(Negombo, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Mirissa, Colombo)
Surfing, jungle safaris, white-water rafting, temple treks and whale watching are just the start of this action packed journey through Negombo, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Mirissa and Colombo. Behold Sri Lanka’s dramatic cultural traditions, spiritual wonders, UNESCO sites intermingled with endless adventures with the luxury by expert private local guide and driver from charming hotels. Visit the Lion Rock, the Dambulla Rock Temple and some of the oldest holy pilgrimage sites in the world. Get your "adventure-on" as you hike and climb the diverse countryside monuments, spot leopards, elephants and other exotic animals on safari through national parks, white-water raft the Kelani River, learn to surf on the beaches of Mirissa, cruise the pristine waters of the Sri Lankan coast and marvel at the ocean during an exclusive whale-watching experience.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer from Negombo to Minuwangoda. The approximate travel time is 20 minutes.
In the morning, take a tour of Negombo. The town is located in the heart of Sri Lanka's fishing industry with the sea and catamarans presenting a scenic the backdrop. Visit the Negombo lagoon and stop at a fish auction. Also visit the Dutch Fort and a catholic church. Continue to Anuradhapura which is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan civilization. The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies 205 kilometers north of Colombo in Sri Lanka's North Central Province, on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya from the 4th century BC. Anuradhapura was the capital of Sri Lanka until the beginning of the 11th century AD. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles (40 square kilometers).
Visit Polonnaruwa ancient city on your bicycle. which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in 'Upright', 'Sedentary' and 'Recumbent' postures carved out of rock could be seen, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, the statue of king Parakramabahu, and the Parakrama Samudraya - a lake built by King Parakramabahu the great. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic. In the After-noon continue to Sigiriya and visit the rock fortress. Climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress which is a world heritage site, Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster.
Start the day with an elephant back ride in the Habarana Jungle. This excursion will take you along one of the most picturesque treks through the jungle. Observe the bird life that can be found the surrounding forest and foothills. Thereafter, visit Polonnaruwa which was the second capital of Sri Lanka built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD and is now listed as a World Heritage Site. Discover the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya - 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in 'Upright', the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath and the statue of king Parakramabahu. Also visit Parakrama Samudraya, which is a lake built by King Parakramabahu the Great. Polonnaruwa has many places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic.
In the afternoon, enjoy a jeep safari of through Minneriya National Park. Located between Habarana and Pollonnaruwa, Minneriya is yet another haven for the elephants that migrate from surrounding jungles to enjoy the lush grass fields on the banks of the Minneriya reservoir, during the dry season. Monkeys as well as many resident and migratory bird species can be spotted along with reptiles such as the painted-lip lizard, the saltwater crocodile, the Indian python and the water monitor.
Today leave Sigiriya and travel to Dambulla. Dating back to the First Century BC, the Golden Temple of Dambulla has been the center of pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus alike for 22 centuries. It is Sri Lanka’s most popular historic site. The Cave Monastery, home to Buddhist monks, is covered with exquisite 2,000 year-old murals depicting the life of Buddha. The shrines also house a collection of 157 statues of Buddha in various sizes and poses, including a 15 meter long reclining Buddha. Vividly colored frescoes on the walls and ceiling make this the largest antique painted surface in the world. Continue to Kandy via Matale. Visit a spice garden in Matale. See different spices and how some of the plants are grown and processed. Today spices are mainly used to flavor food. In medieval times, however, spices played a more important role as food preserving agents. Activities at the spice garden include tasting of spiced tea, massages with natural products and curry preparation demonstrations (extra charges may apply). In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth relic that is one of Buddhism's most sacred relics. It draws followers of the Buddhist faith from all over the world.
After breakfast, make your way to the Peradeniya Railway Station and take a train to Gampola (20 minutes). Seats cannot be reserved in advance. Gampola is a large town located in amidst the central highlands of the country. Visit the longest Buddha statue in South Asia, the Saliyalapura Temple. Continue towards Nuwara Eliya, which is Sri Lanka's most popular hill resort and also the heart of Sri Lanka's tea zone producing a significant share of the world's best tea. Visit a tea plantation and taste a cup of tea. In the evening, take a walking tour of Nuwara Eliya known to the local people as “Little England”.
In the morning leave for Horton Plains National Park by minivan for a wildlife safari. Once you pass the main entrance, trek into the park on foot. The park covers 31 km², and is a mixture of highland forest and wet grassland. You might spot leopards, sambars (Sri Lankan Sambar Deer) or the purple-faced langur. All six highland endemic birds are found within the park, including the dull-blue flycatcher, Sri Lanka White-eye, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon and Sri Lanka Bush Warbler. The yellow-eared Bulbul and black-throated Munia are widespread throughout the highlands. On your tour you also visit the Baker's Waterfalls and ‘World's End’, which is Sri Lanka’s highest mist gap.
Proceed to Kitulgala. Enjoy an exhilarating day white water rafting on the Kelani River. Join the boulder – strewn and picturesque Kelani Ganga (river) above Kitulgala and navigate name-chilling rapids such as Killer Falls and Head Chopper.
Take part in a whale watching trip organized by your hotel. Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to observe blue whales in their natural habitat. Sperm whales, killer whales, pilot whales and dolphins are also regularly spotted along the south coast. The best period for this excursion is from November to April.
Full day leisure at the beach. In the morning enjoy free time for surfing. (Season starts from November to April). Provided with a surf board and 45 minutes of surfing lessons.
Travel from Mirissa to Colombo via Galle, the capital of the Southern Province. With a colorful history, the Dutch Fort in Galle is a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site. The magnificent structure is the most popular attraction of the town. In 1587 the Portuguese annexed Galle from its Sinhala kings and built its first fortress naming it “Santacrusz”. Along with its 500 years history of Sinhala, Portuguese, Dutch and British occupation, its old world charm appeals as a tourist destination. Continue on to Balapitiya. Enjoy a scenic cruise along the Madhu River, which is a relaxing trip with plenty of interesting stops. Pass dozens of islets forested with mangroves and appreciate the timeless natural rhythms of rural life.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between your accommodation in Colombo and the international airport.
The Wallawwa, an old colonial manor house, has been lovingly restored to provide 14 beautifully furnished bedrooms and suites – ten Garden Suites, two Wallawwa Bedrooms and two Family Suites.Much care and attention has gone into creating a hotel that is enjoyable for both guests and staff alike. The team of Butlers, Chefs, Housekeepers, Gardeners, Maintenance engineers, Spa Therapists and Management all strive to maintain an efficient and friendly atmosphere whilst ensuring service standards are of the highest quality. We believe we achieve this and very much hope you’ll agree.
Hotel Sigiriya is located in a close proximity to the Sigiriya Rock that it seems as through the heritage site is yours alone to admire from the privacy of the hotel. The hotel offers the most scenic views of the rock fortress. The surrounding environs are lush green everywhere you look. As its honoured guest, you are welcomed with a refreshing drink made of local ambarella fruit handpicked for you from the surrounding areas. Hotel Sigiriya features 79 superior rooms, open-air lounge bar with direct Sigiriya rock view, Jungle Bar, pavilion type open-air Main Restaurant, outdoor freshwater pool and kiddies' pool, sports facilities, live oriental music entertainment, and conference facilities.
The Earl’s Regency is the ideal five-star luxury hotel from which to explore the attractions of Kandy and the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. Situated next to the river and surrounded by hills, The Hotel offers a perfect oasis of calm where guests can retreat after a day of seeing the sights. Beautifully manicured gardens surround the tempting pool. We have 104 rooms. The hotel also has one of the largest conference facilities. Despite the size, the hotel is environmentally aware and do the best to minimize carbon footprint. The hotel also has a comprehensive energy conservation policy, with power cut-off switches, energy-efficient lighting (CFL bulbs), photo-active garden lights and solar-powered hot water systems.
Cocoon Hills is an exquisite 6 bed roomed English Mock Tudor Bungalow with a beautiful lawn and flower beds built nearly 25 years ago, nestled in the hill country amidst tea plantations and verdant mountains which exudes its personal charm within a setting of refined elegance. On a sunny day, the Bungalow allows guests to borrow its bicycles to peddle around the town, sightseeing.
The Mandara Resort, located on the South West Coast of Sri Lanka, on a tropical setting with palm fringed golden beaches bordering the mighty Indian ocean, provides you a comprehensive range of activities and facilities to ensure an unforgettable holiday experience to take back home the Sri Lankan hospitality second to none in the World. The hotel features 20 rooms which are all equipped with satellite TV, DVD player, safety locker, AC and tea and coffee making facilities. The availability of many varieties of ocean fresh fish, crabs, lobsters etc. provide our chefs of the hotel to create innovative local and international dining experience.
Casa Colombo is a 12 suite Retro-chic hotel that blends a contemporary designer style with the charms of a magnificent 200 year old Moorish mansion. Built by one of the wealthiest Indian trading families at the time, the mansion is adorned with acres of Italian and Indian mosaic floors, carved arches, molded ceilings and Moorish styled balconies, and is one of the few remaining treasures of its era. A significant part of creating this hotel involved restoring the building back to its former grandeur. Located in Bambalapitiya in Colombo 4, it is in the heart of Colombo’s business district, however as it is neatly cosseted away from the busy Galle road by its own cul de sac, it is a gated and very private hotel.
Maynard Fossum ,
December 12, 2014
"My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure. "
Craig Gelman ,
December 12, 2014
"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent. "
Ruth Reinhard ,
December 12, 2014
"The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience."
SixtoCastenada Jr. ,
December 12, 2014
"100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!"
December 12, 2014
"We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken."
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
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