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Sri Lanka Safari Holidays Leopards Yala Park

Sri Lanka: Cultural Highlights + Northeast Coast


LPE10C
10 NIGHTS
FROM £1,395
International flights quoted separately
From April to September the rains come to the south coast, so if you want to visit Sri Lanka during these months, after exploring the Cultural Triangle head to the superb beaches of Trincomalee or Pasikuda on the northeast coast, arguably the best on the island, with some of the best diving. See the key sights including Kandy, Sigiriya, Dambulla & Polonnaruwa. English speaking guide, all transfers & excursions included.
Beach Safari Sri Lanka Pasikuda Trincomalee Cultural Highlights
• 
Colombo
• 
Pinnawala Elephants
• 
Kandy
• 
Temple of the Tooth
• 
Habarana
• 
Dambulla Temple
• 
Sigiriya Rock
• 
Minneria Wildlife
• 
Polonnaruwa
• 
Trincomalee Beaches
• 
Colombo
• 
Pinnawala Elephants
• 
Kandy
• 
Temple of the Tooth
• 
Habarana
• 
Dambulla Temple
• 
Sigiriya Rock
• 
Minneria Wildlife
• 
Polonnaruwa
• 
Trincomalee Beaches
Day 1
You will be met at Colombo Airport and transferred to your hotel in the commercial, industrial and cultural centre of Sri Lanka.
 
Check in and relax in this harbour city, situated on an ancient trading sea route.
Day 2
This morning we leave Colombo and travel 3-hours to the bustling hill capital of Kandy and check into your hotel in this religious and ancient capital of kings.
 
Along the way we stop at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage that cares for baby elephants lost or abandoned in the wild. Here you can see the orphans being bottle fed with milk before they continue to the river to bathe, giving you the opportunity of close-up photographs (daily feeding times: 09.15, 13.15 and 17.00), but please be aware that for safety reasons the elephants are chained at certain times.
 
On arrival in Kandy we visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth, that houses a tooth relic of the Buddha. Religious pooja ceremonies, when the golden casket containing the tooth is revealed, are held daily at 05.00, 09.30 and 18.30 - so this is the best time to visit.
 
Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage site partly due to this temple. Its principal Buddhist complexes have considerable importance – the high priests of the two best known, Malwatte and Asgiriya, are the most important in Sri Lanka and the Asgiriya Maha Vihara has a large reclining Buddha image.
 
Check into your hotel in this religious and ancient capital of kings and in the evening enjoy a cultural show, with dancing and fire walking.
 
Please dress appropriately when visiting the temple, with shoulders and knees covered.
Day 3
We leave Kandy this morning and travel 2.5-hours to Habarana.
 
Along the way we stop at Dambulla to explore its famous Golden Rock Cave Temple - a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site for 22 centuries. This vast isolated rock mass with five caverns filled with statues is the largest and best preserved cave monastery in Sri Lanka.
 
We continue to our hotel in the small town of Habarana.
 
Please dress appropriately when visiting Dambulla temple, with shoulders and knees covered. There is a steep uphill walk to the temple, so this excursion is not suitable for people with mobility issues.
Day 4
This morning we travel 30-minutes to Sigiriya - also known as Lion's Rock -  a massive 5th century fortress and palace ruins surrounded by extensive gardens and reservoirs. Here you can climb 1,200 steps to the top of this amazing fortress in the sky that is now a World Heritage site, with the reward of incredible views. Ancient rock paintings are also on display. And don’t overlook the small museum near the entrance.
 
Return to your hotel for lunch, before enjoying an afternoon jeep safari in Minneriya National Park where you can hope to see wild Asian elephants. They are particularly numerous in August and September when they migrate along a corridor from neighbouring parks to feed on the fresh grass on the lake bed - an annual event known as "The Gathering".
Day 5
This morning we drive 1-hour to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa - the capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th centuries following the fall of Anuradhapura and today a World Heritage site.
 
Here you can explore these magnificent ruins, which contains some fine examples of Buddah statues and marvel at this ancient civilisation.
 
We then travel 2-hours to the port city of Trincomalee. With its natural deep-water harbour, Trincomalee was mentioned in the travels of Marco Polo and has been an important sea port for Asian, Chinese, Dutch, French, English and Portuguese traders.
 
You will be dropped off at your hotel on the warm east coast, with its beautiful Indian Ocean beaches.
Days 6 To 9
At leisure to relax and enjoy the unspoilt Indian Ocean beaches of Trincomalee, where you can swim in warm shallow waters and enjoy scuba diving at nearby Pigeon Island or deep sea fishing - as well as whale watching in September.
 
Trincomalee has the largest Dutch Fort in Sri Lanka and is the home of its navy. It is also one of the main centers of Tamil culture, boasting the ancient Koneswaram Rock Temple and other shrines, and has been a centre of poetry, music and literature for many centuries.
 
 
Day 10
Transfer to Trincomalee Airport for your flight to Nayakakanda, north of Colombo.
 
Here you will be met and transferred to your hotel situated near Colombo International Airport.
Day 11
Transfer to Colombo Airport for your flight home.
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