Safari and Adventure Discovery of Sri Lanka
DECEMBER 7-21, 2025

Enjoy a safari of YALA National park, featuring the world’s largest concentration of leopards. also visit a beautiful tea plantation where much of the world’s tea is produced.

Visit an elephant transit home on the outskirts of udawalawe national park and enjoy a safari drive to see elephants in their natural habitat at one of three other national parks

Enjoy a train ride across beautiful landscapes, visit ancient Buddhist temples, PLUS MAGNIFICENT CAVE TEMPLES AND walk the path to the top of the amazing SigirIYa Rock fortress, in astonishment of its amazing art carved into the rocks along the way and astounding views from the top.

Enjoy palm fringed beaches, optional whale watching and the most friendly inviting people & culture.



Lapped by the warm Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a natural paradise of verdant mountains, rainforests, paddy fields, tumbling waterfalls and sweeping gorges. From ancient Buddhist temples, the fortress of Sigiriya, the hill countryside towns of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, the wildlife of Yala National Park (home to the highest concentrations of leopards in the world) to the palm-fringed beaches of the south coast, this small island offers incredible variety, made extra special by a laid-back atmosphere and hospitable people.

All our transport on this trip is by private air conditioned busses arranged by our tour operator and on one very scenic public train on the day 10 sightseeing train ride.

Day 1 - DECEMBER 7, 2025

Book your flight arriving in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka at Colombo’s Bandaranaike Airport (airport code CMB) and you will be transferred to our hotel approximately 30 minutes away.  Please provide your flight details to us at least 2 weeks prior to arrival for the included airport to hotel transfer, provided for all passengers on this trip..
There will be a welcome briefing this evening, at our hotel.

Accommodation: The Covanro hotel (or similar)


Day 2 - DECEMBER 8th, 2025


Highlight:  Visit cave temples at Dambulla;
then on to stunning Sigiriya


We depart after breakfast for the drive among coconut palms, paddy fields and banana plantations through Kurunegala to Dambulla. Here, we visit the magnificent Cave Temple, among the most impressive sights in Sri Lanka. There are colorful, well-preserved paintings and Buddha statues inside the caves, which date to the first century BCE.

Built in about 80BC, It is the largest and best preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka. Inside are 153 Buddha statues in various reposes, three statues of ancient kings, and four other statues including those of Vishnu and Ganesh.

Inside the Dambulla Cave Temple

After lunch, we continue to Sigiriya (Lion Rock). From our hotel, we can see the giant rock fortress rising from the plains.

Accommodation: Hotel Sigiriya (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 3 – DECEMBER 9, 2025


HIGHLIGHTS:  Morning climb to Sigiriya Rock Fortress;
optional afternoon safari drive

Sigiriya is, perhaps, the standout attraction in Sri Lanka with the ruins of a fifth-century palace crowning an imposing granite peak, also known as Lion Rock. This morning, we drive to the base, where a moat surrounds impressive water gardens.

For all those wishing to ascend its many steps, we will then take the route to the top, via a series of stone and metal steps and gangways, ascending 655ft (200m) and passing an overhanging rock, under which portraits of native maidens holding flowers and temple offerings still adorn the rock wall. On the flat-topped summit are extensive remains of the King’s Summer Palace and here you will be rewarded with an incredible view.

Sigiriya Lion Rock is an ancient rock fortress known for its massive column of rock that reaches nearly 200 meters high. The site dates back to the reign of King Kasyapa (477-495 AD), who chose this site as his new capital.  He decorated the walls with frescoes, and built an impressive palace right on top of the rock column, accessible only through the mouth of an enormous carved in stone lion.

Here you will have the choices to either admire the fortress and its rock face carvings from the base, or to climb any part of the staircases, or climb all of them to admire the incredible carvings in the rock face, all the way up to the Sky Palace at the top, with its amazing view!,f_auto,w_870,h_580,c_lfill,g_auto/exodus-web/2014/11/AdobeStock_270561238-1-e1711445670508.jpeg
The Multi-Tiered Staircases of Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of the many highlights of our trip.
The ruins of the Sky Palace at the top are quite impressive.  The view from the top is also incredible!

The climb up the fortress is done on a series of uniquely carved staircases in stages.
 Each staircase/stage has an interesting name, They are  Staircase to the Boulder Garden; Staircase to the Terraced Garden; Staircase to the Mirrored Wall; Staircase to the Sigiriya Frescos; Climb up the Lion Staircase; and Staircase to the Sky Palace.

Once you have reached the top of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, you can admire the incredible view and marvel at the magnitude of the ruins at the top of the fortress’s Sky Palace and at just how this elaborate series of rock, stone and metal staircases that you just summited was built centuries ago.

Photos of the impressive and unique Lion Staircase

After our visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, this afternoon you can enjoy an optional safari drive in either Minneriya National Park,  Kaudulla National Park or the Hurulu Eco Park to see elephants in their natural habitat (which location we go to depends on the elephant herd movements). For those who would prefer not to join this afternoon’s elephant safari, you can relax by the hotel pool.

An elephant crosses in front of the safari vehicle in Minneriya National Park.


Accommodation: Hotel Sigiriya (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 4 – DECEMBER 10,2025


HIGHLIGHTBicycle or Tuk Tuk ride through countryside villages


This morning, we have a short drive to Girithale where our hotel overlooks the scenic Girithale Tank. The early inhabitants here solved the dual problem of heat and lack of water in this dry area by constructing large tanks to act as reservoirs and cool the warm breeze. Now they provide an important habitat for bird life, particularly from August to April.

Today we hop on local bikes and enjoy a leisurely cycle through small villages and lakes. As an alternative to our included cycling excursion today, you can hire a tuk tuk locally for approximately 4,000 rupees (approx. $48) and follow the group on their trail. The open air tuk tuks are driven by locals, so you just sit back and enjoy the ride and the sites along the ride. 

Along the way, we should see plenty of bird life including Egrets, Brahmany kites, Kingfishers and Bulbuls.

Breaking up the journey, we stop for an included lunch in a traditional village before returning to our hotel in Giritale by late afternoon.


Accommodation: Giritale Hotel (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 5 – DECEMBER 11, 2025


HIGHLIGHT:                    Visit ancient capital of Polonnaruwa;
      Drive to Kandy via a spice garden


After breakfast, we take a short drive to the 10th-century capital of Sri Lanka: Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital of the Sinhalese. There are many Buddhist relics and ruins here, dating from a 1,000 years ago when Sinhalese culture reached its zenith. The city flourished in the 12th century after the decision was made to move the capital from Anuradhapura, so it was further from incursions from southern India. The ruins are therefore younger and better preserved than those at Anuradhapura. We will visit many of the temples, palaces, huge dagobas (Buddhist stupas) and remarkable Buddhist sculptures.

The ruins of Polonnaruwa,

After lunch, we head into the hills to the picturesque town of Kandy. Stopping along the way at a spice garden near Matale, where we learn about various spices and herbs growing, and there is a chance to stock up on fresh spices, massage oils and Ayurvedic medicines. This is a long but fascinating day, arriving to Kandy in the early evening.

Accommodation: Earl’s Regent Hotel (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Days 6 – 7 – DECEMBER 12-13, 2025





Kandy is by a small lake and we will spend two full days in and around the town.

On the first day, we visit the Temple of the Tooth, which houses the most important Buddhist relic in Sri Lanka. The Tooth of Buddha was taken from the funeral pyre in 543 BCE and only found its way to Sri Lanka in the fourth century CE.

After our visit, we drive to a beautiful viewpoint over Kandy overlooked by a huge Buddha, and visit a gem museum where you can see the products of the traditional methods of gem extraction. Another highlight is the vast Peradeniya Botanical Garden with orchid species endemic to Sri Lanka.

Your second full day in Kandy is free to explore this wonderful town or take it slow, starting the day relaxing by the hotel pool. The surrounding hills are wonderful, offering fantastic views of the town below and there are many handicraft stores and antique shops in which to browse.

On either evening, you will have the option to attend a traditional performance of local cultural dancing and an amazing display of fire eating!
Accommodation: Earl’s Regent Hotel (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 8  DECEMBER 14TH, 2025


HIGHLIGHTSpectacular scenery of countryside drive-Nuwara Eliya via Kitulgala;    then, optional Adam's Peak climb and/or optional white water rafting


Leaving Kandy early, we have a spectacular drive through the countryside on the way to Kitulgala. Here, we have the opportunity of going on a walk through the jungle or local villages followed by an optional white-water rafting excursion. The rafting is a supplement cost and requires minimum 4 people. The rafting activity lasts a maximum of 1.5 hours and there is a choice of gentle or wild water (grade III rapids) depending on your preference. If you do not wish to go rafting, freshen up and relax by the water until the rafters return for lunch. After, we drive to our hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Optional Full Moon Climb to Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada)  This is an optional activity and if you wish to do it, you need to be confident in your fitness level to attempt this. You would leave Nuwara Eliya with your local climbing guide around midnight on Day 8 and drive for approximately two hours to the base of the peak. From here, it is a strenuous four-hour uphill hike to the top in time witness the incredible sunrise from the peak.  The hikers will then return to Nuwara Eliya to join the rest of the group for lunch on Day 9. 

Accommodation: Mirage Kings Cottage (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 9 – DECEMBER 15TH, 2025

HIGHLIGHTSFree morning in old colonial hill station of Nuwara Eliya.




 This morning, we have free time to explore the beautiful town of Nuwara Eliya, a popular hill station during the British era, situated in the cool highland air. Known locally as Little England, it is dotted with British-style houses and parks and features a golf club and racecourse.

Those who did last night’s sunrise hike will re-join us for lunch today.  Following lunch, we  will all visit a nearby tea plantation and factory and learn about the process of tea production.
Accommodation: Mirage Kings Cottage (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 10 – December 16th, 2025



We have an early start this morning and take a 19mi (30km) drive south to Horton Plains, a large plateau more than 6,560ft (2,000m) high, overlooked by the second and third highest peaks in Sri Lanka. The scenery is beautiful and the best way to explore is on foot. We take a three to four-hour guided walk (5.5miles/9km) through the picturesque rolling grasslands, spanning through various landscapes and elevations, where we hope to encounter monkeys along the way.  We also visit the World’s End Viewpoint, where the ground drops 3,445ft (1,050m) to the plains for a stunning view and photo opportunity.  You can even have your photo taken in front of the large stone signage saying World’s End.

The impressive World’s End viewpoint and signage

Following this, we will be taken to board a train from the highest railway station in the country, located at 6198 feet and then enjoy the ride And the views, as the train proceeds down to an elevation of 3599 feet, with beautiful scenery unfolding along this stunning train journey.

The train travels through cloud forest into tea plantations, with breath-taking views of the lush valley below.

The Nine Arch Bridge is also a great photo opp on the railway line 

No doubt you’ve seen photos of travellers leaning out from a bright blue train and looking out onto the vibrant green tea plantations of Sri Lanka. That’s the famous train ride to Ella and it’s a must do  in Sri Lanka!

The train ride to Ella is described as one of prettiest train journeys around the world – and with good reason.

We get off at Ella railway station and continue by road to Ella Gap where we have spectacular views of the coastal plain nearly 3,280ft (1,000m) below.  Almost the entire southern part of the island is in view and  even the shimmering Indian Ocean can be visible.

We then travel to Kataragama on the plains. This is our base for visiting the best-known national park in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park
Accommodation: Mandara Rosen (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 11 – December 17th, 2025



Today we proceed to Tissamaharama, We will walk to a local farmhouse where you’ll be offered tea in a coconut shell along with a local snack. We will mix with real Sri Lankan life and take part in some traditional Sri Lankan games, returning to our bus in tractors used by the farmers.

This afternoon, we will enjoy a safari drive in Yala National Park.

Yala is home to elephants, leopards, bears, crocodiles and wild boars.

 The park, which is primarily shrub jungle with several salt and freshwater lagoons, has the highest concentration of leopards in the world.

The biggest attractions here are the leopards,

Yala National Park has the highest density of leopards to be found anywhere in the world, as much as one leopard per square kilometer.

And, because leopards in Yala National Park, do not have the traditional fear of being out in the open, as do their counterparts in other parts of the world, such as on safaris in Africa, the chances of your seeing leopards in their natural habitat on a safari here in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka are very good.

Many people come to Yala, having previously done a safari in Africa, with the same refrain that their safari in Africa, while great for spotting other animals, left them still without that iconic moment of spotting, the most elusive safari animal, a leopard in the wild!
When they step into the safari vehicle in Yala however, that experience is usually fulfilled, with sightings of the elusive leopards and even sightings of a leopard with her cubs, being surprisingly prevalent in this park!

So, If you want to see leopards in the wild, you are in the best place in the world to accomplish that goal and come home with amazing photos and memories of your leopard sighting experience! (plus a very good likelihood of seeing other wildlife, such as elephants, crocodiles and more)

A leopard spotted in the brush, at Yala National Park

Another leopard spotted just gazing into the distance
at Yala National Park

Unlike in Africa, leopards in Yala, here in Sri Lanka, can actually be spotted crossing the road that our safari vehicles will take.

This photo was taken by our tour operator on a previous safari in Yala National Park , here in Sri Lanka.  Unlike in Africa, leopards in Yala are not afraid to be sitting in plain sight of humans and safari jeeps.  This makes for great opportunities to be gleefully surprised when your jeep stops  and you see a leopard just relaxing in the middle of the safari road.  It makes for a Wow experience moment and great photo opp. of the leopard in their natural habitat here at Yala and then the chance to watch and even take video, as they then scamper back into the forest again.


Accommodation: Mandara Rosen (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 12  DECEMBER 18, 2025



Today, we leave for the coast, with its beautiful palm-fringed bays. On the way you will visit the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe. This unique experience highlights and supports the conservation efforts in Sri Lanka for wild elephants.

Located on the outskirts of Udawalawe National Park the Elephant Transit Home is rehabilitation center for orphaned and sick elephants to receive nourishment and care until they become independent and healthy enough to be released back into the wild.

The Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home is a wildlife protection facility within Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka that was established in 1995 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Elephants at the Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe National Park

From Udawalawe, we continuing on to Ahangama, arriving at our coastal hotel in the afternoon and you can relax for the rest of the day by the pool or on the beach.
Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 13 – DECEMBER 19, 2025



Today is a Free day to relax on the beach or by the hotel’s pool if you wish, or optional activities including whale watching which is in season in Sri Lanka from November through April and thus this is the perfect time to see amazing whale activity off Dondra Head, one of the best places in the world for seeing blue and sperm whales. Huge dolphin pods often play alongside the boats !

There are also optional activities including a boat ride through mangrove swamps to a cinnamon plantation. Another popular activity here is watching the Stilt Fishermen.  Experienced fishermen take tall stilts into the shallow ocean water and climb aboard them.  They then hop on the shallow ocean floor until there stilts have speared a fish.  They take the fish off the spear and continue to repeat the process until they have collected a day’s worth of fish to take home to cook or sell.

Kite Fishermen which you can observe in this part of Sri Lanka.


Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar)
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 14 – December 20, 2025


We drive along the coastal road to the historic port of Galle, which dates to the 17th century, and now a Unesco World Heritage site. On the way, we stop at a small folk museum inspired by the local writer Martin Wickramasinghe. The museum is a typical house from the Koggala region and is set among beautiful gardens.

Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards.


Later, we continue along the expressway to Colombo, reaching our hotel in the late afternoon.
Accommodation: Hotel Cinnamon Red or similar in Colombo
Meals included: Breakfast


Day 15 - DECEMBER 21, 2025

Our tour ends today in Colombo.  You will be transferred to the airport, as an included item in your tour cost.  Please advise us of your flight departure time so we can arrange your included transport from the hotel to the airport.

The adventure ends today and you begin your return journey home. Please book your flight home departing from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka at  Bandaranaike International Airport (airport code CMB)



On this cultural adventure in Sri Lanka, we spend 14 nights in hotels, which are generally of a good standard and most have swimming pools. The normal accommodations used on each night of this trip can be found on the day-to-day itinerary.
Below are brief descriptions of the notable places we will stay on this tour.

Sigiriya:   Hotel Sigiriya (nights 2-3)

This comfortable four-star property surrounded by nature is the perfect place to ease into our adventure. Unwind with a dip in the freshwater pool (which has near-unbeatable views of Sigiriya Rock) and relax in your spacious room with garden views.


Kandy:  Earl’s Regent Hotel (nights 5-7)

The four star Earl's Regent Hotel offers an outdoor pool, restaurant and relaxing spa treatments. Free Wi-Fi is available in the rooms.
The property is just 2.1 km from the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kandy, 5.5 km from Kandy Lake and 6 km from the ancient Temple of the Tooth Buddha.
The elegant rooms at Earl's Regent Hotel feature a flat-screen TV, private balcony, minibar, seating area and bathroom with soft bathrobe and hairdryer.
The hotel has a fitness center, barbecue area, business center, 24-hour front desk and tour desk.
The on-site restaurant serves a variety of local Sri Lankan, Chinese and Continental cuisines. Room service is also provided.


Nuwara Ella:  Mirage Kings Cottage Hotel (nights 8-9)

This four star hotel is located in the high country of Nuwara Eliya, surrounded by gushing streams and cascading waterfalls, where the vegetation changes from rubber plantations and fragrant spice gardens to emerald green hills, carpeted with the world famous “Ceylon Tea”

The cottage boasts of 5 elegantly furnished double rooms and 4 spacious family rooms and is ideally a relaxing sojourn to enjoy the cool climes of the Island’s hill country, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. All rooms are tastefully furnished with all the modern conveniences such as attached bathrooms, hot & cold water, heaters, Cable TV, safes, intercom telephones, tea/coffee making facilities and free Wi-Fi.

Mirage Kings Cottage Luxury Boutique hotel now has 16 more rooms total in up to 28 Rooms ready to be occupied equipped indoor, outdoor dining facilities, recreation facilities ideal for family outings & company outings.


Yala National Park  (Kataragama) : Mandara Rosen hotel  (nights 10-11)

Within a mountain forest, the 58-room four star Mandara Rosen hotel is our home away from home as we explore Yala National Park. It has a swimming pool lined with loungers and araliya trees (underwater music is available) plus a 120-seat restaurant serving a mix of cuisines. The rooms are comfortable, with earthy tones and Kandyan paintings


Ahangama:  Insight Resort (nights 12-13)

Enjoy a spot on the beach, where it is possible to swim in the sea most of the time. Spacious rooms offer sea views and the quiet fishing village is an easy walk for those wishing to explore the local community. There are good photo opportunities with the stilt fisherman nearby and the hotel is close to the optional excursions for the day 13 free day..


Prices for this tour:

$3295 per person with either a roommate of the same gender assigned by our office if you request it, or with a roommate of your own arrangement.

Optional single room supplement is $895, but single occupancy space is limited, so book early for those coveted single occupancy spaces.

A 25 percent Deposit for this tour ( $823 ) is due within 7 days of booking and will be charged by the tour operator .

This deposit is non-refundable if you need to cancel.  However, you will get a $300 future trip credit toward your booking any of our trips in either 2024 or 2025 listed on our site.

The balance payment  is due August  5, 2025


  • All breakfasts and one lunch
  • All accommodations
  • All transport in private air conditioned busses and the one scenic train journey
  • Activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Free arrival and departure airport to hotel and hotel back to airport transfers in Columbo Sri Lanka for everyone



Travellers from the US, UK and EU normally need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. Visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain the required visa for this trip.  The required visa will be an eVisa, which costs US $40 for a 30-day tourist visa, plus a service fee of US $10 to US $18 
Find the eVisa application and more information here:

Or for more info on visas to Sri Lanka for US citizens, visit the site 

For Canadian citizens, visit:

Or contact the visa/passport service provider nearest you, as there are many located in most major US and some Canadian cities.


This trip will have two leaders, a singles group leader provided by our company and an Overall Trip Leader, provided by the tour operator.


Food & Drink on this trip

All breakfasts and one lunch are included.
We suggest allowing about 7,000 rupees (US $20) per day for lunch and dinner.

You can eat out very cheaply in Sri Lanka and your leader will provide recommendations for where to eat locally however, the options may not always be suited to groups. Some locations you stay may have limited local restaurant choices, in which case meals will be available at the hotel’s restaurant, for anyone not wishing to go into town for restaurants.

Hotel meals are generally offered in buffets and the majority of our hotels also offer an à la carte menu.

Where suitable, your OTL (Overall Trip Leader) will be happy to arrange a shuttle transfer into the local town for meals at a restaurant of your own choosing or, if you prefer to be more independent, take a tuk tuk or taxi. Your trip leader can also help recommend some good places to eat in each town.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note, the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent in Sri Lanka. For example, wheat- or dairy-free options outside of hotels are limited. Please be prepared for this and you may need to bring these from home. Spicier food can be avoided easily and lots of the hotels will serve Western options alongside traditional food.
Mineral water is provided by our local operator in large containers throughout the trip so please bring a bottle with you to refill.



Generally, you should expect plenty of sunshine, but with the possibility of rain at any given time. During December, Sri Lanka enjoys pleasant sunny weather and temps ranging from 25C (77F) in coastal areas to cooler temps of around 18 C (65 F) in the hilly regions.

On the plains, Colombo will have an average daytime temperature of 30C (86F). The temperatures drop as we go higher into the hills and especially at Nuwara Eliya and Horton Plains where seasonally daytime temperatures can be a low as 12C-15C (53F-59F) and night temperatures will be about 8C-10C (46F-50F) minimum, so, we recommend you pack a warmish jacket for these cool evenings.