Scenic Sri Lanka with Tourcan Vacations
Price: $2,995 CAD Per Person
(Price per person, based on double occupancy.)
Offer: Save $150 CAD Per Couple
Photo: Tourcan Vacations | Scenic Sri Lanka | Dambulla Golden Rock Cave Temple
Colombo: Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel
- City Tour
- National Museum
- Independence Square
En route to Habarana:
- Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala
- Golden rock Cave Temple
Habarana: Cinnamon Lodge
- Lion rock
- Sigiriya Museum
En route to Kandy:
- Matale Spice Garden
- Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
Kandy: Cinnamon Citadel
- City Tour
- Kandy Lake
- Cultural Show
- Temple of the Tooth
Nuwara Eliya: Grand Hotel
- City Tour
- Local Market
- Tea Plantation visit
Yala: Cinnamon Wild Hotel
- Yala National Park
- Jeep Safari
En route to Mount Lavinia: Mount Lavinia Hotel
- City Tour of Galle
- Cooking Demo
- Mt Lavinia
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Hotel accommodation per itinerary or similar
- Meals per itinerary
- Sightseeing outlined in itinerary including entrance fees
- English-speaking local guides
Photo: Tourcan Vacations | Scenic Sri Lanka | Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Day 1: Arrival in Colombo - Colombo City Tour
Welcome to Sri Lanka!
Upon arrival in Colombo, you will be met and assisted by our Airport Representative, who will direct you to your very own Chauffeur. Then transfer to your hotel in Colombo, approximately 40 Mins (35KM). Colombo is the commercial and city center known as the “Fort”, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century where grand colonial era buildings stand alongside modern office structures. Once you check in at your hotel relax and recover from any jet lag.
Later in the evening explore the city of Colombo. See the vibrant markets and bazaars of Pettah and the National Museum with its fine collection of lovely antiques and art of Sri Lanka. Then proceed to Independence Square, the location where Sri Lanka proclaimed its independence from British rule in 1948. Drive past the Town hall, Cinnamon Gardens and Galle Face Green. Make the last stop of the day at Gangaramaya Temple, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Colombo. Explore the architecture and paintings of this religious site before cross the street to Bera Lake, is a lake in the center of the city of Colombo.
Day 2: Pinnawala - Dambulla Temple - Habarana
After breakfast check out from the hotel and leave for Pinnawala to visit the Elephant orphanage, approximately a 2 ¼ hr drive (100KM). This orphanage was set up by the government to take care of baby elephants lost or abandoned in the wild. Witness the feeding of the elephants. Thereafter observe them as they take their daily bath in the river nearby, which affords photo opportunities. Bath time is enjoyed by all elephants, young and old alike and it is a good time to closely observe their tightly knit family structure.
Afterward, we will drive approximately 2 hrs (90KM) to Dambulla and explore the famous Golden Rock cave temple, date back to the 1st Century BC which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, a vast isolated rock mass with its five caverns is the largest best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 sq. meters) are of particular importance as are the 157 statues including a 47-foot-long statue of the recumbent Buddha. This amazing complex was first used as a refuge by an ancient king who upon regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent images to be carved from the rock. Later kings made further improvements and the caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha painted upon the walls of which the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 metres. The hike up to the caves is short but steep. At the top you can explore the caves and enjoy spectacular far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside.
(Please dress appropriately when visiting Dambulla temple, with shoulders and knees covered. It is a steep uphill walk to the temple approx. 15-40 mins depending on route taken and on your fitness. Have an extra pair of socks to wear to prevent from the ground heat since you have to walk barefoot.)
To complete our day, we will continue on a drive, approximately 30 Mins (25KM), to the hotel in Habarana, a small village and a central location in Cultural Triangle. The central plains area boasts ruined temples and ancient cities combined with national parks and glistening reservoirs. Check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Day 3: Sigiriya Rock
Set off this morning for a drive, approximately 30 Mins (20KM), to Sigiriya, also known as the ‘Lion Rock’, one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. This 5th Century "Fortress in the Sky" is a UNESCO World Heritage built by King Kassapa which was a Royal Citadel for more than 18 years. The spectacular pillar of rock rise 200 meters from the scrub jungle and the base of the rock is ringed by a moat and rampart and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens. The majestic Lion’s Paw picturesquely guards the stairway of the palace on the summit. You might like to start with a visit to the Sigiriya Museum to learn more about the site before wandering through the vast landscaped gardens to the base of the rock. The climb to the top is steep with many steps and there are some sections where the path or staircase is very narrow with steep drops protected by fences. You will pass the famous frescoes of the “Heavenly maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered pocket of the rock and the 10-foot-high Mirror Wall before arriving at the massive stone lion’s paws. The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a crouching lion but today only the huge paws remain giving an indication of the massive proportions of the head. The summit, covering an area of 1.6 hectares, was originally completely covered by buildings, but only remains of the royal citadel can be seen today.
(We do not recommend this for those without a head for heights or the less mobile. The hike up and down again will take 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on your fitness.)
On completion return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Photo: Tourcan Vacations | Scenic Sri Lanka | Sigiriya Rock Fortress Sunset
Day 4: Matale - Peradeniya - Kandy, city tour - Cultural Show - Temple of the Tooth
After breakfast check out from the hotel and leave for Kandy. The drive is approximately 1 ½ Hrs (70KM). En route stop at a Spice Garden in Matale. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Spices are also used in medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics or perfume production. Visit the peaceful green garden, where you can see how herbs are grown in their natural environment then learn how you can use them to enhance the taste of meals. These spices will reveal to you the secret of traditional Sri Lankan dishes, which have great nutritional value as well as being delicious.
Afterwards continue on a drive, approximately 1 Hrs (35KM), to Peradeniya Botanical Gardens where a rare collection of tropical exotic and indigenous flora including the famous Orchid House could be viewed. Surrounded on three sides by the Mahaweli River, these botanical gardens were DAY 3 DAY 4 founded in 1824 and are still home to one of world’s largest collections of plants and trees. Giant Ficus trees, palms, an orchid house, and a vast array of trees such as ebony, teak, satinwood, mahogany, and tamarind can be seen here. The garden once reserved only for royalty while also served as a headquarters during the Second World War.
Next, we embark on a drive, approximately 1 Hr (35KM), to Kandy, the bustling hill country capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for the pink painted Temple and the Kandy Lake built in 1807 which is an attractive centerpiece to the town. On arrival check in to the hotel.
Later in the afternoon, commence a city tour of Kandy. Stroll along the famous Kandy Lake, built in 1807 and forms an attractive centerpiece for the town. Return to the city center, a stroll along the famous shopping streets and to points of interest such as the central market, local church, garrison cemetery, clock tower and the historic railway station. Visit a Gem Museum, a traditional hand carved wood factory, a Batik Studio and the colossal Bahirawakanda statue.
Afterwards enjoy the Kandyan Cultural show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre. The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display.
In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, locally known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, the most sacred temple in the whole of Sri Lanka. It is the prime monument, the supreme edifice not only of the Sinhalese Buddhist populace of Sri Lanka but also of the Buddhists all over the world. It is within this magnificent temple that the sacred Tooth relic of Buddha (Danta Dhatu), the palladium of the Sinhalese nation & Buddhist faith is enshrined. This important shrine boasts intricate carvings and beautiful Sri Lankan art. During the evening ‘puja’ throngs of pilgrims visit the temple to line up to glimpse the golden casket said to hold the sacred relic and to make offerings of flowers. (Please dress appropriately when visiting The Temple of the Tooth Relic, with shoulders and knees covered.)
Photo: Tourcan Vacations | Scenic Sri Lanka | Kandyan Cultural show
Day 5: Nuwara Eliya - Train Ride - City Tour - Tea Factory & Tea Plantation
After breakfast check out from the hotel and leave for Kandy railway station and board into the train and continue to Nanu Oya - A journey said regarded as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world with sceneries of rolling mountains and green valleys. Meet up with the driver at the Nanu Oya station and leave for the hotel in Nuwara Eliya. The journey is expected to take approximately 3 ½ hrs.
(Train tickets are subject to availability and train times are subject to change due to regular delays Please note that train tickets can only be booked 14 days in advance, with preference given to government officials. When train tickets are not available, a scenic road transfer through the hill country will be substituted.)
Later in the afternoon explore the city of Nuwara Eliya. Take a walk around the town centre, Market place, passing the Victorian post office, the old Hill Club and golf course before a stop at Holy Trinity Church, a quaint building constructed by the British in the mid-19th Century and drive around this hill station viewing Lake Gregory.
Visit a Tea Factory and a Tea Plantation where the best tea in the world is being produced. At the tea plantation take a closer look on how the tea pickers pick the tea leaves, then you can join them to pick the tea leaves, then visit the factory with a staff member who will explain the process of fermentation, rolling, drying, cutting, sieving, and grading of tea. There are machines for almost every part of the process except of course the all-important tea tasting at the end of the process to determine the quality of the tea.
(It’s usually dusty and noisy and inside the factory and its might be closed on weekends.)
Photo: Tourcan Vacations | Scenic Sri Lanka | Tea Factory and Tea Plantation Tour
Day 6: Ella - Yala - Yala National Park
After breakfast check out from the hotel and embark on your drive for Yala. En route, approximately 2 ¼ hrs (65KM) into our drive, stop at Ella Visit Ella Gap – a gap in the mountains where you can see all the way up to the ocean on clear days. Visit Little Adam’s Peak this is Ella’s best known tourist attraction, aptly named since it has a similar shape to Adam’s Peak, which is Sri Lanka’s holy mountain. It is a much shorter and easier climb to the top of the 1141-meter peak. The walk is enjoyable and clearly marked as you meander through tea plantations and take in breathtaking views of Ella Rock, Ravana Falls, and the endless valley below. Visit the Nine Arches Bridge. It is one of the best examples of British railway constructions when Ceylon was a colony of the British Empire. The surrounding area has seen a steady increase of tourism due to the bridge's architectural ingenuity and the profuse greenery in the nearby hillsides.
Afterwards leave for Yala which will take approximately 2 ½ Hrs (130KM) by car. Yala is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean. On arrival check in to the hotel.
Commence a jeep safari in the Yala National Park by private jeep accompanied by a tracker. Yala National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s premier eco tourist Destinations and is renowned for its variety of wildlife notably its many elephants. It is also home to the spotted deer, sambar, wild buffalo, sloth bear, jackal, mongoose, and crocodiles. The peacock is easily the most famous of the birds in this park. Yala has a high concentration of Leopards although seeing these nocturnal carnivores still requires some luck.
(Your safari will be by a private jeep and accompanied by a local naturalist on availability. Please be prepared for some rough and dusty roads and be aware that this park can be extremely busy, especially over weekends and festivals. Also note you will proceed in your jeep to the park entrance to collect tickets prior to the park opening, in busy periods this process may take up to 45 minutes.)
Day 7: Galle - Mount Lavinia
After breakfast check out from the hotel and leave for Galle, the capital of the southern province is a city with a colorful history. The drive will take approximately 3 hrs (170KM). On arrival explore the city. 300-year-old Dutch atmosphere is still very much alive around the fort and amidst its many historical buildings not invaded by the skyscrapers. The earliest European administrative centre of Sri Lanka was the major port and the largest city until the British shifted the port to Colombo. The City of Galle had been the European administrative centre over 4 centuries. Meander your way past some of the fort’s best-known landmarks but look out also for some lesser-known gems. A walk along the fort walls from the lighthouse allows you wonderful views out into the Indian Ocean, of the city behind it and into the famous Galle Cricket Ground, one of the most attractive of all international cricket venues.
Afterwards enjoy a traditional cooking session at a local house. Sri Lankan traditional cooking techniques take their best form in the southern part of the island. The cuisine relies heavily on the core ingredients of coconut, vegetables, rice, fresh chillis, spices, and curry leaves, all of which grow in abundance on this part of the island. Spend the day learning how to cook a traditional Sri Lankan meal and enjoy lunch with the family.
Thereafter head on an approximately 3 hr (170KM) drive for Mt. Lavinia. Famed for its "Golden Mile" of beaches, Mt. Lavinia is a pleasant coastal town just a short distance from Colombo. On arrival check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. If you happen to have some spare time, your chauffer will show you the sights and sounds of Colombo city.
Day 8: Departure Home
Now that you are at the end of your journey with us, your chauffeur will comfortably take you to the international airport in time for your departure flight.