Nature Trail Tour
Sri Lanka Natural Wonders
Type: Nature Trail Tour
Duration: 14 Days
Best Time to Travel: September – March
Places you'll discover
Speak to our friendly Travel Experts
Quick Enquiry: Sri Lanka Natural Wonders
Sri Lanka Natural Wonders - Itinerary
This exciting tour allows you to enjoy Sri Lanka’s wealth of national parks and biodiversity as well as discovering its cultural heritage. We explore the impressive man-made caves at Dambulla and scale the heights at Sigiriya Rock. After relaxing in Kandy we take a train up in to the hills to Nuwara Eliya before descending to visit Yala and Udawalawe national parks where we can see elephants, water buffalo and even leopards if we’re lucky! We have another change of scene at Sinharaja rainforest before rounding off this extraordinary tour at Mirissa on the southern coast. Here, whale watching and relaxation are the main attractions!
Colombo - Negombo
Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport Colombo where you will be met and welcomed by your Sri Lankan guide. Transfer by road to Negombo and your hotel for checking-in and briefing of the tour. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Negombo – Dambulla
Depart Negombo for Dambulla (about a 4 hour drive), home to Dambulla Cave, Sri Lanka’s largest and best-preserved cave temple complex. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four of gods and goddesses.
After exploring the caves we continue on to Dambulla and our hotel.
Dambulla – Sigiriya - Dambulla
After breakfast we drive to the imposing Sigiriya Rock which we ascend for some amazing panoramic views of the area.
Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. It is the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. Later return to the hotel.
In the evening we visit Minneriya National Park for an evening game drive. Minneriya National Park is an ideal eco-tourism location. The park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka’s favourites’ such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in 3rd century AD by King Mahasena).
Dambulla – Kandy
After breakfast we drive to Kandy stopping en route at a spice garden in Matale. Arrive in Kandy and transfer to the hotel.
Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. Ever since it was founded in the 16th Century, it has housed one of the most sacred relics of Buddhism – a tooth of Buddha collected from his funeral pyre and which is now protected within the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth. See the blessing ceremony with all the fanfare, drums, trumpets and brightly coloured Monks performing their rituals.
Kandy – Peradeniya - Kandy
After breakfast we visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. The Royal Botanical Gardens attracts 2 million visitors annually. It is near the Mahaweli River (the longest in Sri Lanka) and is renowned for its collection of orchids. The garden includes more than 4,000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka.
We have an evening guided tour of the city.
Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
Take the train to Nanu Oya near Nuwara Eliya which takes approx. 3 hours. Set in the cool and misty hilly interior at an altitude of 1,800m is the colonial hill station of Nuwara Eliya. Built by the British in the 19th century as an escape from the sweltering heat of the lowlands it came complete with half-timbered mock-Tudor houses with inglenook fireplaces & billiard tables, a golf course, race track, gentlemen’s clubs and botanical gardens. Now a bustling town and the vegetable garden of Sri Lanka it nonetheless gives you a glimpse into life in the colonial heyday.
Upon arrival at Nanu Oya train station we travel the rest of the way by car to the hotel.
Enjoy an evening city tour of Nuwara Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park
Depart by road for Yala National Park (approx. 5 hours) stopping en route at a tea plantation. Yala National Park (1,570 sq km) was created in 1938. Its diverse range of habitats, including scrub jungle, brackish lagoons, lakes and rivers are home to approximately 400 elephants and around 40 leopards in addition to wild buffalo, sambhur deer, musk deer, black bears, macaques, jackals and a numerous variety of birds.
Remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Yala National Park
Drive to Udawalawe. Udawalawe National Park is most famous for the many elephants that live there. In addition to this main attraction, the park is also home to water buffalo, water monitor lizard, sambar deer monkeys and the occasional leopard. The park is also an exciting location for bird enthusiasts.
We embark on an evening game drive through Udawalawe National Park. During a game drive, it is not unusual to see whole herds of adults and young elephants - feeding or bathing and playing in the water.
Udawalawe – Sinharaja
After breakfast we drive to the eco-lodge at Sinharaja Rain Forest. En route we stop at the 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 elephant are big and strong enough, they are released back into the wilderness to start living a ‘normal’ elephant life.
Sinharaja - Mirissa
We start early with a packed breakfast to go on a nature trek in the Sinharaja Rainforest. The Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Continue by road to Mirissa (approx. 4 hours). Mirissa is the largest fishing port on the south coast and is known for its tuna, mullet, snapper and butterfish but its real claim to fame is as one of the best places in the world for blue whale and sperm whale watching.
Early morning with packed breakfast for Dolphin and whale watching. The seas off the coast of Mirissa are some of the world’s best for blue and sperm whale watching, an entrancing experience not to be missed. With the continental shelf so close to the surface, these magnificent creatures are continuously in view as they travel their ancient migration routes. Your early-morning expedition will be accompanied by a naturalist guide who will ensure you get the best views—and the best opportunities to capture once-in-a-lifetime wildlife photographs. You will then return to you hotel for some well-earned rest and relaxation.
A free day to relax and enjoy Mirissa and the beach.
Mirissa - Colombo
Return to Colombo to the airport for your onward flight.
- Room accommodation in twin share
- Private transportation by car/ minivan
- Experienced English speaking Sri Lanka tour guide
- Drinking water in car / minivan (1 litre)
- Daily breakfast
- Game drive at Minneriya National Park
- Cultural dance show in Kandy
- Train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
- Game drives at Udawalawe, Yala National Park and Sinharaja Rainforest
- Whale watching at Mirissa
- Entrance and sightseeing fees as mentioned in the itinerary
- Airport arrival and departure transfers
What's Not Included?
- Drinks during meals
- Optional tours
- Sri Lanka visa
- Any personal expenses such as laundry, hotel phone etc
- Tips and gratuities
- Negombo – Pledge 3 (Deluxe Room)
- Dambulla – Amaya Lake (Superior Room)
- Kandy – Amaya Hills (Superior Room)
- Nuriya Eliya – Grand Hotel (Deluxe Room)
- Yala – Nikara Yala (Beach Access Room)
- Udawalawe – Grand Udawalawe (Deluxe Room)
- Sinharaja – Rain Forest Eco Lodge (Standard Room)
- Mirissa – Ubuntu By Lantern (Courtyard Room)