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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. The rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight at Gateway Hotel - (Standard Room)
Today we drive to Gampola via Kithulgala which is in the wet zone rain forest, which gets two monsoons each year, and is one of the wettest places in the country. The Academy Award-winning The Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed on the Kelani River near Kithulgala, although nothing remains now except the concrete foundations for the bridge (and, supposedly, the submerged train cars that plunged into the river in the climactic scene). Kithulgala is also a base for white-water rafting, which starts a few kilometers upstream. On completion proceed to the hotel: Kothmale Holiday Resort - (Standard Room)
Today short drive to Kandy – Check in at Amaya Hills Hotel - (Superior Room) – Afternoon proceed on a sightseeing tour of Kandy - Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and is a World Heritage Site. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum and a lapidary. In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and thereafter witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Morning proceed to 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. Also could accompany the elephants to a river close-by and see them having their daily bath. Thereafter visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya - This botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. Overnight at Amaya Hills Hotel - (Superior Room)
Breakfast at hotel – Leave for Yala via Nuwara Eliya – En route 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. You can also see how tea is graded. Proceed to Nuwara Eliya - because of its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, is 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 located here. On completion proceed to Yala – Check in at Elephant Reach Hotel - (Standard Room)
Proceed on a Jeep Safari to visit the Yala National Park - This 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. You will also see mammal such as wild boars, several species of deer and wild buffalo. There is a plethora of reptilian species and platoons of crocodiles. The uniqueness of the park is the sheer diversity of the habitat: dense jungles suddenly gives way to lagoons and open plain areas and the park has a simply beautiful sea front. Overnight at Elephant Reach Hotel - (Standard Room)
Today we drive to Kataragama – Visit the Kataragama Temple - This is a Hindu and Buddhist temple complex dedicated to Skanda-Murukan. It is one of the few religious sites in Sri Lanka that is venerated by the majority Sinhala Buddhists, inority Hindu Tamils, Muslims and the indigenous Vedda people. For most of the past millennia, it was a jungle shrine very difficult to access, but currently is accessible by an all-weather road. Almost all the shrines and the nearby Kiri Vehera are managed by Buddhists, apart from shrines dedicated to Tevayani, Shiva (Siva) and the Muslim mosque. On completion return back to the hotel –Overnight at Elephant Reach Hotel - (Standard Room)
After breakfast, we head to the beach at Beruwela for time to relax in the sun. Overnight at Taprospa Hotel - (Standard Room)
Next few days at leisure in Bentota, an ideal tropical beach with it's sparkling warm blue seas and a lush fringe of palm trees, all bathed in warm golden sunshine.
Leave for the airport to connect with the departure flight