- Explore historic Negombo, known as "little Rome"
- Take in the beautiful, UNESCO-recognized Cave Temple
- Experience the ancient city of Sigiriya (Lion Rock)
- Explore the rugged mountains of the Sri Lankan Highlands
- Visit a sacred Buddhist temple in Kandy
|Day 2||Negombo - Dambulla - Sigiriya||Sigiriya|
|Day 3||Sigiriya - Knuckles||Knuckles|
|Day 4||Knuckles - Kandy||Kandy|
Day 1: Negombo
Welcome to Negombo - a town with a rich history and strong Catholic influence, often referred to as "little Rome." When you arrive, check in at your guesthouse and then head out to explore the town. The lagoon here is famous for its lobsters, crabs, and prawns. Fish auctions regularly take place on the beach (and are worth experiencing). Architecture buffs may appreciate the old Dutch and Portuguese Colonial buildings. And strolling along the area's many canals is a treat.
Day 2: Dambulla
After breakfast, pack your bags and hit the road. Today, you're off to Dambulla - known for its Cave Temple, impressive mural paintings, and 157 statues, including a 47-foot-long statue of the recumbent Buddha. Recognized as a sacred pilgrimage site (as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), this cave monastery is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The history of the five caves, containing over 150 images of Buddha, goes back to first-century BC when King Valagambahu took refuge here. From here, continue on to Sigiriya where a comfortable lodge awaits.
Day 3: Sigiriya
Wake in the ancient city of Sigiriya - a premier Sri Lankan eco-tourism destination and another UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its imposing, ancient rock fortress. After breakfast, visit the fortress, where visitors used to climb through the open jaws and throat of what looked like a stone lion to get to the top. Unfortunately, most of the lion carving has worn away, but watch for the paws, still visibly sculpted into the side of the rock. When you've had your fill of the fortress, board your transport and make your way to Knuckles for the night.
Day 4: Knuckles
Lace up your hiking boots! After breakfast at your hotel, it's time to head into the rugged mountains of The Knuckles Range. Trek along scenic trails across mountains, crystal-clear rivers, dense forests, flowing waterfalls, lush tea plantations, colorful home gardens, terraced rice paddies, and traditional little villages - a world away from the fast-paced life of the city. After your trek, relax, pack, and hit the road again, this time making your way to the bustling city of Kandy, where you'll stay the night in a homestay.
Day 5: Kandy
Spend your fifth day in Sri Lanka exploring Kandy - the capital of the central province and home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. Strategically nestled amidst three mountain ranges and known as the gateway to the hill country, Kandy was initially built as a natural fortress against attack and it was not an easy target for the foreign invaders. After breakfast, head out into the city for a tour that includes the Temple of the Tooth and the Peradeniya Botanical Garden.
Day 6: Farewell, Sri Lanka!
After breakfast, it's time to bid Sri Lanka a fond farewell, load your luggage into the transfer vehicle, and head to the airport for your homeward flight.