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May 11, 2020

Explore Sri Lanka

Written By Sayuri Umeshika

Day 1: Airport – Negombo

On arrival, meet & greet at the airport and transfer to hotel in Negombo. Check-in to the hotel and relax to recover from the jet lag.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Negombo. 

Day 2: Negombo City Tour

Breakfast at hotel.

Explore the history of the dynamic city of Negombo. Indulge in a diverse experience by visiting the famous fish market in Negombo known as the ‘Lellama’. Walk on the beach and watch fishermen untangle their fishing nets and witness the fish being auctioned and sold to retail and commercial customers alike.

Set off on a boat ride in the Negombo Lagoon, which has an expansive mangrove swamp. The Negombo lagoon boat ride would let you spot some of the lush mangroves with vast bio diversity, flora and fauna species in the area as well as water birds such as herons, terns, cormorants and shorebirds.

Afternoon return to hotel and relax.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Negombo. 

Day 3: Negombo – Pinnaweala Elephant Orphanage – Dambulla/Sigiriya

Breakfast at hotel.

Leave for Pinnawela.

Visit the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela, initiated in 1975 to foster care for the abandoned and orphaned baby elephants. These giant yet gentle creatures wonder around in the sanctuary, being fed and bathed by their foster human parents. Twice a day the herd is led to the river nearby for a two-hour bath. You are welcome to join and interact with them while feasting your eyes on the largest gathering of tame elephants. Baby elephants are bottle fed a special formula milk by their mahout, the caretaker, and if you are curious you can even join in feeding them at the daily feeding times 9.15am & 1.15pm.

Leave for Dambulla.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Dambulla / Sigiriya. 

Day 4: Sigiriya Rock Fortress – Polonnaruwa Ancient Sites

Breakfast at hotel.

Visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most dramatic, inspiring and beautiful historical locations in the world. A mythical past of feuding dynasties suits Sigiriya’s striking setting- it was built in 5th century AD by king, Kasyapa, as a fortress-palace. The palace complex at the foot of the rock still has the remains of four indoor swimming pools where the king’s 500 concubines bathed. The palace structure was built with complex water arteries in the walls that provided natural air conditioning in the hot climate. On the summit, reached with the help of metal staircases and ladders, you can see the remains of the palace walls, gardens and ponds.

The mirror walls of the Sigiriya rock still retain the world-famous frescoes of the king’s concubines, who originated from all parts of the world.

Later continue on to one of the ruins of ancient Ceylon – the UNESCO World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa, which was the Capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century. Polonnaruwa was a well-planned medieval city defended by enclosing walls (around 5 km. 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.

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 few of the true masterpieces of Sri Lankan Art.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Dambulla / Sigiriya. 

Day 5: Anuradhapura Ancient Sites 

Breakfast at hotel.

Leave for Anuradhapura.

Visit Anuradhapura (a World Heritage Site), the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of the ancient Sri Lanka. Sri Maha Bodhi (sacred Bo-Tree) was brought as a sapling of the tree under which Prince Siddhartha attained to enlightment. It is over 2,200 years old and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. At Brazen Palace (2nd Century B.C) with its 1600 stone colomns see the remains of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks. Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C) is the most famous of all the Dagobas and the Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd Century B.C) is known for its rock carvings.

Afternoon return to hotel and relax.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Dambulla / Sigiriya. 

Day 6: Dambulla Rock Cave Temple – Matale – Kandy

Breakfast at hotel.

Visit Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla. The largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, the rock from which the caves were carved towers 160 meters (520 ft) over the surrounding plains. A total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses also stand in the site.

Continue your journey to the hill capital of Kandy. Eminent as the center of Buddhism and the capital of the last Sinhalese kingdom.

En route visit a spice garden in Matale to see many different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous for. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. Gardens are open to visitors, a delightful place to stroll in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees and curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom, a relative of ginger. It grows in the shade of high jungle trees and can only be harvested by hand.

Enjoy a traditional cultural dance performance which is a vibrant and unique fire and Harvest dances accompanied by Ceremonial Drums and the Drum Orchestra rising and falling to the lively tempo. The highlight of the show is definitely the fire walking show, where the artists walk through a specially prepared fire pit, roughly 8 feet by 3 feet covered with red-hot charcoal, completely barefoot.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Kandy.

Day 7: Kandy

Breakfast at hotel.

Visit the Temple of tooth relic, for the morning ceremony, the stunning 17th century Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is believed to house the left upper canine tooth of the Lord Buddha himself. This precious relic attracts white-clad pilgrims, bearing lotus blossoms and frangipani, every day.

Make a sightseeing tour of Kandy. Visit the upper lake, oriental market place, a bazaar.

Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, at Peradeniya, the largest of Sri Lanka’s botanical gardens displaying over 4 000 different species of plants and is regarded amongst the most superior in Asia. The focal points include the superb Orchid collection and a mighty avenue of Royal Palm Trees. In addition to a plethora of flowering plants, there is also an extensive collection of medicinal plants and spices which can be spotted on your meander across the gardens.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Kandy.

Day 8: Kandy – Train to Nuwara Eliya 

Breakfast at hotel.

Transfer to Kandy Railway station.

Make scenic train trip to Nuwara Eliya, also known as Sri Lanka’s “Little England”, is the prime hill resorts of the country. At a height of approximately 2000 m above sea level, the city has an abundance of lush tea plantations and jaw dropping scenery. Its nickname comes from the many English style bungalows and buildings still in existence today.

The train journey weaving through the scenic hill country is one of the most beautiful explorations in Sri Lanka. From the edge of soaring mountains, you will oversee the branching valleys from the mist capped mountains, sloping lush green tea plantations, villages dotted with houses, thick forests and whooshing waterfalls.

Pick up from Nanu Oya Train station.

Evening make a walk in the British city and visit a local market.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 9: Horton Plains – Nuwara Eliya

Early breakfast at hotel.

Leave for visit the Horton Plains.

The Horton plains national park is the highest plateau in Sri Lanka and hosts a unique eco-system and was designated a UNESCO world heritage site. The park views are dominated by panoramic rolling grass plains, with occasional peaks topped by patches of montane forests. Most of its flora and fauna are endemic to Sri Lanka. Among many unique wildlife, Dusky striped squirrel, giant squirrel, brown mongoose, rhino-horned lizard, pygmy lizard and the black cheeked lizard are a few. The park has a healthy population of sambar deers frequently spotted grazing. The most popular and the easiest foot trail is called the world’s end & baker’s falls round trail.

Visit the tea plantation and a tea factory, in the island where the best tea in the world is produced. Watch the tea pluckers pick two leaves and a bud with deft hands. Then to the factory where the all-important conversion to “made” black tea happens. The machinery used is of very traditional British design, some as old as 100 years. The process is a very artisanal one, unchanged for a century. Observe the process of manufacturing tea, tea grading and taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 10: Nuwara Eliya – Ella – Tissa / Yala 

Breakfast at hotel.

Leave for Tissa/Yala. (Approx. Transfer Time:  4 hours)

Visit spectacular Ella gap in the southern mountain wall where the land falls away in a dizzy drop of 3000 ft (915m), to the southern plains and the sea, which is visible in the far distance on a clear day.

Visit Rawana Ella Water Fall.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Tissa / Yala.

Day 11: Kataragama – Yala National Park Jeep Safari

Breakfast at hotel.

Visit Kataragama pilgrimage site. Kataragama a popular pilgrimage destination frequented by adherents by Buddhists & Hindus, in Sri Lanka. The main shrine devoted to Skanda popularly described in eulogies as God having six faces and twelve arms whose assistance is sought for worldly gain. The history of the shrine dates back to 2 century BC. Withness an offering (pooja) ceremony.

Afternoon make jeep safari at Yala National Park.

Yala national park is the second largest and most visited national safari park in Sri Lanka with numerous type of wildlife and also known for its variety of eco systems and rich biodiversity. It is situated in dry semi-arid climatic region which hosts various ecosystems from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. Yala is home to 44 varieties of mammal and 215 bird species with seven are endemic bird species to the country. Among its more famous residents are the world’s biggest concentration of leopards, majestic elephants, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted dear, peacocks, crocodiles and wild buffalos.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Tissa / Yala.

Day 12: Tissa/Yala – Galle – Beach

Breakfast at hotel.

Leave for Beach Hotel.

Travel through Tangalle and Matara.

See the stilt fishermen’s on poles in Koggala, which is a traditional method for fishing practiced by most fishermen along the southern coast of Sri Lanka.

Visit the Galle Fort.

Galle Fort is the finest and most intact fortified city build by the former European colonial powers in Asia. The narrow streets of Galle Fort are lined with Dutch merchant villas, pillared verandas, carved doors and windows. British and Dutch period offices are still in use. This is a living world heritage city with residents walking the 300 year old ramparts at sunset.  Strolling along the high rampart walls you will see the Old Dutch and English churches, the Governor’s house, the massive VOC warehouses, the Square of Courts, the elegant pillared facade of the Old Dutch hospital, the Portuguese Black Fort, the lighthouse, the Clock Tower and much more.

Visit a turtle hatchery.

Dinner and overnight stay at Beach hotel.

Day 13: Beach

Breakfast at hotel.

Day at leisure.

Dinner and overnight stay at Beach hotel.

Day 14: Beach – Airport

Breakfast at hotel.

Transfer to airport for onward flight.

Rate: USD 966 per person

Round Tour Packages Includes:

Meeting at the airport upon arrival and assistance during the stay

Bottle of mineral water per person per day

Accommodation on half board basis in DBL Sharing for 13 Nights from dinner on Day 01 to Breakfast on Day 14 at Hotels specified or at Hotels of Similar Standard.

Transportation by Air-Conditioned Vehicle with an English-Speaking Chauffeur Guide.

Government Tax and Service Charge.

Round Tour Packages Excludes:

Early check in & late check out

Lunch and beverages cost throughout the Tour,

Entrance fees to sites. (Supplementary cost can be given upon clients requirement).

Extras of personal nature.

Tips and gratuities.

Extra services other than those specified.

Extensions of stays or amendments to the itinerary.

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Top Travel Activities : Indian Ocean , Sightseeing

About Author

Sayuri Umeshika

Sayuri Umeshika

Since from my childhood, I love to feel the nature by traveling in my little island and do not get tired of the beautiful landscapes and the tasty local food. The amazing beaches where you can watch the sunset, the mountains and rocks with incredible views, the colorful tuk tuk, the delicious exotic fruits, the wildlife… and so much more. With the years passing, I have not only learned about the areas and places to see, but also about the culture and different customs. I am glad, I get to share it with others by being a local Sri Lankan with 5 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry in the tropical paradise island of Sri Lanka, I believe that I have the expertise to design the perfect holiday for you. Since I started my carrier as destination specialist, I’ve had the pleasure of organizing and facilitating the travel needs of many clients from all around the world who wished to experience and indulge themselves in everything Sri Lanka has to offer. Sri Lanka as a destination has plenty to offer from tranquil sandy beaches, rich culture & heritage, nature & wildlife, thrills and adventures, sports & water sport activities, Ayurveda wellness & yoga, unique experiences, different culinary art and many more. My goal is to provide holiday solutions with the best value for money, great customer service, and tailor-made to fulfill exact customer requirements. Let me help you plan that perfect holiday!

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