Spend a day in Colombo and take a private guided tour of the city before heading to the famous Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, where you can watch baby elephants being bottle-fed and having a bath. The orphanage was established in 1975 with just seven orphans; today many of these orphans have their own calves.
Sigiriya, the 5th century rock citadel and World Heritage Site is known as Lion Rock and is reputed to be one of the finest monuments to art and culture in the country. Step through the gigantic lion paws at the foot of the monument to overlook the symmetrical gardens below. Polonnaruwa is a short drive away and was an ancient city blessed with stupas, irrigation canals and fantastically carved sculptures.
Dambulla Rock Temples houses some of the most unique drawings in magnificently constructed cave temples flanking the golden temple of Dambulla. Then visit Matale, an agricultural zone which has provided tea, rubber, vegetables and spices. Stop here for a refreshing cup of herbal tea and sample some spices. Explore the World Heritage Site of Kandy with a private guide including the town itself, the bazaar, an arts and crafts centre, together with a gem museum.
Leave Kandy and drive through scenic tea plantations to the charming town of Newark Eliya, stopping en route to visit one of the plantations and a tea factory. Tour the cool and misty hills to see the lush green blankets of tea on the slopes and see how tea is processed.
Head south to Yala National Park where you have the opportunity to see some of the finest wildlife in Sri Lanka, stopping off at the spectacular Ella Waterfalls. Yala is a protected area of over 120,000 hectares and has one of the world’s largest and densest leopard populations. Explore the park on a morning game drive and look out for elephants, wild boar, spotted deer, crocodiles and jackals.
En route to Bentota, stop at Galle, an unmissable destination in the south of the island. It’s a beautiful city with a fascinating history and plenty to see. Classic architecture blends with a dramatic tropical setting to create a beautiful backdrop to this interesting city. The historic fort area is full of boutique shops and cafes, where you can spend time browsing and wandering. The last stop is Bentota where this tour culminates with seven nights spent relaxing at a beachfront hotel.