Best of Sri Lanka!!
Sri Lankan civilization is more than twenty centuries old. Its history is recorded in Mahavamsa, the Great Chronicle written in the 5th century AD. Remains of this ancient civilization reflecting the character, imagination, culture, philosophy, and the faith of its people are seen in the form of ruined cities, buildings, palaces, reservoirs, parks, dagobas (dome enshrining sacred relics or the bodily remains of the Buddha, or articles used by Him), Buddha images, temples, sculpture and painting throughout the little Island. However, it is at the major archaeological sites of Anuradhapura, Polunuwara, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy that the glory of the Island's past can be seen in its true form still living among the several ruins. These ancient cities can be reached easily from Colombo in a comfortable morning's drive through green paddy fields, acres of coconut palms and alongside deep jungle where wild animals roam
Namaste!! - We Welcome You With Folded Hands!!
Welcome to Sri Lanka!! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!!
Upon arrival in Sri Lanka you will be met and assisted by your own chauffeur guide and transfer to your hotel in Negombo.
Once a trading port for the Dutch and British, it has now been developed into a bustling modern town with a handful of reminders of its colonial past. Situated close to the international airport, it makes a convenient rest stop before heading inland to explore or before an onward flight. The wide golden sand beach is dotted with fishing boats and the inland resort road offers a selection of restaurants and bars.
Once you check in at your hotel, relax and recover from any jet lag. If you wish to stretch your legs feel free to explore independently, you will come across pubs restaurants along with live music during the evenings.
Overnight at Hotel
After breakfast leave for Sigiriya, a small village and a central location in Cultural Triangle. The central plains area boasts ruined temples and ancient cities combined with national parks and glistening reservoirs.
On arrival check in at your hotel and spend some time at leisure.
This afternoon set off to Sigiriya, also known as the ‘Lion Rock’, one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. This 5th Century "Fortress in the Sky" is a UNESCO World Heritage built by King Kassapa which was a Royal Citadel for more than 18 years. The spectacular pillar of rock rise 200 meters from the scrub jungle and the base of the rock are ringed by a moat and rampart and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens. The majestic Lion’s Paw picturesquely guards the stairway of the palace on the summit.
You might like to start with a visit to the Sigiriya Museum to learn more about the site before wandering through the vast landscaped gardens to the base of the rock. The climb to the top is steep with many steps and there are some sections where the path or staircase is very narrow with steep drops protected by fences. You will pass the famous frescoes of the “Heavenly maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered pocket of the rock and the 10 foot high Mirror Wall before arriving at the massive stone lion’s paws. The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a crouching lion but today only the huge paws remain giving an indication of the massive proportions of the head. The summit, covering an area of 1.6 hectares, was originally completely covered by buildings, but only remains of the royal citadel can be seen today.
(We do not recommend this for those without a head for heights or the less mobile. The hike up and down again will take 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on your fitness.)
Overnight at Hotel
This morning leave for the second ancient capital Polonnaruwa. Known as a UNESCO World Heritage and a well-planned medieval city defended by enclosing walls, graced by palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds and irrigation lakes. Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 AD to reunite the country once more under a local leader. Over the following three centuries Polonnaruwa became a thriving commercial and religious centre, reaching its zenith under King Parakramabahu I in the 12th Century.
Polonnaruwa is strewn with ruins in a resplendent state of preservation. Start with a visit to the Polonnaruwa Museum where you can learn about the site in more detail, before heading out to the ‘Gal Vihara’ which consists of statues of the recumbent, standing and seated Buddha have been cut from a single granite wall and rank among the true masterpieces of Sri Lankan Art. Other stops include Nissanka Latha Mandapaya which boasts well-preserved stone columns, the impressive Lankathilaka Temple and the ruined stone walls of the Royal Palace.
(Please dress appropriately when visiting Polonnaruwa ruins, with shoulders and knees covered. Have an extra pair of socks to wear to prevent from the ground heat since you have to walk barefoot.)
In the afternoon leave for Minneriya for a Jeep Safari. Minneriya National Park is about 8889 hectares in extent and is an ideal eco-tourism location in Sri Lanka. It is home to Sri Lanka’s favorites such as spotted deer, Sambar and wild Asian elephants, particularly numerous in August and September when they migrate along a corridor from neighboring parks to feed on the fresh grass on the lake bed - an annual event known as "The Gathering".
(Please be prepared for some rough and dusty road. National park can be crowded especially over weekends and festivals. Depending on the movement of the elephants you may visit the nearby Kaudulla National Park or Eco Park instead.)
After completion proceed back to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel
After breakfast you will be transferred Kandy, en route visiting the Dambulla Cave Temple.
Explore the famous Golden Rock cave temple; date back to the 1st Century BC which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, a vast isolated rock mass with its five caverns is the largest best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 sq. meters) are of particular importance as are the 157 statues including a 47 foot long statue of the recumbent Buddha. This amazing complex was first used as a refuge by an ancient king who upon regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent images to be carved from the rock. Later kings made further improvements and the caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha painted upon the walls of which the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 metres. The hike up to the caves is short but steep. At the top you can explore the caves and enjoy spectacular far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside.
(Please dress appropriately when visiting Dambulla temple, with shoulders and knees covered. It is a steep uphill walk to the temple approx. 15-40 mins depending on route taken and on your fitness. Have an extra pair of socks to wear to prevent from the ground heat since you have to walk barefoot.)
Afterwards visit the Matale spice Garden. The spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Spices are also used in medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics or perfume production. Visit the peaceful green garden, where you can see how herbs are grown in their natural environment then learn how you can use them to enhance the taste of meals. These spices will reveal to you the secret of traditional Sri Lankan dishes, which have great nutritional value as well as being delicious.
After completion continue to Kandy, the bustling hill country capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Kandy Lake built in 1807 which is an attractive centerpiece to the town. Check in to the hotel spend some time at leisure.
Later towards the afternoon, set off with a drive up the hill to the south of the lake to a special vista point, where you can get a bird’s eye view of this remarkable city. The famous Kandy Lake was built in 1807 and forms an attractive center-piece for the town. Return to the city center, where your guide will take you on a walking tour around the famous shopping streets and to points of interest such as the central market and the historic railway station.
Afterwards visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, locally known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, the most sacred temple in the whole of Sri Lanka. It is the prime monument, the supreme edifice not only of the Sinhalese Buddhist populace of Sri Lanka but also of the Buddhists all over the world. It is within this magnificent temple that the sacred Tooth relic of Buddha (Danta Dhatu), the palladium of the Sinhalese nation & Buddhist faith is enshrined. This important shrine boasts intricate carvings and beautiful Sri Lankan art. During the evening ‘puja’ throngs of pilgrims visit the temple to line up to glimpse the golden casket said to hold the sacred relic and to make offerings of flowers.
Upon completion head back to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel
After breakfast visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens where a rare collection of tropical exotic and indigenous flora including the famous Orchid House could be viewed. Surrounded on three sides by the Mahaweli River, these botanical gardens were founded in 1824 and are still home to one of world’s largest collections of plants and trees. Giant ficus trees, palms, an orchid house and a vast array of trees such as ebony, teak, satinwood, mahogany and tamarind can be seen here. The garden once reserved only for royalty and also served as a headquarters during the Second World War.
Upon completion proceed back to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel
After breakfast proceed to Nuwara Eliya. En route you will stop at a tea factory and tea plantation where you will have the opportunity to learn more about the tea making process and the different grades of tea.
Located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country at an elevation of 1900m, Nuwara Eliya was a favoured retreat of the British in the19th Century thanks to its cool climate. With an abundance of red and green roofed plantation bungalows, English country style homes, a fine 18 holes golf course and a racecourse, the town still has a decidedly British feel. The surrounding mountain slopes and valleys are carpeted with lush green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls.
If time permits head out on a brief city tour around the town centre, Market place, passing the Victorian post office, the old Hill Club and golf course before a stop at Holy Trinity Church, a quaint building constructed by the British in the mid-19th Century and drive around this hill station viewing Lake Gregory.
After completion you will be transferred to the Nanu Oya Station in time for you train journey to Ella.
Board in to the train and continue to Ella - A journey said regarded as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world with sceneries of rolling mountains and green valley’s. Meet up with the driver at the Nanu Oya station and leave for the hotel in
(Train tickets are subject to availability and train times are subject to change due to regular delays Please note that train tickets can only be booked 14 days in advance, with preference given to government officials. When train tickets are not available, a scenic road transfer through the hill country will be substituted.)
On arrival to the hotel check-in and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel
After an early breakfast proceed to on a guided city tour of Ella. Start off with a soft hike up Little Adam’s Peak this is Ella’s best known tourist attraction, aptly named since it has a similar shape to Adam’s Peak, which is Sri Lanka’s holy mountain. It is a much shorter and easier climb to the top of the 1141 meter peak. The walk is enjoyable and clearly marked as you meander through tea plantations and take in breathtaking views of Ella Rock, Ravana Falls and the endless valley below.
Soon after Visit the Nine Arches Bridge. It is one of the best examples of British railway constructions when Ceylon was a colony of the British Empire. The surrounding area has seen a steady increase of tourism due to the bridge's architectural ingenuity and the profuse greenery in the nearby hillsides.
Visit the Rawana Falls in Ella, a sight to behold with a scenic backdrop of mountains and valleys. It is featured in the Rawana epic, where Sita is said to have bathed from this waterfall while she was in captivity.
After completion proceed back to the hotel and relax, feel free to roam around independently.
Overnight at Hotel
Afterwards you will be transferred to Yala.
Yala National Park is one of the largest national parks in the country with a varied terrain of dry woodland and grassy plains which supports an abundance of wildlife. It is home to a large number of elephants, spotted deer, sambar, wild buffalo, jackals, mongoose and crocodiles. The park boasts one of the highest densities of leopards in the world, but they are elusive creatures so any sighting is sure to be a highlight. Yala National Park is also home to ancient ruins and this mixture of natural beauty, wildlife and ancient culture make this park a national treasure.
Later towards the afternoon commence a jeep safari in the Yala National Park by private jeep accompanied by a tracker. Yala National park one of Sri Lanka’s premier eco tourist Destinations and is renowned for its variety of wildlife notably its many elephants. It is also home to the spotted deer, sambar, wild buffalo, sloth bear, jackal, mongoose and crocodiles. The peacock is easily the most famous of the birds in this park. Yala has a high concentration of Leopards although seeing these nocturnal carnivores still requires some luck.
(Your safari will be by a private jeep and accompanied by a local naturalist on availability. Please be prepared for some rough and dusty roads and be aware that this park can be extremely busy, especially over weekends and festivals. Also note you will proceed in your jeep to the park entrance to collect tickets prior to the park opening, in busy periods this process may take up to 45 minutes.)
After completion proceed back to the hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel
Enjoy an early morning game drive around Yala National Park. You will be picked up early and proceed in your jeep to the park entrance to collect tickets prior to the park opening. In busy periods this process may take up to 45 minutes.
Upon completion proceed back to the hotel for some breakfast, soon after check-out from the hotel and proceed to Ahangama, home to the most consistent, and possibly the best, surf in Sri Lanka.
Later in the afternoon enjoy a walking tour along with a treasure Hunt experience at the Galle Fort. Wander along the ramparts, pass the lighthouse and the old Portuguese harbour and stop to see some of the many colonial era buildings, including the Dutch Reformed Church, the Anglican All Saints Church and the former house of the Dutch governor, built in 1684 and now the luxurious Amangalla hotel.
Overnight at Hotel
Now that you are at the end of your journey with us, your chauffeur will comfortably take you to the international airport in time for your departure flight.
END OF SERVICES
We do hope the flavor of India will remain on your taste buds for all times to come and hopefully would kindle an indelible fondness for the country and her people; Thank you for being our guest, and as we say in India
‘Please come back soon”
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!!