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Colombo, Caves & Kandy

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Explore Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital city of Ceylon
Includes return economy airfares

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Colombo, Caves & Kandy image
Spend a week exploring Sri Lanka's famous cultural triangle, visiting the rock fortress of Sigiriya, ...

Highlights

... the exquisite Dambulla cave temple, the historic Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, meeting Sri Lanka's orphaned elephants at Pinnawala and more.

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Take a city tour around Kandy aboard a Tuk Tuk and explore Temple of the Tooth
  • Visit Udawalawe National Park, home to the nation's largest herd of Asian Elephants
  • Take a scenic train ride through waterfalls and tea plantations from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and drive though Nuwara Eliya's 'Little England'.
  • Explore Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital city of Ceylon

Holiday Type

Wildlife & Nature
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
  • N
Culture
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N

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What's included
  • International flights
  • 7 nights 4 star hotels & handpicked local gems
  • Food: 7 breakfasts and 1 lunch
  • All transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • All listed tours and activities
  • Escorted by an English speaking national guide for group 6 or more (professional chauffeur guide for groups of 5 or less)
Need to know
  • Entrance Fees of USD $140-$160 are payable locally
Your route
 

Itinerary

Day 1
Colombo

Colombo

Your start hotel is located on the seafront just a short walk from Galle Road and many of the city highlights. Choose to head out and explore, take a dip in the pool or enjoy a cocktail whilst you watch the perfect sunset over the Laccodive Sea.

Day 2
Polonnaruwa & Dambulla Rock Temple

Polonnaruwa & Dambulla Rock Temple

On the way we will stop at a local Sunday market before arriving at one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive cave temples, the Dambulla Rock Temple. This stunning complex of 5 caves contains over 150 images of Buddha including an impressive 14 metre statue carved out of the cave rock. After exploring this ancient site the group will continue on to Polonnaruwa. This fascinating 11th century city is home to many interesting ruins and famous monuments including the Royal Palace and the Gal Vihara. Polonnaruwa was once the capital and is also the second most ancient city in Sri Lanka. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Day 3
Sigiriya, village visit & Spice Gardens

Sigiriya, village visit & Spice Gardens

Built over 1500 years ago, this beautiful citadel stands 200 meters high in the middle of verdant jungle and was an important stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. It can be viewed from miles around and is definitely one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic and famous sites. You’ll be able to view the world famous paintings of the Heavenly Maidens which stand in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. Once we’ve fully explored the rock we take a jeep ride and short canoe trip to the village of Kayanwala. Here, we try our hand at preparing a meal of curry, dahl, spiced rice, pickle and more in the mud brick home of a local family. En route to Kandy we stop off a spice garden in Matale, to see the different herbs and spices, which Sri Lanka is famous for. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. Arriving to Kandy, we attend a cultural performance of traditional Sri Lankan music and dance.

Day 4
Temple of the Tooth, Tuk Tuks & Pinnawala

Temple of the Tooth, Tuk Tuks & Pinnawala

The first stop will be the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Legend has it that one of Buddha's teeth was taken from him as he lay on his funeral pyre. It was then smuggled into Sri Lanka in 313AD. It now attracts daily pilgrims who come bearing lotus flowers and frangipani. After driving around the Kandy Lake - built by the last Sinhala king, visiting the local bazaar and a gem museum the group will take a Tuk Tuk ride up into the surrounding hills. This afternoon we visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage where we meet some of the 78 elephants in their care. Some of these elephants were abandoned as babies, others born in the facility and unable to return to the wild and a few with disability - one elephant is blind. Today's highlight will be to watch the herd bathe uninhabited in the nearby river. Before returning to Kandy you will stop at a working tea factory at Geragama. Geragama Tea Factory is located in close proximity to the city of Kandy was established in the year 1903, manufacturing 'Low Grown' and 'Long Leaf' tea.

Day 5
Scenic Train trip & Tea Plantations

Scenic Train trip & Tea Plantations

Passing kilometre upon kilometre of verdant tea plantations that hug the winding mountain passes, You'll see waterfalls, suspension bridges and tea pickers on your journey up to Nuwara Eliya - Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country producing a significant share of the world’s best tea. Opt to sit outside, within the open viewing section of the carriage for uninterrupted views of the magnificent landscape. This afternoon the tour will take a beautiful drive through Nuwara Eliya - an area known locally as 'Little England'.

Day 6
Udawalawe NP Jeep Safari

Udawalawe NP Jeep Safari

This national park is probably one of the best places to spot the famous Sri Lankan Elephant, the biggest of all the Asian Elephants. It is thought that there are around 400 elephants here. The park is also home to the elusive leopard, the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear and lots of types of deer. You will take an afternoon game drive here before returning to the hotel for the night. . 

Day 7
Colombo City Tour

Colombo City Tour

Sri Lanka is famous for its gem industry and is home to 40 out of the 85 types of gems in the world.  Arriving to Colombo, the tour will commence a city tour seeing the Fort area in the north of the city, famous for its government buildings and interesting shops. The tour will explore the Fort area in the north of the city, famous for its government buildings and interesting shops. You'll see the stunning Gangarama Temple and take a stroll along Galle Face Green, a popular spot for kite flying and games of cricket.

Day 8
Goodbye Sri Lanka

Goodbye Sri Lanka

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