Day 01- Habarana
Arrive at the Bandaranaike International airport, Katunayake. You will be met and assisted on arrival by our airport staff. Leave for Habarana, a small village with excellent hotel accommodation which is a central location for all the ancient city sites. (155 km, approx. 4 hour drive). On arrival in Habarana, check in at the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana or Dambulla.
Day 02 - Polonnaruwa
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (58 km, approx. 1¼ hour drive). It was the Capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century, a well-planned medieval city defended by enclosing walls (around 5 km. which still remain), graced by palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds and irrigation lakes. Polonnaruwa is strewn with ruins in a resplendent state of preservation. Of these the ‘Vatadage’ and the ‘Thuparama Image house’ are the most spectacular. The ‘Gal Vihara’ which consists of statues of the recumbent, standing and seated Buddha have been cut from a single granite wall and rank among the true masterpieces of Sri Lankan Art. On completion, return to the hotel. Overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana or Dambulla.
Day 03 - Dambulla / Sigiriya / Kandy
After breakfast at hotel leave for Sigiriya (25 km – approx. ½ hour drive) and climb the Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site, built by King Kassapa in the 05thcentury A.D. which was a Royal Citadel for more than 18 years. The Lion Rock is a citadel of unusual beauty, rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The base of the rock is ringed by a moat and rampart and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens. The majestic Lion’s Paw picturesquely guards the stairway of the palace on the summit. See the famous frescoes of the “Heavenly maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered pocket of the rock and the 10 feet high Mirror Wall. Thereafter leave for Kandy (92 km, approx. 3 hour drive). En route visit a Spice garden in Matale. On arrival in Kandy, check in at the hotel and after a short break commence a sightseeing tour of this bustling hill country capital which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the pink painted famous Temple of the Tooth which houses the most sacred religious relic, the tooth of the Buddha. Kandy is also popular because of the annual festival known as the Esala Perahera where the inner casket covering the tooth relic of the Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city held annually in the month of July or August. Drive past the picturesque premises of the University of Peradeniya and visit the Market Place, and an arts & crafts show room. Then drive along the Upper Lake road to get a panoramic view of the Kandy Lake built in 1807 and is an attractive centerpiece to the town. Also visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, where a rare collection of tropical exotic and indigenous flora including the famous Orchid House could be viewed. Late evening enjoy the Kandyan Cultural show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre. The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display. A visit to Gadaldeniya, Embekke and Lankathilaka could be arranged on request. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kandy.
Day 04 - Pinnawela / Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast proceed to Pinnawala and visit the Elephant Orphanage (50 km, approx. 2 hour drive). This orphanage was set up by the government to take care of baby elephants lost or abandoned in the wild. Witness the feeding of the elephants. The baby elephants being bottle fed with milk is a heartwarming sight. Thereafter observe them as they take their daily bath in the river nearby, which affords marvelous photo opportunities. Bath time is enjoyed by all elephants, young and old alike and it is a good time to closely observe their tightly knit family structure. The young elephants are protected and cared for, by the older ones in the group and the leader of the group is respected by all. (Open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Daily feeding times- 9.15 a.m., 1.15 p.m. 5.00 p.m. Bathing times – 10.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m., 4.00 p.m.). Thereafter proceed to Nuwara Eliya (130km, approx. 4 ½ hour drive). En route visit a tea plantation and a tea factory. At the tea factory witness the process of manufacture of tea from plucking of the green leaves to packeting of the processed tea. Set in the heart of Tea Country, situated 1890 meters above sea level, this beautiful town of Nuwara Eliya is where the British succeeded in creating an English countryside with homes in styles from Georgian to Queen Anne with well-kept lawns with hedges. On arrival in Nuwara Eliya commence a sightseeing tour in the city. Visit the Nuwara Eliya Town, Market place, Golf Course, (one of the finest 18 holes Golf Courses in Asia) the Hill Club, and drive around this hill station viewing Lake Gregory. Sri Lanka's highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 ft) is located here. Overnight stay at a hotel in Nuwara Eliya
Day 05 - Kitulgala / Colombo
After breakfast leave for Colombo via Kitulgala (185km – approx. 5 hour drive). En route view stunningly beautiful waterfalls and landscape with tea plantations. Kitulgala is the location where the famous World War II movie “the Bridge on the river Kwai” was filmed. The river is now popular among water sportsman for Rafting. Afternoon commence a sightseeing tour of the city of Colombo. Drive through the commercial and city Centre area known as the “Fort”, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century where grand colonial era buildings stand alongside modern office structures. See the busy markets and noisy bazaars of Pettah, the National Museum with its fine collection of lovely antiques and art of Sri Lanka. Drive past the Town Hall, Independence Square, the B.M.I.C.H (International Convention Centre) and Cinnamon Gardens residential area and visit a Buddhist temple and a Hindu Kovil to experience the diversity of religion, ethnicity and customs of the people. On completion return to hotel. Overnight Stay at a hotel in Colombo.
Day 06 - Colombo / Departure
After breakfast leave to the airport for the departure flight. (30 km, approx. 1 hour drive).