Departure via Moscow December 23, 2019
This will be a radiant journey. We will experience all the treasures of Sri Lanka and even a solar eclipse! Polonnaruwa, Kandi, Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Nuwara Eliya – you will see and get to know the ancient culture of the island, visit sacred places and admire the incredible beauty of tropical nature.
Directly from the airport, we drive to one of the most famous and beautiful places in Sri Lanka – to Pinnawala. There is an orphanage for elephants. Dozens of elephants live here, which are taken to a wide river for a swim every day. You can watch this spectacle right from the balcony of your room as we will stay at the best hotel in the area – the Hotel Elephant Park.
After breakfast, we go to Dambulla, where we visit the largest cave temple in Asia and marvel at over 150 Buddha statues. In the afternoon, we pay a visit to an open-air museum – in Polonnaruwa. This ancient city is famous for its unique Buddha statues, palaces and gardens. We will stay at the great Cinnamon Lodge Habarana Hotel in the middle of the jungle.
This morning we set off to climb Sigiriya rock, where we can observe a breath-taking cosmic phenomenon nearly as high as 200 meters: an annular eclipse of the sun. Afterward, we’ll visit one of the most exquisite botanical gardens in Asia. The royal garden is planned out carefully and even wins the love of those who are not especially keen with plants – everyone finds a tree they love here. In the evening, we will come to the area of Nuwara Eliya and stay at the hotel Ramboda, right next to a waterfall.
Today, one of the most impressive areas of Sri Lanka awaits us: the mountainous and evergreen Nuwara Eliya. We will stroll along tea plantations and waterfalls and even learn how tea is made. We stay in a hotel that looks like a castle.
Today, be ready for a train ride on ancient English tracks through mountains and tea plantations, a visit to the Ravanna Falls and a unique bridge, made from nine arches. We will also mount Little Adam’s Peak, and in the evening, we will arrive at the Cinnamon Wild Yala Hotel in Yala National Park. Here we rest and prepare for a safari the next morning.
In the early morning, enjoy a jeep safari tour through Yala National Park, which is home to buffaloes, peacocks, elephants, lions, crocodiles and other animals. After some relaxation in the hotel, we drive to Dondra lighthouse, which is at the southernmost point of the island and is one of the highest in the whole of Asia. It was built in the 19th century and is still active. Next, we drive to Mirissa. Along the way, we spot the “Blow Hole” or the howling hole and get a glimpse of the famous stilt fishermen.
Early in the morning, we set off for the endless expanses of the Indian Ocean and, if we’re lucky, spot whales and dolphins there, as there are 26 species of whales and 5 species of dolphins living here. The best known are pot whales, blue whales, and humpback whales as well as dark grey dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. We visit the Portuguese city of Galle and look at a fortress with 12 stone bastions, a clock tower, a lighthouse, and temples. Then we head to the beach where we celebrate the New Year.