Backpacker Beautiful Rocks and Rocking Beaches (11 Days)
‘Aye bowan’ (welcome) to Sri Lanka. Where ever you go smiles will greet you, colors and lush scapes will spoil your eyes and the scents, flavors and bustling life spoil all of your senses. Flow from the happening capital of Colombo to the cultural triangle. Climb your way to the top of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress before the remote beaches of Trincomalee awaits you. From beach life by winding roads deeper into the lush green hill country. With tea plantations scattered in the mountains and dots of colors from the pickers popping up in the landscape. From the misty highlands you go by train back to the plains, to urban life with a backpack full of experiences and heart-warming friendliness. A big treat in a small platter that takes you beyond the ordinary..
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• Reach the summit of Sigiriya rock and be on top of the world.
Small Group Exploration – normally no more than 2-5 travellers. Being few brings you closer to local life and flexibility to go to places less travelled; to go beyond the ordinary.
|Trip Length:||11 Day(s) 10 Night(s)|
|Tour Departure Dates:||Every day.|
Sri Lanka has now become a round the year destination, however the climate varies from city to city.
|Type of Transportation:||
Private vehicle/car for the transfer, train from Ella to Colombo and walking during local activities/sight seeing.
|Type of Accommodation:||
Stay in hotel rooms with aircon on bed & breakfast basis. Please note there will be no aircon at your hotel in hills station like Kandy, Sigiriya etc., due to pleasant/chilly weather.
Child age: Below 5 years old. Children 5 years and up will be treated as adults.
|Included in Price:||
Meals: 10 x Breakfast.
|Excluded from Price:||
• Meals not stated as included in the above
- Locations Visited:
- Colombo, Sigiriya, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla, Trincomalee, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella
- Start City:
- End City:
Day 1: Colombo
Arrive in bustling, shaky, colorful Colombo, with all its red and green tuk-tuks, trees with canopies shading the roads below, small cricket fields and food stalls. Transfer to a small but unique hotel in posh Colombo 7.
Overnight: Colombo hotel.
Driving time: 40 Km / 1 hour.
Day 2: Colombo – Sigiriya
Having acclimatized to a new country and new customs, you are ready to venture inlands to the ancient scapes of Sri Lanka.
Start with a slow breakfast and enjoy a cup of hot Sri Lankan tea. Then transfer to Sigiriya where you will check in to your hotel.
Late in the afternoon/early evening when the sun cools down a bit, start your excursion to Sigiriya. Climb the 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress – an UNESCO world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock.
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.
Driving time: Approx. 160 km / 4-5 hours.
Day 3: Sigiriya – Dambulla – Minneriya – Sigiriya
From a rock fortress to a rock temple – another day of cultural explorations in striking landscapes awaits you.
Have your breakfast and transfer to Dambulla, which is about an hour’s drive from Sigiriya. Here you will find the World Heritage Site of Dambulla Rock Temple – the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. Built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. the complex of five caves holds over 2000 sq. metres of painted walls and ceilings. This makes it the largest area of paintings found in the world. It contains over 150 images of Buddha of which the largest is spanning 14 metres and is a colossal figure of Buddha carved out of rock.
Stop for lunch in town and late in the afternoon you will visit Minneriya National Park. Covering 8890 hectare, 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 3rdcentury AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants that come to bathe and graze on the grasses as well as the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks to name but a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters.
Driving time: Approx. 1 hour per way
Day 4: Sigiriya – Trincomalee
After breakfast at your hotel, you will proceed from Sigiriya to Northeast coast town Trincomalee.
The city is well known for its natural harbour and with its location in the beautiful and magnificent bay of Trincomalee it is one of the finest natural harbours in the world. In the Northern outskirts of the city, the small fishing villages of Uppuveli and Nilaveli are considered to be some of the finest beaches in Sri Lanka – broad and almost deserted as they are. Also in the area you will find the hot springs at Kanniyai, said to possess therapeutic qualities. You will find the Koneswaram temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the Swamy Rock also known locally as lover’s leap.
Before driving towards your resort you will stop at the town market to take in the local fisherman life. You may get close to the small alleys in between the shops, which are actually homes of the fishermen. These alleys open up to the sea and you will find fishermen families working to sort the fishes in the nets or drying them in the sun during the day.
Then off you go to your resort, check-in and enjoy a laidback evening.
Overnight: Resort in Trincomalee.
Driving time: Approx. 125 km / 3-4 hours.
Day 5: Trincomalee
A quiet breakfast is served, ensuring you a good day ahead.
Your destination is the Pigeon Island National Park, which has its name from the Rock Pigeon that has colonized the island. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka and is one of the only two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province, encompassing a total area of 471.429 hectares. Pigeon Island was designated as a sanctuary in 1963 and 2003 re-designated as a national park.
Overnight: Resort in Trincomalee.
Day 6: Trincomalee – Kandy
Prepare to leave the beach life behind in exchange for the charmingly beautiful hill country with Kandy as your destination.
Have your breakfast and steaming hot Sri Lankan coffee before you check out from your resort. Your onwards transport will be an exploration in its own right with magnificent views beyond your windows, just as you may visit the Spice Garden in Matale on your journey to Kandy.
Upon arrival check in and relax so you are ready for your afternoon city tour. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name "Kandy" conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798 – a tranquil place in the heart of the city.
In the evening visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – a golden roofed Buddhist temple that houses Sri Lanka’s most sacred Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. And though it is not possible to see the actual tooth as it is kept in a gold casket shaped like a stupa, you will feel the sacred ambience and take in the colours, the gilded gifts and the shrines that comprise the temple complex.
Late in the evening you will experience a Cultural Show. Some find this funny, while others find it spectacular. You will see the traditional Sri Lankan drummers stirring up a rhythm and decoratively dressed dancers showing their amazing moves. You will see fireworks and fire stunts in a show that truly has something for all.
Driving time: 175 km / 4-5 hours
Day 7: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast your driver takes you by true mountain roads deeper into the hill country. Lush green tea plantations tug the neatly curving hillsides, dots of colour from the workers picking leaves. Go all the way to flushing Ramboda waterfall to put your feet in the chilly water and have lunch on the way. Visit the Tea estate at Labookale, famous for a fine variety of mountain tea, to get the story of tea making. You will arrive in Nuwara Elliya around 15:00. Check in at you hotel, and relax. If you still have energy left, you can instead visit the Victoria park or do some short treks.
Overnight: Nuwara Eliya.
Driving time: 80 km / 2-3 hours
Day 8: Nuwara Eliya to Ella (60 kms/1 – 1.5 hrs)
It will be an early start before sun has the grip. At this time it will be cold and crisp. And you should bring a sweater, and breakfast pack. First you drive out to the Horton plains, wild moorland where you go for a trek. Suddenly you will be at the world's end and it seems like all Sri Lanka lies for your feet. It is truly breathtaking and beautiful on a clear day, making the trek to here more than worth it.
Back down, drive back to your hotel.
Later you proceed with your driver through stunning mountain scapes to Ella, the slow mountain village most people come to love. Check in, at a place overlooking the mountains and if you are still curious and legs still fresh you can visit the waterfall and the ridge nearby for a fine sunset. If you stay back, the view is just as rewarding.
Day 9: Ella
Start your day slow with a small Sri Lankan breakfast and get ready for a simple though inspiring cooking class. Try your hands in preparing some delicious Srilankan delicacies, and the spicy, fresh treat will be served to you for lunch.
Later in the day you may just relax for a lazy afternoon or go to the beautiful Ravana falls and enjoy scenery along the road with colourful food stalls, large rainforest trees, slow market towns and a flow of tuk-tuks. There are also old temples and a cave nearby for a perfect evening.
Day 10: Ella – Colombo (Day Train ride)
Have you breakfast before checkout and you will be taken to the local railway station to take a train ride from Ella to Colombo. This beautiful train ride from mountains to the plains gives you a scenic treat of nature, the surroundings so close you can almost reach your arm out and touch it.
Upon arrival in Colombo get picked up at the bustling railway station and get transferred to your cosy home for the night, in a small colonial house in Colombo 7.
Day 11: Colombo – Colombo Airport
Start your day easy and relax, as it is the last day of your tour.To make it more relaxing you will get a body massage with acupressure technique. Blind people trained in the techniques will do the massage. They will not talk a lot. But their hands perform the magic on one's body to give that perfect freshness after a long journey.
Later, hopefully still light in mind and body after the treat, get dropped to the airport.
Driving time: 40 Km / 1 hour.
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