Tour Spotlight

Buddha and Beach

12 days from USD $2,569

Spend a week travelling to some of central Sri Lanka's best sites before heading off to a gorgeous beach for a few days....

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Sample Itinerary - REF SRI LANKA 357

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Day 1: Colombo - Negombo

Meet on arrival at the Bandaranayke International Airport and transfer to your hotel at Negombo. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Negombo - Goldi Sands Hotel

Day 2: Negombo

Day at leisure in Negombo beach.

Day 3: Negombo - Sigiriya

Today, we drive to Sigiriya. En route 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. The best time to visit is during the feeding times, when one will have the opportunity of seeing the baby elephants being bottle-fed. You can also accompany the elephants to a river close-by and see them having their daily bath. Overnight Sigiriya - Kassapa Lions Rock

Day 4: Sigiriya

This morning, 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 metres 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. This afternoon, we visit ancient Polonnaruwa, an 11th century city of compact size. We explore the ruins of the Royal Palace, temples and Gal Vihara which boasts 3 enormous Buddha figures and more.

Day 5: Sigiriya

Today, we visit Anuradhapura, the fascinating ancient city and one of Sri Lanka’s most important archaeological sites. It contains vast artificial lakes, temples, statues including the Samadhi Buddha, dagobas (solid hemispheres topped with spires), royal baths and museums. We also visit the holy Sri Maha Bodhi tree under which Prince Siddharta attained enlightenment. It is also the oldest historically documented tree on earth.

Day 6: Sigiriya - Kandy

En route to Kandy, we visit the stunning Aukana Buddha statue and the impressive Dambulla Rock Temple which contain beautiful frescoes of Buddha. We 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.

Day 7: Kandy

We visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens then back in Kandy, a scenic lakeside town which was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. 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. Tonight, we visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic. After, we enjoy a cultural dance show.

Day 8: Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

Morning proceed to the Peradeniya Railway Station to board the Observation train leaving for Nanu Oya. This dramatic ride will give you a chance of viewing some of the magnificent sites of Sri Lanka. Stunning waterfalls, breathtaking views, long tunnels, etc are common sites in this trip. Meet up with the chauffeur guide at the Nanu Oya Railway Station and proceed to 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. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory.

Day 9: Nuwara Eliya

Enjoy a trip to Horton Plains, the coldest and windiest location in Sri Lanka, consisting of ecosystems such as Montane evergreen forests, grasslands, marshy lands and aquatic ecosystem. At an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, Horton Plains spreads across over 3,169 hectares of the highest tableland of the island. In view of the large number of endemic flora and fauna species, Horton Plains was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 30th July 2010. The escarpment with a depth of 900 meters called World’s End and Baker’s Falls are the highlights of the Horton Plains.

Day 10: Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park

Continuing to Yala National Park, 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 gives 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.

Day 11: Yala National Park

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. Sloth bears are also a big draw. 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. 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.

Day 12: Yala National Park - Kalutara

Leave for Kalutara via Galle today. Visit the Galle Dutch Fort - The Galle fort was 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 Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. Today 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.

Day 13: Kalutara

Day at leisure on the beach.

Day 14: Kalutara

Day at leisure on the beach.

Day 15: Kalutara - Colombo

Today, we drive to Colombo. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 16: Colombo

Proceed on a sightseeing tour of Colombo. Drive through the Commercial area of the “Fort” so named, because both the Portuguese and Dutch had a Fort at this point. Drive passed “Pettah” – a noisy Oriental bazaar with a hotchpotch of Humanity, ancient vehicles, bargains, mosques & temples. Visit Hindu temple & drive pass Jumi-UL Alfar Jumma Mosque. Continue the tour through the Wolvendaal Dutch Church, Hultsdorf Law courts, to the residential area of Cinnamon Gardens and on to the Independence Square and Bandaranayke Memorial International Conference Hall. And also visit Gangaramaya Temple.

Day 17: Colombo

Departure transfer to the airport.

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