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Private Tour of Dambulla, Sigiriya & Minneriya National Park

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Start your tour at 6.00 AM with pickup at your hotel in Negombo. And head to your first destination of Dambulla. Visit the renowned Dambulla Cave Temple Sri Lanka, one of the UNESCO heritage sites in Sri Lanka. And next travel to Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s most dramatic sight. Climb a series of narrow staircases to reach its top, passing frescoes and colossal statues of lion paws carved into the bedrock. Finish your day with a 3-hour safari ride through Minneriya National Park, home to elephants, 160 species of birds, deer, leopards, sloth bears, and more. At the end of a long but fulfilling day, you’ll be taken back to your hotel in Negombo.

Itinerary Details

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Dambulla Royal Cave Temple

The Dambulla Cave Temple also called the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Matale District, in the central province of Sri Lanka. It is the best-preserved and most extensive cave temple complex of the country comprising of five main caves, each possessing numerous statues of Lord Buddha, and some figures of kings and statues of Lord Vishnu. The Dambulla temples can be reached only on foot by climbing the Dambulla Rock. The climb offers a panoramic view of the flat lands below, and even if it may get tough for some, the temples and the viewpoints are worth the effort. The Dambulla Rock also offers a brilliant view of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The five rock caves of Dambulla have different names, and each of them holds a significance of their own embodied in the paintings and sculptures inside the cave. Each of the caves was built at different periods of Sri Lanka's history and will give one an insight into the evolving culture, and that is what makes it the most beautiful heritage site to visit.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Sigiriya The Ancient Rock Fortress

Sigiriya Rock or the Lion Rock is an ancient fort located in the Matale District in central Sri Lanka. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is in the Matale District of Central Sri Lanka and lies between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane at the height of 370 meters. It consists of a citadel and has ruins of palaces, the Lion Gate, gardens, moats, the Mirror Wall, and many beautiful frescoes (paintings made in wet plaster on walls). The place got its name from the Lion claws, carved at the entrance of the Lion Gate. The Sigiriya Rock Fortress is derived from two words - 'Simha' meaning Lion, and 'Giri' meaning Mountain. The site consists of the beautifully planned fortress, ruined halls, a citadel, the Mirror Wall, and many ancient paintings on the walls called 'Frescoes'. Beautiful gardens and moats surround this fortress. King Kashyapa built it after he shifted his capital to Sigiriya. The entire climb takes about an hour and has the most ethereal looking views of the land below. The climb is quite steep in some areas and is not recommended for the elderly.

Duration: 3 hour

Stop At:

Previously dedicated as a wildlife sanctuary, Minneriya was reclassified as a national park in 1997 in an effort to protect the wildlife in the area through the preservation of the Minneriya Tank; a huge reservoir covering over 4 acres. The reservoir is an important feeding and drinking ground for nearby elephant populations and is particularly crucial during Sri Lanka’s dry season when many of the smaller lakes and waterholes dry up. Despite the dry spells though, the park is evergreen with low-canopy forests, scrub-lands, grasslands and rocky outcrops making for some spectacular scenery year-round. Jeep safaris are the main activity at Minneriya National Park, which is home to 24 species of mammal including leopards, deer, sloth bears and two types of monkey that are native to Sri Lanka; the purple-faced langur and the toque macaque. Crocodiles, iguana and wild boar regularly make an appearance and, for bird spotters, there’s a whopping 160 species including pelicans, parrots, owls and eagles. The most famous and iconic mammal synonymous with the park however is the Sri Lankan elephant. Large herds of these beautiful elephants are attracted to the grass fields around the edges of the Minneriya Tank, with their numbers regularly reaching between 150-200, and some reports detailing as many as 700 during the dry season! Whether it’s the sheer number of them, or the sight of a baby elephant playing freely by the water, for an elephant lover this is an experience that will top the bucket list.

Duration: 3 hour