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Take in our hand-picked highlights of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean with ancient cities, wildlife and tea plantation all included, and an experienced private guide to bring them all to life with his extensive knowledge.
Arrive in Colombo where you’ll be met by your guide and transferred to Kotugoda for an afternoon at leisure. Overnight at The Wallawwa Hotel.
Transfer to Sigiriya (approximately 4-5 hours by car), and in the late afternoon ascend ‘The Lion Rock’, a World Heritage Site believed to have been selected by King Kasyapa as the location of a fortress for his new capital. Check in to Jetwing Vil Uyana for a 2-night stay.
Drive to Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s medieval capital, built in the 11th and 12th Centurys, to tour its fascinating archaeological sites. Visit the ruins of the Royal Palace, Gal Viharaya, Audience Hall, Lotus Bath and statue of King Parakramabahu. In the afternoon, take a game drive in Minneriya National Park, famed for its elephants, with viewing at close quarters made possible by the wide open scrublands through which they like to roam.
Take a morning tour of Dambulla Cave Temple, a World Heritage Site and the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. Here a complex of five caves of over 2,000 sq metres have been filled with painted images and sculptures of Buddha, including a colossal 14-metre reclining Buddha carved out of the rock.
Continue to Matale and visit a spice garden to discover the different spices that Sri Lanka is so famous for and learn how some of these are grown and used to make local healing and beauty products. Transfer on to Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, for a 2-night stay at The Kandy House.
This morning, explore the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, created by a Sinhala king and later expanded by the British. The 147 acres feature extensive lawns, pavilions, an octagon conservatory, fernery, giant Javan fig tree and orchid house.
Continue the day with a drive around Kandy Lake and a visit to Kandy town, including the bazaar, an arts and crafts centre and gem museum. In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and take in a cultural show.
Transfer back to Colombo airport for your flight home, or extend your stay at one of our selected west coast beach hotels; ask us for our recommendations.