08 nights 09 days tour
Negombo/Colombo, Pinnawala, Habarana, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Matale, Kandy, Nuwaraeliya, Bentota, Colombo / Negombo
Welcome to CYRIL TOURS exciting itinerary for your upcoming trip! Please note that the time given is only for travelling, and we have carefully planned the itinerary to ensure that you get the most out of your trip. The costing has been done for the hotel given, but if you need hotels in the “Recommended Hotels” category, please inform me. It's worth mentioning that some hotels in the “Recommended Hotels” category can be expensive. But we have selected the given hotels as they are of high quality and will provide you with the best experience during your stay.
AIRPORT – PINNAWALA - HABARANA
DAY 01 - Upon arrival at Colombo International Airport or from your hotel, we will embark on a journey to visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, where we will witness the feeding of baby elephants. The orphanage, located approximately 2.5 hours away from the hotel in Negombo or 3 hours from Colombo, provides a unique opportunity for individuals to closely interact with these majestic creatures. Established in 1975 by the Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage serves as a sanctuary and breeding ground for abandoned elephants in the country. Today, it boasts one of the largest elephant herds in captivity in the world, with more than 85 elephants residing on the 24-acre preserve near Kegalle, situated halfway between the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, and Kandy.
The primary objective of the orphanage is to offer nourishment, care, and a haven to orphaned baby elephants discovered in the wild. In 1978, the Department of National Zoological Gardens took over the management of the orphanage, and in 1982, the breeding program was launched.
After visiting the orphanage, it is recommended to have lunch by the river while observing elephants bathing. The tour will then proceed to Habarana or Sigiriya.
Enjoy an overnight stay at a hotel depending on your preference.
Recommended Hotels: Heritance Kandalama - Cinnamon Lodge - Aliya Resort - Habarana Village - Camellia Resort & Spa - Amaya Lake
HABARANA - SIGIRIYA - POLONNARUWA
DAY 02 - Breakfast in the hotel and leave to visit to Sigiriya the “The Lion Mountain” in the morning. Sigiriya present a unique concentration of fifth- century urban planning, gardening, engineering, hydraulic technology and art. In 470 AD Kashyapa the son of a non-royal consort of the king, took over the kingdom after committing patricide. He built his magnificent palace on the top of this 200meters high rock fearing the wrath of the crown prince Moghallana. The architectural wonder is famous for pleasure gardens, extensive moats and ramparts and mainly it’s well-preserved rock paintings, of the beautiful “Cloud damsels” seen half up the rock and the “Lion stairway” that provides access to the summit. The complex of the fortress on the plains around the rock extends over 15 hectares.
In Sigiriya you can have a Village tour (Nature walk) (Optional). On completion proceed to Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa the Medieval Kingdom from the 11th to 13th century. The great ruler King Parakramabahu 1st (1153-1186) reign was the highest peak of the agricultural development of the island with the subtitle of “Granary of the East” with the development of a vast and complex irrigation systems connected to “Sea of Parakramabahu”, the largest reservoir builds in the history of Sri Lanka. Ethnic harmony prevailed between the Sinhalese and the Tamils during this period. Buddhist and the Hindu temples located in the same complex and many other ruins symbolizes this fact. The palaces, huge granite sculptures and the massive tanks and complex irrigation systems built by the great kings convey the extent of development that existed in this middle history period. On the way back to hotel visit Minneriya safari .
In the evening you can have a famous “Ayurveda herbal massage” is done by well experienced therapists. No chemicals, only herbs. (Optional)
There is a local traditional dance performance which you will enjoy in the town in the late afternoon, which is performing traditional upcountry dances and fire-walking etc. (Optional)
End of the day return to hotel for overnight stay.
HABARANA - DAMBULLA - MATALE - KANDY
DAY 03 - After breakfast checkout from the hotel and proceed to Kandy, en route you visiting the Golden Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla. Dambulla is renowned for its cave temple, which were built by King Valagambahu in the 1st century BC in gratitude for the shelter he sought in the caves when fleeing from Indian invaders. Sighted on gigantic granite outcrop, which towers more than 160m above the surrounding land, the caves are completely covered by ancient frescoes depicting religious and secular scenes. Protected within the caves are hundreds of statues of Buddha, many carved out of the rock itself, of which the largest is the 15m long Dying Buddha.
While continuing to Kandy, on the way (in Matale) you will have a chance to visit a spice plantation that grows a variety of spices such as cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg, for which Sri Lanka was renowned and initially colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. You could also visit the Batik factory and watch the production of artistic fabric. Continue to Kandy. Check into hotel in Kandy.
Recommended Hotels: Golden Crown - Earls Regency - Grand Kandyan - Mahaweli Reach - Cinnamon Citadel - Thilanka - Amaya Hills - Suisse - Queens
Kandy, the distinguished ancient hill capital of Sri Lanka, is located approximately 116km away from the bustling commercial capital of Colombo. Renowned for its rich Sinhalese history, culture, religion, and pageantry, Kandy is a city steeped in historical significance. It was the seat of the Kandyan Kingdom, the last independent state in Sri Lanka that successfully resisted the attacks of three European invaders for over two centuries. The Kandyan monarch was revered by the islanders as their own ruler, and Kandy was considered the final stronghold of independent Buddhist philosophy, providing spiritual fortitude and virtue to its people.
Kandy is an ideal location for walking tours, with its elevated position providing a refreshing and cool climate that encourages long walks. The city boasts narrow streets adorned with historic buildings and bustling crowds, providing a visually rich experience for visitors. The Municipal Market offers an array of exquisite displays of fresh fruits, vegetables, textiles, and clothing, while the man-made lake serves as a stunning centerpiece in the heart of the city.
KANDY CITY TOUR
DAY 04 - After breakfast leave to visit the Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya, initially a royal park in 1821 under British rule it became a botanical garden. Here exotic crops, such as coffee. Tea, Nutmeg, Rubber and Cinchona (quinine) – an all of which were to become important to the country’s economy were first tested. The botanical gardens are fantastic with and excellent Orchid House, and a wide variety of plant species from all over the world. For keen gardeners, at least a morning is recommended to visit garden, possibly longer.
Experience the awe-inspiring Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, also known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa, which houses one of the most revered relics of Buddhism - a tooth of the Buddha collected from his funeral pyre. Built within the Royal palace complex, this gold-roofed temple is the sole surviving relic of Buddha and has played a significant role in local politics since ancient times. According to tradition, whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country, prompting ancient kings to protect it with utmost care.
As the former capital of the Sinhalese kings from 1592 to 1815, Kandy's strategic location amidst the mountainous terrain and difficult approach made it an impregnable fortress. Today, the city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in part due to the temple's historical and cultural significance.
When planning your visit to the temple, kindly note that appropriate attire is essential. To show respect, please refrain from wearing caps and shorts. It is advisable to dress in a long-sleeved, light-colored shirt or blouse, a gown. Skirt, or pants that are longer than knee-length. Additionally, shoes and slippers are not allowed inside the temple premises and must be left outside. However, wearing socks is permitted.
At the end of the day return to the hotel for overnight stay.
KANDY – PERADENIYA - NUWARELIYA
DAY 05 - After enjoying breakfast, we will proceed towards Nuwara Eliya, also known as "little England" due to its picturesque beauty resembling that of a typical English countryside. En route, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a brief train ride, subject to availability, while your vehicle travels ahead to pick you up from a predetermined railway station. This optional activity requires a reservation of seats one month in advance, and confirmation at least six weeks prior to the tour.
Upon arrival in Nuwara Eliya, we will visit a factory to learn about the tea-growing and processing methods that have made Sri Lanka one of the world's foremost tea exporters. Afterward, we will check into our hotel, situated 1900 meters above sea level, to enjoy a cool and comfortable overnight stay with dinner provided.
(Optional) Experience the beauty of an up country train journey with a unique opportunity to embark on a brief train ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. Immerse yourself in the scenic views of Sri Lanka's lush green landscapes, glistening waterfalls, and tea plantations along the way. As your vehicle travels ahead of you, it will await your arrival at a predetermined railway station. The train journey offers limited seats, making it essential to reserve your seat precisely one month ahead. To ensure a hassle-free journey, it is advisable to confirm your reservation at least six weeks before the scheduled travel date. Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to explore the stunning up country vistas of Sri Lanka.
In the evening, you are free to explore the charming city of Nuwara Eliya at your own leisure.
Nuwara Eliya is a charming town nestled in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, renowned for its stunning landscape and temperate climate. The name "Nuwara Eliya" derives from the Sinhalese language, meaning "City on the plain (table land)" or "city of light". The town sits at an elevation of 1,868 meters (6,128 feet) above sea level and is considered the most significant location for tea production in Sri Lanka, with its lush green tea plantations and verdant hillsides providing a breathtaking backdrop to its serene surroundings.
Notably, Pidurutalagala, the highest mountain peak in Sri Lanka, towers over the town, adding to its scenic allure.
Nuwara Eliya was founded by Samuel Baker, the discoverer of Lake Albert and the explorer of the Nile, in 1846. During the British colonial period, the town served as a prime sanctuary for British civil servants and planters due to its agreeable climate, earning it the nickname "Little England". The colonialists indulged in their pastimes, including fox hunting, deer hunting, elephant hunting, polo, golf, and cricket.
Despite its establishment by the British in the 19th century, Nuwara Eliya is now a popular destination for local tourists, particularly during April, the season of flowers, pony races, go-cart races, and auto rallies. Many buildings in the district retain features from the colonial period, including the Queen's Cottage, General's House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, and Town Post Office. Even new hotels are often constructed and decorated in the colonial style. Visitors can immerse themselves in the nostalgia of bygone days by visiting these historic landmarks. Numerous private homes in the area still maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens, making it an ideal destination for visitors seeking a unique and immersive experience in Sri Lanka's central highlands.
Recommended Hotels: Grand Hotel- Araliya Green City - Araliya Green Hills - St. Andrews - Hill Club -Heaven Seven
NUWARAELIYA - BENTOTA
DAY 06 - After breakfast leave for Bentota or Beruwala for beach stays.
The fastest route from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota via Kitulgala by car is approximately 175 km and takes around 4.5 hours.
Kitulgala is a small town located in the western foothills of Sri Lanka's central highlands, known for its beautiful natural scenery, lush forests, and scenic waterfalls. The town is also famous for being the filming location for the Academy Award-winning movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai".
As you travel from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota via Kitulgala, you will pass through some of Sri Lanka's most beautiful landscapes. Along the way, you will see stunning tea plantations, misty mountains, and cascading waterfalls. Kitulgala is a popular spot for adventure activities such as white-water rafting, trekking, and bird watching, making it an excellent stop for travelers seeking a bit of outdoor adventure.
Once you reach Bentota, you will be greeted by the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka's southern coast. Bentota is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, water sports, and vibrant nightlife. It is also home to several historic sites, including the Galapatha Temple and the Brief Garden.
Overall, the route from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota via Kitulgala is an excellent option for travelers looking to experience Sri Lanka's stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities while also enjoying the beaches and vibrant culture of the southern coast.
Recommended Hotels: Vivanta by Taj, Bentota beach, Avani Bentota, Cinnamon bay, Centara sea sand, The Surf, The Palms
DAY 07 - BENTOTA
BENTOTA – COLOMBO / NEGOMBO
DAY 08 - After breakfast leave for Negombo beach resort via Colombo including Colombo City Tour. Negombo is north of Colombo, and being close to the airport (approximately 15minutes), it is also best area to stay regarding airport departures. Negombo was the first beach tourist resort in Sri Lanka.
NEGOMBO – AIRPORT
DAY 09 – After a delightful 8-night stay in Sri Lanka, we request that you make preparations to transfer to the airport at the designated time. We kindly remind you to allocate a minimum of two and half hours before your scheduled departure time for airport formalities.
Should you require any modifications, enhancements, or omissions to this itinerary, or for inquiries regarding the cost of the aforementioned tour, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our team can be contacted by completing the 'Contact Us' form on our website or via email at [email protected]. WhatsApp no +94 777 366 633
"We had an excellent and memorable trip and all credits to Cyril. In-depth knowledge about the places, roads and history and culture. From the airport assistance - Food, accommodation provided and the vehicle was excellent. Very matured and patient, We being on safe hands. Thanks for making it a memorable experience for all of us. " Aubry De Souza and group from Dubai
"We are an older couple celebrating a lot of years of marriage (and hiking) in Sri Lanka in February this year, for two weeks, and three days in the Maldives. Although we love to drive, we chose to go with a driver-guide, after planning the trip completely independently. (It turned out he might help us in the planning and selection of hotels, we own). The main advantage is reaching the sites, some of which are tired, refreshed after someone else used to bad roads, with bad signage - If you are i..." Sam
"Dear Cyril, Thanks for taking care of the Dr.Sethukavalar and his wife very well. They were indeed very happy for all the care you have shown during your tour. They were very impressed of your patience and kindness. I look forward to see you soon and maintain this good relationship we have developed in a short period of time. We will not hesitate a second to recommend you to all our friends who would like to visit Sri Lanka. Taking this opportunity of wishing you all the best. Thanks fo..." HARIDAS KANDASAMY
"If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka (and I think you should) this is your guide!!! Martha Iordanidou - Thesoloneki - Greece " Martha Iordanidou
"We had a great time on last 10 days in on our honeymoon in beautiful Sri Lanka. Thank you very much for the stories, the explanations, driving, tips, care and always with a smile. Big thanks for you Cyril. We had an amazing honeymoon in this beautiful island! and you are the best guide and friend that we could have here!!! We will sure tell our friends and family about the trip and you!!! We will stay in touch and may be one day meet you again. Oded & Carol Israel 10 Oct 2014" Naim & Coral Fisher from Israel
"We had a trip planned with Cyril just when international travel closed down due to Covid. Cyril was great in planning a trip with me that had a great deal of flexibility and tailored to visit the places we wanted to seeUnfortunately we were unable to take the trip. Cyril's response to that was great, he dealt with everything for us in terms of cancellationsHe has kept in touch with us since then and has already contacted me with a revised plan for our trip to Sri Lanka. Which we will book with h..." Brian O: Keefe - Perth - Australia
"Dear Cyril, Yes that's the one that we were calling all the time. Her name is Celia and by now she has a little sister. My dear Cyril, of course we can't forget your companion and we are always telling about you when we are talking about our trip to Sri Lanka. I wish you good luck with your company and I hope that you will have whatever you want. I want to tell also that I was very happy when I learned that you are a grandfather now. Best regards, Chris Greece 26/07/2011" Cristos Pravitas - Greece
"Traveled in April 2013 with Cyril . Family with three young children. Cyril match the trip plan problem on his part. Familiar with every corner of this beautiful island and we have managed to produce a great 17 days. Prices respect as well - we tested three competing proposals and was the cheapest. The fact that he was working independently and not through an agency that collects coupon trips generally significantly reduces the price of the package. A modern and spacious vehicle (van with seven ..." Maozd
"2nd to 15th November 2016 Dear Cyril, Thank you for arranging our first visit to your beautiful country. We had a very enjoyable, comfortable, safe, interesting and memorable holiday. All the accommodations you provided were very clean and comfortable and we will always remember the welcome, we felt when the smiling staff cheerfully looked after us and our every need. The itinerary you arranged was just right for us and made even better with the care you took whilst driving your very c..." Satwant and Doug from Australia
"Thank you so much for wonderful Sri Lanka trip.We had a great time. The trip was very relaxing as well as fun. My daughter MAHI who lovingly started calling you "Cyril Dada"(grand farther) Had a memorable trip. She cannot stop talking about elephants. Our trip to Sri Lanka will be full of great memories, its because of you. Thank you for showing us your beautiful country the way we wanted, eating local food, lots of King coconut and Corn stops. We will be surely coming back to see rest o..." Mithil Patel