If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SRI LANKA 111 when enquiring for further details.
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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. In the afternoon we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sri Lanka’s capital to include the Fort, Galle Face Green – a seaside expanse popular for informal cricket games, the Pettah – a noisy oriental bazaar, a visit to Gamgarama temple, Cinnamon Gardens and Independence Square.
Morning leave for Polonnaruwa. In the afternoon proceed on a Sightseeing tour of Polonnaruwa which is a world heritage site - 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 carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, king Parakramabahu statue, and the Parakrama Samudraya lake built by King Parakramabahu the great. On completion return to hotel for overnight stay.
Morning proceed to Sigiriya - climb the 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. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya. Evening proceed on a Jeep Safari to visit the Minneriya National Park - The Minneriya Tank was created by King Parakarambahu at the height of Polonnaruwa’s glory as the capital of Sri Lanka. The national park based largely around the huge tank (reservoir) was created rather more recently but serves as an important gathering place for Sri Lanka’s large population of elephants. It is a great place for elephant spotting all year round – though as the dry season makes water scarce between June and September, more and more elephants gather on the shores of Minneriya Tank. Indeed by late August and September, the awe inspiring site of up to 300 elephants can often be seen, in a phenomenon known as ‘The Gathering’. It is the largest concentration and gathering of Asian elephants that can be seen anywhere in the world. Watching baby elephants playing with each other, bull elephants tussling for dominance and the great matriarchs surveying the scene is not a sight you are likely to forget in a hurry. Aside from the elephant, Minneriya is also home to some 23 other species of mammals: some, like the Deer and Sambur you will see, some like the Leopard and the Sloth Bear will probably prove elusive. The arid dry zone is a paradise for many species of Lizard and you will see them here in all their technical colour brilliance if you look carefully enough, as well as snakes like the Indian Python and the Mugger Crocodile. Above all, of course, are Sri Lanka’s wonderfully varied bird population. Among the 150 or so species, particular favorites of ours you may see in Minneriya include the beautiful painted stork, the Pelican and various imposing eagle species, as well as the endemics: the Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl, the Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, and the Sri Lanka Gray Hornbill.
Leave 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. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. meters of painted walls and the 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. Also 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.
Morning proceed to visit the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala - 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. The best time to visit is during the feeding times, when one will have the opportunity of seeing the baby elephants being bottle-fed. Also could accompany the elephants to a river close-by and see them having their daily bath. On completion return to Kandy, En route visit the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens.
Leave for Negombo – Check in at Jetwing Sea Hotel 4* - (Standard Room) – Rest of your days at leisure on the beach.
After breakfast and hotel check out we'll transfer you to Colombo airport for your return journey home.