PINNAWALA - HABARANA - SIGIRIYA - DAMBULLA - KANDY - NUWARAELIYA -HORTON PLAINS - GALLE - NEGOMBO
Morning arrival to Sri Lanka, Windmill Tours chauffeur/ guide will meet you at the airport, and drive you to Habarana/Dambulla in the North Central plains of Sri Lanka, paying a visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage en route. Providing a caring home for abandoned and wounded elephants, it is a much loved destination for tourists and locals alike. Here, adults and baby elephants from around Sri Lanka thrive, and a captive breeding program is also proving to be highly successful. The feeding and bathing times are generally the ideal times to visit when you can observe these gentle giants at their best.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT DAMBULLA
After breakfast, set off to discover the 8th wonder of the world - the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Dating back to the 5th Century A.D, this astounding 'city' on the summit of a high outcrop was the royal citadel of King Kassapa for over 18 years. A miraculous feat of artistry and engineering, its unique features and exquisite frescoes continue to amaze all who visit it, even today.
Afternoon, Enjoy an exciting safari at Minneriya National Park where you can watch elephants in their rightful home - in the wilds. One of the most spectacular wildlife events in Sri Lanka is 'The Gathering', where hundreds of elephants arrive by the herd from the surrounding areas to the Minneriya reservoir. As the water level recedes at the height of the dry season, they gather to feast on the lush grass, and quench their thirst for water and play.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT HABARANA
Morning, Take to the skies on an exciting Hot Air Ballooning adventure at Dambulla (Optional). Float with the winds and enjoy a bird's eye view of the breathtaking scenery from up high - from around 500 to 2000 feet. Drift above it all - forests, lakes and rivers, famous landmarks such as Sigiriya rock fortress, ancient ruins and of course wild life too. A magical sensation that is often described as 'surreal and peaceful' by many, it's a journey you will treasure. (The exact route cannot be predicted as the balloon follows wind direction. The entire experience lasts around 2 ½ hours from preparations to take off. Stringent safety procedures are always followed and a support vehicle follows the flight at all times.)
After breakfast leave for the hill capital of Kandy, visiting the historic Dambulla Cave Temple en route. Famed for their exquisite painted ceilings and statues - over 130 of them, the temple complex comprises five caves, some dating back to the 1st century B.C.
Afterwards, leave for the hill capital of Kandy, visiting a spice garden at Matale on the way. Our spices have been sought after for centuries, and continue to be a celebrated export, even today.
Afternoon, Enjoy a city tour of Kandy - the last kingdom of the Sinhalese, taking in the sights of Upper Lake Drive and the Market Square on the way to pay homage to one of the most sacred religious sites in Sri Lanka. The Temple of the Tooth or Dalada Maligawa is believed to house the 'tooth relic' of the Lord Buddha. A walk around the town will let you indulge in some souvenir hunting with intricate treasures in wood, copper, silver, brass, ebony, bronze, ceramics, lacquer work, handlooms, batiks, jewelry and reed-ware to choose from.
Evening,Round off your day with a cultural show, where the vibrant costumes and pulsating rhythms of traditional dance forms from centuries old rituals will enthrall you.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT KANDY
After breakfast, head 'up country' and the city of Nuwara Eliya, stopping by at the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens en route. 147 acres of lushness with over 5000 species of trees and plants many of which are rare or endemic; a spice garden and an Orchid house are yours to explore.
Continue to Nuwara Eliya, visiting the Ramboda waterfalls and a tea factory along the way.
Afternoon ,The old colonial outpost still referred to as 'Little England' Nuwara Eliya certainly lives up to its name. Perched 6200 feet above sea level, the climate too, adds to the illusion of one stepping into an old English town, where neat hedges, quaint cottages and beautiful old buildings stand as serene as they did well over a century ago - the magnificent Grand Hotel presiding over them all. There is, of course, an old golf course as well as horse racing events to complete the picture.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT NUWARA ELIYA
Morning, Leave early for an excursion to Horton Plains National Park (OPTIONAL) (Van / Jeep must be hired separately to visit Horton Plains). At a level of over 7000 ft above sea level, Horton Plains is the highest plateau in the country and its unique landscape and wilderness draws visitors from near and far. The vast Patna rises from the marshland on the lower slopes and spreads up to the tree line - trees which are stunted by the winds, covered in 'Spagnum moss ' or old man's beard. The swirling mist envelops it all. In the lush jungle rare and endemic trees and plants flourish - the 'Niloo' flowers bloom once in 12 years. Sambur, leopard and other mammals as well as many species of birds and butterflies are also found here.
Evening ,Enjoy a tour of the charming town of Nuwara Eliya.
Afternoon Continue the journey along the coast to a Bentota, taking in the unique sight of Stilt Fishing along the shores of Ahangama. An iconic image of Sri Lanka, Stilt Fishing is a skill handed down from one generation to the next: an ancient tradition that is sadly on the decline. Further along the coast, you will visit the Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda - a successful conservation effort established to protect Sri Lanka's turtles from extinction. (Optional: glass bottom boat ride and a visit to a mask factory.)
OVER NIGHT STAY AT NUWARA ELIYA
After breakfast head to the resort town of Galle via Kithulgala. If you feel adventurous, the incredible experience of White Water Rafting awaits you at Kitulgala. The 5km on the picturesque Kelani River run covers 5 major rapids and 4 minor ones. You will be in good hands with safety gear, modern rafts, and a comprehensive safety briefing given by our white water rafting instructors beforehand. Those who prefer to keep their feet dry can take it easy, relax and admire the beautiful views.
Travel to the south coast and the golden sands of Galle.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT GALLE
Morning, After breakfast leave for an excursion to the Heritage city of Galle. For centuries Galle has stood strong against invasions - from colonial powers and nature's volatile outbursts. The famous Dutch Fort was first built by the Portuguese, fortified by the Dutch and preserved by the British. Battered daily for over 400 years by the ocean it even survived the onslaught of a tsunami and is enjoyed today by residents and visitors alike. The colonial architecture of the walled city too has resisted the advance of modernity and holds tightly to its past glory.
Afternoon, Continue the journey along the west coast to Negombo , taking in the unique sight of Stilt Fishing along the shores of Ahangama. An iconic image of Sri Lanka, Stilt Fishing is a skill handed down from one generation to the next: an ancient tradition that is sadly on the decline. Further along the coast, you will visit the Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda - a successful conservation effort established to protect Sri Lanka's turtles from extinction.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT NEGOMBO
Take in the sights and sounds of the capital city from the busy commercial hub to the tree-lined suburbs. Here, colonial architecture vies with glass skyscrapers and the past comes alive in buildings that have withstood great winds of change. There are bargains to find, history to discover and much to explore.
After Breakfast proceed to the airport for the departure. Bon Voyage!!!
~~ END OF PROGRAM ~~
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
o Welcome and assistance at the Colombo International Air Port.
o Service of an English Speaking Chauffeur Guide or your own language Guide.
o Accommodation on Double Room sharing on Bed & Breakfast Basis.
o All sightseeing tour and transfer services with private air conditioned.
o One 500 ml Mineral Water bottle per person per day.
o All local Taxes.
OUR SERVICES DO NOT INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
o All entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the program.
o Services not mentioned in our itinerary.
o Visa fees.
o International flight tickets .
o Expenses of a personal nature laundry, telephone calls,etc.