Sri Lanka Panorama
Route : Colombo Pinnawela Habarana Dambulla Matale Kandy Nuwara Eliya Yala Galle Colombo
Arrive Colombo; Day in Colombo
Upon your arrival at Colombo airport, you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel
Today take a city tour of Colombo driving past Independence Memorial Hall, built in 1948 to mark the independence of Sri Lanka from British rule. Visit National Museum of Colombo, one of the largest museums in Sri Lanka. Then visit the Gangaramaya temple, one the best Buddhist temples to see in Colombo. Within the temple complex is a museum housing a wide collection of antique artifacts, a library, an open air meditation hall, Bodhi tree and a large collection of Buddhist sculptures and statues. There is also a small Hindu temple within the premises. A short drive away from the temple is Seema Malaka, set along the Beira Lake. This is one of Colombo’s most restful and tranquil meditation venue with beautiful statues of Lord Buddha surrounding the main hall, an iconic shot of Colombo. Later drive along Galle Face Green, driving past the old Parliament of Srilanka and visit the old Dutch hospital, one of the oldest building in Colombo Fort area, now renovated beautifully and housing an eclectic collection of some of Colombo’s finest restaurants and shops..
If you are interested in shopping, Sri Lanka is renowned for its tea, gems, ceramics and handicrafts. There are numerous Noritake outlets in Colombo for a wonderful ceramic collection. To shop where the locals shop, head to Odel shopping centre. For a quirky collection of artifacts, you may visit Barefoot.
Overnight stay at hotel in Colombo.
Drive Colombo – Pinnawela - Habarana (205 Kms / 6 Hrs)
After breakfast embark on your on your drive to Habarana in north central Sri Lanka.
En-route to Habarana, visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, set up by the Sri Lankan government to rehabilitate orphaned elephants. Spend some time at the orphanage, seeing elephants being fed and bathed by the orphanage staff (Open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m daily. Feeding times - 9.15 a.m., 1.15 p.m. 5.00 p.m. Bathing times – 10.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m., 4.00 p.m.).
Upon arrival in Habarana check into your hotel for overnight stay
Day Excursion to Anuradhapura (60 Kms / 1.5 Hrs one way)
After breakfast enjoy an excursion to Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya River. Anuradhapura, an ancient city founded in the 05th century B.C., is home to the largest number of monuments of the great Sinhala civilization. Visit the ancient royal palaces, shrines, dagobas and Sri Mahabodhi. Also visit the “Bodhi tree” which is over 2200 years old, grown from a branch of the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
Return to Habarana for overnight stay.
Day Excursion to Sigirya (16 Kms / 30 Mins one way) & Polonnaruwa (55 Kms / 1.5 Hr one way)
After breakfast visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sigiriya Rock, built by King Kassapa in the 5th century AD. Today the rock is a treasure trove of rare art. In a pocket of the giant rock are the famous frescoes of the heavenly maidens of Sigiriya. Also called ‘the Lion Rock’ or the ‘Rock Fortress’ this citadel rises more than 1000 ft from the jungles below. If you wish to climb Sigiriya Rock, there are approx. 1200 steps and on an average it takes approx. 1.5 hrs to climb the rock (actual time varies from person to person).
Later embark on your scenic drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa, the 2nd capital of Sinhala kings dating back to 11th & 12th century A.D. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the ‘Parakrama Samudra’. Numerous monuments are found in this city & ‘Gal Vihara’ complex is one of the best among them with fine sculptures of standing and seated Buddha. Also visit the Polonnaruwa museum here.
Return back to Habarana for overnight stay.
Drive Habarana – Dambulla – Kandy (120 Kms / 4 Hrs)
After breakfast, embark on your drive to Kandy.
Enroute visit another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla, which dates back to the first century BC. The temple consists of a series of 5 caves of statues and paintings, including a 47 ft. long statue of Lord Buddha. This is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. (approx. 27 Kms / 45 Mins from Habarana)
Continue drive to Kandy, en-route visiting the Spice Garden at Matale. Upon arrival in Kandy, check in at your hotel for overnight stay.
Day in Kandy
After breakfast, explore the sacred city of Kandy, one of Sri Lanka’s 8 UNESCO World Heritage site.
Today we will visit the Temple of Tooth Relic of Buddha, located in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Visitors are not allowed inside the inner chambers and cannot see the tooth relic.
This afternoon, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, which are spread over 67 hectares of exquisite beauty and house more than 4000 species of flora, a haven for nature lovers.
This evening enjoy a cultural dance show to see the popular Kandyan dancing and drumming of Sri Lanka.
Drive Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (80 Kms / 02 Hrs)
This morning embark on your scenic drive to Nuwara Eliya, the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, set against beautiful backdrops of mountains, valleys, waterfalls and tea plantations.
Today in Nuwara Eliya, enjoy an experience of tea plucking, wearing the local Sri Lankan attire – saree for the ladies, sarong for the men. You will get a small demonstration about how to pluck tea leaves and place them in your basket. Professional tea pluckers will accompany you – you’ll be amazed at how efficiently and quickly they manage to fill their baskets to meet their minimum target of 15kg a day!
After tea plucking, we will arrive at the Mini Tea Factory, where the chief tea taster, will inspect your efforts. Then we take a tour of the Mini Tea Factory and understand the process, from the initial drying (withering) of the leaves, through rolling, fermenting and sifting, to produce the different types of tea. Finally, you can taste the different teas, from flowery pekoe to green tea and teabag dust, to appreciate for yourself the differences in colour, flavour and strength.
Overnight stay at hotel at Nuwara Eliya.
Drive Nuwaraeliya – Yala National Park (180 kms / 5 hrs)
After breakfast, embark on a leisurely drive to Yala, the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka.
The Yala National Park is spread over an area of 979 sq kms (378 sq mi). Yala was one of the first two official designated national parks in Sri Lanka. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals and is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants and aquatic birds. Including the Sri Lankan elephant, 44 other species of mammals are resident in Yala National Park, and the park has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.
Upon arrival, check in at your resort for 02 nights stay.
Day in Yala National Park
Today enjoy morning and afternoon jungle safaris into the Yala National Park. These are interesting safaris and you are likely to see spotted deer, wild boar and wild elephant in addition to a wide variety of birds. There are also high chances of spotting sloth bear and leopard (with an average 1 leopard per sq.km Yala has the highest density of leopards in Asia!)
Drive Yala National Park – Galle (175 kms / 4.5 Hrs)
After breakfast embark on a drive to Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a thriving beach destination in Sri Lanka.
Galle was the most ancient and important harbour of Sri Lanka, until the Colombo Harbour was established. Galle is identified as the ‘ Tarshis ‘ of the Bible. The harbour was captured by the Portuguese in 1587 A.D, Dutch in 1640 A.D, and British in 1796 A.D. Most of the existing buildings today, date back to Dutch Period.
Upon arrival check in at your hotel for 3 nights stay.
Days in Galle
Days at leisure at your hotel in Galle.
Drive Galle to Colombo (140 kms / 3 hrs)
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Galle. Later this afternoon embark on your return drive to Colombo.
Upon arrival in Colombo, check in at your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your flight back home.