Classic Sri Lanka

Classic Sri Lanka
Classic Sri Lanka
Classic Sri Lanka
Classic Sri Lanka
Classic Sri Lanka
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • FAQ
  • Dates
  • Intrepid Travel

The remnants of a spiritual past await your discovery in Sri Lanka, from the ancient cliff-built complex of Lion Rock in Sigiriya to the ruins of the Sinhalese capital in Anuradhapura. Explore wonders of nature and humanity – often both at once – on this 8-day adventure through the cities, jungles and caves of Sri Lanka. Beginning in Negombo, travel through verdant countryside, past tea plantations, into the wildlife-filled Minneriya National Park and to the thriving capital of Colombo. An immersive and cultural Sri Lankan escapade awaits – the only thing left to choose is when to go.

Highlights
  • Travel through highlands so green they almost glow in Nuwara Eliya, and sample some of the acclaimed tea varieties that grow on the hillsides with your small group.
  • Learn of the varied cuisine and local customs of different regions around Sri Lanka, highlighted by a rhythmic cultural dance performance in Kandy.
  • See one of the world’s most revered relics at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, home to an earthly remain of the Lord Buddha, and discover the cave temple of Dambulla.
  • Head on safari – Sri Lanka style! Look for elephants and leopards while you cruise the beautiful Minneriya National Park in a jeep with expert local guides at twilight.
  • Watch candy-coloured tuk-tuks zip down the street in Colombo and while you’re checking out all the sights, have time to shop locally and ethically at small cottage industries.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (7 nights)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Kandy - Cultural performance
  • Nuwara Eliya - Pedro Tea Estate visit
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
  • Dambulla - Cave Temples
  • Kandy - Spice garden visit
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Anuradhapura - Bodhi Tree Temple
  • Anuradhapura - Ancient site
  • Anuradhapura Bike Tour - Bike Guide
  • Colombo - Market Visit
Transport
  • Private vehicle
Destinations
  • Sri Lanka
  • Indian Subcontinent
Tour Types
  • Wildlife
  • Active
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
  • Family-Kids
  • Singles
  • Youth
  • Fishing
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking
  • Cultural
  • Religion-Spiritual
  • Ruins-Archaeology

Location: Negombo

Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to Bandaranaike International Airport. You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting at 5.30 pm. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is best explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception. Better yet, why not book yourself in to an Urban Adventure like Spirit of Negombo – checking out the city sights by foot and boat. See urbanadventures.com/Colombo-tour-spirit-of-negombo for more information.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer</description><br/><br/>Optional Activities:<br/>-<description>Negombo - Spirit of Negombo Urban Adventure</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,No Meals,

Location: Kandy

Rise and shine for an 8 am check-out this morning and take a private transfer to the lush, rainforest-rimmed Kandy. It’s a 3.5-hour drive, so get to know your fellow travellers during the journey. Your afternoon is free, so perhaps head out and indulge in some of Kandy’s natural and historical attractions. The Peradeniya Botanic Gardens offer both – the sculpted lawns were once a private playground for Kandyan royalty. In the evening, watch a traditional dance performance set to percussive rhythms.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Kandy - Private cultural dance performance</description><br/><br/>Optional Activities:<br/>-<description>Kandy - Botanical Gardens</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kandy

The gorgeous highlands await you today, so rise and shine for the journey to Nuwara Eliya. The evergreen hills and cool climate made this town a primary retreat for British colonialists in the 19th century, and many buildings remain from this period, earning it the nickname ‘Little Britain’. Stop in at a tea factory and learn about the process of cultivating the region’s fragrant, highly regarded varieties. Nuwara Eliya remains an incredibly important tea-growing area, and the plantations that dot the hillside make for lovely scenery. Return to Kandy and maybe ask your leader where you can grab a nice kottu roti (chopped roti with vegetables and plenty of spices). Kandy was one the world’s primary source of cinnamon and a variety of spices are grown the area, which makes for food that is bursting with flavour. <br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Nuwara Eliya - Pedro Tea Estate visit</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Habarana

This morning, visit the temple that holds a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha. The aptly named Temple of the Tooth is one of Sri Lanka’s most sacred places and no matter your spiritual inclination, the hush of the temple and the atmosphere of reverence is incredibly powerful. Bid farewell to Kandy and transfer to Habarana, located just 12 km from Sigiriya, where the immense Lion Rock dominates the landscape. Tomorrow you will explore the ancient gardens and frescoes that decorate this behemoth, but today another unique site awaits. Visit the cave temple of Dambulla – actually a complex of five caves that are full of paintings and statues of the Lord Buddha. Murals cover the rough walls and sloping ceilings of the caves, which once served as dwellings for prehistoric Sri Lankans before the arrival of Buddhism.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Kandy - Temple of the Tooth with pooja ceremony</description><br/>-<description>Dambulla - Cave Temples</description><br/>-<description>Kandy - Spice garden visit</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Habarana

This morning you'll visit the ancient carved-rock fortress that rises 180 metres above the surrounding plains in Sigiriya. A true spectacle of both nature and human endeavour, the Lion Rock features ancient paintings, the remains of a great lion sculpture and some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Climb the winding walkways and explore this incredible example of ancient urban planning. Before the sun goes down, jump in jeep and go safari at Minneriya National Park. Many of the local beasts come out to play in the evening, so keep your eyes peeled for elephants, sambar deer and leopards.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Sigiriya - Lion Rock</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Anuradhapura

Say ayubowan – used for both greetings and farewells – to the verdant plains of Sigiriya and begin the 1.5-hour journey to Anuradhapura. This ancient Sri Lankan capital is home to some of the country’s best-looking ruins. Take a guided bike tour of this World-Heritage listed site, soaking up the splendour of ruins scattered among the city.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Anuradhapura - Bodhi Tree Temple</description><br/>-<description>Anuradhapura - World Heritage Site of ancient kingdom ruins</description><br/>-<description>Anuradhapura Bike Tour - Bike Guide</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Colombo

Hit the road again and watch the world go by on a long drive to Colombo (approximately 5.5 hours). Stop by some of the city's main sights on a bus tour including Independence Square, Parliament, and past the National Museum, finishing with a shopping opportunity for a good cause at the Barefoot Fairtrade Store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries. If you are lucky enough to be in Colombo on a Saturday, visit Good Market – a local market full of stalls showcasing social enterprises and responsible businesses. Tonight, there's the chance to have a group dinner with your travel crew to celebrate your Sri Lankan journey together.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Colombo - Market Visit</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Colombo

With no scheduled activities today, you are free to leave at any time, provided you comply with the hotel’s internal check-out times. Can't get enough of Colombo? Why not embark on an Urban Adventure and see the streets and sights from a tuk-tuk. You won’t see this side of Colombo on your own! Find out about this and other options at urbanadventures.com/destination/Colombo-tours.<br/><br/>Optional Activities:<br/>-<description>Colombo - Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure</description><br/>-<description>Colombo - Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure</description>

Accommodation: ,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Included
  • Colombo - Market Visit
  • Kandy - Private cultural dance performance
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Nuwara Eliya - Pedro Tea Estate visit
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth with pooja ceremony
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Dambulla - Cave Temples
  • Kandy - Spice garden visit
  • Anuradhapura - Bodhi Tree Temple
  • Anuradhapura Bike Tour - Bike Guide
  • Anuradhapura - World Heritage Site of ancient kingdom ruins
  • Meals
    -7 breakfasts
  • Accommodation
    -Hotel (7 nights)
  • Transport
    -Private vehicle

Not Included
  • International Travel
    -
  • Tipping and Gratuities
    -

Touring with Intrepid Travel

Intrepid was started by two friends from Melbourne, Australia, in 1988 after embarking on a trip through the wilds of Africa in a modified ex-council truck, crammed with friends, supplies, a handful of aviator sunglasses and a case or two of beer. Could this type of travel be something others would be interested in? The answer was a resounding yes and today Intrepid send 100,000 travellers across the globe each year with the help of a staff of 1,000.

After three decades, founders Darrell and Manch, feel they know what travellers want. They get that it’s a big decision to fly across the world to wander the souks of Marrakech or enjoy a dreamy Angkor sunrise. They understand that you’re looking for a balance of inclusions and free time, a mix of classic highlights and local secrets you won’t find on Google. And of course, an authentic real life experience. Their leaders are born and raised in-country and they know their destination better than anyone. So you’ll do more than just see a place, you’ll live it. Small groups, big adventures and responsible travel – that’s Intrepid’s thing. With 1,000 trips in a variety of styles across 100 countries, you’re sure to find something you like.

Intrepid believe the real magic happens well away from the beaten path. It’s the little noodle bars, hidden galleries and backstreet bodegas and real life experiences you won’t find in a search engine. Real life experiences are those moments you know you’re really alive and experiencing something special. While it could be the instant you see one of the world’s great icons for the first time, it is more likely to be the moment you find yourself in the middle of a village square soccer game, being treated to a home-cooked meal by your new local friends or sharing a laugh with your fellow travellers as you try a new mode of transport … camel anyone? These unexpected moments are what travelling with Intrepid is all about, giving you a trip like no other.

Intrepid realises the world is a really big place. And there’s a plethora of different languages to learn, borders to cross and cultures to negotiate. Small group adventure travel makes these things easy and allows you to maximise your precious time off. Instead of worrying about logistics, you can focus all your energy on having the experience of a lifetime. Their tour groups are small enough to feel like you’re exploring a destination independently, but big enough to create a good social vibe. Group size will vary depending on where and how you’re travelling, but the average group size is about 10.

Intrepid’s themed trips encompass all hobbies and interests or could pique an interest in a new hobby you never knew you needed. From foodie explorations across Asia or India, sailing the seas in Thailand or the Caribbean, wildlife encounters in the Serengeti or Antarctica, scenic cycling or walking to Base Camp or through Tibet, and epic expeditions in Burma or Russia, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Intrepid is committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way they provide travellers with real life experiences. These values are ingrained in the culture and daily operations of every Intrepid office and tour. In addition, they hope their travellers also demonstrate the principles of responsible travel - respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Intrepid Travel

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Start:Negombo
Finish:Colombo
Group size:1 - 12
Suitable for: 15-99 years
Accommodation:Hotel (7 nights)
Physical rating:Low
Meals:7 breakfasts
Diets:Vegetarians
Tour operated in: English
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