Sri Lanka Cultural Tour
Day 1: Sirigiya – Dambulla
Pick up from Beach resort/ at the Airport & Leave for Sigiriya/ Dambulla. En route visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, where over 70 Elephants ranging from little babies to adult are cared for. Almost all of them have been found in the jungles wounded or separated from their herd. The feeding and bath time in the river is a treat to watch. Lunch at Local Restaurant. Afternoon Palm reading at the hotel & climb Sigiriya, the “Lion Mountain”. In 470 AD, Kasyapa, the son of a non-royal consort of the king, took over the kingdom after committing patricide, built his magnificent palace on top of this 360 meters high rock fearing the wrath of the crown prince Moggallana. This architectural wonder is famous for its well-preserved rock painting of the beautiful “Cloud Damsels” seen half way up the rock and the “Lion Stairway” that provides access to the summit. The complex of the fortress on the plains around the rock. Dinner and overnight accommodation at the hotel in Sigiriya/ Dambulla.
Day 2: Polonnaruwa
Morning at leisure. Afternoon tour of Polonnaruwa the Medieval Kingdom from the 11th to the 13th century. Ethnic harmony prevailed between the Sinhalese and the Tamils during this period. Buddhist and Hindu Temples located in the same complex and many other ruins symbolizes this fact. The Palaces, Huge granite sculptures and the massive tanks and complex irrigation systems built by the Great Kings conveys the extent of development that existed in this middle history period. Lunch at Local Restaurant. Dinner and overnight accommodation at the hotel in Sigiriya/ Dambulla.
Day 3: Dambulla
After breakfast proceed to Dambulla visiting the1st century BC Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla. Located at a height of over 100 m on a huge rock, the caves contain beautiful images of the Buddha totaling up to 150 as well as those of Hindu deities. The walls are also adorned with colorful frescoes of various scenes related to the arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka and great deeds of the kings. Thereafter proceed to Kandy en route visit to Spice garden & Batik Factory in Matale. Lunch at Local Restaurant. Check in to hotel in Kandy. Evening proceed to an auditorium to witness a typical Kandyan dance troupe performance. Thereafter visit the most sacred place of the Buddhist world, the Dalada Maligawa – the Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Return to Hotel in Kandy for dinner and accommodation.
Day 4: Kandy
After breakfast more sightseeing in Kandy, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. This began as a pleasure garden for the kings of Kandy. The rich flora of the tropics is exhibited at its best here. Thereafter proceed to Nuwara Eliya on the scenic mountain route through Tea country with an en route visit to a Tea Factory and a Plantation. With its cool mountain climate Nuwara Eliya became the favorite hill station of the British during their rule. Commence a tour of Nuwara Eliya. This town was the most popular hill station of the British during their rule. You will see their influence as you pass through areas very much reminiscent of the countryside of England which has earned Nuwara Eliya the name “Little England”. This is also the very centre of the Tea Growing regions of the island. The golf club of Nuwara Eliya has an excellent 18 hole course. Lunch at a Restaurant. Return to Hotel in Nuwara Eliya for dinner and accommodation.
Day 5: Kithulgala – Departure
After breakfast proceed to your beach resort / Airport through Kithulgala. This lovely location among forested ridges and luxuriant vegetation is one of the island’s little known delights. Film buffs will be interested to know that Kithulgala was the actual site for filming of Sir David Lean’s classic wartime film ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’. You can still see the place where the ‘bridge’ as demolished in the film actually stood!
- Accommodation sharing room with meals on FB basis commencing with Lunch on day 1 and ending with Breakfast on Day 5
- Transport in a private vehicle with an English speaking chauffer guide.
- Entrance fees at places of sight seeing as per the program.
- Jeep hire for Safari
- Extras of a personal nature such as liquor, tips, laundry etc.
- Peak Period supplement not included
- Compulsory X’ Mas supplement & Compulsory New Year Gala Dinner supplements.
- Beach Stay
- Departure Transfer after Beach Stay
- Extra Bed
- Drive + English/ German speaking national guide for tour
- German speaking chauffer guide
Please note all vehicles we use are generally Japanese Toyota, Nissan, Mazda or Mitsubishi cars in very good condition which are 5 to 10 years old. These are generally the vehicles used in the industry in Sri Lanka. However in the event if a client requests for a new car than this (0 to 5years old) we would charge a supplement as follows;
New Vehicle (0 – 05 years old) – US$ 62
The small tropical island of Sri Lanka is situated south of the Indian sub-continent. Sri Lanka covers an area of 65,610 square kilometers, the maximum length of Sri Lanka is 435 Km and the island's maximum breadth is 225 km. Sri Lanka lies 880 km north of the Equator. The central mountainous region is surrounded by wide plains that extend up to the island’s 1230 kilometer coastline of Palm fringed beaches,
•Longest River in Sri Lanka - The Mahaweli - 331 Km
• Highest Mountain in Sri Lanka - Pidurutalagala - 2520 m
• Highest Waterfall - Bambarakanda - 241 m
The climate is a perfect example of all year round tropical weather. In Sri Lanka the temperature changes with the altitude. The lowland plains average around 27 C, in the hill country it ranges from 20 - 25 C and in the mountains between 10 - 16 C. The sea temperature around the island seldom drops below 27 C.
Sri Lanka's weather patterns have been affected like many other places in the world. However, it has definite periods of dry and rainy seasons. In general the Island is affected by two monsoons. The south West monsoon is from May to October and the North East monsoon is from December to January. Although there is heavy rains during the monsoon, sunny days are extremely common even during its peak. Unlike in the past, where it could rain the entire day, rain is normally experienced in short, sharp 15-minute bursts about 3 or 4 times daily.
•Bughers & Others 1%
•Buddhists - 69%
• Hindus - 15%
• Christians - 8%
• Islam - 8%
The official languages are Sinhala, Tamil and English. Communication in English is possible in most areas of the Island
Sri Lanka's economy has depended on agriculture and plantation crops since its pre independence era. Rice is the staple cereal. The major export crops continue to be Tea, Rubber and Coconut. However the economy has diversified and the Garment sector, Fisheries, repatriated earnings of Sri Lankans working in the Middle East and Tourism have become major foreign exchange earners for the country.
Capital City : Sri Jayawardenapura, kotte
Commercial Capital : Colombo
Sri Lanka's currency is the Rupee. The Rupee is divided into 100 cents. While the currency notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000. The coins come in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10 and cents 5, 10, 25, 50.
In addition, ATM machines are found in the main cities in the country
Major Credit Cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express are accepted. Moreover, you can easily exchange your currency from Sri Lankan banks in any part of the country.
•Bandaranaike International Airport
Bandaranaike International Airport (airport code CMB) at Katunayake, is the main International Airport in Sri Lanaka located 30 kilometers north of the capital city, Colombo. It will only take approximately 30 minutes to get to the airport from the Colombo City on the highway.
•Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport
Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is the second international airport (airport code MRIA). This is placed in the deep south of the country close to the fast developing coastal town of Hambantota.
All visitors are required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Nationals of Singapore and Maldives are exempted from this requirement.
•Official Website of Airport & Aviation Services in Sri Lanka : www.airport.lk
•Sri Lanka's Electronic travel Authorization (ETA) system : www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
On arrival visitors to Sri Lanka are officially required to declare all currency, valuable equipment, jewellery and gems, even though this is rarely checked.
Other Important Information
•Sri Lankan Embassies Overseas : www.mea.gov.lk/index.php/en/missions
•Foreign Embassies in Sri Lanka : www.sltda.lk/embassies_in_sri_lanka
Public Holidays in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is renowned as the country with the most number of holidays in the world. Every month we celebrate Poya Holiday which is the Full Moon day. On this day, no alcohol will be sold or can be purchased. It is not a good day for shopping as most shops are closed.
We recommend that you buy bottled water for drinking purposes. Avoid drinking water from taps.
The Sea can be very appealing and at the same time very dangerous. Do not swim where warning signs such as Red flags are put up.
Sri Lanka is a shopper’s paradise. Famous for its gems, especially blue sapphires, finished jewellery, handicrafts, silver ware and spices. Other best buys are garments (Sri Lanka produces many of the clothes found in the large Department Store chains in the US, UK and Europe), handloom fabrics and fine porcelain tableware. We advise you to purchase all items from shops licensed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Authority.
Visits to Places of Worship
It is required that you remove your shoes at places of religious worship such as Buddhist and Hindu temples, shrines etc. You should avoid shorts, short skirts, sleeveless shirts and blouses.
Do not attempt to be photographed with Buddhist monks or to pose for photos with statues of the Buddha or other deities and paintings. Photography is prohibited in certain sections of the sacred sites as well as sensitive areas such as airports, dams and military installations.
Hill Country - Cool Climates
Hill country is covered with most popular tea plantations, the weather resembles autumn and therefore we suggest that you bring light jackets and pullovers. The temperature ranges between 8-22 “C degrees.
Use a good sun tan lotion if you are staying in the sun for long hours. The Afternoon sun can be very hot. It is good to wear hats, and cotton clothes. Drink plenty of water.
There have been many occasions where tourists have been cheated by beach touts. We strongly advise you against associating with them, for personal safety reasons. If you do so, it will be at your own risk and we will not take responsibility.