DAY 01 - AIRPORT / COLOMBO
Arrival at the Colombo International Airport on flight. Upon arrival in this beautiful island you will be greeted by your friendly tour Guide Lecturer who will accompany you to your air conditioned vehicle. You will be taken to your selected hotel in Colombo. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Over night accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 02 – COLOMBO CITY TOUR
City tour of Colombo will begin by driving pass the commercial areas, a colorful Oriental bazaar with a mix of people, ancient vehicles, bargains, mosques and temples. Tour will take you to the Colombo National Museum to see some of the great specimens of arts crafts and archaeology of Colombo. Places of interest visited – The Khan clock tower, Hindu Kovil, Buddhist temple, and a famous Muslim landmark, the Jumi Ul Alfar Jumma mosque. The tour continues with a visit to The Wolvendaal Church, built in 1749 then a drive through ‘Cinnamon Gardens’, Colombo’s residential area and the greener part of Colombo and ‘Independence Square’. The last stop of the city tour will be the ‘Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. Late afternoon you will return to your hotel.
Over night accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 03 – COLOMBO / SIGIRIYA
After Breakfast leave on an exciting drive through busy towns, villages’ woodlands, rice paddies and marshes into the rural heartland of tropical Sri Lanka and your destination in Sigiriya / Habarana or Kandalama area. Later on you will set off towards Minneriya National Park for your game drive in search of wild elephants and the variety of species of birds and animals that can be found here. The scenery in this national park is wonderful, with its varied flora and fauna, and several tanks where you will find the elephants drinking water. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Sigiriya / Habarana or Dambulla area on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 04 - SIGIRIYA ROCK – sightseeing
An early morning start today to visit one of Sri Lanka’s most famous land marks, The Rock fortress of Sigiriya looming 200 metres above the surrounding plains. This really is a wonderful excursion and is well worth the climb when you see the magnificent 360 degree views across Sri Lanka. If you decide not to climb up, then you can enjoy a leisurely walk around the old water gardens, of which most have dried up now and see the ruins. Late afternoon take “A Traditional Local Boat Ride” in an “Oruwa boat” in the largest man-made lake in Sri Lanka. Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama). This is a very relaxing and scenic activity where you can witness a very rich bird life. Sun set by the lake will be a highlight of the day.
Later return to your hotel for an overnight stay in Sigiriya / Habarana or Dambulla area on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 05 – SIGIRIYA / DAMBULLA / KANDY
Today you leave for Kandy en-route visiting the 1st century BC rock cave temple of Dambulla the most impressive and largest rock cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, with some of the most impressive statues of the Buddha in the world. The Dambulla Cave Temple is a vast isolated rock mass and it was here that King Valagambahu took refuge in the 01st century B.C. when fleeing from his enemies. He later turned the caves into a rock cave temple. The Golden Temple of Dambulla has been the centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus alike for 22 centuries. It is Sri Lanka’s most popular cave site. The Cave monastery, home to Buddhist monks is covered with exquisite 2,000 year-old murals depicting the life and times of the Lord Buddha. The shrines also house a collection of 157 statues of lord Buddha in various sizes and poses, including a 15 meter long reclining Buddha and vividly coloured frescoes on the walls and ceiling, making this the largest cave painted surface in the world.
On completion, drive to Kandy, en-route visiting Spice gardens located at Matale (The spice capital of Sri Lanka). Enriched with herbs, spice groves and plants with fragrant greenery shading from the tropical trees that enlightens the unique aroma of each spice and herb. They give the opportunity for the visitors to explore and gain knowledge on Sri Lankan spices, herbs and the benefits of Ayurveda, enjoying a herbal head and shoulder massage. In the evening you will be taken to witness a traditional performance of Kandyan dancing. This will involve over 6 different types of dancing from various regions in Sri Lanka and concludes with a dramatic display of fire walking and breathing. Complete your day with an evening visit to the Temple of the Tooth, which houses the most sacred relic of the Buddha, where the casket in which the tooth is contained, is brought out. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Kandy on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 06 – EXCURSION – BIRD-WATCHING / PERADENIYA BOTANICAL GARDENS
Early start to visit the Udawattakele Royal Forest Sanctuary the forest located "in the Kandy city", was planned and maintained as the part of the Royal palace complex of the Sinhala Kings. You are guaranteed to come across plenty of monkeys, birds and some tranquil ponds. It is advisable to wear long trousers with leech socks or repellent as there could be leeches, especially during the rainy season. Afterwards take a stroll through the Royal Botanical gardens of Peradeniya; which started off as pleasure gardens for Sinhalese Royalty. Then it was turned into a Botanical garden by the British in 1843. It was also the location of the supreme headquarters of Lord Mountbatten during World War 2. It has an amazing collection of over 300 varieties of orchids, probably the largest collection in Asia. Return to your hotel in Kandy for an overnight stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 07 - KANDY / NUWARA ELIYA BY TRAIN
Breakfast & drive down to the station to experience one of the most exciting and scenic train journeys on the island, around the Tea covered mountains, through tunnels and over bridges; your destination is Nuwara Eliya, where the British established a hill station and a convalescence center for their military in the 19th century. Known as ‘little England’ to the British during the colonial period. The city has some interesting buildings of mock Tudor and Georgian architecture. Some of the colonial landmarks include, the old post office, the Grand hotel, St Andrews hotel, the racecourse, Lake Gregory and Victoria Park to name a few. In the afternoon visit a working Tea factory. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Nuwara Eliya on Bed & Breakfast
DAY 08 – HORTON PLAINS - Nature walking trail
Early or packed breakfast and leave on an adventurous drive to Horton Plains National Park, located at an altitude of over 2000 metres and covering an area of 3160 hectares. Commence the circular trek through the park from the visitor’s center where you will find some interesting exhibits pertaining to the history, fauna and flora of Horton Plains. The 9 kilometre circular trek will take approximately 3 hours to complete. And will cover an escarpment called mini worlds end and the famous escarpment called worlds end, from which point on a clear day you could see the southern coast of Sri Lanka, and then if you feel up to it make a somewhat slippery and steep descent to ‘Bakers falls’ named after the famous British explorer, Sir Samuel Baker or continue the trek through forests and grasslands back to the visitor’s center. Return to your hotel for an overnight stay on Bed & Breakfast.
DAY 09 – NUWARA ELIYA / UDAWALAWE
Leave for the south central region of Sri Lanka and the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe. A visit at feeding time is an amazing experience. Commence an afternoon safari drive through the Udawalawe National Park which covers an area of 30821 hectares. The ecosystems here include Marshes, the Walawe River and its tributaries, forests and grasslands. Udawalawe has a large Elephant population. Besides the elephants, 21 species of fish, 12 species of amphibians, 18 species of snakes, 15 species of tetra pod reptiles, 184 species of birds and 39 species of mammals are found in the park. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Udawalawe on Bed & Breakfast
DAY 10 – UDAWALAWE / YALA
Breakfast and leave on a leisurely and exciting drive through lush tropical countryside, past little agriculture based villages to the southeast region of Sri Lanka and your destination in Yala area. Check-in to your selected hotel in Yala on Bed & Breakfast. This afternoon will be at leisure.
DAY 11 – MORNING AND AFTERNOON SAFARI DRIVES IN YALA NATIONAL PARK
Leave on an exciting early morning safari drive through the Yala National Park. Yala Has a very unique eco system of dry and wet monsoon forests, dry grasslands, thorny scrublands along with freshwater and marine wetlands and the sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean. The Yala National Park is the second largest in Sri Lanka and is home to 44 species of mammals including Elephant, Leopard (the highest density found in the world), Monkeys, Sloth bear, wild water Buffalo, Toque Macaque, Golden Palm Civet, Red Slender Loris, and Fishing Cat and about 215 Bird species. Return to the Park for an afternoon safari drive.
DAY 12 – BUNDALA NATIONAL PARK SAFARI DRIVE
Leave on an exciting early morning safari drive through the Bundala National Park, designated as a Ramsar the park covers an area of 62 sq. km., consisting of dry thorny scrublands, marshes and four brackish lagoons. The terrain is generally flat with sand dunes bordering the coastline. Nearly 200 species of bird have been recorded in the park, 32 species of mammal, and a small population of Elephant numbering about 60 depending on the season and the elusive Leopard. Afternoon will be at leisure.
DAY 13 – YALA / GALLE / TURTLE HATCHERIES
Breakfast and leave on a leisurely drive to Colombo, en route visit the historical Dutch fortress city of Galle, which encompasses architectural structures interlaced with local traditions from the colonial period starting with the Portuguese in 1505. The Dutch built the present fort in 1663, and the British who took over in 1796 used it as an administrative centre for southern Sri Lanka. Crisscrossing roads and the straight and narrow lanes invite you to a delightful walk into the 17th century. Highlights inside the fort include the thick walled ramparts, the bastions, the Dutch reformed church, the Dutch government house, the National Maritime museum, the ‘Meera’ mosque built in 1904, the All Saints Church built in 1871, The Buddhist Temple, the old Clock Tower dated 1707.
En route from Galle to Colombo stop at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatcheries a conservation project for sea turtles with the collection of the eggs and the release of the baby turtles to the sea. Five species of sea turtles are found in Sri Lanka, namely the Ridgeback, Hawksbill, Green Turtle, Olive Ridley and Loggerhead. Continue the drive to Colombo. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Colombo on Bed & Breakfast
DAY 14 – DEPARTURE SRI LANKA
You will be driven from your hotel to the international airport for your departure from Sri Lanka or you may choose an optional beach extension on Sri Lanka’s beautiful coast.
We wish you “farewell” as you depart on your flight back home accompanied with all the happy memories of the tropical island, Sri Lanka once known as TAPROBANE.