Depending on the time of your arrival, you will head towards the hill capital of the Island – Kandy. On the way you will make a stope at one of the most endearing destinations in Sri Lanka, the Pinnawella Elephant Orphanage where you will get to feed and interact with a number of elephants who are nurtured and protected in the orphanage. During the next part of the day you will get a glimpse of the beautifully reserved nature in Sri Lanka by visiting the Botanical Gardens in Kandy. The Gardens are home to a number of endemic flora in the country and is a place for great pictures and relaxation. Towards the latter part of the day you will get to witness a wonderful Kandyan cultural dance show which will give you a glimpse of the unique culture the hills of Sri Lanka has to offer.
On your second day in Kandy you will be taken to visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, this golden roofed Temple houses the relic of Lord Buddha’s tooth. Visit Sri Dalada Museum which contains a stunning array of gifts donated by several presidents and Buddhist leaders from across the world to the Temple of the Tooth.
Hidden away in Kandy’s leafy outskirts is the little-visited but fascinating Degal Doruwa Raja Maha Vihara cave temple, constructed (with the help of some obliging boulders) in the 18th century. The interior of the cave is painted head to toe in slightly faded but captivating murals. These fine Kandyan-era paintings depict scenes from the Jataka stories (tales from the previous lives of the Buddha).
This day, you will experience yet another beloved city in Sri Lanka – beautiful Nuwara Eliya. Known as Little England, this hilly region is home to simple yet wonderful architecture, extensive golf fields, ancient churches, colourful flower gardens and fresh fruits and vegetables. En route, you will witness the wonder of mammoth waterfalls that make their way amongst the hills. Upon arrival to Nuwara Eliya you be taken for a stroll around Victoria park, of of the most attractive and best maintained town parks in the country with immaculately manicured lawns. The park comes alive with flowers around March to May, and August and September. It’s also home to quite a number of hill-country bird species, including the Kashmir Flycatcher, Indian pitta and Grey Tit.
You will also be escorted to experience Lake Gregory, a humble water body situated in the heart of Nuwara Eliya with picturesque little cottages placed along it. At the lake, you will get to enjoy a relaxing bike ride, rent out swan-shaped pedal boats, a canoe or jet-skis. Time permitting we shall visit Seetha Amman Temple, a colourful Hindu temple said to be built on the location where Sita was held captive by the demon king Rawana. On the rock face across the stream are circular depressions said to be the footprints of Rawana’s elephant.
On your route to Ella on the next day, you will make a quick stop at the Pedro Tea Estate. While at the estate, not only will you the chance to feast your eyes on lush green tea fields, but to also enjoy a fresh cup of tea made with the tender leaves that have been nurtured and plucked locally. Your time at the estate will also Include a 20-minute guided tour of the factory, originally built in 1885 and still packed with 19th-century engineering. However, due to the type of tea produced here (a very light tea), processing only takes place at night when it’s colder, so you’re unlikely to see much action. You will also get to indulge in some fresh mouthwatering strawberries as you continue your journey to Ella.
Additionally, the route to Ella is marked with a few other iconic destinations. The
Nine Arches Bridge, being one of them, is an iconic bridge in Sri Lanka and is one of the best examples of British railway constructions when Ceylon was yet a colony of the British Empire. You will also cross paths with the widest fall in Sri Lanka, Ravana Waterfall and Lower Ravana Ella which are situated in a scenic route close to Ella.
This morning in Sri Lanka will be one that you remember for the rest of your life. We advise you to sacrifice a few hours of sleep and to wake up just before dawn to breathe in the golden sunrise that fills up the “Ella Gap”. The hike up to the rock, which takes about 2 hours each way, is one of the must-sees in Ella offering panoramic views of the Ella Gap and Little Adam’s Peak.
Later in the day, you will be lead to the Ella Spice Garden. This private household set in a highland village amidst world-famous tea gardens is home to a broad cultivation of Sri Lanka’s spices. Roam through aromatic peppers, cloves, turmeric, and chili plants, take a sample, and then roll up your sleeves to hit the kitchen. You can either enrich your culinary skills by learning from the best or simply enjoy a beautifully prepared Sri Lankan meal to end the day.
Negambo / Colombo
Perched at the southern edge of the Hill Country, Haputale is a picturesque city dotted with lush greenery and steep mountains. While at Haputale, you will get to visit the beautiful Adisham Monastery; This beautiful Benedictine monastery once belonged to tea planter Sir Thomas Lester Villiers. The English country-cottage gardens built by him are still one of the most charming sites in the city.
You will then get the chance to take a amazing tea-factory tour at the Dambatenna Tea Factory which was built by Sir Thomas Lipton in 1890. The Lipton’s Seat lookout located near the factory is one of Sri Lanka’s most fascinating spots as it overlooks tea estates from no fewer than seven different provinces. It is said that Sir thomas Lipton surveyed his large empire from this seat. After exploring the wonders of the hill country, you will make way back to Colombo at night.