On arrival you'll be met at Colombo Airport and transferred to hotel. Tonight enjoy a tasty welcome dinner at your hotel.
Sightseeing in Colombo
Today, your guide will take you on a driving tour of colourful Colombo, Sri Lanka's frenetic capital. Just off the north end of Galle Road, the main north-south artery of the city is the area known as the Fort, once a colonial stronghold but now the site of many government buildings and interesting shops. Just south of the Fort is Galle Face Green, a seaside expanse where informal cricket games are played out amongst city folk enjoying a pleasant stroll. At the south end of the green is the Galle Face Hotel, a beautiful colonial-era hotel. Just east of the Fort is the Pettah, the traditional bazaar district – a colourful retail experience. Just beyond the centre is the affluent Cinnamon Gardens district of the city. You will drive through these districts on your tour of the city and visit Gangarama Temple and Independence Square.
Dambula and Polonnaruwa
Drive to Giritale today, stopping en route to visit the impressive Dambulla Rock Temple. Dambulla is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with 2000 sq. metres of painted walls and ceiling, is the largest area of paintings found in the world. These caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14 meters. This afternoon, after checking into your hotel in Giritale, visit UNESCO Listed Polonnaruwa – an incredible 11th century city. Explore the ruins of the Royal Palace, temples and Gal Vihara which boasts three enormous and revered Buddha figures.
Sigiriya and Kandy
Giritale - Sigiriya - Kandy. This morning drive to Sigiriya and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Listed, 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Discover the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. After exploring the sights of Sigiriya, stop to visit a Spice Garden in Matale, en route to Kandy.
Enjoy a wonderful excursion to the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela today. This orphanage is the home for about 60 elephants, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. Afterwards visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Back in the scenic lakeside town of Kandy, embark upon a sightseeing tour, visiting the bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum. In the evening, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and then enjoy a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Tea plantations and Nuwara Eliya
En route to Nuwara Eliya – a scenic hillside town with a distinctly English flavour, visit a tea plantation and enjoy a tasty cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. In Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort, enjoy a sightseeing tour this evening, including a visit to Hakgala Gardens.
Udawalawe National Park
This morning, check into your hotel in Embilipitiya before going wild on a jeep safari in Sri Lanka's most popular national park! Udawalawe National Park is home to large herds of elephants and deer species such as Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking deer and Langur, wild boar, water buffalo and jackal.
En route back to Colombo today, stop off in Ratnapura - Sri Lanka’s gem capital, where you can learn about these all about the islands precious stones, visit gem mines, a museum and a lapidary.
Tour ends after breakfast today. Included onward transfer to airport.