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Sri Lanka Holidays Safari Cultural Wildlife Tours Leopards Yala Whales

Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle + Wilpattu Safari + Whales


LPL12C
11 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
From April to Sept, this Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle & wildlife holiday combines a safari to see leopards at Wilpattu, with the elephants of Minneria & whale watching in Trincomalee. Visit Temple of Tooth in Kandy, Anuradhapura, Dambula Cave Temple & Sigiriya Rock, then relax on a beautiful beach & snorkel at Pigeon Island. English speaking guide, all transfers, game drives & sightseeing included.
Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle Wildlife Holiday Safari Wilpattu Whale Watching
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Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle
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Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
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Dambulla Cave Temple
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Sigiriya Rock & Minneriya
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Avukana Buddha
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Safari: Wilpattu National Park
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Anuradhapura
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Whale Watching & Snorkelling
• 
Trincomalee Beaches
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Wildlife Holiday, Sri Lanka
• 
Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle
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Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
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Dambulla Cave Temple
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Sigiriya Rock & Minneriya
• 
Avukana Buddha
• 
Safari: Wilpattu National Park
• 
Anuradhapura
• 
Whale Watching & Snorkelling
• 
Trincomalee Beaches
• 
Wildlife Holiday, Sri Lanka
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 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).
 
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.
 
Afterwards we visit the beautiful Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Dating back to colonial times, this magnificant property has abundant bird life, including a bat colony. It also has a rare collection of indigenous tropical flora, including an Orchid House. We suggest you ask your hotel to pack a picnic today, so that you can enjoy it in these gardens.
 
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 the temple, 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 Sigiriya Rock from the gardens at the bottom.
Day 6
This morning we travel 2.5-hours to Wilpattu National Park, situated in the dry lowlands of the northwest.
 
Along the way we stop to view the famous Avukana Buddha statue, carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century. Standing at over 40 feet (12 m), it is the tallest and most magnificent undamaged ancient image in Sri Lanka.
 
We then continue to Wilpattu, meaning 'land of the lakes'. This is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and comprises a series of nearly sixty natural lakes (or 'villus') with varying degrees of fresh water and salinity. On arrival enjoy a shared afternoon jeep safari in this vast wildlife conservation area that extends for over 500 square miles (1,300 sq km).
Day 7
Today is devoted to exploring the wildife of Wilpattu National Park, with morning and afternoon shared jeep safaris.
 
This national park is renowned for its leopards. Wilpattu is also home to 30 other animal species including water buffalo, elephant, sambhur, spotted deer, mongoose and Mugger crocodile. Sloth bears are also present but are rarely seen. Small mammals such as giant squirrels and flying foxes adorn the trees and peacocks are easily spotted.
 
A unique feature of this national park is its many natural lakes, which results in abundant birdlife - including many water birds and raptors.
Day 8
At leisure to relax on the unspoilt Indian Ocean beaches of Trincomalee.
 
Trincomalee has been one of the main centres of Tamil culture for many centuries - including poetry, music and literature - and you can visit the ancient Koneswaram Rock Temple and other shrines. You can also visit the Dutch Fort, the largest in Sri Lanka and the British War Cemetery - as this large natural harbour was an important strategic naval base for British war ships during the Second World War.
Day 9
During the whale season (late March to early September) there is the option to rise early and transfer to Uppaveli Beach for a 3 to 4-hour Whale Watching boat ride on the warm Indian Ocean.
 
You can hope to see Blue whales, Bryde´s whales, Sperm whales, Fin whales and sometimes Killer whales. The Common dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin, Spinner dolphin, Risso's dolphin and Striped dolphin are also seen in these clear waters and you may even see turtle, bluefin tuna and flying fish.
 
Afterwards return to shore, with balance of day at leisure.
 
Note: Wear a jacket as it can get cold on the boat and take a sun hat, sun glasses, sunscreen, camera & small towel. Take your own snacks & drinks. As you will be on the ocean waves for several hours, if you are not a good sailor remember to take preventative travel sickness tablets well in advance.
Day 10
This morning enjoy a half day of snorkelling, with early collection from your hotel for the 20-minute boat ride to Pigeon Island.
 
Situated off the coast of Nilaveli, Pigeon Island Marine Park offers some of the best snorkelling and diving among corals found anywhere in Sri Lanka. Visibility is at its best in the morning, but this is an ideal place to simply swim in the warm sea and enjoy a picnic lunch.
 
Note: We suggest you bring your own mask and snorkel, as those on offer are well used.
Day 11
Transfer to Trincomalee Airport for your light aircraft flight to Nayakakanda, north of Colombo.
 
Here you will be met and transferred to your hotel situated near Colombo International Airport.
Day 12
Transfer to Colombo Airport for your flight home.
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