Arrive at the Bandaranaike International airport, Katunayake. You will be met and assisted on arrival and transferred to Negombo and check in at the hotel. (10 km, approx. 15 mins drive)
Breakfast at the hotel. Commence sightseeing in Negombo. Visit the Negombo Fishing Village. This little fishing port is a pleasure for the eyes with its fort and canals of the Dutch era. But still more interesting are the beautiful beaches where the fishermen live in houses made of coconut palm leaves and dry the fish they caught earlier that day. The colored boats and the outrigger- canoes or Oruvas sweeping in to the lagoon with their catch, the fish market, the old Dutch churches that dot the landscape & canals that stretch for hundreds of kilometers are fascinating. It is worthwhile to go on a boat trip to the lagoon or one of the old canals dating back to the Dutch colonization.
Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Negombo
After breakfast at the hotel, Leave for Yapahuwa. (122 km, approx. 3 hour drive) The rock fortress of Yapahuwa, a splendid testament left behind from the 13th century. Atop a hill that climbs 200 metres high, the climb highlights masonry of ornate and exquisite nature. From the rock lions to the carved rock that deck the steps, the arch on the top is a welcoming sight. The seat of government in the 13th century, Subhaabbota ruled the military from the Yapahuwa fortress. With vistas until the eyes can see, it is the best vantage point to check oncoming troupes, which was what was done. When the Sacred Tooth Relic arrived from Dambadeniya, it was placed at Yapahuwa. A secure rock fortress, it is said to have two sets of moats, and in the midst of the inner and outer ramparts lay the city. When here, a visit to the Yapahuwa Temple is a must. Thereafter, leave for Anuradhapura. (166 km, approx. 4 hour drive) On arrival in Anuradhapura, check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Anuradhapura.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the sacred ancient city founded in the 04th century B.C a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982. It has the largest number of ancient monuments of the great Sinhala civilization which flourished in this region. You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest dagobas of Sri Lanka, Ruwanweliseya dagoba, 2nd century BC with its famous elephant walls and the 3rd century BC Thuparama dagoba. Ruins of ancient royal palaces specially the pillars of the Brazen Palace, which once had nine storey’s, temples, the image of the Samadhi Buddha one of the finest pieces of Buddhist sculpture, monasteries, the twin ponds, guard stones and the moonstone. The ‘Sri Maha Bodhi’ or the sacred Bo tree is over 2200 years old grown from a branch of the very tree under which “The Buddha” attained enlightenment – the oldest historically documented tree in the world.
Visit the ancient remains of Mihintale, (13 km, approx. ½ hour drive) a sacred place which is regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is dotted with shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1840 steps made of granite slabs, 5 meters wide leads to the summit with its splendid views of the surrounding countryside.
Leave for Habarana, (58 km, approx. 2 hour drive) a small village with excellent hotel accommodation which is a central location for all the ancient city sites. On arrival in Habarana, check in at the hotel.
Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana.