With a documented history dating back over 2,500 years, Sri Lanka is 'a good thing in a small package'. Though it looks like a tiny island, it has almost everything that would fill a traveller's heart with utter delight. In fact, it will surprise you with its cultural diversity, varied wildlife, numerous adventure sports, friendly people and delectable cuisines. The Classic Sri Lanka Tour takes you to such popular tourist spots as Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Yala, Bentota and Colombo.
If you're planning to escape the hum-drum of city life and have a tet-a-tete with unadulterated nature, Sri Lanka is a perfect destination. At hill stations like Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, you'll get an excellent opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the country. These places are not just hill stations of great beauty, but they're also redolent with memories of the Colonial Era. Explore the interesting historical past of the country while having the time of your life with your closed ones. At the Yala National Park, one of the biggest in the country, you'll enjoy a jeep safari into the untamed wilderness that's home to a variety of wild animals and bird species. The Bentota beach on the West Coast will enrich your tour experience further by giving you a chance to laze around vast expanses of silvery sands in complete solitude.
The Classic Sri Lanka Tour will culminate with a visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka's commercial capital. It's a modern city with beautiful relics belonging to the Dutch, the British and the Portuguese. The entire city is dispersed with churches and monuments of the colonial era. Almost every aspect of life (including dresses, food and languages) has been influenced by the colonizers of the past.
Arrival, meet greet and proceed to Pinnawala. Pinnawela, about 80 km northeast of Colombo, is regarded as the biggest herd of captive elephants in the world. Among theGolden Temple Dambullaelephants is one that lost a foot when it stepped on a mine. Another is blind and is totally reliant on humans. The elephant herd in Pinnawela makes the journey to the river twice a day to bathe under the eyes of the tourists. The sound of cameras clicking increases every time one of the young elephant babies splashes about in the water. Overnight in Dambulla/Habarana
After breakfast climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress. Part hedonistic pleasure palace, part fortress and part sacred complex, Sigiriya is one of the island's most awe-inspiring archaeological sites and a leading tourist attraction. In fact some consider it to be one of the oldest tourist attractions in the world with visitors recording their impressions in some of the earliest-known graffiti. Located north of Dambulla, 116km from Colombo, the site consists of a sheer rock that rises over 200m with the ruins of a palace on the top and a vast pleasure garden complex at the foot. For just two decades in the 5th century AD, Sigiriya rose to prominence following a power struggle between two brothers, and an act of patricide that saw the then king walled-up alive by his son, Kasyapa. Fearful that his defeated brother would return from exile to extract vengeance, Kasyapa shifted the capital to Sigiriya. Optional Excursion to Polonnaruwa.
In the 12th century AD, the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa was one of the great urban centres in South Asia. Today, the well preserved ruins give you the chance to experience the grandeur of this period and marvel at the artistry of the island's early craftsmen. Located 142km from Colombo, Polonnaruwa was the island's second ancient capital. Many of the existing ruins owe their construction Parakramabahu Temple Tourto Parakramabahu the Great, the last in a sequence of warrior-kings, who developed the city on a lavish scale. He is also credited with the massive artificial lake that lies to the west of the city, The Sea of Parakrama. Overnight in Dambulla/Habarana
After breakfast proceed to Kandy via Matale. Visit a spice garden in Matale to see different spices for which Sri Lanka is famous for. Here, clients could see different spices and how some of these spices are grown and processed. Witness a Cookery demonstration. Afternoon city tour of Kandy including a visit to the Temple of the Tooth, and this will be followed by a Cultural Dance Performance
Nestled amidst lush mountains in the north of the island's hill country, the Royal City of Kandy, 116km Â from Colombo, was home to Sri Lanka.s last independent kingdom, surviving two centuries of colonial incursions by the Portuguese and the Dutch before falling to the British in 1815. The legacy of this proud tradition lives on today in the form of the city's distinctive architecture, art and dance. Home to the sacred relic of the tooth of the Buddha, a visit to the Dalada Maligawa or Temple of the Tooth, is an experience no tourist should miss said to have been snatched from the Buddha's funeral pyre and smuggled to Sri Lanka in the hair of a princess, the tooth relic is of great spiritual significance. Each year in July or August is the Kandy Esala Perahera (perahera means 'procession') a spectacular display of medieval pageantry that includes caparisoned elephants, fire dancers and Kandyan drummers. Overnight in Kandy
After breakfast visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. SriLanka’sbotanic gardens have a long and proud history, punctuated by Nuwara Eliya Falls Tourcolonialism, and industrial change & throughout this period the gardens have continued to flourish, and the plant collections and herbarium grown. Here, exotic crops such
as coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber and cinchona (quinine) - all of which later became important to Sri Lanka's economy â€“ were tested. Sights include a palm avenue planted by the British in 1905. Another British import was the enormous spreading Java fig which sprewls across the lawn, grown from a sapling brought from the East Indies. The gardens also have stands of towering bamboos from Burma, Japan China and the East Indiaes, and a fine collection of orchids from Sri Lanka and further afield.
Thereafter proceed to Nuwara Eliya. En route visit the factory and tea plantation. P.m. city tour. At the heart of the southern hill country is Nuwara Eliya (Colombo 180km), Sri Lanka’s highest town and a favourite hill station during British colonial times. The town is still touted as ‘Little England’, an illusion maintained by the presence of the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, a racecourse, the Victoria Park and excellent trout fishing in nearby lakes and rivers. You will find the temperature can drop close to freezing at nights and log fires are a common feature of the many Tudor-style houses.
Adding to the atmosphere is the spectacle of its townsfolk wrapped up in winter jackets and woolly hats, carting great Deer Yala National Parkbundles of turnips, leeks, marrows and cabbages to themarkets. Nuwara Eliya is a great base to explore the surrounding countryside: there are many walks on offer, including hiking around the lower slopes of the thickly-forested Mount Pidurutalagala, at 2,555m the island’s highest peak. A visit to the Hakgala Botanical Gardens, a short distance from Nuwara Eliya, is also recommended
Highlights : Overnight in Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast proceed to Yala & afternoon Jeep Safari to Yala National Park. Yala (Ruhuna) National Park: Yala National Park with an area of 1259 sq km is one of the biggest National Parks in Sri Lanka. The Park is located 309 km south of Colombo on the southeast of the island and is divided into Yala West (also called Ruhuna) and Yala East. Yala West or Ruhuna National Park is one of the best parks in the world to observe and photograph leopards. There are about 35 leopards in the park, which probably is the highest density anywhere in the world. Other animals that can be seen in the park are elephants, sloth bear, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, toque monkey, mongoose and crocodiles. Yala East contains a large variety of water birds. Gal Oya National Park is located 314 km away from Colombo in the Inginiyagala district. The Park has an area 260 sq km and is surrounded by the largest tank in Sri Lanka, which is the Senanayake Samudra. The park is renowned for its elephant population. There are Galle Fort Srilankaabout 150 elephants in the park. The best time visit the park is between March and July. Overnight in Yala
After breakfast proceed to the beach along the southern coastal best of Sri Lanka visiting Dutch Fort in Galle. The 17th c. Dutch Fort at Galle, close to the islands’ southernmost point, 173km from Colombo, has the distinction of being the best-preserved sea fort in South Asia. Enter through the imposing stone bastions that encircle the sea-facing promontory and step back in time. Inside the Fort you will find that it exudes old-world charm. The narrow streets are dotted with Dutch colonial villas and there's a welcome absence of vehicular traffic. There are several museums and antique shops that display curiosities from the island's colonial era. Of the many colonial buildings, perhaps the most absorbing is the Dutch Reformed Church, containing ornately carved memorials to the city's Dutch settlers. The Fort also hosts some of the island's most exclusive boutique-style accommodation in former villas restored to their colonial glory. Overnight in Bentota
After breakfast proceed to Colombo & afternoon city tour of Colombo. Colombo Beach TourThe commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a fascinating city, a blend of East & West as well as a cozy mixture of past & present, is dotted with numerous interesting and important tourist attractions including colonial era buildings. The original trading settlers - the Portuguese, Dutch and the British have all left in their wake churches and monuments, names and religions, costumes and food and smatterings of their languages which have been absorbed into the speech of the Sri Lankan. Overnight in Bentota
After breakfast transfer to airport in time for departure
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