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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 Negombo. The rest of the day/evening are at your leisure.
Today morning you have at leisure. Later this afternoon you will be transferred to Sigiriya. Sigiriya, meaning ‘lion rock’ in Sinhalese, is an ancient rock fortress and palace surrounded by jungle in central Sri Lanka. The entrance to the tip of the palace was designed in the shape of a lion’s mouth. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and declared the 8th Wonder of the World, it is enclosed by the remains of an extensive network of gardens and reservoirs. These gardens are some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world and include water, boulder and terraced gardens.
Today you shall Proceed to visit Polonnaruwa - Which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD. 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. Late afternoon 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 meters from the scrub jungle.
Today you will proceed to Anuradhapura - It was the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of the ancient Sri Lanka, It is the home of two World Heritage sites. Many places of historical and archaeological interest shall be visited today.
Today you shall 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. You shall 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.
Today you shall 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. In the evening you shall visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and thereafter witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
This morning you shall proceed to the Peradeniya Railway Station to board the train leaving for Nanu Oya - This dramatic ride will give you the opportunity to view some of the magnificent sites of Sri Lanka. Stunning waterfalls, breathtaking views, long tunnels, etc are common sites you shall view on this trip. Later you shall continue onto Nuwara Eliya. This afternoon you shall go on a sightseeing tour of Nuwara Eliya – Drive through "Little England” – On completion return back to the hotel.
This morning proceed to the Horton Plains on a trekking journey. The coldest and windiest location in Sri Lanka consists 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 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.
Today you shall leave for Yala. En-route view Ella Gap. 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. 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.
This morning you will go for a game drive in 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 other mammals such as wild boars, several species of deer and wild buffalo. There is a plethora of reptilian species and platoons of crocodiles as well. Later this afternoon proceed to Koggala
Today you will proceed to Balapitiya for the Madu River Boat ride. In the outset Madu Ganga is considered as Sri Lanka's second largest wetland consisting of 28 islands including two main islands providing shelter to 215 families. Over the past generations Madu Ganga has played an important role in providing food and shelter and of course providing easy access to the main land via small wooden boats. Late this afternoon you shall proceed to Galle Fortress. The Galle fort was built first by the Portuguese, and then modified by the Dutch during the 17th century.
Today you will Leave for Colombo. Late this afternoon you shall go on a city tour in 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. You shall also visit Gangarama Temple.
Today we bid you farewell and transfer you to the airport for your onward flight home.