The Treasure Island

Discovering a gem in the Indian Ocean

The Treasure Island

  • Sri Lanka
  • 13 Days
  • Colombo | Anuradhapura | Sigiriya | Dambulla | Kandy | Nuwara Eliya | Yala National Park | Tangalle
  • Leopard sighting at Yala National Park
  • Climbing the rock fortress of Sigiriya
  • Seeing several UNESCO Heritage sites in the Cultural Triangle
  • Relaxing by the Indian Ocean


For a small island country, Sri Lanka packs a punch for travellers, and takes them through its thriving interiors, relaxing beaches and green folds of tea country to offer an unimaginable wealth of sights. Add to that, the thrill of seeing the elusive leopards in the wild, and the tropical country makes for a wholesome trip for groups with diverse tastes. Despite the bustle of the small cities and the metropolis, Colombo, Sri Lanka exudes a tranquil and easygoing charm.

Some of its most absorbing sites are the Buddhist cave temples and monasteries that lie tucked on hills, and need some amount of legging it to get there. But the one thing that stands out over all the landscapes and heritage treasures, are the warm and welcoming people of the country. The magic of Sri Lanka works best if you veer off the main highways to small villages and towns, open to a quick chat or a cup of tea by the road with locals. No wonder, even the most well travelled people cannot resist the charm of this paradisiacal destination.



Colombo : Arrive in Colombo and settle in at the hotel for the night. Time dependent, step out for a quick dinner in town.


Colombo – Culture Triangle : A mix of landscapes of lush green cover and pale plains makes for the central core Sri Lanka. This is where the cultural destinations of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Dambulla are located. Over the next three days, you explore the sights here, that include the great ruins and monasteries of Anuradhapura, the rock fortress of Sigiriya and the cave temples of Dambulla. Start early on this day and made your first stop at Anuradhapura.


Culture Triangle (Anuradhapura) : Explore the erstwhile capital of Sri Lanka, from the 3rd BCE to 993 CE. This was one of Asia’s great medieval metropolises. It is now dotted with impressive monasteries, palaces, and three monumental dagobas.


Culture Triangle (Sigiriya) : Reserve the day for an early start to hike up to the 5th century Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress that has sprawling gardens below and steep walls fitted with steps and railings to climb to the top. In between, old murals can be seen in some sections of the walk. From the top, get a bird’s eye view to the area around.


Culture Triangle (Dambulla) – Kandy : Dambulla’s lure lies in the cave temples on top of a hill. As a World Heritage Site, many travellers set foot to see the five temples that house different statues of Buddha and themes around the religion. As a well preserved temple, one can see the incredible murals and then walk down the hill to see the Golden Temple, that looms high above the small town. After seeing Dambulla, drive to the hill station, Kandy.


Kandy : The pleasant-weathered Kandy is well known for the UNESCO site, Temple of Tooth Relic, the palace and a number of parks and temples. The Temple of Tooth Relic stands in front of a sprawling lake. Visiting here to the beat of drums and being part of the devotional fervour is eye opening. Overnight in Kandy.


Kandy – Nuwara Eliya : Use the first half to continue exploring Kandy and then transfer to Nuwara Eliya in the evening.


Nuwara Eliya : Nuwara Eliya is synonymous to the tea estates of Sri Lanka. The change of landscape from the city of Kandy to the soft hillsides of Nuwara Eliya is refreshing. The pace of the trip slows down as you tour the estates, and see how the factory functions. The day ends with a tea tasting session. There area ample photo-opportunities here.


Nuwara Eliya – Yala National Park : From the heart of the city, we move towards the southern tip of the country to Yala National Park. Check in at your jungle lodge and take in the tranquility of the forest. The next day is kept for open jeep 4WD safaris into the dense tropical jungle.


Yala National Park : The tropical forest interjected with grasslands and lagoons is bordered by the Indian Ocean and is home to a number of animals, especially leopards, elephants, crocodiles and numerous bird species. Spend most of the day in the jungle.


Yala National Park – Tangalle : Leave Yala National Park to arrive at Tangalle, a small town known for beach resorts and stunning view of the Indian Ocean. This is the time, when you can kick the shoes and hit the beach.


Tangalle : Most of the day is reserved for relaxation and beach time. There are a number of temples, turtle hatching sites and bird sanctuaries around the town. Time and inclination dependent, these can be added to the day.


Tangalle – Colombo : Leave early to reach Colombo for you departure. En route, one can also stop at Galle, the Dutch built fort town that still has several remnants in the form of architectural styles, small cafes and atmospheric streets lined with shops.
October – March: Winter months, recommended to travel.
Mid April – June: Summer months, when it is moderately hot in April, but May and June are avoidable.
July – September: Monsoon months where trips are doable.
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