Sri Lanka is a country of monuments of ancient civilization, religious monuments, and monuments of nature. Island where the ancient builders worked hand in hand with Mother Nature to create some of the most stunning sights in the world. Historical roots of Sri Lankan culture reach so far back that they disappear in the mists of time, intertwined with myths and legends. It is a country with the magical power to pleasantly surprise you, over and over again. Such a strong power that this island has lent its ancient name, Serendib, to the word which means a pleasant and fortunate surprise, Explore serendipity with this 10 days Sri Lanka tour.
When you arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport, a representative of T2 Travels will be waiting for you ready to meet and greet you. And we will embark on our trip to Anuradhapura.
On our way, we will visit the town of Chilaw where two important Hindu temples are located. According to a legend, King Rama, the central character of epic Ramayana prayed to lingam, an abstract representation of Lord Shiva, in a shrine where today stands Munneswaram Temple. Asking for absolution after killing Ravana, the chief antagonist of Ramayana, he was instructed by Lord Shiva to erect four lingams. The first he erected is located at Manavari Kovil, and being the first is named Ramalinga Shivam.
After visiting these two sacred places, we will continue straight to Anuradhapura. This ancient city is one of the holiest cities for Sri Lankan Buddhists. Among the numerous, still active, temples and shrines a special place is taken by Atamasthana. These are the eight places Buddha has visited in this part of the island. Among them, the most astonishing is the one where Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig tree was planted from a branch of Sri Maha Bodhi tree under which Buddha has achieved enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC, which makes it the oldest living tree planted by a human with a known date of planting.
A direct trip from Bandaranaike International Airport to Anuradhapura typically takes 3 hours and 30 minutes, and you will stay overnight at Hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel in Anuradhapura, we will embark on the trip to Sigiriya.
On our way, we will visit the Aukana Rajamaha Viharaya, an ancient Buddhist temple from the 3rd century BC. Here is located a 12-meters tall statue of Buddha, the Aukana Buddha statue, which looks magnificent when lighted by the first rays of sunlight. According to conflicting historical chronicles, it is from the 5th or 12th century AD.
Afterward, we will pass through majestic Lion Gate, flanked by gigantic lion’s paws, and cling to the summit of Lion Rock. Here is the ancient citadel of Sigiriya, with royal gardens sophisticated system of interconnected pools and reservoirs for storing water. Sprawling plains surrounding Lion Rock are occupied by the remains of the ancient city, whose gardens once were the symbol of royal opulence and splendor.
Our next destination is Minneriya National Park, where we will embark on a jeep safari. The main feature of this national park is the Minneriya Wewa, a water reservoir built in the 3rd century AD by damming the Amban River. During the dry season, it provides food and water to animals in the surrounding area, and here you can see the largest gathering of wild Sri Lankan elephants, that numbers between 150 and 200 individuals.
A direct trip from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya typically takes 1 hour and 30 minutes, and you will stay overnight at hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel in Sigiriya, we will head for Kandy.
In the morning, we will visit the Golden Temple of Dambulla. This cave temple complex, that spreads across five caves, was founded in the first century BC. This cave complex, which is still an active house of worship, is widely considered as the best-preserved cave temple and best-preserved ancient monument. Through centuries of existence, it was adorned by more than 150 statues of Buddha, and more than 2,100 square meters of religious paintings.
On the route to Kandy, we will visit Spice and Herbal Garden. Here you will be able to learn about spice production in Sri Lanka, which lasts since ancient times, and according to legends, even the Hebrew kings of biblical times imported spices from this island. The most important spice of Sri Lanka is the true cinnamon, which is made from a tree that is endemic to the island.
After arriving in Kandy, at 4 pm starts the Kandyan Dance Show which we will attend. During this cultural show, you will enjoy the traditional Kandyan dances, also known as Uda Rata Natum, which consists of various dance routines originating in religious rituals, nature, legends, sacred lore, or praise to gods and Buddha.
After the show, we will visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Located in the Royal Palace Complex, this temple is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka, as it houses the sacred relic of Buddha’s tooth. Also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa temple, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A direct trip from Sigiriya to Kandy typically takes 2 hours and 20 minutes, and you will stay overnight at hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast in the hotel in Kandy, we will start our trip to Nuwara Eliya.
Our first stop will be in Peradeniya, the suburb of Kandy, where the Royal Botanic Gardens are located. This botanical garden is world-renowned for its collection of orchids. It was built at the site of palace gardens of King Wickramabahu III, who ascended to the throne in 1371, and today boasts with a collection of more than 4,000 plant species.
Continuing on the road, we will visit a Tea Factory, where during a guided tour you will be able to learn about the history and process of production of some of the best tea in the world.
Afterward, we will visit Shri Bhakta Hanuman Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, one of the central characters of epic Ramayana. After visiting the temple, we will proceed to nearby Ramboda Falls, a stunningly beautiful waterfall which is 109 meters high and the 11th highest in Sri Lanka.
The mild climate of Nuwara Eliya is perfect for growing vegetables and fruits which are very uncommon in tropical regions of South Asia. One such are strawberries, and we will visit the Strawberry Farm, where you can learn about the cultivation of these fruits and indulge in some of the most flavorsome products of this fruit.
The rest of the day you can spend at Lake Gregory. An artificial lake created by damming the Thalagala stream, which since colonial times was a popular trout fishing and boating location.
A direct trip from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya typically takes 2 hours and 10 minutes, and you will stay overnight at hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
Early start of the day by getting on the road at 5 o’clock in the morning. Breakfast is provided in the form of the takeaway.
More than two kilometers above the sea level is Horton Plains National Park. This protected area is one of just two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, declared so due to criteria of natural heritage. It is one of the places of the highest level of biodiversity in Sri Lanka. It is one of the most popular trekking locations, and one of the most stunning features of this area is the World’s End, a sheer precipice of around 1,200 meters of height.
Next, we will visit the Seetha Amman Temple, a Hindu temple erected on the place where according to legend Lord Ravana kept Princess Sita in captivity, as described in the epic Ramayana. Just above the temple is located the Ashok Vatika, a wooded area where according to legend Lord Hanuman present Lord Rama’s ring to Sita under an Ashoka tree as proof of his identity.
Then we will head for Nanu Oya, a town named after the river which passes through it. From here we will take a Train Trip To Ella. Widely considered as one of the most scenic train routes in the world, it snakes through the verdant hills covered by tea plantations and lush growth. On it, you will see some of the most beautiful landscapes of Sri Lanka.
We will also visit the Nine Arches Bridge, a picturesque brick and stone bridge from colonial times that gently curves and spans over a 25 meters deep ravine. It is unofficially the most photographed bridge in Sri Lanka. With a background of verdant green wooded hillside, it is one of the most popular sights on the island.
A direct trip from Nuwara Eliya to Ella typically takes 1 hour and 50 minutes, and you will stay overnight at Hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel in Ella, we will start on the road to Yala.
Ella is a very popular trekking location, and one of the most popular treks is Little Adam’s Peak. Named after the famous pilgrimage site, Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada, it is an easy hike that provides a stunning view of the surrounding mountains.
Just down the road from it is located a storied waterfall we will visit, the Ravana Falls. According to legend, after Lord Ravana kidnapped Princess Sita, part of her captivity he held hid her in a cave, and she bathed under the waterfall near the cave. Ravana Fall is said to be that waterfall. We will also visit the nearby Ravana’s Cave, which is said to be the cave from the legend. This cave has a historical significance, as it was inhabited by the first humans in Sri Lanka, some 25,000 years ago.
Then we will continue straight to Yala National Park. Situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Yala is a national park of immense beauty, rivaling many of the more popular African safari destinations. It is a place of high biodiversity and an important location for the preservation of endemic species of both flora and fauna. It is also known as the place with the highest concentration of leopards in the world, with 25-30 individuals roaming over 140 square kilometers of Block I.
A direct trip from Ella to Yala typically takes 1 hour and 45 minutes, and you will stay overnight at hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel in Yala, we will head for Mirissa.
On the way, we will visit the Ruhunu Kataragama Devalaya, a Hindu temple complex dedicated to Kataragama Deviyo, Buddhist deity and guardian of Sri Lanka, and Murugan, a Hindu god of war. This is one of the rare sacred locations venerated by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and indigenous Vedda people.
Our next stop is in Kudawella, where the Hummanaya Blow Hole is located. This is the only known blowhole in Sri Lanka and is considered to be the second-largest in the world. Its name comes from the noise which can be heard away from the shore when it is active. It shoots up every few minutes and depending on the time of the day and sea conditions it shoots the spray up to 25-30 meters.
Continuing on our way, we will visit the town of Dondra where the Dondra Head Lighthouse is located. This lighthouse was completed in 1890 and is one of only two dozen lighthouses around the world designed to house a hyper-radiant Fresnel lens, class of the largest by dimensions lighthouse lenses ever made.
After reaching Marissa, we will spend the rest of the day to Leisure activities at the beach or by the pool.
The next day we will spend in Mirissa and engage in activities available here.
From November to April, Mirissa is the main spot for Whale Watching. Tour boats disembark from Mirissa Harbor at 07:00 and will take you on a ride that lasts between 4 and 6 hours. During which, you can see the blue whales, Bryde’s whales, sperm whales, and occasionally orcas. Very often the ever-playful dolphins follow the tour boats. Bottlenose, spinner, Risso’s and striped dolphins are among the most common.
After the whale watching tour, we will head to Unawatuna. This beach town is very popular for its beautiful beaches, but also a popular Snorkeling and scuba diving spot, because of the shallow coral reefs and many historic shipwrecks that surround it.
Afterward, we will head back to Mirissa where you can enjoy some Leisure time for the rest of the day.
A direct trip from Yala to Mirissa typically takes 3 hours and 20 minutes, and you will stay at hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
After breakfast at the hotel in Mirissa, we will get on the way to Colombo.
In the morning we will visit Galle Fort. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautifully preserved walled fortress, originally built by Portuguese in the 16th century and expanded by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. It is one of the best-preserved colonial-era European fortifications in South Asia, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka’s south coast.
Continuing on the road along the coast we will visit the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project. This sanctuary and hatchery is one of the most important efforts of protecting and preserving these magnificent creatures. Here you can learn what efforts are put in place at protecting sea turtles from predators during their most vulnerable stage of life, and thus increase and sustain their population.
While in the town of Kosgoda, we will embark on a one hour River Boat Safari on the Madu Ganga River. This boat trip will take us through stunningly beautiful virgin mangrove forests that are home to numerous bird species, and teeming with wildlife, though they are just meters away from a lively urban environment.
A direct trip from Mirissa to Colombo typically takes 3 hours and 10 minutes, and you will stay overnight at Hotel on the Bed & Breakfast basis, with breakfast included in price.
On your way to Bandaranaike International Airport, we will take a sightseeing excursion around Colombo. You will see some of the most beautiful sights in this city. The Old Fort area, which houses many of the beautiful colonial-era buildings, such as the National Museum of Sri Lanka. You will have the opportunity to wander the colorful streets of historical Pettah neighborhood and see the astounding Pettah Floating Markets. We will pay a visit to Gangaramaya Temple located on the banks of Beira Lake, and also one of the most important monuments in the modern history of Sri Lanka. Independence Memorial Hall, built on a location where British Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, on February 4, 1948, opened the first parliament of Sri Lanka, the event which formally marked the start of self-rule in Sri Lanka.
A direct trip from Colombo to Bandaranaike International Airport typically takes 1 hour and 10 minutes.
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