• Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018

    Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018

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    AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

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    Past Guests Save an additional 5%

Wonders of Sri Lanka

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Dambulla Cave Temple, Sri Lanka
Tour Style: First Class
10 Days from $2,151 per person

From a rock fortress to a royal city, experience the flavors of Ceylon – a spicy sojourn crisscrossing the Cultural Triangle, tropical rainforests, tea plantations and centuries-old spiritual sites to the beat of the Beraya and surrounded by the warm hospitality of the Sri Lankan people.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).

  2. Welcome to Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Colombo Airport transfer to your hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception with drinks and local appetizers.
    hotel:Galle Face Authentic Accommodation
  3. Begin your City Tour this morning at Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya; one of the most sacred Buddhist worshipping places in Sri Lanka. Marvel at its eastern architecture, remarkable frescoes and learn of the many legends that surround this religious site. See the Old Parliament House, the Town Hall and Independence Square before making a stop at the oldest Hindu Kovil in Colombo, Sri Kailawasanthan Swami Devasthanam. This afternoon enjoy some free time to relax, explore further or take part in an Optional Experience. Later see a different and more charming side of Colombo as you drive around the city by ‘tuk tuk'. Make a stop to sample some local snacks and experience the flavors and spices of Ceylon, a Cultural Insight, before returning to your hotel.
  4. This morning get a deeper insight into a rather simpler lifestyle as you leave the city behind and head for the village of Horakelle. Take a walk around a tranquil garden surrounded by a coconut plantation, spices and fruit trees. A bit later meet a local villager and assist in preparing lunch, a Cultural Insight. Then continue on to your next destination the Cultural Triangle and enroute visit the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. It is one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country and renowned for its unique sculptures and large mural paintings.
    meal(s):BB, L
    hotel:Aliya Resort and Spa
  5. This morning make an early start to avoid the heat of the day and visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress from the 5th Century which dominates the jungle from all sides. Choose to climb to the top of ‘Lion Rock' or just go up halfway to the ‘Lions Paw'. Alternatively for anyone not feeling energetic take a stroll around the gardens at the base and admire the scenery. A bit later enjoy breakfast before continuing to Polonnaruwa which was once the site of Sri Lanka's second medieval capital. The landscape is studded with sites of well-preserved archaeological importance. Return to your hotel for a relaxing evening or choose to take part in an Optional Experience.
  6. This morning your choice of activities gives you two Cultural Insight experiences in the village of Habarana. Choose between taking part in a traditional folklore dance lesson with a Local Specialist or visit a forest hermitage to see the dwelling of a Buddhist monk and learn about the art of meditation. Continue your journey on to Kandy and on arrival check in to your hotel. Enjoy some free time this afternoon and this evening visit the Temple of the Tooth where a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined. At dusk observe a religious service (pooja) accompanied by traditional music and drumming.
    hotel:Mahaweli Reach
  7. This morning depart the hotel by tuk-tuk and travel to the village of Katugastota to meet a Local Specialist, a senior from the village who will demonstrate how to play a beat or two on the ‘Beraya' (a traditional drum). Ancient sources reveal that these drums were used for special occasions and have become an integral part of life in Buddhist Temples. Next take a walk through the village to the home of a local family for a special Be My Guest lunch. The family lives in a small traditional house built in the late 1950's with a Kandyan style garden which has many spice trees planted for their own personal use. The staple food of Sri Lanka is rice and this is eaten for lunch with a combination of spicy curries. Engage in conversation with the family to learn all about local life in the village before returning to Kandy for some free time. This evening travel to a rural village and see a performance by a group of local school children, a Cultural Insight.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  8. This morning travel by train through Sri Lanka's tea country to Gampola, a fabulous way to see the hill villages and to observe the daily lives of the local people. See how Ceylon tea is made and gain an insight into becoming a discerning tea taster on a Tea Factory tour, a Cultural Insight. Learn the art of picking the tender tea shoots which is generally referred to as ‘plucking'. Take part in a tea plucking competition; it is not as easy as it looks but is great fun! For lunch enjoy a Regional Meal of ‘lamprais', rice boiled in stock accompanied by curry and baked in a banana leaf in the oven. Continue to Nuwara Eliya, dubbed the ‘Little England of Sri Lanka' and located in the misty hills of the island. The colonial atmosphere remains preserved and it resembles a British countryside complete with rose gardens, hedges and red-roofed bungalows.
    meal(s):BB, RM, D
  9. This morning drive to the West Coast of Sri Lanka for your overnight stay at the Mt. Lavinia, Authentic Accommodations, a premier colonial heritage hotel situated on a picturesque rocky peninsula alongside a sandy beach. The story of the Mt. Lavinia hotel began in the year 1805 when Sir Thomas Maitland arrived on the island to assume duties as the second British Governor and decided to build a grand country mansion for himself. He apparently fell in love with a local girl, a dancer called Lavinia and they became involved in a clandestine romance away from the disapproving eyes of the English society on the island. Lavinia's name is remembered as providing the inspiration for the name of the Governor's house and it is believed that her descendants still live in the vicinity today. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure before your Farewell Dinner this evening with your Travel Director and fellow guests.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Mt. Lavinia Authentic Accommodation
  10. Transfer to Colombo Airport for your onward flight.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Important Visa Information

Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements. Visas cannot be issued upon entry to the country.
  • Definite Departure
  • Special Rate Solo Rooming
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
Special Rate Solo Rooming
18 May 18 27 May 18 $2,325$2,151pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
Special Rate Solo Rooming
31 Aug 18 9 Sep 18 $2,375$2,197pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
12 Oct 18 21 Oct 18 $2,375$2,197pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
9 Nov 18 18 Nov 18 $2,425$2,243pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
7 Dec 18 16 Dec 18 $2,450$2,266pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
21 Dec 18 30 Dec 18 $2,775$2,567pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
  • Special Rate Solo Rooming: These departures include a discount on standard single supplement.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $820.

Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip. 

Visas are generally required for Sri Lanka, please call for details. 

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation. 

Special Discounts: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Past Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details.

Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements. Visas cannot be issued upon entry to the country. 

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

8 nights, 8 buffet breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners, On-trip transport.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Be My Guest

  • Enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan lunch with Ganga Akka at her family home in the village of Katugastota and learn about her lifestyle

Cultural Insight

  • Sample local snacks and experience the flavors and spices of Ceylon in Colombo. Meet a local villager and assist in preparing lunch. Learn the art of meditation with a Buddhist monk or take part in a traditional folklore dance lesson in the village of Habarana. Learn to become a tea taster at a local estate

Authentic Accommodations

  • Stay at one of the oldest hotels in Sri Lanka, once a Dutch villa and meeting place for gentlemen of the colonial era, today restored back to its former glory in the heart of Colombo

Local Specialist

  • in the villages of Habarana and Katugastota

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tour of Colombo
  • Visit the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya Temple in Colombo, the Lion Rock at Sigiriya, the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy


Trip not yet reviewed
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Sri Lanka must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting Sri Lanka will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.

  • The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  Sri Lankan cuisine includes many curry and rice based dishes.  Exotic fruits provide fresh and unique flavors to many dishes, especially coconut, wood apple and jackfruit.

  • In Sri Lanka it is not common practice to leave a tip when dining out, although leaving small change or rounding up is always appreciated.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it is customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • We suggest bringing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered for your trip. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf could also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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