You will be picked up at the Colombo airport on Day 1. On Day 2, visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. On Day 3, transfer to Polonnaruwa for a city tour and an afternoon jeep safari in the Minneriya National Park. Head to Kandy on Day 4 stopping at Dambulla Rock Temple. Relax in Nuwara Eliya on Day 5. Transfer to Unawatuna on Day 6. Catch a flight to the Maldives on Day 7 followed by a ferry to Maafushi Island. Go snorkelling on Day 8 before enjoying dinner with a local family. Head out to an idyllic sandbar on Day 9 for a picnic, swimming, and snorkelling. Enjoy a full free day on Day 10. Go island-hopping on Day 11 to discover the rich culture and nature of neighbouring islands with opportunities to snorkel along the way. Your adventure ends on Day 12 with a ferry back to Male, a quick city tour, and a drop-off at Velana International Airport.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Airport Pick-Up - Transfer to Negombo
On arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your Negombo accommodation for check-in. Spend the rest of the day at leisure to relax and get settled in. Optionally you can go on a Boat Tour to make the most of this old port (not included). Overnight in Negombo.
Day 2: Negombo - Sigiriya Rock Fortress - Dambulla (B)
After enjoying breakfast at your accommodation, you will begin the day with a visit to the Badagamuwa Forest Reserve, where you will enjoy a hot cup of tea with a local snack called “roti” or freshly made corn by the roadside, a true Sri Lankan experience! Refresh and enjoy a small traditional snack on your way towards the famous cultural triangle.
Continue the journey to Sigiriya to visit its Rock Fortress, one of the 7 world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. You will also visit the world-renowned frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster and would have covered most of the western face of the rock, covering an area 140 meters long and 40 meters high. After Sigiriya, you will be transferred to your new accommodation in Dambulla for check-in and overnight.
Negombo to Pinnawala, Approx. 2hrs; Pinnawala to Sigiriya, Approx. 2hr 30min.
Day 3: Dambulla - Polonnaruwa City Tour - Minneriya National Park Safari - Dambulla (B)
Today after breakfast, you will be transferred to Polonnaruwa for your city tour. Polonnaruwa, a World Heritage Site, was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD. After seeing the city's highlights, you will also have the opportunity to visit a wood carving shop where you can learn about the trade.
In the afternoon enjoy a jeep safari of the Minneriya National Park. The National Park includes a 249 square km reservoir, built by King Mahasen about 15 centuries ago. In the dry months from August to October, more than 300 wild elephants gather on the shores of the reservoir. This gathering is the highlight of the National Park and is one the largest gathering seen anywhere in the world. Throughout the year you may also see spotted deer, sambur, and dozens of species of birds. After the safari, return to your accommodation in Dambulla to relax and overnight.
Dambulla to Polonnaruwa, Approx. 2hrs; Polonnuaruwa to Minneriya, Approx. 45min; Minneriya to Dambulla, Approx. 1hr 30min.
Day 4: Dambulla Rock Temple - Spice Garden - Kandy Tour, Temple of the Tooth & Cultural Show (B)
After breakfast at your accommodation you will begin the trip towards Kandy. Along the way the first stopover will be at Dambulla Rock Temple. Built in 1st century B.C. by King Walagambahu, Dambulla Rock Temple is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka and a World Heritage Site with a colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 metres. Next we will stop at the Spice Garden in Matale. Here you will learn about fragrant clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace and pepper, and many other favourites such as chocolate and vanilla.
Then you are off to the sacred city of Kandy, popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura. During your afternoon tour of the city you will explore Kandy Lake, built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary. If you are interested in gems & jewellery you could also visit the famous gem museum shops in the area (not included). In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), a famous pilgrimage site.
Later witness the Kandy Cultural Show, where as many as 12 different folk and traditional dances are performed. One of the most interesting shows would be the Fire Walking Show where the dances walk through prepared fire pit, roughly 8 feet by 3 feet covered with red-hot charcoal, completely barefoot. After the show return to your Kandy accommodation for overnight.
Dambulla to Matale, Approx. 1hr 40min; Matale to Kandy, Approx. 40min.
Day 5: Kandy - Nuwara Eliya (B)
After enjoying breakfast at your accommodation, continue your adventure to Nuwara Eliya. On arrival check in your new accommodation and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to relax and venture in Sri Lanka's most popular hill resort. A rainy-day, misty-mountain atmosphere blankets the town from November to February so don’t come expecting tropical climes. Sri Lanka's highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 feet) is located here. Overnight in Nuwara Eliya.
Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, Approx. 2hrs.
Day 6: Nuwara Eliya - Unawatuna (B)
Today, after having breakfast at your accommodation you will continue your journey towards the seaside town of Unawatuna. Check-in your new accommodation and enjoy the rest of the day to discover this beautiful town on your own. Unawatuna is a coastal town in Galle district of Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and famous for its beautiful beach and corals. Overnight in Unawatuna.
Nuwara Eliya to Unawatuna, Approx. 5hrs 40min.
Day 7: Flight Colombo - Male & Ferry to Maafushi (B)
After enjoying breakfast at your accommodation, you will be transferred 2.5 hours away to the Bandaranaike International Airport for your flight to the Maldives. Upon arrival at the Velana International Airport on Hulhulé Island in the Maldives, you will be greeted by your guide who will assist you with your ferry transfer to Maafushi, your local island in the South Male Atoll, a 90-minute journey across the Indian Ocean. You can choose to sit up top and view the beauty of the many Maldives islands that pass you by, keeping your eyes open for dolphins. You can also opt to sit inside to chat with the locals.
Upon arrival at your guesthouse you will have time to settle in before exploring the island with your local guide to get yourself acquainted with the layout and to observe local life. Experience traditional ‘hedika’ - Maldivian savoury and sweet snacks served with black tea at a local cafe. Dinner will be served at your guesthouse. Overnight in Maafushi.
*Please Note that a speedboat transfer is available at extra cost for quicker arrival in Maafushi. Contact us for more information.
Day 8: Snorkelling Excursion & Dinner with a Local Family (B/D)
Enjoy breakfast at your guesthouse before being taken out by boat to enjoy a 90-minute guided snorkelling trip to nearby reefs to discover the underwater world of the Maldives. The afternoon is yours to relax or explore on your own. If you’re feeling a little more energetic you can opt to take advantage of the many water sport options available locally, including surfing and diving. This evening enjoy the unique experience of eating dinner with a local family, allowing you true immersion in Maldivian home life and cuisine. Overnight in Maafushi.
Day 9: Swim, Snorkel & Relax (B/L/D)
After breakfast you will have a free morning at your leisure before being taken by speedboat to an idyllic sandbank just a short distance from Maafushi. Here you will have the opportunity to swim, snorkel or just lie back, relax and soak up the sun. A picnic lunch will be served before we head off to snorkel in search of turtles. The soft corals on this reef usually mean it’s lunchtime all the time for turtles! On the return journey to Maafushi, cruise the Indian Ocean, enjoy a stunning Maldivian sunset, and hopefully spot some dolphins with a bit of luck. This evening you’ll enjoy a dinner under the stars on the beach (subject to weather conditions). Overnight in Maafushi.
Day 10: Maafushi Free Day (B)
Today is yours to enjoy as you please. Relax on the pristine beach or take advantage of an optional island hopping excursion (at extra cost). Optional diving trips can also be organised for certified divers and day visits to resorts are available. All optional activities can be arranged prior to or during your stay. Overnight in Maafushi.
Day 11: Island-Hopping Adventure (B/L)
Today you will go island-hopping to discover the nearby islands of Gulhi and Guraidhoo, with opportunities to snorkel in the crystalline waters along the way. Both islands provide the opportunity to learn about the local way of life, including a visit to the local Mosque, a visit to the boatyard learn how the local ‘dhoni’ is built, and the opportunity to stop and chat with children playing in the street and watch the ladies of the community begin their evening meal preparations. Stop by a local cafe for lunch.
Day 12: Ferry to Male, City Tour & Velana International Airport Drop-Off (B)
Following an early breakfast you will take an early morning public ferry to Male. Accompanied by your local guide, you will discover the history of the capital city and visit places including The Friday Mosque, The National Museum (entrance fee not included) and Sultan Park. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore Male on your own, buy souvenirs or just watch the world go by from a local coffee house. You will be transferred to the airport in time for your outbound flight.
*Please Note that a speedboat transfer is available at extra cost for quicker arrival in Male. Contact us for more information.
Maldives Cultural Note: The Maldives is a Muslim country and therefore alcohol is not available on local islands. Bikinis are also not allowed to be worn on local island beaches; however all guesthouses offer either private gardens/balconies or private beach areas for guests. Please plan accordingly and bring attire appropriate for a more conservative culture. You'll be spending time among local families and as we are guests in their home, it's important to dress and behave with respect to local customs.
All Airport Transfers
All Transportation in Sri Lanka by A/C Private Vehicle with an English-Speaking Chauffeur/Guide
Flight Colombo - Male
Round Trip Ferry Male - Maafushi
11 Nights Accommodation in 2* or 3* Hotels, Depending on Package:
- 1N in Negombo
- 2N in Dambulla
- 1N in Kandy
- 1N in Nuwara Eliya
- 1N in Unawatuna
- 5N in Maafushi Guest House
Meals: 11 Breakfasts, 2 Lunch, 2 Dinners
Day Tours as per Itinerary Including English Speaking Guides & Entry Fees
Video and Camera Permits for Kandy Temple