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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your holiday! We will be there to meet you at the airpiort and transfer you through to your hotel. Remainder of today is at leisure.
This morning 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. Dambulla is a World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. Proceed onto Habarana and check into our hotel. This evening we tour Polonnaruwa - Which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, a world heritage site - Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, and more. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, and more.
This morning we explore Sigiriya - 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 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. 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. On completion return back to our hotel.
After breakfast we tour Anuradhapura - the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. It is the home of two World Heritage sites. Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree) was brought as a sapling of the tree under which prince Siddhartha attained to enlightenment and it is over 2,200 years old and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. At Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), the 1600 stone columns you see are all that is left of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks. Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C), Samadhi' Buddha statue (4th century AD), Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd century B.C), Kuttam Pokuna, Thuparama Dagoba (3rd century B.C) is the oldest Dagoba in the island. Tonight we enjoy the New Years Eve Gala Dinner Event.
Departing for Kandy, enroute we 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. Proceed onto Kandy and check into our hotel. This evening we visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Today we 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. Return to Kandy, en-route we visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. This botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. Following this we enjoy a city tour of Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and is 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 Kandy Lake. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts and crafts centre and a gem museum.
After breakfast we depart for Nuwara Eliya to 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. Drive onto Nuwara Eliya - because of its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, its Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Its also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country and the highest mountain is located here too. Check into our hotel. This evening enjoy a tour of Nuwara Eliya and drive through "Little England”.
This morning we visit Horton Plains. The coldest and windiest location in Sri Lanka consists of ecosystems such as Montane evergreen forests, grasslands, marshy lands and aquatic ecosystem. At an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, Horton Plains spreads across over 3,169 hectares of the highest tableland of the island. In view of the large number of endemic flora and fauna species, Horton Plains was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 30th July 2010. The escarpment with a depth of 900 meters is called World’s End and Baker’s Falls are the highlights of the Horton Plains.
Depart for Uda-Walawe, arrival and check into your hotel. This afternoon we proceed on a Jeep Safari to visit the Uda-Walawe National Park The park was established in 1972 to protect the catchment area of the Uda Walawe reservoir. Uda Walawe has a large elephant population and is the most reliable place to see elephants in their wild habitat year round. Some 400-500 elephants live in the park. As well as elephants, leopards live in the park (though you will be very lucky to spot one), toque monkeys, grey langur, spotted deer, wild pig and sambar, numerous bird species and raptor species. The Elephant Transit Home is also here, a home for baby elephants separated from their herds in the wild, they are treated by vets and fed until released back into the park.
After breakfast we depart for Koggala. Upon arrival, check into our hotel. Remainder of today is at leisure on the beach!
Day at leisure in Koggala.
Today we bid you farewell with a departure airport transfer to meet your onward fight.