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 / CULTURAL TRIANGLE
After an early Breakfast leave on an exciting drive to Negombo along the Dutch Canal Road. Commence a city tour of Negombo and the fish market before heading to the cultural triangle. 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 hope to find the elephants drinking. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Sigiriya / Habarana or Dambulla area – 4 nights – Bed & Breakfast
DAY 04 – ANURADHAPURA / MIHINTALE
After breakfast leave on a sightseeing tour of the ancient ruins of the 4th century BC capital city of Anuradhapura. The ruins at Anuradhapura are still considered a holy city to Buddhists. Dozens of worshippers bring offerings of flowers to give to the saffron robed monks. A tour of the ancient ruins include places of veneration such as gigantic Stupas’ second in size to the Pyramids of Egypt and the Sri Maha Bodhi; or the Sacred Bo tree as it is known to the Buddhists. It is said to be the oldest documented tree on earth. Continue to Mihintale, birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism. The best time to climb the mountain is early morning or late afternoon when it is not so hot. A climb of 1840 small steps will take you to the summit of the sacred mountain. Return to your hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 05 – VILLAGE WALK / POLONNARUWA
This morning your chauffeur-guide will meet you at your accommodation to take you out to nearby rural villages for a village walk and to learn more about the day to day rural life typical to the Sri Lankan countryside. The experience will include a bullock cart ride through the countryside, visiting various villages and visiting with the locals, as well as a boat ride, and sampling local cuisine if you wish. This is a great way to get to know the people of Sri Lanka. Continue on a sightseeing tour of Polonnaruwa, a city with ruins of Royal Palaces, king’s council chambers, Royal baths and ruins of Buddhist shrines such as the ‘Vatadage’, a circular relic house. The Gal Vihara (Stone Temple) has four Buddhist statues (standing 7 metres high and reclining 14 metres long). You will also visit Lankathilaka, Kiri Vihara, Thuparama image house, 12th century ‘Lotus Mandapaya’ and The Parakramabahu statue. It was under King Parakramabu I, who ruled in the late 11th century, that Polonnaruwa became a magnificent walled city. He built the vast reservoir, Parakrama Samudra (the Sea of Parakrama) which is still in use today, and ordered the construction of monasteries, temples, palaces, bathing pools and Buddhist statues, all set in a forested park surrounded by moats. During his period of rule it is said that Sri Lanka was known as the Granary of the East. Return to your hotel for overnight stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 06 – EXCURSION TO SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS
This morning you will head off early to climb the Rock fortress of Sigiriya. The rock monolith which stands almost 200 metres high was a monastery from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. The 5th century AD saw this monastery transformed into a unique combination of urban planning, natural and imaginatively landscaped gardens, ingenious ancient hydro engineering and management, the arts of painting, sculpture, poetry and architecture. This was during the rule of one of Sri Lanka’s most controversial ruler, King Kasyapa. 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 it then you can enjoy a leisurely walk around the old water gardens, of which most have dried up now and see the ruins. This afternoon will be at leisure at your hotel to enjoy the pool or a walk in the local area. Over night accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 07 – SIGIRIYA / 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 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 your will be taken to 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 the tooth is contained in is brought out. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Kandy on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 08 – CITY TOUR OF KANDY
We start early with a visit to the Temple of the Tooth, which houses the most sacred relic of the Buddha, where the casket the tooth is contained in is brought out. Later we, commence a City tour of Kandy visiting the upper lake drive which offers you a bird’s eye view of the man built Kandy Lake and the hustle and bustle of the Kandy market place, a visit to the Gem museum and Arts & Crafts Centre. The day ends with a late afternoon wander through the verdant Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, to enjoy the fantastic collection of exotic tropical plants. Return to your hotel for overnight stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 09 - KANDY / NUWARA ELIYA
Breakfast & leave for an exciting journey along Tea covered mountains and upland forests to 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. En route we stop to visit one of the area’s renowned tea factories, and learn more about this famous Sri Lankan export. In the afternoon see the towns 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. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Nuwara Eliya on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 10 – 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 overnight stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 11 – NUWARA ELIYA / YALA
Breakfast and leave on a leisurely and exciting drive via the town of Ella. A scenic drive passing spectacular hills valleys and the Ravana Falls. Continue the 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 basis. This afternoon will be at leisure.
DAY 12 – MORNING AND AFTERNOON SAFARI DRIVES IN YALA NATIONAL PARK
Leave on an exciting early morning safari drive through the Yala National Park. Yala Has an 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. Return to your hotel for overnight stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 13 – YALA / TURTLE HATCHERIES / GALLE
Travel along the coast towards Galle, stopping along to explore the scenes. You may spot the stilt fisherman. En route visit Habaraduwa 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 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 who built the present fort in 1663 and the British who took over in 1796 and used it as an administrative centre for southern Sri Lanka. Overnight stay at your selected hotel in Galle on Bed & Breakfast basis
DAY 14 – WHALE WATCHING / GALLE CITY TOUR
Start early for Whale watching in Mirissa. This is one of the worlds 'Top Hot Spots' for sightings as the whales pass through the food rich waters just off the coast of Sri Lanka. The period between October and April is a good time for dolphins. Late afternoon we set out for a heritage walking tour of this fantastic site of Galle Fort, Built some 400 years ago. 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. . Return to your hotel for overnight stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.
DAY 15 – TRANSFER TO AIRPORT OR BEACH RESORT
After breakfast our journey ends with a transfer 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 isle; Sri Lanka once known as TAPROBANE.