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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your exploration of Indian Ocean Paradise! Arrive Colombo airport and our friendly local team await to transfer you to your hotel.
Highlights of our sightseeing tour of Sri Lanka’s capital include the Fort – once a colonial stronghold, 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. Last stop is a visit to the national museum before returning to your hotel.
Day at leisure.
After breakfast, we depart for Habarana. En route we visit the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela which is 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. This evening proceed on an Jeep Safari to visit Minneriya National Park which is an important gathering place for Sri Lanka's elephants. The Minneriya Tank was created by King Parakramabahu at the height of Polonnaruwa’s glory as the capital of Sri Lanka. Upon completion return to your hotel.
We head out to Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Built over 1500 years ago, this beautiful citadel stands 200 meters high in the middle of verdant jungle and was an important stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. It can be viewed from miles around and is definitely one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic and famous sites. We then have an elephant back safari in the surroundings of Kandalama, through the jungle. There will be New years eve gala dinner held tonight.
After breakfast today you shall depart for Kandy. En-route visit the Dambulla Cave Temple. This stunning complex of 5 caves contains over 150 images of Buddha including an impressive 14 metre statue carved out of the cave rock. After you will aslos visit the spice garden in Matale to see different spices, which Sri Lanka is famous for.
Proceed to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens. This botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. Thereafter proceed on a sightseeing tour of Kandy - Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. 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. In the evening visit the temple of the tooth Relic and thereafter witness a cultural show.
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.
This morning proceed to Yala National Park. This evening, 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.
This morning, we visit Bundala National Park – a bird sanctuary. We visit the town of Galle and it’s 17th century fort. Within the fort, are narrow streets filled with churches and colonial buidings. We then continue to Bentota, an ideal tropical beach holiday with it's sparkling warm blue seas and a lush fringe of palm trees, all bathed in warm golden sunshine. On competition leave for Mirissa.
This morning leave for whale watching centre to commence on a whale watching expedition. On completion return back to hotel.
Today we bid you farewell.