Beach and culture holiday | Sri Lanka
FROM: USD $1,885 pp

Explore Dambulla Rock Temple, discover the ancient city of Polonnaruwa and visit iconic Sigiriya Rock. Sip on refreshing Ceylon tea and see Sri Lanka's famous wildlife on a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park before heading to the idyllic beaches of Bentota for some sun, sea and relaxation.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
COVID Safe Guide
Reviews

Trip Highlights

Beruwala/Bentota - Enjoy four days of R&R on the idyllic palm fringed beaches of Sri Lanka's West Coast
Polonnaruwa - Explore the remarkable ruins of the ancient capital city of Ceylon
Dambulla - Discover over 150 images of Buddha in the incredible complex of caves at Dambulla Rock Temple
Matale - Learn all about Sri Lanka's herbs and spices at the spice gardens in Matale
Nuwara Eliya - Spend a night in this highland community, referred to as 'Little England', surrounded by Central Sri Lanka's picturesque tea country hills
Take a scenic train ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, passing waterfalls and lush tea plantations en route
Giragama Tea Factory - Take a tour of a working tea factory with a long history
Colombo – Enjoy a guided tour of the city including the Old Fort area and impressive Gangaramaya Temple
Sigiriya - Climb to the top of the iconic 5th century Lion Rock fortress and see the Heavenly Maidens
Kayanwala Village - Canoe to the village and help cook a delicious traditional lunch with a Sri Lankan family
Kandy - Take in the highlights of Kandy including the famous Temple of the Tooth, enjoy a tuk tuk ride and watch a cultural performance
Ratnapura - Visit the heart of the nation's gem mining industry
Udawalawe National Park - Go in search of wildlife on a game drive in Udawalawe, home to the nation's largest herd of Asian Elephants

Included

Breakfast daily and 1 lunch
Guided sightseeing - Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Nuwara Eliya, Udawalawe NP and Colombo
Jeep safari/game drive in Udawalawe National Park
Airport arrival and departure transfer on days 1 and 12
11 nights 4-5 star hotels and heritage properties
Scenic train journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, canoe and Tuk Tuk trips
Escorted by an English speaking national guide for groups of 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-$140pp, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3-7 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$50-$60pp, paid in local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Colombo - your way

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

Day 2

Dambulla & Polonnaruwa

Colombo - Dambulla - Polonnaruwa - Dambulla. 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 dates 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 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. This evening, we return to Dambulla for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Dambulla  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Sigiriya

Dambulla - Sigiriya - Kandy. This morning we explore 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.

From Sigiriya, 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 a 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 at 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.
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 and 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 Kandy Lake - built by the last Sinhala king, we visit the local bazaar and a gem museum, we then 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. This evening, we watch a cultural performance of traditional Sri Lankan music and dance.
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 National Park 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 varies types of deer. We enjoy an afternoon game drive here before returning to our hotel.
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 which is famous for its government buildings and interesting shops. We'll also 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

Colombo - Beruwala/Bentota. After breakfast, we head south along Sri Lanka's idyllic West Coast to spend the final four nights relaxing by the beach in the popular holiday resort of Beruwala or neighbouring Bentota.
Overnight: Beruwala/Bentota  |  Breakfast

Days 9-11

Beach, pool & sunset cocktails

Sri Lanka's beautiful palm fringed beaches are without a doubt its biggest draw cards, and once you set eyes on them you’ll understand why. Nestled on the Indian Ocean coast with warm crystal clear waters, Beruwala and the neighbouring town of Bentota offer travellers a whole host of water sports from snorkelling and scuba diving, to water skiing 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 which the area is famous for, or simply while away the days on the beach with a cocktail in hand.
Overnight: Beruwala/Bentota  |  Breakfast x 3

Day 12

Colombo

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

Upgrade to a private tour

We now offer a private version of Buddha Beach. Experience our most popular Sri Lanka tour, travelling in the comfort of your own bubble, surrounded by family or friends. Our Best of Sri Lanka & Beach private tour can depart any day of the week, with a minimum of two travellers.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.

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Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas Departure
Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas Departure
Available
Contact us to book
Not Available
2021
Twin Share
Single Room
18 Dec - 29 Dec Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas departure - book early!
USD $2,355
USD $3,565
2022
Twin Share
Single Room
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
16 Apr - 27 Apr Easter departure, book early!
Easter departure, book early!
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
USD $1,885
USD $2,795
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
USD $1,985
USD $2,925
24 Dec - 04 Jan Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas departure - book early!
USD $2,405
USD $3,565

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Pre-Tour Accommodation - Colombo
USD $95
USD $165
Post-Tour Accommodation - Colombo
USD $95
USD $165

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.

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. To top it off, there's also a fantastic fitness center and a restaurant serving delicious, authentic Sri Lankan cusine. 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 and stunning mountain surrounds. Its highlight being the rooftop pool and BOMMU Bar where you can soak up panoramic views over Kandy whilst enjoying a cocktail or two. The hotel’s all-day dining restaurant serves a tasty array of Asian and international cuisine using only fresh and handpicked produce. Other amenities include a fitness centre and complimentary WiFi, with guestrooms boasting signature soft beds and rain showers.

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 and surrounded by landscaped gardens. All the spacious rooms are classically furnished with elegant wood and offer free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. 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, which is 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.

Occidental Eden Beruwala , Bentota and Beruwala

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Set along the shore of the Indian Ocean, in the popular holiday resort of Beruwla, this luxury hotel offers an oasis of tranquility. Comfort is guaranteed in the spacious, elegantly appointed rooms and the Ayurvedic Spa is the perfect place for a spot of pampering. There's also a beauty centre, hair salon and fitness centre onsite. Relax on a sun lounger beachside or by the large outdoor pool, which is surrounded by palm trees and features a hot tub and swim-up bar. Enjoy sunset walks along the long stretch of golden sandy beach, sip cocktails at 7th Heaven Lounge Bar and head out to explore Beruwala and neighbouring Bentota. When it comes to dining there's no shortage of options, with a range of eateries on site, ranging from a 24 hour cafe and buffet restaurant, to seafood restaurants and fine dining.

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
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 24
Hotel Rating
4-5 star & heritage hotels
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 11, Lunch: 1
Visiting
Colombo, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Udawalawe National Park, Bentota and Beruwala, Sigiriya
Countries
A stupa in one of the Dambulla caves
Iconic rock sitting among lush vegetation in Sigiriya
The rolling tea plantation hills of Nuwara Eliya
Cannon pointing towards the sea in Colombo
Traditional Sri Lankan boat on the sandy beach in Bentota and Beruwala

Extra Tour Info

The Cultural Triangle
Our guide to visiting Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle
Updated
2nd June 2020

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
OTG001060Buddha and Beach - 12 daysIndian SubcontinentSignatureIndian Subcontinentfalse0Sri Lankahttps://www.onthegotours.com/us/Sri-Lanka/Buddha-and-Beach-12-dayshttps://www.onthegotours.com/repository/SriLankaBeach-215691374230565_crop_flip_300_300_f2f2f2_center-center.jpgGroup_Tours