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Discover Sri Lanka

Excellent

Duration

14 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

10 people

Languages

___

Overview

A comprehensive tour introducing the many faucets of Sri Lanka ranging from Culture, Scenery, Wildlife, Beaches and Adventure. The tour is well spaced out with many days spent at specific hotels which serve as a base to visit destinations, sites and attractions in the vicinity. This is a standard route which is popularly travelled by many tourists and hardly any destination can be classified as “off the beaten”, but remains a very impressionable route with remarkable scenery and lush greenery which is the trademark of Sri Lanka.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Climb the famous iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress and experience the rich heritage of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka.
  • Enjoy fun-packed jeep safaris at Minneriya and Yala and spot wildlife.
  • Soak in the golden sands of the western and southern beaches of Sri Lanka.
  • View majestic scenery in the central highlands.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Airport - Negombo
Day 1 - Airport - Negombo

Meet & Greet at Airport on arrival at midnight and transfer to Hotel in Negombo. (Transfer time – approximately 15 minutes)

According to flight arrival time and check-in at hotel, commence a short excursion of the Negombo town visiting a Catholic church and the fish market. Later witness the sunset at Negombo Beach.

Overnight stay at Negombo

Day 2 - Negombo - Pinnawela - Habarana
Day 2 - Negombo - Pinnawela - Habarana

After breakfast depart Negombo to Habarana via Kurunegala. (Lunch optional). On the way visit the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela in time to observe the baby elephants being bottle fed.

PINNAWALA ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE - See baby jumbos wondering around their cramped foster home or bottle fed and bathed by their human foster fathers at Pinnawala, about 90Km from Colombo towards Kandy is the home to some 60 or more elephant orphans. A place you will really enjoy and never forget. Most orphans are accustomed to their curious human visitors are harmless. Started in 1972 the Elephant Orphanage was relocated to at the present site in 1975 Bathing time at Ma Oya just in front of the orphanage is sharp at 10.00am and 2.00pm. Feeding time is about and hour earlier.

Proceed to Habarana.

Dinner and overnight stay at Habarana.

Day 3 - Habarana - Polonnaruwa - Habarana
Day 3 - Habarana - Polonnaruwa - Habarana

After breakfast proceed to Polonnaruwa and commence a sight seeing tour of the Medieval Capital.

POLONNARUWA the Medieval Kingdom from the 11th to the 13th century. Ethnic harmony prevailed between the Sinhalese and the Tamils during this period. Buddhist and Hindu Temples located in the same complex and many other ruins symbolizes this fact. The Palaces, Huge granite sculptures and the massive tanks and complex irrigation systems built by the Great Kings conveys the extent of development that existed in this middle history period. Among the important ruins we come across in Polonnaruwa are, the Royal Palace, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, the Statue of king Parakramabahu and the famous Gal Viharaya - where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in 'Upright', 'Sedentary' and 'Recumbent' postures are carved out of rock - , and the Parakrama Samudraya. The Gal Vihara marks a very important land mark and a high point in rock carving. These four separate large statues out of which, the upright statue is 7m tall and the recumbent statue is 14m long are all carved out of one large slab of rock.
Some of the other important and famous ruins and places of worship are, the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic. Out of these, the Gal-potha (the Stone-Book), is the largest stone inscription in Sri Lanka with its length being 9m and the width 1.5m. A footnote on this 25 tonne gigantic rock slab indicates that it was dragged here from Minintale – an astounding 100km away.

After the sight-seeing tour of Polonnaruwa have lunch and return to Habarana on the way do a game safari of the Minneriya National Park. (Duration of safari – approximately 2 ½ hours).

GAME SAFARI MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK
Enter the Minneriya National Park by jeep :

MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka 's favourites such as sambar deer, leopards(if lucky) and elephants. However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in 3rdcentury AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze on the grasses as well as buffalo, jackals, crocodiles, civet cats and the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks to name but a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters.
(Transfer time approximately 1/2 hour)

Dinner and overnight stay at Habarana.

Day 4 : Habarana - Anuradhapura - Habarana
Day 4 : Habarana - Anuradhapura - Habarana

After breakfast proceed to Anuradhapura and commence a sight seeing tour of Anuardhapura visiting the ancient ruines. (Transfer time approximately 1 hour)

SIGHT SEEING TOUR OF ANURADHAPURA
A sapling of the “Tree of Enlightenment” under which the Bodhisatva attained Englightenment and became the Buddha, brought to Sri Lanka by Bikkhuni Sangamittha, who was the founder of the order of Buddhist Bikkunis (Nuns) and who was the sister of Ahahat Mahinda, was planted in Anuradhapura. This City of Anuradhapura developed greately afterwards and flourished as the political and religious capital of the country. for over 1,300 years.

This “City of Ruins” and home for “The Sri Maha Bodhi” or the “Tree of Enlightnement”, is not only one of the most sacred places for the Buddhists but also a great Tourist destination. This city has so much to offer to the Pilgrums and Tourists alike. Among the important sites are the great white and fine Ruvanweli Seya (Dagoba), the small but important Thuparama dagoba, Huge 75m high Abhayagiri Dagoba, Jetavanarama Dagoba which is 70n high, the Brazen Palace which has been a nine story building of which the roof was bronze built on 1600 stone pillars (now only the stone pillars are to be seen) etc. This vast area that has been hidden away in the thick jungle for a long time and now turned into one large garden, has ruins of so many Temples, Palaces, Monasteries, Monuments and other important places of interest to be seen.

Return to Habarana for overnight stay.

Dinner and overnight stay at Habarana.

Day 5 : Habarana - Kandy
Day 5 : Habarana - Kandy

After breakfast, depart to Kandy via Dambulla en route visit the Sigiriya Rock fortress and Dambulla Rock Temple. .

THE ASCENT TO SIGIRIYA
The ancient city of SIGIRIYA was designated a cultural World Heritage Site in 1982. It is also proposed that the site should be named the eighth wonder of the world, indicating it is in the same league as other international wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Ancient Pyramids. Translated as ‘Lion Rock’ into English, the name of the monument indicates the entrance through which visitors begin their final ascent to the top – through the open jaws and throat (‘giriya’) of a lion (‘sinha’). Unfortunately, the only remains of this lion figure are the gigantic paws, sculpted into the side of the rock. The topography of the area is flat except for the massive rock outcrop of the fortress itself. This amazing rock rises incredibly over 600ft up from the scrub jungle and what is more amazing is that its flat top has an area of over 3-1/2 acres. The amazement is not over; not wanting to be second to the Nature’s creation, the King has used this space in its entirety to creat his palace and fortress complexes including a swimming pool on the summit of this rock.


VISIT OF DAMBULLA CAVE TEMPLE,
Dambulla is known for its beautiful ancient Cave temples and a huge modern Buddha statue. The history of the 5 caves, containing over 150 images of Buddha, goes back to 1st century BC when king Valagambahu took refuge here. The second cave, the most elaborate and most spectacular of the five, is the largest which is 170ft long, 75ft broad and 21ft high. There is a large reclining Buddha statue and statues of two kings namely, Valagambahu who took first took refuge there and did most of the consctuction and Nissankamalla who later did more work. In the center of this cave is a large contaianer to collect the water that drips from the rock ceiling even during the dry season. This place is worth visiting not only for the cave temple, but also for the beautiful view over the countryside we get from near the caves situated at arount 150mt above the road.

Proceed to Kandy en route visitng a Spice Garden close to Matale (lunch optional)


Dinner and overnight stay at Kandy.

Day 6 : Kandy sightseeing
Day 6 : Kandy sightseeing

After breakfast proceed to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens for a walking tour.

PERADENIYA BOTANICAL GARDENS - This is 147 acres in extent started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the kings of Kandy There are more than 500 species of trees and plants. Some are rare & endemic as well as flora from the tropical world. Spice Garden on Orchid House is more popular with tourist.

After lunch engage in a brief city tour of Kandy visiting the market area and and the shopping center.

In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth and witness a cultural dance.


VISIT TO THE TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH IN KANDY,
Kandy was the last kingdom of Sri Lanka where the famous Dalada Maligawa – another world heritage site – is, is a very important place to visit. The Dalada Maligawa also called the Temple of the Tooth houses the Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha.



Dinner and overnight stay at Topaz Hotel - Kandy.

Day 7 : Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
Day 7 : Kandy – Nuwara Eliya

After early breakfast depart Kandy to Nuwara Eliya by train to Nanu Oya. Please ensure that you are at the Peradeniya(Kandy) railway station by 08.15 am as the train depatrs the staion at 08.35 am. Estimated arrival time at Nanu Oya (Nuwara Eliya) railway station will be at 12.27 pm. Your vehicle will be there to pick you up from the Nanu Oya station and transfer you to Nuwara Eliya.

SOJOURN IN NUWARA ELIYA,

Nuwara Eliya is the highest town in Sri Lanka and has a cool sparkling climate with the temperature changing around 13degC. This is an exquisite and healthy city famous for its wide range in flowers. With buildings of English architecture everywhere in the city, it is affectionately called “Little England”. The Victoria Park in the center of Nuwara Eliya, is a beautiful place to visit.


Dinner and overnight stay at Nuwara Eliya

Day 8 : Leisure at Nuwara Eliya
Day 8 : Leisure at Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast stay in Nuwara Eliya at leisure or visit the Hakgala Botanical Gardens (Optional). (Transfer time approximately ½ hour).

HAKGALA BOTANICAL GARDENS - is one of the three Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka and is the second largest garden in Sri Lanka. It lies under the Hakgala Peak, between 5000-6000 feet in elevation - the highest set Botanical Gardens in the world. It boasts 100 year old Monetary Cypress trees from California, Japanese Cedars, Himalayan Pines and English Oak.

In the afternoon visit a Tea Factory and be guided through the process of Tea manufacture. Later in the afternoon visit the Victoria Park, the Golf Course and Lake Gregory.

Dinner and overnight stay at Grand Hotel – Nuwara Eliya

Day 9 : Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Haputale
Day 9 : Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Haputale

With packed breakfast proceed to Horton Plains National Park for an early morning trek of the plains and witness the panorama at the World's End and visit the Baker's Falls in the park.

Proceed to Haputale for your stay in the colonial estate bungalow.

Dinner and overnight at the Tee Estate Bungalow

Day 10 : Haputale - Yala
Day 10 : Haputale - Yala

After breakfast proceed to Yala via Wellawaya

Late afternoon do a jeep safari of the Yala National Park

YALA NATIONAL PARK lies 24km northeast of Tissamaharama and 290km from Colombo on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka, spanning a vast 97,878 hectares over the Southern and Uva Provinces. The vegetation in the park comprises predominantly of semi-arid thorny scrub, interspersed with pockets of fairly dense secondary forest. Small patches of mangrove vegetation also occur along the coastal lagoons. The park is renowned for the variety of its wildlife (most notably its many elephants) and its fine coastline (associated with beautiful coral reefs). It also boasts a large number of important cultural ruins, bearing testimony to earlier civilizations and indicating that much of the area used to be populated and well developed.

DESCRIPTION OF YALA
Yala West (Ruhuna) National Park is now well recognised as one of the best parks in the world to observe and photograph leopards. The park covers an area of over 100,000 hectares and is divided into five blocks. Block one is easily the most visited part of the sanctuary as it contains the highest density of leopards in the park. However other areas of Yala such as Yala East are only now just re-opening and it will take some time to research leopard numbers in these less visited areas. Yala West consists of scrub jungle, brackish lagoons and stunning rock monoliths scattered throughout the park.

Dinner and overnight stay at Yala

Day 11 : Yala - Galle - Bentota
Day 11 : Yala - Galle - Bentota

After breakfast checkout and depart to Bentota en route visiting the Galle Ramparts and a Turtle Hatchery.

VISIT OF THE GALLE FORTRESS
Considered as the southern capital (116 km from Colombo), Sri Lanka's fourth biggest town, Galle is the most historically interesting living city. Its modern towns were gradually built separately from the ancient one. It was the seaport of Sri Lanka before the Colombo Port was developed in the late 19 th century and it still handles shipping and cruising yachts today. Its main attraction is the Fort called ' Santa Cruz' that has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1619 and subsequently expanded and developed by the Dutch and the British the one time colonial masters of the island. What now remains is mostly the work of the Dutch and the British.

TURTLE HATCHERY - Kosgoda is home to the west coast’s biggest and longest turtle hatchery (daily 8am to 6pm). This was originally established as an independent venture, though the project has now been taken over by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. Turtle eggs are bought from local fishermen and reburied in safe locations, once hatched, the babies are kept here for a few days before being released into the sea – the short time they spend growing stronger in captivity gives them significantly higher chances of surviving when returned to the ocean. There are plenty of baby turtles swimming around in holding tanks – all five species of turtle which visit Sri Lanka lay eggs, and depending on when you visit, you might see newly hatched examples of them all.

Dinner and overnight stay at Club Villa - Bentota.

Day 12 : Beach stay at Bentota
Day 12 : Beach stay at Bentota

Enjoy your beach stay on Half Board basis at the popoular coastal resort of Bentota.

BENTOTA is a coastal city famous for its golden sun-kissed beaches. The town is a popular tourist attraction and also a favourite destination for watersports. It is especially famous among the foreign tourists. The name comes from a mythical story which dates back to kings time saying a demon called Bem ruled this river ( tota = river bank. Bentota hosts a handful of world proclaimed hotels. Bentota also delivers an ancient art of healing called Ayurveda. Bentota is also famous for its production in Toddy. An alcoholic beverage made out of coconut nectar.

Breakfast, Dinner & Overnight stay at Bentota

Day 13 : Bentota - Colombo
Day 13 : Bentota - Colombo

After breakfast depart to Colombo and commence a sight-seeing tour of the Colombo City and shop at the malls.

COLOMBO the Sri Lanka’s commercial capital is an important port in the Indian Ocean since ancient time. The traders from the middle-east used Sri Lanka as an exchange center. The Arab traders came to gather the ivory, the precious stones and spices such as cinnamons, cardamom, cloves and pepper, which were highly priced in Europe. There are many locations relating to the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial times. The Colombo Museum, Vihara Maha Devi Park, Old Parliament, World Trade Center, Zoo, Dutch Museum, Kelani Viharaya, National
Art Gallery. Folk Art Center- Kotte, Natural History Museum, BMICH, Municipal Museum, Fort Railway Station dates back to 1904, Wolfandhal Church and Vaneshwara Kovil and main tourist attractions in Colombo. Colombo even a commercial city, the needs of the leisure travellers can be fulfilled with the range of activities available in the city. Great shopping arcades, luxury hotels restaurants, Karaoke Bars, Casinos, nightclubs and other entertainment facilities available within the city limits.

Dinner and Overnight at a hotel in Colombo

Day 14 : Leaving to the Airport

After breakfast checkout from hotel to proceed to airport for your departure flight (you need to arrive at least 2 ½ hours prior to flight departure time).



- END OF PROGRAMME –

Included/Excluded

  • Accommodation on Half board basis
  • Private air-conditioned Transport
  • Entrance fees (to sites and attractions mentioned in the itinerary only)
  • 4WD jeep hires for the wildlife safaris.
  • Additional Services
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Lunches

Tour's Location

FAQs

When and where does the tour end?
Your tour will conclude in San Francisco on Day 8 of the trip. There are no activities planned for this day so you're free to depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to give yourself time to fully experience the wonders of this iconic city!
When and where does the tour start?
Day 1 of this tour is an arrivals day, which gives you a chance to settle into your hotel and explore Los Angeles. The only planned activity for this day is an evening welcome meeting at 7pm, where you can get to know your guides and fellow travellers. Please be aware that the meeting point is subject to change until your final documents are released.
Do you arrange airport transfers?
Airport transfers are not included in the price of this tour, however you can book for an arrival transfer in advance. In this case a tour operator representative will be at the airport to greet you. To arrange this please contact our customer service team once you have a confirmed booking.
What is the age range?
This tour has an age range of 12-70 years old, this means children under the age of 12 will not be eligible to participate in this tour. However, if you are over 70 years please contact us as you may be eligible to join the tour if you fill out G Adventures self-assessment form.
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