Sri Lanka in Style 16 Days
Sri Lanka Travel Agent – Travel Agent Sri Lanka – Holidays Sri Laka – Experience true Sri Lankan hospitality on this luxurious tour, taking in many of the country’s diverse sights, travelling at a leisurely pace and staying in some of the Sri Lanka’s premier and most interesting hotels, not to mention 2 nights at a luxury safari camp in the Yala National Park.
The itinerary visits the fast moving capital, Colombo and includes time exploring the ancient cities of the ‘cultural triangle’ region, walking in the cooler colonial climes of the hill country, wildlife safari-drives in 2 national parks and some relaxation on the peaceful south coast. Avada Travel Sri Lanka
Day 1: Colombo
On arrival in Colombo you will be welcomed to Sri Lanka by your private driver and transferred into Colombo to check into your hotel.
This afternoon is at leisure to relax at your hotel and recover from your flight.
Day 2: Colombo
This morning drive through the commercial and city centre area known as the “Fort”, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century where grand colonial era buildings stand alongside the huge modern office structures of this fast moving city. Drive past the Town hall, and the Independence Square. Visit a Buddhist temple and a Hindu Kovil to experience the diversity of religion, ethnicity and customs of the people. This afternoon is at leisure to relax at your hotel and explore independently.
Day 3: Colombo – Dambulla
After breakfast, your driver will meet you at your hotel and you will set off for Dambulla, in the cultural triangle region, a journey of approximately 4 hours.
On arrival in Dambulla you will be taken on a tour to the famous Golden Rock Cave Temple complex. The caves are located at the top of a hill and the only access is on a pathway and stairs carved into the hillside, it is possible to drive up to a point about half way up for those who don’t fancy walking all the way from the bottom. At the top you are rewarded with 5 magical and dimly lit caves crammed with Buddhist statues and murals. Dating back over 2000 years the caves are of huge significance to Sri Lanka’s Buddhists. After exploring the caves and taking in the impressive views from the top (on a clear day you will get a very good view of Sigiriya Rock), descend the hill, back to the comfort of your air-conditioned car and transfer to your hotel in the nearby countryside to check-in and relax.
Day 4: Dambulla – Polonnaruwa – Dambulla
After breakfast this morning you will be taken on a tour of the ruined ancient city of Polonnaruwa. A well-planned city defended by enclosing walls (around 5 km of which still remain), graced by palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds and irrigation lakes. Polonnaruwa is strewn with ruins in a resplendent state of preservation.
This afternoon is at leisure to relax back at your hotel or explore the area around Dambulla and the nearby lakes independently. Bicycles can be rented locally and are a good way to explore.
Day 5: Dambulla – Sigiriya – Minneriya National Park – Dambulla
Early this morning you will be driven to the bottom of the Sigiriya rock, one of Sri Lanka’s most famous and striking attractions. The rock is best climbed early in the morning and depending on your time of departure, you may wish to arrange for a packed breakfast to be taken with you, this can be arranged at your hotel the night before.
On arrival at the rock you will commence the climb with an expert local guide who will explain the ancient history of this unique rock fortress. Walk through the extensive gardens, ringed by an intimidating moat and up the steep steps, passing through the famous Lion’s Paw to the summit where you will enjoy the jaw-dropping views out over the Sri Lankan countryside. After some time to rest, descend the rock and meet up with your driver who will take you for lunch at a local restaurant (payable locally).
In the afternoon you will be driven about 30 minutes north-east from Sigiriya for a private jeep safari. Depending on the season and conditions on the ground, the safari will either be in the Minneriya National Park or the Hurulu Eco-Park, both famed for their elephant populations. This area is known locally as the ‘elephant corridor’ due to the large number of elephants that pass through at certain times of year when the water dries up in different parts of the country. As well as elephants you are also likely to see deer, monkeys and many rare species of bird. Return to your hotel after your safari and spend the evening at leisure.
Day 6: Dambulla – Kandy
After breakfast, head south by road to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. En-route, stop near the city of Matale to visit a Spice Garden. The total journey time is approximately 3 hours.
Day 7: Kandy
After breakfast visit the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, where a rare collection of tropical exotic and indigenous flora including the famous Orchid House could be viewed. The Gardens are renowned for the collection of a variety of orchids and include more than 4000 species of plants, including of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to the gardens is the National Herbarium. Your guide will leave you to have some time at leisure to potter around the area and explore independently before being taken into Kandy, where you will have the opportunity if you wish to visit a local gem museum to learn about the vast selection of gems that are mined in the nearby countryside.
After some time at leisure to relax back at your hotel, you will be taken driven into Kandy and up the hill 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 centre-piece for the town. Return to your hotel in the afternoon for some time at leisure to relax. In the late afternoon you will be met again by your guide and taken to the atmospheric old Red Cross Hall in the centre of the city to see a Kandyan Cultural Show. The show features graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers demonstrating some traditional Kandyan dance and music.
The show culminates in an impressive fire-walking display. After the show take a short walk along the lakeside to visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most important places in all of Sri Lanka, housing the country’s most sacred religious relic, the tooth of the Buddha. You will arrive in time to see the evening ‘Puja’ or ceremony which lasts for around one hour and involves lots of noisy drumming and excitement. Most of the ceremony actually takes place behind closed doors, but at the end, the tooth relic is opened to the public gaze. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 8: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
This morning, your private guide will drive you from your hotel in Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. As you climb steadily on windy roads into the heart of the hill country you will pass a number of large tea plantations. You will stop to visit a tea factory where you can learn about the process involved in the manufacturing of tea from plucking the green leaves on the hill side to packing up the processed tea ready to export around the world. Enjoy a fresh cup after looking around the factory before continuing on to Nuwara Eliya to arrive in the early afternoon. On arrival, check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
This afternoon you are at leisure to enjoy your scenic surroundings and explore the hotel.
Day 9: Nuwara Eliya – Horton Plains National Park – Nuwara Eliya
Rise early this morning, collect your packed breakfast from reception and leave for the Horton Plains National Park, the highest plateau in the country. Horton Plains is one of the most important national parks in Sri Lanka particularly for its topographical variations. It has unique vegetation and is famous for many rare and endemic highland birds.
The most awesome physical feature of the Horton Plains is the escarpment that falls 880 meters to the lowlands of the southern region of the island. Aptly known as the ‘World’s End’ the view from the precipice of the countryside below towards the south coast is breath-taking. There are a number of trekking routes around the park which you can take depending on how long you would like to walk for. Your driver will wait for you at the park entrance and you will be accompanied on your trek by a local English speaking guide. En-route back to your hotel, you have a brief orientation tour of Nuwara Eliya and an optional stop for lunch (payable locally).
Day 10: Nuwara Eliya – Ella – Yala National Park
After breakfast, your driver will transfer you south-west, out of the hill country to the Yala National Park on the south coast. En-route, stop in the sleepy village of Ella for lunch (payable locally) and some time to see the nearby Rawana Ella Falls and cave. Continue to your camp right on the edge of the park.
Depending on your time of arrival today, you will be taken on a safari tour of the Yala National Park in a private open-air jeep. Yala is the most famous park in Sri Lanka and boasts one of the most abundant and accessible wildlife populations in Asia. Keep your eyes peeled for Elephants, Deer, wild Boar, wild Buffaloes, Monkeys, Sloth-Bears, Crocodiles and Leopards, as well as a huge variety of exciting birdlife.
Day 11: Yala National Park
Early this morning you will be taken on a wildlife safari drive in the National Park with your expert guide in an open-air safari jeep. The early morning time is one of the best time to see some of Yala’s abundant wildlife including rare birds, elephants and leopards. Return to your camp in the mid-morning for a delicious breakfast and some time to rest in the peaceful surroundings whilst the sun is at its hottest. In the afternoon there will be another safari drive in the National Park. As dusk approaches, much of the animal and birdlife can be seen bathing and drinking by one of the park’s natural lakes. Return to the camp in the evening for dinner.
Day 12: Yala National Park – Galle
Early this morning set off for a final jeep safari in the park, returning to your hotel in the mid-morning to have breakfast and freshen up before your departure.
Set of from your hotel, heading west along the south coast of the island towards the famous Dutch settlement of Galle, now one of Sri Lanka’s largest cities. En-route, pass through the sleepy coastal village of Tangalle and stop to visit the famous lighthouse at Dondra Head. Dondra Head is the southernmost point in the Indian sub-continent. The 160 foot British period lighthouse is located in a beautiful garden and is considered the highest lighthouse in Asia. It is 161 feet in height and contains 7 floors, 14 two-panel yellow colour windows and 196 steps to the top.
All the building material including bricks, steel were imported from England. The lighthouse is still active and helps guide ships and boats which sail on the Indian Ocean. Over 250 ships are said to pass this area daily and although they now have GPS, most of them still use the signals beamed by the lighthouse. It also transmits radio wave signals to surrounding lighthouses in Sri Lanka. Between the Lighthouse and Antarctica lies nothing but 20,000km of empty ocean. On arrival, check-into your hotel in Unawatuna, a popular beach village just outside Galle. Your total driving time today is approximately 5 hours.
Day 13: Galle
This morning your driver will take you into the famous Galle Fort. The magnificent Dutch fort is the most popular attraction of the town and is one of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The old colonial atmosphere is still very much alive around the fort and amidst its many historical buildings. Walk around the fort stopping at various points of interest and soaking in the fine views out over the Indian Ocean and into the famous Galle Cricket Ground.
Day 14: Galle
Today is at leisure to relax at your hotel.
Day 15: Galle – Kotugoda
This morning you will be met at your hotel and transferred north, along the new Southern Expressway, to the small village of Kotugoda, a journey of approximately 2 hours depending on traffic conditions. Arrive at the Walawwa in time for afternoon tea.
Day 16: Sri Lanka Departure
After an early breakfast you will be met by your driver and transferred to the airport for your flight home. Sri Lanka Travel Agent – Travel Agent Sri Lanka – Holidays Sri Laka
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