Upon arrival at the Colombo Airport, you will be met and transferred to the group hotel in Negombo. In the afternoon we take a boat ride in the Muthurajawela Nature Reserve, a unique tropical wetland located between Colombo and Negombo. This reserve covers an area of 7000 hectares and includes wetland marshes and mangrove forests. During the boat trip relax and enjoy the birdlife including herons, storks, waders and brilliantly coloured kingfishers. Overnight: at Rani Beach Hotel
After breakfast we visit the Salgala monastic complex, a haven for monks who have renounced worldly pleasures to lead a life of austerity and meditation. This evening we cross the river and hike through coconut estates, rubber plantations, rice fields, and remote villages. Today we have approx. 2 hours driving and 2 hours walking.
Overnight: Saruketha Villa Lake or Kandyan Reach Hotel
After breakfast we journey by road to Anuradhapura - the 1st capital dating back to the 5th Century BC. On the way we visit the ancient Buddhist library building in Padeniya Temple. Discover Yapahuwa with its beautiful ornamental stairway that climbs to a natural terrace and magnificent views. We then contunue to Anuradhapura. Today we have approx. 3.5 hours driving and 2.5 hours walking.
Overnight: Anuradhapura at Rajarata Hotel or similar
It is an early start this morning at 7.00am as we visit the historical and cultural sights of Anuradhapura. This will include the Sacred Bo Tree – the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world grown from the sapling of the Bo Tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Also, Ruwanweliseya Dagaba; Thuparama - the first Dagaba built enshrining the Collar Bone of the Lord Buddha, Isurumuniya Rock Temple - famous forts sculpture of lovers; Jethawanarama- which is said to have been higher than the great Pyramid at Giza in its original form and which is now a World Heritage Site; Samadhi Statue sculpture depicting the meditation posture of the Lord Buddha; Royal Pleasure Garden; Moonstone and the Twin Ponds. Here we stop to relax and enjoy lunch before making our way to Mihintale. Our vehicle will drop us three quarters of the way up the climb, leaving 300 steps to reach the sacred location of Mihintale, after which we continue traveling to Habarana. En-route we stop at the famous Avukana Buddha image. Today we have approx. 1.5 hours walking.
Overnight: Dannawwa Resort and Spa or Js Holiday Resort or similar.
After breakfast we visit the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa - the medieval Capital
of Sri Lanka - 11th Century AD. Polonnaruwa rose to fame after the decline of Anuradhapura. The largest of the man made reservoirs, the huge Parakrama Samudra, is larger in size than the Colombo harbour. We will visit the ruins of the King’s Council Chamber, the Royal Citadel, the Kumara Pokuna, Royal Pavilion, the Vatadage Relic House lavished with moonstones, guardstones and sculptured railing, Kiri Vehera - the best preserved of all Sri Lanka’s un-restored dagabas; Gal Vihare - the most impressive sculptures are the colossal Buddha images carved on the face of a granite boulder. The recumbent Buddha measures 14 metres and the standing figure is 7 metres in height. n the afternoon as the sun gs down we make our way to the spectacular rock fortress of Sigiriya, which consists of over 1200 steps. Today we have approx. 2.5 hours driving and 4 hours walking.
Overnight: Dannawwa Resort and Spa or Saunters Paradise Hotel, or similar.
This morning after breakfast we drive to the nearby village of Hiriwaduna, to see the farmers Chena cultivation - wading the waters of the Habrana Tank in the farmers can and exploring the rice fields. We enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan sweet served with Belli mal or fresh Sri Lankan King coconut, within the farmers humble homes. After this we make our way to Kandy, stopping en-route to explore the Dambulla Caves Temple, to witness some of the most spectacular caves of Buddhist art and sculpture, dating back to the 1st century. We will also stop at Matale to learn about Sri Lankan spices and herbs and indigenous medicines. Here we will also be serviced a simple traditional farmers lunch of boiled green gram with grated coconut and onion sambal. (Hiriwaduna approx 3.5 hrs and Dambulla Caves involves 350 steps)
Overnight: Gangaaddara Hotel or similar
The name Kandy conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the
legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. The Kandy Lake built
by the last King Sri Wickramarajasinghe in 1806 adds colour to the city. It is a city
for arts and crafts as well as culture and history. Today we visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, where we explore this historic location of significant Buddhist influence. We will also make our way to Upper Lake Drive (for a great view of the city), the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, (one of the finest of its kind in Asia with more than 4000 species of flora, and once the headquarters of Lord Mountbatten) and a Gem Museum. In the evening we will enjoy a cultural performance of traditional Kandyan dancers and drummers, including devotional fire walking rituals. En route to Kandy we visit Dambulla Cave Temple famous for its wall paintings, statues of Lord Buddha and deities among which lies a 47ft recumbent Buddha.
Overnight: Hotel Senani or similar
After breakfast we leave for the Peradeniya railway station to travel by train to Nawalapitiya. On arrival at Nawalapitiya we continue by road to Kithulagala for white water rafting on the Kalani river. From here we make out way to the region of Nallathanniya to the base of Adam’s Peak – the Holy Mountain. Overnight: Punsisi Inn or Watsala Inn or similar.
Our total travel time today is approx. 3.5 hours.
Our climb commences no later than 1:30am. Depending on the anticipated number of pilgrims to climb Adams Peak for sunrise (between 5:30am and 6:00am) the actual climb takes between 3 hours and 11 hours on very busy days (weekends and full moon). It is reasonably demanding and the majority of the well worn track is stairs with the final stages one long staircase. On the way up there are tea stalls (some open through the night), pagoda’s and tiny lights to illuminate the way (during the main festive season). (During the off season of March to Dec. one is totally dependent on your head torches for light.) Adam’s Peak (2224m), has attracted pilgrims for more than 1000 years, due to the legend that it was here that Adam first stepped onto the earth after being expelled from Heaven. Whilst pilgrims climb to the top to view the enormous ‘footprint’, claimed by various groups to be that of Adam’s, Buddhas and even Lord Shiva, the view at the top at dawn is spectacular, making it well worth the effort. As the weather can be quite cold before the sunrise, it is advisable to bring warm, windproof clothing. After the climb we descend and sit down to a late breakfast before driving through the regions of Nuwara Eliya, where we will explore a working Tea Factory to learn about the production of Ceylon Tea and visit a market. This evening you can join your guide for a comfortable stroll (not exceeding 4kms, flat terrain) in the beautiful surroundings and the cool climate of Nuwara Eliya, at a relaxed pace around the race course of Nuwara Eliya.
Overnight: Daffodil Hotel or Glenfall Reach Hotel or similar.
This morning we have an early start with a wake up call no later than 5:00am, as we board our vehicle with a packed breakfast in hand no later than 5:30am. We will drive to the Horton Plains where by 7:00am, we will commence our nature walk within the spectacular game reserve which covers a distance of over 9.5kms, we take in the marvelous view points and beautiful Bakers Falls, there are more waterfalls within this region of unique climate and flora and fauna. Ella is a town set at 1100ms and the landscape falls dramatically to the plains 1000ms below, offering spectacular views. After this we make our way back to our vehicle and drive to our hotel to enjoy lunch and some time to relax. This afternoon we will explore the nearby Nine Arches Bridge.
Overnight: Ella Mount Heaven Hotel or similar
After a relaxed breakfast we venture out on a two hour nature walk through the tea plantations to the fantastic view point of Mini Adams Peak. After this we make our way to our hotel for a simple comfort stop and to refresh before setting out the Udawalawe in time for lunch and undertaking a jeep safari in the Uda Walawe National Park. This park is approximately 30,821 hectares in extent and lies within the Ratnapura and Monaragala Districts. It acts as the catchment to the Uda Walawe Reservoir and is located in the Dry Zone. This Park comprises grasslands and thorn scrubs and many valuable species of trees are found within it. Large herds of Elephants and Deer species, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo, Jackal and Birds are some of the prominent wild animals found in this Park.
Overnight: Athgira Riverside Camp or Elephant Trails Hotel or similar.
After breakfast we visit the nearby Elephant Transit Home for baby elephants. We'll witness the many elephants who have been placed destitute being bottle fed and provided for and protected. After this we continue towards Walasmulla Hakkmana to reach the main road to Galle, passing through the stilled fisherman of Waligama. We undertake a detailed city tour walking along the rampart walls, exploring the Dutch heritage and the 36 hectare Dutch Fortress, constructed in 1663. This evening we hope to witness a wonderful sunset.
Overnight: Little Lady Hotel or similar
After an relaxed breakfast we commence our journey towards Colombo. On our way we stop in Blapitiya to explore the waters of the Madhu River, as we venture out on a unique boat safari, wading through the mangroves. Here there are prawn traps, monkeys, birds, monitor lizards and more. Continuing on we explore Colombo with a brief city tour and indulge in any last minute shopping before settling into our hotel. Overnight: Fairview Hotel, Colombo or similar
After breakfast there will be a transfer to the airport for departure, where the trip concludes.