UNESCO World Heritage Tour, Sri Lanka
The “Seven World Heritage Sites Tour” is ideal for those who like visiting the historical architectural monuments of Sri Lanka. It also treats you to a rainforest visit as Sinharaja is the only natural World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. One will also see the Dutch influence in Sri Lanka by visiting Galle, and its famous living World Heritage Site, the Dutch Fort. Highlight would be the visit to Sigiriya, probably the 8th World Wonder!
Morning, city tour of Colombo. After breakfast, leave for Palm Garden Village, Anuradhapura for two nights.
Day excursion to visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura, the first capital of Sri Lanka founded in the 4th century BC. See the sacred Bo Tree, the oldest historically documented tree in the world, Abayagiri monastery, which housed 5,000 monks and Jetavana Stupa, the tallest stupa in the world. Afternoon visit the Mihintale rock, which is known as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Morning, leave for Giritale Hotel, Polonnaruwa for two nights. Thereafter, city tour of Polonnaruwa. Visit the world famous rock-cut Buddha statues of Gal Vihara and the Parakrama Samudra, (‘Sea of Parakrama’) a 2,500-hectare man made reservoir built by King Parakramabahu I (1153 –1186 AD) with a capacity of 134 million cubic metres.
After breakfast, visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which was the pleasure capital of King Kasyappa in the 5th century AD. Sigiriya Sanctuary is also good for dry zone birding. Afternoon, visit to Minneriya National Park for Elephants and dry zone birding.
Morning, leave for Hotel Suisse, Kandy for two nights. En route visit Dambulla Cave Temple, which is famous for its rock paintings and rock temples and is one of the most important sites for Buddhist pilgrimage.
After breakfast, visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. In the afternoon, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and also a city tour of Kandy.
Morning, visit the Craftsmen’s Village at Nattarampota – ‘Kalapuraya’ to see various craftsmen at work, and also to buy items they produce. See the Galmaduwa Temple, a unique Buddhist Temple architecturally similar to a Hindu Temple, Degaldoruwa, the best example for Kandyan style paintings in a cave temple and Madawala Temple – a small temple on pillars. The entire structure is of wood and inside the temple, the walls and the ceilings are painted showcasing Buddhist stories. After lunch, leave for Jetwing St. Andrews, Nuwara Eliya for two nights. En route, visit the Temple at Gadaladeniya – Hindu architecture used by a South Indian Craftsman. See the beautiful carvings of Dancers, Drummers and Musicians, Siva Nataraja and Krishna. Lankatilaka Temple in Sinhala architecture and Embekke a “gem” in wood carving.
Morning visit Horton Plains National Park for Cloud Forests and Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka Hill White-eye, Dull-blue Flycatcher & Sri Lanka Bush Warbler. Late afternoon, city tour of Nuwara Eliya.
After an early breakfast, leave for Jetwing Yala for three nights.
Visit to Sithulpahuwa ancient hermitage to see birds and spectacular scenery. After lunch visit Kataragama.
Morning and afternoon game drives to Yala National Park. According to the Leopard Research supported under the Jetwing Research Initiative, Yala Block 1 has one of the highest densities of Leopards in the world. Yala, therefore, offers the best chance in Asia to see Leopards. Other large animals you may see include Elephant, Sloth Bear, Mugger Crocodile, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Wild Pig, Buffalo, Jackal, Grey Langur and Mongoose species. Birding highlights include Malabar Pied Hornbill, Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant and Black-necked Stork.
Leave for Cinnamon Bey, Beruwala for two nights. En route, do a city tour of Galle. Visit the Dutch Fort, which is the only ‘living’ World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka.
After breakfast, day excursion to Sinharaja Rainforest.