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Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at Colombo airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Giritale.
Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Polonnaruwa, once a capital city of Sri Lanka, now a world heritage site. See the intricate ruins of the Royal Palace, the Lotus bath, king Parakramabahu’s statue and a beautiful artificial lake, as well as several temples. Afterwards head to Sigiriya where you can climb to the top Lion rock to see the remains of the 5th Century fortress.
En route to Kandy, visit Dambulla Rock temple, situated in a cave and view the painted walls and ceilings comprising of over 150 images of the Buddha. See the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 metres. Next head to the spice garden in Matale to learn about how the spices are grown. In the evening visit the splendid Temple of the Tooth Relic, afterwards enjoy a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Today visit Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage, home to 60 elephants. If you visit at feeding time you can see the baby elephants being fed, afterwards head to the river to see them taking their daily bath! Next admire the Royal Botanical gardens in Peradeniya - 147 acres of flowers, trees and plants. Continuing, enjoy a city tour of Kandy, visit the town, bazaar, arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and alapidary.
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.
Today we visit the Mahayana Buddhist rock sculptures at Buduruwagala before driving onto Yala for hotel check in. This evening we do a safari to the Yala National Park by jeep. Yala is the largest National Park in Sri Lanka and is the home to wild elephants, wild boar, wild buffalo, leopard, bear, deer and crocodiles. You can also see large flocks of migratory and indigenous birds.
Yala National 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. On completion return back to the hotel. Late afternoon you will have another jeep safari to Yala National Park.
Leave for Negombo and en route proceed to visit Udawalawe National Park by Safari Jeep to witness game. This national park was established in 1972 to protect the catchment area of the Udawalawe reservoir, crucial to the livelihoods of the farmers in the south east dry zone. With the land only recently reverting back from cultivation, the park has some fascinating characteristics that make it well worth a visit. Not least of these is the large elephant population. Afterwards we will drive you to Negombo and check you into the hotel.
Transfer to the airport on day 5 for your flight to Male (note: flight not included in the package). Upon arrival in Male you will be met at the airport and transferred to the resort by speedboat, the rest of the day is free for you to relax in paradise!
Relax on the sandy white beaches, swim in the clear blue sea or try many of the sports available at the resort over the next 4 days.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.