Your 9-Day Sri Lankan Safari Escape: From Colombo to Kandy

Author: Nidhi Sood on Jan 27,2023

A 9-day itinerary to explore the best of Sri Lanka, including Colombo, Kaudulla National Park, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, and Kandy, with departure from Colombo. Discover the hidden gems of Sri Lanka's culture and nature, from ancient temples and lush jungles to wildlife safari and local traditions. Experience an unforgettable journey through this beautiful island nation.

A tour at a glance

Tour Price

Our private tours typically range from $500 - $1000 per person/per night depending on chosen hotels and room categories, vehicles used, types of tours, flight cost, time of year and other factors. Make an inquiry for a customized trip quote.

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Colombo

Get a private transfer to Colombo (a two-hour drive). After lunch, head out with your private guide to visit the National Museum, which has a rich collection of artifacts and artworks that provide an excellent insight into the history and culture of Sri Lanka. Take a walk around the colonial-era buildings in the Fort area, including the Old Parliament Building, which is now the Presidential Secretariat. Visit the Gangaramaya Temple, one of Colombo's most important Buddhist temples. The temple is a beautiful blend of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian and Chinese architecture and is home to various religious artifacts and statues. 

Day 2: More sightseeing in Colombo

After breakfast, head to the bustling Pettah market, where you can find everything from traditional Sri Lankan clothing to spices and souvenirs. Hop on a cruise along the Colombo harbor, where you can admire the city's skyline and catch a glimpse of the local fishermen bringing in their catch. It is a perfect way to end your journey, watching the sunset as you have a luxury cruise dinner and taking back memories of the beautiful landscapes, the rich culture, and the captivating wildlife of Srilanka.

Day 3: Drive to Kaudulla National Park

After breakfast, begin your journey to Kaudulla National Park, a six-hour scenic drive through the beautiful landscapes of Srilanka. Once you arrive, you will check in at a hotel near the park, where you will spend the night.

Day 4: Enjoy Kaudulla National Park Safari

Go on a full day Safari in the park; known for its large elephant population, The park is also home to other wildlife such as leopards, sloth bears, sambar deer, and various bird species. The park offers an incredible chance to see these majestic animals in their natural habitat. One of the highlights of the safari will be the chance to see the elephants gathering around the tank (man-made lake) to drink water and bathe. After the safari, you will return to your hotel for an overnight stay where you can relax and reflect on the fantastic experiences of the day. 

Day 5: Visiting Sigiriya

After breakfast, you will travel to Sigiriya, located around 3 hours from Kaudulla National Park. Once you arrive, you will visit two of the most famous landmarks in the area, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Pidurangala Rock Temple. The Sigiriya Rock Fortress is an ancient palace and fortress complex built on a massive rock formation. At the same time, the Pidurangala Rock Temple is a Buddhist temple complex on top of a rock formation with panoramic views of the surrounding area. After your visit, you will check into a nearby hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 6: Travel to Polonnaruwa

Today, travel to Polonnaruwa, located around 2 hours away from Sigiriya. Once you arrive, you will visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Sri Lanka. You will see the impressive ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya, and the Vatadage. Then indulge in a delicious lunch before returning to the hotel. 

Day 7: Visiting Dambulla

Today, you will set off on an hour's journey to Dambulla. Visit the Dambulla Cave Temple and the Golden Temple of Dambulla. The Dambulla Cave Temple is a complex of five caves with over 150 statues and frescoes of the Buddha. Then head to the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a beautiful and ornately decorated Buddhist temple. Have a delicious lunch, then head to the Dambulla Royal Palace, an ancient palace built during the reign of King Nissanka Malla. Check into your cozy hotel for dinner and rest.

Day 8: Travel to Kandy

After breakfast, get a private transfer to Kandy, three hours away from Dambulla. Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. The Temple of the Tooth Relic is a sacred Buddhist temple that houses the tooth relic of the Buddha. Next, visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, a beautiful garden with a wide variety of plants and trees. After your visit, you will return to your hotel overnight.

Day 9: Departure from Colombo

It's time to say goodbye to the vibrant city of Colombo as your private guide takes you to the airport for an international flight back home. 

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