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Sri Lanka Holidays Safari Cultural Wildlife Tours Leopards Yala Whales

Sri Lanka: Cultural Highlights + Pasikuda Beach


LPE10C
10 NIGHTS
FROM £1,995
Per person sharing
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 Pasikuda on the northeast coast, arguably the best on the island. See all the key sights including Kandy, Sigiriya, Dambulla & Polonnaruwa. English speaking guide, all transfers & specified sightseeing 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
• 
Pasikuda Beach
• 
Colombo
• 
Pinnawala Elephants
• 
Kandy
• 
Temple of the Tooth
• 
Habarana
• 
Dambulla Temple
• 
Sigiriya Rock
• 
Minneria Wildlife
• 
Polonnaruwa
• 
Pasikuda Beach
Day 1
You will be met at Colombo Airport and taken on an orientation tour of this city, which is the commercial and industrial centre of Sri Lanka. The city was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and today consists of an eclectic mix of grand colonial buildings, modern offices and bustling local shops.
 
We visit the vibrant Pettah Market and the National Museum, with its fine collection of antiques and Sri Lankan art. We also visit a Buddhist temple and a Hindu Temple, to experience the diversity of religion and customs of the people of Sri Lanka.
 
Then check into your hotel and relax in this harbour city, situated on an ancient trading sea route.
Day 2
This morning your driver/guide will collect you from your Colombo hotel and introduce you to the beauty of Sri Lanka as we travel 3-hours to the bustling hill capital of Kandy.
 
Along the way we stop at the Millenium Elephant Foundation, that works to improve the lives of domesticated Asian elephants. You can walk with the elephants and interact with them as they bathe. As they have only a small number of elephants here, this offers a more personal and humane alternative to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which is very busy.
 
We also make a short stop at a Tea Factory to see how the leaves of the tea bushes are dried, to make one of the most popular drinks in the world.
 
On arrival in Kandy, check into your hotel in this religious and ancient capital of kings.
Day 3
Today 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.
 
Around lunchtime enjoy a Sri Lanka Cooking Class, learning to make traditional spicy foods which you can all enjoy. The balance of your afternoon is free to explore more of Kandy on foot and in the evening enjoy a Cultural Show, with dancing and fire walking.
 
Note: Please dress appropriately when visiting sacred sites, with shoulders and knees covered.
Day 4
We leave Kandy this morning and travel 2.5-hours into the Cultural Triangle.
 
At Dambulla we explore the 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 also visit a Spice Garden, before checking into our hotel in the heart of this historic region.
 
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 5
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. Birdlife is prolific in this park, where you can also hope to see wild Asian elephants. The elephants 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".
 
Note: If you have mobility issues, you can still view Sigiriay Rock from the gardens at the bottom.
Day 6
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 continue 2-hours to the seaside town of Pasikuda on the warm east coast, with its magnificent Indian Ocean beaches. Check in and relax on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
 
Note: Please dress appropriately when visiting sacred sites, with shoulders and knees covered. As your Cinnamon Air return flight has an 18 kg baggage limit, your driver will take any excess luggage from you when he drops you off at your hotel and return these to you in Colombo.
 
Days 7 To 9
At leisure to relax and enjoy the white sandy beaches of Pasikuda.
 
With one of the longest stretches of shallow coastline in the world, you can walk miles and miles in these crystal clear sea waters. There are also watersports available, including wakeboarding.
 
Note: Excursions to Pigeon Island should be pre-booked, as local operators are not allowed to collect guests from hotel beaches.
Day 10
Transfer to Batticaloa Airport for your light aircraft flight to Nayakakanda airport, 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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