FROM: USD $2,195

Buddha and Beach - 12 days

Explore Dambulla Rock Temple and ancient Polonnaruwa and visit iconic Sigiriya Rock. Sip on refreshing Ceylon tea and take a jeep ride into Udawalawe National Park before heading to the idylic beaches of Bentota for some sun, sea, rest and relaxation.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Reviews

Trip Highlights

Colombo - The Fort area, Galle Face Green and Gangaramaya Temple
Sigiriya - 5th century fortress ruins
Kayanwala village visit & cookery demonstration
Kandy - city tour including Tuk Tuk ride, Temple of the Tooth and cultural performance
Scenic train ride through waterfalls and tea plantations from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and drive though Nuwara Eliya's 'Little England'
Ratnapura - heart of the nation's gem mining industry
Polonnaruwa - the ancient capital city of Ceylon
Dambulla - Rock Temple
Matale - spice gardens
Giragama Tea Factory - a working tea factory with a long history
Udawalawe National Park - home to the nation's largest herd of Asian Elephants
Bentota Beach - Palm fringed beaches and golden sand.

Included

11 breakfasts and 1 lunch
Guided touring of Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Nuwara Eliya, Udawalawe NP and Colombo
Scenic train trip Kandy - Nuwara Eliya, canoe and Tuk Tuk trips
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 12
11 nights 4 - 5 star and heritage properties
Jeep safari/ game drive in Udawalawe National park
Escorted by an English speaking national guide for group 6 or more (professional chauffeur guide for groups of 5 or less)
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned tourism vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visas.
Entrance Fees: USD$120-$140, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow $3 - 6 USD per day per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$50-$60, paid in local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Colombo - your way

Saturday. Welcome to Sri Lanka! Airport arrival transfer and remainder of the day at leisure. Our hotel located on the seafront is a short walk from Galle Road and many of the city highlights. Choose to head out and explore, take a dip in the pool or enjoy a cocktail whilst you watch the perfect sunset over the Laccodive Sea.
Overnight: Colombo

Day 2

Dambulla & Sigiriya

Colombo - Dambulla - Sigiriya - Dambulla. Today we head inland to Sigiriya. On the way we stop at weekly fruit and vegetable market held in Naramwela Town before arriving at one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive cave temples, the Dambulla Rock Temple. Dating back to the 1st Century BC, this stunning complex of 5 caves contains over 150 images of Buddha including an impressive 14 metre statue carved out of the cave rock.

After exploring ancient Dambulla we continue to Sigiriya and the famous ‘Lion Rock’ fortress. Built over 1500 years ago, this beautiful citadel stands 200 meters high in the middle of verdant jungle and was an important stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. It can be viewed from miles around and is definitely one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic and famous sites. You’ll be able to view the world famous paintings of the Heavenly Maidens which stand in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway.
Overnight: Dambulla  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Polonnaruwa

Dambulla - Polonnaruwa - Kandy. Our first stop today is Polonnaruwa. This fascinating 11th century city is home to many interesting ruins and famous monuments including the Royal Palace and Gal Vihara, a monument with 4 images of Buddha, all intricately carved into the rock. Polonnaruwa was once the capital and is also the second most ancient city in Sri Lanka. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once used as a back drop to 80s sensation Duran Duran's 1982 video, Save A Prayer.

Once we’ve fully explored Polonnaruwa we take a bullock cart ride and short canoe trip to the village of Kayanwala. Here, at Kayanwala village we take part in a cookery demonstration in the mud brick home of a local woman and enjoy a freshly prepared lunch of curry, dahl, spiced rice, pickle and more. En route to Kandy we stop off a spice garden in Matale, to see the different herbs and spices, which Sri Lanka is famous for. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. Arriving into Kandy, we watch a cultural performance of traditional Sri Lankan music and dance this evening.
Overnight: Kandy  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Temple of the Tooth

This morning we take a sightseeing tour of Kandy - the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. Our first stop will be the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Legend has it that one of Buddha's teeth was taken from him as he lay on his funeral pyre. It was then smuggled into Sri Lanka in 313AD. It now attracts daily pilgrims who come bearing lotus flowers and frangipani. After driving around the Kandy Lake - built by the last Sinhala king, visiting the local bazaar and a gem museum we take Tuk Tuk ride up into the surrounding hills. This afternoon we stop at the Geragama Tea Factory manufacturing 'Low Grown' and 'Long Leaf' tea.
Overnight: Kandy  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Nuwara Eliya & Tea Plantation

Kandy - Nuwara Eliya. This morning offers free time before transferring to the railway station for a scenic train trip. Passing kilometre upon kilometre of verdant tea plantations that hug the winding mountain passes, we'll see waterfalls, suspension bridges and tea pickers on our journey up to Nuwara Eliya - Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country producing a significant share of the world’s best tea.

Upon arrival we embark on a sightseeing tour of Nuwara Eliya - an area known locally as 'Little England'.
Overnight: Nuwara Eliya  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Udawalawe NP Jeep Safari

Nuwara Eliya - Udawalawe National Park. Today we head south to Embilipitiya, our base for exploring Udawalawe National Park. Udawalawe is probably one of the best places to spot the famous Sri Lankan Elephant, the biggest of all the Asian Elephants in the wild. It is thought that there are around 400 elephants here. The park is also home to the elusive leopard, the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, the cheeky Langur monkey and lots of types of deer. We take an afternoon game drive here before returning to the hotel for the night.
Overnight: Udawalawe National Park  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Gem Mine & Colombo City Tour

Udawalawe National Park - Colombo. We travel back to Colombo this morning with a visit to the Gem Mine and Museum at Ratnapura. Sri Lanka is famous for its gem industry and is home to 40 out of the 85 types of gems that exist in the world.

Arriving to Colombo, we commence a city tour seeing the Fort area in the north of the city, famous for its government buildings and interesting shops. We explore the Fort area in the north of the city, famous for its government buildings and interesting shops. We'll see the somewhat unusual Gangarama Temple and take a stroll along Galle Face Green, a popular spot for kite flying and games of cricket.
Overnight: Colombo  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Lazy days by the beach in Bentota

Colombo - Bentota. After breakfast we head south to the beautiful beach resort of Bentota. Transfer to your accommodation with the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Bentota and Beruwala  |  Breakfast

Days 9-11

Beach, pool & sunset cocktails

The beautiful palm fringed beaches of Bentota are without a doubt its biggest draw card, and once you set eyes on them you’ll understand why. Nestled on the Indian Ocean coast with warm crystal clear waters, Bentota offers travellers a whole host of watersports from snorkelling and scuba diving, to waterskiing and surfing – the choice if yours. Indulge in a glass of Toddy – a local coconut flavoured tipple, head to the spa and opt for an Ayurveda treatment the area is famous for, or simply while away the days on the beach cocktail in hand.
Overnight: Bentota and Beruwala  |  Breakfast x 3

Day 12

Colombo

Wednesday. Bentota - Colombo. Today our tropical island adventure comes to an end. Departure transfer to Colombo airport for your onward international flight.
Breakfast

The Kandy Festival tour - 10 Aug 2019

Our Buddha & Beach - Saturday 10 Aug 2019 tour will be in Kandy for its most famous festival - Esala Perahera, also known as The Festival of the Sacred Tooth or the Kandy Festival. We will attend the colourful Kandy Festival pageant on the evening of day 3 and are likely to see more festivities as we enjoy our Kandy city tour the following day. The entrance fee for this pageant is included in the cost of this tour.

For ten consecutive days every year this laid back Sri Lankan hill city erupts into a whirlwind of colour and activity. Dancers in colourful silk costumes and over one hundred ornately decorated elephants parade through the streets backed by the rhythm of beating drums. There is also fire twirling, cracking of whips, cane dancing, fire walking and other cultural dances. The pageant commences at the golden Temple of the Tooth, which once housed a tooth of Buddha, and in a public display that dates back to 310 AD a replica of the revered relic is paraded through the city in a golden casket by the chief elephant. Spend the evening of day 3 joining in the revelry of this exhilarating Buddhist festival!

Click here for more details.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.

Read More
Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
This tour will be in Kandy for Sri Lanka's most famous festival - Esala Perahera, aka The Festival of the Sacred Tooth or the Kandy Festival. We witness the colourful pageant (attendance fee included) from our reserved seating. For details refer to the Trip Notes.
Kandy Festival Tour
Guaranteed Departure
Available
Contact us to book
Sold out
2018
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $3,495
USD $1,690
USD $3,495
USD $1,690
2019
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $2,795
USD $1,690
USD $2,795
USD $1,690
USD $2,795
USD $1,690
09 Feb - 20 Feb 10% off
USD $2,795
USD $2,516

USD $1,690
USD $2,795
USD $1,690
USD $2,795
USD $1,690
USD $2,795
USD $1,690
USD $2,445
USD $1,690
20 Apr - 01 May Easter departure, book early!
Easter departure, book early!
USD $2,445
USD $1,690
USD $2,445
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,445
USD $1,690
USD $2,445
USD $1,690
10 Aug - 21 Aug This tour will be in Kandy for Sri Lanka's most famous festival - Esala Perahera, aka The Festival of the Sacred Tooth or the Kandy Festival. We witness the colourful pageant (attendance fee included) from our reserved seating. For details refer to the Trip Notes.
This tour will be in Kandy for Sri Lanka's most famous festival - Esala Perahera, aka The Festival of the Sacred Tooth or the Kandy Festival. We witness the colourful pageant (attendance fee included) from our reserved seating. For details refer to the Trip Notes.
USD $2,445
USD $1,690
USD $2,445
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $2,195
USD $1,690
USD $3,495
USD $1,690
USD $3,495
USD $1,690

Extra Prices

Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
Private Tour Supplement
USD $450
-  
Post-Tour Accommodation - Beruwela (Dec-Mar)
USD $260
USD $190
Post-Tour Accommodation - Beruwela (Apr-Dec)
USD $150
USD $105
Pre-Tour Accommodation - Colombo
USD $110
USD $100

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

OZO Colombo, Colombo

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

OZO Colombo is a modern and stylish hotel, with sweeping Indian Ocean views from its rooftop infinity pool and many of its rooms. There's free WIFI access throughout the hotel and the guestrooms are bright and airy with all modern amenities. OZO is centrally located on Marine Drive, near Galle Road and just a 10 minute drive from the city centre.

Jetwing Lake, Dambulla

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The Jetwing Lake hotel is a brand new property with spacious and comfortable rooms that enjoy a contemporary design blended with splashes of Eastern influenced decor. The ensuite facilities are magnificent and in keeping with the luxurious feel of the property as a whole. Each room also comes with a balcony, from which guests can get some fresh air and enjoy the spectacular views. Within the complex there is a pool, spa and fitness centre, where guests can while away their free time. There is also a restaurant, which serves sumptuous meals.

OZO Kandy Hotel, Kandy

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The stylish OZO Kandy prides itself on its smart facilities from a rooftop pool & lounge with views of the surrounding mountains to comfortable beds designed to give clients a night of sublime sleep. Guests can enjoy local flavours and international delights at the EAT2GO restaurant.

Jetwing St Andrew's, Nuwara Eliya

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Jetwing St. Andrew's is a unique colonial retreat set in a former country house converted into a Jetwing Hotel. All the rooms are classically furnished with elegant wood and are spacious and bright. The grounds of the hotel give a great feel of colonial splendour and guests can wake up to a typical English breakfast and enjoy a stiff brandy at the bar later in the day. Fine dining is offered at the Old Course Restaurant and the hotel also boasts an antique snooker table, the oldest in Sri Lanka.

Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, Udawalawe National Park

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Situated on 7 acres of land, the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort is the only hotel of its class in the area. Rooms are spacious with beautiful hard wood flooring and artwork depicting the wildlife of Udawalawe. Food here is delicious and plentiful with an extensive breakfast menu. The outdoor pool is a great place to relax by and enjoy a refreshing splash in after a good day on safari. Well located just a few minutes drive from Udawalawe National Park.

Eden Resort & Spa - Beruwala, Bentota and Beruwala

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The Eden Resort and Spa is a relaxing hotel that combines elegance and charm. The selection of rooms are spacious and well equipped with lovely timber flooring and air conditioning. The hotel itself also offers a plethora of restaurants plus an onsite spa.

Reviews

Travellers have rated this tour as 4.71 out of 5 based on 17 recent reviews

1  |  2

Manoj was an excellent guide. He mingled well with all members of the group and put us all at ease. This was our first organised tour and first trip to Asia, so we were a bit nervous about it. Manoj gave us confidence in a strange country. He was knowledgeable about his country and provided us with plenty information on it.

He was also adaptable to meet our unplanned and unscheduled needs - be it finding a toilet when we needed one ; finding a shop to buy beer; organising afternoon tea for us in the Jetwing St Andrews Hotel. He also organised cakes for those of us who were celebrating wedding anniversaries - which was such a lovely touch and made us feel special.

I believe he also managed to get us upgraded hotel rooms in the Jetwing Lakeside hotel - which was absolutely fabulous and again made us all feel very special. Nothing was too much trouble for him. Manoj seemed a very organised tour guide. Paying for unlimited water was such a good idea as we went through about 4 bottles of water each a day.

The tour itself was not as tiring as I thought it was going to be, despite us having a full itinerary every day. There was quite a bit of travelling in the minibus, but that was to be expected given the size of the area we had to cover. Sri Lanka is a very interesting country. The people are friendly and welcoming. The scenery was lovely. I would definitely recommend this tour.

• Submitted 02 Jul 2018
Tour
Guide
Country

The tour had a higher degree of comfort to our normal trips and we found we enjoyed the quality of the hotels and the comfort of the travel. We certainly were 'on the go' and found that the time given to each activity was just about right. The visit to the tea factory was mediocre but the canoe trip and lunch cooked by the Sri Lankan ladies was amazing. Manoj did an excellent job of organising everything to run smoothly and was a mine of information about his country. We certainly enjoyed the company of the group, we were quite varied but got on really well. For us, the group travel made the tour much more fun than a private driver. The beach aspect gave us a good opportunity to relax at the end of the busy tour.

• Submitted 19 Jan 2018
Tour
Guide
Country

As a first time traveller overseas without family, I was a bit apprehensive for going on a tour, but really did not need to be- the guide, group and itinerary were great. We had such an excellent time in Sri Lanka thanks to On The Go tours. We were very busy, with long days (lots of time on the bus too) but at night there was always a nice hotel to go to where we could relax. Manoj was a great guide who cared a lot about our tour experience. Unfortunately, due to unforseen personal circumstances he was unable to complete the tour with us, however his organisation for the rest of the tour with another guide was faultless. We ate mainly at buffets due to time constraints and the range available, however I would have personally preferred more local/authentic Sri Lankan options. We saw so much during our tour and it has made me have a great appreciation for the country. I wouldn't hesitate to book again with On The Go.

• Submitted 22 Dec 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Very well informed guide, Aktar made sure everything went according to plan and the trip progressed seamlessly. Also he got us front seats to the traditional dance display which was colourful and exciting. We saw so much in a short time, exhausting but worthwhile! All the hotels were very comfortable and varied in style. Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical paradise, we certainly got a feel for the country and its people, history and culture but there is still much to explore and certainly enough for a second visit. The highlights were Dambulla Buddhas, Sigirya rock, Kandy, the train journey, and of course the elephants. We appreciated the chance to unwind in Bentota and it was a good counterpoint to the tour.

• Submitted 17 Oct 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Very well informed guide, Aktar made sure everything went according to plan and the trip progressed seamlessly. Also he got us front seats to the traditional dance display which was colourful and exciting. We saw so much in a short time, exhausting but worthwhile! All the hotels were very comfortable and varied in style. Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical paradise, we certainly got a feel for the country and its people, history and culture but there is still much to explore and certainly enough for a second visit. The highlights were Dambulla Buddhas, Sigirya rock, Kandy, the train journey, and of course the elephants. We appreciated the chance to unwind in Bentota and it was a good counterpoint to the tour.

• Submitted 17 Oct 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Caroline Shaw was fantastic at all times

Akhtar was a fantastic tour guide

Brilliant tour, loved it all, will definitely be booking with OTG again!

• Submitted 12 Sep 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Akhtar is an outstanding tour guide, on arrival my luggage had been delayed in Doha by Qatar Airways he supported me, giving me details of where to get clothes, gave me a lift to the shop, and then acted as my link with the airline. Outstanding service. During the trip he shared his knowledge and passion about Sri Lanka but also got to know each of us and we had a brilliant laugh as a group. We really felt like Akhtar became a part of the group. The trip allowed us to see so many wonderful sights, I highly recommended the trip and On the Go to my friends.

• Submitted 14 Aug 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

He was fantastic. Very informative and kept us going all the time

• Submitted 11 Aug 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Fantastic tour , saw so much in a short space of time. Can I suggest the Brochure/tour details emphasised how physical getting to some of the sites were and that appropriate attire is required for the temples. I am not complaining! It gave us a good workout but we would like to have been more prepared. Our your guide Aktar was excellent. Very friendly with in depth knowledge of the sites and the country.

• Submitted 02 Dec 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

The tour was wonderful, if a little pressed for time. It certainly gave a fabulous insight into Sri Lanka and an intimate glimpse of the culture and people.

Akthar was a wonderful guide. He was knowledgeable, clear and explained things as they really are (i.e. not always the glossy view, but a true account of situation). He had indepth knowledge of all aspects of the tour. I felt very comfortable with his approach.

• Submitted 02 Dec 2016
Tour
Guide
Country
1  |  2

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Colombo
Ends
Colombo
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
4 - 5 star & heritage hotels
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 11, Lunch: 1
Visiting
Countries

Extra Tour Info

The Cultural Triangle
Our guide to visiting Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle
Updated
18th January 2018

The tour had a higher degree of comfort to our normal trips and we found we enjoyed the quality of the hotels and the comfort of the travel. We certainly were 'on the go' and found that the time given to each activity was just about right. The visit to the tea factory was mediocre but the canoe trip and lunch cooked by the Sri Lankan ladies was amazing. Manoj did an excellent job of organising everything to run smoothly and was a mine of information about his country. We certainly enjoyed the company of the group, we were quite varied but got on really well. For us, the group travel made the tour much more fun than a private driver. The beach aspect gave us a good opportunity to relax at the end of the busy tour.

Lynda Slade
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