If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SRI LANKA 596 when enquiring for further details.
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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your holiday! You'll be met at Colombo Airport from your flight arriving this morning and transferred to hotel. Today, your guide will take you on a driving tour of colourful Colombo. Just off the north end of Galle Road is the area known as the Fort, once a colonial stronghold. At the south end of the green is the Galle Face Hotel, a beautiful colonial-era hotel. Just east of the Fort is the Pettah, the traditional bazaar district – a colourful retail experience. Tonight enjoy a tasty welcome dinner at your hotel.
Drive to Giritale today, stopping en route to visit the impressive Dambulla Rock Temple. Dambulla is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves is the largest area of paintings found in the world. These caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14 meters. This afternoon, after checking into your hotel in Giritale, visit UNESCO Listed Polonnaruwa – an incredible 11th century city. Explore the ruins of the Royal Palace, temples and Gal Vihara.
This morning drive to Sigiriya and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Listed, 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Discover the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. After exploring the sights of Sigiriya, stop to visit a Spice Garden in Matale, en route to Kandy.
Enjoy a wonderful excursion to the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela today. This orphanage is the home for about 60 elephants, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. Afterwards visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Back in the scenic lakeside town of Kandy, embark upon a sightseeing tour, visiting the bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum. In the evening, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and then enjoy a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
0730Hrs leave for Yala – Once reached Yala, Evening proceed on a Jeep Safari to visit the Yala National Park. The Yala National Park is famous for its high density of leopards, perhaps the highest in the world.
This morning head out on a Jeep Safari to visit the Yala National Park. 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. Sloth bears are also a big draw. You will also see mammal such as wild boars, several species of deer and wild buffalo. There is a plethora of reptilian species and platoons of crocodiles. As is common in Sri Lanka there is a huge diversity of stunning birdlife including migratory species such as the flamingo. It is also one of the few places in the world where the severely endangered black necked stork can still be seen.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight. Please note it is a 6 hour drive to the airport.