17 Days
From $2,985 [AU$] per person

Tour Code TL17KANDY-PAGEANT

Tour Overview

The spectacular Kandy Esela Perahera pageant is the star attraction of this must do Sri Lanka holiday. On this private tour you will experience the unique beauty of Sri Lanka’s beaches on East Coast while taking a cross country tour encompassing wildlife, history, culture and the mesmerizing Kandy Esela Perahera. Witness hundreds of caparison elephants, traditional drummers and dancers parading the hill cradled last royal citadel of Sri Lanka, continuing the centuries old pageant, to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. Misty tea carpeted emerald hills, an endless beach with inviting turquoise blue seas, encounter with the spotted beauty, the leopard, watch in awe the ‘Elephant Gathering’, around 100-150 pachyderms and meeting the ‘heavenly maidens’ painted on the 5th century Lion Rock – Sigiriya, are just some of the delights that awaits you.

Map

Itinerary

Ayubowan!– may you be blessed with long life, with this beautiful traditional greeting, we are greeted by the Travel Lanka Journeys chauffeur guide on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) and taken to our hotel in Negombo.
Overnight Negombo

Standard stay: Goldi Sands hotel or similar
Premium stay: Jetwing Blue or similar

After breakfast we visit the fishing village in Negombo, it is fascinating to see the way of life that happens here on a daily basis.

Leave for Wilpattu National Park.

Standard stay: Heritage Hotel or Tented camping near Wilpattu
Premium stay: Rajarata Hotel or similar
Meals: B,D

Morning, sightseeing tour of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka’s first capital dating back to 500 B.C. being a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit amazing places such as Abhayagiriya, The Ruwanweliseya Dagoba, Sri Maha Bodhi, Kuttam Pokuna and Isurumuniya.

Afternoon, we are on Safari in Wilpattu National Park. This is the largest National park in Sri Lanka. The park is famous for its leopard population and the bird life. Also have the chance to spot sloth bears and elephants.

Standard stay: Heritage Hotel or Tented Camping near Wilpattu
Premium stay: Rajarata Hotel or similar
Meals: B,D

Morning we leave for the East Coast town of Trincomalee, enroute visit Mihintale – the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, identified as a great monastic city.

Continuing our journey to the East Coast pristine beaches, we arrive at our beach resort with its crystal clear blue waters and white sands. Relax on the beach.

Overnight Trincomalee

Standard stay: Nilaveli Beach Resort or similar
Premium stay: Trinco Blu or similar
Meals: B,D

In the morning, short boat ride off the beach to Pigeon Island, great for snorkeling.

In the afternoon a short tour of Trinco’s famous sights such as The Fort Frederick with British fortifications over 150 years old, as the harbor was used during the second world war and Koneswaram Hindu Temple on the cliff known as Swami Rock, from where a Dutch maiden is believed to have jumped to her death seeing her fickle lover sailing away!

Optional whale watching excursion early in the morning. (Additional cost AU$95 per person).

Standard stay: Nilaveli Beach Resort or similar
Premium stay: Trinco Blu or similar
Meals: B,D

After breakfast we leave for Sigiriya.

Enroute visit Polonnaruwa, medieval capital (11th – 12th Century) a World Heritage Site. Gal Vihara, the colossal statues of the Buddha cut in a row from a horizontal escarpment of streaked granite are the glory of Polonnaruwa.

See amazing places such as Royal Palace, Vatadage, Lankathilaka, Thivanka Pilimage (The image house of the Buddha statue) and Parakrama Samudraya (one of the largest man made lakes in the world).

Check into the hotel.

Standard stay: Camellia Resort or similar / Eco resort for the nature lover
Premium stay: Aliya Resort or similar
Meals: B,D

Early morning we visit Sigiriya, a World Heritage Site (5th century AD), is an impressive rock fortress and royal citadel of a king for 18 years. Exciting climb to the summit to the site of the Sky Palace which commands a magnificent view of the royal water gardens.

Late afternoon – Jeep safari to Minneriya National Park to see wild elephants. During August/September we are in for a treat! We are offered a delightful experience at Minneriya to watch ‘The Gathering’ an awesome wildlife spectacle. Over 150 elephants, young, old and babies converge to enjoy the lake with receding water levels to play, romance and have fun!

Standard stay: Camellia Resort or similar / Eco resort for the nature lover
Premium stay: Aliya Resort or similar
Meals: B,D

After breakfast leave for Kandy.

Enroute we visit the Dambulla Cave temples (1st c. B.C.) an isolated rock mass embellished with murals and statues of the Buddha. Later, a visit to the Spice Garden in Matale.

Kandy is the picture book location, embraced by verdant hills, a lake at the centre and the golden roofed Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha) hallowed by the Buddhist world. Kandy was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese kings ceding to the British in 1815.

Standard stay: Randholee Resort or similar
Premium stay: Amaya Hills or similar
Meals: B,D

Morning, visit the Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya. After, visit the Kandy markets, art and craft centre, silk factory and a gem museum.

By 6.00 p.m. Kandy is teeming with people from all over the world excitedly waiting for the Perahera. We have seats reserved in the specially booked area for viewing.

Seeing is believing! In the dark of the night the procession begins with the whip crackers heralding the procession with sharp cracks of their whips. Copra torches carried by torchbearers, light up the path… gaily caparisoned elephants with light bulbs attached to their covering carrying the laymen who traditionally officiate at this Perahera take the lead. Then comes the Maligawa Tusker, carrying the replica of the relic casket decorated with jasmine stepping on the white cloth (pavada) laid out for him… what a beauty, what decorum, what grandeur!

Standard stay: Randholee Resort or similar
Premium stay: Amaya Hills or similar
Meals: B,D

Midday, we board our train to Nuwara Eliya (Nanu Oya station) for a scenic world renown train journey, passing waterfalls, suspension bridges and tea pickers on our journey.

Check into your hotel in the hill country.

Nuwara Eliya is well known as little England. The nostalgia of the British empire builders is reflected throughout Nuwara Eliya in buildings, gardens, landscaping and the terraced tea gardens.

Note: Train Journeys are subject to availability due to high demand.

Standard stay: Ripon Grand Hill or similar
Premium stay: The Grand Hotel or similar hotel
Meals: B,D

Early morning (with packed breakfast) we visit Horton Plains National park and trek to World’s End and Baker’s Falls. Please note this is about a 4 hour trek on sometimes uneven rocky ground sometimes a little bit steep.

Short local trail walks for the less adventurous.. The views are just spectacular.

Note: If you wish to opt out on visiting Horton Plains National park, you can simply explore Nuwara Eliya town and visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens in the morning.

Afternoon, visit to a tea factory to observe the processing of tea leaves before it comes as tea to your cup!

Late afternoon, High Tea at The Grand Hotel (own expense), feel back in time to the Victorian era.

Standard stay: Ripon Grand Hill or similar
Premium stay: The Grand Hotel or similar hotel
Meals: B,D

We leave for Yala National Park, winding down from the high hills to the verdant plains with breathtaking views of the island’s high country.

We stop at famous Ella town for lunch.

If time permits, visit Eth Athuru Sevana (Elephant Transit Home for wild elephants). We proceed to Yala.

Standard stay: Kithala Resort or similar
Premium stay: Jetwing Yala or similar / Luxury tented camping (additional cost)
Meals: B,D

An exciting day dawns, Morning 06:00 – 09:00 AM and afternoon 15:00- 18:00 we are on safari. Yala has beautiful terrain and boasts of a growing leopard population, herds of elephants and spotted deer, bear and innumerable varieties of birds among others.

Standard stay: Kithala Resort or similar
Premium stay: Jetwing Yala or similar / Luxury tented camping (additional cost)
Meals: B,D

Morning we leave for Galle, passing beautiful coastline scenery, the sea lapping the sand and swaying palms keeping rhythm.

Afternoon, we visit Galle, 17th century Dutch fortified city with a natural harbor exuding old-world charm especially, inside the old Dutch fort – a UNESCO heritage site.

Evening at leisure to dine out at a nice boutique restaurant inside the Galle Fort and experience the evening atmosphere.

Standard stay: The Lady Hill or Thambapanni Retreat at Unawatuna for the beach lover
Premium stay: The Fort Printers or similar
Meals: B

Breakfast at hotel. An enjoyable boat ride on Madu river, through mangrove tunnels to a cinnamon plantation, Sri Lanka grows the best cinnamon in the world. We also visit the Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda, where turtle eggs are collected, hatched, baby turtles nurtured, numbered and released to the sea.

Later visit Ambalangoda, famous for masks and masked dancing used in exorcism ceremonies and low country dancing. We observe mask carving and learn rituals and ceremonies connected to each mask.

Back to hotel, free to relax, swim or indulge in Spa Treatment.

Standard stay: The Lady Hill or Thambapanni Retreat at Unawatuna for the beach lover
Premium stay: The Fort Printers or similar
Meals: B

Morning we proceed to Colombo.
Late afternoon a short sightseeing tour of the metropolis, Colombo. Visit Galle Face Green, Dutch Hospital, Museum (Optional), Independence Arcade, bazaar streets and shops.

Check in to your transit hotel in Colombo for a quick refresh before departure.

Transit stay: Fairway Colombo or similar

Transfer from Colombo to Airport through the airport express way for departure flight home carrying wonderful memories…

NEXT – Planning your return trip to Sri Lanka.

Tour Info

  • July/Aug. 2020
  • Private tour for 2

Air conditioned car/van with an English speaking chauffeur guide

  • Negombo | Anuradhapura | Trincomalee | Sigiriya | Dambulla | Kandy | Nuwara Eliya | Ella | Yala | Galle | Colombo
  • 15 night accommodation sharing twin on half board basis (dinner and breakfast included)
  • Air-conditioned car / van with an English speaking chauffeur guide
  • Kandy perahara entrance tickets (AU$140 per person)
  • Government tax and service charge
  • Entrance fees, jeep hire costs, trekker chargers etc at sites and locations from the itinerary (Approx. AU$600 per person)
  • International airfare
  • Lunch & beverages
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Personal travel and medical insurance
  • Video camera and still camera permits at some locations
  • Departure airport tax
  • All prices are quoted in AU$
  • All prices are based on per person sharing double or twin room and subject to change without prior notice

Tour Cost

Standard Accommodation Option

From $2,985 [AU$]

per person, twin share
Tour cost inclusive of entrance fees and activities as per itinerary AU$3,045.00 per person

Book Now

Premium Accommodation Option

From $3,985 [AU$]

per person, twin share
Tour cost inclusive of entrance fees and activities as per itinerary AU$4,045.00 per person

Book Now