11 Nights 12 Days Culture Tour

Day 1

Route: Airport > Negombo
Drive Time: Approx: ½ hr

Upon arrival you will be greeted by your chauffeur guide. Thereafter proceed to Negombo.

Negombo is a famous fishing village located north of Colombo with easy access to the airport.

In the evening go on a Negombo sightseeing tour.

Have dinner out at one of the many dining options available.

Return to your hotel for overnight stay.

Day 2

Route: Negombo > Pinnawala > Sigiriya
Drive Time: Approx: 4 ½ hrs with a break at Pinnawala

After breakfast leave for Sigiriya for three nights.

En-route visit an Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala which started in 1975 to house abandoned and wounded elephants.

In the evening climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress (A UNESCO World Heritage site) which is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent archaeological sites in Sri Lanka.

It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the Palace on the summit of the 600-foot high rock. On its summit are the foundations of the Royal Palace, Water Tanks to supply water and all other buildings and at the edges the guardhouses. On one of the stairways the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting survived in the form of Frescoes of 21 life sized damsels still shining in their original colours.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 3

Route: Sigiriya > Anuradhapura > Sigiriya
Drive Time: Approx: 2 hrs each way

After breakfast leave to visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura was the first capital in Sri Lanka founded in the 4 century BC.

Anuradhapura is considered the most extensive and the most important of the ancient cities in the northern region. It served as a capital city of this region for over 1000 years and hence was residence to many ancient kings from 377 BC.

Visit the following sites in Anuradhapura.

  • Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-tree); the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world which is over 2250 years old.
  • AbayagiriDagaba and Monastery; This Dagaba was also named after its monastery, which housed 5000 monks. By the first century AD the Abayagiri monastery had become famous attracting scholars from all over the world. At the site are the Twin Ponds or KuttamPokuna which are two unusual baths beautifully constructed in polished stone. The Elephant pond at Abayagiri is an enormous bathing pool measuring the equivalent of six standard Olympic pools.
  • The tallest stupa in the world; At over 360 feet in height (originally 400 feet in height) Jetavana is the tallest stupa in the world. This colossal structure was made out of brick in the 3rd century AD. In the 4th century at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire, this was the third tallest monument in the world. The first and second being the two tallest pyramids at Gizeh, Egypt.

On your return visit Aukana Buddha statue; the most magnificent undamaged ancient image in the island constructed in the 5th century. This is the most beautiful rock-cut standing Buddha Statue in the Island, if not the entire world.

Return back to your hotel for Dinner & Overnight stay

Day 4

Route: Sigiriya > Hiriwadunna > Polonnaruwa > Sigiriya
Drive Time: Approx: 1 ½ hrs each way

After breakfast at the hotel leave for an interesting traditional rural village tour.

The tour begins with a beautiful trek to a manmade reservoir. After a catamaran boat ride over serene waters blanketed with lily pads, hop into a bullock cart alongside paddy fields and rural vegetable plantations to a traditional village house, where you will enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan lunch.

Look out for birds, butterflies, and perhaps even a crocodile as well as the villagers fishing or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake.

After lunch leave to visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa which was the 2nd capital of Sri Lanka; now a UNESCO World heritage site, contains some splendid and spectacular statues.

Lankatilake, Tivanka and Thuparama are the most beautiful and largest Image Houses and Tivanka has the best examples of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period. The medieval capital, Polonnaruwa was fortified with inner & outer moats and inner & outer walls. The Parakrama Samudra is on the western side of the city. The Royal Palace, Audience Hall and other buildings in the inner city were enclosed by another tall wall.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the Hotel

Day 5

Route: Sigiriya > Dambulla > Matale > Kandy
Drive Time: Approx: 3 hrs

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning visit Dambulla Cave Temple which has a history dating back to the 01st Century BC.

The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built the most magnificent of Rock Temples to be found in the Island.

Thereafter leave for the Hill Capital Kandy for one night.

En-route visit a Spice Garden in Matale.

Cinnamon, Cardamom, Pepper Creepers and all other spice trees, plants and creepers are planted for visitors to see them. Spice products are also available for those who would like to buy them. At all Spice Gardens visitors are taken round explaining each tree and plant and at the end explaining the use of them in food preparations.

Enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan rice & curry meal at the Spice Garden.

Afterwards continue to Kandy and visit a Batik Factory, where you can see the manufacture of beautiful Batik prints. These shops contain a wide variety of Batik items.

In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth followed by a Cultural Show.

It was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the “Dalada Maligawa” – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.

Dinner & Overnight stay at Hotel

Day 6

Route: Kandy > Peradeniya > Nuwara Eliya
Drive Time: Approx: 3 hrs

After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya for two nights. The scenery is spectacular and as the road winds higher, we pass picturesque waterfalls tumbling down hillsides and vantage points which afford views of rugged hills stretching far into the distance.

Visit a tea factory where the world’s best tea is being produced.

In the evening take a short walk around this mountainside town known as ‘Little England’ among the locals. It is supposed to be one of the coolest places in the Island, but it is really just like an English spring day, although the temperature does drop at night. All around the town you will see evidence of the British influence, houses like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 7

Route: Nuwara Eliya > Horton Plains > Nuwara Eliya

Take a packed breakfast and drive up to Horton plains national park to go on a 8km trek to the famous World’s End, a stunning viewpoint, which is a sheer drop of 870 meters hidden in clouds. This is the only national park in the country where visitors are allowed to walk freely inside.

The hills are covered with diverse wet low evergreen forest with even large trees grown flattened to the ground on the higher windswept slopes.

Return back to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya and spend rest of day at leisure.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 8

Route: Nuwara Eliya > Ella > Yala
Drive Time: 5 hrs

After breakfast in the mountains descend to the southern coast of Yala. As you descend you will notice the change of the landscape around you; in a matter of few hours the climate, flora & fauna changes as you enter the dry zone.

En-route visit Ravana Ella Falls which is of 1080 feet high.

In the afternoon jeep safari to Yala National Park and experience the best of the wildlife it has to offer.

After an adventurous safari return to your hotel for Dinner & Overnight stay.

Day 9

Route: Yala > Galle

After breakfast, travel up the coast towards Galle.

During the drive you could see stilt fishermen in Weligama. Stilt Fishing is one of the most interesting traditional fishing methods of Sri Lanka. Records indicate that it came into being just after World War II. The tradition of stilt fishing will always be practiced by those who cannot afford to invest in modern fishing equipment. Over the years this practice of fishing has slowly died off. Now this is more of a demonstration of how people used to fish in the past.

In the evening visit the Galle fort which has been preserved from the colonial eras.

Walk in the narrow streets, including the Lighthouse Street (Zeeburg Street), Leyn-Baan Street (Lijnberg meaning rope walk), and Modarabaay Street (Modder-baai meaning Mud bay) see the Old Dutch Houses, private Museum where Dutch period antiques could be seen and part of the Old sewage system that emptied to the sea with the high/low tide.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 10

Route: Galle

Spend the day at leisure.

Day 11

Route: Galle > Kosgoda > Colombo

After breakfast leave for the commercial capital Colombo for one night.

En-route visit Peraliya Buddha Statue (Tsunami memorial). Peraliya is a little village, close to Hikkaduwa town by the coastal belt. This is the location where the tsunami of 2004 hit a crowded train. More than 1500 passengers died in this incident. This is considered as the most tragic train accident in world history. This Buddha statue was built, close to railway track, where this tragedy happened.

Thereafter visit a Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda.

The waters around Sri Lanka are teeming with sea life. Five out of the seven types of sea turtles call nest on Sri Lanka’s beaches. All of them are on the endangered list. The centre functions mainly as a hatchery and makes huge efforts to increase the rate of hatching, and survival of baby turtles in their very initial stages. They also treat sick or injured adults; treating them and releasing them back into the ocean.

In the evening go on a city tour of Colombo which is the business and commercial centre. The remains of the buildings during the period of the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule are found in every area of the city.   

Colombo is also a shopping paradise for shoppers who always enjoy a good bargain on quality clothes and fashion accessory items. Many of the malls have the latest creations from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Longchamps and Prada to name just a few. Of course you have to pay more for the real thing, which is also available at selected stores, but if you don’t mind a look-alike, some excellent options are available.

Enjoy your last Sri Lankan meal having dinner at an authentic Sri Lankan restaurant.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 12

Route: Colombo > Airport

Breakfast at the hotel and say goodbye to memories as you will be taken to the airport for your departing flight.

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