The Soul of Sri Lanka Tour

Embark on a comprehensive Sri Lanka tour of diverse sites and activities.

Journey through history from delightful Colombo to Anuradhapura, the first capital of Sri Lanka from the 3rd century BC.

Visit the enchanting medieval capital of Polonnaruwa. In addition, visit Sigirya, a 5th century palatial complex of caved temples and Asia’s oldest surviving landscaped gardens.

Kandy, UNESCO Heritage City

Explore this fascinating city rich in cultural heritage, arts and crafts, music and dance.  Enjoy the beauty of Kandy’s historic architecture, including ancient religious monuments still in use.

Visit Kandy’s museums and art galleries. In addition, highlights of Kandy include revered sites such as the Sri Maha Boddhi as well as the oldest historically documented tree in the world. It dates back over 2000 years.

Attend the traditional puja ceremony at Dalada Maligawa Temple, where the Tooth Relic of the Buddha is displayed. Enjoy demonstrations at the Kandyan Dance Foundation.

Hill Country + Wildlife Safari

Our tour continues to the hill country of Nuwara Eliya. It then travels into rural villages Ella, Wellawaya and Yala.

Embark on a safari at Ruhunu National Park, a section of Yala National Park.  Its’ open undulating terrain has been known for elephants for many years. However, recently the park has received much publicity from National Geographic and the Discovery TV channel for its’ focus on a leopard research/conservation and identification project. Claims have subsequently been made that Yala National Park has the world’s highest concentration of leopard per square kilometer.

The South

Culminate your tour of Sri Lanka at the southern tip of Sri Lanka, in the historic town of Galle. This World Heritage fortified township was an essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab and Indian traders. Javanese and Sumatrans came later followed by Marco Polo in 1299 AD.

Traditional Ancient Festival

Attend the traditional festival Kelaniya Duruthu Maha Perahara (festival) in January. This is an exciting grand procession with dancers, fire performers and over 60 decorated elephants. In addition, Kelaniya Duruthu Maha Perahara is most authentic & culturally significant tradition in Sri Lanka. It is the 2nd largest after Kandy.


  • Attend an ancient traditional Perahara (festival) with the locals. January tour only
  • Visit the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka: Anuradhpura, Polonnaruwa, Sigirya and Dambulla
  • Explore the World Heritage City of Kandy and see traditional Kandyan dance performances
  • Attend puja at the Dalada Maligawa where the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha is preserved
  • Exclusive invitations to meet with respected artistic professionals
  • Exclusive invitations to visit and lunch at the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa
  • Private experience to wash elephants with their mahouts

View A Detailed Itinerary:

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Full moon poya parade in Colombo

  • 1
    Day 1-3: Colombo

    The tour begins with the vibrant city of Colombo including art galleries, posh Cinnamon Gardens and Gangaramaya Temple. January tour will attend the grand ancient festival Kelaniya Duruthu Maha Perahara.

  • 2
    Day 4-5: Anuradhapura - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa

    Visit the fascinating and beautiful cultural triangle. The island's Buddhist influence has produced magnificent architecture as seen in the massive Dagabas, the ornate pleasure gardens and palaces decorated with excellent sculptures.

    One of the most important places of worship is the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. Sigiriya, a 5th century massive rock fortress rising 183 meters above the surrounding green scrub jungle, perhaps the most memorable place for visitors to Sri Lanka, was just declared a world heritage site.

    Rarely visited by tourists, Polonnaruwa is a mystical place, incredibly beautiful and unspoiled, with shady forests filled with streams, pools and granite boulders. Its ancient, elegant stone pathways wind through the forest to well-preserved palace ruins, bathing pools, stupas and exquisite rock sculptures of the Buddha.

    We'll enjoy a private opportunity to bathe some elephants with their mahouts, away from the hordes of tourists.

  • 3
    Day 6-8: Dambulla - Kandy

    Visit of Dambulla's Golden Temple and its caves. Then the Matale Spice Gardens.

    Continue to Kandy, a fascinating city rich in cultural heritage of arts and crafts, music, and dance. We attend puja at the “Dalada Maligawa,” the city's greatest attraction, where the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha is preserved.

  • 4
    Day 9: Kandy-Nuwara Elliya

    We depart for the hill country and stop en-route at a tea plantation. In Nuwara Eliya we enjoy a refreshing tour of the town!

  • 5
    Day 10-11: Nuwara Elliya-Ellya-Wellawaya

    Onward, deeper into the highlands of Sri Lanka, with a magnificent scenic train journey to the quaint town of Ellya. From here we continue by car to Wellawaya, an unknown tourist town but important pilgrimage for Buddhists due to the Buduruwagala Buddha statue located near the town.

  • 6
    Day 12: Wellawaya-Yala

    We depart for Yala, a rural outback of the deep south. This afternoon, a safari inside Ruhunu National Park, a section of Yala National Park, well known for the large number of Leopards, the 215 bird species and ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands.

  • 7
    Day 13-14: Galle

    A 2nd safari into Yala National Park and then depart to Galle.

    On arrival, a guided tour of the pleasant small town of Galle at the southern tip of Sri Lanka. The Galle Fort is a World Heritage Site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.

    We also visit the excellent Martin Wingramasingh Folk Heritage Museum.

  • 8
    Day 15: Galle-Negambo

    We depart Galle and start with a visit the turtle hatchery, a project for the conservation of Sri Lanka's turtles.

    Then a stop at Lunuganga Estate, the former home of famed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. We'll enjoy a tour of the gardens and then lunch.

    Transfer to Negambo, a pretty seaside town close to the airport hotel.

  • 9
    Day 16: January tour Depart

    Check out after breakfast. Transfer to the airport. For those who do not have a morning departure, embark on a leisurely-paced brief tour of the sleepy town of Negombo. We will see the old Dutch Fort ruins, the fishing village and a few churches including St. Mary’s--noted for its ceiling painting.

    If you are joining our tour to South India tour transfer to airport for flight to Madras.

    This evening, all others transfer to airport for departure.

  • Trip Length

    16 day trip begins and ends in Colombo

  • Dates

    January 10-25, 2025

  • Land Cost

    Jan 2025: $5745 per person based on minimum 4 people; single room supplement $1885

  • Accommodations

    10 nights 5-star, 4 nights 4 star, 1 night heritage country manor, 1 night eco-luxury resort

  • Group Size

    4-12 guests

  • Included Meals

    daily breakfast, 5 lunches, 2 dinners, 1 dinner box during festival in January

  • Duration

    16 Days

  • Reading List

    Sri Lanka Reading List

  • Extend Your Trip

    Essential South India
    Ultimate India (North & South)
    Culture & Crafts of Tribal Odisha
    Discover Bangladesh!

Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka

Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka

Wellawaya, Uva Province, Sri Lanka

Galle, Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Negombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka

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