If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SRI LANKA 233 when enquiring for further details.
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Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival the group will be picked up and transferred to the hotel. This afternoon enjoy a Colombo city tour. Drive through the Commercial area and also drive past Pettah; a noisy Oriental bazaar with a hotchpotch of humanity, ancient vehicles, bargains, mosques & temples. Visit Hindu temple and drive pass Jumi-UL Alfar Jumma Mosque, continue to 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. We also visit Gangaramaya Temple. Tonight enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Today we visit a Children's Orphanage before we continue onto our eco-friendly resort at Waikkal.
Today is a free day for you to relax or explore independently.
This morning we leave for Anuradhapura via Puttalam. The history of Puttalam dates back to the arrival of Prince Vijaya, nearly 2500 years ago, when his vessel washed ashore. The name "Puttalam" may be a modification of the Tamil word Uppuththalam. Ibn Batuta, a famous traveling Moroccan traveller described Puttalam as an amazing town which had Arab and South Indian cultures mixed in it. Many places of historical and archaeological interest could be visited at Anuradhapura; Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree), Brazen Palace, Ruwanweliseya, Samadhi' Buddha statue, Kuttam Pokuna – twin ponds and Thuparama Dagoba which is the oldest Dagoba in the island.
Touring the remainder of Anuradhapura and we thereafter visit Aukana - it is undoubtedly the most magnificent preserved image on the island. The 5th century statue, ascribed to King Datusena, is 13 metres high, which is home to the most perfectly preserved ancient statue in Sri Lanka. We will then proceed onto our hotel in Harbarana for the evening.
Enjoy a guided tour of Polonnaruwa. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya – where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’ postures are carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, King Parakramabahu’s statue, and the Parakrama Samudraya lake built by King Parakramabahu the great. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Early this morning proceed to Sigiriya to climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres 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. 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. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster.
Enroute to Kandy we visit the Dambulla Cave Temple. Climb up to the temple, which was donated by king Walagambahu in the 1st century BC to Buddhist monks. Thereafter proceed to 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. Also take part in a cooking lesson at the Spice Garden where you will experience a variety of Sri Lankan food and thereafter enjoy your own cooked lunch in Sri Lankan style. We then continue onto Kandy for the evening.
This morning we proceed to visit the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela. This orphanage is the home for about 89 elephants, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. They are being cared, fed and trained by the wild life authorities. Thereafter we visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya before enjoying a sightseeing tour of Kandy including a drive around the Kandy Lake, Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum and a lapidary. This evening we also visit the Temple of the Tooth.
Today you will be transferred to Peradeniya railway station to board the Expo Rail and take a joy ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. On arrival at the Nanu Oya railway station, meet up and proceed to Nuwara Eliya, en-route we visit a tea plantation and a tea factory, where the best tea in the world is produced. You will be told all about the process of manufacturing tea and also see how tea is graded.
This morning we leave for Yala. This afternoon enjoy a jeep safari. You are also sure to see elephants – grumpy lone 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.
This park is famous for its high density of leopards, perhaps the highest in the world. This morning proceed on another Jeep Safari specially to see Leopards (sighting cannot be guaranteed). On completion you will return back to the hotel with the remainder of the day free.
This morning we visit the Bundala Bird Sanctuary. This park falls within the southeastern arid zone of Sri Lanka, with a general climate that can be classified as hot and dry. The terrain is generally flat with sand dunes bordering the coastline, and vegetation consists mainly of dry thorny scrublands and lagoons. Leaving for Bentota enroute we visit Galle Dutch Fort - The Galle fort was built first by the Portuguese, and then modified by the Dutch during the 17th century.
Visiting a Turtle Farm in Kosgoda this morning we continue onto Balapitiya to enjoy a scenic cruise along the Madhu River, a relaxing trip with plenty of interesting stops. You pass dozens of islets forested with mangroves and can appreciate the timeless natural rhythms of rural life. A special Sea Food Lunch will be arranged at the local restaurant on your return before going to the Bentota hotel.
A free day for you to relax. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner and reminisce with your new friends on your time in Sri Lanka.
Your last day to make the most of - either relax or explore the area independently. Your room is booked for a late check-out before we transfer the group to the airport for your early morning departure on 03rd March.