Culture and Hill Country

Polonnaruwa tourist attractions

Sri Lankan Culture & Hill Country Tour 7 days/ 6 nights

Sri Lanka is one of the few countries with a vast and rich cultural diversity. The culture is itself very unique and thereby contributes to the Sri Lankan identity. Sri Lankan culture includes a lot of customs and rituals, whish date to more than 2000 years which were handed down from generation to generation. The most prominent feature of the Sri Lankan is its colourful festivals , which is one of the main tourist attractions.

Day 1: Colombo 

Begin your Sri Lankan tour by being met on arrival at Colombo International Airport with private transfer to your hotel in Colombo. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Colombo including a visit to Gangaramaya Temple, a Hindu temple, the Wolvendaal Dutch Church, Hultsdorf Law Courts and Independence Square. You will be driven through the bazaar district of Pettah, the commercial ‘Fort’ area and the wealthy residential area of Cinnamon Gardens. 

Day 2:  Pinawella Elephant Orphange-Sigiriya

Your journey begins through some of Sri Lanka’s most scenic countryside. Perhaps the most striking sight on Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is a 600-foot-high pinnacle of rock rising out of the jungle. One of the island’s seven World Heritage Sites, Sigiriya is famous for the ancient fortress on its summit and for the ancient frescoes that adorn the walls. If you wish, climb to the top and take in the lake-studded countryside stretching for miles in every direction from the top.

En route, visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage near Kegalle. Here you can see the baby elephants being fed. After feeding escort them on foot to the nearby river for their morning bath.

Day 3:  Anuradhapura 

After breakfast leave for Anuradhapura, a World Heritage Site. Founded in 437 B.C., this ancient capital became one of the 10 largest cities on the subcontinent with vast monastery complexes and great stupas. During the tour you will visit the sacred bo tree (Sri Maha Bodhi) grown from a cutting of the original fig tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Planted in 288 B.C. it is the oldest documented tree in the world. Other places of interest include the Brazen Palace, Isurumuniya rock temple, the Twin Ponds, used by Buddhist monks as a bathing pool and Thuparama Dagoba, the oldest Dagoba on the island.

Day 4: Polonnaruwa

After breakfast leave for Polonnaruwa. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, Polonnaruwa is another World Heritage Site. It comprises the Brahmanic monuments built by the South Indian Cholas, and the ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I during the golden age of Polonnaruwa in the 12th century. Irrigation systems far superior to those of the Anuradhapura age were constructed, systems which to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the dry season. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya (4 huge statues of Buddha carved out of rock), the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, King Parakramabahu’s statue, and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Day 5: Dambulla-Kandy

After breakfast leave for Kandy. En route visit Dambulla Rock Temple. Dating from the 1st century B.C., this World Heritage Site has been a place of pilgrimage for 22 centuries. The cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest and best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. Also on the way, visit a spice garden in Matale to see the different spices for which Sri Lanka is famous for.

Arrive in Kandy. A World Heritage Site and once capital of the Sinhalese Kandyan kingdom, Kandy is the religious capital of Sri Lanka and a place of pilgrimage. The Temple of the Tooth houses Sri Lanka’s most important religious relic, the sacred tooth of Buddha. Visit Kandy town; the market, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum and lapidary. In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and see a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.

Day 6: Negombo 

After breakfast leave for the palm fringed beach resort of Negombo.  The city was used by the Portuguese, Dutch and British as main export harbor for cinnamon you still can see many historical buildings.  Enjoy a cold drink as you watch the old world fishing crafts like the outrigger canoes and the catamarans haul in their daily catch. Check in at the hotel and spend the remainder of the day relaxing on the beach.

Day 7: Airport Transfer

Breakfast at hotel – Transfer to airport

-All prices are per person based on double occupancy
-Prices include: car, driver/guide, hotel, all entrance and ticket fees
-Special excursions such as whale watching and hot air ballooning incur additional fees