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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your honeymoon! You'll be met at Colombo Airport and transferred to hotel for check in. Later this evening a sightseeing tour of Colombo. Drive through the Commercial area of the Fort and Pettah – a noisy Oriental bazaar with a hotchpotch of humanity, ancient vehicles, bargains, mosques & temples. Visit Hindu temples & drive pass Jumi-UL Alfar Jumma Mosque. Continue the tour through the Wolvendaal Dutch Church, Hultsdorf Law courts, to the residential area of Cinnamon Gardens and on to the Independence Square and Bandaranayke Memorial International Conference Hall. There'll also be a visit to Gangaramaya Temple.
After breakfast we leave for Sigiriya. En route visit the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela. This orphanage is home to some 89 elephants, out of which are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. They are being cared, fed and trained by the wild life authorities. The best time to visit is during the feeding times with the opportunity of seeing the baby elephants being bottle-fed. It might also be possible to accompany the elephants to a river close-by and see them having their daily bath. Continue to Sigiriya for overnight.
Today climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, a world heritage site. The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200m from the scrub jungle and was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. Later this afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of Polonnaruwa, the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, a number of temples and the Gal Viharaya where four splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’ postures are carved out of rock.
Leaving Sigiriya this morning we make our way to Kandy. En route visit the Dambulla Cave Temple for a climb up to the temple. Dambulla is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples with over 2000 sq metres of painted walls and over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14 meters. Continuing, visit a spice garden in Matale to see the different spices which Sri Lanka is famous for. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. Continue to Kandy for hotel check in. This evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Today visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. This botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. Later enjoy a sightseeing tour of Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum and lapidary.
Leave for Nuwara Eliya today and en route visit a tea plantation and tea factory where the best tea in the world is produced. You will be told all about the process of manufacturing tea and see how tea is graded with time of enjoy a cuppa! Continue to Nuwara Eliya - its invigorating mountain climate and scenery makes it Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country producing a significant share of the world’s best tea. Sri Lanka’s highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 feet) is also located here. Hotel check in with remainder of the day at leisure.
This morning we leave for the Yala National Park. Upon arrival, hotel check in. This evening proceed on a Jeep Safari. This park is famous for its high density of leopards, perhaps the highest in the world. You are also sure to see elephants – grumpy loan males during the dry months and large herds in the wet season. As is common in Sri Lanka there is a huge diversity of stunning birdlife including migratory species such as the flamingo. The uniqueness of the park is the sheer diversity of the habitat: dense jungles suddenly gives way to lagoons and open plain areas and the park has a simply beautiful sea front. Huge, stark boulders dominate the horizon and the elegant, languorous leopard can often be seen basking atop the sun baked rock.
Today we make our way to the coast. En route visit the Galle Fort, first built by the Portuguese and then modified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Even today, after 400 years of existence, it looks new and polished with reconstruction work done by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. Today the Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world. Continue to your beach resort for overnight.
The next few days are yours to enjoy at leisure in Beruwala, an ideal tropical beach with its sparkling warm blue seas and a lush fringe of palm trees, all bathed in warm golden sunshine.
Today marks the end of your incredible journey with On the Go Tours. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport for your onward departure flight.