Essence of Sri Lanka

Negombo, Habarana, Kandy & Nuwara Eliya

Overview

TOUR CODE: CMBESS

Unveil the wonders of Sri Lanka where you’ll visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, world renowned for its success in caring and nurturing for wild Asian elephants. See the rock fortress of Sigiriya, an archeological site built on top of a rocky mountain plateau, where you’ll tour its numerous ruins including the Royal Palace and Lotus Bath. In Dambulla and Kandy, admire the impressive temple complex—a shrine ornate with gold and fine woodwork. Travel by train through the scenic countryside to Nuwara for a visit to a tea garden and nature walk.

What’s Included

Superior Option:

  • 01 nights in a Deluxe Room at Jetwing Lagoon Hotel in Negombo
  • 02 nights in a Superior Room at Cinnamon Lodge in Habarana
  • 02 nights in a Superior Room at Cinnamon Citadel Hotel in Kandy
  • 02 nights in a Deluxe Room at Araliya Green Hills Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
  • 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners
  • One-way train ticket from Kandy to Nanu Oya
  • All transfers, sightseeing tours and cultural performance as specified in itinerary
  • Hotel taxes and service charges

Deluxe Option:

  • 01 nights in a Deluxe Room at Jetwing Blue Hotel in Negombo
  • 02 nights in a Superior Room at Heritance Kandalama in Habarana
  • 02 nights in a Deluxe Room at Earl’s Regency Hotel in Kandy
  • 02 nights in a Deluxe Room at Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
  • 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners
  • One-way train ticket from Kandy to Nanu Oya
  • All transfers, sightseeing tours and cultural performance as specified in itinerary
  • Hotel taxes and service charges

Itinerary

DAY 01

ARRIVE COLOMBO/NEGOMBO (D)

Arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Our local representative will meet you outside the customs gate and escort you to your hotel.

DAY 02

NEGOMBO/PINNAWALA/HABARANA (B/D)

This morning after breakfast drive to Habarana; en-route visit the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela. (Driving time approx. 4 hours) Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – established in 1975, the orphanage commenced with seven orphan elephants. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location. The original objective of establishing the orphanage inclined more towards tourism, but it soon became a conservation and educational centre. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawela started a scientific captive-breeding program for elephants. The free movement of the herd enhanced the chances for respective individuals of both sexes to get together and mate. The nearby river played a dominant role in this regard, and in 1984, the first baby of Pinnawela was born. The success story of Pinnawela has drawn the attention of scientists from all over the world. A considerable number of books and research articles on Pinnawela have been published in several languages. The members of the Pinnawela herd have been filmed, videoed and photographed thousands of times by professionals. Late afternoon arrive Habarana and check-in to your hotel.

DAY 03

HABARANA/SIGIRIYA/POLONNARUWA/HABARANA (B/D)

In the morning, visit the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress – a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 657 feet from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 173 acres fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. See the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster. Later proceed to Polonnaruwa (Driving time approx. 1½ hours). Rising with the decline of Anuradhapura, the city of Polonnaruwa – medieval capital & crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I – remains superior proof of ancient culture & heritage blended with religious beliefs. Walk across its scattered walls of the World Heritage Site – blessed by stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures – while observing the relic house – Watadage – which boasts of beautiful stone carvings. Take a close glance and you will realize a subtle Hindu influence on architecture and statues found in Polonnaruwa. Or sit by the side of Galviharaya and observe the absolute beauty gushing out of every bend of its huge Buddhist statues. Nissankamalla Council Chamber is however, a head-spinning beauty to just sit back and observe with its swaying pillars reminding the aesthetics of a powerful kingdom which rests beside Parakrama Samudraya – sea of Parakramabahu and masterpiece of irrigation!

DAY 04

SIGRIYA/DAMBULLA/MATALE/KANDY (B/D)

After breakfast, drive to Dambulla. Visit the Dambulla Rock Temple which was built by king Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C., it is the most impressive cave temples in Sri Lanka, and is now a world heritage site. The complex of five caves with over 21,527 sq. feet of painted walls and ceilings is the largest area of paintings found in the world. It contains over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 45 feet. Continue the drive to Kandy with a stop at Matale, known for producing tea, spices, vegetables, and rubber. We will visit a spice garden before continuing to Kandy (Driving time approx. 2 hours).

DAY 05

KANDY (B/D)

Morning visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic – Tradition relates that a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka in 4th Century A.D. and was enshrined within the Dalanda Maligawa, or the Temple of the Tooth. This sacred relic has ever since been the symbol of sovereignty for the Sinhalese kings and always enshrined in great splendor. Kandy’s Dalada Maligawa is a magnificent shrine, with decorative walls, golden roof and fine woodwork. Religious services (pooja) are held daily at dawn, midday, and in the evening and can be viewed by visitors. Continue your visit to Peradeniya Botanical Garden – This botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. In the evening witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan music and drumming.

DAY 06

KANDY/ NUWARA ELIYA (TEA COUNTRY) (B/D)

This morning we will take the train to Nanu Oya station (approx. 4 hours). Misty steep roads, twisting through lush green blankets of tea bushes in a cool climate, remind visitors that they are within the range of the renowned British colonial retreat, Nuwara Eliya. Augmented by an English countryside atmosphere, the city of light – once governed by English & Scottish planters – is still studded with colonial bungalows, hedgerows and one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world. A hike through the green grass and red-brick walls should present breath-taking views of a buzzing countryside hamlet. Visit a Tea plantation en-route. Sri Lanka, Tea and Tourism are words which cannot be separated. Take a tour to the cold and misty hills that take pride of an ultimate tea tour, covering lush green blankets of tea plantations. Or just step into a tea factory processing the prestigious brand of Ceylon Tea, to observe a rich tradition kept alive up to date. As you observe the hissing and swishing of machines, inhaling the heavenly scent arising from these facilities, make sure to end your day in style over a perfectly blended cup of pure Ceylon Tea.

DAY 07

NUWARA ELIYA/HORTON PLAINS/NUWARA ELIYA (B/D)

Early morning leave for Horton Plains with packed breakfast (Approx. 1 hr.). Horton Plains, UNESCO World Heritage Site & Eco-tourism hideout in the heart of the isle, painted with unending stretches of green pastures marks one of the healthiest wet montane evergreen forests in Sri Lanka. With an altitude above 7000 ft, the plateau sweeps to a robust 7,830 acres sheltering flora and fauna varieties that may be found nowhere else on earth. As the tributary of Belihul Oya – Bakers Falls – thunders down rocks head off the beaten track – across frost-covered grass – to feel the icy-cold wind against your face. You may even gaze down World’s End, a head-spinning 3,700 ft drop towards the Southern end or drive carefully through herds of sambar deer, shy to human touch & birdlife chirping across the plains. If you’re cautious enough you may be greeted by the sights of a grunting wild boar, a pouncing fishing cat, otters or even the ‘Spotted-Ghost that haunts the plains’, the Sri Lankan Leopard! Return back to the hotel after the excursion.

DAY 08

NUWARA ELIYA/COLOMBO DEPARTURE (B)

This morning drive to Colombo (Driving time approx. 4 hours). A glimpse beneath the chaotic façade of this metropolis on the banks of the Indian Ocean will reveal a treasure of delights and surprises to the inquisitive visitor. Colombo is a city with charming little hideaways waiting to be discovered. Our local representative will escort you in time to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport for your flight home.

Meals: B= Breakfast   L= Lunch    D=Dinner

Contact us at (800) 988-4833 or Email us to Book this Trip NOW!

Dates & Prices

Per person, based on double occupancy

    Please contact us for a quote.
    Prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy and subject to availability. This is a land only package without International airfare. Tour prices include hotel taxes and service charges. (LO/010720/C-10)

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