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Day 01 – Arrive Colombo – Negambo
Arrive Colombo (Sri Lanka). Meet our representative upon arrival at Colombo airport and transfer to a beach hotel in Negambo. It is a famous fishing village that is equally proud of its Dutch fort and other Dutch period architecture. Overnight at the Negambo.
Day 02 – Negambo – Sigiriya
This morning travel to Sigiriya (Approx. 145kms/ 04hours), home to the 5th-century UNESCO World Heritage listed Rock Fortress, also known as ‘Lion Rock’. The rock fortress was built by King Kashyapa and was named so because a massive lion was carved out of the rock and once sat at the entrance to the palace. Today only the lion’s paws remain. While here you can climb to the top for panoramic views of the area and explore the surrounding gardens.
In the afternoon take a jeep safari through the Kaudulla National Park, looking for elephants, deer, peacocks, boars, and many kinds of birds. Overnight at the Sigiriya.
Day 03 – Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Sigiriya
Today visit the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka from 11th to the 12th centuries and is a well preserved city of stupas, frescoes and statues. While here, explore the Gal Viharaya, a magnificent group of rock temples consisting of four separate statues; a meditating Buddha, a smaller Buddha said to be visiting heaven, a standing Buddha and the reclining Buddha entering Nirvana.
Explore the Vatadage, an ancient structure with elaborate stone carvings that are commonly placed at entrances to monastic buildings of ancient Sri Lanka. Return to the sigiriya for overnight.
Day 04 – Sigiriya – Anuradhapura
After breakfast drive to Anuradhapura (Approx. 75kms/ 01 ½ hours), the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. The city’s greatest treasures are its dagobas; domes enshrining sacred relics. The most notable is the Ruvanveliseya Dagoba, dating back to the 2nd century BC, which you will visit today along with the Thuparamaya, said to contain the collarbone of Buddha. Discover the city’s most renowned relic, the sacred Bo Tree. Emperor Asoka’s daughter brought to Anuradhapura a branch of this tree under which Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment. Planted over 2,250 years ago, it is the oldest surviving historic tree in the world. Overnight at the Anuradhapura.
Day 05 – Anuradhapura – Dambulla – Kandy
After breakfast, travel to Dambulla (Approx. 135kms/ 03 ½ hours), where you will visit the Dambulla Rock Temple. Dating back to the 1st century BC, the temple is made up of five caves that have been converted into shrine rooms containing around 150 Buddha statues and colourful frescoes.
Continue your drive to Kandy enroute visit spice garden of Matale. Cinnamon, cardamom, pepper creepers and other spice trees are grown here. Learn about the use of spices in Sri Lankan cuisine and watch a cooking demonstration. Continue to the sacred Buddhist city of Kandy, famous for the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Overnight at the Kandy.
Day 06 – Kandy
This morning after breakfast, visit the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens with a fine collection of over 4000 species of exotic plants and later visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, one of the most revered Buddhist sites in the world. The temple houses an important Buddhist Relic, a tooth of the Buddha. Stolen at his funeral, the tooth was smuggled into Sri Lanka hidden in the hair of a princess who fled from India. The relic of the tooth is kept in a two-storey shrine fronted by large elephant trunks. Explore the remains of the Royal Palace, now a museum.
This evening you will watch a colourful cultural dance performance. Overnight at the Kandy.
Day 07 – Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast drive to Nuwara Eliya (Approx. 80kms/ 03hours). Visit a tea factory en-route to see how the world’s favorite drink is prepared. Nuwara Eliya resembles an old English town, complete with a lake, race track and well- kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican Church and an 18hole golf course.
Visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens, which houses an exotic collection of roses and ferns. Overnight at the Nuwara Eliya.
Day 08 – Nuwara Eliya – Udawalawe – Yala National Park
Today travel to the Elephant transit home located in Udawalawe National Park, where abandoned baby elephants are cared for before they are released into the Udawalawe National Park. Later arrive at Yala (Ruhuna) National Park which is one of Sri Lanka’s premier eco-tourism destinations, where you can watch closely Leopard, Elephants and unique varieties of Birds.
Rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight at the Yala National Park.
Day 09 – Yala National Park
Enjoy morning and afternoon jeep safaris around the park, home to elephants, deer and the elusive leopards. One of the world’s largest populations of leopards can be found here. Overnight at the Yala National Park.
Day 10 – Yala National Park – Ahungalla
Today we will drive to the Hummanaya blow hole, the second largest of its kind in the world. After lunch, continue to Dikwella Wewurukannala Temple dominated by an image of a seated Buddha that is over 48m high.
Continue the drive along the coastline towards Ahungalla. Stop along the way at Weligama to see the unique stilt shermen, an old tradition practiced by around 500 fishing families in the region. Each fisherman has a stilt and balances about 2m above the water. With one hand they hold the stilt and with the other they use their fishing rod. Overnight at the Ahungalla.
Day 11 – Ahungalla – Galle – Ahungalla
Today travel south to explore the city of Galle including the lighthouse and the Old Town. Also visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Dutch Fort, the largest intact Dutch fort in Asia. Within the ramparts and stonewalls of Galle Fort outstanding buildings remain. The narrow streets are dotted with Dutch colonial villas, museums and antique shops.
In the afternoon, relax at your beach resort. Overnight at the Ahungalla.
Day 12 – Ahungalla – Colombo
Today after breakfast travel to Colombo (Approx. 115kms/ 02 hours), en-route visiting Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. The hatchery is home to Sri Lanka’s pioneering sea turtle conservation project, established in 1981 to protect Sri Lanka’s turtles. Overnight at the Colombo.
Day 13 – Depart Colombo
Today after breakfast start your city tour. Explore Fort district, the historic center of the city. Wander through Pettah Market. Visit the Dutch Church of Wolfendhall dating back to 1749, Kelaniya Buddhist Temple, a major pilgrimage site for Buddhist devotees, and the Colombo and Natural History museums.
Late night you will be transferred to Colombo airport to board your flight for onward destination.