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Sri Lanka - 8 Day Super Gorgeous Highlights Tour - is currently on backorder. You may still purchase now though and we'll ship as soon as more become available.

Colombo - Negombo - Dambulla - Habarana - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Pasikuda - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Colombo

Sri Lanka is a gem of a country so no surprise that it is known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. It earned this name due to its incredible beauty and huge biodiversity. A growing tourist destination, now is the time to visit Sri Lanka as a holiday here is sure to delight. 

Our 8 Day Small Group Tour gives you a great taste of this amazing country and takes you to some of the wonderful highlights of Sri Lanka as you can see from the photos and itinerary.

If you would like to stay longer, see more or design your own tour, please contact us to arrange a Tailor Made Tour

This tour has a maximum of 10 people. If you would like a Private Tour, we can also arrange that for you (a supplement will apply). 

* Price includes 7 nights' accommodation, air-conditioned vehicle, all entrance fees, guides, daily breakfast and more. Price does not include international return flights to or from Sri Lanka. 

We would be happy to provide you with a quote for international flights. Flights from Australia to Sri Lanka are approximately $900 - $1200 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw!  

To see some of our customer photos from Sir Lanka, click here

Download Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Colombo, Sri Lanka

On arrival in Colombo you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel in Negombo.

Overnight in Negombo: Ramada Katunayake or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Goldi Sands or similar - Standard Room (Deluxe); JW Beach Resort or similar - Standard Room (Super Deluxe)

Day 2: Discover the Dambulla Cave Temple

After breakfast at your hotel you will be collected for the drive to Dambulla - approximately 3 - 4 hours. Visit the World heritage Dambulla Cave Temple complex - an amazing temple that is built underneath a huge rock. This temple is in use today and has been since the 3rd century BC. You can explore the cave temple, the rock paintings and over 150 Buddha statues.

Overnight in Habarana: Oak Ray Elephant Lake Resort or similar - Standard Room (standard); Habarana Village by Cinnamon or similar - Standard Room (Deluxe); Cinnamon Lodge or similar (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 3: Visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and go on safari in Minneriya National Park

Today visit the World Heritage Sigiriya Rock Fortress, also known as Lion Mountain due to the huge lion's paws carved into the bedrock. A rock that rises out of the jungle with a flat-topped summit, it is home to ruins of an ancient city. The views from the top are astounding and Sigiriya is a highlight of any trip to Sri Lanka. 

Please note: To get to the top there are a series of staircases. 

Afterwards return to the hotel in the late afternoon and continue on to the Minneriya National Park and take a jeep safari. The park is something of a transit lounge for elephants travelling from Kaudulla to the Wasgamuwa National Park. In the dry season (June to September) the park has around 200-300 Asian elephants. "The Gathering" refers to the annual meeting of elephants (reported to be the largest known wild gathering of Asian Elephants) who come together at the Minneriya tank where the elephants drink, bathe and keep an eye out for a mate. 

Overnight in Habarana: Oak Ray Elephant Lake Resort or similar - Standard Room (standard); Habarana Village by Cinnamon or similar - Standard Room (Deluxe); Cinnamon Lodge or similar (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 4: The ancient city of Polonnaruwa and giant Buddhas

Today, after breakfast you will be collected from your hotel for the drive to Pasikuda on the East Coast (around a 2.5 hour drive). On your way visit the World Heritage Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

This is where kings once ruled and the archaeological park is filled with the former glory of Sri Lanka. There are hundreds of ancient structures including statues, stupas, temples and tombs. A highlight of Polonnaruwa is the Gal Vihare complex - four massive images of Buddha that have been carved from a single slab of granite.

Afterwards continue on to Pasikuda where you will be taken to your hotel. 

Overnight in Pasikuda: The Calm Resort Spa or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Anilana Pasikuda or similar - Standard Room (Deluxe); Anantya Resort and Spa or similar - Standard Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5: The exotic city of Kandy and Buddha's tooth!

After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, you will be driven to Kandy (around 3 and a half hours). Along the way visit a herb and spice garden. 

Set on a plateau amongst the rainforest with mountain views from every angle, the city of Kandy is a spectacular place to visit. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, traditional life, folklore and legends have been kept alive in this small city. The surrounding villages are the heart of Sri Lanka's handicraft industry - these include the world’s best blue and star sapphires as well as many other varieties of precious stones and silver and gold jewellery.

Enjoy a city tour of Kandy including the famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - home to a tooth of Buddha (you won't actually see the tooth as it is kept in a golden casket). 

In the evening enjoy a cultural dance show. 

*For departures between 13 and 24 August 2018, enjoy the Kandy Esala Perahera Festival. It is also known as the Festival of the Tooth and is one of the grandest Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka. It is an annual procession that pays homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha - a colourful and lively festival with traditional dances and costumes, fire-dancing, great food and much more. 

Overnight in Kandy: Oak Ray Regency or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Hotel Topaz or similar - Standard Room (Deluxe); Earls Regency - Standard Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6: Discover Nuwara Eliya, its tea and cooler climate

After breakfast at your hotel you will be collected and taken to the train station in Kandy for a scenic and famous train ride to Nanu Oya. This is a wonderful opportunity to sit back and enjoy the scenery - the train route passes through a spectacular part of the countryside. 

In Nanu Oya, you will be met at the train station and driven on to Nuwara Eliya. Translating to "City of Light" this lovely town is also called Little England as the effects of colonial days are still felt here and the climate is somewhat cooler. Home to the famous Ceylon Tea, some of the world's best tea comes from this area. The mountain slopes are a spectacular sight covered in the bright green tea plantations, all adding to the unique character of Nuwara Eliya.

Along the way visit the Royal Botanic Garden in Peradeniya. The history of the gardens goes back to 1371 AD when the garden was only used by the then king and his officials. It has a collection of about 4000 plant species including Giant Bamboo, over 180 species of orchids and the large Ehetu tree which spreads its foliage out to a staggering 2000 square meters. After your time here, visit a tea factory and tea plantation - a must do when in Sri Lanka tea country!

Overnight in Nuwara Eliya: Royal Hills or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Aralia Green Hills or similar - Standard room (Deluxe); Aralia Green City - Standard Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7: Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and on to Colombo

Today you will be collected from your hotel and taken to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage - a truly wonderful experience. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was established in 1975 to home and nurture young elephants that had lost their mothers. Baby elephants are dependent on their mums for the first 2 - 3 years and often stay together much longer. The orphanage is also home to injured elephants and those who have been displaced due to loss of their natural environment.

Here you can watch the elephants play and bathe in the river as well as being fed from gigantic feeding bottles. A visit is sure to leave you with a smile on your face and a warm heart :)

Continue towards Colombo where you will take a city tour to see the highlights of Sri Lanka's capital. Colombo is a great place to eat, especially in the old quarters.

Overnight in Colombo: Berjaya Mount Royal - Standard room (Standard); Mount Lavina Hotel - Standard Room (Deluxe); Cinnamon Lake Side - Standard Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8: Time to go home or on to your next destination

Today your tour ends. Your driver will collect you and take you to the airport in time for your flight.  

Meals included: Breakfast

  • 7 nights' accommodation 
  • Daily breakfast
  • Air-conditioned car or minivan for all transfers as per itinerary (includes free WIFI when available). 
  • English speaking guide (who will also be your chauffeur). 
  • All airport transfers – a representative will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure.
  • Assistance at airports and all major cities. 
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and parks as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Bottled mineral water in the vehicle during journeys and transfers (2 bottles per person per day). 
  • Free mobile SIM card on arrival. 
  • Discover the Dambulla Cave Temple and its beautiful Buddha statues. 
  • Climb to the top of Sigiriya - a highlight of any trip to Sri Lanka and referred to by the locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World. 
  • Explore and take a jeep sarfari in Minneriya National Park - a haven for Asian Elephants. 
  • See the Giant Buddhas of Polonnaruwa and the Gal Vihare complex. 
  • Enjoy a train ride from Kandy to Nanu Oya. This train ride comes highly recommend by our customers and is a great way to see the spectacular scenery. 
  • Travel to the heart of Sri Lankan tea and hill country - Nuwara Eliya, also known as Little England. 
  • Watch the loveable elephants bathe themselves and frolic in the river at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage - a delightful experience.
  • Explore the UNESCO town of Kandy in the hills, visit the famous Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic and enjoy a city tour. 

How to get there:

This tour starts and ends at Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and is happy to provide you with a quote and organise your flights. We charge a $50 booking fee for this service. Alternatively, if you would like to arrange flights yourself you can find more information and suggestions here.

If you are wanting to know more about how far it is between destinations and how long your flight will take, you can visit and use their trip calculator.

    To help you calculate the time difference we recommend World Time Buddy.

    Visa information:
    For travel to Sri Lanka, you must obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) prior to arrival. This can be accessed online at the Sri Lanka ETA system. You can apply online and pay the ETA fee. At the time of writing this was USD35 for a double entry tourist visa for 30 Days. See here for more information on the fees. 

    To meet the ETA requirements you must have:

    • A valid passport (for not less than 6 months from the date of your return home).
    • A confirmed return ticket
    • Sufficient funds to meet your expenses during your stay. 

    For more information on the ETA system, see here

    Currency information:
    The currency used in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee.

    What currency to take with you is a personal choice. Some people prefer to take US$ cash as a backup whilst others prefer to take AUD$ cash – it depends on what you are comfortable with. There are ATM machines available and you should let your bank know that you will be using your card over there to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

    Vaccination information:
    Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. 

    Sri Lanka has a tropical climate with a wet and dry season. Parts of the hill country can be temperate and cool. Colombo lies 7° North of the equator and so temperatures are hot all year round with minimal difference throughout the year. The average temperature is around 28°C to 30°C. May to August are the warmest months and this coincides with the rainy season. 

    Monsoon season: There are 2 different monsoons in Sri Lanka - one relating to the Northern and Eastern regions and the other relating to the Southern and Western areas. It is the latter that is relevant for this particular tour and is called the Yala monsoon. It brings rain between May and September. In general when it does rain, the downpours are usually short and sharp. 

    Dry season: In the South Western areas of Sri Lanka the dry season runs from December to March. 

    Peak season: The end of December and into February is peak season for travel in Sri Lanka.

    September to April is a popular time for visitors’ due to the milder and cool climate. 

    In February, Chinese New Year is celebrated and there can be an increase in tourists at this time of year. 

    July and August is a popular time to travel to Kandy as the Esala Perahera festival is on at this time (the dates vary each year according to the moon). 

    Private Tours:
    Private Tours are a fantastic way to see a country. You have your own English speaking guide, also your driver and we can put on vehicles of any size - these tours can cater for anyone from a single traveller to a large group.

    Everything is set up for your benefit. You can go to the toilet when you want, stay a little longer or leave a little earlier at your visits and there are no heavy sales – it is all about you!

    Travelbay tip: Ask the local guides about the best places to dine.

    Tipping tips:

    Tipping is entirely at your discretion. 

    In response to some customers questions here are a few guidelines:

    It is usual to tip the waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Tips are not included in the bills for hotels, transport companies or any other suppliers. At hotels and restaurants, about 10% of the bill is usually acceptable. Tipping is not necessary for taxis or for cheaper restaurants. It is a good idea to check if service charges are included in your restaurant bill. If not, a tip of 10% of the total bill is normal. 

    Although we give below a few general guidelines, it is to be remembered that tipping is a sign of gratification for good service, and therefore please view the guidelines as the middle ground, which can be adjusted depending on the level of service you feel you have received. 

    Please note the below amounts are per person for individual travellers and are based on US Dollars. 

    • Driver/Guide: USD 5 - 10 per day 
    • Driver for Jeep Safari: USD 3 - 5 per ride
    • Bell boys: USD 0.50 per bag
    • Room service and restaurants: about 10% of the bill total (unless service charge is mentioned as included) 


    Population: 1.3 billion (India) and 21 million (Sri Lanka)  

    In Sri Lanka several languages are spoken with Tamil, Sinhala and English being the official languages. 

    Predominant religion:
    In Sri Lanka around 70% of the population are Theravada Buddhists followed by Hindus, Muslims and Christians. 

    Some interesting facts:
    Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before 1972.

    Cinnamon originally comes from Sri Lanka and to this day over 80% of the world's cinnamon comes from here. 

    In the 16th century Sri Lanka was a Portuguese colony and in the 17th century it was a Dutch colony. It was ceded to the British in 1796 and was under British rule until it gained independence in 1948. 

    The world’s first female prime minister was Sri Lankan - Sirimavo Bandaranaike became prime minister in 1960. 

    More Travelbay Sri Lanka Tours: 

    Travelbay Sri Lanka Tours - Sri Lanka and India 14 Day Private Tour

    Travelbay Tip:

    Extend your holiday with some time in India with one of these great tours or contact us for a Tailor Made Tour to Sri Lanka. 

    Travelbay  India - 7 Day Golden Triangle Tour Travelbay  India - 7 Day Irresistible Kerala Tour 

    Travelbay  India - 15 Day Colourful Rajasthan Tour Travelbay  India - Treasures & Tigers - 15 Day Private Tour       

    Terms & Conditions

    Booking Process:

    Upon purchase of your tour online you will immediately receive a receipt and order confirmation. Travelbay will contact the tour operator to confirm availability for all accommodation and transportation for your tour.

    As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 24 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation.

    We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as your accommodation preferences, dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport.

    Very Important:

    It is important to note your dates are only confirmed once we have been in touch with you to confirm availability. Therefore, please wait on purchasing your international flights until you have received a booking confirmation from us. In the unlikely event that there is no availability on your chosen date we will offer you alternate dates. If these do not suit we will fully refund your payment.  

    Booking Information:

    • Quoted prices are per person.
    • Booking valid for selected and booked travel dates.
    • Please book at least 30 days prior to your desired date of travel. 
    • Bookings are subject to availability.
    • Child prices: Please contact us for child prices as it will vary depending on the age of the child and group size. 
      • High season surcharge will apply for travel from 8 July to 7 September.  
        • Standard option: AUD71
        • Deluxe option: AUD81
        • Super Deluxe option: AUD99
        • For travel during 17 and 28 August, this is the Esala Perahera Festival in Kandy and there is the following supplement in addition to the above:
          • Standard option: AUD37
          • Deluxe option: AUD44
          • Super Deluxe option: AUD52
        • Minimum group size is 2.
        • Maximum group size is 10. Please contact us if your group is larger than 10 people. 
        • If you would like to arrive before the start of the tour or leave later and require extra nights’ accommodation, please contact us and we can arrange it for you.
        • If you have any other special requests including having a quote for a custom tour please let us know as we can make arrangements.


          • 7 nights' accommodation
            • Check in is 14:00pm and check out is 12:00pm.
            • Early check in and late check out is subject to availability and consent of the hotel. 
          • Daily breakfast.
          • All transportation throughout the tour in an air-conditioned vehicle. 
          • Train ride from Kandy to Nanu Oya. 
          • All airport transfers – a representative will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure.
          • English speaking driver/guide for sightseeing as per the tour program. Please note your driver will also be your guide. 
          • Entrance fees to the monuments and parks as mentioned in the itinerary.
          • Bottled mineral water (2 bottles per person per day) in the vehicle during journeys and transfers. 
          • Free WIFI in the vehicles (subject to WIFI reception). 


            • International airfares to and from Sri Lanka (we can provide you with a quote for these).
            • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
            • Drinks for all meals.
            • Camera fee wherever levied. 
            • Any visa fee.
            • Travel insurance - we would be happy to give you a quote. 
            • Any additional taxes levied by the Government of Sri Lanka on the tourism sector in future will be payable by the guest.
            • Any sudden increase in the entrance fee. The price is based on the presently applicable fee. 
            • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
            • Tips and gratuities.
            • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
            • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

              General Terms & Conditions:

              • Your contract with Travelbay commences upon us providing you with a booking confirmation (not upon payment).
              • By purchasing this tour you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to these terms and conditions.
              • All prices we list are in AUD unless otherwise stated and include GST where payable.
              • This package, including any unused portion, cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.
              • Some accommodation providers may require that you present a credit card or cash deposit upon check-in to cover any additional expenses that may be incurred during your stay, for example mini-bar. You are responsible for the payment of any such additional expenses.
              • Please check baggage allowance prior to travel. The allowance may vary according to the destination, airline, cruise or coach operator. You are responsible for any excess baggage fees.
              • Travelbay recommends travel insurance. We would be pleased to provide you with a quote and support you in your insurance needs. Please click here or contact us on 1800 020 020.
              • It is your responsibility to ensure you have a valid visa, if required. Please click here for more information on visa requirements.
              • Passport and visa regulations can change and it is your responsibility to ensure that you possess the relevant travel documents before you travel. Delays can be experienced in obtaining a passport or visa, so you are advised to apply in plenty of time. We accept no responsibility in any regard in relation to customers who are denied entry to a country because they do not possess the correct travel documents.
              • It is also your responsibility to ensure that you hold a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. If you hold multiple passports, you may be required to present your passport of residence on departing that country. If you hold a passport for a country to which you are travelling, you may be obliged to produce that passport on entering the country. Accordingly, you could be obliged to carry more than one passport when travelling overseas. You should make your own enquiries in relation to your specific circumstances and requirements.
              • It is your responsibility to ensure that all your details are recorded correctly. Any request for a name change after documents have been issued may incur amendment fees or result in the original booking being cancelled and in the case of airlines, the loss of a seat.
              • When purchasing flights, cruises and other carriage and travel services, the name on the passport must match the name on the ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid. If, after purchasing products or services but before traveling, any member of your party changes their name you must notify the relevant carrier, or us, immediately so that the necessary changes can be made to your documentation. You may incur a fee.
              • Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. For those of you who have any medical conditions please also ensure you are fit to travel and have all the medication you need with you. Recommended inoculations for travel may change and you should consult your doctor for current recommendations before you depart. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all health entry requirements, obtain recommended inoculations, take all recommended medication, and follow all medical advice in relation to your trip.
              • Many but not all suppliers have facilities for people who require assistance. If you have any disabilities or require special assistance, please let us know at the time of booking so we can check if suitable services are available.
              • It is your responsibility to review travel prohibitions, warnings, announcements and advisories issued by the relevant government agencies prior to booking travel or departing to international destinations. For Australian travellers, information on conditions in various countries and the level of risk associated with travel to particular international destinations can be found on the Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service website currently located at For travellers from other countries we recommend you check the travel recommendations of your country.
              • By offering reservations for travel-related products or services in relation to particular international destinations, Travelbay does not represent or warrant that travel to such points is advisable or without risk, and Travelbay is not liable for damages or losses that may result from travel to such destinations.
              • Travelbay sells tours on behalf of other Suppliers/Tour Operators. We rely on the relevant third party suppliers. Travelbay and the airlines, hotels and other Suppliers providing Services made available on or through this Website are independent parties and are not related parties. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Travelbay is not liable for the acts, errors, omissions, representations, warranties, breaches or negligence of any such Suppliers or for any personal injuries, death, property damage, or other damages or expenses resulting therefrom.
              • Whilst we take great care to provide clear and accurate information, there may be occasions where there are inaccuracies or errors. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of, and disclaims liability for, any errors or other inaccuracies relating to the information, descriptions and activities displayed on this website and in our promotional material.
              • All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.
              • Hotel ratings displayed on this Website and in our promotional material are intended only as general guidelines, and Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of the ratings. Hotel room images are representative only and the actual room occupied may vary in inclusions and décor.
              • In some circumstances, some specific products or services as contained on this website and promotional material may not be available due to circumstance beyond our control. In that situation, we will do our best to provide replacement products and / or services of a comparable nature and quality. Travelbay and our respective Suppliers make no guarantees about the availability of specific products and services.
              • Subject to relevant laws, if Travelbay merges, sells or otherwise changes control of our business or this Website, we reserve the right, without giving notice or seeking consent, to transfer or assign your Personal Information, content and rights that we have collected from you and any agreements we have made with you.
              • Travelbay reserves all intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, copyright in material and/or services provided by us.

              If you have any questions please email us 24/7 or call us Monday to Friday on 1800 020 020 to speak with one of our friendly team.

              Please contact us for other dates

              1 April 2018

              5 April 2018

              8 April 2018

              12 April 2018

              15 April 2018

              19 April 2018

              22 April 2018

              26 April 2018

              29 April 2018

              3 May 2018

              6 May 2018

              10 May 2018

              13 May 2018

              17 May 2018

              20 May 2018

              24 May 2018

              27 May 2018

              31 May 2018

              3 June 2018

              7 June 2018

              10 June 2018

              14 June 2018

              17 June 2018

              21 June 2018

              24 June 2018

              28 June 2018

              1 July 2018

              5 July 2018

              8 July 2018

              12 July 2018*

              15 July 2018*

              19 July 2018*

              22 July 2018*

              26 July 2018*

              29 July 2018*

              2 August 2018*

              5 August 2018*

              9 August 2018*

              12 August 2018*

              13 August 2018** Esala Perahera special departure

              16 August 2018** Esala Perahera special departure

              17 August 2018** Esala Perahera special departure

              19 August 2018** Esala Perahera special departure

              20 August 2018** Esala Perahera special departure

              23 August 2018** Esala Perahera special departure

              24 August 2018** Esala Perahera special departure

              26 August 2018*

              30 August 2018*

              2 September 2018

              6 September 2018

              9 September 2018

              13 September 2018

              16 September 2018

              20 September 2018

              23 September 2018

              27 September 2018

              30 September 2018

              4 October 2018

              7 October 2018

              11 October 2018

              14 October 2018

              18 October 2018

              21 October 2018

              *High season surcharge applies, please contact us for rates or see TERMS

              **Esala Perahera special departure, please contact us for rates or see TERMS