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EAST COAST TOUR

11 Nights 12 Days

1 st Day

Arrive at the Bandaranaike International airport, Katunayake. You will be met and assisted on arrival and transferred to Negombo (8 km, approx.15 min. drive) and check in at the hotel. Afternoon commence sightseeing in Negombo. Visit the Negombo Fishing Village. This little fishing port is a pleasure for the eyes with its fort and canals of the Dutch era. But still more interesting are the beautiful beaches where the fishermen live in houses made of coconut palm leaves and dry the fish they caught earlier that day. The colored boats and the outrigger- canoes or Oruvas sweeping in to the lagoon with their catch, the fish market, the old Dutch churches that dot the landscape & canals that stretch for hundreds of kilometers are fascinating. It is worthwhile to go on a boat trip to the lagoon or one of the old canals dating back to the Dutch colonization.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Negombo

2 nd Day

After breakfast at hotel, leave for Sigiriya (153 km, 4 hour drive) and climb the Rock Fortress(a UNESCO World Heritage site) built by King Kassapa in the 05thcentury A.D. which was a Royal Citadel for more than 18 years. The lion rock is a citadel of unusual beauty, rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The base of the rock is ringed by a moat and rampart and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens. The majestic Lion’s Paw picturesquely guards the stairway of the palace on the summit. See the famous frescoes of the “Heavenly maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered pocket of the rock and the 10 foot high Mirror Wall. On completion, check in at hotel.

Thereafter, leave for Polonnaruwa (67 km, 1 ½ hour drive) the Capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century and on arrival visit the well-planned medieval city defended by enclosing walls (around 5 km. which still remain),graced by palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds and irrigation lakes. Polonnaruwa is strewn with ruins in a resplendent state of preservation. Of these the ‘Vatadage’ and the ‘Thuparama Image House’ are the most spectacular. The ‘Gal Vihara’ which consists of statues of the recumbent, standing and seated Buddha have been cut from a single granite wall and rank among the true masterpieces of Sri Lankan Art. On completion leave for Habarana (58 km, approx. 1 ¼ hour drive)and check in at the hotel.Overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana.

3 rd Day

After breakfast leave for Nilaweli via Trincomalee (115 km, approx.3 ½ hour drive). This golden sandy beach on the east is peaceful, clean and wide. Nilaweli is a great beach for relaxing especially during the period of April to October. Nilaweli is one of the best spots in Sri Lanka for surfing and scuba divingOvernight stay at a hotel in Nilaweli

4 th Day

Breakfast at hotel.Overnight stay at a hotel in Nilaweli.

5 th Day

After breakfast leave for Minneriya for a Jeep Safari (129 km, approx. 4 hour drive). Minneriya National Park is about 8900 hectares in extent and is an ideal eco tourism location in Sri Lanka. The park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub area and is home to Sri Lanka’s favorites such as spotted deer, Sambar, leopards and elephants. However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in the 3rd century). This tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants which come to bathe in the water and graze on the grasses and the huge flocks of birds, cormorants and painted storks to name a few that come to fish in the shallow waters.Overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana

6 th Day

After breakfast leave for Arugam Bay Beach near Potuvil (250 km, approx. 7 hour drive). This lazy little fishing village of Arugam Bay is richly endowed with a beautiful stretch of ocean and vast expanses of deserted beach. For many years a popular sea side holiday resort for local travelers, Arugam Bay has grown in the last twenty years into a big attraction for lovers of the surf, who converge on it in numbers from different parts of the world, to indulge in their favourite hobby of surfing and enjoy the bonus of a cheap, easy going, hassle-free lifestyle, among friendly Sri Lankan people. Overnight stay at a hotel in Arugam Bay

7 th Day

Breakfast at hotel.Spend the day at leisure on the beach. Overnight stay at a hotel in Arugam Bay. Wale & Dolphin watching.

8 th Day

Breakfast at hotel. Spend the day at leisure on the beach. Overnight stay at a hotel in Arugam Bay.

9 th Day

After breakfast leave for Kandy via Mahiyangana (264 km, approx. 8 hour drive).On arrival in Kandy, check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kandy.

10 th Day

After breakfast, commence a sightseeing tour of Kandy, the bustling hill country capital which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the pink painted famous Temple of the Tooth which houses the most sacred religious relic, the tooth of the Buddha. Drive past the picturesque premises of the University of Peradeniya and visit the Market Place, and an Arts & Crafts show room. Then drive along the Upper Lake road to get a panoramic view of the Kandy Lake built in 1807 which is an attractive centerpiece to the town. Kandy is also popular because of the annual festival known as the Esala Perahera where the inner casket covering the tooth relic of the Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city held annually in the month of July or August.

Late evening enjoy the Kandyan Cultural Show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre. The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kandy.

11 th Day

After breakfast leave for Colombo (116 km, approx. 3 hour drive). En route visit the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela. This orphanage was set up by the government to take care of baby elephants lost or abandoned in the wild. Witness the feeding of the elephants. The baby elephants being bottle fed with milk is a heartwarming sight. Thereafter observe them as they take their daily bath in the river nearby, which affords marvelous photo opportunities. Bath time is enjoyed by all elephants, young and old alike and it is a good time to closely observe their tightly knit family structure. The young elephants are protected and cared for, by the older ones in the group and the leader of the group is respected by all. (Open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Daily feeding times- 9.15 a.m., 1.15 p.m. 5.00 p.m. Bathing times – 10.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m., 4.00 p.m.). On arrival in Colombo, check in at hotel. Overnight stay at a hotel in Colombo.

12 th Day

After breakfast leave to the airport for the departure flight.

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