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Sri Lanka North to South - 14 Days

Sri Lanka North to South

Sri Lanka · Private Tour · 14 Days
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Private Tour
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culture
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nature
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beach
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landscape

Embark on this epic adventure all around Sri Lanka, take in the heritage sites of the center of the island, relax on the blissful beaches of the south, and discover the cultural melting pot of the northern region. 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Colombo → Negombo
Day 2 - Negombo → Mannar
Day 3 - Mannar → Jaffna
Day 4 - Delft Island
Day 5 - Point Pedro
Day 6 - Jaffna → Mihintale → Sigiriya
Day 7 - Sigiriya & Minneriya
Day 8 - Sigiriya → Polonnaruwa → Mahiyanganaya
Day 9 - Mahiyanganaya → Dambana → Ella
Day 10 - Ella
Day 11 - Ella → Yala
Day 12 - Yala → Dondra → Mirissa
Day 13 - Mirissa
Day 14 - Mirissa → Colombo Airport

What is included

  • Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking chauffeur guide
  • 9 nights accommodation at comfort with half board
  • 3 nights accommodation at 1* hotels in Sigiriya and Mahiyanganaya with half board
  • 1 night accommodation at Big Game campsite with half board
  • Meals as mentioned in this itinerary
  • Entrance fees, jeep cost and cycle cost

What is NOT included

  • International flights
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in this itinerary
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Compulsory New Year, Christmas or peak season supplements
Did you know you can make this trip even better? Customize this tour

day
1
Colombo → Negombo

Upon arrival, meet our representative and transfer to Negombo

Negombo town is a historically interesting place strongly influenced by the Catholic Church. The narrow strip of land between the lagoon & the sea and the many canals make for a good exploring. 

The Dutch captured the town from the Portuguese in 1640, lost it again in the same year, and then captured it again in 1644. The British then took it from them in 1796 without a struggle. Negombo was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and there are still reminders of the European days. 

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Colombo → Negombo11 km 15min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Hotel J

Negombo

day
2
Negombo → Mannar

After breakfast, we will depart for Mannar.


Mannar City Tour 

The town is located on Mannar Island overlooking the Gulf of Mannar and is home to the historic Ketheeswaram temple. Mannar is known for its baobab trees and for its fort, built by the Portuguese in 1560 and taken by the Dutch in 1658 and rebuilt; its ramparts and bastions are intact, though the interior is largely destroyed. 

Formerly the town was renowned as a center of pearl fishing, nowadays it is dominated by its Hindu temples, mosques and churches. The Catholic Church has a diocese headquartered in the town. By rail it is connected to the rest of Sri Lanka by the Mannar Line. It was occupied by LTTE during Sri Lankan Civil War between 1983 and 2009. 

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Negombo → Mannar220 km 4h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
3
Mannar → Jaffna

After breakfast, we will head for Jaffna

Jaffna District, the northernmost region of the Island of Sri Lanka, is one of the oldest inhabited sites in Lower South Asia, populated by Tamil speaking people. The peninsula is actually almost an island; only the narrow causeway known as Elephant Pass connects Jaffna with the rest of Sri Lanka. Jaffna is low lying; much of it covered by shallow lagoons, and has a number of interesting islands dotted offshore. 

Most of the area is dry and sandy, and the most common tree is the palmyra palm with its elegant fan-like fronds. Locals here tap it for toddy, the sap from its cut flowers; like the sap of the coconut or kittul palms, this liquid can be distilled to make arak or processed into jiggery, palm sugar. The leaves of the fan palm may be skillfully folded to make a beaker for toddy, but you more often see them serving as decorative fences around almost all the settlements. 

The flat Jaffna Peninsula is made of limestone, unlike most other parts of Sri Lanka. The porous stone absorbs the rain very quickly and conveys it to the water table. This forms a specifically lighter layer, "swimming," as it were, on the salt water of the Indian Ocean that permeates the rock on all sides up to sea level. 

Jaffna has it all, friendly people, a rich culture, salubrious climate and a picturesque environment go to make it a veritable traveller’s paradise. Now that the guns have fallen silent and peace is in sight, domestic tourism in this long forgotten northern retreat is gradually catching on. 

In the afternoon we will visit Nallur Kandasamy Kovil.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Mannar → Jaffna123 km 2h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Tilko hotel

Jaffna

day
4
Delft Island

After breakfast, we will make a day trip to Delft Island


Excursion in Delft Island

Neduntheevu or Neduntivu also known by its Dutch name Delft, takes its name from the Admiralty Chart unlike the other islands in the area which are named with their Tamil names. The island is still bears evidence of its Portuguese and Dutch influence. There are two ports, one of which is built in Portuguese time while the other one was built during the Dutch period. 

The Dutch Fort, which was also used as a prison, has very small rooms and 2½ feet thick walls. In the past, pigeons served as the medium of communication between the islands and there still is a vast pigeon population in the Portuguese fort. Limestone can be seen everywhere in the island and walls surrounding the houses in the island have been raised with these stones. Delft, which has a population of about 5000 people, is the only place with this sort of walls. 

The other important sight in this island is the "Growing Rock". It is situated fenced around at a Devala premises, and it grows in size according to the islanders. There is also the "Giant's footprint" engraved on a stone and supposedly a similar footprint exists in the nearby island of Nainativu. The Christians believe Adam left his footprints here. 

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

v
Jaffna → Delft Island 1h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Tilko hotel

Jaffna

day
5
Point Pedro

After breakfast, we will make a visit to Point Pedro, the northernmost part of the island. 


Visit to Point Pedro

Point Pedro is a town, located in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka, at the northernmost point of the island. Cotton is produced around Point Pedro in the fertile calcic red latosol soils. The eastern coast of Point Pedro forms a 3 mile wide, 20 mile long beach with sand dunes up to 100 feet high, extending to Thalayady. The porous soil has a water table deep underground with an estimated one billion litres of fresh water. The 2004 tsunami destroyed parts of the town and submerged some parts with seawater up to 4 feet deep. 

In the afternoon we will visit the Library, Dutch Fort and Dambakola Patuna.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Jaffna → Point Pedro30 km 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Tilko hotel

Jaffna

day
6
Jaffna → Mihintale → Sigiriya

After breakfast, we will depart for Mihintale


Visit to Religious Monuments of Mihintale

Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is now a pilgrimage site, and the site of several religious monuments and abandoned structures. After our visit we will continue towards Sigiriya

Dinner and overnight at the lodge. 

Q
Jaffna → Mihintale185 km 3h 30min
Q
Mihintale → Sigiriya88 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Lakmini Lodge

Sigiriya

day
7
Sigiriya & Minneriya

After breakfast, we will make a visit to Sigriya's Lion Rock Fortress. 


Visit to Sigiriya Lion Rock Fortress

Selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sigiriya is one of the most outstanding of architectural wonders in Sri Lanka. Rising nearly 700 feet above one of Asia’s most well-preserved ancient landscaped gardens, the rock fortress of Sigiriya, a giant granite monolith, is an unforgettable site. 

The fortress was built in the shape of a lion, hence the name Lion’s Rock. Giant lions paws and intricate surrounding brickwork are all that remain of the forbidding entrance to the Upper Palace. Stretching across nearly 3.5 acres, the palace on the flat plateau summit was home to King Kasyapa for over 20 years. The floor plan of the Palace is still clearly visible, as is the King’s throne and his own personal bathing pool. 

On the way to the summit, you must pass the famous Sigiriya Frescoes dating back to the 5th century. ‘Apsaras,’ or celestial nymphs adorn the indentations of one of the walls and speculation is that they represent the concubines of King Kasyapa. As visitors over the centuries have admired these delicate maidens, they have written their love poems on what is known as the ‘Mirrored Wall’. This ‘graffitti’ has been dated back to between the 6th and 14th centuries, and many have been translated revealing genuine feelings of emotion on seeing the Apsaras ethereal beauty. Once we finish with our visit, we will travel to Minneriya National Park for an evening safari


Minneriya National Park Evening Jeep Safari

Located between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, the 8890 hectares of Minneriya National Park are an ideal ecotourism location in Sri Lanka. The park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka’s favorites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. 

However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in the 3rd century AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze on the grasses as well as the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks, to name but a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters. 

Dinner and overnight at the lodge. 

Q
Sigiriya → Minneriya National Park20 km 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Lakmini Lodge

Sigiriya

day
8
Sigiriya → Polonnaruwa → Mahiyanganaya

After breakfast, we will travel to Polonnaruwa


Visit to Historical Sites of Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is one of Sri Lanka's ancient capital cities (and part of the famous 'Cultural Triangle'). The most famous symbol of this capital is the impressive and evocative Gal Vihara temple complex where the three colossal granite statues of Lord Buddha rest. It was King Parakramabahu who made Polonnaruwa with its massive buildings, a 2500 hectare tank called Parakrama Samudra ('Sea of Parakrama'). 

The city itself is divided into new and old town with the impressively preserved ruins. Due to its reasonably compact layout, the ruins can be easily explored on foot, and with the surrounding area's flat well-maintained roads, you can leave your vehicle behind and jump on a bicycle to get around. After our visit, we will proceed to Mahiyanganaya

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Sigiriya → Polonnaruwa55 km 1h 15min
Q
Polonnaruwa → Mahiyanganaya92 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Tikiri Villa

Mahiyanganaya

day
9
Mahiyanganaya → Dambana → Ella

After breakfast, we will leaver for Dambana village. 


Visit to a Vedda Community

This jungle village is the home of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka. They preserve a direct line of descent from the island’s own Neolithic community. After years of existing in a simple way, while reliant on hunting for survival, they now find themselves in a strange predicament - aptly described by Ms. Christine Wilson: 

“Their present situation is even more demanding and arduous. On one hand they are fighting to keep their members from getting commercialized and on the other hand, the authorities blame them for getting commercialized and keep away from looking into their grievances. They are fighting a lone losing battle” 

In one recent interview the Chief Uruwarige Wanniyaleththo said that his greatest fear is that he will not be able to stop the death of the Veddah way of life. Since their livelihood is now changed completely, they are depending more and more on earning money to sustain them. 

After our visit, we will continue to Ella

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Mahiyanganaya → Dambana20 km 30min
Q
Dambana → Ella94 km 1h 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
10
Ella

After breakfast, enjoy a visit to Ella Rock


Hike to Ella Rock

Ella Rock, one of the main touristic attractions in Ella, is famous for its breathtaking views across the Hill Country with the town nestled in the hills below you. Although the trek is about 2 hours each way, it is physically challenging due to the steep ascends and the terrain which takes you through an area covered with bushes. 

The journey will take you up to the hill for a stupendous view of mountain ranges and the valley including the breath taking view of Little Adams Peak as well. It should be noted that the Ella Rock is known as the highest peak of the Ella area. 

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

D
8 km 4h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
11
Ella → Yala

After breakfast, we will depart towards Yala National Park. 


Yala National Park Evening Jeep Safari

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. 

Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds. 

Dinner and overnight at camp. 

Q
Ella → Yala National Park117 km 2h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
12
Yala → Dondra → Mirissa

After breakfast, we will leave for Mirissa, visiting en route the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka, Dondra Head

Mirissa still offers the charm of an idyllic fishing village while providing excellent accommodation choices, catering for all budgets and needs. Enjoy walks along un-crowded beaches, still untouched by mass tourism and watch the fascinating and famous stilt fishermen

However, Mirissa has more to offer than just beaches. Surrounded by rubber and coconut plantations, ancient temples and spice gardens, natural sanctuaries and exotic wildlife, Mirissa offers something for everyone. 

Another highlight is the traditional Devil Dance, a Southern Sri Lankan special. Known for its healing powers, Devil Dancers are invited to help speed up the recovery process of illnesses and can be a great thing to watch or even participate in. 

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Yala National Park → Mirissa144 km
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
13
Mirissa

After breakfast, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure at the beaches of Mirissa. 

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
14
Mirissa → Colombo Airport

After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch your flight back home. 

Q
Mirissa → Colombo Airport175 km 2h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodations

Negombo
]

Hotel J

Mannar
]

Shell Coast Resort

Jaffna
]

Tilko hotel

Sigiriya
]

Lakmini Lodge

Mahiyanganaya
]

Tikiri Villa

Ella
]

Ella Gap Hotel

Yala
Y

Big Game Campsite

Mirissa
]

Paradise Beach Club Hotel

Price for standard experience

Customizable private tour
Prices per person2 pax
Double Sharing
3-4 pax
Double Sharing
5-7 pax
Double Sharing
1 Nov 2018 - 31 Aug 2019$1905$1693$1615

Photos

Mihintale
Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, Jaffna
Minneriya National Park
Mirissa
Talaimannar Lighthouse, Mannar
Katurogoda Ancient Vihara, Jaffna District
Delf Island
Point Pedro
Lion Rock, Sigiriya
Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwa
Waddha Community, Dambana Village
Little Adam Peak, Ella
Yala National Park
Yala National Park
Mirissa
Stilt fisherman, Mirissa

Map

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