Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights
FROM: USD $1,265

Colombo, Caves & Kandy - 8 days

Discover Sri Lanka's famous cultural triangle and visit the rock fortress of Sigiriya, the exquisite Dambulla cave temple and the historic Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Add a scenic train trip through the verdant tea plantations and spot wildlife at Udawalawe NP, all in an exciting one week holiday.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Reviews

Trip Highlights

Colombo - The Fort area, Galle Face Green and Gamgarama 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

Included

7 breakfasts and 1 lunch
Touring of Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Nuwara Eliya, Udawalawe, Gem Mine and Colombo
Scenic train trip Kandy - Nuwara Eliya, canoe and Tuk Tuk trips
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 8
7 nights 4 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 vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visas
Entrance Fees: USD$140-$160, 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 start 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. Bidding farewell to Colombo this morning we drive inland to Dambulla, stopping en route at a fruit and vegetable market in Naramwela Town. Dambulla Rock Temple is an incredible ancient complex of caves which date back to the 1st Century BC. The five caves contain over 150 images of Buddha including an impressive 14 metre carved statue.

After exploring this ancient site 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: Sigiriya  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Polonnaruwa

Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Kandy. This morning we explore Polonnaruwa. This fascinating 11th century city is home to many interesting ruins and famous monuments including the Royal Palace and the Gal Vihara. Polonnaruwa was once the capital and is also the second most ancient city in Sri Lanka. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From Polonnaruwa we take a jeep 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

Kandy 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 a Tuk Tuk ride up into the surrounding hills. This afternoon we stop at a working tea factory at Geragama. Geragama Tea Factory is located in close proximity to the city of Kandy was established in the year 1903, manufacturing 'Low Grown' and 'Long Leaf' tea.
Overnight: Kandy  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Scenic Train trip & Tea Plantations

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.

This afternoon we take a beautiful drive through 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. This national park is probably one of the best places to spot the famous Sri Lankan Elephant, the biggest of all the Asian Elephants. It is thought that there are around 400 elephants here. The park is also home to the elusive leopard, the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear 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

Colombo City Tour

Udawalawe National Park - Colombo. This morning we visit 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 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'll see the stunning 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

Goodbye Sri Lanka

Saturday. Today offers free time for you to independently explore the city, before included departure transfer to the airport.
Breakfast

Buddha & Beach

Extend your stay at the beach! If you want to extend your holiday and enjoy some rest and relaxation on Sri Lanka's beautiful coast, take a look at our 12 day Buddha and Beach itinerary.

Prices & Dates

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 would like their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.

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Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
Please note that this tour will be in Kandy for its most famous festival - Esala Perahera, aka The Festival of the Sacred Tooth or the Kandy Festival. We will attend the colourful Kandy Festival pageant on this tour and the entrance fee is included. For details refer to the Trip Notes.
Kandy Festival departure
On this departure Solo travellers are offered the comfort of a single room at no additional cost.
Your Own Room - No Single Supp
Xmas departure, book early!
XMAS Departure
Guaranteed Departure
4+ places
Limited places
Sold out
Contact Us
2017
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $1,265
USD $890
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USD $2,075
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USD $1,265
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USD $1,265
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USD $1,625
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USD $1,625
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USD $1,265
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USD $1,625
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USD $1,975
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2018
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $1,795
USD $890
USD $1,795
USD $890
USD $1,625
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USD $1,265
USD $890
USD $1,265
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USD $1,265
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USD $1,265
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USD $2,325
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USD $1,625
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USD $1,625
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USD $1,975
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2019
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $1,265
USD $890

Extra Prices

Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
Private Tour Supplement
USD $700
-  

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.

The Paradise Resort & Spa, Sigiriya

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

An eco-friendly resort surrounded by the lush foliage of Sigiriya, this comfortable and conveniently located hotel is just a short distance from the sights of Sigiriya and Dambulla. The resort itself boasts an outdoor swimming pool and four dining options, there is complimentary WiFi, spa facilities and even bicycle rental available to guests.

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.

Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Once the residence of the former Governor of Sri Lanka, Sir Edward Barnes, the Grand Hotel is a colonial style property set amongst very picturesque grounds. Guest rooms are large, traditionally designed with very comfortable beds. Free Wi-fi is available in the lobby and restaurants and the underground bar serves up a superb array of cocktails. Be sure to try the traditional Sri Lankan hoppers as part of the breakfast buffet. Well located in the high elms of Nuwara Eliya just a short walk from town.

Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, Udawalawe National Park and Embilipitiya

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Situated on 7 acres of land, the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort is the only hotel of it's 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.

Reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.3 out of 5 based on 10 recent reviews

1  |  2

This was my first on the go tour and I was impressed with the good organisation and standards of accommodation throughout. Our tour guide Akthar could not be faulted. His knowledge was impeccable and he was able to tweak the tour to make sure we had the best experience. He was always able give practical advice about where to eat, how to get there etc and on one evening gave up his free time to accompany some of the group to a restaurant frequented by locals. He was very particular about ensuring that all food stops and comfort breaks were "clean" and no-one suffered from any gastric problems at all. He was excellent in reading the group to maximise our enjoyment

• Submitted 14 Mar 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

This was a good introduction to the country and we certainly fit a lot in. Our tour guide, Akthar, was exceptional. He was very knowledgeable about his country and gave lots of information about the real Sri Lanka. He managed to keep the group organised and was on hand if any issues arose. I would certainly travel with on the go tours again in the future.

• Submitted 02 Jan 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to Akthar in making our tour very enjoyable. Akthar is a very special person. He went above and beyond his duties to make out tour extremely enjoyable and run smoothly. Nothing was too much trouble. A genuine guy whom we all got on extremely well with. I am very grateful to him for not only organising the safe return of my passports which I left in a hotel but his invaluable help in sorting out photos required for my daughters visa, which was done in his own time.

As a group, we can't rate him highly enough.

• Submitted 03 Nov 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

Sri Lanka was a beautiful country. This tour provided a very good variety of activities and scenery so we had a great holiday seeing many different sights. The highlight was definitely the Jeep Safari through the national park and the elephant orphanage. We had a great guide who was very knowledgeable and made the experience very easy.

• Submitted 30 Sep 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

Awesome tour with a superb guide and group of people. Accomodation and sights were fantastic, culminating with the safari in the Udawalawe National Park. The Kandy Festival, Sigiriya, train ride to Nuwara Eliya and home cooking in a local village were all great too.

The tea factory visit was a little disappointing; would have been good to see the whole process. Also the visit to the Spice Garden and Gem Museum seemed like they were just selling to tourists.

Overall a great trip and would recommend it to others!

• Submitted 26 Aug 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

Manoj is an experienced Tour Leader representing On The Go in Sri Lanka.

Manoj did a lot of little things that made the trip easier in particular bulk purchasing water bottles that were freely available to the entire trip, a couple of times organised coconut water, fruits and nice creams, this really helps in the heat and humidity of Sri Lanka.

Additionally Manoj organised replacement activities when the Sri Lankan v Australia Cricket Test Match ended early and created an additional activity after the tour had ended for Isabel, Sarah and myself (whale and turtle watching) which was surprising and very welcomed.

This was an amazing trip covering a range of activities from landscapes, wildlife, temples, and locals. The real highlight was observing elephants in particular at watching them enjoy themselves at Pinnawala in a river, the baby elephants being hand fed at Udawalawe and roaming in the National Park.

Being a Buddhist nation ancient Temples and Stupas are going to be highlights on any visit to Sri Lanka which I thoroughly enjoyed in particular the Anuradhapura temples. But you will also find that a lot of these temples and stupas are on mountains or hills which offer great views in particular Dambulla Rock Temple and the Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’ Fortress.

I would strongly recommend this trip, Sri Lankans are a very friendly people and as a tourist you are treated well without too much harassment. The the hotels and resorts used by this company are first rate and the experiences will stay with you long after leaving. You might struggle with the heat and humidity, I did, you might also struggle walking bare footed at the various temples, but in the end a trip to Sri Lanka is a great experience and On The Go did an excellent job.

Nathan Burgess • Submitted 16 Aug 2016

Thanks for a great trip, we really enjoyed it and absolutely loved Sri Lanka! The tour content was fantastic, but pace was too fast for me. I did want to see a lot so this tour definitely ticked a lot of boxes but I'd also have appreciated some free time to break up the activity- perhaps one extra day would make a difference? A few other comments:

- Standard of hotels was excellent, but we had very little time to enjoy them - particularly the nice pools! As above, would be nice to have a few hours here and there to relax a little

- The elephant orphanage isn't for everyone, some in the group found this a bit uncomfortable

- Colombo tour wasn't great as felt like we were driving round in circles for no real reason! Perhaps a walking tour would be better?

- Aktar was a really informative guide, and shared loads of interesting cultural insights which definitely enhanced the tour. His welcome meeting was far too detailed for me though, and he spoke for long periods on the coach trips, sometime this was too much.

Overall a great tour, but hopefully a few helpful comments to inform future planning!

• Submitted 13 Mar 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

Thank you on the go tours! We had a fantastic trip. It was certainly 'on the go' from start to finish but we saw a lot which was one of our objectives as we wanted to make the most of the time available. The guide Akthar deserves a special mention-he was superb. His commentary was informative and entertaining and he went above and beyond to expose us to authentic Sri Lankan experiences. The trip was very well organised and the driver did a great job getting us around safely (no mean feat when you see how they drive in Sri Lanka)! I would recommend on the go tours and would certainly book another trip with on the go tours.

• Submitted 06 Mar 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

The hotels exceeded our expectations as did the breakfasts at each hotel. We thoroughly enjoyed the canoe trip to the local village and helping to prepare lunch. Aktar was an exceptional guide, knowledgeable as well as good fun and his tip for sunset drinks at the Ozo on a Saturday night with Jazz playing was spot on.

• Submitted 15 Dec 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

This was a terrific tour! It was a very quick fly by adventure with every day packed with at least 3-4 different exciting and interesting aspects to explore. The best part was our tour guide, he was so knowledgeable about everything and so pleasant and accommodating.

I would really recommend Sri Lanka as a place to visit and tours was very organised with eventful things to do and wonderful accommodation!

• Submitted 24 Nov 2015
Tour
Guide
Country
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In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Colombo
Ends
Colombo
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
4 star & heritage hotels
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 1
Visiting
Countries
Updated
1st March 2017

Extra Tour Info

The Cultural Triangle
Our guide to visiting Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle

This was my first on the go tour and I was impressed with the good organisation and standards of accommodation throughout. Our tour guide Akthar could not be faulted. His knowledge was impeccable and he was able to tweak the tour to make sure we had the best experience. He was always able give practical advice about where to eat, how to get there etc and on one evening gave up his free time to accompany some of the group to a restaurant frequented by locals. He was very particular about ensuring that all food stops and comfort breaks were "clean" and no-one suffered from any gastric problems at all. He was excellent in reading the group to maximise our enjoyment

Helen Stacey