Day 1 –

On arrival in Sri Lanka, please clear immigration, collect your luggage, and then proceed through the customs green channel to the arrival lobby. We will be waiting in the designated area with a paging board. You will then be escorted to the car park for your transfer to Seeduwa. Check into Tamarind Tree Hotel on arrival. Minutes away from the bustle and activity of the busy town of Katunayake, is the Tamarind Tree. The unique concept of self-catering residences dotted among spacious lawns and swaying palms, makes the Tamarind Tree ideal for your stay. Book into one of 30 apartments complete with air-conditioned bedrooms, dining-room and telephone. The pantry is fitted with everything you need to cook your own meals. But you could order a drink, snack or meal from the restaurant at any time.  (Note:  I will be landing at 11:30 pm.  Limited opportunity for self catering...)

Overnight at Tamarind Tree Hotel, Seeduwa – Standard SGL on BB basis


Day 2 –

This morning after breakfast you will be driven to Habarana. En route visit the Dambulla cave Temple. The Dambulla cave temple is by far the most impressive of all the many cave temples in Sri Lanka. Among the cave’s numerous statues – there are 48 of the Buddha alone – are images of Upulvan (Vishnu) and Saman dating from the 12th Century (they may be the earliest devala statues to appear in a Buddhist image house). The cave’s history dates to the 2nd or 1st Century BC, when King Valagam Bahu took refuge here after being driven out of Anuradhapura by invading armies. Proceed to your hotel and check in.

Check in to Chaaya Village on arrival in Habarana. Chaaya Village – a village in which lifeis just as idyllic as  picture postcard. The hotel blends well into this surrounding hiding itself among the trees where the chief residents are birds and monkeys. Large sprawling lawns meander down to the vast lake which the wildlife and humans have an equal stake in. You have the evening at leisure to explore the resort and beautiful surrounding scrub jungle area.

Overnight at Chaaya Village, Habarana – Standard SGL on HB basis


Day 3 –

After breakfast this morning you will be drive to Aukana. One of Sri Lanka’s most perfect and elegant statues, the Aukana Buddha lies to the west of the large Kala Wewa tank. Creation of both the temple and the tank (reservoir) is attributed to King Dhatusena in the 5th century. The statue stands 12m high, carved from a single rock and is completely free-standing. It is an example of the Abhayamudra Buddha, showing superhuman qualities. The right handed gesture, raised to the right shoulder with the palm spread, signifies lack of fear. The left hands position draws the worshipper to Buddha for release from their earthly bonds. The statue has gained significance in recent times due to the destruction of similar Buddha in Afghanistan.

Yapahuwa, a huge, yet little-visited rock fortress a little way off the Kurunegala-Anuradhapura road, and one of the great architectural sites of the island. This early 13th century stronghold is reminiscent of Sigiriya, a massive granite outcrop, set in a shady location, and rising 100m above the plains below. King Bhuvanekabahu I developed Yapahuwa, building a palace and a temple which housed the famous tooth relic for 11 years. After Yapahuwa was abandoned, Buddhist monks took it over and still remain today. Return to your hotel.

Overnight at Chaaya Village, Habarana – Standard SGL on HB basis


Day 4 –

This morning after breakfast you will be driven to Sigiriya. proceed to climb the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Sigiriya… meaning lion rock is more than just a fortress; it was one of the most unique cities in the history of Sri Lanka. A massive monolith of red stone that rises 600ft, this famous rock fortress, stark and forbidding, haunted by an epic story of murder and betrayal, was built in the 5th Century AD by King Kasyapa. The climb to the summit is reached between the paws of a lion. A niche in the rock is decorated with frescoes of spellbindingly lovely maidens; it has a moat abutted by a wall and is surrounded by rock and water gardens.

Check into Vil Uyana on arrival. Situated within the view of Sigiriya rock, on the flatlands that stretch to the west, the hotel could be considered an extension of an ancient plan - a plan to irrigate, in the tradition of the Sri Lankan kings. With the challenge of introducing a wetland system on reclaimed agricultural lands within the Dry Zone, provides the unique backdrop for this exciting new property. You have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the town and surroundings of the hotel.

Overnight at Vil Uyana, Sigiriya – SGL on HB basis


Day 5 –

After breakfast this morning you will be driven to Kandy. The road to Kandy is a beautiful one, as you eventually come to the delightful hill station. Girdled by hills, Kandy is a peaceful haven to retire to and enjoy the cool of the climate.
en route visit a spice garden where you could observe all types of spices grown naturally in a garden. Drink a cup of spice tea and get your tired shoulders massaged by an expert with herbal oils, extremely invigorating.

You will be taken on a city tour of Kandy on arrival. Kandy, at an altitude of 500m is the cultural center of Sri Lanka and was the capital of the last Singhalese kingdom. It is a particularly relaxed hill station once the stronghold of the Sinhala Kings, captured by the british. This royal city, sheltered by the hills and looped by the Mahaweli – Sri Lanka’s longest river, still holds religious and cultural significance. Proceed to your hotel and check in. A beautiful boutique villa at the peak of Asgiriya Mount with magnificent views over Mahawella River. The décor is luxurious and modern with oak floors and high beamed ceilings. Pretty and vibrant hibiscus gardens can be reached from each bedroom and verandah.  The main villa offers an airy lounge to escape from the sun.

In the Evening visit the focal point of the town which is the golden-roofed Dalada Maligawa where the sacred tooth of the Lord Buddha is enshrined and also called “Temple of the Tooth” which houses Sri Lanka's most sacred relic, and it is dominated by the lake nearby. In the same evening you will participate at the “Evening pooja at Dalada Maligawa” the Temple of the Tooth where the sacred relic of Lord Buddha is stored. After Evening pooja you may also witness a colorful Kandyan dance performance. Return to your hotel. Overnight at Villa Rosa, Kandy – Deluxe SGL on HB basis


Day 6 –

This morning after breakfast tale a stroll around the sleepy, but serene Kandy Lake, where balmy winds waft across, a walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens located at Peradeniya and a visit to the University of Peradeniya – the spacious green campus laid out near the banks of the Mahaweli is a

must for any visitor to Kandy.
This afternoon proceed to the elephant orphanage in Kegalle. Pinnawala… the Elephant Orphanage located on the banks of the Maha Oya, is mainly to house young elephants who find themselves displaced and lost from their natural habitats for various reasons – environmental changes due to development projects, being abandoned by their parents when they fall into pits and ravines, etc. It is most interesting to visit at feeding or bathing time.
Return to Kandy. You have the afternoon at leisure to explore the town and experience the shopping in Kandy.

Overnight at Villa Rosa, Kandy – Deluxe SGL on HB basis


Day 7 –

This morning after breakfast you will be driven to Nuwara Eliya. The scenery is breathtaking as you drive on mountainous roads amidst tea gardens and cascading waterfalls. Visit a working tea factory en route and watch the process of complete tea making.

Situated in the heart of the tea-growing region of Sri Lanka. A beautiful "little England" if we might say so.  This beautiful little town has a very strong British influence. Little cottage type houses with neat rose gardens in front of them. A very pretty sight indeed. Check into your hotel. St Andrew's Hotel sits 6182 feet above sea level in the highest town in Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya. It is perfectly within close range of pristine montane forests such as Horton Plains and Hakgala. This stately Tudor style colonial mansion which is over 100 years old, still preserves the charm of the colonial era with its typical " English Hill Country" ambiance.

Spend your evening in the beautiful Hakgala Rose Gardens and visit one of Sri Lanka's sacred shrines, the Sita Eliya Temple which has long been associated with the Ramayana story. Return to your hotel.

Overnight at St. Andrews Hotel, Nuwara Eliya – SGL (Suite) on HB basis


Day 8 –

Today after breakfast you will be driven out to the Horton Plains which form an undulating plateau over 2000m high.  It is a beautiful area, consisting mainly of grasslands, interspersed with patches of forest, dominated by the Totupola and Kirigalpota mountains in the north and south.  The area provides excellent opportunities for walking, with panoramic views over the spectacular escarpment which drops a sheer 1000ft. They were formerly the hunting grounds of the British Raj. A very noticeable characteristic of this forest is the profuse growth of moss and lichens on the trees owing to the misty conditions. White lichen, commonly called ‘Old man’s beard’ is very conspicuous as it hangs from the branches. Epiphytic orchids may also be seen growing on the trunks of the trees and branches. Return to your hotel.

Overnight at St. Andrews Hotel, Nuwara Eliya – SGL (Suite) on HB basis


Day 9 –

After breakfast this morning you will begin your journey back to the coastal plains, leaving the hills behind. The drive will take approximately 6 hours but it is a stunning journey with fabulous views en route. Check into your hotel. Yala village – It blends subtly into scrub forest, close to Yala game park, overlooking the historic Yala lighthouse. enjoy a scenic location, stretching from a lagoon to the border of Palatupana-Kirinda beach, which boasts some of Sri Lanka’s finest unspoilt sand dunes. Animals may wander through the village unhindered as the management pursues a policy of existing in harmony with nature.

This evening you may also visit Kataragama which is approximately 1 hours drive from Yala. Kataragama a popular pilgrimage destination frequented by adherents of all religions in Sri Lanka. The main shrine devoted to Skanda popularly described in eulogies as God having six faces and twelve arms whose assistance is sought for worldly gain. The history of the shrine dates back to 2 century BC. Return to your hotel.

Overnight at Yala Village, Yala – Standard SGL on HB basis


Day 10 –

This morning have your breakfast overlooking the Yala national park. You may also observe wild elephant from the restaurant as the hotel is in close proximity to the park.

This evening you will be taken on a jeep safari to Yala National park where you can see Sri Lankan wild animals in their natural state. Inside the park you will come across  wild boar, deer, leopards, elephants, bears, peacocks, flamingoes and many more animals roaming freely as nature intended them to live.  The elephants gather at the waterholes for drinking and you may watch them bathing their young and immersing themselves in the river. They can also be sighted at close range sometimes. You may also see leopards sunning themselves on rocks in the park. Herds of deer roam at will keeping a wary eye on the predators. Peacocks flaunting their colourful feathers strut around and flamingoes are a breathtaking sight. You will find Yala a delightful place to survey our wild animals.

Overnight at Yala Village, Yala – Standard SGL on HB basis


Day 11 –

This morning after breakfast you will be driven to Sinharaja.

Check into your hotel on arrival. Boulder Garden is a quite remarkable hotel, lovingly designed around a crop of gigantic black boulders 20 minutes from the entrance to Sinharaja rainforest in south-west Sri Lanka. There is a medieval feel to the 10 large and immaculate bedrooms, with their rock walls, timber beams and polished cement floors.

This afternoon experience the city of gems – Ratnapura.  Sri Lanka is famous for her coloured gem stones. Prince Charles bought Lady Diana's engagement ring blue sapphire from Sri Lanka. Ratnapura is well known for being the home of Sri Lankan gems & precious stones as 92% of our precious stones are mined in Ratnapura alone. Get into the shallow gem pits & sift through the waters (trying your luck with the stones) with a "garum kudaya" (a woven basket which is used by our miners to separate the ordinary stones from the gems). Get the feel of being in one of the world's most valued grounds, as Sri Lanka is one destination, which is renowned for producing some of the finest gems in the world.

Return to your hotel.

Overnight at Boulder Gardens, Sinharaja – Standard SGL on HB basis


Day 12 –

Early this morning visit the Sinharaja Forest. Located in south-west Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the country's last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. There is much endemic wildlife, especially birds, but the reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka's endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians. Sri Lanka's tropical rain forest, the Sinharaja is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. One of the few virgin forests left in the world. Visitors are required to obtain permits from the Wildlife Department in order to visit this sanctuary. Streams, springs, rivers, waterfalls, leopard, monkeys, butterflies and moths, rare trees, valuable shrubs and medicinal herbs are all found within its green canopy. A trek along prescribed paths would provide nature lovers with a never to be forgotten experience of sights and sounds. Return to your hotel.

Overnight at Boulder Gardens, Sinharaja – Standard SGL on HB basis


Day 13 –

After breakfast this morning you will be driven to Galle. Check into Lighthouse Hotel & Spa. The Lighthouse Hotel & Spa sits atop a hillock overlooking the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Inspired by the Dutch influence in Sri Lanka, the Hotel exudes a touch of history and class and offers guests exquisite cuisine and a splendid unmatched view of the sea.The Serena Spa offers a range of pampering experiences, inspired by Sri Lankan and Indian traditions. All facilities are located around the second full sized swimming pool.

Overnight at Lighthouse Hotel & Spa, Galle – 1 SGL room on BB basis


Day 14 –

This morning after breakfast proceed on a day trip to Galle. Visit the famous Dutch ramparts in the Galle Fort with a Portuguese emblem on the southern wall. This fort now houses most of the offices of the government like the old post office, the beautiful Dutch church over 350 years old and other colonial style buildings now monumental of the architectural patterns that prevailed in that era. Walk along the ramparts which rolling plains of green inside the fort with a view of the harbour and the famous old light house. Galle is well known for its cottage industries and lace making which is a traditional southern Sri Lankan craft. Visit a lace making craft center as well as a mask-making center. These wooden masks are used in various ceremonies and festivals in Sri Lanka. Each one is hand carved and significant of a certain human feeling.

This afternoon proceed to the Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda. You may spend the afternoon observing these baby turtles and later releasing a few of them into the ocean. Return to your hotel.

Overnight at Lighthouse Hotel & Spa, Galle – 1 SGL on BB bass


Day 15 –

This morning after breakfast you have the rest of the day at leisure to relax on the beach.

Overnight at Lighthouse Hotel & Spa, Galle – 1 SGL on BB bass

Day 16 –

After breakfast you have the rest of the day at leisure to relax on the beach.

Overnight at Lighthouse Hotel & Spa, Galle – 1 SGL on BB basis

Day 17 –

Early this morning (late night) you will be driven to the Colombo International Airport in order to connect to your departure flight back home.

End of a memorable tour!  (and on to two days in Tokyo!)

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