Negombo sightseeing and spa experience
Sightseeing of Anuradhapura the most celebrated of Sri Lanka's ancient ruined cities
Visit to an elephant orphanage
Visit to Handlooms Show Room for textile products
Jeep safari at Minneriya National Park in search of elephants
Visit and Climb the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya
Habarana Village Experience
Visit to Dambulla Cave Temple
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha in Kandy
Visit to Tea factory and plantation
Scenic train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella (one of the most scenic in the world)
Rawana Ella waterfalls
City Tour of Galle including the fortress
Authentic cooking demonstration in Galle
Visit to Mask Museum
Visit to Moonstone mines to see moonstones native to Sri Lanka
Cinnamon Plantation and Oil Extracting Factory
Visit to a turtle hatchery
Colombo City Tour
Fully escorted by a Sisterhood Womens Travel Tour Hostess who is on hand to assist with making your holiday a memorable one
Return economy airfares ex Melbourne including taxes flying Singapore Airlines ** (other departure cities available on request Business Class upgrade available on request)
English speaking guides at each destination
All transportation as per itinerary
Meals as per itinerary (B,L,D) = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Quality accommodation with private facitilies
All sightseeing as per itinerary
Willing to share option (subject to availability)
Zoom Meet and greet prior to departure
Local tipping is customary in Sri Lanka. Sisterhood Womens Travel tipping system on all group tours involves passengers contributing to a kitty which is paid to the tour hostess at the beginning of the tour. She then distributes it daily to service providers on your behalf. This avoids the need to consider individual tipping situations daily throughout your trip. The estimated amount for your tour is USD$50 and this will be confirmed in your final documentation.
** This tour requires a moderate level of fitness. There will be long walks on uneven ground and we will be climbing the Rock at Sigriya (you can go as high as you want) and visiting the Dambulla Cave Temple which requires some climbing on uneven surfaces.
Australian Passport Holders require a visa to visit Sri Lanka. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/ for more information or contact VINA Visas for assistance.
Sri Lanka has also introduced a digital arrival card which can be completed online 3 days before travel - https://eservices.immigration.gov.lk/emb/eEmbarkation/'#/home-page
Please visit https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/asia/sri-lanka for destination updates.
View Intinerary Map here : https://hayleymorris.travelmap.net/sri-lanka2024
Day 1 - Saturday 10 Februaruy 2024
Melbourne - Colombo
Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel. Meet your hostess & fellow travellers at Melbourne Airport for your flight to Colombo.
A late arrivel ingo Colombo where we'll be transferred to our hotel in Negombo - Little Rome for check in.
Negombo… Being one of the major tourist beach resorts of the island, this lively town is mainly inhabited by the fisher-folk. This is also one of the strongholds of the catholic community of Sri Lanka and quietly correctly considered as the “Little Rome”, located along the picturesque Negombo lagoon, along which hundreds of fishing boats and catamarans could be seen most of the time. The Town is dotted with several churches, some dating from the earliest colonial times. Sightseeing in Negombo includes the remains of the Old Dutch Fortress from 1678, the Dutch Canal constructed for the transportation of Cinnamon, St. Mary’s Church and the Old Dutch Cemetery, and naturally, the Fish Market –more famously known as the “Lellama”.
Overnight - Karunakarala Ayurveda Resort (or similar)
Day 2 - Sunday 11 February 2024
This morning, after breakfast, we'll enjoy an immersive spa experience at our hotel.
The rest of the day is at leisure, with lunch and dinner at our hotel.
Overnight - Karunakarala Ayurveyda Resort (or similar)
Day 3 - Monday 12 February 2024
After an early breakfast we leave for Anuradhapura, the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities dating back to the 5th Century BC which formed the foundation for a magnificent civilization spanning over a few centuries. According to the Mahavamsa - the great Sinhala Chronicle, this was a model of planning with precincts set aside for different vocations as well as for foreigners. There were separate cemeteries for high and low castes, hostels and hospitals and water supply was assured by the construction of reservoirs. Its greatest treasures are its dagabos constructed of small sun-dried bricks and are hemispherical in shape two of which have been identified by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. The reservoirs used for storage of water formed the basis of the hydraulic civilization which later on spread to the entire island
We break our journey at Cadjugama where we'll see brightly clad women selling cadju nuts and king coconuts in the Trade Stalls by the roadside.
We'll visit the Elephant Orphanage to see the world's largest herd of domestic elephants including babies who are still being fed by bottle thrice a day. The Elephant Orphanage was established in 1975 as an effort towards education and conservation by way of scientific captive breeding. Located on the banks of the Maha Oya,the Elephant Orphanage provides shelter to house young elephants who find themselves displaced and lost from their natural habitats for various reasons such as environmental changes due to development projects or being abandoned by their parents.
We then visit the Handlooms Show Room and Sales Centre where the textile products coming from different parts of the country are offered for sale.
Overnight & Dinner - Rajarata Hotel (or similar)
Day 4 - Tuesday 13 February 2024
After breakfast start we'll begin our day's sightseeing fo the Sacred City of Anuradhapura.
Visit many sites of the city of archaeological and historical interest including Isurumuniya; the first temple to be built on the island, Sri Maha Bodhi Tree with an authenticated history of more than 2300 years which was planted from a sapling from the original tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment brought in by Emperor Asoka’s daughter – Theri Sangamitta who later during her stay in Sri Lanka introduced the Women Monkhood by turning the then King’s Queen – Anula – into the first lady monk of Sri Lanka.
Overnight & Dinner- Rajarata Hotel (or similar)
Day 5 - Wednesday 14 February 2024
Dambulla - Minneriya (B,D)
After breakfast we'll leave for Dambulla, a collection of five caves of different sizes, declared a World Heritage Site. Initial authorship is attributed to King Valagambahu who took refuge here after being driven out of Anuradhapura by invading armies, although the works span over all periods since then to the late Kandy Period in the 18th Century.
We have time to explore Dambulla City which is the Economic Centre of the island where commodities including fruits, vegetables, grains and yams from all around the island are traded both wholesale and retail including the Trade Stalls lining Colombo Road
In the afternoon we'll enjoy a Jeep Safari of the Minneriya National Park famous for its herds of wild elephants. Minneriya is situated around the reservoir of the same name in the south central area of the island. This park comprises of grasslands, thorny scrubs and many valuable species of trees. Large herds of elephants, species of deer, wild boar, water buffalo and jackals are just some of the wild animals found along with a variety of avifauna that abounds the park. Minneriya has become synonymous with the annual “Elephant Gathering”
Overnight & Dinner- Rangiri Dambulla Resort (or similar)
Day 6 - Thursday 15 February 2024
After breakfast, we depart for Sigiriya the Royal Citadel for 20 years in the 5th Century AD. Haunted by an epic story of murder and betrayal is attributed to King Kasyapa who found hiding here after killing his father, more fruitful than meeting the wrath of the people who loved King Dhatusena much more before meeting his rival - Prince Mugalan who had fled to India seeking reinforcements for his Army.
Sigiriya was designated as a world heritage site in 1982 and is famous for its palace ruins on top of a massive 200 meter high rock surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and other structures. The rock itself is a lava plug left over from an ancient long extinct volcano.
We visit (and have the chance to climb) the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya built by King Kasyapa, contemporary with the paintings of Ajantha and Ellora Caves in India. Highlights being the Frescoes, Mirror Wall and the Lion's Paw, considered the 8th Wonder of the modern
Afterwards, we return to Dambulla.
Overnight & Dinner- Rangiri Dambulla Resort (or similar)
Day 7 - Friday 16 February 2024
After breakfast leave for Habarana to take part in a Village Experience - This will be very entertaining starting with a bullock cart ride followed by a catamaran ride during which we will drop in to a traditional “Chena Cultivation" better known as the Slash and Burn Cultivation, used by the village farmers. We then enjoy a traditional lunch with a Sri Lankan family where we'll see the local methods of meal preparation including curries and salads.
In the afternoon we'll visit the Dambulla Cave Temple complex, considered to be the largest painted caves in the world with more than 22,000 sq ft of painted surfaces with many paintings, sculptures, statues of Lord Buddha, his disciples, Kings and Gods.
Overnight & Dinner- Rangiri Dambulla Resort (or similar)
Day 8 - Saturday 17 February 2024
After breakfast we depart for Kandy literally the "City on the Hills" so named as it was protected by nature; water, rocks and jungles. The last capital of the Sri Lankan kings before falling to the British in 1815AD, Kandy is now a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendours of magnificenc and many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. The centre of attraction is the golden roofed Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. The Kandy Lake built by the last King Sri Wickramarajasinghe in 1806 holds a prominent view of the City. It is a City for arts and crafts as well as culture and history.
We'll visit a Spice Garden and learn about the use of spices in the day to day life of Sri Lankans.
We visit a Batik making factory, to see the village girls turn out beautiful coloured designs.
We also visit Lower Hapuvida (Matale) which is a village producing traditional lacquer products. The population of the village is approximately 325 families, the majority of whom are engaged in this industry.
Overnight & dinner - Thilanka Hotel (or similar)
Day 9 - Sunday 18 February 2024
After breakfast we'll enjoy a Kandy City Tour including the Upper Lake Drive, a place where one could have a bird's eye view of the city below, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. By far the most important place of worship for Buddhists world over, the Royal Botanical Gardens, is one of the best in Asia with more than 5000 species of different varieties of flora, a Gem Museum to see how the valuable gems that you see on a shop shelf are turned out from a raw stone with the back ground history, and lastly a Silk Shop where we'll learn about the process of making Silk.
Tonight we'll enjoy a Cultural Performance by traditional Kandyan Dancers, the majority of whom are young girls and drummers including a devotional "Fire Walking" demonstration.
Overnight & Dinner - Thilanka Hotel (or similar)
Day 10 - Monday 19 February 2024
Nuwara Eliya (B,D)
After breakfast we leave for Nuwara Eliya known as "Little England" through some of the breathtaking landscapes with hills covered with Tea and cascading Water Falls.
Nuwara Eliya is nestled in a wooded basin at the foot of Mount Pidurutalagala Sri Lanka’s highest peak. This region at 6,183ft above sea-level has a cool, crisp climate unknown elsewhere in Sri Lanka. A serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of Colombo, the town reminds us of the English Lake District. Unusual plants, birds and animals thrive here besides natural features including waterfalls and caves. Tea, the glistening green leaves of this lovely shrub, along with neat rows of green, cloak ridges and valleys providing a lasting impression of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country. The serene Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, beautiful parks and well kept lawns and hedges give Nuwara Eliya an air of nostalgia.
We'll visit a Tea Factory and Plantation to witness the manufacturing process of world famous "Ceylon Tea" and to taste a pure unblended cup of factory fresh tea before being sent to the Tea Auctions in Colombo leading to export. It will be eye catching to see how skillfully the tea pluckers – mainly ladies from the plantation community, perform their task moving from bush to bush in difficult terrain. We'll visit a house giving us an insight into the life styles prevalent in the plantation sector.
Overnight & Dinner - Araliya Green Hills Hotel (or similar)
Day 11 - Tuesday 20 February 2024
After breakfast we'll transfer to the Nanu Oya Railway Station and travel by train to Ella. This train ride is the most beautiful train ride in Sri Lanka, if not in the world! We board the train and experience breathtaking views of lush green tea plantations, mountains, viaducts, valleys, and dense jungle. What’s more, it’s the perfect way to experience Sri Lankan life, meeting smiling locals on the train, wave to children running along the tracks and taste the spicy snacks sold by vendors who board at each stop. This is a must-do experience in Sri Lanka.
Upon arrival in to Ella we'll be transferred to our accommodation.
Overnight & dinner - 98 Acres Resort (or similar)
Day 12 - Wednesday 21 February 2024
Today, after breakfast, we'll enjoy a day's sightseeing inlcluding a visit to the beautiful “Rawana” Falls just 2 km from Ella city, perched at an altitude of 82 feet. The history of Sri Lanka dates back to over 2000 years, and it finds itself in the iconic Ramayana. It is believed that Ravana was a fervent Sri Lankan by origin and stood as a villain in the lives of Ram – Sita. He captured Sita and kept her hostage in his custody in the famous Ravana caves and the Ravana Falls. Landscapes around the Ravana Falls comprise slopes, valleys, hills, and streams that ornament the rocks.
The falls are beautiful; there is vegetation in the form of greenery, tall deciduous trees and twigs sprouting from the crevices of the rock. The walls of the falls are coarse but relaxed at the same time to give the feeling of a polished sun-kissed stone. The water pours down at high velocity and makes a sweet thud as it hits the pools of water. The breeze is another factor that adds to its beauty. In the evenings the breeze is at full swing, that the roar of the wind competes with the sound of the gushing waters.
You can soak yourself in the waters that held Sita as she bathed in them during her time in Lanka. The cave is known for one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka and is bounded by a thick blanket of forests and are perfect for a swim.
Overnight & Dinner - 98 Acres Resort (or similar)
Day 13 - Thursday 22 February 2024
After breakfast we depart for Galle, breaking our journey at Weligama to witness the ladies skillfully working in the Beeralu Weaving and Lace Making Industry.
Galle, the Southern Capital port city, standing on one of the main sea routes in the southern part of the island. It has a unique charm among the many historic places in Sri Lanka. The Dutch built the 1st Protestant church in Sri Lanka here and it is also famous for its Dutch Fortress, which is now World Heritage Site.
Overnight & Dinner - Insight Resort, Galle (or similar)
Day 14 - Friday 23 February 2024
Today, we'll take part in a Cooking Demonstration. We'll be met by the Chef who will accompany us to the market to buy vegetables and fish for our meal preparation. We'll take a hands on role with the preparation of 10 dishes and once the cooking process is completed, we'll enjoy our finished results for lunch.
An afternoon free to explore the shops of downtown Galle.
Overnight & Dinner - Insight Resort, Galle (or similar)
Day 15 - Saturday 24 February 2024
Today, after breakfast we make our way back to Colombo. Colombo is a fascinating city, not only for its comfortable blend of East and West, but also for its balanced mixture of the past and the present.
En route we visit a Mask Museum and Moonstone Mines to see the unique moon stone, mined only in Sri Lanka. We'll also visit a Turtle Hatchery.
Other visits today include a Cinnamon Plantation and an Oil Extracting Factory.
Overnight & Dinner - Hilton Hotel, Colombo (or similar)
Day 16 - Sunday 25 February 2024
Today, after breakfast we'll enjoy a City Tour of Colombo including a Buddhist Temple, Dutch Wolvendhal Church, a Hindu Temple, Town Hall, BMICH (Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall), Cinnamon Gardens, the Nelum Pokuna – the newly opened Performing Arts Theatre and the recently developed New Parliament Area.
Afterwards we will enjoy some shopping time at Paradise Road, Barefoot, Laksala, ODEL, House of Fashions and a spa experience at Spa Ceylon
A Farewell dinner at our hotel to celebrate our adventure!
A late evening transfer to the airport for our flight home to Melbourne.
Day 17 - Monday 26 February 2024
Welcome Home! Thank you for joining Sisterhood Womens Travel for your latest adventure and we look forward to welcoming you back.