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RED HOT DEAL
Pay now & save!

from pp Twin Share

$1,899
Book Now Select
International Flight Available

Single Traveller
$2,441 pp

17 Day Sri Lanka Uncovered & The Historical North Small Group Tour

17 Day Sri Lanka Uncovered & The Historical North Small Group Tour

This tour is fully escorted by a dedicated tour leader who will accompany you throughout the tour. If your trip includes multiple countries, you will be met by a new tour leader in each country and any internal flights included will be unescorted.

Escorted Type
Fully Escorted

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Pace
Moderate Pace

These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.

Group Size
Small Group

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
Small Group Tour
5,988 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Add return international airfares for only $1799 per person
✓ Small group of no more than 26 travellers
✓ Incredible sightseeing including a scenic boat ride on the Madu River, a tour of Galle Forte, a private guided game drive in Yala National Park, Horton Plains & a tea plantation factory, a tour of Kandy by tuk tuk, a visit to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a private jeep safari of Minneriya National Park, Sigiriya Rock Fortress visit, time to relax & explore in the historic city of Trincomalee and a visit to the northern city of Jaffna and its Temple of Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil
✓ 18 nights accommodation in 3, 4 & 5-star hotels
✓ Daily breakfasts, 1 lunch & 8 dinners
✓ Take part of a traditional Sri Lankan cooking demonstration & savour a delicious lunch overlooking paddy fields
✓ Ride the iconic train from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
✓ Escorted by an English-speaking guide throughout
✓ Itinerary national park & sites entrance fees
✓ Dedicated private transportation throughout

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
Pegasus Reef Hotel or Similar

Welcome to Sri Lanka!

On arrival into Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), make your own way to your accommodation, which is situated on the out-skirts of Colombo.

Airport transfers are not included. Our transfer portal offers the option to book your airport transfers for an easier arrival experience (additional charges apply). Access to this portal will be available through your Traveller Hub once your booking is confirmed.

Hotel
Mandara Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast, your guide will give you a brief introduction before we make the drive along the South Coast. Before departing, we explore the capital of Colombo. Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has a long history as a port on ancient east-west trade routes, ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. This heritage is reflected in its architecture, mixing colonial buildings with high-rises and shopping malls. 

We will also visit the Colombo National Museum. This charming museum takes visitors on a fascinating journey through Sri Lankan history. Housed in a stunning neo-Baroque building, which was specifically constructed by William Henry Gregory, Governor of Ceylon, in 1877, the museum boasts a gleaming white façade. As you make your way through the various rooms, you'll encounter exhibits dedicated to each of Sri Lanka's historical kingdoms. Informational display boards provide intriguing insights, such as the meaning behind the mudras (gestures and poses) depicted in Sri Lanka's Buddha statues.

On arrival, we check in to our hotel before we set out on a tour of the Galle Fort and its fortifications (may occur on day 3). This is a city that exudes an essence with a perfect blend of past and present. Declared as an UNESCO heritage site in 1988, the presence of Portuguese, Dutch and English is very evident in the fascinating architectural styles of the Galle Fort.

Hotel
Mandara Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today is a full day to enjoy the coastal beauty of Sri Lanka's coastline. These areas are renowned for their sandy beaches, palm tree lined points and exude a cool coastal vibe.

Hotel
Elephant Reach Yala or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

We enjoy breakfast at the hotel before making the drive to Yala National Park. 
Here, spend your afternoon on a guided game drive exploring the dynamic wildlife and the most luxuriant plant life in Yala National Park. Being one of the largest parks in Sri Lanka, it is the ideal place to sight the rare leopard! The game drive will take place in the late afternoon, returning around sunset, as this is an optimal time for animal viewing.

Note: Yala National Park is closed for routine maintenance in September/October under direction of the local government. The exact dates will not be advised until 1-2 months prior to departure. During this time Udawalawe National Park or Yala National Park (Block 5) will be visited and offers equal animal sighting opportunities.

Hotel
Olympus Plaza Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today we leave for Haputale.

En route, we witness the picturesque waterfall, Rawana Waterfall before checking into our hotel. 

This afternoon we visit Nine Arch Bridge - also called the Bridge in the Sky is one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in the country. The construction of the bridge is generally attributed to a local Ceylonese builder, in consultation with British engineers. It is located in Demodara, between Ella and Demodara railway stations. The surrounding area has seen a steady increase of tourism due to the bridge's architectural ingenuity and the profuse greenery in the nearby hillsides.

Optional Tour - Morning Safari Yala National Park

Enjoy a morning Safari in Yala National Park. Departing around sunrise, it allows you to witness animals greeting the morning light and affords you extra time in the safari park to spot its elusive species.

Start: 6:00am
End: 9:00am

Hotel
Olympus Plaza Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Enjoy a full day to relax in the hilly surrounds of Haputale. 

In the afternoon, the coach will depart for an afternoon at leisure in Ella, returning in time for dinner in Haputale.

Optional Tour - Horton Plains & World’s End

At approximately 5:30am, leave for Horton Plains National Park. This park holds great importance due to the rich and unique biodiversity and being a catchment area feeding some of the main rivers of Sri Lanka. It is also known to be a 'super biodiversity hotspot' and thus declared a UNESCO site in 2010. The national park is most famous for the vista - World's End.

You will be accompanied by a private escort the entire duration of the hike - from the Horton Plains Park Park Office, to World's End (via Mini World's End) and back. Wear strong and comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunglasses. Bring sunscreen, food and water. The weather can change very quickly on the plains – one minute it can be sunny and clear, the next chilly and misty. Bring a few extra layers of warm clothing.

Start time: 5:30am departure from hotel
End time: 12:30pm return to hotel
Distance: 7.5km round trip - 150m elevation gain
Inclusions: return transfers, entrance into Horton Plains National Park, packed breakfast, private escort

There are no safety rails available so we recommend this activity for those who are physically fit and go on long walks often. We do not recommend this if you have a difficult time walking along uneven, potentially wet, and rocky terrain. 

Hotel
Ramboda Falls Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Enjoy a leisurely departure from Haputale, as we travel by train into the region of Nuwara Eliya, arriving into Nanuoya Station.

On arrival we visit a tea plantation and factory. Here you will enjoy the absolute tea experience, taking you to the moment the young tea leaves are plucked from the plantation to being processed in the factory to make a steamy cup of tea. If you are interested, the tea factory is the best place to purchase good quality tea.

Note: that it is not possible to confirm the train ticket reservation due to the fact that Sri Lanka Railway has a manual system for reservations. Tickets can only be booked 30 days prior to departure. The 1st and 2nd class is basic but has air-conditioning. The non-air conditioned 3rd class sometimes is the only option based availability. On the rare occasion the train is fully booked we’ll conduct the route by road and the train journey would be conducted on day 8.

Hotel
Topaz Hotel Kandy or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today we leave for Kandy. The journey is truly a rare experience and is an adventure itself! Apart from the breathtaking sceneries of the tea country and picturesque waterfalls, it is a chance for you to stop at some photo-worthy spots.

Kandy, the Hill Capital (1514 – 1815 AD). Originally known as Senkadagala, the city eventually came to be known as Kandy. Kandy was declared as an UNESCO heritage site in 1988. The style and character of the Sri Lankan civilization at the time is well articulated in the heart of the city itself, with its lake, the temples including the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the well preserved ruins of the royal palaces.

On arrival, we check in to our hotel, allowing you time to explore the town. 

This evening enjoy a typical Sri Lankan Cultural Performance with Kandy Market & Bazaar tour. 

Hotel
SigiriyaJungles or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we proceed to Sigiriya, stopping on route to visit Dambulla cave temple. Built in the first century BC, it is recognized to be the largest cave sanctuary in the world with its 2000 m2 of walls and ceilings painted more than 150 Buddha images whose largest engraved in the rock reaches 14 metres high. 

After the cave, arrive at your Inspiring Stay - the 5-star SigiriyaJungles Resort which offers views of the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

This afternoon, set out on an exclusively private jeep safari at the Minneriya National Park to witness the unique phenomenon of elephant gathering. During the dry season, from June to September, hundreds of elephants gather around the Minneriya Tank for water. Such a large number of elephants could not be sighted at one place, anywhere else in the world! 

Note: since elephants are migratory animals, we may visit Wasgamuwa National Park on this day instead, pending elephant locations.

Tonight, enjoy a group dinner and celebrate your new friendships.

Hotel
SigiriyaJungles or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast we proceed to Sigiriya Rock Fortress and climb the Sigiriya Rock, one of the most extraordinary artistic complexes of its time (477 – 498 AD). Declared as an UNESCO heritage site in 1982, this magnificent citadel allures artistic and architectural curiosity from around the globe. 

Return to the hotel to relax before taking part in an Inspiring Taste cooking demonstration of Sri Lankan rice and curry preparation (5-6 curries including a specialty crab dish) and enjoy the typical Sri Lankan lunch overlooking the paddy fields. 

This afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of the mediaeval capital city of Polonnaruwa. This was declared as an UNESCO heritage site in 1982. After the demise of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa became the middle historic capital of Sri Lanka (1017 – 1235 AD).

Enjoy a 2nd night in your Inspiring Stay and its surroundings.

Hotel
JKAB Beach Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning after breakfast we will begin our drive to Trincomalee, a port city on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka.

On the way, we will visit Fort Frederick & Koneswaram Temple. Fort Frederick was built by Portuguese settlers in 1623. It was captured by the Dutch in 1639 and later on by British troops in 1795. Koneswaram Temple is located inside the fort and on top of Swam rock and it is a highly venerated Hindu temple dedicated to God Shiva.

Upon arrival we will check-in and enjoy an evening at leisure to start exploring Trincomalee - one of Sri Lanka's coastal gems.

Hotel
JKAB Beach Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning is free for you to sleep in or enjoy your resort's coastal setting & its facilities.

Alternatively, you may want to take an optional boat tour to Pigeon Island (approximately a 15 minute boat ride), renowned for its peaceful beach and idyllic snorkelling. Marine wildlife found within Pigeon Island Marine National Park include; Black Tip Reef Sharks, Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Sea Turtle or Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, tropical fish such as cornet fish, parrot fish, angel fish, surgeonfish, titan trigger fish, sweetlips, boxfish, cleaner wrasse, moorish idol, banner fish, snappers, butterfly fish, squids, octopus, cuttlefish, moray eels or lobsters hiding between rocks.

Pigeon Island is made up of two charming islands and it is believed to have got its name from the endemic blue rock pigeons that inhabit them. 

Later in the afternoon, follow your local guide on a city tour of Trincomalee.

Hotel
Valampuri Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Today we continue driving north to the Tamil city of Jaffna. This northern, coastal city was inaccessible for years due to the civil war. The drive covers a 230 km distance and takes approximately 4 hours.

Hotel
Valampuri Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Today we begin our half-day Jaffna city tour with our guide. We’ll experience daily life as we explore this emerging city. First we’ll visit Naga Pooshani Amman Kovil, a colourful ancient Hindu temple complex set amid mature neem trees. The main temple deity is the naga goddess Meenakshi, a consort of Shiva. Women wishing to conceive come here seeking blessings, delivered during the trance-inducing midday puja.

Next we’ll tour the beautiful Jaffna Public Library which was lovingly restored after being destroyed during the civil war. We will also see the Hindu Temple of Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, one of the most important temples in Jaffna.

Finish off today's sightseeing like a local enjoying a scoop of ice cream at Jaffna Rio Ice Cream.

Hotel
Miridiya Lake Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Today we will be departing Jaffna and transferring to the city of Anuradhapura. The drive takes approximately 4 hours and covers 190 kms.

Upon arrival we'll check in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Hotel
Miridiya Lake Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, enjoy a guided city tour of Anuradhapura.

Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka and is known for its well-preserved ruins. The highlight of today will be a visit to the magnificent Anuradhapura ruins. Among the ruins you’ll see the sacred old Bo Tree, a spiritual reminder of the beginnings of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and the inspiration for Anuradhapura’s great buildings. The ruins themselves are spread over quite a large area, some in woodland settings and others appearing park-like with columns and ponds dotted about.

Later on, continue to Mihintale, a mountain peak near Anuradhapura. Locals believe this site of a meeting point between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa, who instigated Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast, we drive 170 km south to our final destination: Negombo.

We arrive early in the afternoon, check in to your hotel to make the most of your final hours in Sri Lanka by strolling along the beach or sitting by the pool. Late check-out has been arranged for you to have access to your room until 8pm.

At an appropriate time, you will be transferred to Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in time for your departure flight.

Inclusions

  • Small, intimate group experience – no more than 26 travellers
  • Fully escorted by an English-speaking guide 
  • 18 nights’ accommodation in selected 3, 4 & 5-star hotels 
  • Daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 5 dinners 
  • Incredible sightseeing including guided tours of ancient archaeological sites of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura
  • Included guided tours including Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Trincomalee and Jaffna
  • Afternoon game drive through Yala National Park
  • A cooking demonstration to learn about traditional Sri Lankan cuisine
  • Train ticket from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
  • Entrance into the sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy and Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Viewing of a Sri Lankan cultural performance
  • Entrance fees as specified in the itinerary

  • Colombo – Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka
  • Galle – Tour the iconic Galle Fort and the old stone fortifications that surround this historic coastal town
  • South Coast – Enjoy time along the idyllic beach front to relax and enjoy the tropical surrounds
  • Yala National Park – Embark on guided game drives to discover the dynamic wildlife in this epic national park
  • Nuwara Eliya – Embark on a famous scenic train ride through Sri Lanka's tea country
  • Nuwara Eliya – Learn about the process behind the region’s renowned tea at a tea plantation and factory
  • Kandy – Enjoy a traditional cultural performance
  • Minneriya National Park – Enjoy a thrilling game drive in this paradise for nature lovers, one of the best places to see elephants
  • Sigiriya – Climb the magnificent rock fortress of Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock
  • Sigiriya – Visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Trincomalee – See Sri Lanka's historic port city beginning to flourish once again
  • Jaffna – Explore this coastal city and Peninsula, inaccessible for many years due to the civil war
  • Jaffna – Marvel at the Hindu Temple of Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, one of the most important temples in Jaffna
  • Anuradhapura – Enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent Anuradhapura ruins

Fine Print

This product requires full payment upfront to secure your booking.

Once you have created your booking you will be directed to your invoice to choose your preferred payment method.

This package is a flight add-on package

This package has the option of adding international airfares to your booking when selecting your departure city. Select your departure city after clicking ‘Book Now’ and a cost will be stated next to your selected departure city. This cost will then be added to your booking and international flights will be added to your booking.

Visit our Flight Hub for more information on terms and conditions, amending your flights and information on luggage allowances.

It is the traveler's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return. Visas may be required for your destination. For further visa information, CLICK HERE.

Some of our packages will include airport transfers in either one or both directions when arriving or departing from your destination. To know if transfers are included please view the ‘inclusions’ section of your selected package. If airport transfers are stated, transfers will be included as advised.

If transfers are not included, we also offer the option to book your airport transfers using our online portal. Access to this portal is available through your Traveller Hub once your booking is confirmed. Transfers are readily available and do not need to be booked until your final hotel list has been confirmed. Once you have made a transfer booking, please refer to your confirmation email for all transfer details including a local contact number for the transfer company.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a ‘3’

3 – Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

Sri Lanka Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. At the commencement of your tour you will be asked to provide tipping to your guide towards a ‘kitty’, which is then used towards the guide tipping for the services of helpers, hotel staff, restaurants and airport porterage. You will be asked for LKR7000 per person. Please note that this tipping is not for the guide or driver, merely for the guide to tip the services of other local workers during your tour. Tipping towards the kitty is compulsory. Your cooperation in this instance is most appreciated.  
Further, tipping for your guide and driver will be collected at the conclusion of their services.  To remove the uncertainty and stress of not knowing how much is appropriate to tip we recommend LKR1200 per person per day for your guide and LKR600 per person per day for your driver to be paid in local currency. The amount you wish to contribute is dependent on the services received and at the complete discretion of the guest. Thank you for your understanding.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.

Single Supplement
Single supplement is $542.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

Group Size
Minimum: 4
Maximum: 26

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Fully Escorted - This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

All participants must be in good physical condition to fully engage in this journey. For the safety and welfare of yourself and fellow travellers, if you are feeling unwell prior to departure, we advise staying home and contacting us to arrange alternate plans.

Prior to selecting your trip, carefully review the itinerary to assess your ability to comfortably manage our travel style. Please be aware that if, based on evaluation by our leader or local representative, a participant is deemed unable to safely complete the itinerary, we retain the right to exclude them from all or part of the trip without reimbursement.

It is advisable to consult your physician for current medical travel advisories and any required vaccinations before embarking. We recommend carrying a first aid kit and any necessary medications in their original packaging, as they may not be readily available during travel. For those carrying medication, it's essential to check your government's foreign travel guidelines for local restrictions or regulations.

To enhance your journey, we are offering guests a choice of the following optional activities (prices are per person):

  • Morning Safari Yala National Park (Day 5) - $63 per person
  • Horton Plains & World’s End (Day 6) - $63 per person

Optional tours can be selected once you have finalised your tour purchase and paid your deposit. When completing your Passenger Booking Form, you will be asked if you would like to add Optional Tours, where any applicable cost will be added to your final balance. If you choose not to select them at this time, you can choose to add them later by logging in to your Account online.

Please note that you must select your Optional Tours no later than 70 days before departure, after which you will be required to purchase them on tour. Please keep in mind that anything purchased on-tour is subject to availability and prices may vary as you will be paying in local currency. We appreciate your understanding.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre Tour Accommodation

  • $58.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $55.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Post Tour Accommodation

  • $83.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $77.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

  • International airfares
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

Click HERE for more information on weather in Sri Lanka.

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