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Soul of South Sri Lanka - 10 Days

Soul of South Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka · Private Tour · 10 Days
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Private Tour
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wildlife
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culture
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nature
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beach

Sri Lanka in a nutshell. Explore the cultural hub of Kandy, make village visits in Dambana, take scenic train rides over tea plantations, relax at idyllic beaches, and discover its rich wildlife at national parks like Udawalawe, Horton Plains and Sinharaja. 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Colombo → Kandy
Day 2 - Kandy → Dambana
Day 3 - Dambana → Nuwara Eliya
Day 4 - Horton Plains
Day 5 - Nuwara Eliya → Ella → Udawalawe
Day 6 - Udawalawe → Sinharaja
Day 7 - Sinharaja → Unawatuna
Day 8-9 - Unawatuna
Day 10 - Unawatuna → Colombo Airport

What is included

  • Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking chauffeur guide
  • Rail Ride ticket fee from Nanu Oya to Ella
  • 8 nights accommodation at comfort hotels with breakfast
  • 1 nights accommodation at 1* hotels with breakfast at Dambana village
  • Meals mentioned in this itinerary
  • Entrance fee to Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, Horton Plains National Park, Udawalawe National Park and Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe
  • Veddha Village Visit, trekking in Horton Plains, nature Walk at Sinharaja Rain Forest, half day game drive at Udawalawe National Park with trekker

What is NOT included

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

day
1
Colombo → Kandy

Arrival at Bandaranayake International Airport and meet our representative, then transfer to Kandy

The city of Kandy is well known as one of Sri Lanka’s best attractions among both local and international tourists. Strategically nestled amidst three mountain ranges and known as the gateway to the hill country, Kandy was initially built in this location as a natural fortress against attack. Kandy was not an easy target for the foreign invaders who could gain the control of coastal areas of the island without too much loss. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Colombo → Kandy116 km 2h 15min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
2
Kandy → Dambana

Breakfast at the hotel. Famously known worldwide as the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Sri Dalada Maligawa dates back to the 16th century, though most of the present buildings were built in the 19th century. Venerated as one of the most important objects in the Buddhist world, the Sacred Relic of the Tooth of Buddha is enshrined at the Temple. 

Brought from India 2500 years ago, it is said that the possessor of the Relic had the right to rule the country. The Relic is kept in a gold casket and stored amidst great security in the Inner Chamber. The temple complex is made up of numerous buildings most of which are highly decorated with paintings and carvings depicting Buddha. 

Rich in history and tradition, the Sri Dalada Maligawa is a religious centre where daily worship is a colourful and joyful way of everyday life. At several times throughout the day different services are held and with the large numbers of worshippers present, it is clear to see why Buddhists are so piously devoted towards the Sacred Tooth Relic. Spine-tingling traditional drumming to be heard coming from the Inner Chamber, will signal that the ceremonial opening of the window for the public viewing of the casket with the Relic within, is just about to begin. 

On conclusion head on to Dambana

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Kandy → Dambana99 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Tikiri Villa

Dambana

day
3
Dambana → Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast, we will explore one of the villages of Dambana. 

Visit to a Vedda Community

The Veddas preserve a direct line of descent from the island's original Neolithic community dating back from at least 18,000 BC. Veddas were originally hunter-gatherers, with the women of the tribe staying at home to tend to the family. They used bows and arrows to hunt game, and also gathered wild plants and honey. But now they are being forced to do farming. 

The original dwellings of the Veddas consisted of caves and rock shelters. Many elaborate cave paintings have been discovered in Sri Lanka, painted mainly by the womenfolk whilst waiting for their men to return from the hunt. Joining the Veddas of Sri Lanka in their village gives visitors a unique opportunity to get a firsthand experience of the Vedda culture which remains relatively untarnished by modern technology and commercialization. 

The Veddas are devoted to their traditions and our guests get to meet with Uruwarige Wanniyalatto, Chief of the Veddas. According to tribe rules, visitors cannot participate in communal activities without his permission. Once it is granted, close observation of Vedda culture is possible, as is participation in some of their activities. One of their traditional forms of invoking the blessings of the gods is a famous dance called "Kiri Koraha". 

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 losing battle. 

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

In the afternoon, transfer to Nuwara Eliya.

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Dambana → Nuwara Eliya131 km 2h 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Avian Breeze Hotel

Nuwara Eliya

day
4
Horton Plains

After breakfast, we will drive to Horton Plains. 

Horton Plains Half Day Trekking

Horton Plains is undoubtedly one of the world's best nature reserves and eco-tourism venues. It is characterized by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills, covered in upper montage forest and wet patana grassland. 

In general, the forests are seen on the hilltops or upper slopes the grasslands in the valleys and lower slopes, eventually giving way to wetland habitats. Spanning approximately 10,000 hectares the park is also home to a wide variety of flora (57 species, 29 endemic to Sri Lanka) and 24 species of mammal such as elk, deer, giant squirrel, wild boar, wild hare, porcupine and leopard. For bird enthusiasts, there are 87 species (14 of which are endemic), including many migratory birds. 

The plains also feature many interesting attractions such as 'Bakers Falls', 'Chimmini Pool' and the famous 'World's End' (a 3700 ft sheer drop that offers fabulous views of the tea estates below and all the way out to the distant southern coastline). 


Evening free walk around the Gregory Park 

Then we will return to Nuwara Eliya, often referred to as ‘Little England’ which has a climate unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Due to its high elevation, it offers a cooler and more invigorating climate than lower regions. Colonized by the British, the outskirts of Sri Lanka’s highest town, still retain their ‘old world’ feel and many of the original hotels still retain their grandiose colonial style. 

Famous for its horse racing, Nuwara Eliya also boasts the impressive Golf Club which dates back to 1889. Stepping back in time when life was slightly more sedate, it is worthwhile visiting the Clubhouse to observe the photographs of life in Nuwara Eliya in years gone by. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Nuwara Eliya → Horton Plains32 km 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Avian Breeze Hotel

Nuwara Eliya

day
5
Nuwara Eliya → Ella → Udawalawe

Scenic Train Ride to Ella

After breakfast, you will take the train journey from Nuwara Eliya to Ella, one of the most scenic train rides in Sri Lanka. This train powers up through Sri Lanka’s southern hill country, through the tea plantations, into the clouds and then weaves in and out of the many mountain tunnels as it descends to reach Ella. 

Upon arrival you will be transferred to Udawalawe National Park with an en route stop at Rawana Falls


Udawalawe National Park Evening Safari

Udawalawe National Park is most famous for the many elephants that live there (about 400 in total). During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds – adults and young, feeding and bathing or playing in the water. In addition to this main attraction, the park is home to many water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard, as well as being an exciting location for bird enthusiasts. 

We will explore the Park in a safari that will be an unforgettable bird watching experience. The endemic species of bird called Red Faced Malkoha has its favorite habitat in the 192 square km parkland. Serpent Eagles, Hawk Eagles, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Black Eagles, Black Capped Bulbuls, Racket Tailed Drongos, Malabar Pied Horn Bills, White Necked Storks, Open Bills, Ibis, Shama - the forest Nightingale, Strol Billed King Fishers and peacocks are found in fair numbers. 

A 4WD open-top safari is the only way to see all the wonders this protected reserve has to offer, and our experienced and knowledgeable nature guides will make this an unforgettable experience. 

Overnight at the camp. 

Q
Nuwara Eliya → Nanu Oya8 km 10min
M
Nanu Oya → Ella 4h
Q
Ella → Udawalawe99 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Y

Big Game Campsite

Udawalawe

day
6
Udawalawe → Sinharaja

Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home

Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will visit Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, a refuge for baby elephants, the majority of which have been affected by the tragic elephant – human conflict (when mothers are often separated from their young or even killed). 

This incredible project provides food, medical care, and anything else a baby elephant needs. When the elephants are big and strong enough, they are released back into the wilderness to start living a ‘normal' elephant life. 

Easily accessible from Udawalawe National Park itself, visitors can go to the Elephant Transit Centre at specific times in the day to enjoy the feeding hour, when the small elephants rush to drink milk and play with their mates. Like any other babies, elephants like showing off, especially when spectators are around so the event can become a great source of entertainment! 

In the afternoon we will head for Sinharaja

Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Udawalawe → Sinharaja Reserve74 km 1h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
7
Sinharaja → Unawatuna

Nature Walk at Sinharaja Forest Reserve

After an early breakfast we will make our nature walk at Sinharaja. 

The Sinharaja Forest Reserve is among the richest virgin tropical rainforests in the world in terms of biodiversity. Named a Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988 by UNESCO, the Sinharaja Forest is home to a countless number of species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects (including rare endemic butterflies and moths) and mammals – with more being discovered every year. 

From the calls of birds to the ever-rumbling noise of the Gin Ganga (river Gin), the fresh air purified by its ancient trees, the colourful species of frogs and the rare and beautiful array of flowers, pollenated by its myriad insect denizens, Sinharaja leaves you in awe of nature and how species have evolved to suit the environment. 

It is said that each square mile of some areas of Sinharaja have higher biodiversity than the entire North American continent. The most significant feature of Sinharaja is the high concentration of endemic species, including 20 of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic bird species, such as the Sri Lankan Blue Magpie and the Green-billed coucal. Prominent among its species of reptiles are Green Pit Vipers, Hump-nosed vipers and rare and elusive species of horned lizards. 

It is known to be inhabited by a very small number of Elephants and Leopards, but a larger number of smaller mammals such as the Rusty Spotted Cat, the Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, the fishing cat and the more common mongooses and civets. 

In the afternoon, transfer to Unawatuna

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Sinharaja Reserve → Unawatuna129 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
8-9
Unawatuna

Breakfast at the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure on Unawatuna Beach.

Unawatuna offers wonderful opportunities for underwater exploration, from actively scuba diving deep in the ocean accompanied by schools of tropical fish to simply admiring the scene languidly from the surface through a mask and snorkel. 

A multitude of exotic fish, kaleidoscopic coral reefs, mystical underwater landscapes and historic ship wrecks can be explored at several easy to get to locations off the south and west coasts of Sri Lanka. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
10
Unawatuna → Colombo Airport

After breakfast, transfer to Colombo airport for your international flight. 

Q
Unawatuna → Colombo Airport151 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodations

Kandy
]

Thilanka Hotel

Dambana
]

Tikiri Villa

Nuwara Eliya
]

Avian Breeze Hotel

Udawalawe
Y

Big Game Campsite

Sinharaja
]

Rain Forest Eco Lodge Hotel

Price for comfort experience

Customizable private tour
Prices per person2 pax
Double Sharing
3-4 pax
Double Sharing
5-6 pax
Double Sharing
1 Nov 2018 - 31 Aug 2019$1751$1588$1515

Photos

Vedda Community, Dambana Village
Unawatuna Beach
Nuwara Eliya Waterfalls
Blue Magpie, Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Temple of Tooth Relic, Kandy
Temple of Tooth Relic, Kandy
Botanical Garden, Kandy
Nuwara Eliya Scenic Mountain Train
Horton Plains
Udawalawe National Park
Yellow Sri Lankan Giant Squirrel, Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Elephant Transit Home, Udawalawe National Park

Map

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