Day 1-2 (3): Meet in Colombo
The tour begins with the vibrant city of Colombo including art galleries, posh Cinnamon Gardens and Gangaramaya Temple. We have 3 days in Colombo on January tour for a day to attend the festival.
Day 3-4: Anuradhapura - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa
Visit the fascinating and beautiful cultural triangle. The island's Buddhist influence has produced magnificent architecture as seen in the massive Dagabas, the ornate pleasure gardens and palaces decorated with excellent sculptures.
One of the most important places of worship is the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. Sigiriya, a 5th century massive rock fortress rising 183 meters above the surrounding green scrub jungle, perhaps the most memorable place for visitors to Sri Lanka, was just declared a world heritage site.
Rarely visited by tourists, Polonnaruwa is a mystical place, incredibly beautiful and unspoiled, with shady forests filled with streams, pools and granite boulders. Its ancient, elegant stone pathways wind through the forest to well-preserved palace ruins, bathing pools, stupas and exquisite rock sculptures of the Buddha.
We'll enjoy a private opportunity to bathe some elephants with their mahouts, away from the hordes of tourists.
Day 5-7: Kandy
Kandy is a fascinating city rich in cultural heritage of arts and crafts, music, and dance.We visit Dambulla Golden Temple, Spice Gardens and attend puja at the “Dalada Maligawa,” the city's greatest attraction, where the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha is preserved.
Day 8: Kandy-Nuwara Elliya
We depart for the hill country and stop en-route at a tea plantation.
Day 9-10: Nuwara Elliya-Elliya-Wellawaya
Onward, deeper into the highlands of Sri Lanka, with a magnificent scenic train journey to the quaint town of Ellya. From here we continue by car to Wellawaya, an unknown tourist town but important pilgrimage for Buddhists due to the Buduruwagala Buddha statue located near the town.
Day 11: Wellawaya-Yala
We depart for Yala, a rural outback of the deep south. This afternoon, a safari inside Ruhunu National Park, a section of Yala National Park, well known for the large number of Leopards, the 215 bird species and ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands.
Day 12-13: Galle
A 2nd safari into Yala National Park and then depart to Galle.
On arrival, a guided tour of the pleasant small town of Galle at the southern tip of Sri Lanka. The Galle Fort is a World Heritage Site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.
We also visit the excellent Martin Wingramasingh Folk Heritage Museum.
Day 14: Galle-Negambo
We depart Galle and start with a visit the turtle hatchery, a project for the conservation of Sri Lanka's turtles.
Then a stop at Lunuganga Estate, the former home of famed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. We'll enjoy a tour of the gardens and then lunch.
Transfer to Negambo, a pretty seaside town close to the airport hotel.
Day 15: Depart
Day 16: January tour Depart
This morning a tour of the sleepy town of Negambo.
This evening, transfer to airport for departure.