Sigiriya
Activities

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Our most recommended Sigiriya Activities

Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

1. Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

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 Kasyapa 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.

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Sigiriya: Rock Fortress Guided Walking Tour

2. Sigiriya: Rock Fortress Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a guided walking tour of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of the most important attractions on Sri Lanka's cultural triangle. In the company of an experienced guide, explore the fort and its important historical monuments. During the tour, discover the most important areas in the fort complex and enjoy a detailed and informative commentary about each area from your guide. Start your walking tour at a picturesque miniature water garden and finish at the eastern gate of the Sigiriya archaeological site. Along the way, visit miniature water gardens, swimming pools, and boulder gardens. You will also have the opportunity to admire fresco paintings, the 'Lion's Paw' and other ruins at the summit of the rock.

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From Colombo: Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle 2-Day Tour

3. From Colombo: Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle 2-Day Tour

Begin the tour by meeting your tour leader in Colombo and set off for the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. After exploring the history museum of Polonnaruwa, discover the ruins of the ancient city. Later, check in to a 3-star hotel in Sigiriya for your overnight stay.  The next morning, enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Set off for the Dambulla golden cave temple which was the site where a king of Anuradhapura took refuge from the South Induan invasion in the 1st-century BC. Learn about how when the king recaptured the region 13 years later, he converted the caves into a monastery and gifted it to the Buddhist monks. After this, head over to the ancient Sigiriya Rock, where a 5th-century prince who had committed patricide made it his hideout. Also make a stop at the Pidurangala ancient cave temple. At the end of the tour you will be returned to Colombo and dropped off at the start point.

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From Kandy: Sigiriya Rock, Village Tour and Minneriya Park

4. 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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From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

5. From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

After getting picked up from your hotel in Bentota or Kalutara, begin the 3-hour journey to the Sigirya rock fortress. Here you will discover the historical and cultural values of ancient Sri Lanka and get to witness the engineering skills and artistic capabilities of Sri Lankan artisans and engineers. Wander through this vast complex and admire the various palaces, pools, gardens, and paintings. Later, head to the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, which is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the world. Marvel at the beautiful Buddhist paintings and statues housed in this cave and see for yourself why it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, visit a spice garden where you can soak up the aromas of the various traditional spices grown here such as cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Head back to your hotel in the evening, just in time for dinner.

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Wasgamuwa: Wasgamuwa National Park Private 3-Hour Safari

6. Wasgamuwa: Wasgamuwa National Park Private 3-Hour Safari

Neighboring the historic city of Polonnaruwa, Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the precious national treasures of Sri Lanka. On a morning or afternoon 3-hour safari, discover the opulence of the flora and fauna in the dry tropical forest setting, overlooking the stunning landscape of the park. Enjoy a private safari ride while filling your lungs with the refreshing air and listening to the symphony of crickets and birds. Rest assured you will capture the sight of mighty elephants on this safari ride. The national park is also a home to a diverse range of mammals including leopard, sloth bear, purple-faced langur monkey, wild boar, sambar, spotted deer, buffalo, and endemic yellow fronted barbet. Small water pools scattered throughout the national park are rich habitats for a diversity of aquatic life including water monitor, crocodile, python, and various beautiful aquatic birds. Wildlife lovers will be provided clear sights of the wildlife surrounding the pools, offering a world of opportunities to capture extraordinary photographs to take home. The ideal time to visit the park is during November to May, which guarantees you the largest herds of elephants. For those who are planning to explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa and Dambulla, an exciting and adventurous safari ride to Wasgamuwa National Park is an absolute must.

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From Colombo: All Inclusive Sigiriya and Dambulla Tour

7. From Colombo: All Inclusive Sigiriya and Dambulla Tour

Begin your 14-hour tour with an early-morning drive to Sigiriya. When you arrive, climb the Sigiriya Rock fortress, considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World. In the 5th century, King Kashyapa built a palace atop the rock. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history. Stop to enjoy a restaurant lunch before heading to Dambulla. Visit the UNESCO-listed cave temple built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. It is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of 5 caves features more than 2,000 square meters of painted walls and ceilings. See 150 images of the Buddha, of which the largest is a 14-meter-high image carved out of the rock.

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From Kandy: "Ethos of Ceylon" 2-Day Cultural Triangle Tour

8. From Kandy: "Ethos of Ceylon" 2-Day Cultural Triangle Tour

Embark on a 2-day guided tour of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle as well as one of its most famous National Parks. Immerse yourself in the ancient history of this region and get to know life as a villager.    Day 1: Kandy – Polonnaruwa – Minneriya – Sigiriya Start your journey with pickup from your Kandy hotel at 6:30 AM in an air-conditioned vehicle and head to Polonnaruwa to visit the Ancient Kingdom. Walk through the ruins of this city that flourished between the 10th and 13th century AD. View important monuments such as Gal Vihara, Vatadage, the lotus bath, Lankathilaka Temple, and the statue of King Parakramabahu, whose reign was considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa. Get to know more about Sri Lanka’s ancient history before heading to Minneriya National Park. In the park, take a 3-hour safari to catch glimpses of over 150 elephants, who congregate in one place during the dry season (May to October). As well as elephants, you’ll see many other mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians in the scrublands, forests, and other areas. Head to your hotel in Sigiriya to check in.   Day 2: Sigiriya – Kandy After breakfast at the hotel, check out and visit Sigiriya’s “Lion Rock” Fortress. Climb to the 5th-century rock fortress where King Kasyapa ruled. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion and view the beautiful unfaded murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns. As you walk through the tunnels leading to the palace you’re sure to get a feeling for times long past.  Afterwards, go on a village tour to experience the world from the view of a village farmer. Go on an oxen cart ride and enjoy a relaxing catamaran safari across a calm lake. Walk through the golden fields, ripe with their harvest before enjoying a home-cooked lunch, made over a wood-fire and served on fragrant lotus leaves. After this unique, immerse experience, you’ll be taken back to your hotel in Kandy.

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From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Full-Day Private Tour

9. From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Full-Day Private Tour

Explore two of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO-listed highlights on a privately guided day trip to Dambulla and the Sigiriya Rock from Colombo. Start with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Colombo. Make your first stop at the Dambulla Cave Temple. View Sri Lanka’s countryside and villages as you journey to the atmospheric Dambulla Cave Temple, a Cliffside cave complex packed with Buddha images and frescoes. Enter 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. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King, and the Great New Monastery. See the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex. Go to Sigiriya to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climb the 5th century AD rock fortress, Sigiriya, where King Kassapa ruled. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion that is quite appropriate for its name, the Lion Rock. View the beautiful unfading murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns. Go through the tunnels leading to the palace as you get a feel for times long past.

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From Dambulla: Sigiriya Rock, Village, and Minneriya Tour

10. From Dambulla: Sigiriya Rock, Village, and Minneriya Tour

See Sigiriya Rock Fortress, visit a local village, and go on a two-hour safari ride: with this tour you’ll make the most of a full day in Sri Lanka.   Start your tour at 8:30 AM with pickup at your hotel in Dambulla and head to your first destination, 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. At the top, you’ll be able to take in unforgettable views of the surrounding moats, water gardens, and quiet shrines.   Follow this experience with a tour of a local village, where you can take an oxen cart ride and experience the world from the view of a village farmer. Take a relaxing catamaran ride through a calm lake and walk through golden fields ripe with their harvest. Finally, watch a cooking demonstration that teaches you the basics of Sri Lankan cuisine, and taste the results for lunch if you choose.   Finish your day with a 2-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 Dambulla at around 6:00 PM.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Sigiriya

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What people are saying about Sigiriya

Very nice day tour. The temple in Dambulla is very worth seeing. The Löwenfels is also worth a visit, but admission is expensive. My driver tried very hard and explained a lot. He also stopped at many vantage points and responded to individual requests.

CJ was a fantastic, knowledgeable guide who patiently answered all my questions. He went out of his way to ensure my comfort and convienience. The trek up to the top was absolutely worth it! One of my highlights in Sri Lanka.

This is a must do activity in Sri Lanka. Amazing view of endless nature in Sigiriya, but also a lot of other small activities on the way there and back.

The Tour was really good and the driver gave a lot of explanations and was very friendly. I recommend this tour, I had a very nice day.

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