If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SRI LANKA 273 when enquiring for further details.
Alternatively you may like modify this trip with your own Holiday Wish List
Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day/evening are at your leisure.
Morning proceed to visit Sigiriya Rock - 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. 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. Thereafter proceed to visit Polonnaruwa which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a world heritage site - Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace and the Gal Viharaya.
An early start to Hiriwaduna village for a varied trek, first to the reservoir, where the trunks of long dead trees stand stark against lush wetland greenery. After a picnic breakfast, cross by catamaran at Oruwa and follow a narrow trail through banana plantations to the home of a Chena farmer for a cool drink of king coconut. Continue onward into a scrub forest, where a waiting bullock cart is your jungle transport. This afternoon visit the Ritigala monastery ruins, its ancient stones are steeped in legend and superbly crafted by artisans. Gigantic trees form its backdrop, 300 feet high with tropical lianas climbing and twining around the trunks.
After breakfast, enjoy a cycle ride in Habarana before leaving for Kandy. En route visit the Dambulla Rock 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. Late evening proceed to visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and thereafter witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Today we visit the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela. This orphanage is the home for about 90 elephants, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. Afterwards we go to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Back in Kandy, a scenic lakeside town, visit the lake, bazaar, gem museum and lapidary.
Today we head to Nuwara Eliya, with a stop along the way at a tea plantation and be told all about the process of manufacturing tea. You can also see how tea is graded. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. On completion, proceed to Nuwara Eliya which, because of its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, is Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Sri Lanka’s highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 feet) is located here. Nuwara-Eliya also has one of the finest 18 hole golf courses in South Asia.
Morning proceed to visit Horton Plains - Horton Plains is located on a high windswept saddle at 2134 meters. These Plains are hard to reach but the scenery is well worth the effort. At Horton Plains, hike to the Bakers Fall, passing en route the Gem Pit Pool, the Chimney Pool, and the Leg of Mutton Pool.
Today we visit the Mahayana Buddhist rock sculptures at Buduruwagala before driving onto Yala for hotel check in. This evening we do a safari to the Yala National Park by jeep. Yala is the largest National Park in Sri Lanka and is the home to wild elephants, wild boar, wild buffalo, leopard, bear, deer and crocodiles. You can also see large flocks of migratory and indigenous birds.
Yala National 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. 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. On completion return back to the hotel. Late afternoon you will have another jeep safari to Yala National Park.
Leave after breakfast stopping en route for an exhilarating 1-2 hour white water rafting excursion on the Kelani River in Kitulgala (level three). We continue on to Colombo and check you into the hotel.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.