Sri Lankan Discovery

17 Day Small Group Tour from Negombo to Colombo with Bunnik

Read 6 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on Bunnik's 17 Day Sri Lankan Discovery. The tropical island nation of Sri Lanka is befitting of its title 'The Pearl of the Indian Ocean'. Few places in the world offer such a combination of stunning landscapes, pristine more

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Small Group Tour Starts In
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Small Group Tour Ends In
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3.5 - 4 Star
Max Group Size
Small Group
Trip Style
Small Group
Scenic / Cultural
Trip Style
Scenic / Cultural
Countries Explored:
Sri Lanka
Trip Operated By:
69 Reviews
Trip Reviews:
4.8 out of 5
6 Reviews
Trip Code:


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1 Depart Australia - Arrive Negombo
Welcome to sunny Sri Lanka, the tear drop-shaped island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is brimming with friendly people, ancient history and lush jungles. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
2 Negombo
This morning is at leisure to unwind after our flight. Our sightseeing will begin late this afternoon. (B/D) Special Experience: Cruise along the calm waters of the jungle-fringed Gin Oya River, listening to the tranquil sounds of the abundant birdlife. We'll watch the sunset before joining a local family for a hosted dinner on the banks of the river.
3 Negombo - Sigiriya
This morning we embark on a city tour of Negombo, including a stop at the fish markets when they are full of life. It's fascinating to see the variety of seafood available, fresh from the early morning's catch. We then depart Negombo for Sigiriya, travelling north into the Sri Lankan highlands. On the way we'll stop at the stunning Cave Temples of Dambulla, built by King Valagamba in the 1st century BC. This stunning temple complex houses approximately 150 statues and paintings of Buddha, which are considered to be some of Sri Lanka's most important religious art. We'll arrive in Sigiriya late this afternoon. (B/D)
4 Anuradhapura & Ritigala Excursion
We visit the impressive ruins of Anuradhapura, the largest and oldest of Sri Lanka's ancient cities, dating back to the 6th century. Anuradhapura was the political and religious capital for over a thousand years. The ancient city is hidden within dense jungle and is home to the world's oldest tree, Sri Maha Bodhi. We'll then explore the Ritigala Medicinal Forest and discover the ruins of an ancient hermitage. (B/D)
5 Polonnaruwa & Minneriya National Park Excursion
Our day begins with a visit to the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa. Built alongside a large artificial lake, the city is brimming with archaeological treasures. We'll discover the well-preserved ruins of palaces, stupas, bathing pools and exquisite rock sculptures of Buddha. This afternoon we travel to Minneriya National Park to enjoy a jeep tour. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank, built in the 3rd century by King Mahasena. During the dry season (June-September) large flocks of elephants come to graze and bathe in the water. We'll return to Sigiriya late this afternoon. (B/D)
6 Sigiriya
Today we explore the famous rock fortress of Sigiriya - ‘Lion Rock'. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site was formed by magma from an extinct volcano and was home to Buddhist monks for many centuries. It is a truly impressive site, located on top of a vast 200-metre-high granite rock, some 750 steps up! Special Experience: Visit a traditional Sri Lankan village and be welcomed into a local home. Learn about daily life and traditional farming, and then feast on local delicacies! (B/L/D)
7 Sigiriya - Kandy
After breakfast we begin our journey to Kandy. Along the way, we will stop at the Matale Spice Plantations, which grow a variety of spices including cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. We will also visit the Coconut House, which is a wonderful opportunity to see how a local family utilises every element of a coconut tree. When we arrive in Kandy later this afternoon we'll visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. The temple houses one of the most sacred relics of Buddhism - a tooth of Buddha, collected from his funeral pyre. (B/D)
8 Kandy
Today is dedicated to exploring Kandy, known as Sri Lanka's cultural heart. We'll stop at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Peradeniya, which is where exotic crops including coffee, tea, nutmeg and cinchona were first tried and tested. Later this afternoon, we'll enjoy a traditional cultural show and Kandyan dance performance, including the cobra and mask dance. (B)
9 Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
Special Experience: We travel to the lush tea-growing region of Nuwara Eliya by train and road, visiting a tea plantation to learn about Sri Lanka's most famous export. Of course, we'll enjoy a cup while we're there. (B/D)
10 Nuwara Eliya
This morning, we'll visit St Clair and Devon Falls. Known as the 'Little Niagara of Sri Lanka', St Clair Falls is one of the country's widest waterfalls and a very stunning sight. We'll then discover more about the picturesque and colonial town of Nuwara Eliya during a city tour. Built by the British in the 19th century to escape the sweltering heat of the lowlands, this town still retains the charm of bygone days. High tea at the hotel awaits us upon our return. (B)
11 Nuwara Eliya - Tissamaharama
Travelling south towards the coast, our destination today is Tissamaharama (or Tissa). En route, we'll visit Ella's Ravana Falls. Special Experience: We'll also make a stop at the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe, which rehabilitates orphaned elephant calves for release back into the wild. (B/D)
12 Yala National Park
This afternoon we embark on a safari in Yala National Park - the oldest and best-known of Sri Lanka's national parks. Its diverse range of habitats, including scrub jungle, brackish lagoons, lakes and rivers are home to elephants, wild buffalo, deer, black bears, macaques, jackals and a variety of birds. It's also believed to have one of the highest-density leopard populations in the world. Additionally, the national park also boasts a large number of important cultural ruins indicating previous civilisations. (B/D)
13 Tissamaharama - Galle - Weligama
Driving along Sri Lanka's beautiful south coast, we make our way to the Dutch colonial town of Galle. This historic city is filled with Dutch colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches. We'll take a city tour and visit its UNESCO World Heritage-listed sea fortress. We'll then stop to visit a hatchery that was set up to protect the endangered leather-head and loggerhead turtles. We'll also watch the famous stilt fisherman as they go about their trade. (B/D)
14 Weligama
We enjoy a scenic cruise along the Madu River, watching locals go about their daily lives. We'll then visit Sri Lanka's largest moonstone mine at Meetiyagoda. The moonstones found here are renowned for their blue shine. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. (B/D)
15 Weligama - Colombo
We make our way to the island nation's capital, Colombo. Facing the Indian Ocean, Colombo is a bustling city that has retained its charm, including tree-lined boulevards, colonial buildings and temples. We'll take a guided tour of the city, including Gangaramaya Temple, the Historical Museum of Colombo and the famous Cricket Club Cafe, which is run by two Australians and decorated entirely with cricket memorabilia. Tonight we enjoy a group farewell dinner. (B/D)
16 Depart Colombo
Today is at leisure before we bid farewell to Sri Lanka this evening and begin our journey home. (B)
17 Arrive Australia

Bunnik Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
Negombo and nature
  • Observe Negombo's everyday life at the local fish markets, watching the fishing trade go about their business selling an amazing variety of fish and seafood, fresh from the early morning's catch.
  • Cruise the beautiful Gin Oya River, surrounded by lush vegetation, while listening to the amazing bird sounds as the evening breaks. Watch the sun set over the beach before joining a local family for a hosted barbecue on the banks of the river.
Ancient city ruins
  • Take a fascinating journey through one of the oldest and largest of Sri Lanka's ancient cities, Anuradhapura. This sacred city was the political and religious capital for around 1,300 years before being abandoned in 993, after an invasion. Remarkably hidden in dense jungle for many years, it is now accessible and is home to the oldest documented tree in the world, the Sri Maha Bodhi.
  • Tour the secluded monastic ruins of Ritigala, located in a lush forest rarely visited by tourists. This mystical place is incredibly beautiful and unspoilt, with shady forests filled with streams, pools and granite boulders and ancient elegant stone pathways that lead to ruins of various meditation platforms and ayurvedic hospitals.
  • Visit the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, the island's capital between the 11th and 13th century. Built alongside a large artificial lake, there are well-preserved ruins of palaces, bathing pools, stupas and exquisite rock sculptures of Buddha at the Gal Vihara.
Sigiriya, safaris, spices and serene temples
  • Enjoy an afternoon jeep safari in Minneriya National Park searching for Sri Lankan wildlife including sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank, built in the 3rd century AD by King Mahasena. During the dry season (June-September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze as well as huge flocks of birds, cormorants and painted storks to mention just a few.
  • Enjoy a 4 night stay at our spectacularly located hotel in Sigiriya, with views of the majestic Sigiriya rock fortress.
  • Tour the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya. Explore the ruins of the capital, built by the Parricidal King Kasyapa (477-95). This UNESCO World Heritage site is both a geological and historical marvel. Formed by magma from an extinct volcano, for centuries it was home to buddhist monks.
  • Visit a typical home in a Sri Lankan village for lunch. Walk through the paddy fields and enjoy the cool breeze whilst getting acquainted with local village life.
  • Tour the serene cave temples of Dambulla, filled with hundreds of hand-carved statues and hand-painted frescoes. These cave temples were built by King Valagam Bahu in the 1st century BC in gratitude for the shelter he sought in the caves when fleeing India's invaders. The caves are completely covered by ancient frescoes depicting both religious and secular scenes.
  • Visit the Matale Spice Plantations, growing a variety of spices such as cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. Sri Lanka is renowned for its spices having been initially colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and British.
  • Visit the Coconut House, which is a wonderful opportunity to see how a local family utilises every element of a coconut tree.
The cultural heart of Sri Lanka
  • Tour the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Ever since it was founded in the 16th century, it has housed one of the most sacred relics of Buddhism, a tooth of Buddha collected from his funeral pyre. It is now protected within the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth. Witness the blessing ceremony with all the fanfare, drums, trumpets and Monks dressed in bright colours performing their rituals.
  • Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. Initially a royal park, in 1821 under British rule it became a Botanical Garden. Here exotic crops such as coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber and cinchona (quinine) were first tested and went on to become important to the country's economy.
  • Enjoy a cultural show and local traditional Kandyan dance performance including the cobra dance and mask dance.
Unwind with a cup of Ceylon tea in Nuwara Eliya and enjoy the magnificent scenery
  • Join the locals and marvel at the stunning highland scenery for a short journey by train before continuing by road to the colonial city of Nuwara Eliya, winding through lush countryside and tea plantations.
  • Learn about the tea-making process and sample some high-grade Ceylon tea at a plantation. It all started around 1867 when Ceylon tea was first being developed by British planter James Taylor. The rest is history!
  • Visit the St. Clair and Devon Falls, just outside Nuwara Eliya. Known as Little Niagara of Sri Lanka, St. Clair Falls is one of the widest falls in Sri Lanka. Nearby Devon Falls was named after an English coffee planter by the name of Devon, whose plantation is situated nearby.
  • Enjoy High Tea at the Grand Hotel.
Safaris and the south coast
  • Visit the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe. Established in 1995 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation, its primary objective is to rehabilitate orphaned elephant calves for release back into the wild.
  • Enjoy a jeep safari in Yala National Park, with one of the highest density leopard populations in the world.
  • Drive along the stunning south coast to the great walled city of Galle and see the World Heritage-listed Dutch Fort. Enjoy a walking tour of Galle.
  • Spend 2 nights relaxing on the coast in Weligama and see the famous Stilt Fisherman.
  • Learn about the endangered leatherhead and loggerhead turtles at a local hatchery.
Cosmopolitan Colombo
  • Tour Sri Lanka's bustling capital of Colombo and stay in the historic Galle Face Hotel.
Trip Inclusions
  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Sri Lanka. Taxes included
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding jeep-safari vehicle)
  • Train from Kandy to Gampola
  • Tipping Made Easy, $200pp pre-paid
  • Porterage included where available
Accommodation & Meals
  • 15 nights in 3-5 star hotels
  • Day use of hotel on day of departure
  • 15 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 12 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners (from April 2020)
Your Tour Guides
  • English-speaking locally based guides
  • English-speaking national guide throughout (based on a min. of 7 passengers)
Trip Notes
  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Disruptions to itinerary may occur.
  • Level of fitness: This tour features 2+ hours of walking, often across uneven ground and in areas of high altitude or heat and humidity on 1 or more days.

Reviews (6)

17 Day Sri Lankan Discovery reviews from past clients of Global Journeys.

Rating 4.8 out of 5
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
“Exciting trip in Sri Lanka”
- NSW, Australia Feb 2020 View Photo

We have just arrived home from our 17 day trip with Bunnik to Sri Lanka, an amazing country with so much history. Our guide Priya was very knowledgeable, entertaining and made us very much at home in his beautiful country. Our group of 17 was very compatible and the bus we travelled in was an excellent size which gave us all plenty of room to move around seats to view the countryside. Hotels were excellent and the meals, what can you say, the very best of Sri Lankan cooking especially the more

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“Sri Lanka - no troubles from start to finish ”
- WA, Australia Dec 2018 1 Helpful Vote View Photo

Once again Global Journeys has enabled us to have a wonderful holiday. Jemma was there for any queries, recommendations and advice. Nothing was too much trouble for her and we were not just a number. Well done Jemma will certainly be booking through you and your company again. My advice - visit Sri Lanka , it was such a great surprise.

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“Sri Lankan Discovery”
- NSW, Australia Oct 2018

This trip/itinerary covered all that we wanted out of Sri Lanka, including Anuradhapura. We enjoyed the surprises that the Guide had for us. The itinerary did not state there was an option for another safari in Yala, our guide told us when we got there. The food was super good including the "village" lunches. Disappointed we did not go to the elephant orphanage, just drove past it.

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“Sri Lanka turns it on”
- SA, Australia Mar 2018 7 Helpful Votes View Photo

Bunnik Tours are certainly the people to travel with. This is our third trip with them and each time they have provided a detailed itinerary, great organisation with surprises and extras along the way. It is certainly appreciated when you have a Sri Lankan tour guide (Priya) who had the depth of knowledge about his own country and who was caring and thoughtful to the sixteen passengers on the trip. The group was comprised of single women and married couples - we all got on really well more

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“Curry Heaven”
- QLD, Australia Mar 2017 2 Helpful Votes

Bunnick and Butterfly Travel were a great combination to tour Sri Lanka. You could not ask for anyone more knowledgeable and enthusiastic as our Guide. Sri Lanka is still a "third world" country but they are trying to improve - the people are friendly and hospitable. They are welcoming of travelers and realize that tourism is part of their future. The alcohol is resorts and hotels are a bit over-priced, but you could always find something to drink. The food was fantastic - if you can more

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Prices & Dates

Flights Included! International flights included.
Repeat Travellers Enjoy exclusive benefits and savings!
Past Client? Save an additional $100 per booking!
Trip Starts Trip Ends Status Offer Save Now Our Price  
Saturday 17 Oct 2020 Monday 02 Nov 2020 100per person 5,395per person Enquire
Saturday 07 Nov 2020 Monday 23 Nov 2020 110per person 5,885per person Enquire
Saturday 28 Nov 2020 Monday 14 Dec 2020 118per person 6,277per person Enquire
Saturday 09 Jan 2021 Monday 25 Jan 2021 122per person 6,473per person Enquire
Saturday 30 Jan 2021 Monday 15 Feb 2021 116per person 6,179per person Enquire
Saturday 20 Feb 2021 Monday 08 Mar 2021 116per person 6,179per person Enquire
Saturday 06 Mar 2021 Monday 22 Mar 2021 116per person 6,179per person Enquire
Saturday 20 Mar 2021 Monday 05 Apr 2021 116per person 6,179per person Enquire
Saturday 17 Oct 2020 Monday 02 Nov 2020 133solo traveller 7,012solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 07 Nov 2020 Monday 23 Nov 2020 143solo traveller 7,502solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 28 Nov 2020 Monday 14 Dec 2020 151solo traveller 7,894solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 09 Jan 2021 Monday 25 Jan 2021 155solo traveller 8,090solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 30 Jan 2021 Monday 15 Feb 2021 149solo traveller 7,796solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 20 Feb 2021 Monday 08 Mar 2021 149solo traveller 7,796solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 06 Mar 2021 Monday 22 Mar 2021 149solo traveller 7,796solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 20 Mar 2021 Monday 05 Apr 2021 149solo traveller 7,796solo traveller Enquire
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Return flights are included in the trip price. Surcharges by the airline may apply depending on availability.
Note: Prices include air taxes and fuel surcharges, this amount is correct at time of brochure release and subject to change. Note air supplement may apply depending on airline availability and departure city. The majority of departures above will proceed or are guaranteed to depart (based on a minimum of 2 passengers). We will outline the status of your departure date in your quote along with all applicable discounts and specials.

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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Bunnik. Full terms & conditions are available here.