Trip Type : Small Group Tour
A Big Lion Rock-Sirigiya-Sri Lanka-459197-P

Sri Lanka: Jewel of the Indian Ocean

Odysseys Unlimited
5.0 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
17 days
From: $ 4,297 $ 253 / day
Checking price



  • Colombo city tour
  • Visit to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
  • Sigiriya rock fortress
  • Wildlife safari in Minneriya NP
  • UNESCO site of Polonnaruwa
  • Dambulla cave complex
  • Traditional dance performance
  • Kandy touring
  • Stay in Nuwara Eliya in central highlands
  • Game drives in Bundala and Yala national parks
  • Fortified city of Galle
  • Sri Lankan cooking class
  • Indian Ocean resort of Bentota

Short Description

From lush highlands to wetlands, pristine beaches to arid plains, Sri Lanka’s landscape is as varied as its culture. As our small group visits sacred Buddhist sites, embarks on game drives in national parks, and explores from hill country to Oceanside, we discover this tiny democratic nation in all its diversity.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Airfare included
Start City Colombo
End City Colombo

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 13 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels
  • 30 Meals: 13 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 13 Dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)

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Days 1 & 2: Depart U.S. for Colombo, Sri Lanka

Day 3: Arrive Colombo

Meals: Dinner

We arrive in Sri Lanka’s largest city and commercial capital today and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary, we have no group activities planned. Tonight, we meet our fellow travelers and Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director at a welcome dinner.

Day 4: Colombo

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

A cosmopolitan city with a rich colonial heritage thanks to the Portuguese, Dutch, and British who once ruled here, Colombo has one foot in the past – and one very much in the present, as we see on today’s city tour. We start in the historic Fort area, site of the original Portuguese fortress that encircled the city and is now Colombo’s mercantile and financial center. We continue past the colorful Pettah bazaar, Cinnamon Gardens residential neighbourhood, Wolfendhal Dutch Church, and Independence Square, among other points of interest.

Day 5: Colombo/Habarana

Meals: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

En route to Habanara this morning, we visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a 25-acre refuge for orphaned elephants who can no longer live in the wild.

Day 6: Sigiriya/Minneriya National Park

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

This morning we encounter one of Sri Lanka’s most important sights: Sigiriya, the 660-foot-high rock fortress constructed in the 5th century CE. Dramatic and inspiring, Sigiriya features the ruins of a fresco-adorned palace, along with gardens, moats, and ramparts. Following our tour of this UNESCO site, we embark on a wildlife safari in Minneriya National Park, home to 24 species of mammals, including a large population of Sri Lankan elephants (a sub-species of the Asian elephant), two native species of monkey: the purple-face langur and the toque macaque, deer, and leopard, plus 160 species of birds and 75 species of butterflies.

Day 7: Polonnaruwa

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Sri Lanka’s first city, medieval capital, and now a UNESCO site, Polonnaruwa reached its brief golden age from the 10th to 12th centuries before falling to invaders in the ensuing years. But more than traces of its glory and grandeur remain in the ruins of palaces, temples, and monuments that we explore here today. We see the Royal Palace complex; the Quadrangle, with its rich, compact collection of buildings and relics; and the amazing Gal Vihare rock temple with four giant Buddhas carved in relief on a single slab of granite. Then we return to our hotel in time for lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure.

Day 8: Habarana/Dambulla/Kandy

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Our first stop today is the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a complex of five caves that has served as a pilgrimage site for more than 2,000 years. Featuring extensive statuary, including 153 of Lord Buddha, as well as detailed murals covering some 23,000 square feet, this UNESCO site boasts some of Sri Lanka’s most important religious art. Then we visit a spice garden, where we have lunch and learn about the exotic spices that have lured traders here for centuries. We continue on to Kandy, the country’s second largest city famed for its sacred Buddhist sites. Tonight, we learn about Sri Lanka’s ancient culture at a show of traditional dances.

Day 9: Kandy/Nuwara Eliya

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

On this morning’s city tour, we visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (ca. 4th century CE), a shrine believed to hold one of Lord Buddha’s teeth. We also explore the Royal Botanic Gardens, once reserved for royalty. Now known especially for its orchids and avenue of palms (among some 4,000 species of flora), the gardens served as Lord Mountbatten’s headquarters of the SE Asia Command during World War II. Then we travel on to Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka’s hill country, where tea plantations carpet the mountainsides, cooler temperatures preside, and colonial architecture survives to lend something of a British air. We stop at a tea factory to learn about the production of the world’s second most consumed drink (after water). Late this afternoon, we reach our hotel, where we dine tonight.

Day 10: Nuwara Eliya

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Early today we set out on a nature walk in Horton Plains, a national park in the central highlands, where the headwaters of three rivers meet. As we stroll through the grassland and cloud forest dotted with red-flowered rhododendron, we may spot “bear” monkey and herds of sambar deer, as well as some of the endemic bird and butterfly species here. We see the stunning sheer precipice of World’s End then enjoy breakfast al fresco at Bakers Falls. After this exhilarating morning, we return to our hotel, where the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 11: Nuwara Eliya/Ella/Yala

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

We embark on a scenic train journey to the small town of Ella, surrounded by lush tea plantations and mountain scenery, with views of the Indian Ocean in the distance. Upon arrival, we take an easy hike up Little Adams Peak, where we’re rewarded with stunning 360-degree views. Next, we visit Ravana Falls, one of Sri Lanka’s widest waterfalls and source of local legend and lore. Then we coach to our hotel on the outskirts of Yala National Park.

Day 12: Bundala National Park/Yala National Park

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Early this morning, we set out on a game drive in Bundala National Park, where land, sea, and wetlands meet in a thorny scrub jungle to host migratory water birds, the rare pangolin, sea turtles, and countless more birds and animals. On this afternoon’s game drive in Yala National Park, the country’s most visited, we’re on the lookout for leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambar and spotted deer, crocodiles, and peacocks, among the park’s wide variety of fauna.

Day 13: Yala/Bentota

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

We travel by motorcoach today to the Indian Ocean resort town of Bentota and our resort hotel, set high on a promontory overlooking the beach. We dine here together tonight.

Day 14: Galle

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning we visit the fortified harbor city Galle, an ancient seaport along the Silk Route, with strong Portuguese and Dutch influences. We take a stroll around the fortress, a UNESCO site; see the country’s oldest Protestant church; and pass by old manors adorned with Dutch-style lattice work. Then we attend a cooking class featuring local spices, followed by lunch. This afternoon we take a boat ride on the Madu River, whose estuary is one of last pristine mangrove forests remaining in Sri Lanka.

Day 15: Kosgoda

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

We visit a hatchery in nearby Kosgoda this morning, where we learn about the Sea Turtle Conservation Project to protect turtles from extinction. Then we return to our hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, we celebrate our Sri Lankan adventure at a farewell dinner at our hotel.

Day 16: Bentota/Colombo/Depart for U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

Today is at leisure for independent exploration or to enjoy the amenities of our resort hotel (our rooms are reserved for late check-out). We depart this evening for the Colombo airport and our overnight flight to the U.S.

Day 17: Arrive U.S.

We arrive in the U.S. and connect with our return flights home.


Checking price
Price From $ 4,297
Price Per Day: $ 253 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardSingle StandardAvailability 
Oct-16-2019Nov-01-2019$ 4,297$ 5,692Limited Reserve
Oct-23-2019Nov-08-2019$ 4,297$ 5,692Limited Reserve
Nov-06-2019Nov-22-2019$ 4,497$ 5,892Limited Reserve
Nov-13-2019Nov-29-2019$ 4,497$ 5,892Limited Reserve
Dec-04-2019Dec-20-2019$ 4,697$ 6,092Limited Reserve
Jan-15-2020Jan-31-2020$ 4,997$ 6,692Limited Reserve
Jan-22-2020Feb-07-2020$ 4,997$ 6,692Limited Reserve
Jan-29-2020Feb-14-2020$ 4,997$ 6,692Limited Reserve
Feb-12-2020Feb-28-2020$ 4,997$ 6,692Limited Reserve
Feb-26-2020Mar-13-2020$ 4,697$ 6,392Limited Reserve
Mar-04-2020Mar-20-2020$ 4,697$ 6,092Limited Reserve
See more
  • Deposit Price: $ 375
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,395

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Odysseys Unlimited.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Flights & Transport

Airfare included

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 24


  • The Kingsbury, Colombo / Days 3-4 / Deluxe
  • Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana / Days 5-7 / Superior First Class
  • Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy / Day 8 / First Class
  • The Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya / Days 9-10 / Superior First Class
  • Jetwing Yala, Yala / Days 11-12 / Superior First Class
  • Taj Bentota Resort & Spa, Bentota / Days 13-15 / Deluxe

Trip ID#:


Meals Included:

13 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 13 Dinners

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