Spices of Ceylon Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : GIHS
Trip length : 13
Trip starts in : Negombo/Marawila
Trip ends in : Colombo
Maximum group size : maximum 16


  • The World’s End at Horton Plains
  • Chaotic Colombo
  • UNESCO World Heritage-listed Dambulla Rock Temples
  • The rock-carved Buddha statues of UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient city of Polonnaruwa
  • The 'Temple of the Tooth' in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sacred City of Kandy
  • Old British hill station of Nuwara Eliya

Start your trip in Negombo, swing past the best ancient sites (ie sacred bodhi tree). Next up is Cave Temples and Kandy. Then Nuwara Eliya and World’s End for trekking, Ahangama and Galle for beach times, and Colombo for feastingIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was filmed in Kandy. While they were there an elephant ate one of the actresses red dresses, so… keep an eye on your frocks ladies.  




Ken says his favourite Sri Lankan breakfast is a big plate of hoppers. No, not the jumping kind. They're wafer thin, cup-shaped pancakes made from rice flour, coconut milk and a splash of palm toddy. Don't leave without trying them.If arriving early in the day, perhaps consider a taxi ride into ColomboPre-departure meeting in the evening, as well as an optional group dinner


Ancient sites

Best bits: walking 1840 steps to the birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism, looking at (but not climbing) the world's oldest known tree and biking around the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.Day 2Stop by Mihintale - the birthplace of Sri Lankan buddhismWalk up the 1840 granite steps of Mihintale for awesome viewsIn the afternoon explore the ancient (3rd century BC) city of Anuradhapura, home to the sacred bohdi tree, supposedly the oldest living tree in documented historyTake in the sights of the Brazen Palace, the enormous Ruwanveliseya Dagoba, the seated Samadhi Buddha and the ruins of various temples and palaces Day 3Stop at Habarana for a village safari and lunch in a local family homeVisit the extraordinary Sigiriya (Lion Rock) rock fortressProceed to Polonnaruwa Day 4Hire bikes and set off to explore Polonnaruwa, another ancient cityTime permitting, embark on an optional jeep safari in Minneriya National Park


Dambulla - Kandy

If you were a Buddhist hermit in the 3rd century BC, where would you live? The answer is one of 80 spacious caves in Dambulla. Explore markets, gardens and the intriguingly named Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.Day 5Check out the Dambulla Cave TemplesTravel onwards to Kandy, via the Matale Spice GardenPay a visit to the Temple of the ToothWatch a cultural show in the eveningDay 6Guided tour around Kandy, taking in the botanical gardens and local marketPlenty of free time to get to know this pretty town


Nuwara Eliya - World's End - Ella

Sri Lankan food facts: they love spices, the seafood is amazing and they're not afraid of a little deep frying. Walk it off on a trek to the World's End, where you can see the Indian Ocean over 50km away.Day 7Stop off in Nuwara Eliya, known as 'Little England' because of its British-influenced cottages and mansionsEnjoy Sri Lankan delicacies, prepared by a local cookSpend the night in a rest houseDay 8Visit the Hortons Plains Nature ReserveEmbark on a guided walk through forest and grassland to 'World's End'Spend the night in a rest house in the hill region of Belihul OyaTake a dip in rock poolsDay 9Enjoy a scenic trip to Ella, a town boasting amazing coastal views


Ahangama - Galle

If you've finished all your books and your iPod's gone flat why not try surfing? Nobody will laugh when you fall off (maybe). And even if you're terrible, surfing works up an appetite so those fresh fruit smoothies will go down a treat. Day 10Descend from the altitude to the beaches of the south coastPass seaside villages and sweeping bays before arriving at the funky beach town of AhangamaDay 11Laze on the beach, check out the famous stilt fishermen or visit historic Galle



Not to be confused with the one-eyed homicide detective, the capital of Sri Lanka is full of things to do. Visit Gangaramaya Temple, Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam Kovil Hindu (try saying that three times fast), grab some street food at Galle Face and drink from an orange coconut.Day 12Make the most of a free afternoon to explore ColomboEnjoy an optional final dinner with the groupDay 13The trip ends this morning after breakfast


While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.



Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.


Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

 This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures


  • Expert English-speaking local tour guide throughlout the tour, and local site guides at some sites.
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): ancient city of Anuradhapura; Dambulla Cave Temples; and Matale Spice Garden.
  • Walks to Mihintale – the birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism, Sigiriya (Lion Rock) rock fortress, and to 'World’s End’ in Horton Plains Nature Reserve.
  • Bike ride around the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.
  • Two nights in Kandy including a visit to the Temple of the Tooth to witness the daily Thewawa ceremony.
  • A night in a rest house in Nuwara Eliya, with our own cook preparing Sri Lankan delicacies.
  • A night in a rest house in Belihul Oya with access to a rock pool and a nature walk.
  • Time to relax on the beaches of Unawatuna and free time to explore Colombo.
  • Train from Haputale to Ella.


International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, local payments, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, all other meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature, laundry and flights unless specified. Some places that we visit charge additional fees if you are entering with a camera or camcorder - your city guide will advise on these and they can be paid for locally.


12 breakfasts, 1 lunch,


Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.


The local payment is the final part of your overall tour cost. It MUST be paid in cash, in the currency indicated, to your tour leader at the start of your trip. Having a local payment helps us to pass cost savings on to you. Please note that the Local Payment is non-refundable.

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