Discovering Sri Lanka - 8 days / 7 nights
This private tour proposes 8 days packed with cultural, panoramic and fun highlights. It will take you, from the ancient cities of the cultural triangle, to the tea plantations country and the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. Along the road, you will have the opportunity to see a few of Unesco World Heritage Sites. The main features of this tour are the climbing of Sigiriya rock fortress which will unveil beautiful sites and panoramas, a safari in the Minneriya national park, the visit of Kandy and its Temple of the Tooth Relic, the visit of a Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya and finally have some time to relax on the superb southwest coast in the Galle region.
Day 1: Arrival / Cultural Triangle
You will be met by your private chauffeur-guide upon your arrival at Colombo Bandaranayake International Airport.
You will leave for your hotel in the Cultural Triangle and have the rest of the day to relax.
Day 2: Sigiriya / Hiriwadunna / Habarana
In the morning, you will climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress which is a Unesco World Heritage Site. The cultural aspects as well as the breathtaking views make this excursion a must.
You will then drive to Hiriwadunna and explore the village, see its inhabitants. You will be taken to drive around the village by ox carts and experience a short river cross over on a typical boat.
You will finally have the opportunity to ride an elephant in the Habarana surrounding jungle.
Day 3: Polonnaruwa / Minneriya
In the morning, you will drive to the second capital of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa and have the chance to visit the ruins of the Royal Palace and see Buddha in different postures. The city is vast and points of interest many.
In the afternoon, you will take part to a safari in the Minneriya National Park which hosts wild elephants, about 160 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and butterflies. The park is famous for its wet land and its bamboo trees. You will be able to see the elephants closely. Not too closely!
Day 4: Cultural Triangle / Dambulla / Matale / Kandy
The day will start with another Unesco World Heritage Site, Dambulla. The Dambulla rock hosts famous cave temples. It is a complex featuring 5 caves with Buddha colorfully painted on walls. The 600 feet height of the Dambulla rock enable stunning views of the surrounding.
En route to Kandy, you will then have the opportunity to visit a spice garden in Matale. You will be shown the different spices Sri Lanka is well-known for and informed on how they are cultivated and processed.
After lunch, you will arrive in Kandy another stunning Unesco World Heritage Site built around a beautiful lake. You will visit the town, its bazaar, a gem museum and of course in the evening the very important temple of the Tooth Relic where one of Buddha’s tooth is preserved.
Day 5: Kandy / Peradeniya / Nuwara Eliya
You will visit the 147 acres Peradeniya Botanical Garden which is famous for its collection of superb orchids and its amount of species of plants.
In Nuwara Eliya, you will have the opportunity to visit a tea plantation and factory. You will be shown how tea is cultivated and processed. You will of course be able to have a cup of the famous pure Ceylon tea!
Day 6: Nuwara Eliya / Kitulgala / Southwest Coast
Departure and day at leisure on the southwest coast or:
After breakfast, you will depart to Ginigathlena and Kitugala which are sites where many of the scenes of the “bridge on the river Kwai” were filmed (optional).
You will then have the opportunity to experience white water rafting (optional)
Day 7: Southwest Coast
Day at leisure or:
You will be able to visit the Galle (optional) which was a very active spice counter. The fortress, the ramparts, the harbor, the church and the colonial houses are very interesting. Galle is another Unesco World Heritage Site.
In the afternoon, you will have the possibility to enjoy a cruise on the Balapitiya River (optional) which will show its splendid fauna and flora. You will also witness the local fishermen specialized in shrimp fishing.
Day 8: Southwest Coast / Colombo / Aiport
Departure to Colombo followed by a short visit of the capital city of Sri Lanka and a transfer to the airport.