Day 1 - Colombo to Habarana, via Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Day 2 - Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa
Day 3 - Dambulla Cave and Kandy
Day 4 - Nuwara Eliya
Day 5 - Yala National Park
Day 6 - Mount Lavinia
Day 7 - Back to UK
Minimum 2 passengers (or single supplement will apply) excluding flights.
Guide price per person:
Accommodation: 5* Heritance Kandalama Bed & Breakfast
On arrival at Colombo Airport you will be met and be transferred to your hotel in Habarana (4 Hours) En-route visiting the famous Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage has been operating for over 30 years, nurturing orphaned calves and rehabilitating the injured. Today, the orphanage has 60 elephants, and you have a chance to view their antics while they bathe in the river! Continue to Habarana and check in at your hotel.
Accommodation: 5* Heritance Kandalama Bed & Breakfast
Today you will visit the Lion Rock, one of the seven World Heritage sites in the island. (40 Mins). This is an ancient rock fortress and ruins of a castle, which was once the home to King Kasyapa. The entrance to the original fortress was through the mouth of a lion, however the ravages of time has resulted with only a part of the massive paws remaining today. A testament to ancient artistry and architectural ingenuity – Sigiriya has other attractions – its gardens (boulder, water & terraced), its artistry (beautiful frescos), the mirror wall and the dramatic history linked to the construction of the Lion Rock. An original Lost City, Sigiriya is a must see in any visit to the Cultural Triangle.
Next you will explore the medieval capital of Sri Lanka – Polonnaruwa (1 Hour 10 Minutes). The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. This city is known to have been the pinnacle of the Golden Age of Sri Lanka, during the reign of Parakramabahu I, a ruler whose goal that no drop of water falling from the heavens be wasted led to the development of irrigation systems which are still utilised to this day. The greatest of these systems – the Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama) is a tank so vast that it is often mistaken for an ocean. It circles the main city like a ribbon, acting both as a defensive border against intruders and the lifeline of the people in times of peace.
Accommodation: 4* Cinnamon Citadel Bed & Breakfast
Today you will proceed to Kandy en route visiting the Dambulla Cave Temples and Matale Spice Gardens (3 hours and 30 minutes) Dambulla – located in the north central province this UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the 01st century BC, is an amazing complex of 05 caves, first used as a refuge by an ancient king who on regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent carved images within the living rock. Later kings made further improvements and the caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 meters. Cave inscriptions from the 2nd Century BC are found and on the walls are many paintings most of which belong to the Kandy period (early 19th century). This temple is a perfect location to view evolution of ancient Sri Lankan art and is an important historical site due to the amalgamation of the material from many eras.
Continue later to Kandy, visiting one of the spice gardens in Matale en route to discover the island’s variety of indigenous spices and learn about their uses with a Cookery demonstration. Continue to Kandy and check in at your hotel.
In the afternoon, you will visit the famed Temple of the Tooth which is commonly known as "Sri Dalada Maligawa" is situated in the city of hills, Kandy. It is an important shrine for Buddhists as it holds the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. It is famous for its carvings and the beautiful art that is unique to Sri Lanka. The most important part of the Dalada Maligawa is the octagon (Pathirppuwa). The Sri Dalada Maligawa is the most sacred temple in the whole of Sri Lanka. Thousands of people line up each day to get a glimpse of its majesty. Return to your hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Accommodation: 4* Heritance Tea Factory Hotel Bed & Breakfast
This morning head off to the quiet town of Nuwara Eliya. (3 Hours) En-route visit a Tea Factory and a Tea Plantation. Upon arrival enjoy a city tour of Nuwara Eliya enjoying the simplicity and beauty of life in the hill country away from the sophistication of city life. Nuwara Eliya –Sri Lanka's premier hill resort with a fine bracing mountain climate, Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country, producing some of the world’s best tea. The mountain slopes and valleys are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. Red or green roofed plantation bungalows, English country style homes and hotels with lovely flower gardens, a fine 18 hole golf course and a racecourse gives Nuwara Eliya a decidedly British character.
Accommodation: 4* Cinnamon Wild Yala Bed & Breakfast
Today you travel south to Yala National Park (4.5 Hours) and check in at your hotel. In the afternoon enjoy a game drive at the Yala National Park. Sri Lanka’s best known National Park Yala is popular for its Elephant, Leopard, Bear, Crocodile and Wild Boar. There are 97,800 hectares making it the second largest of Sri Lanka’s National Parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has also received publicity through the likes of National Geographic for its leopard research/conservation and identification project. Claims have subsequently been made that Yala National Park has the world’s highest concentration of leopard per square kilometre. Vegetation is primarily grassland and shrub jungle with patches of dense growth while several salt and fresh water lagoons are a haven for a large variety of resident and migrant birds. Areas popular with leopard are rock strewn hillocks with dense shrub in which the animals hide.
Accommodation: 4* Mount Lavinia Hotel Breakfast
Today you travel to the west coast and Colombo for a night in the colonial splendor of the Mount Lavinia Hotel (4 hours 30 minutes).
After an early breakfast drive to the Airport for your departure flight (30 minutes)