Call us today on 020 7644 1755

Minneriya, Sigiriya and Dambulla

Duration: 2 Days

minneriya, sigiriya and dambulla

A holiday in Sri Lanka conjures up images of beautiful palm-lined beaches, lush vegetation, and spectacular wildlife, and the reality won’t disappoint you. This diverse tour will uncover the island’s fascinating history and unique natural wonders as you explore Minneriya National Park, the ancient city of Sigiriya and the caves of Dambulla on an exhilarating day to remember.

Your tour will begin with an early scenic drive to the beautiful Minneriya National Park, one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful nature reserves. Here you will be guided through the many diverse habitats of the park, looking out for native wildlife species amongst dense forest, wetlands and thalawa grasslands, which is particularly popular with the elephants – Minneriya’s star attraction. You can see herds of up to 300 elephants here, one of the largest populations of Asian elephants in the world, in their natural habitat. During the dry season between July and October, visitors can witness an amazing spectacle in the centre of the park as these magnificent gentile giants gather in groups to drink, play and bathe on the banks of the ancient Minneriya Tank (reservoir).

Elephants are not only the only mammals you are likely to see in the park, however. Rich in biodiversity, Minneriya also hosts a variety of creatures such as the Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, Sri Lanka Swamp Crocodiles, Red-lipped Lizards, Sambar deer, leopards, sloth bears and many more. The park is also a haven for many endemic bird species such as the Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill and Sri Lanka Brown-capped Babbler, as well aquatic birds such as the Painted Stork, Great White Pelican, Ruddy Turnstone, Woolly Neck Stork, Grey Heron and hundreds of cormorants. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to spot the resident and migratory birds, so prepare for an early start! 

After this exhilarating safari, we continue to the historical city of Sigiriya for an overnight stay. Here you will see the impressive Lion Rock, which allegedly acquired its name from the lions that once occupied the nearby caves. Here lie the remains of a 5th century fortress-palace, which towers 600ft above the breathtaking countryside.

The next morning we head to the ancient Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple, sited on a gigantic rock. Declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 as part of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, this is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The steep climb to the top will reward you with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding jungle, reservoirs and Sigiriya Rock. The temple itself comprises five separate caves dating back to the 1st century BC, and a selection of 12th century Buddhist statues and late 18th century Sri Lankan paintings can be found inside. The impressive interiors are well worth the climb. This captivating tour is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of Sri Lanka’s unique natural heritage.

The tour includes half board accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, air conditioned transportation, an English speaking chauffeur guide, entrance fees as per itinerary and jeep and tracker for safari. Elephant rides are optional.

Sri Lanka Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £719 per person
avani bentota + sheraton abu dhabi hotel and resort

Avani Bentota + Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort

Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...

From £759 per person
mermaid hotel and club + rove downtown dubai

Mermaid Hotel and Club + Rove Downtown Dubai

This resort is spread across two acres of lush coconut groves and tropical gardens by the golden sands of Kalutura...

From £799 per person
jetwing beach + hyatt regency dubai

Jetwing Beach + Hyatt Regency Dubai

Jetwing Beach Resort sits beside a beautiful sun kissed stretch of beach, just outside the coastal town of Negombo. The...

From £809 per person
avani bentota + the ritz-carlton, difc

Avani Bentota + the Ritz-carlton, Difc

Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...

From £829 per person
tangerine beach + sheraton jumeirah beach

Tangerine Beach + Sheraton Jumeirah Beach

The place where "space meets light", the Tangerine Beach Hotel is a heavenly fusion of modern and ancient elegant...

From £849 per person
jetwing blue + grand hyatt dubai

Jetwing Blue + Grand Hyatt Dubai

Experience a warm Sri Lankan welcome at the Jetwing Blue Hotel. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens & a golden sand...

Talk to a specialist

shyama

Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 10:30 - 17:30 GMT

Related articles for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka News

Browse all Sri Lanka News

Wanderlust recommends travellers what to see and do in Sri Lanka

For first-time travellers to Sri Lanka, the editors of Wanderlust have compiled a list of their recommendations for the country, a small nation with a wide variety of activities and sites. Nature-lovers will love the country’s pristine beaches and national parks, and more adventurous types can venture into its jungles and mountains ranges. For those drawn to culture and history, the country also boasts numerous World Heritage Sites.

Anantara Kalutara Resort the second Sri Lanka hotel from Anantara collection

Anantara has added a second property to its portfolio in Sri Lanka, after opening the new Anantara Kalutara Resort. Located south of Colombo on the southwest coast, the luxury resort has 141 guest rooms with private balconies and terraces, and facilities include a library, three restaurants, two swimming pools, a two-level Anantara Spa, and the Upper Deck bar with beautiful sunset views.

Sri Lanka launches new themed tourism development zones

Sri Lanka is working towards its goal of attracting five million holidaymakers by 2020. In an effort to boost the number of arrivals officials have announced the launch of themed tourism development zones. The details of the project are expected to be unveiled at the upcoming Asia Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference.