14 Days Cultural Heritage, Wilderness & Beaches of Sri Lanka

14 Days / 13 Nights

OVERVIEW

Encounter ruins, ancient cave temples, tea plantations, scenic beauty, wilderness and idyllic beaches on this adventure through Sri Lanka. A jewel in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is jam-packed with ancient sites, fascinating culture, beautiful wilderness and idyllic beaches. From ancient Anuradhapura city and the well-preserved Polonnaruwa ruins, to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the impressive Sigiriya rock fortress, Sri Lankan culture spans more than 2,000 years and still remains vibrant and alive today. Pick for treasures through the frenzied markets of Colombo, wander through the ancient Anuradhapura city and the well-preserved Polonnaruwa ruins, to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the impressive Sigiriya rock fortress, or simply bliss-out on the beaches in Unawatuna and Bentota with ginger iced tea in hand, Sri Lankan culture spans more than 2,000 years and still remains vibrant and alive today. Trek through lush tea plantations, enjoy the viewing of the Ella Gap stunning water falls through the Southern Peninsula of the island, trek Little Adam’s Peak, explore the diversity of wilderness & wildlife of Yala National Park, dip your toes in the calm, clear waters of Unawatuna & Bentota beaches and have a whale of a time in Mirissa on this all-encompassing adventure for those seeking a unique travel experience.

ITINERARY

Essential Srilanka - 14 Days / 13 Nights

ADHVAN representative will be meeting you upon arrival at Colombo airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

In the evening, if time permits, proceed to Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct – is quite interesting collection of old buildings with a number of bars and dining. Enjoy the architecture, food ambiance and shopping in your own way.

Overnight will be in Colombo.

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Anuradhapura – the first Kingdom of Sri Lanka.

Reach and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

Anuradhapura is Sri Lanka’s ancient capital, 5th century BC – 9th century AD and the center of the island’s Buddhist civilization.  Impressive white ‘dagabas’ (relic chambers) and monuments, embellished with handsome stone carvings and sculpture, the oldest documented tree on earth – The Sri Maha Bodhi (over 2000 years old), pleasure gardens, beautifully executed stone baths and ponds, a superb irrigation system of reservoirs and canals are the attractions of Anuradhapura.

According to tradition the magnificent 12m (30ft) standing Aukana Buddha was sculpted during the reign of Dhatusena in the 5th century – though some sources date it to the 12th or 13th century. Aukana means ‘sun-eating’, and dawn, when the first rays light up the huge statues finely-carved features, is the best time to see it.

Proceed for the sightseeing of Anuradhapura: visit Ruwanweli Seya, Thuparama Temple, Sri Maha Bodhi and the Samadhi Buddha Statue.

Ruwanweli Seya, one of the most famous structures of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, height 91 meters, is a masterpiece of King Dutugamunu, as a result of the victory gained after the war against the Chola King Elara.

Samadhi Statue that demonstrates the deep meditation posture of Lord Buddha proves the historical art and heritage of Sri Lanka, carved out of dolomite marble rock.

Overnight will be in Anuradhapura.

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Mihintale, where Buddhism was first introduced in Sri Lanka.

Mihintale has a rich historical background, being the venue where Buddhist Monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa met and as a result Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka.

Later proceed to Dambulla and enjoy the visit to Dambulla Rock Cave temples.

Dambulla Cave Temples are a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991. This temple, dating back to the first century BC, when hermit monks established a monastery here, is one of the most impressive in Asia. It has five caves under a large overhanging rock, carved with a drip line to keep the interior dry. Inside the caves, the ceilings are painted with religious pictures and the colorful designs continue along the contours of the rock. There are images of Buddha, bodhisattvas, and various gods and goddesses.

Later transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Overnight will be in Dambulla.

After breakfast, drive to Minneriya National Park, where you can witness the Elephant Gathering by the Minneriya Tank.

Later you will proceed for the visit of UNESCO World Heritage Site Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa was the second Capital and the seat of government from the eleventh to the thirteenth century.

Gal Vihara is one place that should not be missed as you can witness the four beautifully carved statues of Lord Buddha being carved out of the same enormous granite rock face. Climb up the facing rock and sit back, just stair and observe the beautifully carved statues of Gal Vihara.

King Parakramabahu, whose’ greatest construction was the “Parakrama Samudraya”, which was built by him to save each drop of water that was created from rain to be preserved for future use. During his era, Sri Lanka was known as a self-satisfied and very prosperous country and had no shortage of rice or the essential goods for day-to-day life.

Drive back to the hotel and relax.

Overnight will be in Kandy.

Have early breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed to Sigiriya.

The day starts early, but it’s worth it! Your guide will lead you through ancient pleasure gardens to visit the Fortress of Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, built on top of a huge boulder in the 5th century.

Sigiriya is a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It is one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.

Later drive to Kandy. En-route visit Matale.

Visit a spice garden in Matale to see different spices for which Sri Lanka is famous for.

Continue drive to Kandy. Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

Kandy was the capital of the venerated 16th century Kandyan Kings, who fiercely and successfully defended their kingdom against Portuguese and Dutch invaders for 300 years. It eventually fell to the British in 1815, but the salubrious hill station has maintained its position as an epicenter of Sinhalese culture and the site of an important spiritual pilgrimage for Buddhists. Many of the legends, traditions, and folklore are still lovingly kept alive by the region’s friendly people.

Later visit Temple of the Tooth.

Temple of the tooth relic: This temple, the most important one for The Sri Lankan Buddhists was built in the 16th Century A.D. solely for the purpose of housing the tooth relic. Observe the magnificent Architecture of that period and experience the tranquility of the atmosphere.

Wander around the lake and the streets of Kandy getting a feel for this wonderful city.

In the evening enjoy traditional Kandyan dance performance with a fire walking show by Kandian Arts and Crafts Society.

Overnight will be in Kandy.

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Embark on a guided sightseeing of Kandy with a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens are as popular with Sri Lankans and travellers alike, and they are large enough to guarantee that there is shady seating available for each visitor.

Visit the University of Peradeniya, laid out near the banks of the Mahaweli River. This is the longest river in Sri Lanka.

Kandy National Museum: This building established during Sri Wickrama Rajasingha era was then known as “Palle Vahala” This was used as the palace where the Queens of the king lived. This building has been built according to the architectural features of Kandy period. This museum has over 5000 museum objects which are depicting various aspects historical and cultural events of the Kandyan period. (17-19 century A.D.)

After sightseeing of Kandy, proceed to Nuwara Eliya, the “Little England”, also known to be the home of Tea Plantation, first started by Sir James Tailor.

Experience a scenic drive en route stop at Ramboda Falls watch point and Sri Bhakta hanuman temple.

Sri Bhakta Hanuman Temple: In the hills of Ramboda where Hanuman was searching for Sita, the Chinmaya Mission of Sri Lanka built the Sri Bhakta Hanuman Temple which is visited by thousands of devotees every year.

Drive to Nuwara Eliya. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Nuwara Eliya is the land of tea-laden hillsides, gurgling waterfalls, stirring mountains and clear hill-country air. Here, in temperatures akin to a beautiful English summer’s day, is wonderful walking country, a chance to experience Sri Lankan scenery at its finest.

Enjoy the sightseeing – Sri Lanka’s hill villages, tea processing factories, Botanical Gardens etc. Also visit Sita Amman kovil, Hakgala botanical garden and Divurumpola.

Sita Amman Temple: The Sita Amman Temple can be seen en route to the Hakgala Botanical Gardens. The prominent temple architecture will not fail to attract your attention. Ancient statues of Rama and Sita can be seen on one side of the temple. The temple today is a modern building with its paintings, statues and pillars decorated with sculptures; all depicting the tale of Rama and Sita.

Hakgala Botanical Gardens: The Hakgala Botanical Gardens was one of the pleasure gardens of King Ravana. This garden was expanded during the British period and has a wide variety of flowers including an excellent collection of orchids. This is the exotic pleasure garden where King Ravana kept the depressed Sita, insisting that she marries him. It was here where the heartwarming meeting took place between her and Hanuman, who brought her Rama’s ring with the news that Rama was looking for her. He offered to carry her back but she refused saying it would be an insult to Rama’s honor if she did so. Part of this majestic garden still exists. It is also said that Hanuman nearly destroyed it in order to prove to Ravana of the forces against him.

Divurumpola: Still revered by thousands, this holy haven was the place where Sita performed her Agni Pariksha (proving her chastity) to her husband Rama. Continuing the practice for thousands of years, villagers still pledge their fidelity or take oaths there and even in certain courts, this agreement was binding. This place has been respected and worshipped by people down the ages.

Overnight will be in Nuwara Eliya.

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to ELLA. In about 2 hours you will reach the ELLA village.

Ella is a small mountain village near Bandarawela and boasts three locations linked to the Ramayana where local legend claims Ravana was hiding Sita. There is the Ravana Ella Cave, located at the massive Ella Falls; a breathtaking 1080 feet high waterfall that cascades into several falls. The rocky undergoes of the waterfall is Khondalite, a kind of limestone which undergoes faster decay as hard gneiss or granite. This has resulted in many caves being formed near the falls. King Ravana is said to have lived in one of the caves above the waterfall. A nearby pool bored out of the rock by the gushing waters is where Sita is said to have bathed Ravana.

Enjoy visiting Ella Gap, Ravana Ella Falls, Little Adam’s Peak and Bambaragala Peak.

Proceed to the hotel, check-in and relax.

Overnight will be in Ella.

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Yala National Park.

En-route visit Thanamalvila village to observe Sri Lankan rural life including fishing, wood carving, farming etc. You will be able to go trekking through paddy fields and canoeing on the lake.

Continue drive to Yala.

The exploration of the islands diversity continues as you head towards Yala. You will be passing tea and vegetable plantations, occasionally a waterfall, forest and many small villages and hamlets. From the descending road you have again and again a beautiful view of the mountains and the valleys.

Arrive and check in at your wildlife resort/camp.

Explore the National Park “Yala” on the south east coast of Sri Lanka.

YALA is a wildlife paradise with a terrain of scrub jungle of 126,786 hectares. Yala has the world’s highest concentration of Leopards, although seeing this largely nocturnal carnivore still requires some luck. There are good numbers of Asian Elephants, crocodile, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo and Grey langurs amongst other large animals.

The locals call leopard “Kotiya”. Keep an ear out and even an eye.

Dinner will be served at the camp/resort.

Overnight will be in Yala.

Wake up early morning and proceed for your safari into the National Park. Track the tigers, leopards and other wildlife through the morning. Return to the resort/camp by 1000 in the morning and have breakfast.

Freshen up and relax at the resort/camp.

In the afternoon have lunch and then leave again for you afternoon safari. The safari will be till evening 1700 – 1800hr and then return to the resort/camp.

Dinner will be served at the resort/camp.

Overnight will be in Yala.

Have breakfast at the resort/camp.

Drive to Galle, located in the southwestern coast of the island visiting Dondra, Koggala & Unawatuna.

Dondra – Sri Lanka’s southern tip and visit the oldest stone building in Sri Lanka. Dondra was formerly home to a great temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. In 1588 the Portuguese destroyed all temples except for this one.

Koggala – An interesting place to visit in Koggala is Buddhist hermitages which are situated on a couple of islets on the Koggala Lake.

Unawatuna – The name Unawatuna derives its name from the Singhalese words, Onna-wetuna, which translates into “there it fell”. Over a period of time, Onna-wetuna became Unawatuna. A golden beach which is protected by coral reefs, safe swimming, wreck & reef dives and some surf points making Unawatuna a more and more popular travel destination.

Continue drive to Galle. Arrive and check in at your hotel.

Overnight will be in Galle.

Wake-up early and drive to Mirissa for whale watching experience.

 Mirissa Whale watching day trip is an exciting trip where you would be able to enjoy a great beach and Sea safari. Cruise leisurely in Southern highway early in the morning. Our driver will introduce you to our handpicked Whale watching boat operator with picnic breakfast where you will venture out to sea for approximately five hours.

Mirissa and its breathtaking sandy beach pretty much transform your dreams and visions of a tropical paradise into an everyday reality. Located close to the Southern tip of the Island of Sri Lanka, this secluded crescent shaped beach is the perfect place to sit back, relax and forget about all the hustle and bustle of your other life that’s a million miles away. This small sandy tropical beach boasts some of Sri Lanka’s best and most stunning sunsets and sunrises.

Once you come back to the shore, drive back to Galle.

Later in the afternoon, visit the historical city of Galle. One of Sri Lanka’s finest colonial-era show pieces, this Dutch built town and the 17th century fort of Galle offer a fascinating glimpse into the colonial past of the island. Huge bastions and ramparts enclose the quaint town with its narrow streets, old villas and offer mesmerizing sunset views across the Indian Ocean.

Visit the OLD GALLE FORT in Sri Lanka’s 04th biggest town.

Overnight will be in Galle.

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Bentota. En-route visit Balapitiya and Kosgoda.

Arrive at Balapitiya and enjoy boat safari in Madu Ganga River.

The estuary of the Madu Ganga River is a complex coastal ecosystem of mangroves and islands. It may be one of the last remaining tracts of pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka.

Drive to Kosgoda. Arrive at Kosgoda and visit turtle hatchery, watch turtles in their natural habitat and understand why this place is a prime turtle-nesting site.

Continue drive and proceed to Bentota. Arrive and check in at your hotel.

Bentota is famed as the prime beach resort of the southwestern and southern coastal belts of Sri Lanka. Bentota captures the heart and soul of island living, featuring laid-back fisherman, charming tropical dwellings and peace-loving locals. Within the boundaries of the Bentota village you will find an age-old local cinnamon trade, still in action, and plenty of opportunities to go fishing or diving among rich aquatic life.

Overnight will be in Bentota.

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy the resort and spend the day at the beach.

Overnight will be in Bentota.

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Colombo. Reach and embark on the city sightseeing.

Proceed for the sightseeing of Colombo visiting Hindu temples (also referred as Kovils), the Ganeshan, old and new Kathiresan, Shiva Subramania Swami temple, the Sri Muthumariamman temple, Gangarama temple and historic Devatgahaha mosque.

Also visit National Museum, Dutch Church, the House of Fashion for value for money ready – made garments and shop for ceramics or visit the Lanka Ceramic center.

After sightseeing, as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to Colombo airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Service

Our services include:

  • ACCOMMODATION AT SUGGESTED HOTELS
  • DAILY BUFFET BREAKFAST AT HOTELS
  • ALL MEALS IN YALA AS MENTIONED IN THE ITINERARY
  • SIGHTSEEING TOURS AS STATED IN THE ITINERARY
  • AC VEHICLE WITH ENGLISH SPEAKING DRIVER CUM GUIDE FOR ALL TRANSFERS & SIGHTSEEING AS PER THE ITINERARY
  • MONUMENT ENTRY FEE
  • NATIONAL PARK ENTRY FEE
  • BOTANICAL GARDEN VISITS & TICKETS,
  • ASSISTANCE AT THE AIRPORTS ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE
  • VISIT DUTCH HOSPITAL SHOPPING PRECINCT IN COLOMBO
  • EN-ROUTE VISIT TO MIHINTALE
  • EN-ROUTE VISIT TO DAMBULLA CAVE TEMPLES
  • VISIT TO MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK FOR ELEPHANT SIGHTING
  • VISIT TO POLONNARUWA
  • EN-ROUTE VISIT TO FORTRESS OF SIGIRIYA
  • EN-ROUTE VISIT OF SPICE GARDEN IN MATALE
  • EVENING PRAYER CEREMONY AT DALADA MALIGAWA (TEMPLE OF TOOTH) IN KANDY
  • WALKING TOUR OF KANDY’S CENTRAL MARKET
  • KANDYAN DANCE PERFORMANCE WITH FIRE WALKING SHOW IN KANDY
  • EN-ROUTE VISIT RAMBODA FALLS WATCH POINT
  • VISIT TO RAVANA FALLS
  • VISIT TO LITTLE ADAM’S PEAK
  • EN-ROUTE VISIT TO THANAMALVILA VILLAGE
  • TWO LEOPARD TRACKING SHARED JEEP SAFARIS IN YALA
  • BLUE WHALES EXCURSION (BY BOAT) TO MIRISSA
  • VISIT TO DUTCH FORT OF GALLE
  • BOAT SAFARI IN MADU GANGA RIVER
  • VISIT TO TURTLE HATCHERY IN KOSGODA
  • BOTTLED WATER DURING DRIVES AND SIGHTSEEING VISITS
  • APPLICABLE GOVERNMENT TAXES, ROAD TAXES, PARKING
  • DRIVER ALLOWANCES AND SERVICE CHARGES

Our services do not include:

  • MEALS NOT MENTIONED IN TOUR INCLUSIONS
  • ANY KIND OF PERSONAL EXPENSES SUCH AS TIPS, LAUNDRY, PORTER CHARGES, TELEPHONE BILLS AND ALCOHOLIC & SOFT BEVERAGES ETC.
  • CAMERA FEES (STILL OR MOVIE)
  • INTERNAL & INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE
  • MEDICAL & TRAVEL INSURANCE
  • VISA FEE
  • ANY SERVICE NOT MENTIONED IN TOUR INCLUSIONS

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