Day 1 AIRPORT – PINNAWALA – KANDY
Embark on an enchanting journey as you transfer from the airport to the captivating Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Nestled within a sprawling 25-acre coconut property, this sanctuary serves as a haven for orphaned elephants who freely roam these grounds. Prepare to be filled with excitement as you witness these gentle giants up close, especially during their daily strolls to the nearby river at 10.00am and 2.00pm. Capture incredible moments as they joyfully bathe, play, and socialize with their fellow elephants. For those seeking an adventurous experience, you can even volunteer your time as a caretaker for a half-day or full-day session, or engage in the extraordinary opportunity to bathe and scrub an elephant with supervised assistance. Immerse yourself in this remarkable elephant encounter that promises to leave lasting memories of your visit to Pinnawala.
Transfer from Pinnawala to Kandy:
Embark on a captivating journey from Pinnawala to the enchanting city of Kandy, a World Heritage Site and the former royal capital of Sri Lankan kings. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of culture, history, and heritage that resonates throughout this remarkable city. Discover the crown jewel of Kandy, the revered Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, where an ancient Kandyan legacy is beautifully preserved. As you explore this small lakeside town nestled amidst misty hills, you’ll encounter the vibrant Kandy City Centre, offering a delightful blend of world-class brands, a bustling bazaar, an arts and crafts center, and a fascinating gem museum and lapidary. Indulge your senses as you meander through the colorful Kandy market, where a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables awaits. To complete your day, surrender to the mesmerizing rhythms of traditional music and drumming, elevated by a captivating cultural show that celebrates the vibrant heritage of Sri Lanka, the Wonder of Asia. Experience the allure and allurements of Kandy, an unforgettable destination that leaves an indelible mark on every traveler’s heart.
Day 2: KANDY – NUWARA ELIYA – KANDY
Embark on a picturesque journey from the vibrant city of Kandy to the serene hill station of Nuwara Eliya, known as “Little England” for its charming English country-style houses and half-timbered bungalows. As you leave Kandy behind, prepare to be enchanted by the captivating beauty of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, a national treasure situated just 4 miles away. This 147-acre paradise, initially developed as a pleasure garden under royalty and later enhanced by the British, beckons you with its well-tended lawns, elegant pavilions, and an enchanting octagon conservatory. As you explore this haven, you’ll be greeted by the vast expanse of magnificently landscaped lush green turf, inviting you to take a refreshing break amidst nature’s embrace. Don’t miss the highlights of this botanical marvel, including the awe-inspiring orchid house and the majestic Javan fig tree, both exuding grace and beauty.
Continuing your journey, you’ll soon reach Nuwara Eliya, a cherished retreat of the British during colonial times. The town’s quaint streets are adorned with picturesque English-style houses, evoking a sense of nostalgia. Take the opportunity to visit the Race Course, immerse yourself in the tranquility of nearby gardens, and savor a pleasant evening by the serene Lake Gregory. Nuwara Eliya’s soothing ambiance and scenic landscapes offer a delightful escape from the bustling city life.
Relish the transition from the cultural richness of Kandy to the tranquil beauty of Nuwara Eliya, where nature’s splendor and colonial charm blend harmoniously, creating an unforgettable experience for every traveler.
Day 3 KANDY – BENTOTA
Indulge in beachside bliss at Bentota, where relaxation meets the rhythm of the ocean.
Day 4 BENTOTA – KOSGODA – BALAPITIYA – GALLE – BENTOTA
Kosgoda, a serene coastal town along the southern coast of Sri Lanka, has become a gathering place for both local communities and international volunteers dedicated to the preservation of sea turtles. Recognized by the Wildlife Protection Society, this vibrant destination goes beyond its traditional industries of fisheries and cinnamon cultivation, offering a remarkable Sea Turtle Conservation Project that draws enthusiasts from around the world. It has truly become a sanctuary for those passionate about protecting these majestic creatures and their precious shells.
As you journey from Kosgoda to Balapitiya, you’ll arrive at Galle, the magnificent capital of the southern region where Dutch architecture harmoniously blends with the tropical surroundings, creating a captivating atmosphere. Explore the streets steeped in Dutch history, where the echoes of wooden saloon doors and the fusion of European and South Asian architectural styles captivate cultural enthusiasts worldwide. The well-preserved ramparts and bastions serve as a testament to the heritage preserved for over three and a half centuries. Stroll clockwise within the fort to admire the ‘old gate’ adorned with the British coat of arms, while the Zwart bastion, the oldest of its kind, and the majestic 18-foot lighthouse near Point Utretcht Bastion stand proudly nearby. The charming streets, arranged in a rectangular grid, are lined with Dutch colonial-style houses featuring picturesque verandas. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the enchanting Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex, offering a mesmerizing array of souvenirs. Despite its historical allure, Galle’s Dutch fort remains a vibrant community, bustling with administrative offices, a court complex, commercial buildings, churches, and the presence of the local population, infusing the air with the essence of architectural paradise.
The Madu River, nestled near Galle in the south, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. With its breathtaking tropical landscapes and serene ambiance, it lures both locals and tourists alike. Adorned with around 15 islets and mangrove forests, it shelters a diverse range of fauna, including vibrant birds like woodpeckers and kingfishers, as well as intriguing creatures like crocodiles. Embark on a leisurely boat cruise along the river, where you can spot crocodiles and water monitors gliding beneath the murky surface, while endemic birds of prey soar overhead. Along the way, you’ll visit the enchanting Koth Duwa Island, featuring a beautiful temple and a Buddha statue. As your adventure nears its end, treat yourself to a rejuvenating experience at the local ‘fish spa,’ where fish swim freely in their natural habitat, providing a natural exfoliating treatment for your feet. Relax on the deck, immerse your feet, and let the fish gently remove dead skin cells, leaving your feet smooth and refreshed.
Day 5-6 Bentota to Colombo
Explore the vibrant city of Colombo and immerse yourself in its unique blend of modernity and rich history. Begin your Colombo city tour by visiting the iconic Gangaramaya Temple, renowned for its stunning architecture and religious significance. Stroll through the bustling streets of Pettah Market, where you can indulge in shopping for spices, textiles, and a variety of local goods.
Next, make your way to the picturesque Galle Face Green, a popular promenade along the coast where you can enjoy a leisurely walk or fly a kite while taking in the beautiful sunset views. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Colombo, which houses a fascinating collection of artifacts that depict Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.
For a taste of colonial charm, head to the Colombo Fort area and admire the magnificent colonial-era buildings, such as the Old Parliament Building and the Clock Tower. Take a moment to relax at Viharamahadevi Park, the largest public park in Colombo, with its lush greenery and tranquil atmosphere.
To experience the vibrant nightlife of Colombo, visit the lively streets of Colombo 7 and indulge in delicious local cuisine at one of the city’s many restaurants or rooftop bars. End your city tour by exploring the modern side of Colombo at ODEL, a popular shopping destination that offers a wide range of local and international brands.