13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure

13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure

13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure


From $1,295USD




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This is the perfect first-time itinerary in Sri Lanka

Climb atop Adams Peak and watch the sunrise over a sacred pilgrimage site.

Look for elephants and leopards as you venture through Yala National Park.

Explore the monasteries, temples, towns, and cities that tell Sri Lanka’s story.

Spend a day soaking up the sun and the beauty of the Indian Ocean from the beach.

If you’re looking for the perfect itinerary for your first trip to Sri Lanka, this is the one. The 13-dya Sri Lanka Adventure is a perfectly laid-out exploration of some of the country’s best known sites and most renowned regions.

You’ll search for elephants and leopards in the well-known Yala National Park, kick back on the shore of the Indian Ocean, hike a sacred pilgrimage route for a mountaintop sunrise, sip Ceylon tea in the very plantations it comes from, and gaze over the sheer drop of the World’s End.

With balanced days that offer just enough activity without tiring you out, this immersive 13-day experience is sure to connect you deeply with the people, wildlife, landscapes, and beauty of Sri Lanka.

13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Habarana

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You’ll be picked up at the airport and driven to the hotel in Habarana. Spend the rest of the day resting or exploring.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Habarana

Day 2 Minneriya National Park

After an early breakfast, take a tour around a village that lies sprawled around a reservoir located off the main Habarana road. Make your way along a narrow, shady path that cuts through a banana plantation until you reach a clearing in which stands the home of a chena farmer and his family. Enjoy a cool, sweet drink of king coconut before you begin the next phase of your trek, which will lead you through vegetable plots and into a scrub forest, where a waiting bullock cart will transport you through jungle and past rice fields. Lie back and enjoy the flashes of blue sky through the cover of the trees as the carter expertly guides his animals.

In the evening, set off for an exciting safari at Minneriya National Park. The dry season, preferably from June to September, is the best time to visit the 8,890 hectare park when the lake that dominates the area dries out and the grasses and shoots push through. During this time it is possible to see herds of up to 150 elephants feeding and washing, as well as toque macaques, sambar deer, and leopards. The hungry bird flocks include cormorants and painted storks.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Habarana
Breakfast, dinner

Day 3 Sunrise at Pidurangala Rock and Sunset at Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Pidurangala is an enormous rock located a few minutes north of Sigiriya. Sigiriya might steal the show, but Pidurangala Rock is the one to hike in Sri Lanka with its spectacular 360-degree view and amazing spot to enjoy the beauty of sunset and sunrise overlooking the valleys and the majestic Sigiriya Rock. The two rocks have an interlinked history: whilst King Kashyapa was building Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the 5th century, he moved monks living around Sigiriya to a new monastery on Pidurangala Rock. An ancient cave temple still houses objects from various vintages that reflect Buddhist, Hindu and western beliefs, and the stupa to the left of the temple entrance is believed to mark the spot where King Kashyapa was cremated.

Return to the hotel for breakfast and spend a few hours at leisure. In the late afternoon, proceed to Sigiriya to climb the great rock fortress. Climb this magnificent masterpiece consisting of 1200 steps carved out of the rock. Once you reach the top you will be able to see a fabulous view. Be amazed by the legendary story of a young prince who fled his father’s kingdom to build his own which even to date is considered an engineering marvel.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Habarana
Breakfast, dinner

Day 4 Parakrama Lake and Passikudaha

This morning, head off to Parakrama Lake. It’s a very mystical way to start the day as the plains are covered in mist. Parakrama Lake is known as one of Sri Lanka’s greatest man-made lakes and you can watch the changing hues as the light comes up. These man-made lakes are known as 'wevas' to the Sri Lankan people and were created to provide irrigation. It’s a fun, friendly experience as you wait alongside the wives and young children of fishermen, who’ve gone out to retrieve their fishing nets laid out the night before - a great way to get to know the locals!

After the fishermen have sorted their catch, it’s time to head out on a catamaran across the lake. You may even be able to spot white bellied fish eagles, brahmini kites, ibis, cormorants and other native birds as you travel. In the middle of the lake is a small island, a rocky outcrop that provides great 360° views of the lake and forests beyond. Bidding the fishermen and their families farewell, you'll continue to Passikudaha.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Passikudaha
Breakfast, dinner

Day 5 Beach Day

Take a well-deserved rest day, enjoying the fabulous water and sand of the Indian Ocean at Amaya Beach.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Passikudaha
Breakfast, dinner

Day 6 Mahiyangana

One of the oldest and holiest sites in Sri Lanka. It is said that Gautama Buddha visited Mahiyangana to settle a dispute among two clans of people living here. It is mentioned that he had levitated, terrifying the people, and he had expelled the Yakshas of one clan to a site called Nagadeepa-identified at Nainativu Island in Jaffna and settled the dispute. Mahiyangana is an all in one destination with national parks, waterfalls, cultural sites, and ocean. The Mahiyangana Stupa is the most prominent cultural attraction, where a vast plain with the Mahaweli River running through provides access to several national parks, bird sanctuaries, and aborigine lands. It is a city devoted by many Buddhist devotees in Sri Lanka and the temple is visited by Buddhists around the country.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Mahiyangana
Breakfast, dinner

Day 7 The Alien Mountain

In the early morning, you will proceed to Danigala with a packed breakfast. Mystery surrounds this land as vegetation found on the mountain looks suspicious to both travelers and historians. Explore this strange mountain, known as the Alien Mountain.

Return to the hotel and rest of the day at leisure

Overnight Location
Hotel in Mahiyangana
Breakfast, dinner

Day 8 Waterfalls of Ella

After breakfast proceed to Rathna Ella Village. Visit the village and witness the weaving of “A Pan Padura”, which translates to “a reed mat”, a staple in every household in rural Sri Lanka. Each intricately designed mat is woven by hand for over a month using reeds harvested from the local fields. Using the practices shared by the local villagers, try your hand at creating a reed mat of your own. Next, there is no better teacher to explain the art of pottery than the local villagers in Mahiyangana. Join them to learn the secrets of the trade and make your own pottery souvenir.

Embark on an adventure from Rathna Ella to witness the majestic Kaluwa Wetuna Ella waterfall. This 30-meter waterfall lies deep in the jungle and makes for a great hike that’s loved by all nature enthusiasts. The final destination of the day takes you through the lush forests of Mahiyangana to reach the Rathna Ella waterfall. The 101-meter waterfall is the highest in the Kandy region and one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka.

After indulging yourself in an authentic Sri Lankan lunch, proceed to Kandy to your accommodation situated on a golf course. If you fancy a round of golf, you can arrange one at your own expense.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Kandy
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9 Temple of the Tooth and Adams Peak Night Climb

After breakfast, enjoy a city tour, including a visit to the much revered Temple of the Tooth, the utmost holy place of worship for the Buddhists. Kandy, a lovely exotic city, the Hill Capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which retains an aura of grandeur. Encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake in its centre, it is the site of the renowned temple that enshrines the Tooth Relic of the Buddha and the Royal Botanical Gardens – home to one of the world’s best collections of orchids. A cultural sanctuary where many legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive, Kandy and its satellite villages are the centre of the island’s handicraft industry.

Thereafter, proceed to Maskeliya and check in to your hotel. In the evening, rest at a nearby lodge and prepare for the night's climb. Begin climbing at approximately two hours. Climb through the night in order to reach the summit by dawn to witness a once in a lifetime sunrise. The pilgrim season for Adams Peak is December to May. During this time thousands of pilgrims climb to the summit every night, with the pathway lit. During the rest of the year you will use battery operated torches for the climb.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Maskeliya
Breakfast, dinner

Day 10 Ceylon Tea

The afternoon will be at leisure to relax after the strenuous climb of the previous night or to explore on your own. Also visit a tea plantation and factory to witness the process of turning raw green leaves into the familiar finished product. Home to the world-renowned Ceylon tea, Nuwara Eliya is considered the capital of the tea industry. Be guided through the tea manufacturing process which will no doubt be an add on to your experience during your stay in the tea country.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
Breakfast, dinner

Day 11 Horton Plains National Park and Train Ride

Leave after breakfast for Horton Plains National Park and walk to World's End and Bakers Falls.
This national park is on Sri Lanka's highest plateau over 2100m above sea level in the central mountains. It is a strange and tranquil region with an astounding variety of scenery – from misty mountains to grasslands, from marshes to ice cold streams, lakes, and waterfalls. Sri Lanka's best flavoured “high grown” teas are from estates in the surrounding areas. Two highlights are the spectacular view from World's End, where the plateau plunges almost 1000m in a sheer drop, and the beautiful “Bridal Veil” Bakers Falls. Distinctive flora with a high level of endemism, colourful butterflies, many rare endemic, resident, or migrant birds and several species of animal including sambhur, bear monkey, barking deer, giant squirrel, fishing cat, wild boar, hare and even a few very rare sightings of leopards are recorded.

Then proceed to the railway station for a scenic train journey to Bandarawela.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Bandarawela
Breakfast, dinner

Day 12 Safari in Yala

Transfer to Yala for a safari experience at Yala National Park, Sri Lanka’s most known national park. This park is popular for elephants, leopards, bears, crocodiles and wild boar. At 97,800 hectares in size, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka’s national parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has also received much fame through publicity by National Geographic and the Discovery TV channels, which focused on a leopard research/conservation and identification project. Claims have subsequently been made that Yala National Park has the
world’s highest concentration of leopard per square kilometre.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Tissamaharama
Breakfast, dinner

Day 13 Galle Fort and Colombo

After breakfast proceed to Galle. Take a stroll around the Galle Fort, where the streets are laid out in a rectangular grid and the low gabled houses and terraces in the Dutch colonial style give a feeling of quaint nostalgia. If you are a lover of history and archaeology, or looking for a peaceful and fun holiday, the Fort of Galle has much to offer you with its ruins and monuments, boutique hotels, art galleries, eateries and pretty little shops.

Thereafter proceed to Colombo. Like many capital cities in developing countries Colombo is fast changing its face. Almost overnight, skyscrapers arise from where old buildings once stood, yet in some parts, the old world charm is retained. A 100-year-old clock tower and several British built colonial buildings are still to be seen in the city.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Colombo
Breakfast, dinner

Day 14 Departure

After breakfast, you’ll be taken to the airport for your return flight.

Overnight Location

13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure Price and Dates

This guided cultural and wildlife tour of Sri Lanka is run as a custom tour for your group and the price depends on the number of participants.

Prices below are per person.

  • Guided Groups of 2: from $1,675USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 4: from $1,395USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 6: from $1,295USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7+: on request

Please note that high season supplements might apply for the departures during peak season.

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Accommodation on the 13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure

This tour is based in mostly 3 or 4-star hotels. The rooms are mostly deluxe or superior class.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
Rooms are double occupancy. You can pay a supplement of $568USD to have a private room in a hotel where possible. Solo travellers may be required to pay a supplement. Triple rooms enjoy a reduction of $70USD.

Habarana Village by Cinnamon

Nestled into the trees, this resort offers warmly decorated rooms, some with lake views and soaker tubs. Relax in the outdoor pool or hit up the cricket, volleyball, tennis, and badminton courts.

Amaya Beach Passikudah

Located right next to the water, this resort and spa is perfect for anyone who wants to spend time by the beach enjoying the outdoors.

Kevans Casa Hotel, Mahiyangana

Enjoy simple, refined rooms here, and enjoy access to an outdoor pool, a rooftop restaurant, and a delicious breakfast.

Victoria Golf & Country Resort

This stately resort has a gorgeous golf course available, plus bikes to rent and a nice restaurant and bar.

Slightly Chilled Hotel

Surrounded by tropical forests, Slightly Chilled enjoys a beautiful setting. The rooms are bright and each individually styled.

Blackpool Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

With a lovely view over tea and vegetable gardens, this refined hotel has sleek rooms, fireplaces, and access to the outdoor pool, tea lounge, and restaurant.

Orient Hotel, Bandarawela

You can’t miss this hotel’s bright blue exterior and pink rof. It’s more humble than others on this trip, but it still offers WiFi and satellite TV.

Kithala Resort

This romantic resort in Tissamaharama features modern amenities and is located in close proximity to local attractions.

Cinnamon Red in Colombo

This high-rise hotel has a city-view pool, stylish rooms, and a trendy rooftop bar where you can toast to the end of your adventures.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the 13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure?


12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 12 dinners are included.


Accommodations for 12 nights are included.

Transportation during the Tour

All personal and luggage transfers required by the itinerary are included. This includes pickup from the airport and departure transfers.

Also Included

  • Guide services
  • All entrance fees as required by program
  • Jeep safaris and other mentioned activities
  • Train tickets

Not included

  • Visas if required
  • Personal gear
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Meals not previously mentioned
  • Anything not mentioned as included

Optional Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single occupancy upgrades where available

Frequenty Asked Questions about 13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure

How hard is the 13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure?

We rate this tour as a 2/5. This tour is mostly relaxed, but you will need to be able to complete some light hiking.

Do I need a visa to travel to Sri Lanka?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

When is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka for this tour?

The best time to travel to Sri Lanka for this tour is December through March when the weather is drier and pleasantly warm in the southern half of the country.

Are meals included on the 13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure?

12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 12 dinners are included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip. Get your travel insurance.

How do I get to Colombo to start this tour?

Fly into Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB). You will be met by a guide here and driven to Habarana, your first overnight destination.

Is the 13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure in English?

Yes, the guides are English-speaking.

Where does the 13-Day Sri Lanka Adventure end?

The tour ends in Colombo, where you will be dropped off at the airport.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Sri Lanka?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Sri Lanka?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.


All tours on 10Adventures are operated by highly vetted local tour operators and guides.

Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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From $1,295USD




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Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 2/5. This tour is mostly relaxed, but you will need to be able to complete some light hiking.

Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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