This private day trip will visit three famous destinations in Sri Lanka, one is historical, another cultural, and the final destination a place where man meets nature. The historical destination is the rock fortress, Sigiriya; the cultural destination is the beautiful rural village, Hiriwaduna; and the final nature destination is the Minneriya National Park.
You will be visiting Sigiriya first for a view of the famous Sigiriya Rock Paintings and the many marvelous ‘modern’ additions that King Kasiappa had in his fortress. Afterwards you will visit a Sri Lankan village still living in a bygone era for a taste of authentic Sri Lankan traditions and activities (the tasting part is literal as you will get lunch here too). Finally, you will be visiting the Minneriya National Park for a chance to see some wildlife in their natural habitats.
You will be picked up from your hotel at 7am. The travel time is around 2 hours to reach Sigiriya.
You will reach Sigiriya at 9am. You will climb up the rock through the magnificent entrance flanked by two lion paws, which once formed the base of the lion that the entire rock was carved as. Now only the paws remain of this marvel of architecture that may have rivaled the Sphinx of Egypt in its heyday.
From here onward you will enter the domain of the ancient king Kashyapa, who ruled in the 5th century CE. You will get to see many wonders, advanced beyond their time; multi tiered gardens, unfading frescoes, a mirror wall and many more. After viewing these sights you will climb back down with the aid of your guide to leave for your next destination at 11am.
You will arrive at Hiriwaduna Village after a 20-minute drive. Many fun activities await you here. You will get to have a 15-minute ox cart ride ending at a reservoir, where you will then go on a catamaran tour for 15 minutes. Your catamaran will drop you off at a bank that borders a field. Then your guide will take you on a relaxing 10-minute walk through the fields. The end of the walk will find you back at the village.
Your guide will then take you to the house of one of the villagers. With the aid of your guide, you will receive a demonstration on traditional Sri Lankan cooking. You will try your hand at making a single dish with the guidance of the villager. Your lunch will be at 12:15pm, following the demonstration.
The lunch will be an authentic Sri Lankan buffet. The menu will include rice with six traditional curries, freshly fried river fish, green salad and papadam. You will also have dessert in the form of seasonal fruits and/or curd with kithul treacle.
After a quiet and delicious lunch you will be leaving the village at 1pm bound for your final destination, Minneriya. You will reach the Minneriya National Park after a travel time of 30 minutes. There you will go on a three hour mini safari to see the elephants which this park is famous for.
The park is based around the artificial reservoir created by King Mahasen in the 3rd century CE, and is the feeding grounds and home for many species of wildlife. Included in the list of wildlife inhabiting the park are the Sri Lankan Elephant, the Sri Lankan Leopard, the Sri Lankan Sloth, two kinds of deer, many kinds of monkeys, saltwater crocodiles and many more. There are also lots of species of birds; some local and some migratory, so keep your eyes peeled.
You will finish your safari and leave the park at 4:30pm. Your vehicle will get back to the city of Kandy at 7pm completing your tour.
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle
English-speaking chauffer guide
Entrance fees for Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Hiriwadunna Village and Minneriya National Park
Traditional bullock cart ride
What’s not included
Food and drinks, unless specified
Private tour is operated with just your party and a guide/driver
Enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city
Close encounter with wildlife
Informative, friendly and professional guide