Kandy
Activities

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Our most recommended Kandy Activities

Colombo: Colombo Airport (CMB) and Kandy City Transfer

1. Colombo: Colombo Airport (CMB) and Kandy City Transfer

Enjoy a relaxing and comfortable private transfer between Sri Lanka's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) and your hotel in Kandy. Your chauffeur will meet and greet you at the airport arrival lobby, holding a placard displaying your name for easier identification. From there, your chauffeur will proceed with escorting you and your luggage to your vehicle (Toyota Prius/Toyota Allion/Toyota Premio/Toyota KDH Mini/Toyota KDH/Honda Vezel/Honda Fit Shuttle). If you are unable to locate your chauffeur, a support team will be on hand which you can contact 24/7. The journey will take approximately 3-4 hours depending on the traffic and weather conditions, and covers a total distance of 226 kilometers. Your driver will take the safest and most comfortable route for the journey, using their expertise to limit the travel time. You can feel free to let you chauffeur know in case you need to stop for refreshments or emergencies, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be assisted with your luggage before being bid farewell.

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Kandy: Temples, Gardens & Cultural Show City Highlights Tour

2. Kandy: Temples, Gardens & Cultural Show City Highlights Tour

Enjoy a full day of Kandyan culture that takes you from gardens to temples to a cultural show. Start your day with hotel pickup at 9:00 AM in Kandy and head to your first stop, the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. These gardens have a long history dating back to the British Era, and were used during WWII as Allied Forces Headquarters for the Asian Region. Now, the garden houses thousands of beautiful plant species, so you’ll want to spend the full 2 hours allocated here wandering the gardens.   Afterwards, continue on to visit the Sri Maha Bodhi Vihara in Bahiravakanda. This monastery on a hill is used as a meeting center for National and International Buddhist Relations, and boasts a giant Buddha statue that can be seen from all over Kandy. Climb up to reach a viewpoint that gives you the ultimate panoramic views of Kandy and take some photos.   Return to Kandy for lunch, where you’ll be given approximately an hour of free time. In the afternoon, visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temple of the Tooth. This temple has a burgeoning history spanning several centuries and is the home of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. Formerly a palace complex for Kandyan kings, these beautiful buildings show their royal roots through their architecture.  At 4:30, enjoy a spectacular Kandy Cultural Show, which will give you the opportunity to watch various traditional Kandyan dances and acts, such as the demon dance, the fire dance, and much more. Once the show is over, you’ll be returned to your hotel at around 5:30, completing this full day.

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From Kandy: Sigiriya Rock, Village Tour and Minneriya Park

3. From Kandy: Sigiriya Rock, Village Tour and Minneriya Park

Start your tour at 6:30 AM with pickup from your hotel in Kandy. The first stop on your itinerary will be the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. which you will reach at approximately 9:00 AM. Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, where you will discover spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning. Climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top of the ruins. Pass a series of frescoes and a pair of colossal lion's paws carved into the bedrock. Marvel at the surrounding landscape of lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens, and quiet shrines that surround the site. After visiting the fortress, proceed to a local village in Sigiriya to experience a village tour. Get a chance to go on an oxen cart ride, and experience the world from the view of a local farmer. Afterwards, take a relaxing catamaran safari through a calm lake. Stroll through the golden fields ripe with their harvest of paddy. Watch a traditional cooking demonstration, that teaches you the basics of Sri Lankan cuisine. Delight your taste buds with a home-cooked lunch; made over a wood-fire and served on fragrant lotus leaves placed over woven trays.  After experiencing the village life of Sri Lanka, travel onwards to Minneriya National Park to go on safari. See the famous Sri Lankan elephants, rare bird species, saltwater crocodiles, Indian pythons, and an abundance of flora and fauna. On completion of the jeep safari at approximately 6:00 PM and return to your hotel in Kandy, stopping along the way for dinner, at your own expense.

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Colombo or Negombo: Temple of the Tooth Kandy Day Trip

4. Colombo or Negombo: Temple of the Tooth Kandy Day Trip

Your day will begin with pickup from your Colombo or Negombo hotel from where you will transfer to Kandy. En route to Kandy you will visit a tea factory and a tea plantation. You will later visit the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden, which was formed by Alexandar Moon in 1821 during the British colonial period. He used the garden for coffee and cinnamon plants, and the garden includes more than 4,000 species of plants including orchids, spices, medicinal plants, and palm trees. Following the gardens you will enjoy lunch at a recommended restaurant, after which you will visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. This is the site that Lord Buddha’s sacred tooth relic calls home. The Kandy Temple of Tooth Relic is the most sacred and venerated temple in Sri Lanka, and is a must-see when visiting Sri Lanka. You will then enjoy a Kandy city tour which will include time for shopping. Following that you will transfer back to Colombo to be dropped off at your Colombo or Negombo hotel.

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Kandy: Sigiriya Fortress & Cave Temple All-Inclusive Tour

5. Kandy: Sigiriya Fortress & Cave Temple All-Inclusive Tour

Following early morning pick-up from your hotel in Kandy, travel by chauffeur-driven vehicle to Sigiriya. Upon arrival, climb the rock fortress of golden-hued granite, chosen by King Kasyapa at the site for his new capital. Get stunning views of the surrounding plains, which in the rainy season can turn into a delightful water garden. Continue to the Dambulla cave temple complex, built by the 1st-century King Walagambahu as a site of worship after his exile from Anuradhapura. Enjoy lunch before the drive back to Kandy, and stop at the spice garden in Matale en route. 

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From Kandy: The Temple Run Tour

6. From Kandy: The Temple Run Tour

Spend a day immersed in Sri Lankan history: see a series of very different temples in the morning, followed by a visit to the sacred Temple of the Tooth. After pickup from your hotel at 8:00 AM, head to your first stop: Embekke Temple. Admire the exquisitely-carved wood panels that cover the pillars, walls, and roof of this unique temple. Then, leave for Gadaladeniya Vihara, a temple built just before Embekke in the early 14th century. Feast your eyes on the magnificent giant golden Buddha statue. Your next stop will be Lankatilaka Temple, built in the same period as the Gadaladeniya Temple by the same king. Admire the temple's palace-like architecture; the image house is especially beautiful.   Next, head to Degaldoruwa Cave Temple, a temple built into a cave in a large rock. See the colorful Buddhist paintings from the Kandyan era which entirely cover the inside of the temple. After soaking in these fascinating and beautiful temples, head back to Kandy City at around 1:00 PM. Back in Kandy, break for lunch at the restaurant of your choice. Afterward, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temple of the Tooth. This temple was once a royal palace complex and houses what is said to be a tooth of Buddha. Discover the complex's royal roots with white, gold, and wooden architecture. Get dropped off back at your hotel at 5:00 PM, just in time for dinner.

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From Kandy: Mahiyanganya and Dambana Day Trip

7. From Kandy: Mahiyanganya and Dambana Day Trip

Begin you tour at 7:00 AM with a pickup from your guide. First, drive along the famous 18 Bend Road to Mahiyangana. 18 Bend Road is known for being one of the most dangerous and spectacular roads in the world. While the recent road renovations have widened the road therefor reducing the danger factor, it still remains an amazing experience with dramatic views over the valley of Mahiyangana. Your first stop lies within the valley and is of great archaeological value. Sorabora Wewa, also known as the Sea of Bintenna, is an ancient reservoir believed to have been constructed over two millennia ago. Created by damming Diyawanna Oya with a 485-meter embankment, the reservoir uses the natural rock around it to its advantage to form a channel that acts as a sluice gate. Observe this unique sluice gate as you walk along the embankment. Afterward, head to Ulhitiya Reservoir, one of the most important reservoirs in the area. Formed by the damming of Ulhitiya Oya, it is a tributary of Mahaweli River. After learning more about the history of this reservoir, continue on to Mahiyangana. Reach this historic city at about 9:30 AM. Hear about how Mahiyangana is said to be the site of Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. Visit Mahiyangana Temple and learn about its history and development starting from before 543 BC to the present day. See how the temple continues to be a place of tranquility and peace.  At approximately 10:00 AM start your hike to the Dambana Veddah village. Arrive after about 30-minutes and be introduced to the community of locals and see their rustic homes and lifestyles. Learn how these tribes hunt and farm to sustain themselves. Have the opportunity to join a short hunt if you desire or examine their longbows and arrows.   Leave the village at 12:30 PM and return to Mahiyangana. Have some lunch before returning to your hotel, arriving at about 3:00 PM.

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Kandy: All-Inclusive Afternoon City Tour

8. Kandy: All-Inclusive Afternoon City Tour

Your tour begins as you are picked up from your hotel at 1:30PM for an unforgettable afternoon in the city of Kandy. You will first visit the Peradeniya Botanical Garden, which is renowned for bundles of varieties of plants including orchids, spices, medicinal plants, and palm trees. At 4:00PM you will enjoy an upper lake drive, also enjoying the birds-eye view of Kandy before proceeding to a Kandyan cultural center. It is at this cultural center that you will enjoy a memorable cultural show, which starts at 4:30PM. At 6:00PM you will visit the Kandy Temple where you will attend the Pooja Ceremony. Offerings of flowers will be laid before the sacred tooth’s chamber, prayers will fill the room, and drummers will fill the air with rhythmic song. People will also line up for the chance to catch a glimpse of the golden case up close. Following this spiritual experience, you will be returned to your hotel at which point your tour will end.

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From Kandy: Ancient Heritage of Sri Lanka 2-Day Guided Tour

9. From Kandy: Ancient Heritage of Sri Lanka 2-Day Guided Tour

Embark on a 2-day tour of Sri Lanka’s cultural history, including one of its most famous National Parks. Explore the sacred city of Anuradhapura, Dambulla Golden Cave Temple, and Wilpattu National Park.   Day 1: Kandy – Dambulla – Anuradhapura Start your journey at 7:00 AM with hotel pickup in Kandy. Hop into an air-conditioned vehicle and head for Dambulla to your first stop: the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Marvel at the hundreds of Buddha figurines and other deities scattered across the 5 main caves. You’ll also see the giant golden Buddha statue just a little distance outside the cave complex and hear the tales of this ancient kingdom.   Afterwards, head to Anuradhapura where you’ll check into your hotel for a short rest. In the evening, explore the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, which served as the country’s capital for over a millennium until the 10th century AD. See its pagodas, monastic buildings, and ponds scattered over a vast area. Visit important landmarks, like Jetavanarama, one of the tallest buildings of the ancient world; the Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment; and the huge Abhayagiri Monastery. Learn about the fascinating history of this region as you walk in the footsteps of kings.   Day 2: Anuradhapura – Wilpattu – Kandy Early in the morning, head to Wilpattu National Park for a jeep safari. Feel the call of the wild as you catch sight of the elusive Sri Lankan leopard—this National Park is believed to have the highest concentration of leopards in the entire world. See hundreds of other types of wildlife such as deer, buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles, and rare birds. Get the photographs of a lifetime of these curious creatures.   After the safari, return to your hotel for a short rest before setting off again for a visit to Mihintale Rock. This is the place where Buddhism began in Sri Lanka, the spot where King Devanampiyatissa and Monk Mahina met. View the monastic ruins at the foot of the mountain and walk in the footsteps of Mahina as you visit the cave where he lived. See historic stupas (commemorative monuments) as you wander the ruins of an age long past, helping you to understand its impact on the history and current state of Sri Lanka. After this final visit, you’ll head back to your hotel in Kandy.

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From Colombo: Private 2-Day Sri Lanka Highlights Trip

10. From Colombo: Private 2-Day Sri Lanka Highlights Trip

Start your private tour around the magical island of Sri Lanka at Colombo International Airport. Meet your knowledgeable local driver and guide and get transported to your hotel in Colombo. Get a good night's sleep before embarking on your tour. After breakfast the following morning, head to an elephant orphanage in a small village and meet some of the gentle giants native to Sri Lanka. Learn how the center rehabilitates young elephants who have been displaced and readies them for re-entry to their natural habitat. Then head to the city of Kandy to tour a spice and herb garden. Get to know some of the most important local spices, including coriander, chili, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, and their uses. Afterwards, check out the fruits of some other local industries, including gem crafting, woodcarving, and batik. Finally, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was built in the 16th century as the place of veneration and protection for Buddha’s sacred tooth. Walk through the beautifully embellished passageways and elaborate halls painted in red, cream, and black. Lounge against delicately carved pillars and marvel at the assortment of golden statues while your guide explains the historical and artistic significance of the temple. Return to your Colombo hotel afterwards.  On your second day, journey first to a turtle hatchery on the island's southwestern coast. Come face to face with these fascinating creatures and learn about their intricate life cycle. Then head to the Madu River for a boat safari. Pass through secret passages created by the mangrove trees and let your guide introduce you to the wonders of this flourishing ecosystem. After, continue on to Galle and explore the ancient colonial city where the Portuguese and Dutch made their headquarters at various points in history. Return to your hotel in Colombo. After breakfast, check out from the hotel and get transported back to the Colombo airport if you'll be leaving Sri Lanka after the tour.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kandy

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What people are saying about Kandy

Amazing memories for lifetime!

This was the most expensive activity we purchased on our trip (125 EUR/person) and so we were a bit hesitant at the beginning. Retrospectively we can say that it paid off. First, the service of Beyond Escapes is super professional and we had few calls before we purchased. We needed to be picked up in Habarana instead of Kandy and we wanted to include Pidurangala Rock in the itinerary. Both were no problem at no additional costs. Our driver Suresh was taking care of us the whole day - excellent companion with fluent English. First stop Sigiriya with a local knowledgeable guide (make sure you are there at 7am!), then Pidurangala rock (highly recommend to do both!). Buffet all-you-can-eat lunch included (except drinks) and Suresh also took us to a silk factory on the way where we could try the typical Sri Lankan dresses, and showed us a video about gems mining in Sri Lanka - so interesting! Dambulla cave with a guide who could have better English, and Spice Garden at the end. Recommend.

Highly recommend!!! I was picked up on time. The trips were fast and safe. The guide Dhanushka was very friendly and responded to my wishes. I got a lot of useful informations about the tour and the sights. You really don't have to worry about anything anymore. That's how it should be on holiday. Thank you.

Great guide and interesting tour

We loved the tour that was not only containing what we booked (trip to Sigirya and Dambulla) but also small yet very interesting and insightful stops on a wood carving factory and a spice garden. Great tour and value for money.

great day, had a very knowledgable driver, great food and learned a lot about the people and the country.

Fantastic day, great knowledgeable and friendly guide, stunning scenery and beautiful food. Perfect!