Sigiriya
Nature & Panorama

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Our most recommended Sigiriya Nature & Panorama

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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From Kandy: Sigiriya and Dambulla Private Day Tour

2. From Kandy: Sigiriya and Dambulla Private Day Tour

Take a full day excursion out to Sigiriya, where you'll visit two fascinating sites: the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a cave complex full of Buddhist imagery, and Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a massive column of rock turned into a fortress. After pickup at 7:00 AM from your hotel in Kandy, head out of the city towards the first site. On the way, admire Sri Lanka’s countryside and villages as you journey to this atmospheric cliff side cave complex packed with Buddhist imagery and frescoes.   Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, which dates back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Guatama Buddha. Admire the hundreds of figurines of the Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the 5 main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, the Cave of the Great King, and the Great New Monastery, as well as the giant golden Buddha statue just a little distance outside of the cave complex.   At noon, enjoy lunch at a restaurant of your choice before traveling approximately 45 minutes to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigirya 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. Climb the 5th-century rock fortress and walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion (which give the fortress its name, “The Lion Rock”). View the beautiful unfaded murals that brought Sigiriya its fame, climb the steep staircase to the terraced gardens, and walk through the tunnels throughout the palace. You’ll get an eerie feeling of times long past.   Finish your tour at 5:00 PM, at which point you’ll head back to Kandy to be dropped off at around 8:00 PM. Stop en route to have dinner at a restaurant of your choice.

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From Negombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip

3. From Negombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip

After being transported in private car with local English speaking tour guide from Negombo, you will reach your first destination: Sri Lanka's largest rock, Dambulla Cave Temple, which is built on a 600-foot high rock at an elevation of 1118 feet from sea level. It is home to the worlds most acclaimed cave complex of magnificent Buddha images and rock paintings of vivid colors and shapes from the 2nd-century BC to the Kandyan era of the 18th-century.  Your second visit is to Sigiriya Rock, a site of historical and archaeological significance dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 feet) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa for his new capital. Finish your day with a tour to see the crafts of the traditional artisans in Sigiriya, including wood carvers and batik makers. Learn about the process of their work and purchase some great souvenirs.  At the end of the trip, your guide will take you back to your hotel in Negombo.

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From Colombo: 4-Day Essence of Sri Lanka Heritage Tour

4. From Colombo: 4-Day Essence of Sri Lanka Heritage Tour

After pickup from your hotel in Colombo, Negombo or Mount Lavinia, drive to Dambulla. Visit the Dambulla Cave Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site then spend overnight in Sigiriya. On day two get an early start and drive to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Polonnaruwa. Take a cycling tour through the well-preserved ancient city to see the beautiful stupas or dagobas, moonstones, parks, buildings and stunning statues. In the afternoon, you will be taken to the 5th-century rock fortress of Sigiriya, regarded as one of the Wonders of World and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend overnight in Sigiriya.   On day three after leisurely breakfast, visit an archetypal Sri Lankan village. Experience a bullock cart ride, see traditional cultivation methods, enjoy a boat ride and an authentic Sri Lankan lunch at a village house. After lunch, continue to Kandy, stopping at a wood carving center and a spice garden in Matale. Upon arrival, take a city tour of Kandy including a visit to the temple of the sacred tooth relic, upper lake drive, the market square, and more. Spend overnight in Kandy.     After breakfast on the fourth day, you will depart from Kandy and be driven back to your hotel in Colombo, Negombo or Mount Lavinia, or dropped off at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

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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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Sri Lanka: 7-day Island Highlights Tour

6. Sri Lanka: 7-day Island Highlights Tour

Day 1 Meet your driver and proceed to your hotel in Dambulla. See the Dambulla Golden Cave Temple along the way. Dinner and overnight stay in Dambulla. Day 2 After a leisurely breakfast, visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Polonnaruwa historical city. Dinner and overnight stay in Dambulla. Day 3 After a leisurely breakfast, leave for Kandy. Visit a spice garden along the way. After arrival in Kandy, enjoy a sightseeing tour and visit the Tooth Relic Temple and Royal Botanical Garden. Dinner and overnight stay in Kandy. Day 4 After an early morning breakfast, head to the Kandy Railway Station and board the train for Nuwara Eliya. Stop to visit a tea plantation along the way. Dinner and overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya. Day 5 After the breakfast, head for Yala. Visit a waterfall and the Sita Temple along the way. After arriving in Yala, enjoy an afternoon safari. Dinner and overnight stay in Yala. Day 6 After the breakfast, leave for Bentota. Visit Galle Fort, the Madu River estuary, and  the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre along the way. Dinner and overnight stay in Kalutara/Bentota. Day 7 After the breakfast leave for Colombo. Your driver will drop you off at your hotel or the airport after your Colombo sightseeing tour.

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Colombo: Full-Day Sigiriya Rock and Village Tour

7. Colombo: Full-Day Sigiriya Rock and Village Tour

Following an early morning pickup at your accommodation in Colombo, head directly to Sigiriya Rock on arrival. Bring your own snacks or make sure to have a proper breakfast at your accommodation before the tour. You'll arrive at Sigiriya Rock Fortress after an approximately 4-hour car ride. 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. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to be once the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa. Enjoy the fascinating morning views across the mist-wrapped forests. Climb the Sigiriya Rock fortress and arrive at the Lion Rock. Explore numerous unfading murals and continue your hike at the steep staircase leading to the terraced gardens and cisterns. Walk through the tunnels leading to the palace and get a feeling for the history of this unique place. Proceed to Sigiriya at around 1:30 PM for a walking tour of the village. Discover a bund of a Wewa, a man-made reservoir. Get on a bullock cart ride and experience the rural village life. Then, aboard a tandem canoe and join for a catamaran safari at a scenic lake. Stop to enjoy a traditional restaurant lunch prepared by the villagers at your own expense. Savor a typical buffet-style meal served on lotus leaves. Witness the preparation methods by the local women and participate in the preparation of a curry. Following lunch, take a three-wheeler tour back to the starting point in Sigiriya. Start the journey back towards your accommodation in Colombo at around 6 PM. En-route you may stop at Restaurant at your choice and have dinner at your own expense.

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Wasgamuwa: Wasgamuwa National Park Private 3-Hour Safari

8. 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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Dambulla & Kaudulla National Park Day Tour From Colombo

9. Dambulla & Kaudulla National Park Day Tour From Colombo

On arrival in Kaudulla National Park, you will commence with a jeep safari in the Polonnaruwa District. This was opened in September 2002 as a National Park. This is home to a large herd of elephants, sambhur, spotted deer, wild boar, wild buffalo, a range of reptile species, and a large number of bird species. The elephant population found here far exceeds those found in other Parks. After the safari, enjoy a Sri Lankan lunch at your own expense. Then, proceed to Dambulla to visit the Cave Temple. Here you will find the famous Rock Temple, dating to the First Century B.C. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. In the first cave is a recumbent image of the Buddha 47ft long cut out of the rock. In the second cave, the finest and the largest of all, there are 150 life-size statues of the Buddha in various postures. The ceiling is also covered with frescoes.

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

10. 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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Other Sightseeing Options in Sigiriya

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What people are saying about Sigiriya

Great park to get away from crowds and the roads are a dream after the west side of the island. For the first couple of hours we saw deer, buffalo, monitor lizard and great birds. It was a beautiful drive. When we saw the elephants it made it super special. The first two were at a distance , the next two right up close - really close! Then we came across a herd of mothers and babies feeding. It was magical. Very uncommercial if that’s a word. Guides are very keen to please but have limited English . A great trip

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.