From Negombo, you’ll be taken into the heart of the country to Dambulla, where you’ll spend two nights at the magical hideaways of Jetwing Vil Uyana
. Completely surrounded by sprawling paddy fields yet risen above the wetlands by stilts, you’ll be immediately enveloped by the wonder and tranquillity of the Cultural Triangle, as well as having beautiful views of the Sigiriya rock fortress. Again you’ll be ideally placed to explore the region, so grab a bike from the hotel and cycle along the rows of rice paddies to have leisure picnics while bird watching for lily trotters, white breasted water hens, egrets and kingfishers.
During your stay, you’ll be taken on a tour of Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress that stands nearly 200m high. Once the royal citadel in the 5th
century and used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th
century, the colossal column of rock is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. With the guide, you’ll climb up the steps, passing ancient walls decorated with frescoes, to the summit of the rock for superb views across the country. Next, you’ll be taken to the Minneriya National Park, which is the best place in the country to see wild elephants in large numbers, sometimes reaching numbers of 200 or more at one time.