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North Central ProvinceCulture & history

Our most recommended North Central Province Culture & history

From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip

1. From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip

Depart Colombo and travel by a shared vehicle, in a small group, to the city of Sigiriya, and head directly to Sigiriya Rock on arrival. Gaze in awe at the massive column of rock that, according to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle The Culavamsa, was selected by King Kassyapa as the site of his new capital. Admire numerous paintings of historic queens, princesses, and maids inside the rock fortress before getting a break for lunch at your own expense. Then, explore some of the traditional crafts of the region, such as wood carving and batik textiles, with time to purchase souvenirs before departing. Start the journey back towards Colombo via Dambulla to explore the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Discover the magnificent Buddha images and rock paintings of vivid colors and different shapes, painted from around the 2nd century B.C. up to the 18th-century Kandyan era.

Kaudulla National Park Half Day Sri Lanka Jeep Safari

2. Kaudulla National Park Half Day Sri Lanka Jeep Safari

Embark on a thrilling adventure through the heart of Sri Lanka's wild landscapes with our Kaudulla National Park Safari. This unforgettable experience begins with a convenient pick-up from your hotel in the enchanting areas of Dambulla, Kandalama, Sigiriya, or Habarana. Our friendly and knowledgeable guide will ensure your journey is comfortable and informative from start to finish. As you set off towards Kaudulla National Park, you'll receive complimentary water bottles to keep you refreshed throughout the day. The park, located in the heart of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle, promises an awe-inspiring encounter with the region's diverse and captivating wildlife. The main highlight of this safari is the spectacular Elephant Gathering, a mesmerizing phenomenon that occurs during the dry season when large herds of elephants congregate around the Kaudulla Tank. Witness these majestic giants in their natural habitat, an experience that is sure to leave you in awe. However, the wonders of Kaudulla extend far beyond the elephants. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of other animals that call this lush jungle home, including crocodiles basking in the sun, graceful deer grazing in the meadows, majestic eagles soaring high above, mischievous monkeys swinging through the trees, and elusive water monitors gliding through the waterways. The park is also a bird lover's paradise, with a plethora of colorful avian species filling the skies and trees with their melodious calls. Our safari lasts for approximately three hours, allowing ample time to explore the park's diverse landscapes and encounter its remarkable inhabitants. Our experienced guides are well-versed in the park's ecology and will provide fascinating insights into the behaviors and habitats of the animals you encounter. After an exhilarating journey through Kaudulla National Park, we will safely transport you back to your hotel, ensuring your return is as comfortable and convenient as your arrival. Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Sri Lanka's wildlife with our Kaudulla National Park Safari, a journey that promises unforgettable memories and a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders of this remarkable island nation. #srilankajeepsafari #safarisrilanka #srilankasafari #kaudullanationalpark #kaudullasafari #elephantgathering

Dambulla:Sigiriya Rock Fortress & Dambulla Cave Temple tour

3. Dambulla:Sigiriya Rock Fortress & Dambulla Cave Temple tour

Your day begins with a pick-up from your hotel, and you'll be heading to the captivating destination of Sigiriya. Prepare to be amazed as you climb and explore the majestic Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This ancient marvel, built by King Kashyapa in the 5th century, stands proudly 660 feet high. Located in Sri Lanka's central province, near Dambulla, in the northern Matale district, this fortress is often referred to as the Lion's Rock or Sinhagiri. Ascend the 1200 steps to the top and marvel at this Unesco World Heritage Site, considered one of the Wonders of the World. The ingenious water garden irrigation and the remarkable lion carving at the entrance, which is still well-preserved, showcase the advanced architectural and engineering skills of the time. The well-designed ramparts and moats surrounding the rock serve as a testament to the fortress's formidable defense. Next, you'll visit the magnificent Dambulla Cave Temple, the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock rises 160 meters above the surrounding area and houses over 80 caves. Among these caves, five contain fascinating statues and murals that depict the life of Gautama Buddha. The caves boast 153 Buddha statues, three Sri Lankan king statues, and statues of various gods and goddesses, including Vishnu and Ganesha. The stunning murals, covering an area of 2,100 square meters, add to the temple's grandeur. With the Dambulla Cave Temple exploration complete, it's time to head back to your hotel, where you started this incredible journey. The memories of your day spent exploring the historical wonders of Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the cultural richness of Dambulla Cave Temple will surely stay with you for a lifetime. After the Sigiriya & Dambulla adventure, you'll enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before leave back to your hotel

Sigiriya, Dambulla & Minneriya day tour

4. Sigiriya, Dambulla & Minneriya day tour

Experience the ultimate Sri Lankan adventure with our Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Minneriya National Park one-day tour. Travel in style and comfort with a licensed guide and a climate-controlled vehicle, exploring ancient sites and immersing yourself in the country's natural beauty. Your adventure begins with a visit to the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 5th century AD. Enjoy stunning views as you hike to the top of the fortress, passing through ancient frescoes and mirror walls along the way. Next, we'll take you to the Dambulla Cave Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses numerous statues and paintings depicting the life of Lord Buddha and his teachings. Admire the serene beauty of these sacred caves and learn about the ancient religious beliefs and practices of Sri Lanka. The tour culminates at the Minneriya National Park, where you'll enjoy an open-air 4x4 jeep safari in search of elephants, the park's most magnificent inhabitants. Get up close and personal with these gentle giants and observe the park's diverse wildlife, including a plethora of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The picturesque landscape includes a beautiful lake surrounded by jungle, making the tour a wonderful opportunity to relax and unwind amidst the breathtaking nature of Sri Lanka. Throughout the tour, you'll have the expert guidance of a licensed guide to provide you with deep insights into Sri Lanka's rich cultural heritage, its fascinating history, and diverse wildlife. The tour also includes transportation in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle and a delicious lunch to offer you the most pleasurable memories. This tour package is ideal for travelers seeking an intense cultural and nature experience within a short time. With #srilankabycar, the possibilities for adventure and exploration are endless. Join us on this incredible journey to experience the best of Sri Lanka's rich heritage, stunning landscapes, and wildlife diversity. Book now and discover why Sri Lanka is known as the land of wonder!

Polonnaruwa: Explore by Tuk-Tuk Tour

5. Polonnaruwa: Explore by Tuk-Tuk Tour

Begin the tour at 8:30 with hotel pickup, and travel on to Polonnaruwa, which remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country, and was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982. Shift from the past to the present while wandering through these impressive sites, explore well-preserved dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings, and stunningly beautiful statues. Enjoy a tuk-tuk ride around the Sea of Parakrama, a vast 12th-century man-made water reservoir that is also one of the main highlights of this wonderful ancient city. Visit one of the best-kept ancient cities in the country, with many sights and monuments in a small area, and make the most of a trip to Sri Lanka. Return to the hotel following the end of the tour.

Colombo: 3-Day Cultural Triangle 5 UNESCO Heritage Site Tour

6. Colombo: 3-Day Cultural Triangle 5 UNESCO Heritage Site Tour

Day 1 Explore the important historical monuments in Sri Lanka on this 3 days tour while visiting ancient Buddhist temples, museums, palaces, gardens, Buddha statues, and many more. Embark on an exciting and very rare 3-day cultural tour of Sri Lanka's holiest, the Cultural Triangle. Explore 5 UNESCO-listed sites where important historical monuments are to be found. Visit cultural triangle cities including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Kandy. Stay overnight at a hotel in Sigiriya between private-guided sightseeing ventures. Get picked up in Colombo and head to your hotel in Sigiriya via Anuradhapura, the oldest city in Sri Lanka. The first activity of the 3 days tour is the hop-on hop-off city tour of the historical city of Anuradhapura. The tour covers a large number of historical places such as Buddhist temples, dagobas, palaces, gardens, and other remarkable structures in the city testify to the grandeur of ancient civilization. The city tour also includes the most sacred 8 Buddhist sites in the city, better known as "Atamasthana", Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanwelisaya, Thuparamaya, Lovamahapaya, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Jetavanarama, Mirisaveti Stupa, and Lankarama. Later in the day settle in for a good night's sleep at your hotel in Sigiriya. Day 2 After breakfast leave for the Sigiriya rock fortress, home to one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Your Sigiriya tour starts early morning, allowing you to escape the mid-day heat. Climb the rock and reach the summit to see the site of the King's palace, swimming pool, and king's throne. Soak up in the breathtaking scenery from the top of the pinnacle. Later drive to Polonnaruwa and see the dozens of ancient temples, Buddha statues, and many ancient structures built by ancient Kings. Witness massive stone-cut Buddha statues, dagobas, an audience hall, and much more at the cultural museum of Polonnaruwa. Later in the day Minneriya safari on an open jeep. Enhance your experience with a wildlife safari at Minneriya National Park. Spot wild elephants, bears, wild boar, deer, buffalo, monkeys, and maybe even a leopard. Stay overnight in Sigiriya. Day 3 Depart early for Colombo via Kandy, visiting a spice/herbal garden en route. In Matale, spices and herbs are used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medicine. Hear about this history as you explore the site with your guide. Later visit Dambulla Golden Temple and Tooth Relic Temple are sure to add another level of sacrosanctity to your experience. Dambulla hosts more than 150 Buddha statues and a large number of ancient murals. The next stop will be Kandy city. Today Kandy is one of Sri Lanka's most important cities because of the presence of the temple of the sacred tooth of the Buddha. This is the most visited Buddhist temple on the island, frequented by thousands of devotees every day. Return to your hotel in Colombo.

From colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Private Full-Day Tour

7. From colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Private Full-Day Tour

The one-day tour you're looking for includes visits to Dhambulla Golden Cave Temple, Sigiriya, and a village tour, with a stop at Minnariya National Park. The tour begins by heading to Dhambulla Golden Cave Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This temple complex is located in the town of Dhambulla and is known for its stunning cave temples. Inside the caves, you'll find a collection of beautifully preserved ancient Buddhist statues and intricate wall paintings. After exploring Dhambulla Golden Cave Temple, the tour proceeds to Sigiriya, also known as the "Lion Rock." Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress situated on top of a large rock plateau. As you ascend to the top, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The site also features the remnants of an ancient palace, water gardens, and frescoes that depict celestial maidens known as the "Sigiriya Maidens." Next, the tour takes you on a village tour, providing an opportunity to experience the traditional Sri Lankan way of life. You'll visit a local village and have the chance to interact with the locals, learn about their customs, and witness traditional activities like farming and cooking. This immersive experience will give you a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Finally, the tour concludes with a visit to Minnariya National Park. This park is famous for its large population of wild elephants and is known as one of the best places in Sri Lanka for elephant sightings. You'll embark on a thrilling jeep safari through the park, allowing you to get up close to these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Apart from elephants, Minnariya National Park is also home to various other wildlife species such as deer, buffaloes, crocodiles, and a wide variety of bird species. This one-day tour provides a perfect blend of cultural exploration, natural beauty, and wildlife encounters, giving you a comprehensive experience of Sri Lanka's rich heritage and natural wonders.

Dambulla: Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya All-Inclusive Tour

8. Dambulla: Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya All-Inclusive Tour

First of all you'll be picked up from your hotel in Dambulla, Sigiriya or Habarana and driven to Polonnaruwa, before arriving at Polonnaruwa ancient city to discover the ruins. Polonnaruwa is the ancient heart of Sri Lanka, and an important royal capital with its well-preserved 12th century ruins and impressive stone culture. Although nearly 1,000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura - Sri Lanka's first capital - and generally in better repair. The monuments are arranged in a reasonably compact garden setting and their development is easier to follow. Afterwards, you will arrive to a local restaurant for lunch, before exploring the wondrous Rock Fortress of Sigirya. This place is famous for its toadstool of golden-hued granite, protruding into the searing blue sky from a hot, flat wilderness of scrubland, which is transformed in the rainy season to a water garden. In the 5th century, King Kashyapa domesticated the Lions Rock, by building a palace atop its summit. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history. Thereafter, you will be dropped off at your hotel in Dambulla/Sigiriya/Habarana .

Minneriya National Park Privet Wildlife Tour

9. Minneriya National Park Privet Wildlife Tour

Welcome to our thrilling wildlife tour at Minneriya National Park, where you'll embark on an unforgettable adventure into the heart of Sri Lanka's untamed wilderness. Get ready to witness the mesmerizing spectacle of the annual Minneriya Elephant Gathering, a breathtaking natural phenomenon that brings together hundreds of majestic elephants in one location. As you delve into the park's diverse ecosystem, you'll encounter a plethora of other fascinating wildlife, from elusive leopards and sloth bears to colorful birds and endemic reptiles. Our expert guides will lead you on a safari through the park's verdant landscapes, ensuring you have a safe and enriching experience while witnessing some of the most extraordinary wildlife encounters of your life. Summary of Main Activity: The main activity of this wildlife tour is the safari through Minneriya National Park, primarily focused on observing the awe-inspiring Minneriya Elephant Gathering, where hundreds of elephants gather near the Minneriya Tank during the dry season. This phenomenon provides a unique opportunity to witness these gentle giants up close and study their natural behavior. Tour Highlights: Minneriya Elephant Gathering: Experience the unparalleled wonder of observing a massive congregation of elephants, as they interact, bathe, and forage, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle. Diverse Wildlife: Encounter an array of fascinating creatures, including leopards, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, and a wide variety of bird species such as painted storks, pelicans, eagles, and kingfishers. Lush Landscapes: Immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of Minneriya National Park, with its lush greenery, picturesque landscapes, and serene water bodies. Expert Guides: Our knowledgeable and experienced guides will provide insights into the wildlife and ecosystem, ensuring you gain a deeper appreciation for the animals and their habitats. Responsible Tourism: We prioritize ethical and sustainable practices, ensuring that our tours have minimal impact on the environment and wildlife. Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning moments of wildlife in their natural habitat, creating lasting memories of your extraordinary adventure. Join us on this extraordinary wildlife tour at Minneriya National Park, and let the magic of nature's wonders unfold before your eyes. Discover the untamed beauty of Sri Lanka's wilderness and create memories that will stay with you forever.

From Colombo: 8-Day Private Tour of Sri Lanka with Transport

10. From Colombo: 8-Day Private Tour of Sri Lanka with Transport

Day 1: Airport to Sigiriya / Dambulla welcome by our English-speaking driver from hotels at Colombo and drive to Sigiriya on the way Visiting Dambulla Golden cave temple Evening Minneriya, Kaudulla, or Hurulu Eco national parks 4x4 safari according to Elephant’s availability Overnight at Sigiriya Day 2: Sigiriya to Kandy Earlier morning climb Sigiriya Rock before sun become rough which is suitable for pictures and climbing to the top and back to the hotel for breakfast after driving to Kandy on the way, Nalanda Gedige, Mathale Spice garden (only for a visit), Gem Museum and Workshop, & Hindu temple later Kandy city tour Evening View the traditional Kandyan Cultural Dance Performance and Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic Overnight at Kandy Day 3: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya After breakfast, drive to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya (Kandy) Later to Nuwaraeliya on the way Ramboda Falls, Tea Plantation, and Tea Factory after that Nuwara Eliya City Tour Overnight at Nuwara Eliya Day 4: Nuwara Eliya to Ella After Breakfast Drive to Visit Gregory Lake and Victoria Park Garden after 12.40 train ride to Ella do the gorgeous panoramic view train Evening Climbing Little Adam’s peak Ella Overnight at Ella Day 5: Ella to Tissamaharama / Yala National Park After Breakfast Drive to Tissamaharama on the way visiting Rawana waterfall and Buduruwagala Rock Temple Evening 4x4 Safari in Yala National Park Safari (most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean) Overnight at Tissamaharama Day 6: Tissamaharama to Mirissa After breakfast drive to Mirissa on the visit snake farm Evening Leisure at the beach resort. Overnight at Mirissa Day 07: Mirissa Earlier morning 6.30 AM whale watching from Mirissa. come back to hotel and travel to Bentota and visit Sea Turtle Hatchery & Rescue Center and Later visit Galle Dutch Fort (Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards) and Madu river boat safari Leisure at the beach resort. Overnight at Mirissa Day 8: Time to Say Bye Mirissa to Colombo or Negombo Wake up to a freshly-prepared breakfast at the hotel and then get ready to check out as it’s time to say ‘Goodbye’ to Sri Lanka. You will be transferred to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo or Negombo for your onward journey back home

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What people are saying about North Central Province

Aaron was very professional and made sure that we were comfortable throughout the trip, and also stopped at a cafe because we had not had any breakfast before the trip started. He also suggested different places to go to besides the two trips and recommended suggestions for us to do in Colombo. Strongly recommend this trip and Aaron as a tour guide!

Very reliable tour pickup operator. No drama, I been contacted via WhatsApp 1 day before , driver was already at my hotel lobby 15 mnt before the pick up time. Good condition and nice car and the driver are polite and good at communication and everything are clear and reliable. Must book when you are in Colombo

CJ was on time. Speaks good english and knows the area very well. He was very helpful and pleasant. Everything went as planned. Sigiriya is awesome. Prepare yourself for climbing the stairs! Great history in Dumbulla. Recommended.

Had excellent time, tour operators are second to none Driver Chris excellent fit for the job we are lucky to have him as driver and guide Me and my wife thanked Chris thousand times

It was a nice day spent in Sigiriya and Dambulla. Very flexible upon request. Good experience that I recommend