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Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at Colombo airport and transferred to our beachfront hotel in Wattala, a small town just north of Colombo. The rest of the day is at leisure.
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. We also visit the national museum (closed Friday).
Breakfast at hotel – Leave for Sigiriya – Experience the thrill of an elephant back safari in Habarana for about one hour. Each elephant will be able to carry 05 adults in a Howdy or Basket. Once the guest mount on Elephants, they will be taken deep in to the jungle, accompanied by a Mahout.
Morning proceed to Climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD).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, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster. Afternoon proceed on a sightseeing tour of Polonnaruwa - Which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a world heritage site.
Leave for Trincomalee - Trincomalee is a major port city in Eastern Province, Sri Lankaand lies on the east coast of the island, about 113 miles south of Jaffna. It has a population of 99,135. The city is built on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours. Overlooking the Kottiyar Bay, Trincomalee is one of the main centers of Tamil speaking culture on the island. The city is home to the famous ancient Koneswaram temple alluded to in its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai from which its anglicized name is derived, and has been a sea port that has played a major role in the maritime and international trading history of Sri Lanka. It is referred to as Gokanna in Pali or Gokarna in Sanskrit.
Breakfast at hotel – Rest of the day at leisure on the beach – Overnight stay at the hotel.
Morning leave for Kandy – En route visit the Dambulla Cave 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.
Proceed to visit the Peradeniya 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, 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.
Leave for 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. On completion, 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.
Leave for Yala via Ella - Ella is blessed with some of the most beautiful views, you could find in Sri Lanka. Sights in Ella include the Ravana Ella Falls, Little Adam's Peak and Bambaragala Peak among other stunning scenery. The Ravana Ella was named after the demon ruler of Sri Lanka Ravana who is the main antagonist in the renowned epic Ramayana. It is believed that he hid Sita whom he kidnapped in India, in the caves situated behind the falls. The Ravana Ella falls has a main drop which is 30 feet in height, and it is ranked as one of the widest falls in the country.
Morning 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. 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. 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.
This morning after breakfast we head for Negombo for some R&R.
Today is the end of your Sri Lankan adventure. We will transfer you back to the airport in time for your flight home.