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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your holiday! Arriving in Colombo, meet our friendly guide who will take you to the hotel in the EARLY AM hours for guaranteed check in. Later this afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sri Lanka’s capital including the Fort, Galle Face Green – a seaside expanse popular for informal cricket games, the Pettah – a noisy oriental bazaar, a visit to Gamgarama temple, Cinnamon Gardens and Independence Square.
Departing Colombo, drive to Giritale and check into hotel before an afternoon visit to the impressive Dambulla Rock Temple. Dambulla is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. After, explore Polonnaruwa - an 11th century city of compact size. Polonnaruwa features 12th-century stone sculptures, an old irrigation system with huge tanks, and the Gal Vihara, there are also palace ruins, great bas-reliefs and friezes. Spend some time exploring the site before later returning to Giritale.
Leaving Giritale, we drive to Sigiriya, the elevated and mysterious 5th century fortress ruins of King Kasyapa, where you view the stunning frescoes. The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. This afternoon we experience the thrill of an elephant back safari in the forests around Habarana for about one hour.
This morning we drive to Matale where we learn all about the growing and processing of spices. Arriving into Kandy, a scenic lakeside town, we enjoy sometime to relax at the hotel, and then In the evening, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and then enjoy a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Today we visit the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela. This orphanage is the home for about 60 elephants out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. Afterwards we go to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. Back in Kandy, we visit the lake, bazaar, gem museum and lapidary.
Sadly your journey has come to an end, we will transfer you to the airport in time for your onward flight.