All India Holidays

Highlight Of Srilanka


COLOMBO -HABARANA - MINNERIYA - SIGIRIYA -KANDY - NUWARA ELIYA - UDAWALAWE - YALA - GALLE - COLOMBO

Day 01:
Arrival assistance at Colombo airport

Upon arrival at Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport you will be met by your guide for a private transfer to your hotel in Colombo

Please note standard check-in time is 14:00.

With amazing cuisine and luxury hotels, Colombo has been earning itself a well-deserved reputation as a top destination for international travelers.

Overnight at Ozo Colombo (Dream Room)

Day 02:
Colombo Sightseeing

Today you will leisurely enjoy a sightseeing tour of Colombo.

Colombo is a city with a rich history. Known to the Greeks, Arabs, and Chinese for over 2000 years because of its natural harbour and as a centre of trade, it was colonised by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and then the British between 1505 and 1948. Each colonial power left a distinctive mark and contributed greatly to the character of the city.

Amazing Pettah district still has the energy like in the late nineteenth century when the streets were teeming with ox carts and alive with the sounds and whiffs of the sea, as rubber, tea, cinnamon, kittul treacle, rope and peacocks were loaded aboard ships.

On completion you will return back to your hotel and later you will enjoy a nice dinner at a restaurant called 'Nuga Gama'.

The Nuga Gama or Banyan Village is a distinct Sri Lankan restaurant in Colombo, brought to life around a 200-year-old Banyan Tree, surrounded by wattle & daub huts and traditionally dressed staff who also help run this communal tribute to Sri Lankan life.

Overnight at Ozo Colombo (Dream Room)

Day 03:
Colombo - Habarana

This morning you will leave your hotel after breakfast and drive to the 'Cultural Triangle'.

Commonly referred to as the 'Cultural Triangle', the central plains area boasts ruined temples and ancient cities combined with national parks and glistening reservoirs.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the striking rock fortress of Sigiriya, Dambulla's Royal Rock Temple and crumbling archaeological treasures of Polonnaruwa. The stunning setting and historic interest means a stay in this region is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Sri Lanka.

Overnight at Habarana Village by Cinnamon (Superior Room)

Day 04:
Habarana - Sigiriya - Minneriya - Habarana

Set off this morning for Sigiriya, also known as the 'Lion Rock'.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Sri Lanka's major attractions. A spectacular pillar of rock visible from miles around, geologically Sigiriya is a hardened magma plug of an extinct volcano. Historically, the origins of the remains are disputed and thought to have been either a royal fortress built under the reign of King Kashyapa (477 - 495 AD) or a Buddhist monastery.

You might like to start your visit with a visit to the Sigiriya Museum to learn more about the site, before wandering through the vast landscaped gardens to the base of the rock. The walk to the top is steep with many steps and there are some sections where the path or staircase is very narrow with steep drops protected by fences. We do not recommend this for those without a head for heights or the less mobile. The hike up and down again will take 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on your fitness.

You will pass beautiful frescoes and a sheer 'mirror wall' before arriving at the massive stone lion's paws, which lend the rock its nickname 'Lion Rock'. The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a crouching lion but today only the huge paws remain giving an indication of the massive proportions of the head. The summit, covering an area of 1.6 hectares, was originally completely covered by buildings, but only remains of the royal citadel can be seen today.

After visiting Sigiriya there will be time to take a short walk around a nearby village.

Later in the afternoon you will drive to Minneriya National Park for a 2-3 hour jeep safari. Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank, which was built in 3rd Century AD by King Mahasena, the plains and forests of this park are home to herds of elephants who come to graze and to bathe in the tank's waters. Flocks of cormorants and stocks, toque macaque and sambar deer may also be spotted. Depending on the movement of the elephants you may visit the nearby Kaudulla National Park or Eco Park instead.

Overnight at Habarana Village by Cinnamon (Superior Room)

Day 05:
Habarana Sightseeing

This morning after breakfast, you will enjoy a local village trek.

This morning you will head into the countryside to experience a traditional Sri Lankan village. Walk through the peaceful village where your guide will talk to you about the daily lives of the local people. Continue along a scenic trail past crop fields and an ancient reservoir where you can spot many birds, butterflies and perhaps other wildlife. Stop to enjoy a refreshing king coconut and meet one of the local villagers who will take you for a short ride in his bullock cart. At the end of the morning you will enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan lunch.

Overnight at Habarana Village by Cinnamon (Superior Room)

Day 06:
Habarana - Kandy

Today you will drive towards Kandy with a stop to visit the Dambulla cave templesen route.

The Dambulla cave temples are another UNESCO World Heritage Site which date back to the 1st Century BC. This amazing complex of five caves was first used as a refuge by an ancient king who upon regaining his throne commissioned magnificent images to be carved from the rock. Later kings made further improvements and the caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha painted upon the walls of which the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 metres.

The hike up to the caves is short but steep (approx. 15-40 mins depending on route taken). At the top you can explore the caves and enjoy spectacular far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside.

Continue the drive to Kandy, stopping to visit one of the spice gardens in Matale on the way. A guide will show you around the garden, explaining about various plants and spices native to Sri Lanka. You will witness a cookery demonstration before proceeding to your hotel in Kandy

Sri Lanka's second largest city, Kandy was the capital of the last Sinhalese Kingdom and enjoys a scenic setting around a lake surrounded by green hills. Home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, said to house Buddha's tooth, each August the city also hosts the spectacular Perahera festival featuring dancers, firebreathers and lavishly decorated elephants.

Late afternoon you will head to a local hall to watch a show of traditional Sri Lankan music, dance and drumming. Afterwards you'll visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, known locally as Sri Dalada Maligawa, the most sacred temple in the whole of Sri Lanka. This important shrine boasts intricate carvings and beautiful Sri Lankan art.

During the evening 'puja' throngs of pilgrims visit the temple to line up to glimpse the golden casket said to hold the sacred relic and to make offerings of flowers.

Overnight at Ozo Kandy (Sleep Room)

Day 07:
Kandy Sightseeing

After breakfast enjoy a tour of Kandy, including a walk by the lake, a visit to the bustling local market and a stop at the British Garrison Cemetery, which from 1822-1873 was the final resting place for resident British nationals. Continue to the Ceylon Tea Museum located just outside the town, set in the old Hathane Tea Factory, where you can learn more about the history of tea growing in this region.

Later head to the beautiful Peredeniya Botanic Gardensto enjoy a leisurely stroll among the orchids and royal palms.

Surrounded on three sides by the Mahaweli River, these botanical gardens were founded in 1824 and are still home to one of world's largest collections of plants and trees. Giant ficus trees, palms, an orchid house and a vast array of trees such as ebony, teak, satinwood, mahogany and tamarind can be seen here.

Overnight at Ozo Kandy (Sleep Room)

Day 08:
Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

Today you will drive through the hill country to Nuwara Eliya.

En route you will stop at a tea factory and tea plantation where you will have the opportunity to learn more about the tea making process and the different grades of tea.

Located in the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country at an elevation of 1900m, Nuwara Eliya was a favoured retreat of the British in the19th Century thanks to its cool climate. With an abundance of red and green roofed plantation bungalows, English country style homes, a fine 18 hole golf course and a racecourse, the town still has a decidedly British feel. The surrounding mountain slopes and valleys are carpeted with lush green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls.

Take a walk around the town centre, passing the Victorian post office, the old Hill Club and golf course before a stop at Holy Trinity Church, a quaint building constructed by the British in the mid-19th Century. Continue to your hotel, where the rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight at Jetwing St Andrew's (Superior Room)

Day 09:
Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya

Early this morning, you will depart from your hotel for the drive to Horton Plains National Park. It's best to depart as early as possible as the mists build up as the day continues, obscuring the view from World's End. We suggest you ask your hotel the night before if they can prepare a packed breakfast for your journey.

Horton Plains National Park sits on Sri Lanka's highest plateau at over 2100m above sea level in the central mountains and offers an astounding variety of scenery - from misty mountains to grasslands, from marshes to ice cold streams, lakes and waterfalls. The park is home to colourful butterflies, many species of birds and other wildlife including sambar deer, bear monkeys, barking deer, giant squirrels, fishing cats and wild boar.

On your 2-3 hour hike (approx. 9km) you will stop at the beautiful 'Bridal Veil' Baker's Falls and stop at the World's End escarpment, where the plateau plunges almost 1000m in a sheer drop. If the weather is clear this spot affords spectacular views. This is a relatively easy hike but over uneven terrain with some steep sections. You should wear sensible footwear and take drinking water.

Drive back to your hotel around lunchtime and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight at Jetwing St Andrew's (Superior Room)

Day 10:
Nuwara Eliya - Udawalawe

After breakfast, you will drive on to Udawalawe National Park for an afternoon jeep safari.

Uda Walawe National Park is renowned as one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see elephants. Centred on a large reservoir the light vegetation makes game watching easy and most visitors will be graced with numerous sightings of herds of these gentle giants as they roam the grassland and scrub landscapes. The park also hosts many other species such as water buffalo, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard. It is also a wonderful place to enjoy birding.

Overnight at Grand Udawalwe Safari Resort (Deluxe Room)

Day 11:
Udawalawe - Yala

Start the morning at the Elephant Transit Home, a small facility on the border of the national park which cares for orphan elephants until they are ready to be released into the wild.

You'll watch from behind a barrier as the elephants follow the keeper into the compound and eagerly await their turn to receive their milk. On completion, drive towards your hotel in nears the Yala National Park.

Yala National Park is one of the largest national parks in the country with a varied terrain of dry woodland and grassy plains which supports an abundance of wildlife. It is home to a large number of elephants, spotted deer, sambar, wild buffalo, jackals, mongoose and crocodiles. The park boasts one of the highest densities of leopards in the world, but they are elusive creatures so any sighting is sure to be a highlight. Yala National Park is also home to ancient ruins and this mixture of natural beauty, wildlife and ancient culture make this park a national treasure.

Overnight at Jetwing Yala (Superior Room)

Day 12:
Yala Sightseeing

Enjoy an early morning game drive around Yala National Park. You will be picked up early and proceed in your jeep to the park entrance to collect tickets prior to the park opening. In busy periods this process may take up to 45 minutes.

Return to your hotel for a late breakfast and unwind before another game drive in the late afternoon.

Overnight at Jetwing Yala (Superior Room)

Day 13:
Yala - Galle

After breakfast, you will drive to Gallestopping en route at a turtle hatchery.

Sri Lanka is home to five endangered species of turtle: leathery, olive ridley, loggerhead, hawksbill and the green turtle. To aid conservation, hatcheries have sprung up along the southwest coast. Fishermen are paid to collect the eggs (mostly Nov - Apr) and hand them over to the hatchery staff who then bury the eggs protected areas before releasing the hatchlings into the waters.

After your visit continue to Galle.
Set on a promontory on the southwest tip of Sri Lanka, Galle Fort offers the best preserved example of a European built fortified city in Asia. It was built by the Dutch from the 17th Century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll the winding streets of this immensely charming town and discover its decaying colonial buildings, grand fort walls and numerous boutiques and cafes.

Stretching along the coast nearby are ruggedly beautiful beaches, which may be narrow but are peaceful and secluded.

On arrival take a walking tour of Galle Fort. Wander along the ramparts, pass the lighthouse and the old Portuguese harbour and stop to see some of the many colonial era buildings, including the Dutch Reformed Church, the Anglican All Saints Church and the former house of the Dutch governor, built in 1684 and now the luxurious Amangalla hotel.

Overnight at Tamarind Hill (Crayford Room)

Day 14:
Galle - Colombo airport Final Departure

Today you will leave your hotel and drive to Colombo airport for your onward flight.

"Tour end with Memories"


INCLUSIONS:
Transfers for arrival, departure and land transportation using and air conditioned car as per the itinerary in Srilanka
All sightseeing tours with an English Speaking Chauffeur Guide and including entrance fee to the monuments as follows:
City tour of Colombo
Dinner at Nuga Gama
Sigiriya, The Rock Fortress
01 half day jeep safari at the Minneriya National Park
Local village trek
Dambulla Cave Temples
Matale spice garden
Cultural Dance Show
Temple of the Tooth
City tour of Kandy
Tea Museum
Royal Botanical Gardens
Tea factory and plantation
City tour of Nuwara Eliya
01 half day trek at the Horton Plains National Park
01 half day jeep safari at the Udawalawe National Park
Elephant Transit Home
02 half day game drives at the Yala National Park
Turtle hatchery
City tour of Galle
Walking tour of the Galle Fort