Ceylon Escapes – 11 Days

DAY 01 – Airport / Pinnawala / Kandy

Meet entourage at Colombo Airport and be whisked off to busy Kandy. Make a stop by the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and cuddle with baby elephants.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

If you love the idea of little baby elephants frolicking freely, then this is your kind of place. Pinnawala is among the worlds largest elephant sanctuaries and home to deserted or orphaned elephants. With around 90 elephants of all ages roaming about, take your time to observe these majestic creatures and bottle-feed one of the little cuties. One of the most spectacular sights here is the daily elephant bath, where the elephants are all herded off into the nearby river to splash around to their hearts content.

After you’ve got your breath back, it’s time to get going to the picture-perfect mountain city of Kandy. Make a stop by the super-fragrant spice gardens. Here you can check out the fabulously famous Sri Lankan spices at their home. With the demand for Sri Lankan spices only increasing over the centuries, these goodies will continue to be a popular export for a long while yet.

Once you’ve arrived, wrap the day up with a bang as you feast your senses on Kandy’s famous cultural show. The Kandy Folk Show displays some truly amazing historical dances brought to you from generations past. The show reaches its climax with an impressive fire walking ceremony that will take your breath away.

After the fiery showdown, float away to sleep on the softest of Kandyan beds and dream of elephants and dances.

DAY 02 – Kandy / Peradaniya Botanical Garden

Take in the colorful views, breathe in the fresh air and set your feet on the cobble-stoned paths of the final capital to ever be ruled by the Sri Lankan Kings.

There’s always plenty to see in Kandy, the beautiful hilltop city of light and culture. Starting off with the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Kandy Lake and the mystical monasteries are just a handful of the attractions that make the city so popular among holiday makers.

Kandy Tooth Temple

Glinting gold and pearl with the rays of the rising sun, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic houses the single most important relic of Sri Lanka’s religious history, a tooth of the Buddha himself. The chambers containing the well-guarded relic are open to Buddhist advocates and tourists alike.

Then we’ll be moving on to the Peradaniya Royal Botanical Gardens to bask in an endless assortment of fragrant flowers in every direction. Feel free to walk around this cosmic floral paradise, filled with rare and endemic flower species from one end to the other. Once you’re done seeing the best of Peradaniya, including the exotic garden of spices and the orchid house here, it’s time to settle down for the night and enjoy a flowery escape into dream world.

DAY 03 - Sigiriya / Dambulla

Snooze away those extra precious minutes and wake up to a scrumptious breakfast and a day of adventure at Sigiriya.

Sigiriya, sometimes hailed as the worlds eighth wonder has a story going back as far as the 5th century AD. Constructed to be the apex of power and home to the genius King Kasyapa, this massive rock fortress shows off some of the worlds finest architecture and engineering. Climb right up to the top to be rewarded with a magical view of the beautiful surrounding landscapes.

After you’ve caught your breath, it’s time to head off to the little town of Dambulla. A moderately busy town, Dambulla is best known for its ancient holy sites of worship. The famous Dambulla Golden Cave Temples stand high up in the southern end of the town with an excellent view of Sigiriya.

Dambulla Golden Cave Temples

The trek up to the gigantic golden structure presents little challenge even to amateur climbers. As the ground drops away over 160 m from the bottom, a large Buddha statue comes into view. Ancient markings and lovely paintings dating back to the first century BC can be seen in these caves, along with several Buddha statues.

Then it’s time to visit of Habarana, the main hub of action in North Central Sri Lanka. Being close to so many main attractions, Habarana has an excellent variety of small resorts and luxurious accommodations. Enjoy the beautiful views on your way in here and tuck yourself into bed for a relaxing night.

DAY 04 – Trincomalee

Yawn your way down to breakfast and gorge yourself on a very large, very full breakfast plate. Then it’s time to start the road trip to Trincomalee, one of the world’s most amazing natural harbors.

A visit to Trincomalee is always entertaining; beautiful beaches, a smattering of historical attractions and lots of things to do.

Here you will visit the Kandasamy Kovil, a thriving place of worship claiming a history of over two millennia. The temple is believed to shield the island from natural catastrophes, and draws a steady stream of pilgrims every year.

Next, we will move on to Fort Frederick, initially constructed by the Portugese and later developed by both the Dutch and British. The fortress is strategically located inland of a narrow peninsula, creating a perfectly defensive front. Canons and other weaponry are on display here along with the Royal insignias posted at the tunnels mouth.

After a hard days exploring, it’s time to hit the sack. Let the waves lull you to sleep as the gentle ocean breeze wafts you into dreamland.

DAY 05 – Trincomalee

Catch a few extra winks and shuffle down for a sublime serving of Sri Lankan breakfast. After breakfast, you have free reign over the town. Consider spending the day on Tricomalee’s uber-perfect beaches, or feel free to continue checking out the towns numerous attractions.

With bath-tub warm turquoise waters and soft golden sands, the Nilaveli and Uppuveli beaches are enough to distract you for a long while yet. There are also diving and snorkeling activities available to keep you busy. The Trincomalee waters are abundant in shoals of colorful fish and beautiful reefs fanning across the shallow sea floors.

Visit the Kanniya Hot Water Wells for a dip into a historical site entwined with legend and magic. If you care to see more here, there are also the remains of an ancient temple lying close by.

Another must see destination in Trincomalee is the Pigeons Island National Park. This tiny island lies a simple distance away from Nilaveli’s golden reaches, and is home to countless rock pigeons. The island also sports several beautiful water pools carved into the bedrock with the passage of time.

After you’re done tanning, exploring and enjoying the best of the town, it’s time to fall asleep for one last time in the musical oceanic embrace of Trincomalee.

DAY 06 – Trincomalee / Arugambay

Open up to a new day of life and opportunity while being driven to picture-perfect Arugam Bay, right after wolfing down yet another of palatable Sri Lankan breakfasts.

Make a stop by the Pasikuda beach, a pristine stretch of lovely white sand gleaming under crystal clear waters. With only gentle shallow waters going all the way in for several hundred meters, the beach is a super safe zone to get your swimming cap on and your best foot forward.

After wrapping up the fun at Pasikuda, it’ll be time to settle in for the night at yet another of Sri Lanka’s flawless beaches, Arugam Bay.

DAY 07 – Arugam Bay

Wake up bright-eyed for a day of sunning and tanning. Few beaches in the world can compare with Arugam Bay in terms of excellent surf and spirit. The spectacular surf, the excitement and the velvet sands make it the right place for both action-seekers and beach bums alike. Ride the greatest surf you’ll find on the Pacific or nap the day away while chilling in a hammock.

As dusk takes over the glorious sunset, it’s time to slip into your warm cozy bed and wonder if life ever gets better than this.

DAY 08 – Yala

Rise and shine for a new day of adventuring. Finish a final breakfast at Arugam Bay and set your heart towards the breath-taking undisturbed wildlife at Yala. Open fields of endless grassy plains and lush thickets of greenery here play home to countless species of truly exotic wildlife.

Yala is the place to watch the peacocks dance under silver moonlight, to witness the elephants roam freely and even to see elusive leopards in action. Prance the day with the deer and observe monkeys in their tree-top habitats. When the day is done, dream the night away in the best of Yala’s accommodations.

DAY 09 - Galle

After a refreshing breakfast, prepare to see more of Yala’s infamous wildlife in action. Take your time to ogle over the Sri Lankan sloth bears, the feisty wild water buffalos and winking crocodiles. Don’t forget to keep your camera ready for the skulking leopard!

After lunch, it’s time to bid adieu to the lovely wilderness at Yala and move on to the iconic southern city of Galle, and sleep the night away in contentment.

DAY 10 – Colombo

Wake up and set off to the metropolis with a full stomach and a full heart. More than just a busy capital, Colombo has plenty of beautiful landmarks and sights to explore. A patchwork of new and old architecture, modern hotel chains and flashy sky scrapers dominate the sky line while the city’s lower reaches bustle with commerce. Museums and sophisticated restaurants dot the more high-end section of the vibrant city, but there are always good bargains to make, great food and surprises to be found in every nook and cranny of the city.

Colombo has any number of international hotel chains and opulent lodgings for you to spend the night in uber-comfort. Fall asleep to the gentle humming of the city beneath you and a stunning view of an impeccable sky line.

DAY 11 – NEGOMBO / AIRPORT

Wake up, face the lovely city views and acknowledge that all good things come to an end. After a final sumptuous Sri Lankan breakfast, it’s time to take you to the airport for your flight back home.

If your flight time allows it, we would escort you to a hotel in the little fishing town of Negombo.

Meanwhile Negombo, a small tiny coastal town near Colombo is the right place to see local fishermen bringing in their daily haul and shout out their wares. This is also the town where you’ll taste the best sea food you’ll find anywhere on the island. A few popular sights around town are the Dutch Fort and the Canal.

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