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Northern Sri Lanka

TRAVEL WITH PRIYA!
If you know anyone that's travelled with us to Sri Lanka, we can bet they've raved about our fantastic guide Priya! Well-known for his morning songs and wealth of information on everything Sri Lanka, he is often quoted as being "the best guide we've ever had"!
Be one of the first to explore Sri Lanka's emerging north. With a fascinating Tamil culture thanks to its intriguing history, as well as beautiful beaches and an abundance of wildlife, this journey captures the essence of the region in Jaffna, Trincomalee and Passikudah.Ancient history and animal spottingTravel north from Negombo to the ancient capital city of Anuradhapura. Discover the sprawling complex of temple and pool ruins and majestic white dagobas and admire the towering buddha statue of Avukana, carved from the rock face in the 5th century. Safari through Wilpattu National Park, the largest in Sri Lanka, and spot elephants, sloth bears and leopards.Tamil TraditionsExplore Sri Lanka's northernmost peninsula in the warm and creative city of Jaffna, an upholder of Hindu tradition and the perfect place to learn more about the Tamil culture in Sri Lanka. Head east to beautiful Trincomalee, home to one of the Indian Ocean's most important harbours. Enjoy a morning cruise looking for dolphins, whales and other marine wildlife often spotted in the area.Breathtaking beaches and BatticaloaRelax on the stunning beaches of Passikudah a little further south and discover the dutch colonial fort of nearby Batticaloa. Share a meal with local Sri Lankans after learning their cooking techniques and tour the spice plantations of Matale.End your fascinating journey in Kandy, the cultural heart of Sri Lanka. Visit the Gem Museum and ride the train to the National Railway Museum, showcasing 150 years of rail service in Sri Lanka.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Sri Lanka. Taxes included
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding jeep-safari vehicle and water based activities)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $185pp pre-paid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 13 nights in good quality hotels (4 star)
  • Day use of hotel on day of departure
  • 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 10 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking driver/guide throughout (based on 4-6 passengers)
  • English-speaking national guide, driver & assistant throughout (based on min. of 7 passengers)

Sightseeing

Witness amazing wildlife and learn the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka

  • Witness a vast variety of Negombo's wildlife and birdlife on a cruise through the Muthurajawela Marshes. These marshes are the country's largest saline coastal peat bog and are noted for being a unique and highly diverse ecosystem.
  • Enjoy lunch with a local family on one of the islands of Muthurajawela Lagoon.
  • Visit Mihintale, historically recorded as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Explore the ancient ruins, now a key pilgrimage site for Sri Lankans.
  • Enjoy a jeep safari through Wilpattu National Park with its unique natural sand rimmed water basins. Go in search of Leopards, sloth bears, elephants and water buffalos.

Be the first to explore the fascinating north

  • Head north towards 'Tamil Country', stopping at Omanthai, site of the last Sri Lankan army check point which divded the Government and LTTE during the Thandikulam-Omanthai offensive. Stop at Elephant Pass, the gateway to the Jaffna Peninsula.
  • Tour the Jaffna Peninsula including the Fort, Public Library and the small town of Kayts, an important village on Velanai Island off the coast of the Jaffna Peninsula.

The scenic eastern coast

  • Cruise out in search of dolphins, whales and other marine from Trincomalee with its a natural deep-water harbour.
  • Visit the famous Koneswaram Temple with its large statue of Lord Shiva, and Fort Frederick which was built in 1623 by the Portuguese and captured by the Dutch in 1639.
  • Wind through the small streets of Batticaloa by tuk tuk, approaching the Dutch Fort, built in 1665.
  • Explore a local market and witness how the locals shop, then join a family as they prepare a typical Sri Lankan meal and enjoy the end product for lunch.

Sri Lanka's cultural heart

  • Visit the Matale Spice Plantations, growing a variety of spices such as cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. Sri Lanka is renowned for its spices having been initially colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and British.
  • Explore Kandy, known for its sacred Buddhist sites and as the home to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Budha. Visit the Gem Museum and learn about the design, cutting, polishing and setting processes. Of course, there will be an opportunity to buy while there!
  • Board a local train at Kandy railway station and travel to Kadugannawa to visit the National Railway Museum. It was opened in December 2014 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of railway service in Sri Lanka.
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
15
Price From
AUD $4,915
Start Location
Sri Lanka
End Location
Sri Lanka
Age Range
Avg. 50+
Group Size
4 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Marine/Cruise, Slow paced
Physical Rating
Moderate
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
30 Sep 201814 Oct 2018Fully BookedAUD $4,465 
ItineraryExpand
Northern Sri Lanka

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

TRAVEL WITH PRIYA!

If you know anyone that's travelled with us to Sri Lanka, we can bet they've raved about our fantastic guide Priya! Well-known for his morning songs and wealth of information on everything Sri Lanka, he is often quoted as being "the best guide we've ever had"!

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive Negombo

Welcome to amazing Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean!

Day 2. Negombo

We discover the unique and diverse ecosystem of the Muthurajawela Marsh on a cruise this morning. This marsh is believed to have originated more than 7,000 years ago and supports more than 300 species of birds and wildlife, including the slender loris.

Special Experience: Enjoy a lovely welcome lunch hosted by a local family on an island within the Muthurajawela Marsh.

The afternoon is at leisure for you to relax or explore at your own pace. [B,L]

Day 3. Negombo - Anuradhapura

Today we travel north to heritage-listed Anuradhapura, the largest and oldest of Sri Lanka's ancient capital cities, dating back to the 6th century. We'll visit the impressive ruins and explore the gleaming white dagobas. Later this afternoon we'll see the Avukana Buddha Statue, built during the 5th century, standing more than 40 feet tall and carved from a large granite rock face. [B,D]

Day 4. Wilpattu National Park Excursion

Enjoy the morning at leisure before our visit to Wilpattu National Park early this afternoon. The largest of Sri Lanka's national parks, Wilpattu is famous for its population of elephants, sloth bears, leopards, water buffalo and deer, along with a large variety of birds. We'll take a safari by jeep through the park to discover all it has to offer. [B,D]

Day 5. Anuradhapura - Jaffna

This morning we depart for the north coast and the warm and creative city of Jaffna, capital of the northern province. Sit back and enjoy the scenic countryside as we travel via the small town of Omanthai and Elephant Pass, the 'gateway to Jaffna', connecting the peninsula to the mainland. Later we'll visit the Jaffna Fort, built in 1618 following the Portugese invasion, and the public library, which, until a devastating fire in 1981, was one of Asia's largest libraries containing more than 97,000 books and manuscripts. [B,D]

Day 6. Jaffna

This morning we'll spend some time exploring the Jaffna Peninsula before we visit Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, one of the most significant temples in the region. We'll also see the important town of Kayts on Velanai Island and visit some locals on a farm. [B,D]

Day 7. Jaffna - Trincomalee

Today we make our way to Trincomalee, on the northeast coast. Beautiful Trincomalee is home to a large and important harbour in the Indian Ocean and boasts some stunningly beautiful beaches. Later this afternoon we'll discover the sights of Trincomalee on a city tour. Highlights include the famous Koneswaram temple with its imposing statue of Lord Shiva and Fort Frederick. [B,D]

Day 8. Trincomalee

Special Experience: Early this morning we cruise to look for dolphins, whales and other marine wildlife. Blue, Bryde's and sperm whales, as well as dolphins and the rare orca are often spotted in this area.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. [B,D]

Day 9. Trincomalee - Passikudah

We travel south through local villages to the small coastal village of Passikudah this morning. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to relax or discover Passikudah's beautiful beach, which is famous for its golden bay and clear water. [B,D]

Day 10. Batticaloa Excursion

We spend the day discovering Batticaloa, where the Dutch arrived in the 17th century to overthrow the Portuguese. [B,L]

Special Experience: Tour the maze of narrow streets leading up to the impressive Dutch fort, built in 1665, by tuk tuk.

Special Experience: We'll explore the local market and see how a typical family from town would shop for a meal. We'll then learn to prepare a Sri Lankan meal with the locals and enjoy the results for lunch.

Day 11. Passikudah

Today is free for you to relax and enjoy the resort atmosphere and your beautiful surroundings. [B,D]

Day 12. Passikudah - Kandy

This morning we depart for Kandy, Sri Lanka's cultural heart, the former capital of Ceylon and the last seat of the Sinhalese Kingdom. Along the way we'll stop at a spice plantation in Matale that grows a variety of spices for which the country is famous, such as cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. Arriving in Kandy, we'll visit the Gem Museum. Kandy is a great place to buy gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, tourmalines and spinals, and learn about the design, cutting, polishing and setting processes in a workshop. [B,D]

Day 13. Kandy - Colombo

Special Experience: Visit the National Railway Museum, housing a collection of old engines, locomotives, rail cars, trolleys and carriages from the past 150 years of railway service in Sri Lanka.

We'll then continue to Colombo by coach. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy before tonight's group farewell dinner. [B,D]

Day 14. Depart Colombo

Today is at leisure before we bid farewell to Sri Lanka this evening and begin our journey home. [B]

Day 15. Arrive Australia