08D SRI LANKA DESTINATIONS takes you to KANDY, NUWARA ELIYA, YALA, BENTOTA & COLOMBO. Sri Lanka is a very important destination for devout Buddhists.
Kandy is famed for the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the stunning collection of orchids at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The National Park at Nuwara Eliya offers a veritable treasure trove for bird watchers and the surrounding area is dotted with waterfalls.
A visit to the Yala National Park is a memorable experience to the wild-life enthusiast as it is home to 44 different kinds of mammals and an abundance of avian inhabitants, many of which are endemic to the region.
Bentota is a resort town nestled on the south-west coast and is home to mesmerizing coral dive sites. Fun water sports keep you engaged on the beach.
Colombo offers the modern touch to the guest. The National Museum, in Colombo, is a repository of Sri Lankan history. The upscale shopping Malls offer a great shopping experience and an introduction to top-line international product ranges.
This 08D SRI LANKA DESTINATIONS vacation is a family trip to memorable good times.
Colombo City Tour
01 Night at Kandy
01 Night at Nuwara Eliya
02 Nights at Yala
02 Nights at Bentota
01 Night at Colombo
Kandy is a large city in central Sri Lanka. It's set on a plateau surrounded by mountains, which are home to tea plantations and biodiverse rainforest. The city's heart is scenic Kandy Lake (Bogambara Lake), which is popular for strolling. Kandy is famed for sacred Buddhist sites, including the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) shrine, celebrated with the grand Esala Perahera annual procession.
In the nearby Peradeniya suburb, the Royal Botanic Gardens is known for its orchid collection and massive palm trees. The Ceylon Tea Museum, in a former tea factory, has a library and exhibits that explore Sri Lanka's history as a major exporter of the beverage. Kandy is also a gateway to the Knuckles Mountains, a popular destination for hiking and camping.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Kandy is warm year-round, with an Apr/May–Sep monsoon season and frequent thunderstorms Oct–Nov. Many people choose to visit Dec-Mar when rain is less prevalent. Apr-May is also popular, due to events like Avurudu (Buddhist New Year, Apr), and Vesak (May), when locals celebrate the birth of Buddha with religious rites and artistic performances. Esala Perahera (Aug), a 10-day festival honoring the tooth relic at Sri Dalada Maligawa shrine, is known for its elaborate street shows and elephant parades.
Nuwara Eliya is a city in the tea country hills of central Sri Lanka. The naturally landscaped Hakgala Botanical Gardens displays roses and tree ferns, and shelters monkeys and blue magpies. Nearby Seetha Amman Temple, a colourful Hindu shrine, is decorated with religious figures. Densely forested Galway's Land National Park is a sanctuary for endemic and migratory bird species, including bulbuls and flycatchers.
Nearby Gregory Lake, a reservoir created in the 1800s, offers boating and horseback riding. To the north is Pidurutalagala, Sri Lanka’s tallest peak, ringed by a forest reserve. The surrounding countryside is dotted with waterfalls, including the multiple cascades of St. Clair’s Falls. To the southwest, a trail climbs pyramid-shaped Adam’s Peak, a pilgrimage place for several religions. South of Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains National Park occupies a high-altitude plateau and is home to sambar deer and leopards. The park ends at the sheer precipice of World’s End, which offers views of the lowlands.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Nuwara Eliya’s climate is generally cool and rainy year-round. Mar-May is the most popular months to visit. The wettest months are Oct-Dec. A good time to visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens is Mar-Apr when flowers bloom.
Yala National Park is a huge area of forest, grassland, and lagoons bordering the Indian Ocean, in southeast Sri Lanka. It’s home to wildlife such as leopards, elephants, and crocodiles, as well as hundreds of bird species. Inland, Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist monastery. Nearby caves contain centuries-old rock paintings. Southwest, Magul Maha Viharaya also has ancient Buddhist ruins. Both are pilgrimage sites.
44 species of mammals are resident in Yala National Park, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.
Bentota is a resort town on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast. Its long Bentota Beach stretches north, where it becomes a sandy strip known as Paradise Island, parallel to Bentota Lagoon. Coral-rich dive sites include Canoe Rock. On Bentota River, centuries-old Galapota Temple has a large Buddha statue. Southeast is Lunuganga, the estate, and gardens of architect Geoffrey Bawa. Northeast is his brother Bevis's Brief Garden.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Bentota is a year-round destination with a tropical climate. Popular times to visit for sunbathing, scuba diving and water sports include the hot months of Feb–Apr, before the southwest monsoon season (May-Sep). Local events include Bentota Perahera, a Buddhist festival (dates vary, Dec) with a parade including elephants, tom tom beaters and fire jugglers.
Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has a long history as a port on ancient east-west trade routes, ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. That heritage is reflected in its architecture, mixing colonial buildings with high-rises and shopping malls. The imposing Colombo National Museum, dedicated to Sri Lankan history, borders sprawling Viharamahadevi Park and its giant Buddha.
The vibrant, jam-packed Pettah bazaar district's thousands of vendors offer everything from spices and tea to textiles and jewellery. Galle Face Green is an oceanside promenade popular for picnicking and strolling. The city's diverse religious landmarks range from the ornate, red-and-white-striped Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque and the historic Dutch Reformed Wolvendaal Church to the Buddhist Gangaramaya Temple complex. International matches of cricket, Sri Lanka's national passion, are played at Premadasa Stadium. The city is also a major hopping-off point for beaches in the island nation's south.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Many visitors arrive Dec-May. The city experiences two monsoon seasons, with the heaviest rains Apr-Jun and Sep-Dec. Local events include the Vesak Buddhist festival (May).
Day 1: Arrival in Colombo - Kandy
Upon arrival, get transferred from the international airport in Colombo to the hotel in Kandy, en route visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, conservation, and education centre that shelters orphaned elephants. Overnight at Kandy.
Day 2: Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, transfer to the hotel in Nuwara Eliya, en route visit a tea plantation. Take a stroll through lush green blankets of tea plantations. You can witness the tea processing facilities and process. Continue to Nuwara Eliya. Overnight at Nuwara Eliya.
Day 3: Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park
After breakfast, get transferred from the hotel in Nuwara Eliya to a hotel near Yala National Park, en route visit Ella Gap and see the mighty RavanaFall. The waterfall cascades from an oval-shaped concave rock outcrop and forms a part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary. Later, in the evening arrive in Yala National Park and check in to the hotel. Overnight at Yala.
Day 4: Yala National Park
After breakfast, explore the largest national park in Sri Lanka, the Yala National Park. Home to wild elephants, boars, buffaloes, leopards, bears, deer, crocodiles and a large flock of migratory and indigenous birds, the park has an added bonus of a scenic ocean frontage. Later continue to Kataragama, and visit the Kataragama temple, a shrine dedicated to Skanda Kumara. Overnight at Yala.
Day 5: Yala National Park - Bentota via Galle
After breakfast, get transferred to Bentota, via Galle. Overnight at Bentota.
Day 6: Bentota
After breakfast, the day is on leisure to explore the stunning surroundings of Bentota. You can opt to take an optional trip to Balapitiya for a river safari and enjoy a boat ride to Madu River. You can also opt to enjoy various water sports activities such as swimming, body-surfing, diving, jet-skiing, windsurfing and parasailing.
Day 7: Bentota - Colombo
After breakfast, get transferred from Bentota to Colombo, en route enjoy a city tour of Colombo. The highlights include a visit to Hindu and Buddhist temples, the oriental bazaar at Pettah, the fort, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). Later, continue to visit Colombo Museum and the folk-art centre. Overnight at Colombo.
Day 8: Departure from Colombo
After breakfast, get transferred to the airport in Colombo for your return flight.