Day 1, 27 Feb 2010, Saturday: Arrival/Colombo. Arrival in Sri Lanka. Meeting and assistance at the airport and transfer to your hotel in Colombo. Overnight with breakfast - Cinnamon Grand.
Day 2, 28 Feb 2010, Sunday: Colombo. Late morning undertake a city tour of Colombo – a drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree lined residential Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Sea Street – the Goldsmith’s quarter in Pettah, the bazaar area, a Hindu Temple, the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1794, the historical Davatagaha Mosque. Also visit Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara (Buddhist Temple) believed to be the site visited by Lord Buddha 2500 years ago.
Evening, view the Nawam Perahera or pageant, a significant event in Colombo. The Perahera comprises of nearly 100 elephants and more than 5000 artistes and wends its way along the route of the Beira Lake similar to the Kandy or Esala perahera. The Perahera is officially inaugurated when the sacred relics are paraded in a gilded casket placed on a majestic tusker, which is elegantly caparisoned and walks calmly amidst the hive of activity. Dinner/overnight with breakfast - Cinnamon Grand.
Day 3, 01 Mar 2010, Monday: Colombo/Sigiriya/Dambulla. Leave for Dambulla. In the evening, leave for Sigiriya to climb the 5th century A.D. Rock Fortress. The vision of a parricidal king named Kasyapa transformed an awesome monolith into a cloud swept city. The mirror wall, which, protects a series of exquisite murals (frescoes of celestial maidens using natural pigments) and the Lion’s Paw entrance to the ruined palace on the summit are well worth the effort of the ascent. Dinner/overnight with breakfast - Kandalama Hotel.
Day 4, 02 Mar 2010, Tuesday: Dambulla/ Anuradhapura/ Aukana/ Dambulla. After breakfast leave for Anuradhapura, the capital of Sri Lanka, 3rd century B.C. It is the city of stupas and monasteries, steeped in antiquity. Visit the oldest historically documented tree in the world. This is a branch from the Original peepul or Bo tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. The tree continues to be venerated today after an unbroken period of 23 centuries. The ruins of the "Brazen Palace", the twin ponds, the queens’ baths and other relics of a bygone age speak of an ancient grandeur that is almost tangible even today. Visit Aukana, which is one hour's drive from Anuradhapura is famed for its magnificent 39 foot rock-cut statue of Lord Buddha, considered one of the finest ancient stone sculpture in Asia. Evening return to Dambulla. Dinner/ overnight with breakfast - Kandalama Hotel.
Day 5, 03 Mar 2010, Wednesday: Dambulla/ Polonnaruwa/ Habarana/ Dambulla. After breakfast leave for Polonnaruwa, a former capital of Sri Lanka 11th to 12th century. A.D., an obvious South Indian influence on the architecture is noticeable. The Gal Vihare comprises of four colossal statues of the Buddha carved out of the living rock stand testimony to the skill of master craftsmen. Visit also the Tivanka Pilimage with its priceless murals and the vast man made lake that is the Sea of Parakrama – a feat of ancient engineering. Afternoon undertake an elephant back safari in the Habarana jungles. Dinner/overnight with breakfast - Kandalama Hotel.
Day 6, 04 Mar 2010, Thursday: Dambulla/ Matale/ Kandy. Morning leave for Dambulla, to visit the rock cave temple, which is comprised of a series of 5 caverns with ceilings of natural rock covered with intricate paintings. The natural folds of the rock have been skillfully used to given the illusion of cloth. Forty eight statues of the Buddha and images of the various deities can be seen inside the cave. Thereafter, leave for Kandy en route visiting the Spice Gardens at Matale. Kandy was the seat of the Kandyan Kings from the 14th century A.D. and is a repository of Sinhala culture. Afternoon undertake a city tour of Kandy – drive around the beautiful lake and the upper lake drive. Visit the Arts and Crafts center where you can buy Kandyan silver and brass ware, metal work, lacquer work, wood and bone carvings, pottery and hand woven fabrics. Demonstrations of artisans at work. Dinner/overnight with breakfast - Mahaweli Reach Hotel.
Day 7, 05 Mar 2010, Friday: Kandy. Morning visit the elephant orphanage at Pinnawala.
Afternoon visit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, a formerly the pleasure gardens of the Sinhala Queens. The gardens contain over 4000 species of plants. The avenue of the Royal Palms, the bamboo fringed Riverside drive, the Bat drive with a vast collection of flying foxes who spend the daylight hours hanging upside down, are some of the special features of this lovely garden. There is also an Orchid house, a Spice garden, a Herb garden and Glass house of Anthuriums, Begonias, African Violets and other greenhouse plants.
Evening visit the Temple of the tooth. (Dalada Maligawa) and view a cultural dance performance by Kandyan dancers. Dinner/ overnight with breakfast - Mahaweli Reach Hotel.
Day 8, 06 Mar 2010, Saturday: Kandy/Nuwara Eliya. Morning leave for Nuwara Eliya in the heart of the tea country, which was established by the British as a replica of a little English village reminiscent of the Lake District. Even today Tudor and Victorian style houses with trim English gardens speak of a gentler age. An 18 hole golf course and the picturesque lake are a year round attraction. Tour this unusual little city and en route visit a tea factory where you can see the intricacies that go into the manufacture of the world’s best loved brew. Dinner/overnight with breakfast - Grand Hotel.
Day 9, 07 Mar 2010, Sunday: Nuwara Eliya/Yala. In the morning leave for Yala. Evening, undertake a half day safari at the Yala National Park or the Ruhunu National Park which is a sanctuary for a variety of wild life. The Ceylon elephant roams freely here and close encounters are not uncommon. Leopards, deer, sambhur, wild buffalo, crocodiles and monitor lizards are among the larger mammals that can be observed in their natural habitat. Dinner/overnight with breakfast - Yala Village.
Day 10, 08 Mar 2010, Monday: Yala/ Galle/ Ahungalla. Morning, leave for Galle, the seafarer’s capital to visit the natural harbour and the Dutch Fortress with its towering ramparts and the medieval Dutch buildings. Then proceed to Ahungalla. Evening at leisure
Dinner/overnight with breakfast - Heritance Ahungalla.
Day 11, 09 Mar 2010, Tueday: Ahungalla/ Colombo/ Seeduwa. Morning leave for Colombo en route visiting the Mask carving center at Ambalangoda and the turtle hatcheries (optional) at Balapitiya. Afternoon shopping at the Malls and the handicrafts center. Evening proceed to Seeduwa. Dinner/day use of room Airport Garden Hotel. eparture to the airport.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Sri Lanka Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History