Join a 9-day voyage into Sri Lanka’s hidden enchanting cities where you'll be surrounded by scenic nature every where you go. You'll visit the famous Dambulla Cave Rock Temple, and the city of Kandy, the capital of the ancient era. You'll have an amazing experience of trekking and therapeutic exploration. You'll also see “Little England” and the bail markets, and climb Adam's Peak from where you'll be amazed by spectacular views. You'll also have a great time at Mirissa beach where you'll get to watch whales and dolphins!
Katunayake - Dambulla
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, you will meet with your assigned guide who will transfer you to the town of Dambulla where you'll start this trip with a visit to the cave temple. Known as the "Golden Temple of Dambulla," this rock temple is considered one of the most important Buddhist monasteries. Covering the rock ceiling is the largest collection of paintings in Sri Lanka within a cave temple. You will also see the highest number of Buddha statues found in one single place here. As you wander through the temple, you'll notice the serenity and the exceedingly well-preserved nature of the place. It is no wonder the Rock Temple has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, you'll be transferred to your hotel where you'll spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Dambulla.
After a hearty breakfast, you'll head to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sigiriya is an enormous rock boulder rising up 200 metres out of the surrounding jungle. Incredibly, the rock fortress was built by King Kassyapa I in the 5th Century AD and served as a royal citadel for more than 18 years; something that seems more astonishing with every step you climb. You'll pause occasionally during your ascent to admire the mirror wall, the sigiri graffiti, the famous Sigiriya frescoes and the great lion paws. Keep going until you reach the top and you’ll immediately see that it was worth the effort. You'll wander through the ruins and admire the courage and work it must have taken to build this palace all those years ago. To think that there is still a fully functional swimming pool up there is simply awe-inspiring. But aside from the ruins, with the unparalleled 360 degree view of the surrounding jungle and hills, it won’t just be the climb that takes your breath away!
In the evening, you'll go on a safari at Minneriya National Park, located in the North Central district of Sri Lanka, and is a sanctuary for wildlife. It is one of the best places on the island to see the Sri Lankan elephant up-close and personal, all year round. As well as elephants, you are likely to see a whole host of other mammals, birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. Aside from the wildlife, the impressive Minneriya tank - a reservoir built by an ancient civilization – is undoubtedly the highlight of the park. If you are visiting between June and September you are likely to experience the dry season when the reservoir slowly dries out, giving way to fresh grass and shoots and attracting large herds of elephants, deer and water buffalos. It is during this time that Minneriya National Park gains fame in view of "The Gathering of wild elephants." If you are lucky, you may witness between 50 and 300 wild elephants making their way to the shores of the reservoir in what is considered to be the largest known meeting point of Asian Elephants in the world. We recommend an early morning or late evening visit to the park.
Overnight in Dambulla (Breakfast).
Dambulla - Kandy
This morning you'll head to the rural village of Hiriwadunna for a country side experience. This half-day excursion will also take you to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, where you will get the opportunity to interact with villagers and to experience their day-to-day life. As you turn off inland at the village of Hiriwadunna in Habarana, you will be welcomed by the cheerful bullock cart drivers and their age-old bullock carts, pulled by one or two strong bulls per cart. Bullock carts were once a common mode of travel, however they are rarely used nowadays. Your journey will bring you near the scenic Hiriwadunna Lake where you will be able to enjoy the view with some welcome refreshments. A short walk will take you further into the village, passing by the occasional tree houses built by farmers to protect their crop, as well as acres of paddy fields, Chena crops and of course local scarecrows!
As you arrive at a village house, you are welcomed by the smiling faces of the owners. Enjoy the hospitality of these humble villagers as they serve you a simple, but delicious Sri Lankan village lunch prepared in the traditional way using earthenware pots and firewood as fuel. Afterwards, you'll head to Kandy and make a stop at Matale to visit a spice garden. You will be taken through the garden where you'll learn how spices are produced and their various benefits. Enjoy a local buffet lunch at the spice gardens before heading to your hotel. After finishing up the check-in procedures, you'll go on a trek to the Knuckles Mountain Range with a trekker.
Overnight in Kandy (Breakfast)
Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
The city of Kandy was the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka and has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will notice a more comfortable temperature here, compared to the tropical climate prevailing throughout the rest of the island. The Sacred Temple of the Tooth is certainly the most iconic place to visit in this cultural capital but other highlights include the historic Kandy Lake, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the scenic Victoria Golf Club. While you are in Kandy, also look out for the silverware, brassware and gem-studded jewelry, carefully carved and designed by the Kandyan craftspeople, who are known to be the most skilled in the country. Kandy can be a bustling place in the day so there is nothing quite like a late evening stroll around the serene lake with a view to the Sacred Temple and the distant sound of drums in the background.
Afterwards, you'll proceed to Nuwara Eliya to explore “Little England” and the bail markets. A drive to Nuwara Eliya is a feast for the eyes and a photographer’s paradise. Pause every now and again to admire the gushing waterfalls, the vast tea terraces, the old tea factories and the expansive vegetable fields along the way. With log fires and blankets in the Victorian-style bungalows and the beautifully kept lawns and flower gardens, it is no wonder that they nicknamed this part of the world ‘Little England’. Visit the Haggala Botanical Gardens, Gregory’s Lake or the Seetha Amman Hindu Temple. Wander through the fruit and vegetable markets and strike a bargain at the night ‘bale’ market. Enjoy a freshly brewed Ceylon tea and homemade strawberry jam on toast, or for those into golf, tee off at the Nuwara Elya Golf Club. You'll then spend the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the surroundings.
Overnight in Nuwara Elya (Breakfast).
This morning you'll head to the Horton Plains! Lying at an altitude between 2,100 and 2,300 meters (7,500 feet), and in contrast to the climate found elsewhere in Sri Lanka, Horton Plains National Park is often shrouded in mist, ground frost and low-lying cloud. This amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site is the only national park in the central highlands. The plains protect the sources of important rivers and host many species of plant, endemic birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies. Embark on an early morning trek for a higher chance of spotting the bold sambar deer and the purple-faced langur. Trickling streams lead you to the picturesque Baker Falls and Slab Rock Falls, and no trek through Horton Plains would be complete without taking in the views from World’s End, where the southern plains suddenly drop to 1,050 meters (3,500 feet) below. You'll then spend the rest of the day at leisure so relax and enjoy Nuwara Elya.
Overnight in Nuwara Elya (Breakfast).
Nuwara Elya - Dick Oya
Today you'll head to Dick Oya in the early morning and check-in at your hotel. You can relax the rest of the day to get ready for the midnight climb to Adam's Peak where you'll be accompanied by a trekker. You will return to your hotel tomorrow morning after witnessing the beautiful sunrise from the peak.
Overnight in Dick Oya (Breakfast).
Dick Oya - Mirissa
Upon arrival from Adam’s Peak, you'll have a tasty breakfast at your hotel and will have time to relax. In the afternoon, you'll check out from the hotel and proceed to the bewautiful town of Mirissa. You'll check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Mirissa (Breakfast).
Today you'll go to Mirissa Beach for Whale and dolphin watching off Sri Lanka’s south west coast. It is an exciting and unique activity and the frequent sightings all year round has put Sri Lanka and the Mirrissa area on the world’s top places for blue whale sightings. While the wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed, blue whales are frequently seen between December and March off the south and west coasts of Sri Lanka, due to their migration patterns. It is also common for you to be see by pods of acrobatic spinner dolphins while you're on the boat. You'll enjoy a delicious breakfast on the boat.
Overnight in Mirissa (Breakfast).
Mirissa - Katunayake
After breakfast, you'll have some time free at leisure, after which you'll be transferred to Bandaranaike International Airport in time to take your outbound flight.