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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your holiday! You'll be met at Colombo Airport and transferred to hotel. Tonight enjoy a tasty welcome dinner at your hotel.
Spend the morning at leisure, this afternoon enjoy a tour of colourful Colombol. Just off the north end of Galle Road, the main north-south artery of the city is the area known as the Fort, once a colonial stronghold but now the site of many government buildings and interesting shops. Just south of the Fort is Galle Face Green, a seaside expanse where informal cricket games are played out amongst city folk. Just east of the Fort is the Pettah, the traditional bazaar district – a colourful retail experience. Just beyond the centre is the affluent Cinnamon Gardens district of the city. You will drive through these districts on your tour of the city and visit Gangarama Temple and Independence Square.
Drive to Giritale today, stopping en route to visit the impressive Dambulla Rock Temple. Dambulla is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with 2000 sq. metres 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 after hotel check in visit UNESCO Listed Polonnaruwa – an incredible 11th century city. Explore the ruins of the Royal Palace, temples and Gal Vihara which boasts three enormous and revered Buddha figures. Overnight Hotel Sudu Araliya
This morning drive to Sigiriya and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Listed, 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, 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. Discover the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. After exploring the sights of Sigiriya, stop to visit a Spice Garden in Matale, en route to Kandy.
Enjoy a wonderful excursion to the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela today. This orphanage is the home for about 60 elephants, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. Afterwards visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Back in the scenic lakeside town of Kandy, embark upon a sightseeing tour, visiting the bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum. In the evening, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and then enjoy a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
En route to Nuwara Eliya – a scenic hillside town with a distinctly English flavour, visit a tea plantation and enjoy a tasty cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. In Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort, enjoy a sightseeing tour this evening, including a visit to Hakgala Gardens.
Travel to Yala National Park, This park is famous for its high density of leopards, perhaps the highest in the world. This afternoon, we enjoy a jeep safari. The largest national park in Sri Lanka, Yala is home to elephants, wild boar, buffalo, leopard, crocodile and myriad birdlife. 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.
En route back to Colombo today, stop off in Ratnapura - Sri Lanka’s gem capital, where you can learn about these all about the islands precious stones, visit gem mines, a museum and a lapidary.
Today is spent at your leisure.
Your tour with us comes to an end today, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight.