Wonders of Sri Lanka & Maldives Beach Stay
Day 1 - AIRPORT / COLOMBO
Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, you will be met by our Akorn Airport Representative and will be introduced to your English Speaking tour manager. Transfer from Airport to your hotel in Colombo (approximate travel time 30 minutes).
Check in to the Hotel and relax.
Evening enjoys a Colombo city tour.
The city of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and largest city, is a blend of both historic value and modern vibes. Dating back over 600 years, Colombo was a trading hub for sea merchants and colonial rulers, and one of the first things you will notice on your tour is how diverse the city has become. The wide array of Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and churches reflect the various beliefs practiced all over the island and the beautiful facades of the old, colonial buildings contrast with the modern shopping arcades. Your insightful tour takes you past the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, the Pettah bazaar area, the Wolfendhal Dutch Church, the Old Parliament complex, The Bandaranaike International Memorial Hall, Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Viharamahadevi Park, the Independence Square, and the National Museum. Before heading back to your hotel, perhaps take a stroll along the Galle Face green and enjoy afternoon tea or a sundowner (payable locally) at the iconic Galle Face Hotel, one of the oldest in South Asia, with fantastic views out across the glistening Indian Ocean.
Overnight stay at Fairview – Standard Room.
Day 2 - COLOMBO/ WILPATTU/ ANURADHAPURA
The morning after breakfast transfer to Wilapattu National Park for an afternoon game drive. (Approximate drive time is 3 hours and 30 minutes ).
Located towards the North-West parts of the island, Wilpattu National Park is one of the largest and also one of the oldest national parks. As you drive through you will notice many small natural lakes or ‘Willu’. These are a key feature of the park, which hosts nearly sixty of them in total, peppered between low scrub vegetation and dense forests. Look out for the spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar and wild buffalo that roam through the park. If you are lucky, you may be able to spot the Sri Lankan sloth bears as they feast on the berries of the Palu (Manilkara hexandra) trees during June and July. Spotting the elusive Sri Lankan leopard is difficult, but not impossible for the beady eye. Thanks to the coastal belt along the edge of the park, as well as the natural lakes, owls, eagles, storks, ibis, Asian open bills and kingfishers can also be seen soaring through the air or wading through the waters, and the dragon-like water monitors and large crocodiles are an added bonus.
Later in the evening proceed to Anuradhapura (Approximate drive time is one hour)
Check-in to your hotel for rest for the night.
Overnight stay at Rajarata Hotel –Standard Room.
Day 3 - ANURADHAPURA / SIGIRIYA
After breakfast explore Anuradhapura Ancient Capital.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site predominantly influenced by Buddhism, Anuradhapura is Sri Lanka's first Capital Kingdom. According to the ancient Sinhalese Chronicle 'Mahavansa,' the Kingdom was founded in the Fifth Century BC. Upon arrival, you are greeted by the brilliant white dome-shaped Ruwanweliseya and Jethawanarama stupas or dagobas (religious monuments). These two stupas have survived over two millennia and the mighty Jethawanarama is equal in size to the pyramids in Giza. Next, admire the 'Samadhi' Buddha statue, a granite statue of Buddha in a meditative pose and a true masterpiece of sculpture. Before concluding your visit to Anuradhapura, receive a blessing near the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree (Ficus Religiosa) which bears a branch brought over from India over 2,500 years ago and is considered to be the oldest tree recorded in the world.
Proceed to Sigiriya (Approximate drive time is two hours).
Overnight stay at Sigiriya Village – Classic Room.
Day 4 - SIGIRIYA / POLONNARUWA /SIGIRIYA
Early morning proceeds to Sigiriya in time to capture the sunrise (approximate travel time 30 minutes).
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Sigiriya is an enormous rock boulder rising 200 meters above the surrounding jungle. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Sigiriya is an enormous rock boulder rising up 200 meters above the surrounding jungle.
Incredibly, the rock fortress was built by King Kassyapa I in the fifth Century and served as a royal citadel for more than 18 years, something that seems more astonishing with every step you climb. Pause occasionally during your ascent to admire the mirror wall, the sigiri graffiti, the famous Sigiriya frescoes (paintings) and the great lion paws. Upon reaching the summit you’ll immediately see that it was worth the effort. Wander through the ruins and admire the courage and work it must have taken to build this palace all those years ago- you will even find a fully-functional swimming pool up there.
Note: Climbing up to the summit requires a good fitness level and by no means mandatory.
Afternoon explore Polonnaruwa ancient city by cyclical. (approximate travel time 1 hour and 30 minutes) An interesting blend of archaeological monuments, Polonnaruwa was the second kingdom of Sri Lanka and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The iconic man-made reservoir was appropriately named “Parakrama Samudra”, or “the sea of Parakrama”, due to its enormous size. Look out for the famous Gal Viharaya or “Rock Temple” where you will see four colossal statues of the Buddha cut into the stone, reflecting peace, serenity, and strength. Polonnaruwa also boasts ruins of ancient palaces, intricately carved moonstones, and royal baths. If you are feeling a bit more energetic, this whole site can also be explored on the bike and your guide will be more than happy to arrange this for you.
On completion return to the hotel and be at leisure.
Overnight stay at Sigiriya Village – Classic Room
Day 5 - SIGIRIYA / DAMBULLA/ MATALE /KANDY
This morning after breakfast check out and proceed to Kandy via Dambulla (approximate travel time 3 hours).
Visit & climb Dambulla Golden rock temple.
Dating back to the first Century BC, Dambulla is a vast cave complex, converted into a rock temple which is still regarded today as one of the most important Buddhist monasteries. Covering the rock ceiling is the largest collection of paintings in Sri Lanka within a cave temple, and surrounding you is the highest number of Buddha statues found in one single place. As you wander through the temple, notice the serenity and the exceedingly well-preserved nature of the place. It is no wonder the Rock Temple has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Continue your journey to Kandy. En-route stop at Matale spice garden.
Evening visit Kandy Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Sacred Temple of the Tooth Built during the 16th Century, the Temple of the Tooth is one the most important temples for Buddhists as it houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. The Relic of the Tooth is kept in a two-story inner sanctum. The ‘Thevava’ or auspicious offering to the Sacred Tooth Relic takes place three times a day at pre-set times and a visit during this time is quite an experience. The resident monks demonstrate this age-old tradition as you become surrounded by the sound of drums and the smells of lotus and jasmine flowers, as well as incense. In July and August, the whole city comes to life as the Kandy Esala Perehara pageant takes place in honor of the Relic.
Overnight stay at Topaz Hotel – Deluxe Room.
Day 6 - KANDY / PERADENIYA / KANDY
After breakfast at the hotel, leave for Peradeniya (approximate travel time 30 minutes) and visit Royal Botanical Gardens.
Originally created in the 14th Century as a pleasure garden for the Queens, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya are located in the city of Kandy. Spread over 147 acres and bordered by the charming Mahaweli River - the longest in Sri Lanka - it is the largest botanical garden on the island. The garden is home to over 4,000 species of plants, ferns, shrubs, palm trees, spices, and medicinal plants, all complemented by an array of butterflies and bird species. Take time to admire the incredible collection of over 300 varieties of orchids; certainly one of the garden’s highlights. The giant bamboo and double palm trees, both of which are imports to the island and many are over one hundred years old, create a natural canopy. A leisurely stroll through the immaculate lawns and along the quiet paths, perhaps stopping to enjoy a sumptuous picnic, is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Later visit explore Kandy city.
The city of Kandy was the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka and has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will notice a more comfortable temperature here, compared to the tropical climate prevailing throughout the rest of the island. The Sacred Temple of the Tooth is certainly the most revered and iconic place to visit in this cultural capital but other highlights include the historic Kandy Lake, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the scenic Victoria Golf Club. Whilst you are in Kandy, also look out for the silverware, brassware and gem-studded jewelry, carefully carved and designed by the Kandyan craftsman, who is known to be the most skilled in the country. Kandy can be a bustling place in the day so there is nothing quite like a late evening stroll around the serene lake with a view to the Sacred Temple and the distant sound of drums in the background.
Return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight stay at Topaz Hotel – Deluxe Room.
Day 7 - KANY / COLOMBO
After breakfast check out from the hotel, anddrive to Colombo (approximate travel time three hours) through the scenic mountain road.
Upon arrival enjoy a city tour in Colombo including a visit to Gangaramaya Temple.
The city of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and largest city, is a blend of both historic value and modern vibes. Dating back over 600 years, Colombo was a trading hub for sea merchants and colonial rulers, and one of the first things you will notice on your tour is how diverse the city has become. The wide array of Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and churches reflect the various beliefs practiced all over the island and the beautiful facades of the old, colonial buildings contrast with the modern shopping arcades. Your insightful tour takes you past the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, the Pettah bazar area, the Wolfendhal Dutch Church, the Old Parliament complex, The Bandaranaike International Memorial Hall, Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Viharamahadevi Park, the Independence Square. Before heading back to your hotel, perhaps take a stroll along the Galle Face green and enjoy afternoon tea or a sundowner (payable locally) at the iconic Galle Face Hotel, one of the oldest in South Asia, with fantastic views out across the glistening Indian Ocean.
Check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight stay at Fairway Colombo – Standard Room.
Day 8-10 - COLOMBO AIRPORT TO MALDIVES
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and drive to Bandaranayke International Airport for your departure flight (approximately 1-hour drive).
Day 11 - DEPARTURE TO AIRPORT
After breakfast at your hotel, you will take transfers to Male International Airport for your departure flight.