(15 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Colombo, Cultural Triangle, Kandy, Hill Country, Yala National Park, Tangalle, Galle
This in-depth private tour of Sri Lanka features a full range of the country’s most interesting cultural, culinary, scenic and wildlife experiences. Highlights include touring ancient Buddhist sites, visiting tea and spice plantations, exploring colonial sites, riding elephants, visiting markets, private wildlife safaris, a scenic train ride, a Sri Lankan cooking lesson, and staying in Sri Lanka’s most exclusive and luxurious resorts.
Begin in Colombo, the vibrant capital of Sri Lanka. Stay in the former mansion of Sri Lanka’s most famous political family, and tour the city’s historic sites, bustling markets and interesting neighborhoods.
Next, explore the highlights of the Cultural Triangle, a region filled with fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites. En route, visit a private elephant sanctuary, where you can ride an elephant and even help bathe it in the river. Then, tour the ancient Buddhist cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. See monumental stupas, ruined palaces and sculptures carved in stone. Visit one of Sri Lanka’s most revered Buddhist sites, a temple built around a sacred bo (bodhi) tree thousands of years old. At Mihintale, see a beautiful water garden, abandoned monasteries and centuries-old stone staircases shaded by frangipani trees.
Visit Sigiriya, an ancient rock citadel that is Sri Lanka’s most spectacular site. See the Sigiriya Damsels frescoes, which were painted on the rock walls centuries ago, and climb to the top of the rock to explore the ruins of a fifth-century palace and take in panoramic views over farmland, forest, lakes and mountains. In nearby Dambulla, tour impressive cave temples filled with Buddhist sculpture and vibrant religious paintings.
Continue to Kandy, a former royal capital in the hills. En route, visit a spice plantation to learn how different spices—including Sri Lanka’s renowned cinnamon—are grown and harvested. In Kandy, see a puja (religious ceremony) at the Temple of the Tooth, a UNESCO site dedicated to a sacred relic of the historical Buddha. Enjoy a private performance of traditional Sri Lankan dance and fire walking. Also, visit a local market, and tour the Royal Botanic Gardens in Peradeniya.
Venture into the Hill Country, where verdant tea plantations cover rolling mountains. Stay at a luxurious Relais & Chateaux-affiliated hotel in a renovated tea planter’s cottage. Learn about tea picking and processing during a tour of a historic tea factory, and sample different types of high-quality Sri Lankan tea. During leisure time, hike through the tea fields or relax by the pool.
Next, enjoy a scenic train ride through the mountains of the Hill Country, taking in views of tea plantations, terraced farms, waterfalls and native forest. Descend from the mountains to Yala National Park for a safari in Sri Lanka’s most renowned wildlife reserve. During private game drives in the park, search for colorful birds, wild elephants and elusive leopards.
Relax for a couple of days at Amanwella, an exclusive ultra-luxury resort overlooking a palm tree-shaded beach on the southern coast of Sri Lanka outside Tangalle. During leisure time, swim in your private plunge pool, the infinity-edge main pool or in the sparkling water of the Indian Ocean. Or, enjoy optional activities such as market visits, whale watching, nature walks and private surfing lessons.
Continue along the south coast to Galle, an ancient fortified port and UNESCO site with a colonial-era atmosphere and unique mix of cultures. En route, visit diverse attractions that illuminate regional history, such as a Dutch colonial fort, a lace-making workshop and a folk museum dedicated to preserving Sri Lanka’s traditions.
Stay in the heart of the Galle Fort historic district at Amangalla, one of the finest and most romantic luxury resorts in Sri Lanka. During private touring, visit local museums, explore evocative backstreets, walk on the sea walls to the lighthouse, look for reminders of the Dutch and British colonial years, observe daily life, and browse local shops, some of the best in the country. One morning, take a private market tour and cooking lesson to learn to prepare traditional Sri Lankan curry and rice. Also, enjoy flexible private excursions to regional highlights such as a sea turtle hatchery, a traditional mask workshop, and the private country estate of Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most acclaimed modern architect.
We can easily combine our private Sri Lanka tours with destinations in the Maldives, India, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman.
Private transfer to hotel for 1 night. Afternoon flexible private city tour
||Colombo – Pinnawala – Cultural Triangle
Private transfer to hotel for 3 nights with touring en route
||Cultural Triangle: Mihintale & Anuradhapura
Full-day private tour
||Cultural Triangle: Sigiriya & Polonnaruwa
Full-day private tour
||Cultural Triangle: Dambulla – Kandy
Private transfer to hotel for 1 night with private touring en route. Evening private dance performance
||Kandy – Hill Country
Morning private tour. Afternoon private transfer to hotel for 2 nights
Morning tea factory tour. Afternoon at leisure
||Hill Country – Yala National Park
Morning first-class train from Hatton to Ella with picnic lunch on board. Afternoon transfer to hotel for 2 nights
||Yala National Park
Morning private game drive. Afternoon private game drive or at leisure
||Yala National Park – Tangalle
Morning private game drive. Afternoon private transfer to resort for 2 nights
||Tangalle – Galle
Private transfer to resort for 3 nights with touring en route. Afternoon private tour
||Galle & environs
Full-day private flexible tour of the region
Morning private cooking lesson
Private airport transfer
||Ceylon Tea Trails
|Yala National Park:
||Per person (double occupancy)