All transfers and sightseeing tours as per the itinerary.
Assistance by an ACTC representative at airports and hotels.
Accompanying local English speaking guide for the entire tour.
Baggage handling and porterage.
Monuments entrance fees, guide fees, etc.
Welcome & farewell dinners.
SMALL GROUP ESCORTED TOURS- Begins every Sunday (Oct. to Mar.)
PRIVATE TOURS – daily departure
Your journey begins
Day 1 – SUNDAY
Arrive in the capital city, meeting assistance and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. HOTEL
Day 2 – MONDAY
Tour Colombo this morning, like many capital cities in developing countries Colombo is fast changing its face. Almost overnight, skyscrapers arise from where old buildings once stood. Yet in some parts, the old world charm is retained. Visit a 100-year-old clock tower and several British built colonial buildings. Stop at Pettah Bazaar to see or shop for local handicrafts. Next, visit a Hindu and Buddhist temples, residential areas where you see the stately homes of the affluent, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) – an outright gift to Sri Lanka from the People’s Republic of China. Spend the rest of afternoon at leisure to explore the city on your own or relax on the beach. Enjoy welcome dinner at a local restaurant this evening. HOTEL (Breakfast & Dinner)
Day 3 – TUESDAY
COLOMBO / ANURADHAPURA / HABARANA
Travel overland to Anuradhapura, the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of the ancient Ceylon home to two World Heritage Sites. Visit Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree) brought as a sapling tree under which Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment. The 2200 years old tree is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. The Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), has 1,600 stone columns is now a magnificent multi-storied residence of monks. Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C) is the most famous Dagoba. It originally depicted the perfect ‘bubble shape” that modern restoration has not been able to accurately reproduce. The ‘Samadhi’ Buddha statue (4th century AD) is one of the most famous statues, depicting the Buddha in a state of ‘Samadhi’ or deep meditation. Your last stop is at the Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd century B.C) is well known for its rock carvings. Continue to Habarana. HOTEL (Breakfast & Lunch)
Day 4 – WEDNESDAY
Visit Sigiriya, climbing 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 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, located in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster. HOTEL (Breakfast & Lunch)
Day 5 – THURSDAY
POLONNARUWA & MINNERIYA EXCURSION
Tour Polonnaruwa, the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD and is also a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’ postures carved out of rock can be seen, the Audience Hall, Lotus Bath, statue of King Parakramabahu, and Parakrama Samudraya – a lake built by King Parakramabahu the great. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, Lankathilake, Watadage, Galpotha, Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic. Next, visit a wildlife safari in the Minneriya National Park comprising of animals, wet-lands and unique plant species. Wild elephants, various amphibians, local and immigrant bird species are in plenty in this park. About 160 species of birds, 09 amphibians, 25 reptile species, 26 fish species and more than 78 butterfly species have been found in this area. HOTEL (Breakfast & Lunch)
Day 6 – FRIDAY
HABARANA / DAMBULLA / MATALE / KANDY
Travel overland to Kandy. Your first stop en route is at Dambulla Rock Temple built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. a World Heritage Site. It is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 square meters of painted walls and ceilings is the largest area of paintings found in the world. It contains over 150 images of Lord Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure, is carved out of rock spanning 14 meters. Next, stop at Matale visiting a spice garden. Here, you will see different spices and how they are grown and processed. Arrive in Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and another World Heritage Site. The name “Kandy” conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Continue to Kandy town and bazaar, the arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary. HOTEL (Breakfast & Lunch)
Day 7 – SATURADAY
PINNAWALA, GADALADENIYA & LANKATILAKE EXCURSION
The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975, began with seven orphans. 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 and the free movement of the herd enhanced the chances for respective sex’s to get together and mate. The nearby river played a dominant role and the first baby of Pinnawela was born in 1985. Next, stop at Gadaladeniya to visit the Buddhist Temple with a Hindu annex constructed on top of a rocky outcrop and dates back to a similar period as Lankatilake Temple and the Embekke Devale. A moonstone marks the entrance to the main shrine. The Lankatilaka Temple built in 1314 in traditional Sinhala style. Continue to Gadaladeniya Temple built almost exclusively in stone in the same year. Both these temples are located on a hilltop with a commanding view of the country side. Proceed to Embekke Devalaya built in wood, dating back to the 14th century. Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic during the evening prayer ceremony followed by a cultural show & Dinner. HOTEL (Breakfast & Dinner)
Day 8 – SUNDAY
KANDY / PERADENIYA / NUWARA ELIYA
Travel to Nuwara Eliya, a hill resort, stopping en route to visit Peradeniya Botanical Garden, first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and later expanded by the British. It provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. On arrival, visit Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort and well known for producing a significant share of the World’ s best tea. Sri Lanka’s highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8,282 feet) is also located here as also one of the finest 18 hole golf courses of South Asia. Visit a tea garden where process tea manufacturing, grading etc. will be explained. Enjoy a taste of the world famous Ceylon Tea before checking-in at your hotel. HOTEL (Breakfast & Lunch)
Day 9 – MONDAY
Nuwara Eliya was built entirely during the 19th century and its architecture mimics that of an English country town, with red-brick walls, country house like hill club and mock-Tudor half timbering. Blessed with salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery, spend your day visiting scenic vistas, tea gardens, shopping or more. Farwell Dinner. HOTEL (Breakfast & Dinner)
Day 10 – TUESDAY
NUWARA ELIYA / COLOMBO
Return to Colombo airport where you will connect with your international flight.