7 Days Scenic and Cultural Sri Lanka's Golden Triangle Tour
Scenic and cultural splendor await at all junctions of Sri Lanka's Golden Triangle, your focus on this private guided exploration.
Sri Lanka's most iconic highlights are largely contained in and around what is considered its Golden Triangle: Colombo, Sigiriya and Kandy. With a private guide, set out to discover this segment of the country, lapping up history, culture, scenery along the way.
Witness the modernization of the nation capital, Colombo, as you stroll through the central market hub, and even an open-air bazaar with a private guide. Head to Dambulla, gateway to the Sigiriya area, where you'll discover the ancient UNESCO-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an incredible relic from nearly 1600 years ago.
Visit Anuradhapura, a sacred pilgrimage site where Buddha is said to have gained Enlightenment, and embark on a private guided hike to the Pidurangala ancient rock formation.
Arriving at Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, spot the influence of the British Empire as you explore the city and its local markets, as well as its renowned Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
Cycle around the city on a vintage bike and feel like a local, before coming full circle (or triangle) back to your starting point, Colombo. A perfect way to experience the Golden Triangle of Sri Lanka.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
For your added comfort, your English speaking chauffeur guide will be waiting for you outside the customs area with a sign with your name on it and accompany you to your accommodation.
Meet your private English-speaking chauffeur guide for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
Accommodation: Galle Face Hotel (5*)
The Galle Face Hotel, is situated in the heart of Colombo, along the seafront and facing the famous Galle Face Green.
The hotel embraces Sri Lanka’s rich history and legendary traditions, and many travelers say that no visit to Sri Lanka is complete without staying at this majestic hotel. It was originally built in 1864 and recently restored back to its former glory.
For generations, guests have come back again and again, seduced by the nostalgic charm of the rooms in the hotel.
Distinctive comforts with subtle embellishments make your stay an experience to look forward to and the hotel is renowned for presenting some of Colombo’s finest cuisines in unique locations throughout the hotel, be it elegant afternoon teas at The Verandah or an innovative modern menu at the ‘1864’.
Discover Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka on foot today during this 3 hours guided tour accompanied by a local guide. During your walking tour, you will learn about the city's rich history dating back to the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonization periods.
You will walk through Fort which is the central business district of Colombo. You will have a chance to witness monumental buildings like the GOH Hotel or Cargills Department Store. Colombo is undergoing a modernization period and only a handful of its architectural gems remain.
You will walk through the crazy streets of the Pettah Colombo’s main market hub.
A modern open-air bazaar of sorts where the smells of dried chilies and fish mix with trucks delivering Indian saris all happening in a small alleyway. This private tour includes an English-speaking guide, snacks, and soft drinks.
Later that day, transfer from Colombo to Dambulla, located at the heart of the Cultural Triangle with a private vehicle and English-speaking chauffeur guide. The transfer is approximately 4.5 hours.
Accommodation: Signature by Amaya (5*)
Beside Kandalama Lake you’ll find a small, boutique resort of luxury villas, set in tropical woodland and landscaped gardens. From the moment you arrive at Signature by Amaya Kandalama, you are bound to experience a deep sense of tranquility.
Enveloped by lush gardens, the carefully carved out pathways that meander throughout the property, beckon guests to draw closer to explore the diverse flora and fauna of its green surroundings.
Lavishly decorated with exquisite furnishings, each of the guestrooms offer unsurpassed elegance with a spacious sitting area, plush bedroom and sweeping views of the gardens.
The open-air Green Apple Restaurant, which faces the mosaic motif infinity pool, overlooks the magnificent Kandalama Lake and offers culinary marvels to satisfy the senses and pamper the taste buds.
This boutique resort is well placed for exploring one of Sri Lanka’s most important cultural sites, including the remarkable Royal Rock Temple complex at nearby Dambulla.
Today, you will explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Anuradhapura, the city of Kings, led by your English-speaking chauffeur guide.
Not many places in the world can claim to have been continuously inhabited for over two millennia.
Even to this day, the city of Anuradhapura is a sacred pilgrimage site to which people come to visit. You will have the chance to see the sacred fig tree (Sri Maha Bodhi), said to have a branch, grown from the original Sri Maha Bodhi in India, from which the Buddha gained enlightenment.
During your stay, you will also visit other city highlights including dagobas (Buddhist stupas) that stand as majestic as they did during the reign of the Kings. Entrance fees are included.
About 16 miles further on is Ritigala, surrounded by pathways that open into the thick jungle and sacred meditation grounds. Following the meandering, beautifully constructed stone-lined paths, your English-speaking chauffeur guide will lead you to an ancient Buddhist monastery.
Enjoy your walk and take the opportunity to sit down and connect with nature as you appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the place. You will have time to explore and walk up to higher locations of Ritigala, the highest mountain in northern Sri Lanka.
Entrance fees are included.
Today, discover one of Sri Lanka's jewels as you are being taken back in time.
Sigiriya, known as Lion Rock, is a spectacular rock fortress site. Created by King Kashyapa, his mission was to build a fortress so grand, that it would have to be reached by 1200 steps, offering a panoramic bird's eye view of the leafy emerald meadows and villages beneath.
What is left of the ruins on top, that can be seen today, is less than 20% of the structures that once graced the area. Yet, it is still one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning in the world.
Your Sigiriya discovery takes approximately 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the pace you wish to ascent. Climbing to the top is strenuous, but not hard. Your reward is an unforgettable experience and stunning views from the top.
The Lion Staircase and the Mirror Wall are two additional highlights that might amaze you, so take your time. Entrance fees are included.
A couple of miles north of Sigiriya is the ancient site of Pidurangala. This massive rock configuration was once believed to have been a royal temple to King Kashvapa, who built Sigiriya Fortress.
Wear comfortable shoes as you'll be hiking for an hour, depending on fitness, and be aware that climbing to the top of Pidurangala is quite strenuous. Breathe in the fresh air as you reach the top of the rock and enjoy the magnificent vistas, including Sigiriya looming majestically in the distance.
Enjoy a transfer from Dambulla to Kandy with a private vehicle and English-speaking chauffeur guide. The transfer is approximately 3 hours.
Kandy, the last capital of the Sinhalese kingdom.
It fell to the British in 1815, after successfully defying the Portugese and Dutch for three centuries. Touches of the British Empire can be seen to this day on colonial buildings, such as Queen's Hotel, a beautiful 19th-century neoclassical structure.
With your chauffeur guide, venture off into the streets of Kandy, experiencing its culture and exploring the local markets. Afterward, you will visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, an important source of power for the former Sri Lankan kings. Entrance fees are included.
Accommodation: Elephant Stables (4*)
The Elephant Stables is a beautiful Colonial period bungalow on a hill overlooking Kandy. It was the home of Adigar Sir Cuda Ratwatte (1880-1950), who was a Ceylonese nobleman, and the first person from Kandy to be awarded a knighthood by the British.
He was also the uncle of Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the first woman to be elected the head of government in the world. Historic associations therefore play a large role in the make-up of The Elephant Stables.
It has been lovingly restored with a combination of original mid-century planter’s furniture and chic interiors to enable guests to feel the ambience of a Ceylon Planter’s bungalow while enjoying all the luxuries of an up-market boutique property.
Today get ready to ride in true Sri Lankan style with vintage bicycles. To blend in with the whole village experience, you will use the same bicycles as the locals do. They are beautiful black-framed style with no gears.
This is old school cycling and you will need to push a bit harder than usual. The route contains a couple of moderate hills which anyone can do. You will ride through small lanes and back roads to discover the heritage of Kandy through its people who still carry out century old traditions.
You will feel as you have gone back in time! If you are feeling hungry, you will have a chance to stop for roti and string hoppers and an impromptu countryside picnic. Along the way, you can visit some cottage industries, including a wood carver and a small foundry.
You will also have the option to check out the village hairdresser and get a Sri Lankan style haircut at a charming little shop.
Enjoy a transfer from Kandy to Sri Lanka International Airport with a private vehicle and English-speaking chauffeur guide.
The transfer is approximately 4 hours. En route you will stop by a traditional Sri Lankan local home to experience the authentic flavors of the island! You will experience a real home cooked Sri Lankan meal. Let your cook know if you have any special dietary requirements and the wonderful Surangi will work her magic with the curries.
Remember, you can curry everything from pineapple to veggies, seafood, and meats.
Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)
Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.
7 days from $2,261 per person*
- With private guide, visit the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya, a UNESCO site.
- Private cycling tour around Kandy, famous for its many Buddhist sites.
- Hike to see the temple at Pidurangala rock with your private guide.
- Discover Colombo with private guide, a city blending the modern with the historic.
- Selection of premium accommodations throughout.
Trip Terms & Conditions
- Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
- Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
- Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
- Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
- Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
- Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
- Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.
* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.