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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your journey with On the Go Tours! Upon your arrival at Colombo's international airport you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel in Negombo where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Today visit Anuradhapura, the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. Here you will explore the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree) under which prince Siddhartha attained; Brazen Palace - the 1600 stone columns you see are all that is left of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks; Ruwanweliseya, the most famous of all the Dagobas; Samadhi' Buddha statue depicting the Buddha in a state of or deep meditation; Isurumuniya rock temple known for its rock carvings of 'The Lovers'; Kuttam Pokuna – twin ponds used by the Buddhist monks as a bathing pool; Thuparama Dagoba, which enshrines the right collarbone of the Buddha. After sightseeing continue to Dambulla to check in to the Kassapa Lion Rock Hotel.
Today visit Polonnaruwa where you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace and Gal Viharaya where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha are carved out of rock. There are also monuments of worship such as the Shiva Temple and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic. Later this afternoon climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200m 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.
This morning we leave for Kandy, en route visiting Dambulla Cave temples, a World Heritage site and the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. meters of painted walls and ceiling 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 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 overnight.
Today visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, home to some 89 elephants, including baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. They are being cared for by the wild life authorities. The best time to visit is during feeding times, when it's possible to see the baby elephants being bottle-fed. This afternoon visit Peradeniya Botanical gardens, first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and later expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. Return back to Kandy. In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and watch a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Leave for Nuwara Eliya today. 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. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. On completion, proceed 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.
After a leisurely breakfast we transfer you to Yala National Park. Upon your arrival, check in to your hotel.
This park is famous for its high density of leopards, perhaps the highest in the world. You are also sure to see elephants and sloth bears. There is a plethora of reptilian species and platoons of crocodiles with 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 give 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. Enjoy a game drive here today.
This morning we leave for Galle and on arrival visit the Galle fort, built first 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. Transfer to hotel for overnight.
Day at leisure to explore Galle independently or simply relax on the beach.
Today you will be transferred to Hikkaduwa where upon your arrival you will check in to your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure.
The next three days are completely free for you to do as much or as little as you like on Sri Lanka's coast.
Today marks the end of your adventure with On the Go Tours. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport in Colombo in time for your onward departure flight.