8 Day Tour
The Magical Highlights tour package is carefully designed to cover many of the must see historical and natural wonders in Sri Lanka, within a short time frame.
A warm welcome to Sri Lankan hospitality! On arrival at the Bandaranayake International Airport (BIA), you will be met by a Magical Paradise tour coordinator for a quick formality before proceeding to Colombo.
Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city in Sri Lanka. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mix of modern and colonial buildings. Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders as far back as two thousand years ago.
Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, Beira Lake, Colombo Racecourse, Planetarium, University of Colombo, Mount Lavinia beach, Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Colombo Lotus Tower (under construction) and the National Museum.
Unwind after a long flight… If you are up to it, an optional plan is to do a sightseeing or shopping tour of Colombo.
Overnight stay in Negombo.
Day 2 (Visit Dambulla)
Lets travel to Dambulla after breakfast to explore the Dambulla cave temple.
This temple complex dates back to the first century BCE. It has five caves under a vast overhanging rock, carved with a drip line to keep the interiors dry. In 1938 the architecture was embellished with arched colonnades and gabled entrances. Inside the caves, the ceilings are painted with intricate patterns of religious images following the contours of the rock. There are images of the Lord Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses.
The Dambulla cave monastery is still functional and remains the best-preserved ancient edifice in Sri Lanka. This complex dates from the third and second centuries BC, when it was already established as one of the largest and most important monasteries. King Walagamba of Anuradhapura is traditionally thought to have converted the caves into a temple in the first century BC. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
Evening hours: Visit Minneriya|Kaudulla national parks for an elephant Safari
Minneriya is the place to witness the largest Asian elephant ‘Gathering’ known to exist on the planet. Watch as elephants socialise, drink, play and snack on the lush grasses that have been exposed by the receding waters of the reservoir. Approximately 150-300 elephants may be seen on a good day during the dry season.
Overnight stay in Habarana.
Day 3 (Habarana | Sigiriya | Polonnaruwa)
Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the morning.
Sigiriya Lion’s rock is an ancient rock fortress surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings, which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It is a designated World Heritage site.
Experience village life and enjoy a lunch prepared with organically grown ingredients.
Explore Polonnaruwa, the second kingdom of ancient Sri Lanka. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and even today, this ancient city remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country, testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom’s first rulers.
Overnight stay in Sigiriya or Habarana.
Day 4 (Visit Kandy)
After breakfast, let’s proceed to Kandy.
En-route visit a spice garden in Matale. These spice gardens will help you get a glimpse of the many different types of spices available and traded in Sri Lanka. The variety of Sri Lankan spices has provided an ideal ground for traditional Ayurveda.
Referred to as the ‘hill capital’, Kandy was the last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings which was finally ceded to the British in 1815. Kandy,located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, is an example of Buddhism’s influence on Sri Lanka. Temple shrines and monasteries keep alive Buddhist traditions. Kandy is a world heritage site.
Visit the Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic. Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – ever since 4th Century A.D, when the Buddha’s Tooth was brought to Sri Lanka hidden from sacrilegious hands in an Orison princess’ hair, the relic has grown in repute and holiness in Sri Lanka and throughout the Buddhist world. It is considered Sri Lanka’s most prized possession.
Take time off to shop for traditional Kandyan arts and crafts; enjoy a cultural show in the evening.
Overnight stay in Kandy.
Day 5 (Visit Kandy | Nuwara Eliya)
After breakfast, you will have plenty of time to take a city tour of Kandy, including upper lake drive, the local markets, wood carving workshops, Batik shops and the Gem museum. Visit the Peradeniya botanical gardens. The botanical gardens attract approximately two million visitors annually. Located close to the Mahaweli river, it houses more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.
Time to proceed to ‘Little England’…
Nuwara Eliya is known as the Little England of Sri Lanka. Set against beautiful backdrops of mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and tea plantations it is one of the coldest places on the island. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of British influence. Houses are like country cottages or Queen Anne style mansions. Visit a tea factory and a tea estate on the way to Nuwara Eliya. A scenic city tour in Little England is well worth your time.
Overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya.
Day 6 (Visit Nuwara Eliya | Yala)
After breakfast, let’s proceed towards Yala National Park…
The Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. It is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. Yala harbours an estimated 215 different bird species including six endemic species. The types of mammals that have been recorded at the park is 44, and it also has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.
A morning or dusk time safari at the Yala park will be arranged.
Overnight stay in Yala.
Day 7 (Yala | Tangalle)
An early morning safari at the Yala park is the best time to spot animals, including leopards. After breakfast and the morning safari, let’s proceed to Tangalle.
Tangalle is a regionally important fishing port, situated in one of the largest bays in Sri Lanka. The bay is protected from the ocean by an enclosing reef. The Dutch and subsequently the British used Tangalle as an important anchorage on the southern coast of the island. The Dutch fort, Rest house and Court house are a few remaining examples of Dutch architecture in Tangalle.
Relax in the bay area with amazing ocean views.
Overnight stay in Tangalle.
Day 8 (Tangalle | To Airport)
As your holiday in Sri Lanka winds down, it’s time to proceed with happy memories back to the airport to catch your flight back home.
En-route, if you wish to take a look at the conservation of turtles, a visit can be arranged. The turtle hatcheries are open from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm on most days. If you wish to release a freshly hatched three-day old turtle into the ocean, this is the place.
It is also possible to stop en-route to visit the Galle Dutch Fort.
The Galle fort is situated in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. The fort was built initially in 1588 by the Portuguese and then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards.
It is a historical, archaeological, and architectural heritage monument that even after more than four centuries continues to maintain a polished appearance. Extensive reconstruction and preservation work on the Galle fort has been undertaken by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.
We can customize the tour for you. If you wish to go to any place not mentioned in the route, simply inform us in advance and we will make the arrangements.