The Best of Sri Lanka Escorted Tour

A 13 day tour with a focus on the best that Sri Lanka has to offer. Taking in national parks with leopards and elephant, cultural icons and breathtaking scenery.

The Best of Sri Lanka Tour

The Best of Sri Lanka Escorted Tour

Join us as we take a 13 day escorted tour with a focus on the best that Sri Lanka has to offer. Taking in national parks with leopards and elephant, cultural icons and breath-taking scenery, this makes a great adventure holiday for couples of families.

The smiles and hospitality of Sri Lanka are world famous and so are its spicy food and exotic fruits. On this tour you will see an authentic side to Sri Lanka, meeting the people whose daily lives are entwined with the culture and wildlife that this Indian Ocean Island is so famous for. Explore Wilpattu National Park, famous for leopard sighting and also for other animals like sloth bears and elephants. For those with a head for hights, then a climb to the top of Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a unique experience and affords stunning views of the whole area.

Available as a private tour and also to be tailored to your exact needs, this is a fantastic way to explore Sri Lanka.

Day 1 – Welcome to Sri Lanka

You will be arriving in Sri Lanka at the Bandaranayke International Airport where you will be met by your English speaking chauffeur guide at the arrival lobby and he will take you to your hotel in Negombo. The drive from Airport to your hotel, Goldi Sands Hotel takes about 20 minutes. Depending on your arrival time, we can include additional sight-seeing today or you can just take time to relax after your flight.

Overnight stay at Goldi Sands Hotel in Standard room with Breakfast


Day 2 - Wilpattu National Park

We start the morning with a visit to the local fish market in Negombo. (Not open Sundays and Catholic holidays) From there our journey takes us to Marawila where we will get a close up experience Toddy tapping. In Sri Lanka, toddy is called thal ra ,kithul ra ,or pol ra according to the plant used to make toddy. Toddy can be further distilled to make stronger alcoholic drinks such as arrack. The Toddy tappers task is to climb the tree and get the flower from the coconut when the time is right. This is considered dangerous due to use of weather-worn ropes, slippery trunks of the palm trees and the wind.


After leaving the Toddy tappers, we continue the journey to Wilpattu, which takes about three hours. Here you will take a safari in the Wilpattu National Park. This is Sri Lanka’s largest national park and was closed for nearly 25 years before it reopened in 2010. It is a unique park which is named after its main feature, a scattering of ‘willus’, small lakes, some of which, though inland, containing salt water. It is home to leopards, sloth beards, elephants and many other mammals and reptiles as well as a plethora of resident and migratory birds. We then transfer to Anuradhapura (approximately one hour) for your overnight stay.

Overnight stay at The Lakeside at Nuwarawewa in Standard room with Breakfast


Day 3 - Anuradhapura

Our morning is taken up with an exploration of the Anuradhapura USECO site. Anuradhapura is the ancient city that marks the golden period of Sri Lankan history, being the first capital of Sri Lanka, reigning for over 1500 years. With the pinnacles of the stupas rising tall above the trees, this city is packed with monuments from temple, stupas, tanks and monasteries. A further hour drive away we stop off at the Aukana Buddha statue. Aukana Buddha statue is a remarkable rock carving of a standing Buddha. This is the tallest statue of the ancient Buddha in the country and it stands more than 46 feet high. We continue our drive for a couple more hours until we reach Dambulla for your stay.

Overnight stay at Ehelagala Lake Resort in Standard room with Dinner & Breakfast


Day 4 - Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel before we set off for what many see as the highlight of a visit to Sri Lanka - Sigiriya Rock Fortress.  This stunning fortress, believed locally to be the 8th wonder of the world, was built atop a huge rock overlooking the vast plains in the 5th century. The ruins of the fortress, the gardens, the beautiful frescoes, the ingenious engineering and the spellbinding vistas all add up to an unforgettable experience.


Later in the afternoon, we will take a walk through the village of Dambulla, visiting small cottage industries and enjoying the country side. We will climb the Dahayiyagala to get panoramic view of Dambulla and the Sigiriya area.

Overnight stay at Ehelagala Lake Resort in Standard room with Dinner & Breakfast


Day 5 - Dambulla Cave Temple and Kandy

After breakfast we will visit the Dambulla cave temple. Atop 364 steps lies an ancient cave complex with breath taking vistas. Completely adorned with paintings and lined with statues, these caves were converted to a Buddhist temple and maintained for centuries with artistic influences from many different periods.


We continue our exploration of Sri Lanka with a visit to Kandy. En route we will break the journey with a visit to Nalanda Gedige. Nalanda Gedige is an ancient complete stone temple in Matale district. It is a hybrid design of Hindu & Buddhist architecture. When we arrive in Kany, the evening is taken up with a dancing experience at Surasena’s family dancing class. Surasena is the legendry Kandyan dancing family who have performed in front of many state heads including Queen Elizabeth. After the class, we will then visit Kandy’s most famous landmark, the Temple of the Tooth. This is the holiest of places for the Sri Lankan Buddhists as it is believed to house the sacred tooth of the Buddha. The temple is located within the premises of the royal palace of the last king of Lanka and the rituals that took place then are still conducted with great veneration today.

Overnight stay at Hotel Topaz in a deluxe room with Breakfast 


Day 6 – Explore Kandy

The best way to see a city and to get to know it better is on foot. This morning we will take a walk through the compact city including time spent in the Kandy market. The rest of the day is then free for you to spend at your leisure, before we are hosted by a local family at their residence for an evening meal.

Overnight stay at Hotel Topaz in a deluxe room with Breakfast 


Day 7 - Mahiyanganaya

The journey today is about three hours and taes us to Mahiyanganaya. Mahiyanganaya is a town located in the misty foothills of the Badulla district. It may appear to be a deceptively quiet little town, however it boasts a rich cultural and historical heritage, hailing back centuries into Sri Lanka’s past. Before we arrive in Mahiyanganaya, we will break our journey in Seethakotuwa a hidden Ramayana trail site. It is closely linked to the Ramayana legend and it is believed that Seethakotuwa is one of the places where Princess Seetha was kept by King Ravana.


We will arrive at our hotel and check-in. This evening we will get to meet members of Vedda. The Veddas were traditionally forest dwellers, who foraged, hunted and lived in close-knit groups in caves in the dense jungles of Sri Lanka. Despite being Sri Lanka's earliest inhabitants, many people know little to nothing about them.

Overnight stay at Mapakada Village in a deluxe room with Dinner & Breakfast


Day 8 - Mapakada Lake and area

A morning boat ride on the Mapakada Lake with a breakfast on the Lakeside is the perfect way to start the day. The rest of the morning is free for you to explore at your own pace. Later in the afternoon we will take a walk to visit the Rathna Falls. Situated in beautiful village called Hasalaka, the falls have a height of 111 metres. Most of the villagers do paddy cultivation as their occupation in this area by using the water from this waterfall.  

Overnight stay at Mapakada Village in a deluxe room with Dinner & Breakfast


Day 9 - Demodara Loop and Nine Arch Bridge

We enjoy our breakfast at the hotel before we start our trip towards Bandarawela. Our first stop is the Dunhida waterfall, before we head to Ella for a unique rail experience. In Ella, we discover the Demodara loop and nine arch bridge. The Demodara Loop is a spiral railway loop and is a piece of cutting-edge civil engineering. The railway line runs underneath itself, snakes around the mountain and appears from a tunnel which is below the Demodara Railway Station. This kind of railway line is thought to be the one and only railway of its kind in the world. We then continue our journey to Bandarawela for your overnight stay.

Overnight stay at Bandarawela hotel in a Standard room with Breakfast


Day 10 – Tea Plantation and Elephant Transit Camp

There is something otherworldly about tea plantations in the morning. If the mist is hanging low and the sun is rising, meaning that the tea pickers are already busy, it is an unforgettable sight. This morning, you will experience the tea plantation and learn from an experienced Sri Lankan tea planter.


We say goodbye to Bandarawela and start our drive to Unawatuna, which will take about five hours in total. On the way we will visit the Elephant Transit  Camp in Udawalawe.  The camp was established by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation to rehabilitate orphaned elephant calves until they are fit to be released to the wild again. This is one elephant ‘sanctuary’ that we are proud to support and it is also associated with the Born Free Foundation (UK). It is another couple of hours drive to Unawatuna.

Overnight stay at Joe’s Resort Unawatuna in a deluxe room with Breakfast


Day 11 - Galle

This morning is spent at leisure at your hotel. Joe’s resort is perfectly positioned to allow guests to experience the local culture as well as spending time relaxing on the wide sandy beach. In the evening we will take a twenty minute drive to Galle.


The South Coast’s major city is Galle, whose oldest landmark is the massive fort which was built, occupied and expanded by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known as one of the world’s best-preserved forts and today its cobbled streets are lined with restaurants, boutique villas, galleries and shops. Entering the fort takes you back in time and a local guide will walk you through its history.

Overnight stay at Joe’s Resort Unawatuna in a deluxe room with Breakfast


Day 12 - Colombo

After breakfast it is time to transfer to the capital of Sri Lanka,  Colombo. Here we will explore the city, getting to know more about the people and history of this metropolis. With your guide, visit the streets that were once within the Colombo fort while occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Rediscover the history and the many stories the buildings hide, brought to life by one of the most knowledgeable guides in the city. A highlight of any trip to Colombo is to enjoy the vast range of  street food available in a local bazar. We then transfer you to your hotel.

Overnight stay at Fairway Colombo in a Superior room with Breakfast


Day 13 – All good things come to an end…

According to your flight details, you will take a transfer to the airport for the departure flight. We hope you had a memorable holiday in Sri Lanka.



Get in touch with Our Local Tour to book The Best of Sri Lanka Tour

Departure Dates

Private Tour - Scheduled to your requirements

Price - £1495 per person (based on two people sharing per room)

Single Supplement - £425

Included in The Best of Sri Lanka Tour

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All the transfers between hotels and sites in a Standard A/C Car Or Van with English Speaking Chuffer Guide
  • All accommodation as shown or of a similar quality
  • Meals as shown in the itinerary
  • Entrance tickets to Anuradhapura, Sri Mahabodiya, Aukana, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy temple of the tooth relic, Nalanda Gedige, Dunhinda waterfall, Rathna Ella trek, Elephant transit home.
  • Dancing experience at Surasena’s place.
  • Village walk in Dambulla
  • Kandy walk.
  • Toddy tapping in Hunuwila
  • Local family dinner in Kandy
  • Boat safari on Mapakada Lake
  • Meeting with Veddha people
  • Tea experience with a tea planter
  • Jeeps + Entrance tickets at National Parks
  • Street food walk in Colombo.

Not Included in The Best of Sri Lanka Tour

  • International travel to the start and end point - contact us for information and flight options
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any visa requirements
  • Drinks and meals other than those mentioned on the program.
  • Expenditure of a personal nature, laundry, telephone bills, drinks, souvenirs, tips etc.
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Early check in/ late checkout fees if required
Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. Please refer to the COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. 

Visa and Passport Information

Passport validity

If you are visiting Sri Lanka, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.


All visitors are advised to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to enter Sri Lanka. Visitors can apply for an ETA on the ETA websiteOn arrival visa facilities are available, however applying for an ETA before travel is advised for ease of travel and to prevent delays on arrival. All visitors need to comply with the guidelines imposed for tourists by the Government of Sri Lanka. Tourist visas are normally valid for 30 days. If you overstay your visa you could be fined or detained by the police.

Health Care

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 011 2691111 and ask for an ambulance or dial 1990. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. Emergency medical treatment isn’t easily available outside main cities, and you may have to be brought to Colombo for treatment. Fuel shortages may delay your ability to access emergency services. Medical facilities are not always of a standard expected in the UK, particularly outside Colombo. Treatment in private hospitals can be expensive and the options for repatriation to the UK or neighbouring countries in an emergency are limited and very expensive. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.


All regions of Sri Lanka experience outbreaks of the mosquito-borne dengue fever. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

What to bring on your Best of Sri Lanka Tour


Lightweight clothing which can be layered is adviseable and a warmer jumper for cooler evenings.  A light rain coat is suggested. There is a laundry available in most hotels.


Lightweight comfortable shoes/trainers and sandals. Waterproof footware is recommended.

Luggage while on your tour

Please allow yourself one main piece of luggage and a day-sack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage, so don't overload yourself, a soft wheely bag may be easier to manage than a suit case.


We recommend a sunhat, sunscreen, a torch, insect repellent and a waterbottle. A solar charger for your phone and other electronics is a good idea. 



The Sri Lanka Rupee is the unit of currency used in Sri Lanka, symbolized by Rs., or SLRs to distinguish it from other Rupees. The Rupee is sub-divided into 100 cents. You can’t exchange Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes in Sri Lanka. Travellers’ cheques aren’t normally accepted. Most major banks will allow Visa and Mastercard cash withdrawals. There are ATMs in major towns and cities but not all of them accept international cards. 

It’s relatively easy to send funds to Sri Lanka. However, money can’t be transferred out of the country without an exchange control permit issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. 

Use of electronic devices

For Sri Lanka there are two associated plug types, types D and G. Plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular patternand plug type G is the plug which has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. Sri Lanka operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.


There are shortages of basic necessities, including medicines, some food and fuel, and there may be long queues at shops and pharmacies. Hospitals and other medical services including ambulance services may be affected by shortages, including fuel shortages. If you have a health condition, you should speak to your health care provider before travelling to Sri Lanka. Make sure you have adequate supplies of any medicines you need with you. Major shortages of fuel (diesel and petrol) are affecting transport and businesses. Fuel rationing is in place. There is now a QR code system in place for fuel purchases, however at times there have been long queues at fuel stations (sometimes over 24 hours). Travellers should ensure transport plans are in place ahead of any journeys and have contingency plans. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has announced an emergency assistance service to provide fuel for tourist service providers. 

There are ongoing daily power cuts due to electricity rationing. This could impact services including at shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels. You should check before travelling to a business, hotel or restaurant in case they are affected by shortages or power cuts. Have a torch to hand at night and know how you would leave your accommodation in the dark in case of emergency.


Many beaches in Sri Lanka have dangerous surf or rip tides at certain times of the year. Always take local advice before entering the sea. A number of foreign nationals drown every year.

Time Zone 

Time zone in Sri Lanka (GMT+5:30)

Internet Availability

Wi-fi is common in hotels, hostels, restaurants and cafes across the touristed areas of Sri Lanka. Travellers can also purchase a tourist SIM card for the duration of their Sri Lanka tour if they wish to stay connected or check with your normal provider regarding roaming charges.


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