Sri Lanka East Coast Tour

At a Glance

NEGOMBO –TRIMCOMALEE – HABARANA – ARUGAM BAY – KANDY – COLOMBO

Sri Lanka East Coast Tour. If you’re looking for something less touristy and more humble than the island nation’s destinations in the west and south, Sri Lanka’s east coast is the place for you. Charming fishing villages, a mix of communities, inviting surf and colonial heritage all await travellers looking for a mix of serendipity, adventure and quietude.

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Trincomalee (adorably shortened to Trinco) is usually seen as a gateway to the beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli, but it is a destination in its own right. For starters, it is one of the oldest cities in Asia, its earliest recorded history dating back two-and-a-half-thousand years. Its location at the edge of a natural harbour also resulted in it changing colonial hands as many as seven times. Its attractions include the Koneswaram temple, a fort that was built by the Portuguese and captured by the Dutch and then by the French, and, of course, a beautiful, relatively unspoilt beach.

Speaking of virgin beaches, Arugam Bay is a great place where riding the surfboard or lounging in a hammock are equally alluring options. With a very small local population, off season (November to April) can be very quiet indeed.

Moving inland, Kandy in the Central Province is another important stop, being one of the most sacred places in the Buddhist world. It has a temple that houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha.

Habarana is another sleepy little town on the itinerary. It is a starting point for the Minneriya elephant sanctuary and is also close to rock fortress of Sigiriya. The area also has some lovely hotels.

The tour ends in capital city Colombo, with its bustling markets, old quarters and modern cafes, a perfect counterpoint to the languid eastern sojourn.

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Starting from £1762.00

International flights are included - more Special Value inclusions listed below

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Itinerary

NEGOMBO –TRIMCOMALEE – HABARANA – ARUGAM BAY – KANDY – COLOMBO

DAY 01 – TRAVEL to SRI LANKA
Depart for Colombo today with Sri Lanka Airlines

DAY 02 – TRANSFER to NEGOMBO – Suriya Resort
On arrival, you are met by a Mystic India representative who will hand over your hotel vouchers and answer any questions you may have.

Then depart by road to Negombo (30 mins). On arrival after check in you are then at leisure to relax after your flight.

DAY 03 – NEGOMBO via (Sigiriya & Polonnaruwa) to HABARANA (B) – Habarana Village by Cinnamon
After breakfast leave for Sigiriya (4 hrs) – Climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). 

Later continue to Polonnaruwa, the second capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is now a world heritage site. After sightseeing continue to Habarana then at leisure.

DAY 04 – HABARANA to TRINCOMALEE (B) – Trinco Blue
After breakfast leave for Trincomalee. Trincomalee is a major port city in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka and lies on the east coast of the island.  On arrival after hotel check-in, your are then at leisure.

DAY 05 – TRINCOMALEE (B)
Leasure day to relax beachside or explore on your own.

DAY 06 – TRINCOMALEE to HABARANA (Minneriya) (B) Habarana Village by Cinnamon
After breakfast leave for Habarana (1.5 hrs). Later this afternoon you will be taken on a Jeep Safari to visit the Minneriya National Park. On arrival after hotel check-in, your are then at leisure.

DAY 07 – HABARANA to ARUGAM BAY (B) – Hotel Bay Vista
After breakfast leave for Arugam Bay (5.5 hrs). On arrival, the rest of the day is then at leisure.

DAY 08 – ARUGAM BAY (B)
Leisure day

DAY 09 – ARUGAM BAY (B)
Leisure day

DAY 10 – ARUGAM BAY via (Mahiyangana) KANDY (B) – Hotel Ozo
After breakfast leave for Kandy via Mahiyanganaya, it is said that Gautama Buddha visited Mahiyanganaya on the full moon Poya day of January to settle a dispute arose between Yakkas and Nagas (two tribes then inhabited this area), and this was his first ever visit to Sri Lanka.

In the evening in Kandy you will visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, then later you will witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.

DAY 11 – KANDY (B)
After breakfast, you will visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. Return to your hotel, then later you are taken on a sightseeing tour of Kandy.

DAY 12 – KANDY via (Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage) to COLOMBO (B) – The Kingsbury
After breakfast leave for Colombo via Pinnawela. The Pinnawela elephant orphanage, located (1.5 hrs) from Kandy is the home to 80 plus elephants, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. 

Later continue your journey to the capital city, Colombo (3 hrs). After hotel check-in, you are taken on a tour of the city.

DAY 13 – HOMEBOUND (B)
Sri Lanka bids you farewell, transfer to the airport located near Negombo (1 hr) for you homebound flight.

Special Value

  • A gift when you book your tour with us, a DVD film called ‘Mystic India’
  • International flights included
  • Free Mobile sim card on arrival
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Private car & driver for all road transfers
  • Snack Hamper, with juice and water in your private car
  • Meals as per itinerary (B = breakfast) (HB = breakfast, lunch or dinner) (FB = breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Private guide for sightseeing in all major cities
  • Entrances to all monument and places of interest included
  • Visit and climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Visit Polonnaruwa
  • Beach stay at Trincomalee
  • Jeep safari in Minneriya National Park
  • Beach stay at Arugam Bay, great for surfing
  • Visit Mahiyanganaya
  • Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens Peradeniya
  • Visit to Kandy Temple
  • See traditional Sri Lankan dance
  • Visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
  • Spend the afternoon and evening in Colombo
  • Discount vouchers for shopping  in Colombo

This  Tour features the following locations

NEGOMBO: Negombo is a beautiful beach resort on the western coast of Sri Lanka, just a short drive north of Columbo. As it is also very close to the airport, Negombo is a convenient place to either begin or end your trip to Sri Lanka. You can relax on beautiful beaches, view incredible sunsets and enjoy western and Sri Lankan food. Seafood is very popular and is caught fresh daily by Negombo fishermen. In earlier times, Negombo was ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch, and the British. You can see evidence of the influence of these colonial rulers in many places, such as the beautiful canals built by the Dutch and the churches built by the Portuguese. Be sure to take some time and walk, or ride a bike, through Negombo and see all the interesting sites!

SIGIRIYA: The 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70-hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which is in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster.

POLONNARUWA: The second capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’ postures carved out of the rock. The Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, King Parakramabahu’s statue, and the Parakrama Samudraya lake built by King Parakramabahu the great. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic.

TRIMCOMALEE: Trincomalee, with its magnificent deep harbour, has for centuries been a magnet for merchants, adventurers and colonists. Although the town offers some interesting attractions, including a fort and the famous Hindu temple on a rock promontory above the sea, most visitors head for the legendary Nilaveli Beach, or the far less developed, though equally lovely, the beach of Uppaveli.

HABARANA: Habarana is a popular tourist destination for safari lovers as it is the starting point for safaris in the nearby Habarana jungle and the Minneriya sanctuary which is heavily populated by elephants. Elephant back riding is also an attraction in this small city. Habarana is the central access point for Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy; the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka.

MINNERIYA NP: The Minneriya Tank was created by King Parakarambahu at the height of Polonnaruwa’s glory as the capital of Sri Lanka. The national park is based largely on the huge tank (reservoir) that was created rather more recently but serves as an important gathering place for Sri Lanka’s large population of elephants. It is a great place for elephant spotting all year round – though as the dry season makes water scarce between June and September, more and more elephants gather on the shores of Minneriya Tank. Indeed by late August and September, the awe-inspiring site of up to 300 elephants can often be seen, in a phenomenon known as ‘The Gathering’. It is the largest concentration and gathering of Asian elephants that can be seen anywhere in the world.

ARUGAM BAY: Arugam Bay, often referred to as one of the best-kept secrets in Sri Lanka and rated as one of the top ten surf points in the world by the international surfing community – touted as 4th best in South East Asia, comes into its own as a surfing destination from May to September. Visitors are rewarded with cinnamon sands, clear blue skies and two-metre waves that provide a 400-metre-long ride.

MAHIYANGANAYA: Said that Gautama Buddha visited Mahiyanganaya on the full moon Poya day of January to settle a dispute arose between Yakkas and Nagas (two tribes then inhabited this area), and this was his first ever visit to Sri Lanka. Then the Buddha preached Dhamma to Sumana Saman, a leader in this area, to whom the Buddha gave a handful of his hair relic so that people could worship. Then the Buddha preached Dhamma to Sumana Saman, a leader in this area, to whom the Buddha gave a handful of his hair relic so that people could worship. After that Sumana Saman (now the God Sumana Saman) built a golden chethiya in which the sacred hair relic was enshrined. Later on about seven chethiyas have been constructed over the original golden chethiya from time to time, the last one being built by the King Dutugemunu. As such, this historic town is a very sacred place for Buddhists.

KANDY: Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions, and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum and a lapidary.

PINNAWELA ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE: Home for 80 plus elephants, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. They are being cared, fed and trained by the wildlife authorities. The best time to visit is during the feeding times when one will have the opportunity of seeing the baby elephants being bottle-fed. Also, could accompany the elephants to a river close-by and see them having their daily bath.

COLOMBO: The history of the city itself dates to the 5th century. Due to its prime location on the western coast of Sri Lanka, Colombo grew as a seaport for trade between Asia and the West. It was used by the Moors, Romans, Arabs, Persians, and Chinese ships for the island’s much sought after cinnamon and gems. The city offers historical monuments, colonial architecture, beaches, and fine dining and shopping. Its design has been influenced by Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonisation. The British influence is clearly visible in the buildings located in the Fort area.

What our clients say

Rodger and I along with our friends, Liz and Colin, had a lovely holiday in Sri Lanka. Thank you, Sharon, for making all the arrangements, the driver Dipin was a really nice young man and told us stories and some interesting details about the location we drove through. All the hotel you suggested were excellent. We would not hesitate in recommending you and Mystic India.

Caroline & Rodger – Cambridge (UK)

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