COLOURFUL SRI LANKA
Don’t be fooled by Sri Lanka’s small size because the country boasts beaches, wildlife, ancient
temples and water sports unlike any other! Discover the water sports capital of the world, where
you can walk into lush national parks and even trek up Sigiriya Rock to satisfy your adventure
Get some exquisite Sri Lankan tea in
Climb up the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya
Go White Water Rafting in Kelani River
Visit the sacred cities of Kandy and
Bathe Elephants at the Pinnawala
Travel in Sri Lanka’s Colonial Trains
Best Time To Visit
April –September for East Coast
Upon arrival you will be greeted by our Srilankan Holidays representative, thereafter you will be transferred to Habarana. On the way, stop at Pinnawala to visit the Elephant Orphanage.
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, halfway between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy in the hills of central Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka wildlife department in a 25 acre coconut property near the Maha Oya River. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the many orphaned Elephants found in the jungle. Upon completion, proceed to Habarana; check in at your Hotel in Habarana and spend the rest of the evening at Leisure, and then spend the night at the hotel in Habarana.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit to Sigiriya to climb the Sigiriya rock fortress. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, a spectacular Rock Fortress, is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions.The most impressive facets of the unique complex are the Water Gardens, the Frescoes of beautiful maidens, the Mirror Wall with ancient graffiti, the Lion platform and the Summit of 1.6 hectares, which was completely covered by buildings during the period of Sigiriya’s glory. Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 A.D), the “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200m from the scrub jungle.
Upon completion, free time for an “optional” 4x4 jeep safari to Minneriya National Park. Located between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, the 8,890 hectares of Minneriya National Park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to favorites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in 3rd century AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze, as well as the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks to name but a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters. Spend the night at the hotel in Habarana.
After breakfast, proceed to Kandy, En route “optional” visit to the Dambulla Cave Temple. The greatest of Sri Lanka's cave temples, dates from the first century BC and contains over 150 Buddha images, subtly lit for maximum atmosphere. Actually a series of five caves, the temple is called Raja Maha Vihara by locals, but known simply as Dambulla to visitors. The entrance is marked by a large white dagoba along a long sloping rock face, from where there are views of the rock fortress of Sigiriya, about 20km away. Most of the caves were carved out by hand and some of the amazing array of Buddha statue is still attached to the wall. Afterwards, proceed to Kandy, en route visiting the Matale Spice Garden.
Visit a Spice Garden to see spices growing in their natural habitat. Learn about spices and their use in Sri Lankan cuisine. An agricultural zone in the Central Province, Matale seldom drops off the maps due to its remarkable contribution through flagship crops of the island extending from tea, rubber & vegetables to spices. Spearheading the Rebellion back in 1848, Matale today takes immense pride in its story woven around spices. Stop by the side of a spice garden - into which you will be most welcome - and observe the therapeutic values of spices & processes over a refreshing cup of herbal tea! Or spend some time idling on the hardened streets if you mean a real town adventure filled with voices and colors. Check in at your Hotel in Kandy and enjoy the rest of your evening at Leisure and overnight stay at the hotel in Kandy.
After breakfast, proceed on a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Believed to be one of the most beautiful gardens in South Asia and begun as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala King. Every variety tropical and temperate tree and flower is cultivated here and special houses with orchids and e cacti are too beautiful to be true. Upon completion, continue to a sightseeing Tour of Kandy. Visit a Batik Factory, a Gem Museum & drive through the local market. A lovely exotic city, the Hill Capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which retains an aura of grandeur, time has not affected. Encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake in its centre, it is the site of the renowned temple that enshrines the Tooth Relic of the Buddha and the Royal Botanical gardens – home to one of the world’s best collections of Orchids. A cultural sanctuary where many legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive, Kandy and its satellite villages are the centre of the islands handicraft industry (items of wood, brass & silver) exquisite silver or gold jewellery and precious gems of many varieties including the world’s best blue and star sapphires. The highlight of the city’s calendar is the Esala Perahera, when a replica of the casket enclosing the Tooth is taken in procession for ten glittering nights in July/August by exotically costumed dancers, drummers and approximately 100 Elephants. Late evening witness a cultural dance performed by our famous Kandyan Dancers. Spend the night at the hotel in Kandy.
after breakfast at the hotel, and proceed to the Little England of Sri Lanka “Nuwara Eliya”. En-route make a visit to a Tea Plantation/Factory where you will be able to examine the process of how the world’s finest tea is being made. You will also be able to make a stop in Ramboda to witness the astonishing Ramboda Waterfall. Nuwara Eliya was built entirely during the 19th century and its architecture mimics that of an English country town, with red-brick walls, country house like hill club and mock-Tudor half-timbering. The Holy Trinity Church might have stepped out of any village in England, with its Gothic architecture and eclectic collection of memorials, while the “pink post office” features a clock tower. In April and May the town is crowded with Sri Lankans attending dressed in their finery for the Derby at the Turf Club; at other times of the year it’s much quieter, with apparently stray horses quietly wandering along the road. Upon arrival check in at the hotel and spend at leisure. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast at the Hotel. Leave for Colombo, Via Kithulgala, upon arrival check in at the hotel and proceed on a Colombo sightseeing tour including free time on shopping.
Colombo, Sri Lanka‘s bustling capital, is located on the country’s west coast and with a population of between 800,000 and one million (estimates vary) is by far the country’s biggest city, as well as its window on the world. Its natural Harbour at the mouth of the Kelani River was a magnet for successive traders and conquerors – first Arab merchants, then Portuguese, Dutch and British imperialists. Colombo’s cosmopolitan side supports ever-more stylish eateries, galleries and museums. Surprises abound in its old quarters where you can find great local food and discover a characterful shop or tiny, convivial cafe. The capital is an excellent start – or finish – to your Sri Lankan adventures. Spend the night at hotel in Colombo.
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to the airport in time for the departure flight back home.