Splendours of Ceylon Trip Notes

Trip Overview


Discover the colourful culture and history, friendly people, and the timeless wonders of Sri Lanka on the 8-day Splendours of Ceylon. An island blessed with green forests, vast sandy beaches and stunning ancient treasures, Sri Lanka is a true hidden gem of South-East Asia. Start your adventure at the metropolitan city of Colombo and explore impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered around the island. Hop on your jeep in Walpattu, Horton Plains and Minneriya to spot elephants or the famed Sri Lankan Leopard. Trek through lush forests, climb up to temples carved in huge boulders and have a sip of exotic Sri Lankan tea.

Duration : 8 Days

Destination : Sri Lanka

Start/Ends in : Colombo / Colombo

Group Size : 13-35 People

Age Req. : 18+

Trip Theme : Classic,Overland

Hotels : 5 & 4 Star

Departs : All Year Round

Why you will love this tour

  • * Adventure through the heart of Sri Lanka on this 8-day trip with local expert guides. Stay in the comfort of hand-picked 5 & 4-star hotels with all breakfasts included.
  • * Witness the incredible migration of over 300 elephants are you park up the Jeep on the banks of Minneriya National Park Reservoir and watch on as one of the largest elephant gatherings in the world unfolds before your very eyes.
  • * Visit the iconic Royal Cave Temple of Dambulla, sacred Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, the Gal Viharaya ‘Rock Temple’ of Polonnaruwa and plenty other UNESCO World-Heritage Listed sites with local, expert guides.
  • * Experience pinch-yourself moments while trekking the highlands of Horton Plains. Then watch out for the thundering waterfalls and the beloved Sri Lankan Leopard on an included Jeep safari through the park.
  • * Take a tour to the lush hillside of Sri Lanka’s famous tea plantations! Witness the process of making the presitigious Celyon Tea and try a cuppa’ yourself!

  • * Start and finish your adventure in the commercial capital, Colombo with included international airport transfers.

Arrival Details

The group welcome meeting with your guide and other travelers is held around 18:30 at the hotel lobby on Day 1 of your tour unless otherwise notified.

Meeting and Finishing Point:

The meeting and finishing point for the tour is :

Fairway Colombo – 4 Star – Colombo

Address: 7 Hospital St, Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka

Phone : +94 112 153 153

Emergency Number: +44 203 14 99 200


Ancient Ritigala Monastery: In the dense and lush forest of northern Sri Lanka’s highest mountain, Mount Ritigala lays the ruins and rock inscriptions of a monastery dating back to 1st century BCE.

Anuradhapura: Anuradhapura is the capital city of North Central Province and the capital of the Anuradhapura District. The city is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

Colombo: Colombo is a cosmopolitan gateway to the wonders of Sri Lanka. It boasts a rich colonial heritage and is a melting pot of races, religions, and cultures.

Dambulla: The name Dambulla derives from Damba, Rock and Ulla, fountain. One sees the incessant drip of water from the fountain within the main image house.

Dambulla Rock: Nestled in the UNESCO World Heritage Site are five Buddhist temples that make the site a cave monastery. It has been a pilgrimage site for more than 20 centuries.

Gal Viharaya: The rock temple is the crown jewel in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. The four stone statues of the Buddha in different positions are one-of-a-kind in size and shape.

Kandy: Kandy is a refreshing city set amidst the tea plantations of central Sri Lanka. Kand Lake anchors its heart and several Buddhist sanctuaries pepper it.

Minneriya: Minneriya is a wilderness playground valued for its exquisite flora and fauna. This is the place for elephant sightings, as the sacred creatures migrate to feed and mate.

Polonnaruwa: One of the chief cities of the kingdom of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa is home to an impressive collection of archeological remains that are now prized as a World Heritage Site.

Sigiriya: Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of the most staggering sights in Sri Lanka, rising 180 meters above the ground. Its religious significance dates back to the 3rd century BC.

Temple of the Tooth: Ready to see something really interesting? The golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic: a tooth of the Buddha.

Wilpattu: Wilpattu National Park has earned its name ‘Land of Lakes’ due to the serene bodies of water that cover the vast park. The park is home to large populations of wild animals.


Please note that the itinerary may be subject to small changes depending on the conditions during the tour. Alternative accommodation of similar standards may be used depending on the group size and hotel availability.

Welcome to Sri Lanka! Look out for the Travel Talk sign at Colombo International Airport for the private arrival shuttle to your hotel at 3.00pm. Meet in the hotel lobby around 7pm for an informal welcome meeting with your group and guide. Feel free to explore Colombo on your own pace until then. After the meeting, head out to a local restaurant for an optional tour group dinner and get to know your new travel mates!

Accommodation : Fairway Colombo – 4 Star

Included Activities : Welcome Meeting

Optional Activities :  Group Dinner

Grab yourself a window seat and get ready to head off the beaten track as we head north towards one of Sri Lanka’s biggest reserves, the Wilpattu National Park! Wilpattu has earned its name ‘Land of Lakes’ thanks to the serene natural bodies of water that cover the vast park. Jump in the Jeep and keep your eyes peeled for a healthy population of Sri Lankan Leopards, elephants, sloth bears, spotted deer, mongoose, and water buffalo throughout an included safari! You might even get the chance to watch on while predators and prey make the ultimate fight for survival and mother nature takes its course! After an action-packed day of safari, put your feet up at your hotel in Anuradhapura.

Accommodation : Palm Garden Village – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities : Wilpattu Jeep Safari

Entrance Fees : Wilpattu National Park – USD 36

After breakfast, follow your guide to the ancient city of Anuradhapura to learn of one of the greatest and oldest civilizations in the world! Once home to 113 kings over 1,300 years, the ancient capital city showcases some of Sri Lanka’s richest and most fascinating history. Hear stories of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree and visit the Uwanwelisaya stupa, Samadhi Buddha statue and Isurumuniya Rock Temple with your guide. In the afternoon, put on your hiking shoes for a trek up to the Ancient Ritigala Monastery. Nestled within the dense and lush forest of northern Sri Lanka’s highest mountain, Mt Ritigala, lays the ruins of the forest monastery dating back thousands of years. Get your camera ready because the views from the summit are some of Sri Lanka’s best! Finish up a big day in the north at your 5-star Forest Hotel in Sigiriya.

Accommodation : Amaara Forest Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities :

Anuradhapura Sightseeing

Jeep Safari to Ritigala

Entrance Fees:

Ritigala Monastery – USD 5

Anuradhapura Sacred Area – USD 25

Fill up on breakfast for the big day ahead! First up, a visit to the Ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa for an included bicycle tour with your local guide. The sheer size of Polonnaruwa is enormous, making a bicycle the best way to explore. Visit its UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites, including Gal Viharaya or “Rock Temple” where you will see four colossal statues of the Buddha cut into the stone and plenty of ancient palaces and royal baths. In the evening, visit the Minneriya National Park to witness the incredible migration of over 300 elephants! Park your Jeep on the bank of the reservoir, switch off the engine and watch carefully as herds of elephants – one by one – roll on to the grass-covered banks to feed. The park is famed for hosting some of the largest elephant gatherings in the world on a regular basis and is truly a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts across the globe.

Accommodation : Amaara Forest Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities :

Polonnaruwa Tour on Bicycle

Minneriya Nationa Park Jeep Safari

This morning we’ll make our way to Dambulla, a city treasured by many kings since the 1st century B.C to visit the iconic Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple of Dambulla. These unique cave structures host magnificent drawings and cave paintings with fascinating stories that shape Sri Lankan history. Listen carefully as your guide explains. Next up, we’ll transfer to the city of Kandy to visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. Last ruled by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe – before it was brought under British rule in 1815, Kandy crafts an array of culture, history and heritage in the minds of visitors worldwide. Take a stroll through the small lakeside town – cradled among the misty hills – and shop the bazaars, an arts & crafts centre, and fresh fruit and vegetable markets. Tonight we’ll sleep in 5-star comfort at our hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Accommodation : Araliya Red Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities :

Dambulla & Kandy Sightseeing

Entrance Fees :

The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy – 1500 LKR

Dambulla Rock Temple – 2500 LKR

Prepare for plenty of ‘oh wow’ moments in the central highlands of Sri Lanka! Today, we’ll head towards the Horton Plains National Park to trek the endless stretches of green pastures at this eco-tourism hideout! Sitting at an altitude of 7,000ft, the plateau is covered in flora and fauna varieties that may be found nowhere else on Earth. Along the trek, watch out for the thundering Bakers Falls, and catch a glimspe of the ‘World’s End’ lookout. Then make the most of an included Jeep Safari across the plains – watch out for Sambar Deer, Wild Boar, Otters and the beloved Sri Lankan Leopard. In the late afternoon, enjoy free time back in Nuwara Eliya to wander through the countryside.

Accommodation : Araliya Red Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities : Horton Plains Trekking & Jeep Safari

Entrance Fees : Horton Plains National Park – USD 36

A trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its famed Tea Plantations! Take a tour to the cold and misty hills blanketed with lush green tea plants and tour the factories as they process the prestigious brand of Ceylon Tea. Inhale the heavenly scent arising from these facilities, and then try the perfect blend of pure Celyon tea! Then, make your way back to the commercial capital of Sri Lanka – Colombo. This afternoon you’ll enjoy a Panoramic City Tour through the clean streets edging the crystal white Racecourse, then visit the neighbourhood of Pettah – famous for it’s open-air floating markets and bazaars. Check out the city’s Independence Square and then finish up in Sri Lanka’s trendiest part of town with time for a quick shop for last-minute souvenirs and designer goods. The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to explore the bustling metropolitan city!

Accommodation : Fairway Colombo – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities :

Tea Factory Visit

Colombo Panoramic City Tour

All great things must come to an end! Today, we say our farewells to new travel mates over one last breakfast at the hotel. Check-out of the hotel by 11.00am and feel free to explore the city at your own pace until the airport departure shuttle at 3.00pm.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Inclusions & Exclusions

The tour price covers the following services:

Accomodation : 5 & 4 Star Hotels

Meals : 7 Breakfasts

Transportation : Air-Conditioned Vehicle, Jeep

Guide : Services of experienced Travel Talk local guides licenced by the Ministry of Tourism

Sightseeing : Wilpattu National Park, Ritigala Monastery, Anuradhapura Sacred Area, Polonnaruwa Ancient City, Minneriya Nationa Park, The Temple of the Tooth, Dambulla Cave Temple, Horton Plains National Park

What is NOT included in the tour price?

  • Any flights not mentioned above
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not stated above
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips & gestures
  • Entrance fees to the sights and museums
  • Optional activities
  • Other services not stated in the itinerary

Hotels & Accommodation

Solo travellers will be roomed with another solo traveller of the same gender in a twin or triple room, or can upgrade to a solo room by paying the single supplement. You may choose the solo room option when booking online or contact us to arrange a private room. Your tour leader will allocate rooms upon arrival at the starting hotel in accordance with the rooming lists, last minute changes may not be guaranteed.


Fairway Colombo is a modern and stylish hotel located in the heart of the capital city Colombo, only 750 yards away from the Khan Clock Tower.


Conveniently located in Anuradhapura, the stylish accommodation extends over 50 acres of land with a swimming pool and beautiful garden surroundings.


This 5-star luxury property is located in the Sigiriya jungle, surrounded by wildlife and features an outdoor pool and views of the garden.


Situated in Nuwara Eliya, the hotel is close to Gregory Lake and has an amazing view of the surrounding mountains and various facilities such as a restaurant and a gym.

Essential Information: Myanmar

Passport & Visas

All travelers to Sri Lanka should obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) approval while they are planning their trip. After you receive the ETA approval, you will be eligible for a tourist visa for stays up to 30 days if you are a citizen of the following countries: the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Canada. Please check the requirements based on nationality before your trip to Sri Lanka. 

Travelers to Sri Lanka must have a passport or travel document valid for at least 6 months from their arrival date in Sri Lanka. You should carry your passport or travel document with you at all times.

Travel Advice

We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to Sri Lanka and following the advice of the UK Foreign Office (FCDO). For the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sri-lanka

We recommend all travellers to check their Government National Travel Advisory prior to their departure:

Australia – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/

New Zealand – https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

USA – https://travel.state.gov/

Travel Insurance

All passengers travelling with Travel Talk are required to have personal travel insurance before participating in any of our tours. Your guide will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have an adequate and suitable travel insurance for you in place, you may read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/travel-insurance

Health & Safety

The health and safety of our passengers, staff and communities visited is of utmost priority. As we monitor and comply with the official advice from the UK Foreign Office, as well as World Health Organization and government authorities regularly, we have implemented several policies and precautions on our tours for your wellbeing. You may find our Safe Travels Protocols at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels

Travel Talk Adventures has received the Safe Travels stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to recognise companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers canexperience ‘Safe Travels’.

Please make sure to regularly check your Government’s travel advice before travelling and be well-informed of any requirements. Your tour guide will also notify you of the regulations and protocols to follow throughout your trip with us.

Please note that if any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary or possess a potential risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to remove them from all or part of a trip.

Please consult with your doctor for the latest medical travel information and any vaccinations you may need. We recommend that you bring any personal medical requirements and medications with you as these may be difficult to obtain while on tour.


The best time to visit Sri Lanka is from January to October when the weather in the Cultural Triangle and the tea country is pleasantly warm for sightseeing in the religious sites and vast national parks. The best of Sri Lanka is in the central hills region, where the weather is pleasant and mild from January to October, with occasional monsoon rains keeping the countryside blooming. 

January to March and August are the driest times in Sri Lanka, offering the best weather for cultural activities and observing the wildlife. Since rainfall occurs occasionally, you may experience wet days anytime, but the clear skies are dominant throughout the season. 

From June to August, the towns and cities of the central hills host various cultural and religious festivals. The countryside is blessed with dry weather and sunshine in August before the monsoon rains begin in September.

For more, check out our Sri Lanka weather guide.

Money Matters

The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) and 1 USD converts to approximately 360LPR. Credit and debit cards are accepted at ATMs across Sri Lanka. There is no need to dispense large quantities of LKR prior to arrival in Sri Lanka. USD cash is also widely accepted; however, change is often given in LKR. Many businesses will not accept notes larger than 20USD, so we recommend carrying small denominations of both LKR and USD. Credit and Debit cards can also be used to pay for accommodation or more expensive services in Sri Lanka’s major cities, however, cash remains king. We recommend you do not exchange bulk sums of money at the airport, as the exchange rates are usually more favorable in the major cities. Your tour leader will be happy to help if you need any assistance.

Tipping is not customary in Sri Lanka but is very much appreciated, a small tip can equate to a large portion of the daily wage for service staff. Rounding your bill to the nearest 1 USD equivalent is a small gesture that is greatly appreciated nationwide for good service. You may also consider tipping your leader and driver for outstanding service at the end of your trip.

Eating & Drinking

Burmese food is similar to other Southeast Asian cuisines in the way that it depends on the principles of Ying-Yang balance and the five tastes. Its flavor pallete consists of elements from India, China, and Thailand. Meals are usually multi-dish, and the dishes are simultanously served. Rice is the staple of every table, accompanied by curry, fried vegetables, and myriad dip sauces. Tackling the food scene in Myanmar can be quite challenging due to a variety of tastes and dishes. Make sure you know all the essentials about Burmese food and drinks. Check out our Myanmar food guide for more.

Mohinga: Rice noodles merge with boiled eggs, banana stems, and deep-fried veggies in a rich shallot-based broth in Mohinga. There are infinite variations, so you will get to choose the ingredients yourself. 

Shan Noodles: Originated in the ethnic Shan tribes of Northern Myanmar, these noodles are as traditional as it gets. They are sticky rice noodles with chicken or pork, tomatoe puree, and a strong kick of garlic topped with vegetables.

Burmese Curry: A pork or beef curry will be what you order, and a full table of side dishes from soup to dip sauces and vegetables are what you will get. 

Burmese Semolina Cake: This plain but delicious dessert is the most popular sweet across Myanmar. Grab it on the go or sit at a cafe and savor it slowly accompanied by some delicious Burmese tea or black coffee. 

Essentials to Bring & Internet

-Face mask/cover and hand sanitiser enough for your personal use throughout the trip – See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/

-Travel Documents: Passport, Visa (if required), flight or transport ticket (and photocopies)

-Travel Talk Tour Voucher (printed or digital)Travel Insurance Policy (and photocopy)

-Personal medical kit and medicine

-Money (cash, credit card, travellers’ cheques)

-Power Adapter

-Reusable water bottle

-Ear plugs and eye mask

-Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen

-Comfortable, closed walking shoes

-Wind/water proof jacket

-Warm clothes, hat, and gloves for cold weather

-Sandals, swimwear, shorts for warm weather

Internet Access

Many cafes, hotels, and restaurants in the cities of Sri Lanka provide free Wi-Fi, but the connection may be spotty or slow. If you wish to use your own 3G/4G Data, be sure to enable data roaming on your mobile. Purchasing a SIM card for the duration of your tour may be a cost-effective alternative. Make sure that your phone is unlocked before you leave home so a local SIM will be compatible. Your local guide will be able to provide advice on where to purchase data SIMs in Sri Lanka.

Solo Travellers

We have many solo travellers joining our tours. Solo travellers will be roomed with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a private solo room, please contact us. You may see out solo travels page for more details.

Rules to Follow

We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We do not tolerate any form of violence (physical or verbal), bullying or harassment involving customers, partners, Travel Talk staff or locals. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a passenger are forbidden.

We will not tolerate any illegal activity, including but not limited to: use and possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and disrupting public order. If you consume alcohol, please ensure that you drink responsibly and follow the local laws and regulations.

You must follow the advice of your tour leader and local officials regarding health and safety measures. We operate all tours under Safe Travels protocols for the wellbeing of our passengers, staff and communities visited. Please ensure that you have read the https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/ and are fully prepared for your trip.

If someone is acting inappropriately regarding these matters, please notify your tour leader immediately or contact us on the emergency contact number provided below.

Your tour leader has the right to remove from the group anyone not abiding by these rules, with no right of compensation or refund. See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/booking-terms/

Please remember that our travellers come from different parts of the world and will have various needs and preferences. Be understanding and patient with your fellow travellers, and always strive to be on time.

Responsible Travel

We believe that travel is a force for good and show our support through various initiatives and charity organizations, as well as keeping the principals of responsible and sustainable travel at the core of our ethos. These values are engrained in our business culture and the design of our trips just the same. Together with you, we strive to make a positive impact on local people and economies, respecting the local culture, environment, social fabric and customs; encouraging respectful and meaningful cross-cultural exchange. Read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/responsible-travel/

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Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed
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