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14-Day Sri Lanka Highlights Tour

14-Day Sri Lanka Highlights Tour

By MaggieUpdated Jan. 16, 2024
Top Choice for Sri Lanka First-Timers

This 14-day tour is ideal for first-time visitors. It includes all the top highlights of Sri Lanka. You would experience an incredible journey of history, culture, wildlife, hiking, nature, and beaches in this magical country.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tell us your preferences and our travel experts will customize a trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

  • Days:14±
  • Best for: First-timers
  • Departure date: up to you
  • Sample price:US$2029 each (2 per room)*

*The price is based on a private tour for 2 people. The cost for a customized private SE Asia tour from US$160/person/day

Tour Map (Suggested Route)


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Tour Highlights

Here are the awesome attractions, the most must-do activities selected by Asia Highlights (AH Hand-Picked), and exclusive cultural experiences offered by Asia Highlights (Only With AH) included in this tour:

Unveil the ancient secrets of Sigiriya Lion Rock fort, which has remained an important settlement for millennia.


Explore Sri Lanka's glorious history in Anuradhapura.


Experience the country-life in a typical rural village.

rural village

Learn to cook a classic bowl of curry with a local chef.


Take a scenic train ride into the lush tea fields of the Hill Country.

mountain train

Watch wildlife close up with a Jeep Safari in Udawalawe National Park.

Udawalawe National Park

Go whale watching in the emerald-green waters of Mirissa.

whale watching

View the interesting traditional stilt fishing on the Galle coast.

stilt fishing

Suggested Itinerary for Inspiration

Normally a full-day guided tour starts from 9 a.m. and ends around 5 p.m. However, your preferences would design the real journey. The days, stops, and travel pace can be adjusted. We're ready to create a unique Sri Lanka trip for you.

Day 1
Arrive in Colombo, transfer to Negombo

Our chauffeur-guide will meet you at the arrivals hall and take you to your hotel in Negombo.

After check-in, enjoy the rest of the day at the hotel relaxing and decompressing from your long flight.

Day 2
Negombo to Sigiriya, Sigiriya Lion Rock
  • Before driving to Sigiriya, you will visit a busy local fish market in Negombo. It is a great place to learn about Sri Lankan fishing types and the life and culture of local fishermen.
  • Go on an incredible journey to what locals call the Eighth Wonder of the World — Lion's Rock Fortress. Ascend the dramatic rocky outcrop that towers above the plains, crowned by a majestic ruined palace. As you trek the steep path, your guide will regale you with tales of the ancient Buddhists and medieval civilizations that once inhabited this site.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Day 3
Anuradhapura City Tour
  • Explore Anuradhapura's rich heritage with visits to Vessagiriya, Isurumuniya, Ranmasu Uyana, Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanweliseya, and Mihintale. These ancient sites offer insight into Sri Lanka's historical and spiritual roots.
Isurumuniya Temple
Isurumuniya Temple
Day 4
Polonnaruwa and Village Experience
  • Polonnaruwa used to be the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. Inside this ancient town, you can trace back the history with visits to the Statue of King Parakramabahu, Council Chamber of King Parakramabahu, Statue at Gal Vihara, Rankoth Vehera, Lankatilaka temple, and their rural surroundings.
  • In the afternoon, we would have an up-close-and-personal visit to a typical rural village in Sri Lanka. You would have the option of either walking or taking a bullock cart ride to a beautiful lake with a view in the village.
rural village
Rural village
Day 5
Sigiriya to Kandy, Dambulla Cave, and a Cooking Class in a Spice Garden
  • The Dambulla cave monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the best-preserved cave temple complexes in Sri Lanka. The caves provide a glimpse into the rich Buddhist history and culture of Sri Lanka.
  • Visit a spice garden on the way from Sigiriya to Kandy. It provides an opportunity to learn about the cultivation, harvesting, and uses of various spices.
  • Dive into Kandy's local markets, then join a cooking program to master Sri Lankan cuisine.
spice garden
Spice garden
Day 6
Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, Explore the Highlights of Kandy City
  • Discover the Temple of the Tooth, the most important Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The Temple houses a relic believed to be the tooth of the Buddha.
  • The royal palace, next to the Temple of the Tooth, was the royal residence of the Sinhalese monarchy of the Kingdom of Kandy (1469–1815). The large palace complex consists of the King's Palace, Royal Audience Hall, Queen's Palace, King's Harem Quarters, and other areas.
  • Visit the Ceylon Tea Museum which is dedicated to showcasing the rich history and heritage of Ceylon tea.
  • Drive to Nuwara Eliya, a central hill-country city.
Temple of the Tooth
Temple of the Tooth
Day 7
Horton Plains Trekking and Pedro Tea Factory
  • Get up early, as it is advisable to arrive in Horton Plains before 7:00 a.m., and get to Word's End before 10:00 a.m. (Generally it's foggy after 10:00 a.m.) Discover an array of natural wonders at Horton Plains National Park, where cascading waterfalls, sprawling grasslands, lush forests, and captivating wildlife await.
  • Go to Pedro Tea Factory in the afternoon. Visitors to the estate can partake in a guided tour exploring the tea-making process from plucking to packaging, enjoy tea tasting sessions, and experience the breathtaking views of the surrounding plantations.
Pedro Tea Factory
Pedro Tea Factory
Day 8
Train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella, Hike up Little Adam's Peak
  • Take the train from Nanu Oya Railway Station of Nuwara Eliya to Ella. The journey takes you through mountainous tea plantations and you will be accompanied by friendly locals. The ride will take about 3 hours.
  • Spot the Nine Arch Bridge, which is also called "the bridge in the sky". Standing underneath and looking up, you'll be treated to a breathtaking view of the "nine skies" through the magnificent nine arches.
  • Take a 2–3-hour hike up little Adam peak to enjoy the breathtaking views and its fantastic landscape.
 little Adam peak
little Adam peak Hiking
Day 9
Ella to Udawalawe at Mirissa, Jeep Safari in Udawalawe National Park
  • Explore Udawalawe National Park, witness elephants at the Transit Camp, and embark on an exhilarating jeep safari.
  • During the safari you would be carried by a jeep along the paths through the park, allowing you to visit all its natural habitats in their undisturbed state.
Udawalawe National Park
Jeep Safari in Udawalawe National Park
Day 10
Whale Watching in Mirissa

Get onboard and start sailing off to the ocean. If you are lucky, you will spot blue whales, Bryde whales, sperm whales, killer whales, dolphins, and turtles During this 3-hour sail.

Whale Watching
Whale Watching in Mirissa
Day 11
Free Time in Mirissa

Spend your days enjoying fresh coconuts in your hammock, eating delicious food from beachside restaurants, and maybe exploring by motorbike, etc.

Day 12
Explore the Highlights of Galle
  • Learn about sea turtles and their conservation in Mahamodara Sea Turtle Farm.
  • Discover the historic town of Galle, with its Dutch Fort and winding streets. This historic town and its fortifications showcase the rich heritage and colonial influence that has shaped the region over the centuries.
  • Witness stilt fishing in Ahangama. Stilt fishing is one of the most ancient fishing methods used in Sri Lanka. The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole and driven into the sand a few meters offshore
Galle Fort
Galle Fort
Day 13
Colombo City Tour
  • Start with the National Museum, see all manners of art and carvings dating back to ancient times.
  • Then, visit Gangaramaya Temple. Sitting under a Bodhi tree where monks chant, you could enjoy its unique tranquility.
  • After lunch, you will be driven to Independence Square, which holds the ceremonial assembly hall for the senate and representatives.
  • Explore Ape Gama ('Our Village'). This traditional Sri Lankan village displays traditional industries, village life, and how self-sufficient Sri Lankan society functioned in days gone by.
Gangaramaya Temple
Gangaramaya Temple
Day 14

Our chauffeur guide will escort you to the airport for your flight back home.

Hand-Picked Hotels

We select hotels with style and local features. Let us know your preferences and we'll find your ideal hotel.

Sigiriya Rock View in Sigiriya
Sigiriya Rock View in Sigiriya
Central located hotel in Nuwara Eliya
Central located hotel in Nuwara Eliya
Boutique Resort hotel in Ella
Boutique Resort hotel in Ella
Mandara Resort
Hotel with Private Beach in Mirissa
Central located hotel in Colombo
Central located hotel in Colombo

Tour Price:

14 days from
US$2029 p/p(with 4-star hotel options)
  • The price is based on a private tour for 2 people during the low season.
  • The price varies based on program, travel date, number of people.
  • We could also price a tour including both 4-star and 5-star hotels for you.
  • The price for a child younger than 8 is approximately 80% of the adult's price.
  • We accept payments in multiple currencies (GBP, AUD, CAD, EUR...).

Price Includes:

  • Privately-driven air-conditioned vehicle with ample space (except where stated)
  • English-speaking local chauffeur-guide for the sightseeing
  • Attraction tickets and itinerary activities
  • Accommodation for all nights
  • Flights/trains between itinerary cities
  • Hotel breakfasts and itinerary lunches/dinners
  • 24/7 helpline while touring
  • Governmental taxes

Price Excludes:

  • International flights not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Overweight luggage more than 20 kg per person
  • Visa fee, if applicable
  • Tips for guides and drivers
  • Personal expenses

Tour code: ah-lk-2

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Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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