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Pure Sri Lanka

4.9
20 reviews
See full itinerary

The one that gives you the true taste of Sri Lanka, from cascading waterfalls and coastal beaches to lush tea fields and ancient temples

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • Duration

    10 days

  • Places

    6 places

  • Meals

    9 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Private Coach + Train

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager and Local Guides

Negombo, Kandy, Ella, Udawalawe National Park, Unawatuna, Colombo

Top Experiences

12 included & 6 free time add-ons available to add later

  • Locally guided tour of the Temple of the Tooth

    Included

    Kandy

  • Sip some ceylon at a lush tea plantation in Ella

    Included

    Kandy

  • Visit orphaned baby elephants & learn about their rehabilitation into the wild at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home

    Included

    Udawalawe National Park

  • Spend 2 nights glamping riverside surrounded by nature at your Udawalawe National Park Special Stay

    Included

    Udawalawe National Park

  • Spot wildlife on a morning safari in Udawalawe National Park

    Included

    Udawalawe National Park

  • Visit the UNESCO listed port city of Galle

    Included

    Unawatuna

Pure Sri Lanka

12 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Locally guided tour of the Temple of the Tooth
  • Witness a spectacular Kandyan cultural dance performance
  • Visit a serene spice garden in the spiritual city of Kandy
  • Local train journey from Kandy to Nanuoya
  • Sip some ceylon at a lush tea plantation in Ella
  • Visit orphaned baby elephants & learn about their rehabilitation into the wild at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home
  • Spend 2 nights glamping riverside surrounded by nature at your Udawalawe National Park Special Stay
  • Spot wildlife on a morning safari in Udawalawe National Park
  • Visit the UNESCO listed port city of Galle
  • Learn the traditional art of balsa-wood mask painting in Unawatuna
  • Visit the locally-operated Kosgoda Turtle Conservation centre & project, protecting turtle nesting sites
  • City tour of Colombo

6 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Taste all the flavours of Kandy on a tuk-tuk street food tour US $27.00
  • Hike to World's End in the Horton Plains highlands US $77.00
  • Half a day afternoon safari at Udawalawe National Park US $57.00
  • Get a cooking demonstration and local dinner in Unawatuna US $27.00
  • Weligama Surf School US $42.00
  • Mirissa Whale Watching (seasonal)

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • safari-style-riverside-glamping

    Athgira Safari & Riverside Glamping

    Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

    Athgira is located at the door step of Udawalawe National Park with views of Rakwana River, very close to Udawalawe reservoir and to the Elephant Orphanage

    2 nights

  • 9 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    7 nights in Hotel, 2 nights in Glamping - Luxury Camping

About this trip

Say Ayubowan to Contiki’s newest hot spot, Sri Lanka. This adventure is going to take you all over, from national parks to beaches to the world-famous tea country, we’ve squeezed in all the highlights to create the perfect 10-day trip. Imagine hand-picked inclusions and free time add-ons that deliver the best Sri Lanka has to offer.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

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Financing available through Uplift


Flexible monthly payments, with low rates, instant decision and easy autopay repayment plans. To find out more, click here.

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. 1 1 night

    Negombo

  2. 1 1 night

    Kandy

  3. 2 2 nights

    Ella

  4. 2 2 nights

    Udawalawe National Park

  5. 2 2 nights

    Unawatuna

  6. 1 1 night

    Colombo

DAY 1 - Arrive Negombo

Negombo

Our Sri Lankan adventure begins in Negombo. Find your feet in this diverse & laid-back town with coastal beaches, local fish markets and a working Dutch-style canal system. This evening you'll meet up with your Trip Manager and your team for a full brief of the travels about to unfold, before heading out for the first taste of some local delicacies.

Stay

Rani Beach Hotel

DAY 2 - Negombo to Kandy

Negombo

This morning we head inland to what was once the last imperial city of Sri Lanka, Kandy.

Kandy

Home to the most important of Buddhist relics - the tooth of Lord Buddha - we of course have a locally guided tour of the Temple of the Tooth (what else!) awaiting us. Tonight, you have the chance to watch history and mythology explode into colour & rhythm with some traditional Kandyan Folk dance. Later, choose to tuck into some local street food. Try a 'Hopper' - we promise you've never eaten a curry like this before, and you haven't really tried Sri Lankan street food until now.

Stay

Queen’s Hotel Kandy

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Locally guided tour of the Temple of the Tooth

  • Witness a spectacular Kandyan cultural dance performance

  • Visit a serene spice garden in the spiritual city of Kandy

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Taste all the flavours of Kandy on a tuk-tuk street food tour

    US $27.00

DAY 3 - Kandy to Ella

Kandy

Today we head further into the hill country on the train, passing lush green hills and waterfalls enroute to Nuwara Eliya. This small town with colonial-era buildings is found in the heart of Sri Lanka's famous Ceylon tea industry. We'll stop to visit a tea plantation to find out how different teas are grown, plucked and packaged before continuing on to our next destination of Ella.

Ella

Stay

Oak Ray Ella Gap Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Local train journey from Kandy to Nanuoya

  • Sip some ceylon at a lush tea plantation in Ella

DAY 4 - Ella

Ella

The day is yours to explore the beautiful countryside and laid-back backpacker hub of Ella, nestled among green cloud forests and tea plantations. In the early morning, feel free to head to Horton Plains National Park and walk to "World's End", one of the highlights here. Or spend the day in Ella doing the local walks that show off the incredibly insta-worthy views down through the Ella Gap, including the cascading waterfalls this small town is famous for. If you're lucky, you might even get to meet one of the locals: the leaf-eating Langur monkey.

Stay

Oak Ray Ella Gap Hotel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hike to World's End in the Horton Plains highlands

    US $77.00

DAY 5 - Ella to Udawalawe National Park

Ella

Our journey continues south, as we head down from the hill country into the southern plains where a rich abundance of wildlife awaits us.

Udawalawe National Park

Our first stop is at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, where orphaned baby elephants are cared for before being released back into the wild. In this unmissable experience that's sure to pull a few heartstrings, we'll get to watch the babies at feeding time, while you try to restrain yourself from adopting one then and there. But tear yourself away, because next we're heading to our Special Stay accommodation for the night: glamping alongside the Walawe riverbed in full Safari style, surrounded by the vibrant flora and fauna of the Sri Lankan jungle.

Stay

Athgira Riverside Glamping

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit orphaned baby elephants & learn about their rehabilitation into the wild at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home

  • Spend 2 nights glamping riverside surrounded by nature at your Udawalawe National Park Special Stay

DAY 6 - Udwalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park

The Udawalawe National Park  is one of the best places to get a glimpse of the Sri Lankan Elephants, so this morning we'll jump aboard our Safari Jeep and explore the park, keeping an eye out for the abundance of wildlife: see if you can spot a water buffalo, and keep your camera handy to snap the brightly coloured native birds. Once you're all safari'ed out, you'll be free to spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool, or hiring a bike for your own cycle adventure.

Stay

Athgira Riverside Glamping

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Spot wildlife on a morning safari in Udawalawe National Park

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Half a day afternoon safari at Udawalawe National Park

    US $57.00

DAY 7 - Udwalawe National Park to Unawatuna

Udawalawe National Park

Say goodbye to the wilderness, because today you're heading along the coast to the beachside town of Unawatuna.

Unawatuna

The South West coast of Sri Lanka is famous for its beaches, mangrove forests and picturesque colonial port towns set up in turn first by the Portuguese, secondly by the Dutch and finally the English, and Unawatuna is no exception. This afternoon we'll take a trip to explore the UNESCO-listed historic fort city of Galle, a must-see for its distinctly unique mishmash of European and South Asian traditional architecture. Check out the Portuguese Franciscan chapel, Dutch coat of arms and British Queen Victoria Jubilee Tower. Later this evening, you can opt to learn the ways of Sri Lankan cooking with our cooking demonstration and dinner.

Stay

Calamander Unawatuna Beach Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit the UNESCO listed port city of Galle

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Get a cooking demonstration and local dinner in Unawatuna

    US $27.00

DAY 8 - Unawatuna

Unawatuna

The Southern tip of Sri Lanka is a favourite hangout spot for some of the most majestic creatures in the world: whales. We're heading to Mirissa, considered to be the best place to get a glimpse of the Blue Whale, Sperm Whale and dolphins, and this morning is your chance to head out whale-watching for an unmissable up-close encounter. After the morning's excitement, the afternoon is yours to unwind on the tropical palm-studded beach with clear turquoise waters, or opt in for a surf lesson at nearby Weligama Bay.

Stay

Calamander Unawatuna Beach Hotel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Weligama Surf School

    US $42.00

  • Mirissa Whale Watching (seasonal)

DAY 9 - Unawatuna to Colombo

Unawatuna

Today we'll reach our final destination, the bustling capital city of Colombo. Enroute we'll make a stop to learn about the traditional art of balsa-wood mask painting, followed by a visit to the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation centre.

Colombo

Once we hit Colombo, the best way to continue is with a sightseeing tour of this sprawling, richly multicultural city. Marvel at the atmospheric temples & showstopping mosques, check out the rose-tinted colonial buildings and, if you're brave enough, pick up some hot cobra chillies or souvenirs from the truly authentic (and famously chaotic) Pettah Bazaar. Tonight you can put on your party pants, because we've already sussed out the best rooftop bars and we're going out in style - the perfect way to cap off the last incredible 9 days with your Sri Lanka crew.

Stay

Fairway Hotel Colombo

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Learn the traditional art of balsa-wood mask painting in Unawatuna

  • Visit the locally-operated Kosgoda Turtle Conservation centre & project, protecting turtle nesting sites

  • City tour of Colombo

DAY 10 - Depart Colombo

Colombo

Your Contiki trip finishes this morning in Colombo. Say goodbye to your new friends and plan a meet up somewhere in the world soon.

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