend that you pack a few sweaters just in case. You must not forget the following:

  • Effective mosquito repellent.
  • A good sunscreen.
  • (Ladies) Tampons – Nearly impossible to find outside Colombo.
  • Universal power adapter.

Booking Process

After deciding on which trip you want to go, send us an inquiry with the requested details. If you want to further customize this trip, our travel experts would be glad to help perfect the tour itinerary for you. Once all planning is final, the next step is starting the booking process. We request for a 20% deposit to confirm the booking. On receipt of the deposit, our team will start booking your hotels and the vehicles that were agreed upon. The balance 80% payment can be made 30 to 45 days prior to the date of arrival. For cancellation and refund policies please take a look at the terms & conditions.

Travel Insurance

We recommend that you purchase travel insurance before you travel.

Hotel Timing

Standard Check in time : 1400 hrs.

Standard Check out time : 1200 hrs.

The above may differ from hotel to hotel. Speak to your travel expert for more details.

We are able to arrange early check-in and late check-outs depending on the hotels you choose. However, you may be subject to additional charges.

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