Classic Cultural – 9 Nights 10 Days
This comprehensive tour begins with four nights based in the centre of the island’s famous Cultural Triangle, enabling you to explore the sites of the island’s ancient culture, and even go on safari, at a leisurely pace. The appreciation of the island’s diverse culture continues with a two-night stay in Kandy, the capital of the former medieval kingdom, with a cultural dance performance and a visit to the legendary Temple of the Tooth. Experience the colonial culture that thrived on tea production during a stay at the hill station of Nuwara Eliya before a chance to explore Colombo with its grand Edwardian buildings and a visit to wander the cobbled streets of the colonial fort of Galle, number 200 on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites, with its ramparts, cobbled streets and boutique shops.
After breakfast depart to the ancient city of Habarana. Thereafter spend your evening at leisure by the pool.
DAY 02 – Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Overnight Stay at Habarana
In the morning depart to the Lions Rock in Sigiriya, a UNESCO world heritage site adorning a palace on its peak. A must visit for anyone visiting Sri Lanka. Afterwards you can either return to the hotel and relax in the afternoon or head out on a safari at Minneriya National Park.
DAY 03 – Hiriwaduna Trek and Overnight Stay at Habarana
If you’re feeling energetic and have a thirst for adventure, the Hiriwaduna Trek can be organized. This trek allows you to understand village life as well as experience a bullock cart ride and even a catamaran boat ride.
DAY 04 – Anuradhapura and Overnight Stay at Habarana
After breakfast visit Anuradhapura, one the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. If you’re not too tired, you could visit the Ritigala ruins on return to the hotel. However a 4 x 4 vehicle should be hired to conduct this excursion.
DAY 05 – Kandy and Overnight Stay at Kandy
After breakfast proceed to Kandy, while visiting the Rock Cave Temple in Dambulla and Spice Garden Matale en route. Later in the evening witness a Cultural Dance performance.
DAY 06 – Kandy and Overnight Stay at Kandy
In the morning spend the day touring the Kandy town including a visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic. In the afternoon you can choose to relax in the pool or head to the Royal Botanical Garden.
DAY 07 – Nuwara Eliya and Overnight Stay at Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast proceed to Nuwara Eliya. After settling in at the hotel, conduct a sightseeing tour including a visit to a Tea Factory/ Plantation.
DAY 08 – Colombo and Overnight Stay at Colombo
After check-out proceed to Colombo and unwind in Cinnamon Grand, situated in the heart of Colombo’s business, shopping and entertainment capital.
DAY 09 – Galle and Overnight Stay at Colombo
After breakfast proceed to Galle and conduct a city tour including a visit to the Galle Fort. On return to Colombo, make a stop at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Spend the evening at leisure getting ready for your departure the next day.
DAY 10 – Colombo City tour and Departure
At Noon check-out and conduct a city of Colombo and take part in some last minute shopping. Thereafter transfer to Katunayake for dinner and proceed to the Airport in time for the connecting flight.
Called by many names including “The Lion Rock” for its initial name of “Sinhagiri”, Sigiriya is near the town of Dambulla and is a colossal column of rock nearly 200m high. It was a royal citadel for 18 years (477-495) when it was fortified by King Kasyapa. The architectural and irrigational technologies of Sigiriya, such as the Water Gardens, still baffle engineers. The climb up steep steps of metal with railings passes a wall decorated with frescoes of bare-breasted women. Art experts consider them unique.
The summit of the rock is a hectare in area and the outer wall of the palace was constructed on the brink of the rock with gardens and ponds softening the harshness of the eerie. Since it was constructed over 1,500 years ago, it is claimed by enthusiast as the Eighth Wonder of the World and is anyway a World Heritage Site.
The Dambulla temple has five caves and 157 statues of the Lord Buddha, many paintings on the ceilings and walls that emphasis the artistic talent of ancient days. The history of the caves, rock and temple dates from the first century B.C. The fascination of these caves is not only the statues but also the many intricate and delicate paintings that cover the ceiling and walls, created with indigenous traditional paints.
Because of the history, archaeological and artistic implications, the premises were declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1991. The temple has been in use for over 22 centuries and still holds a sense of benevolence and spirituality. Visitors may climb up steps to the temple and the view from the top of the rock is as inspiring as the temple’s golden interior.
The Hiriwaduna village trek experience begins with a morning walk to the scrub forests bordering the village of Hiriwadunna. This location is famed for the spotting of some 130-bird species and a variety of rare butterflies. In addition to this abundance of unique wildlife found, you can also experience canoeing and a bullock cart ride during the nature trek.
MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK
Minneriya National Park. Sitting in the centre of the cultural triangle, Minneriya is a good alternative to the busier parks in the south and it’s easy to weave in a day here between visiting the ancient cities. The dry season, preferably from June to September, is the best time to visit the 8,890 hectare park when the ancient tank, the lake that dominates the area, dries out and the grasses and shoots push through. During this time it is possible to see herds of up to 150 elephants feeding and washing, as well as toque macaques, sambar deer and leopards. The hungry bird flocks include cormorants and painted storks. Minneriya, closest by car to the ancient city Polonnaruwa, was upgraded from a nature reserve to a national park because of the increased number of tourists coming to see the elephants.
The ancient kingdom of Kandy is home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha as well as Edwardian buildings, a king-made lake, a nature reserve and exciting shops.
As the second largest city of the island and the capital of the Central Province, Kandy has grown from being a medieval kingdom to a friendly, busy city set in forested hills and surrounded by tea plantations and close to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya. As well as the Temple of the Tooth, there are many Buddhist monasteries and Hindu places of worship to visit, and cultural dance performances to watch.
Kandy is a convenient base to stay for a few days while exploring the Cultural Triangle as there are comfortable hotels to suit every budget. The city is easily accessible from Colombo by rail, road and float plane.
At an altitude of over 1,800m above sea level the picturesque landscape of Nuwara Eliya is known as “Little England” because of the resemblance of its homesteads to English bungalows, and it’s cool climate (there are even log fires in some hotels).
Nuwara Eliya is overlooked by Piduruthalagala, the highest mountain in Sri Lanka. In colonial days it was the retreat from the coastal heat for British residents and even today rituals like horse racing, boating on the lake, beautiful flower garden competitions and golf tournaments are held during the local holiday season months of April and August.
Most of Sri Lanka’s fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables are grown in the area and there are also dairy and strawberry farms. The Hakgala Botanical Gardens near the town is a prime attraction, as is a trek across Horton Plains.
Galle Fort begun by the Portuguese in the 16th century, expanded by the Dutch in the 17th Century and consolidated by the British in the 19th century, is not a historical ruin but has been transformed into a living, thriving contemporary settlement. Located at the southwest corner of the island the Fort covers 52ha and contains within its broad, grey granite rampart walls, nearly 500 houses.
Entrance to the Fort is through either of two main gates, one of which contains the Dutch Coat of Arms on one side and the British on the other. The Fort is Number 200 on UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and is free to enter and explore. The cobbled streets are lined with houses from the Dutch and British periods, with some art deco masterpieces, many of which have been converted into boutique shops and stylish guest houses.
|Cost per person sharing a Double room||Price on Request|
Inclusions & Exclusions
The below cost includes:
- 9 nights’ accommodation on bed & breakfast basis while at Habarana, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Colombo.
- Transport in an Air-Conditioned Car with an accompanying English speaking Chauffeur Guide.
- Government Tax (11%).
The below cost does not include:
- Early check-in & Late check-out.
- Entrance/excursion fees to the places mentioned in our itinerary.
- Tips and other expenses of a personal nature.
Availability at hotels is subject to confirmation of the tour and travel dates.
Please note we require 50% of the payment on confirmation and the balance 2 weeks prior to arrival or the full payment can be settled on confirmation.
- On-line payment using a personal credit card (Amex/Visa/Master). Log in details will be sent on confirmation.
- Bank transfer.