12 Days | 11 Nights
Culture & Nature
The island of Sri Lanka is a treasure trove of culture, nature, hills, wildlife & world class beaches. This classic tour of Sri Lanka covers the main highlights such as cultural, scenic hill country, tantalizing local dishes, wild life, exiting train rides in the hills and azure seas of the west coast under different climatic zones. This glimpse of the Island will keep tempting you to comeback for more.
As always, we are able to tinker with this itinerary if you wish and add an extra night here and there. Our Travel consultants can help you plan the holiday as per your budget and interest along the way.
Upon arriving at the Bandaranaike International Airport, you will be greeted with “Ayubowan” and assisted by our Airport Representative (Arrival transfer is not included and you have to book separately a private arrival transfer at extra cost). You will be transferred to hotel in Negombo to meet the rest of the group who will be accompanying with you for the tour.
After breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred to Sigiriya, a small town away from the buzz, en-route visit Millennium Elephant Foundation. Millennium Elephant Foundation is a rescue and captive care for Elephants in Sri Lanka spread around 15 acres and functioning through volunteers from all over the world. Tourists can observe and assist with their daily washing in the Kuda Oya River that runs through the grounds. The funds generated from both visitors and volunteers are used to maintain the elephant’s well-being. Depending on your flight time you may visit Dambulla cave temple a UNESCO World Heritage site.
After breakfast, you will climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress (UNESCO world heritage site), Inhibited as a castle during the 5th century by King Kashyapa, Sigiriya is popular for its rock frescos and the remnants of an old castle reached climbing up through lion paws carved to the stone. Later in the day you will go on a village tour with activities and rice & curry prepared by a local to enjoy a typical lunch in a village followed by a visit to Pottery House in Habarana where you can witness how the raw material clay transform in to a useful pottery. You can also take part in the process to learn few silks of this art. Evening you have the option to go on a guided bird walk or relax by the pool side and enjoy a lovely SPA treatment at the hotel.
Morning you will leave to Kandy after your breakfast, en-route visit Alu Viharaya cave temple and spice garden in Matale. Kandy is the last kingdom of the ancient king’s day Sri Lanka. Being a UNESCO world heritage site, the city is encircled around a lake and known also for the sacred temple of tooth of lord Buddha. A walk around the lake will give you an idea of the city life in Kandy. The town’s pleasant temperate climate, its scenic location and its rich history has made it a favorite haunt for travelers. Later in the evening visit the Kandy temple of the tooth followed by a visit to the cultural dance show. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast visit the Bahirawakanda temple with the big Buddha statue is a famous landmark that gives 360view of the Kandy city. It’s about five minutes’ drive away from the city center. The statue located in the summit of the Bahirawakanda mountain to spend time in a peaceful environment some steps to climb in the back of the statue. Later take a tuk tuk ride to Hantane tea museum, it claims to be the first of its kind in the world. Located in an old tea factory abandoned in 1986. It contains some impressive old machinery, polished up and laid out in manufacturing sequence. Return back to the city across from the Kandy temple complex is a walking monastery and beyond its walls is St. Paul’s Church which was built in 1843 although the earliest minister, George Bisset, was here in 1816. There are various interesting memorials from 1822 to the 1870s in the British Garrison Cemetery, which is up hill behind the national Museum is also a must visit. Later in the afternoon travel to the outskirts of city heading to small village to find a famous craftsman in Kandy Brassware Village. Mr Upali and his wife are skilled craftspeople keeping their craft alive. They are also lovely people and a delight to spend an hour with them. This is a small interesting village the people are very nice and really talented in their craftmanship. Here you can see them making oil lamps, bells, Statues and many other gift items. You also have option to buy from them some souvenirs that they exhibit. Evening Return to the hotel to relax by the pool side.
After breakfast visit the beautiful botanical gardens on the outskirts of Kandy. Take a walk through the gardens, visit the orchid house and enjoy the riverside views. Later you proceed to Nuwara Eliya with an optional stop at Ramboda Waterfall. You will also have the option of stopping at the Shri Bhakta Hanuman Temple offers Religious value for Hindus and a tea factory if you wish to get to know how the famous Ceylon tea is made from scratch. Late afternoon arrive in Nuwara Eliya, it’s one of those curiosities of history a former British hill station. There are attractive walks around the small town, which has lawns, parks, an Anglican church and the nostalgic Hill Club. The best months to visit this part of the country is March, April, July & August. The winter months tend to be the driest, with visibility, through can be very cold. The weather can foul at any time and it can get cold at night so come prepared. High tea at the hill club is a good option to end the long day.
After breakfast visit the local town with a stop at one of the oldest Post offices in Sri Lanka. This Tuder-Style two-story red-brick building with a clock spire was constructed in 1894 by the British. A visit to Holy Trinity Church Nuwara Eliya, you can find largest mechanically operated Piano. It is played by pumping air by paddle, using legs. It is Huge instrument height about 15 feet and width about 6 feet bought to Sri Lanka from England.
Sri Lanka is known for its upcountry train rides, which are known as some of the most scenic train rides in and around Asia. This afternoon you will take one of these rides to your next destination Haputale through the hills across tea stretching gardens like green carpets. Late afternoon checking in to your lovely accommodation at the newly built Akway resort offering breathtaking views over the valleys of the country side.
After early breakfast head to the scenic Lipton’s seat and you have the option to take a tuk tuk for the last stretch of the journey where the view point is named after one of the pioneers in Sri Lanka tea trade, Sir Thomas Lipton. He used the view point as a seat to survey his tea empire. Seeing the acres of tea down below is such a worthwhile sight after reaching the top. Spend some time talking to few of the tea pluckers and learn a little bit of their skill for your interest. Return back to the hotel to refresh before heading to south west to Udawalawa. Late afternoon we suggest a jeep safari starting at 03.30pm in Udawalawe National Park which is famous for its wild elephants and bird life. Check in in to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast visit the elephant transit center by 09.00am to see the elephant feeding and to get to know their amazing work. Later head south along the coastline to Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage site where small back streets in the Dutch Fort provide a very charming experience. You might like to explore the boutiques and restaurants in the fort this evening, about 300 homes and an old-world feel, still remain with its well-preserved bastions, public buildings, churches, lighthouse and a maze of narrow streets. Several hours can be spent wandering through the narrow streets and along the ramparts, browsing through art galleries and sipping lime sodas on the verandah of Galle fort hotel.
A day full of activity for to fire both your mind and body. We head north on the coastline to Balapitya for boat ride in Madu river. Here you will explore the habitat around the Madu river its wetlands famous for 64 islands. A visit to the 150-year old Koth Duwa temple, fish spa and local family run cinnamon plantation is part of the expedition. Later we will drive you to the Kosgoda turtle conservation center, the area which has the highest density of turtle nesting in the country. Spend time learning about these amazing marine mammals and make a highlight on your vacation by releasing few baby turtles to the sea. Return back to Galle with one last stop the Tsunami Photo Museum, this small museum contains pictures of the disaster in 2004 December, the aftermath and the beginnings of the recovery work. There is also some amazing artwork done by children as part of art therapy treatment and education. Before you end of this amazing day why not a dip in the gorgeous seas of Hikkaduwa so make sure to bring your beachwear.
After breakfast you have the option go on a gentle pace of country life on a cycling tour of the lagoon, mangroves, and villages around Unawatuna pedalling around on dirt and gravel tracks at a leisurely rate. Your guide will take you to a coir (coconut fiber) mill and a handloom weaving workshop, introduce you to the sweet juice of fresh king coconut, and so much more. There is the option of booking a sand bed for a relaxing afternoon at one of Unawatuna’s beach hotels and enjoy some amazing sea food at their restaurants by the beach.
Departure. (Departure transfer is not included, you have to book a private airport transfer separately at extra cost)
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