The Pearl of the South Seas Tour


Sri Lanka is a perfect jewel of an island, like a pearl earring set in the Indian Ocean, with a wonderfully warm climate and a rich and varied culture. It also has lush vegetation, colourful flora, incredible wildlife, and a beautiful collection of gardens. Our itinerary has been designed to take you through the horticultural highlights of this beautiful island, including national parks, spice gardens, and verdant gardens. It should be as refreshing as a cup of fine Ceylon tea when combined with some of the cultural highlights and relaxed way of life.

Day 1
Arrival/ Negombo
Arrive at the airport on day one and be greeted by your tour guide, who will load your luggage into a tuk tuk and drive you through the tree-lined and sun-baked streets of Negombo to your first hotel. Today is your day to explore the canals, lagoons, or get a base tan on the beach before we meet as a group in the evening for your welcome dinner and drinks.
Negombo/ Sigiriya/ Dambulla
Fill up on a hearty breakfast in the hotel before boarding a private bus for our journey to Sigiriya. We will stop along the way to explore the magnificent Dambulla Caves, where history and religion reverberate off every painted wall and stone Buddha statue, leaving you with an unparalleled sense of spirituality. Then we'll continue on to our stunning hotel in Sigiriya, the Cultural Triangle's crown jewel. We'll cap off our epic day with a sunset hike to the peaceful Buddhist monastery of Pidurangala. We'll be climbing in the morning to get an open and unobstructed view of what it is!
Wake early today to put on hiking boots, grab our cameras, and head out to climb the incredible Sigiriya Rock. Ruins of a grand palace protrude prodigiously out of the earth, providing evidence of a once violent and noble Sri Lankan history all around the grounds. View the ancient wall paintings, the sanskript-marked mirror wall, and the massive stone lion paws guarding the summit ascension. As you travel through time examining the ruins, the views from the top are unrivaled. This afternoon, you can go on an additional safari in Minneriya National Park, where elephants patrol the land (please note, this safari is included during whale watching off season).
Sigiriya/ Kandy
Today we bid farewell to Sigiriya and begin our journey south to Kandy, Sri Lanka's second largest city. On the way, we'll stop at a spice garden to learn about the origins of our favorite spices and participate in a cooking class where we'll learn the secret to making the perfect Sri Lankan curry! Our local chef will show you how to make dhal, chicken curry, fried cashew coconut sambal, and poppadoms. Then we'll continue our journey to Kandy, where we'll check into our next hotel and take in the sights and sounds of this bustling city.
Kandy/ Nuwara Eliya/ Ella
Before we head into town to visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth, eat your breakfast overlooking Kandy's hills. This is a religious shrine that is said to house Buddha's own tooth. We then board the bus and travel through the hill country's mountainous region. The hills are covered in small green tea plants, for which Sri Lanka is famous. We visit a working tea factory to learn how tea is processed and ends up in your cup at home, as well as how 7 different types of tea are made from the same plant! A trip to Sri Lanka isn't complete unless you've experienced life on the train and the journey from Nuwara Eliya.
Today is yours to do as you please. Ella plays host to some of the best Ayurveda massage parlours in Sri Lanka. A thousand year old technique which removes any aches or pains you may have, or simply as an excellent way to relax. Your tour guide will let you know what other activities you can do in the area.
Ella/ Udawalawa
Today, we'll get up early to explore some of Ella's hidden gems, such as the 9 Arch Bridge and Little Adam's Peak. After that, we'll head south and check into our epic campsite, which is only 45 minutes from the stunning Uda Walawe National Park! Welcome drinks and a delicious Sri Lankan buffet lunch will be served by our hosts. After we eat, we board jeeps and go on safari, looking for herds of elephants, buffalo, crocodiles, monkeys, eagles, hawks, peacocks, mongooses, and, if we're lucky, leopards. Your day in the national park will be difficult to top as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We'll return to camp after driving around the park.
Spend the morning relaxing by our campsite pool and taking in your surroundings – monkeys, elephants, and peacocks roam the fields around the campsite, so keep an eye out. After breakfast, we'll drive to the South West Coast, where we'll arrive in the beautiful beach town of Mirissa. A place where world-class waves crash onto the sand, turtles swim in the water, and beer is served ice cold. This is exactly what you need after a week in the hills.
Mirissa/ Hikkaduwa
We get up early today and head to the beautiful golden sand beach. We board one of the best boats in the area to see the world's largest animals. Be astounded by the size of blue whales as they jump, swim, and dive around you. After a morning on the boat, we return to relax for a bit before continuing on to our second spectacular beach destination, Hikkaduwa!
DAY 10
After breakfast on the beach, we begin our bike ride through some beautiful local villages and rice fields, pausing to drink a fresh king coconut in a secluded tropical garden and even stopping to visit a dog care clinic for those who wish to do so. Following that, we'll give you some time to take photos of the area or shop for souvenirs at one of the many boutique and unique stores. The ideal location for writing a postcard and sending it home with tales of your incredible 11-day adventure. Then we'll drive down to the stunning Galle Fort, a walled city with Dutch, Portuguese, and British Colonial buildings that still stand proudly. The cobblestone streets lead to the sea, where crazy Sri Lankans congregate.
DAY 11
Bentota/ Colombo
After breakfast, we'll pack our belongings for the two-hour drive along the coast to Colombo, the bustling capital city. On the way, we stop at a small turtle sanctuary where baby turtles learn to swim and injured adults are rehabilitated before being released back into the wild. Across the street, we'll see the sobering 2004 Tsunami Memorial, where you can hear survival stories and see photos of the disaster. We will then arrive in Colombo and check into our boutique hostel. You will have some free time to visit the nearby national museum or art gallery, and walk around the manic streets of the Pettah Markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping.
DAY 12
It's time to say our final farewells to the friends you've made over the course of an incredible 12 days. Whatever your next destination, we hope we have educated you on a country that has so much to offer, that has incredible variety in exploration, and that we have inspired you to explore more.
Make an Enquiry