Discover Sri Lanka’s iconic food, culture, landscapes and wildlife and experience the world-famous Kandy Esala Perahera festival on this exciting new small-group tour.

The Esala Perahera in Kandy, also known as The Festival of the Tooth,  is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka. The perahera has its origins back in the 4th century.

It is held in Esala (July or August), which is the month that is believed to commemorate the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained enlightenment. The Sinhalese term ‘Perahera’ means a parade of musicians, dancers, singers, acrobats and various other performers, accompanied by caparisoned Tuskers and Elephants parading the streets in celebration of a religious event.

Newport Travel’s exclusive offer

Our Best of Sri Lanka with Perahera Festival can be booked as a private small-group tour, customised for friends or families, or as a join-in, fully-escorted group tour.

  • Dates: 4th to 13th August 2019
  • Price for 10-day tour including return flights from Sydney: $3,239 per person twin share
  • Solo traveller special on join-in tour – NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT!!

Please also enquire about our pre and post-tour optional add-on retreats and packages: yoga, surfing, Ayurveda wellness .. in Sri Lanka, or Maldives.

Call 02 9997 1277 to enquire or book, or email

Kandy Perahera Festival


Best of Sri Lanka tour map

4th August 2019 - Sydney - Negombo (2nts)

Today we fly from Sydney (or other Australian airport) to Colombo, Sri Lanka. On arrival, we will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to our hotel in Negombo for a late night arrival check-in.

Overnight stay at St. Lachlan - Suite room - 3 Star hotel

Negombo Sri Lanka

5th August - Negombo

We begin the day in the fishing village of Negombo with a morning fish market visit and Dutch Canal Boat Ride.

The rest of the day is at leisure either to relax or to enjoy one of the optional activities on offer from the hotel, such as cycling, diving, deep sea fishing, etc (charges apply).

In the late afternoon, we meet at the hotel for sunset drinks and a tour briefing.

After drinks, enjoy a walking tour to discover Negombo’s night fish market, learn about the city’s distinct seafood culture and meet some of the locals. Taste some of Negombo's specialty dishes of fish, king prawns, crab and calamari.

Group Dinner & Overnight stay at St. Lachlan / Suite room / 3 Star hotel

6th August - Negombo – Kurunegala – Dambulla - Sigiriya  (145 KM/ 4h 00m)

After breakfast we travel to Sigiriya. En route we'll visit a Coconut Plantation in Kurunegala.

Here we discover how important the coconut palm is in the Sri Lankan economy and daily life, with its many by-products as well as for cooking and drinking.

Sip from a fresh king coconut, taste the palm wine produced from the “toddy tappers” and savour the cooking results in a delicious Sri Lankan rice and curry lunch.

After lunch we'll continue our journey to visit Dambulla Cave Temple.

Dambulla Golden Cave Temple (Duration of visit : approx 1 - 1 ½  Hours)

The Dambulla Temple is located on a gigantic rock towering more than 160 m above the surrounding area and is a designated world heritage site.

The Rock itself is more than 1.5 km around its base and the summit is at 550 m. The caves on this rock were the refuge of King Walagamba when he was in exile for 14 years and feature a mixture of religious and worldly paintings and sculptures. There are several reclining Buddha's, including the 15 m long sculpture of the dying Buddha.

Dinner & Overnight stay at Wewa Addara / Standard Room / 3 Star hotel

Dambulla Sri Lanka

7th August - Sigirya

Sigiriya Rock Fortress (Duration of visit : approx 2 ½ - 3 Hours)
After an early breakfast, climb Sigiriya rock fortress.

Sigiriya is a magnificent rock fortress built in the 5th century A.D.  This majestic citadel in the sky was the refuge of King Kasyapa and is world-renowned for its Mirror Wall which consists of poems and paragraphs carved by some of the thousands of visitors who visited the rock many years ago, and for its magnificent frescoes, similar to the Ajantha frescoes of India.

Lunch and the early afternoon are at leisure.

Minneriya National Park (Duration of visit : approx 3 ½  – 4 Hours)

Enjoy a late afternoon safari at Minneriya/Kaudulla/Eco National Park depending on where the elephants are during visit.
The Minneriya national park is approximately 8889 hectares. Dry zone plants and animal species are common.  Elephants are a highlight of the park. Approximately 160 species of birds, 9 amphibians, 25 reptile species, 26 fish species and more that 78 butterfly species can also be found here.

Dinner & Overnight stay at Wewa Addara / Standard Room / 3 Star hotel

Sigirya Sri Lanka

08 August - Sigiriya – Matale – Kandy

After breakfast we'll travel to Kandy. (90 KM/ 3h)

En-route we'll visit the Euphoria Spice Garden followed by a cookery lesson.

Here you will learn to cook famous Sri Lankan dishes such as dhal (Sri Lankan lentil curry), Coconut Sambol, or Chicken Curry, by using traditional clay pots and coconut spoons.

You will also learn how to make a Sri Lankan curry powder with fresh spices!

Before the demonstration you will be able to pick some of the fresh ingredients from their natural habitat and learn the Ayurvedic benefits of each of the spices and herbs used.

Highlight of the tour : In the evening witness the World Famous Kandy Esala Perahera with reserved seating

Kandy Esala Perahera (Duration of visit : approx 5 - 6 Hours)
The Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka,

It is held in Esala (July or August) which is the month that is believed to commemorate the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained enlightenment.

The Sinhalese term ‘Perahera’ means a parade of musicians, dancers, singers, acrobats and various other performers accompanied by a large number of caparisoned Tuskers and Elephants parading the streets in celebration of a religious event.

Overnight stay at Oak Ray Regency / Standard room / 3 Star Hotel

Kandy Esala Perahera

9th August - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast we do a Kandy city tour including the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Kandy was the capital of the Sinhalese Kings from 1592 to 1815, fortified by the terrain of the mountains and the difficult approach.

The city is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, partly due to the temple.

Temple of the Tooth Relic (Duration of visit : approx 1 – 1 ½  Hours)

The Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic was built within the royal palace complex which houses the only surviving relic of Buddha, a tooth.

The relic is venerated by Buddhists and has played an important role in local politics since ancient times. It is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country, which led to the ancient kings protecting it with great effort.

Travel to Nuwara Eliya with an en-route Tea Factory visit (80 KM/ 3h 0m)

A resident tea planter will demonstrate the age-old tea making process. First, follow the trail of the planters of old Ceylon, as they trekked through the dense jungle looking for the best slopes on which to plant tea. Then it's on to watch the tea pluckers pick two leaves and a bud with deft hands.

This is followed by the factory visit where you learn about the all-important conversion to “made” black tea. The process is a very artisanal one, unchanged for a century.

The tour ends with a tasting of different grades of this great brew.

Please note that plucking of tea leaves is not done on public holidays & Sundays. As such the Tea production process does not take place, however a tour of the factory will be arranged where the process is explained.

Nuwara Eliya City (Duration of visit : approx 30 mins)

Nuwara Eliya (City of Lights), also known as 'Little' England', was the favorite hill station of the British who tried to create Nuwara Eliya into a typical English Village. The old brick Post office, country house like hill club, with its hunting pictures, mounted hunting trophies and fish, and it's strict formal dinner attire; the 18 hole golf course, race course etc., all remind you of 'England'.

Overnight stay at Heaven Seven / Deluxe room / 3 Star Hotel

Kandy city Sri Lanka

10th August - Nuwara Eliya – Haputale - Tissamaharama

After breakfast this morning there is time for a visit to the high country botanical gardens of Hakgala before we board the train in Nanu Oya for the scenic 1.5 hour train ride to Haputale (1st class).

A ride in the observation cabin gives you an unparalleled view of both the scenic beauty and of the culture of the hill country passing by.

Please note – 1st class tickets will be available and sold by the Railway department only 30 days prior to the train ride with limited quantity. In case 1st class is unavailable by date of train ride, we will travel by tour vehicle instead of train ride.

We will be met at Haputale station and continue on to Tissamaharama. (112 KM/ 3h 0m)

Luggage porterage is included here, so you don’t need to take your luggage on the train

Dinner & Overnight stay at Chaarya Resort & Spa/Deluxe room/3 Star Hotel

Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka

11th August - Tissamaharama – Yala – Tangalle – Weligama – Galle – Beruwala

After breakfast proceed to Yala for an early morning wildlife safari. (5.30am)

Yala National Park (Duration of visit : approx 3 ½  – 4 Hours)

The Yala National Park in southern Sri Lanka has the world's highest concentration of leopards.

Much of the nature reserve is parkland, but it also includes jungle, beaches, freshwater lakes, rivers and scrub-land.

In addition to leopards, the Yala National Park is also home to elephants, crocodiles, wild boar, water buffalo, grey langurs and other species of large animals. The park is also home to birds of prey such as the white-bellied sea eagles, waders, painted Storks, the Indian peafowl and the Sri Lanka jungle fowl.

After our early-morning wildlife safari, we  travel to  Galle via the surfing coastal towns of Tangalle and Weligama. (150 KM/ 3h 30m)

Dotting the beaches, you can see the iconic stilt fishing.

Lunch is included at a beach-side resort.

Galle (Duration of visit : approx 1 ½  – 2 Hours)

Galle is a town situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km (74 mi) from Colombo.

Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. It reached the height of its development in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British, who developed the harbour at Colombo.

We then proceed to Beruwala and check-in at the hotel. (70 KM/ 1h 30m)

Farewell Dinner & Overnight stay at The Palms / Deluxe room / 4 Star Hotel

Yala wildlife safari Sri Lanka

12th August - Beruwala – Colombo – Airport

Your morning and lunch are at leisure in Beruwala.

In the afternoon, we travel to Colombo for a city tour before being transferred to the airport for our late night check-in. (70 KM/ 2h 0m)

Colombo (Duration of visit : approx 1 – 1 ½  Hours)

Places Visited: Galle Face, Petah Bazaar, Town Hall, BMICH, Independence square and Gangarama Temple.

Colombo tour includes a drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area, a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings and the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749. You have a chance to see a Hindu Temple, the famous Buddhist Temple known as the Gangarama, and the Jami Ul Alfar Jumma Mosque of Colombo.

In the early evening, we explore the Colombo street food scene where you can Sample Colombo’s unique mix of Sinhala, Muslim, Tamil, and Malay cuisines.

We will then proceed to the Airport to check-in for our early morning flight out on the 13th August.

13th August - Colombo - Sydney

Sadly we say goodbye to Sri Lanka as we fly out at 00:50 arriving home in Sydney at 19:15 the same day
... or you could choose to extend your stay in Sri Lanka. or hop over to the Maldives for a relaxing end to your holiday!

Ask us about our pre and post tour options at time of booking.

Call 02 9997 1277 or email

Available departures

Experience The Kandy Esala Perahera festival and discover Sri Lanka’s food, culture, landscapes and wildlife

Select your tour date using the calendar below to book this tour.



DambullaThe massive giant rock can be seen from all angles of the city. Under the rock a Buddhist monastery once flourished. Climb up many steps to the gleaming white entrances of the most famous five Dambulla caves which take you into a cooling and colorful world inside. Seated in a row, the golden coloured 157 Read more


Negombo is a major city found on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It is also the home to a modest beach in close proximity to the famous Bandaranaike International Airport of Sri Lanka. The famous Dutch canal, the Dutch Fort gate, the fish market and the massive Muthurajawela marsh land about 15 Km south Read more