This itinerary takes you on a journey back in time. The UNESCO world heritage sites have been chosen for a reason. They provide a unique glimpse into the past and they hold especially important significance in the history and development of the culture of our world. On this itinerary you will see the sites that played a key role in creating the Sri Lanka we see today. In visiting these sites, you will be immersed in and given an all access experience of the beauty of Sri Lankan culture.
Day 1 - Airport to Habarana
Upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, you will be met by an Airport Representative and introduced to your Chauffeur. The transfer from airport to Habarana via Dambulla is approximately 4 hours/160km. On the way you will stop at your first UNESCO World Heritage Site: Dambulla Cave Rock Temple, the centre of a Buddhist cave-temple complex established in the 3rd century BC as one of the largest and most important Buddhist monasteries occupied continuously until today. After visiting the temple, you will proceed to check into your hotel in Habarana.
Day 2 - Habarana-Sigiriya-Polonnaruwa-Habarana
After an early breakfast, proceed to climb the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Sigiriya -a UNESCO World Heritage site- is a 200-meter-high colossal rock boulder, and the rock fortress was built by King Kassyapa I in the 5th century AD and was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. Minimum duration to ascend is about 1 hour at a moderate climbing pace. In the late afternoon you will proceed to Polonnaruwa -also a UNESCO World Heritage site- which is the 2nd ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka that remains today, and displays an interesting blend of archaeological monuments. In the late evening you will return to your hotel.
Day 3 - Habarana-Anuradhapura-Mihintale-Habarana
After breakfast you will leave for a sightseeing tour of Anuradhapura Ancient Capital. Anuradhapura -another UNESCO World Heritage site- is Sri Lanka’s first Capital Kingdom founded in the 5th Century BC, and it was an example par excellence of a Hydraulic Civilization. The Construction of reservoirs, canals and irrigation channels during this period exhibited an amazing engineering knowledge. You will also get to see a unique feature of Buddhism in Sri Lanka: The Stupa (Dagoba), usually a curved dome which enshrines relics of Lord Buddha and objects of worship. The Abayagiri Stupa and the Jethavana Stupa (built in the 1st Century BC and the 3rd Century AD, respectively) were taller than the 3rd Pyramid of Giza and were the great wonders of the time. In the late afternoon you will proceed to Mihintale, which is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Afterwards you will return to your hotel to relax.
Day 4 - Habarana-Matale-Kandy
As you proceed to Kandy you will have a short visit to a Spice Garden in Matale. A landmark destination in the ancient Spice Trails, Sri Lanka has been ever so famous for its aromatic cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and pepper which lured many ancient traders to the Island. Even at present, Sri Lanka produces some of the best quality cinnamon in the world.
In the afternoon you will proceed on a Kandy city tour and visit the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. The city of Kandy is considered the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site as it is home to the Sacred Temple of the Tooth, most revered by Buddhists. You will get to see the Sacred Temple of the Tooth in the evening, followed by a traditional dance performance. You will proceed to your Kandy hotel in the late evening.
Day 5 - Kandy-Sinharaja
After an early breakfast you will transfer to Sinharaja which will take approximately 5 hours/260km. There you will check into your hotel where you can enjoy the nature friendly environment at your leisure for the rest of the day. By evening, you might take a stroll along the tea plantation and take in the magnificent sunset and at nightfall, you can relax with a drink in the lounge and share your bird and animal sighting experiences with the other guests.
Day 6 – Sinharaja
After breakfast at the hotel you will proceed on a nature walk in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. A global biodiversity hotspot, the islands last extensive stretch of virgin rainforest, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides the perfect jungle experience for nature lovers and the adventurous. Something particularly unique to this reserve is the mixed feeding flock of birds. A study of the flocks revealed that an average of 42 individual bird species feed together, making this the world’s largest mixed species flock.
Day 7 - Sinharaja-Galle
After an early breakfast you will transfer to Galle and engage in an evening sightseeing tour of the city. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the city of Galle has been exposed to the best of the Colonial rule in Sri Lanka. It is an urban ensemble which showcases the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions during the 16th to 19th Centuries. The city’s significant location, lying off the south-west coast of Sri Lanka and sheltered by a rocky peninsula, has made it very popular for naval activities since ancient times. Today the city is famous for its atmospheric streets, plush boutique hotels and stylish stores. The rest of the day you can spend at your leisure, for example on Galle’s beautiful beach.
Day 8 - Galle-Airport
After breakfast at the hotel, you will transfer from Galle to the airport (approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes/170km) and connect to your international flight for departure.
You will travel all over Sri Lanka from Dambulla to Galle and everything in between. A small island nation in the Pacific Ocean, Sri Lanka is known for its pristine beaches, wild and untamed landscapes, delicious tea, and most importantly for its incredibly friendly people. The Island is also home to a rich ecosystem. And once you venture to the interior of Sri Lanka, you will find hills clothed in tea plants, thick jungles and ancient temples all with a colourful history and stories to tell. It is a tropical climate, that remains essentially the same all year-round. However, there is great diversity is climate from region to region.
This trip takes you all over Sri Lanka where you will see the most stunning and breath-taking sites. The treasures to be discovered on this trip are innumerable. From ancient monastic sites to up market resorts you will take the ultimate adventure but with all of the comfort and luxury that Adams & Butler is known for.
Throughout your journey through Sri Lanka you will be staying in luxurious 4 or 5-star hotels and resorts and get to experience nature’s serenity in a place where time seems to stand still.
The rooms at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana have been built on elevated foundations, mirroring those of the Ritigala monastery & retreat close by, with quaint bungalow-like rooms and suites built above it.
The rooms at Cinnamon Citadel are quiet, spacious and comfortable, with absolute privacy and breath-taking views.
The Chalets at the Rainforest Eco Lodge are situated among the tea patch and offer guests breath-taking views of the forest canopy and tea estate that provide for lasting memories.
The rooms at Jetwing Lighthouse are luxuriously furnished, combining Sri Lankan simplicity with décor which is both traditional and modern, and offer an unrestrained view of the shimmering Indian ocean.
Sri Lanka experiences a complicated weather pattern. It has two monsoon seasons that hit different parts of the country at opposite times of the year. The southwest monsoon, Yala, hits from about April to September with the wettest months being the earlier ones. And the northeast monsoon, Maha, arrives in November and lasts until about March, also with its wettest months being the beginning of the season. So although there are essentially monsoons all year-round there will always be at least some part of the country experiencing good weather. What does stay constant is the temperature and the humidity. Being close to the equator, Sri Lanka has warm temperatures all year-round with not much difference between summer and winter. The same with humidity, it's everywhere and it fluctuates between 60-90 percent.