As soon as you arrive in Sri Lanka, you will be immersed within its warm culture. From journeying past paddy and coconut plantations on arrival to exploring hidden ancient ruins, rarely visited. Meanwhile, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriyaare guarantee top tier cultural attractions. Meet with locals and experience their way of life and enjoy the heartfelt smiles of the village folk who will undoubtedly invite you to join them for a gorgeous local meal. Witness the gathering of large herds of elephant and indulge in the country’s wildlife for a while before heading off to the hill capital of Kandy. After a visit to the Kandy Temple of the Tooth, head to the cool climes of Nuwara Eliya and enjoy a unique local train experience away from the crowds. Explore off-the-beaten-track and witness a Buddha once submerged by flood water of the Kotmale Dam. Enriched by your experiences of a vibrant modern culture amongst the artifacts of an ancient past, spend your final night in Colombo sampling street food and exploring this diverse and buzzing international port.
On arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, you will get your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality. You will be transferred to Negombo, your first port of call to relax and recouperate after your flight.
This evening, meet with your guide in the hotel lobby where you will be briefed on your exciting tour. The rest of the day or evening is at leisure. Overnight stay in Negombo
Negombo is an historic fishing port, located in the Western Province with busy fish markets, sandy beaches, hotels and restaurants. Due to the bounty of seafood, the town restaurants are a gourmet’s delight. There are also local handicrafts, batiks and jewellery boutiques on the beaches and shops in the city. (No meals included.)
After a leisurely breakfast, visit a local fish market to witness the landing of the days catch. Thereafter, drive to a local village and spend time with a local family where you have the opportunity to witness traditional hand loom shawl making. Enjoy light local refreshments accompanied by a warm cup of authentic Sri Lankan tea. Continue your journey to the the Dry Zone –Anuradhapura. En-route explore the ancient kingdom of Paduwasnuwara. Check in at your hotel and spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Panduwasnuwarais is an ancient city established as temporary capital during the 12th century by King Parakramabahu. As your journey deepens into the northern part of the island you will be able to witness exotic birds, Monitor Lizard, Grey Buffalo and Monkeys. (Breakfast.)
After an early morning breakfast, enjoy a visit to the mountain peak of Mihintale, the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa. So began Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is now a pilgrimage site that includes several religious monuments, monastic caves and the ruins of the great 40 foot stupa which dates back to the 1st century B.C.
. Return to your hotel and spend the rest of your morning at leisure. In the afternoon, join your tour guide and visit the sacred city of Anuradhapura, the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. It is the home of two World Heritage sites and many fascinating attractions.
The rest of the day is at leisure. You may consider ending your day’s tour with a meditation session at sunset, under the guidance of a Buddhist priest (extra cost). Overnight stay in Anuradhapura. (Breakfast.)
Today you will drive 40 km to Sigiriya, stopping en route at the rarely visited Haththikuchchi monastery and Aukana to marvel at Sri Lanka’s tallest standing Buddha Statue.
After check in at your hotel, the afternoon will be spent ascending the dramatic Sigiriya Rock. The tremendous rock monolith, or Lion Rock, which dominates the site, presides over the remains of the ancient capital and palace gardens, a masterpiece of engineering & urban planning. The Rock itself, was home to the King’s palace – resembling the mythological ‘City of Gods’. It is magnificently decorated with frescoes, poetry and carvings.
Head back to your hotel and spend the rest of your day at leisure. Overnight in Sigiriya. (Breakfast.)
After breakfast, head off to Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital, which rose with the decline of Anuradhapura. Witness the magnificent irrigation system, carvings and Hindu inspired architecture. Next enjoy your drive to a local village for an authentic culinary experience for lunch with the option to get deeper into rural life with a relaxing bike ride through a local villages.
This afternoon is a wonderful game drive through beautiful Minneriya National Park. Home to Elephant, Sri Lankan Leopard and the Sloth Bear among other endangered species. On your return journey to your hotel, enjoy a chilled beer after your thrilling safari experience.
Overnight in Sigiriya. (Breakfast, Lunch and Chilled Beer.)
After breakfast, transfer to Kandy. En route explore the wall paintings at the Dambulla Cave Temple. Make an optional stop to take a guided hike on Rose Quartz Mountain. Upon reaching Kandy, check in at your hotel and relax.
Kandy the popular charming capital of Sri Lanka is surrounded by hills, valleys, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. It is the cultural centre of the island and a UNESCO world heritage site. Learn about Kandy’s rich culture and history.
In the early evening, enjoy a leisurely walk around the Kandy Lake, visit the Kandy Bazaar, arts and crafts centre. Here you can enjoy a cultural dance show with traditional drumming before dinner.
Overnight in Kandy (Breakfast.)
After breakfast, visit the golden-roofed Temple of the Tooth, shrine to Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. The sacred tooth is housed within a set of six gold, Russian doll like, dagoba caskets of diminishing size.
Next enjoy a leisurely stroll at the Royal Botanical Garden, famous for its collection of stunning Orchids. It is home to various species of plants (many medicinal), spices and palm trees. The highlight is an artificial lake with water plants including giant water lily and papyrus at the centre of the garden. End your visit with lunch at the Garden Café.
The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Kandy. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Today you’ll head to Nuwara Eliya, via Kotmale on a steam train on this historic railway. You will meet with your tour guide at Ulapane Train Station and continue your journey by car.
Enjoy a beautiful scenic drive to Kadadora Viharaya, a once submerged Buddhist Temple, now visible again on the dry bed of the Kotmale reservoir. As your journey continues, enjoy scenic stops along the Kotmale reservoir and Devon Falls. End the day in the hill country city of Nuwara Eliya.
An important tea cultivation centre, Nuwara Eliya has many colonial charms including English Gardens, motor and horse Racing events.
The rest of your day is at leisure. (Breakfast.)
After breakfast, tour the city of Nuwara Eliya including a visit to a tea plantation and factory where you will meet with the tea pluckers at work on the hills of the estate. Visit the factory and learn the art of preparing a Ceylon tea, followed by tea tasting.
Rest of your day will be at leisure, enjoying the beautiful landscapes surrounding your hotel.
Overnight in Nuwara Eliya. (Breakfast.)
After an early breakfast, you will proceed to Colombo. Enjoy lunch at a Colonial -style hotel and tour the city of Colombo afterwards which will include a visit to the busy Pettah market.
Head to your hotel and spend the rest of your day at leisure exploring Colombo, the busiest city in Sri Lanka and its commercial capital. Colombo lies on the Indian Ocean with modern high-rise buildings amidst old colonial streets which hold some surprises and plenty to discover.
Overnight in Colombo. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Today you will say farewell to Sri Lanka and head to the airport for your flight home. (Breakfast)