This exciting journey enables you to explore the history, culture and extraordinary natural beauty of Sri Lanka. Taking you from the coast high into the mountains, you will see Sri Lanka’s ancient capitals: lovely Kandy, the capital from 1590 to 1815, which is set on the Mahaweli River and site of the Temple of the Tooth; pretty Nuwara Eliya, also known as ‘Little England’ for its colonial architecture, set 3,000 feet above sea level; Colombo, the busy capital, where you may shop for souvenirs; and laze on the beach at Beruwela/Benthota.
Dambulla • Kandy • Nuwara Eliya • Benthota • Colombo
• Lion Rock Fortress of Sigiriya and its 1,500-year-old frescoes
• Dambulla cave temples
• Kandy, the ancient stronghold of the Sinhalese kings
• Visit the elephant orphanage at Pinnawela
Tour available as:
• Chauffeur-drive – Including air-conditioned vehicle, driver, guide and pre-booked accommodation.
• Tailor-made option.
Day 1: Colombo – Dambulla (130 kilometres)
Arrive at Colombo’s Bandaranayake International Airport and transfer to your hotel in Dambulla. Visit the cave temples and overnight at Dambulla.
The Rock Temple and The Golden Temple are interconnected temples with single administration. The history of Rock Temple goes back to the first century B.C., commenced by the King Vattagamini Abhaya and thereafter kings, and five cave temples. Within these five caves is housed a collection of 157 valuable images of the Buddha and Bodhisatta etc. The temple with its historical, archeological and artistic significances had in the year 1991, been declared one of the world heritages sites by the UNESCO.
Day 2: Dambulla – Sigiriya – Pollonnaruwa (87 kilometres)
Visit Sigiriya to see the famous rock frescoes. The archelological site of Sigiriya contains the ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the regin of King Kasyapa. It is one of the 7 world heritage sites in Sri Lanka and is one of it’s most popular tourist destinations. Later you may wish to visit Polonnaruwa, the 12th century capital. The ruins of the ancient city stand on the east shore of a large artificial lake, the Topa Wewa Lake. Overnight in Dambulla.
Day 3: Dambulla – Kandy (72 kilometres)
En route visit the elephant orphanage at Pinnawela – grand opportunity to enjoy the spectacle up close a large herd of elephants interacting together. The highlight is the elephants at the bathing hours: at 10.00 am and 2.00 pm daily, the animals are walked 400 meters to the river Maha Oya. In Kandy, see the Temple of the Tooth and the Royal Palace. To the Buddhist of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the “Dalada Maligawa” – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Close by are the remains of the Royal Palace (Maha Wasala). Overnight in Kandy.
Day 4: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (78 kilometres)
Drive to Nuwara Eliya, viewing the waterfalls en route. Visit the magnificent Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and a tea factory. The very same British Colonialist rulers of Ceylon established the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens that contribute, today, towards the enlightenment of concepts of floriculture conservation, birdlife conservation, butterfly conservation, biodiversity and sustainability of the island of Sri Lanka. Overnight in Nuwara Eliya.
Day 5: Nuwara Eliya
After a scrumptious breakfast transfer to Horton Plans.
Horton Plains, 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 across 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.
Return to Hotel and evening leisure at the hotel.
Day 6: Nuwara Eliya – Beruwela/Benthota (205 kilometres)
After breakfast, leave for Beruwela/Bentota, the stretch of beach which has seen immense resort developments in the past few years. Overnight in Beruwela/Bentota.
Day 8: Beruwela/Benthota
The day is at leisure. You can also choose an optional tour at Kosgoda. Kosgoda Beach located 12km south of Benthota is home to a community based turtle hatchery and turtle watching project set up by the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) in association with Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka. There are only 7 species of marine turtles in existence and Sri Lanka is visited by five of them – the Green Turtle, the Leatherback, the Hawksbill, the Loggerhead and the Olive Ridley. Overnight in Beruwela/Bentota.
Day 9: Beruwela/Bentota – Colombo (55 kilometres)
Depart for Colombo. Before you check-in at your hotel complete your trip with a city tour of Colombo. The imposing open-deck double decker buses of the Colombo City Tour has proved to be a magnetic ‘happening’ in the city of Colombo. Both the foreign and local tourists have been mesmerized by the experience on board the Colombo City Tour and by the panoramic views it offers whilst traversing through historic and interesting nukes and corners of the city. The comprehensive and detailed live commentary in English by professional guides impart a wealth of knowledge and an insight to the unique tapestry of history, culture and life in Sri Lanka’s premier city. Overnight in Colombo.
Sri Lanka has long attracted visitors to it’s shores.
Arab traders, who came to trade for cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla more than five centuries ago, called the place ‘Serendib’ – from which comes ‘serendipity’, the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries.
Modern travellers tend to view Sri Lanka in the same way. It may be a small island, but it offers a staggering variety of lovely landscapes, intriguing cuisines, colourful festivals, colonial history and indigenous culture. From the tropical beaches of the coast, the land rises to the cool 2,500-metre central massif. The warm, friendly people that inhabit this fertile land are the inheritors of an ancient heritage – civilisations that built the rock fortress of Sigiriya, the palaces of Anuradhapura and Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth have flourished here for nearly three millenniums.
The gateway to the island is Colombo. For centuries a thriving spice port it was taken by the Portuguese in the early 16th century, by the Dutch in the mid 17th and finally by the British some 200 years ago. Today, their architectural imprint – churches with ornate Iberian façades, massive Dutch forts and assorted examples of British colonial style blend satisfactorily with the city’s modern development.