You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel for a night stay.
Free morning (14 hrs). This afternoon, enjoy a half day sightseeing of Colombo. Highlight places of visit include the Independence Square and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Town Hall and Parliament.
This morning you will proceed to Dambulla. En route visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which started in 1975 to house abandoned and wounded elephants. The sanctuary covers 25 acres of lush vegetation with an approximate population of about 77 consisting of both adult and baby elephants. The best time to visit is during feeding time and bathing time; when all the elephants are taken to the river close by.
This morning, visit and climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This is home to the 5th century ‘Fortress in the Sky”, which is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the island. It is also known as ‘Lion Rock’, because of the huge lion that previously stood at the entrance to the fortress. Within its triple-moated defense, the huge rock rises almost to a sheer height of 500ft. On its summit are the foundations of what was once a great and sumptuous palace, featuring gardens complete with a swimming pool. On one of the stairways, the only known ancient work of a Sinhala secular painting has survived in the form of frescoes of life-sized damsels. All the freshness and delicacy of its original colour still remains.
This afternoon visit Polonnaruwa, the Capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to the 13th century. It contains some splendid and spectacular status. Lankatilake, Tivanka and Thuparama are the some of the largest and most beautiful shrine ruins, whilst Tivanka contains the best example of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period. Rankot Vihara and Kiriwehera are well-preserved, large stupas. Gal Vihare, a rock shrine, has four Buddha statues; two are seated, one is standing and the other is reclining. These, along with the Parakrama Bahu statue, are prime examples of Sinhalese stone carving. The Vata-da-ge is a unique creation of Sri Lankan artists.
Full day excursion to Anuradhapura.
Anuradhapura is the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. Some of the city’s greatest treasures are its dagabas, constructed of small sun-dried bricks and hemispherical in shape. The most notable of these dagabas are the Ruvenweli, dating back to the 2nd century BC and 300ft in diameter, the Jetawanarama which is 370ft and the Thuparama, which enshrines the collarbone of the Buddha. The city’s most renewed relic is the sacred Bo Tree, which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historic tree in the world.
Proceed to Kandy this morning with an en-route short stop at Dambulla Cave Temples. This afternoon visit Kandy, the hill capital. The last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings was finally ceded to the British in 1815. Kandy is an example of Buddhism’s influence on Sri Lanka today. The temple shrines and monasteries keeping Buddhist traditions alive are everywhere.
To Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the world, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is home of the ‘Dalada Maligawa” – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. It is quite popular with tourists. In the evening, witness the Sri Lankan cultural show.
Free day in Kandy to further explore the city or shop around.
This morning proceed to Hatton. Free afternoon to explore the Tea Gardens.
Day at Leisure to enjoy your stay at the Tea Gardens.
Drive to Yala this morning.
Leopard Safaris use customized Toyota Land Cruiser for the game drives which can handle every kind of terrain, give an excellent view, and are specially fitted with camera support points for photographers. The campsite, set up a day prior to your arrival, is laid out with single or twin sharing canvas tents with queen size beds, fresh linen, hot showers and chemical toilets. There are no permanent structures; everything is brought into the park for your convenience
During the course of a day there are many things of interest, whether looking out over a waterhole at breakfast, snoozing in a hammock after lunch or star gazing over dinner.
Full day game drive, trekking leopards, sloth bears, elephants, and other wild animals and birds.
This morning drive to Tangalle.
Day is at Leisure.
Free morning, this afternoon transfer to Galle.
This morning visit Galle. Later proceed to Balapitiya for a boat ride at Madu River. This ride will take you to the various islands (Cinnamon Island, Temple Island and Birds Island) in Balapitiya.
Galle – In this coastal town, the Dutch presence is still visible. Galle was an ancient port (said to be the legendary Tarshish of the Bible), and our first international commerce and trade centre. Today, Galle is the bustling provincial capital and administrative centre of the south. It is famous for its lovely Unawatuna Bay, where the sea is reef protected and therefore safe for swimming. The old Dutch ‘Star’ fort (a World Heritages Site) covering 36 hectaers, the well-preserved Groote Kerk (Dutch Church), Dutch Government House, the New Oriental Hotel (built in 1684) old bell tower and a tide-based Sewage-System, also introduced by the Dutch. In Galle they still make the Dutch ‘pillo-lace’ and do fine ebony-carving and gem-polishing
This evening transfer to Colombo airport for your flight home