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Highlights of Sri Lanka - Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Pinnawela

Duration: 3 Days

highlights of sri lanka - sigiriya, kandy, nuwara eliya and pinnawela

Despite being devastated by the 2004 tsunami, the beautiful island of Sri Lanka has resiliently bounced back from the tragedy and tourism is recovering quickly. Known as the “Tropical Teardrop of the Indian Ocean", it would be hard for travellers to stay away. The majority of visitors are drawn to the island’s unique combination of paradise beaches, dramatic landscapes and spectacular wildlife, in addition to a wealth of archeological wonders, ancient history and a rich cultural heritage. This memorable tour will undoubtedly inspire you during your holiday in Sri Lanka, where ancient fortresses, lush green valleys, world heritage sites, tea plantations, elephants and temples await you.

Day 1
After an early start from your beach resort in Colombo, our first stop of the tour will be Sigiriya, famous for its spectacular Rock Fortress. Towering 600ft above the plains atop an enormous boulder lie the remains of a magnificent fortress- palace, built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century AD to fend off a feared invasion. It later became a monastic retreat. Visitors can climb the steps to see the ancient remains of the palace, which is considered one of the most remarkable creations in the world.
Other highlights include the well-preserved frescoes of beautiful Sigiriyan damsels, which are located halfway up the rock in a sheltered alcove, as well as enormous stone lion paws, water gardens and a 1000-year-old graffiti wall recording visitors’ impressions of the rock. The steep climb to the summit is well worth the effort because the views of the surrounding countryside are breathtaking. We continue onwards to the ancient hillside city of Kandy, stopping on the way to visit a wood carving centre and a Spice Garden, where you can learn all about Sri Lanka’s famous spices.
The evening will be spent visiting the famous 17th century Temple of the Tooth, believed to house a sacred tooth of the Buddha. You will also have the opportunity to watch an evening cultural show with Sri Lankan music and dancing.

Day 2
After breakfast, your city tour of the historical city of Kandy will commence. Built around a beautiful lake, amidst the lush green hills of the Kandy Valley, this is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka. Because of Kandy’s unique historical, cultural and religious importance, this ancient capital was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Tour highlights include the Upper Lake Drive, Gem Museum, marketplace and handicraft shops.
We then visit the nearby Royal Botanical gardens at Peradeniya, one of the most beautiful gardens in Asia, before continuing onwards to the beautiful mountain resort of Nuwara Eliya (City of Light). Once a British hill-station and an important centre of the tea production in Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya has retained much of its colonial charm with a unique blend of Tudor and Georgian architecture, gabled roofs and English-style lawns and rose gardens. Soak up the quaint English atmosphere by visiting the country house-style Hill Club, which was founded by a British Coffee Planter in 1876 as a ‘home from home’, or visit the botanical gardens and lush green tea plantations in the surrounding hills. This fascinating sight-seeing tour is followed by an overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 3
The following day we will head down to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, located on a 25-acre coconut estate on the Maha Oya River. Help bottle-feed the baby elephants in their stalls and watch their playful antics as they bathe in the river with the adult elephants. This is probably the highlight of the tour and an unforgettable experience.

Tour includes: half board accommodation on twin sharing basis, air conditioned transportation, an English speaking chauffeur guide and entrance fees as per itinerary. Optional extras: elephant ride, cultural show and safari.

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