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Refreshingly Sri Lanka - 6 Days

You might say Sri Lanka has been hiding in plain sight. Scores of travellers have passed overhead on their way to someplace else, but years of uncertainty kept Sri Lanka off many itineraries.Now, however, all that has changed. The country is moving forward quickly as more and more people discover its myriad charms. Lying between the more trodden parts of India and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka’s history, culture and natural beauty are undeniably alluring. It’s the place you haven’t been to yet, that you should.

Welcome to Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, its biggest city and port. The cosmopolitan face of the country, it is also the financial and commercial capital of the country. Walk through its streets and the colonial buildings speak of a time bygone. But then walk into the next street, and the latest brand stores, apartments, and snazziest cars catch your eye, indicating the coming together of two different eras, the rise of a nation. When in Colombo, visit the national museum if you want to understand the country’s history. Chill at the Galle Face Promenade with your loved one in the evening, or just roam the street bazaar at Pettah and mingle with the locals.

Weather

Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west coast, the south coast and the Hill Country, and from April to September for the ancient cities region and the east coast.
December through March are also the months when most foreign tourists visit, the majority of them escaping the European winter. During the Christmas to New Year holiday season, in particular, accommodation anywhere on the island can be tight due to the huge influx of foreign visitors.

July and August is the time of the Kandy Esala Perahera, the 10-day festival honoring the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha, and also the time for the Kataragama festival in the South. In both towns accommodation just before, during and immediately after the festivals is very difficult to come by, and rates usually double or treble. Be sure to book rooms well in advance.

Sri Lanka’s climate means that it is always the ‘right’ beach season somewhere on the coast. The weather doesn’t follow strict rules, though – it often seems to be raining where it should be sunny, and sunny where it should be raining. Rainfall tends to be emphatic – streets can become flooded in what seems like only minutes.

Out-of-season travel has its advantages – not only do the crowds go away but many air fares and accommodation prices drop right down. Nor does it rain all the time during the low season.

Day 1
Arrival in Colombo

On reaching the Colombo International Airport, meet our representative and move on to Sigiriya. En route, visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which is home to about 60 elephants. Some of them are baby elephants that were found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. In Sigiriya, try climbing the Lion Rock, a 5th century rock fortress built by King Kashyapa, and a World Heritage Site. It is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres above the scrub jungle. Also witness the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya. These are located in a sheltered pocket of the rock and are accessible by a spiral stairway. Return to your hotel after your tour for an overnight stay.

Day 2
Dambulla | Temple Visit

After breakfast, visit Dambulla Temple. King Walagambahu donated this temple to Buddhist monks in the 1st century BC. Dambulla is a World Heritage Site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave Temples. The five caves with over 2000 square metres of painted walls including the ceiling is the largest area of paintings found in the world. These caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha, the largest of them being a colossal figure carved out of a rock spanning 14 metres. After your temple visit, return to your hotel.

Day 3
Sigiriya - Kandy

After breakfast, drive off to Kandy. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan Kings, and is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Also drive around the Kandy Lake. It was built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. Then, visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts center, gem museum, as well as a lapidary. In the evening, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Afterwards, enjoy a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing. Finally, return to your hotel for a comfortable overnight stay.

Day 4
Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast, transfer to Nuwara Eliya. En route, visit a tea plantation and a tea factory, where some of the best tea in the world is produced. Here, you can see how tea is manufactured and graded. You can also see how tea is graded. On completion of the tour, proceed to Nuwara Eliya, which, because of its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, is Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Sri Lanka’s highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 feet) is also located here. Nuwara-Eliya also has one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in South Asia. Spend the night in the comfort of your hotel room.

Day 5
Nuwara Eliya - Beruwala

After breakfast, transfer to Beruwala. After reaching Beruwala, spend the day at your leisure. Have a comfortable overnight stay in your hotel.

Places to visit:

Heritage sites

Ancient yet modern, Colombo is more than just Sri Lanka’s capital city. Visit the 17th century Colombo Dutch Museum for an incredible insight into the early Dutch trade in the city. The 100 year old red and blue-striped Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque in Pettah, is a bizarre sight amidst the main bazaar. The oldest Hindu temple in the city, The Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam, is another crowd puller for foreign tourists who cannot help but revel in the beauty of Hindu art styles.

The old St Peter’s Church at Wolfendhal Street & Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara are frequented by Christians and Buddhists respectively. The only surviving for in Colombo, the Colombo fort serves as a prison today. The Presidential Secretariat, the 17th century Grand Oriental Hotel and the Lighthouse Clock Tower are sights you cannot miss. The National Museum has a good collection of reproduced 19th century English paintings of Sri Lanka and antique cultural masks.

If you’re a peace-hunter, The Dehiwala Zoo, affluent and verdant Cinnamon Gardens, and Viharamahadevi Park, which is Colombo’s biggest park, are some places where your search will end.

Chants from the temples and commercial activities at the City Centre and Main Market, greet you in Kandy. Make a beeline to Dalada Maligawa, significant for the Buddha tooth that lies under a golden canopy. It is shown to the public once in six years and at other times, it lies hidden in a casket. The 14th century temple trinity-Gadaladeniya Temple, Embekke Temple and Lanka Tilaka Temple – are examples of Indo-Lankan fusion architecture. The stone carvings, murals, paintings and sculptures that adorn the temple walls are a sight to behold. It is common to see the unusual flowers of the cannonball trees. Buddha is believed to have passed away under a cannonball tree by some people. Cannonball fruits are so heavy that they might actually kill you if they fall on your head.

Nature lovers

Kandy Lake lies at the foot of these temples. Fishing and swimming are forbidden here. Cranes, Cormorants, Pelicans and turtles crowd the lake. A walk around the Kandy Lake shore in the evening is a favourite pastime. Sit on a bench put on the bank and watch the sunset. Enjoy the mysterious fragrance wafting from the hills behind.

Catch a tuk tuk to Bahirawakanda Temple. It has a huge Buddha statue that can be viewed from any point in Kandy. It used to be a gnome temple with a history of human sacrifice. The Bahirawa Mountain is also good for a trek. Swap the outdoors for the splendour of Kandyan royal history at the old Royal Palace. Priceless weaponry, paintings and carved figures of the Kandyan era are displayed here. The Royal Botanical Gardens has treasures of a different kind. There are many varieties of orchids including the extraordinary Blue Vanda orchid. As you trod along shrubs and trees in Kandy, pause to admire the queer Tacca or bat flowers.

There are many vegetable farms and waterfalls as you approach Nuwara Eliya. Travelling up in an observation coach from Colombo or Kandy is recommended for some fabulous views.

The hill station is well known for its tea plantations and chilly weather. The bungalows with their rose gardens, the names of the roads, and quaint English signs outside shops makes you feel like you are in England. The pink Post Office built by the British is a real beauty. The Victoria Park, an English style garden, can surprise you with a glimpse of a plump Kashmir Flycatcher or a queer Scaly Thrush. Sentinel, Kohlmeise, Scaly-breasted Munia, Ashy Prinia can also be sighted around the hills.

Birds love to hang around the Hakgala Botanical Gardens around 10 km from Nuwara Eliya. The Hakgala Rock is said to be one of the places where Sita was held captive by Ravana (from the Hindu epic, Ramayana). There is a small temple Seetha Kovil which is also said to be a place where Sita was imprisoned.

Another patch of peace is Lake Gregory. Go boating or fishing. A little away from the lake is the Galway’s Land Bird Sanctuary that was set up in the 1930s. While in Nuwara Eliya a visit to Horton Plains National Park is almost a necessity. The mountains are painted green with tropical trees and grasslands. There are Leopards, Wild Boars, Purple-faced Lungurs and Sambar Deer that live in this reserve. You might even spot a Sri Lanka White Eye or a Yellow-eared Bulbul.

The white frothy Baker Falls and the rather dramatic sounding World’s End are two popular locations in the Park. The World’s End is a sheer drop of 2625 ft and around it are Kirigalpotta and Totapola, two of the highest peaks in Sri Lanka. The highest is Pidurutalagala, over 8000 ft. The best time to visit the park is at the crack of dawn before mists roll in and hide the views.

There are quite a few waterfalls en route to Nuwara Eliya. The Ramboda Waterfalls is on the road from Gampola and St Clare’s Waterfalls is near Hatton. Devon Falls is yet another cascade near Nuwara Eliya. Stop by a tea shop for some piping hot Ceylon tea after enjoying the falls.

Day 6
Final departure

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then check out, transfer to the airport. Fly back home with wonderful memories of an amazing trip!

Inclusion

  • Visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
  • Dambulla | Temple Visit
  • Sigiriya - Kandy
  • Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
  • Nuwara Eliya - Beruwala

Exclusion

  • Tips for guides, escort, drivers etc.
  • Optional shows and meals mentioned in the itinerary, which will be added up if the clients desire to take the activities.
  • Personal expenses such as excess luggage fees, postage, communications and beverages.
  • Travel insurance
  • Any other changes caused by the acts of god, natural disasters, fires, weather, governmental and local authority orders, political change , strikes, war, riot, quarantine, custom regulations, damages or injury caused by accident.
  • Any items not specified in the plan.
  • Visa fee

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Price From USD 400 USD $ 349/person
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Price
Cost Per Adult Traveler:
$ 349 USD
349
Total $ 349 USD

Trip Facts

  • 1 - 10
  • $$
  • plane, bus, boat
  • breakfast
  • all year long

Customer Reviews

Gabriel Max
Gabriel Max
12:57 25 Aug 19
Shishu tours were fantastic, nothing was a problem for them as they go out of their way to make sure your trip is fantastic! From guides to porters they do a wonderful job, thanks for some amazing memories.read more
orla santiago
orla santiago
12:44 25 Aug 19
I visited Nepal in early 2015 for the Shishu Tours' Everest Base Camp trek. It was well organised, with a thorough briefing from Sonu before we started. The guides, led by Hari, were knowledgeable, friendly and skilled. They ensured everyone in the group was save and well looked after, as well as being informative, conveying a true sense of love and awe for the environment. The accommodation in Thamel was good and out on the trek it was as good a standard as could be expected. This was my second trip to the Everest region and I if I get the opportunity to go again, I would certainly consult with Sonu and her Shishu Tours team.read more
chilou zhuu
chilou zhuu
12:42 25 Aug 19
I hiked with a group of 11 people with the goal of Everest Base Camp. When I got to Namchee Bazaar, I had a lot of diarrhea and fatigue. I discussed with my head guide that I did not feel I had the stamina to continue to higher elevations. The head guide arranged for a porter to accompany me back to Lukla over the next 2 days. All arrangements for accommadations and flight back to Kathmandu were arranged by Shishu Tours. The rest of the group successfully went to Everest Base Camp. I am very grateful for the excellent adaptability of the head guide Hari to help my special situation. And I appreciated the help of my porter Krisha on the trip back down to Lukla. Shishu Tours did a great job with all the travel arrangements.read more
felix yeap
felix yeap
12:34 25 Aug 19
This was a magic experience and the team at Shishu tours where exactly what we needed. They looked after us, where professional and most I felt safe in their hands. Would recommend them to anyone wishing to trek in the Everest especially if it is your first time trekking and first time in Nepal.read more
oliver rim
oliver rim
12:32 25 Aug 19
I can't recommend Shishu Tours enough. Throughout the trip, it really did feel like MY trip. Any extra/ side trips I wanted to make, any extra days I wanted - my guides were more than happy and quick to accommodate.read more
babu kaji maharjan
babu kaji maharjan
12:26 25 Aug 19
I have just returned from what I can only describe as a once in a lifetime opportunity to trek to Everest Base Camp. Thank you so much to Sonu who were my points of contact for the trek. When my flight got cancelled due to poor weather , Santosh did everything he could to get me to Lukla so I would not miss the trek and stayed at the airport with me until a helicopter was arranged. Sonu met me in Lukla and was a great porter and guide for the entire duration. He helped me get through my altitude anxiety and we made it to base camp on the most beautiful day ever. Santosh kept in contact with me the whole way and was very helpful advising me to drink lots of water, stay hydrated and not to sleep during the day ( all of which are very useful tips for the trek).Trusted his advice 100 percent especially since he has summited Everest. Thank you so much...Would love to do Annapurna in future perhaps !read more
Gautam sharma
Gautam sharma
12:23 25 Aug 19
It was my first time to Nepal, first time trekking, and a friend of mine recommended Shishu to me as she already went with them before so I did EBC trekking with them. From the minute they picked me up from the airport, I knew everything is gonna be alright. Guys were so cheerful and paid a lot attention to my needs. I felt like traveling with friends, we talked a lot, shared a lot, with the great view of Himalayas and delicious meals. This has been one of my best trip and not the last. Go with them and you won't regret!read more
shrisha gurung
shrisha gurung
12:17 25 Aug 19
We went to EB trek with Shishu Tours last November, it’s kind of surreal. In the middle of nowhere and then you come across this amphitheater of a town with coffee shops and bakeries. Most travel through it going north but it worth ha gong out for a couple of days. Go to the art shop and buy something special for yourself. So genuine and humbleread more
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