Southern Province, Sri Lanka Culture & history

Our most recommended Southern Province, Sri Lanka Culture & history

From Colombo: Hikkaduwa Village Tour with Boat Ride & BBQ

1. From Colombo: Hikkaduwa Village Tour with Boat Ride & BBQ

Start your tour from Colombo at 9:00am where you will begin the 2 to 3 hour drive to Hikkaduwa. Stop on the way at Kosgoda where you will visit a sea turtle farm run by a non-governmental organization and maintained by volunteers. Next, visit the Ariyapala Mask Museum where you can learn about ancient masks and their part in ancient rituals, followed by the Mask Factory where you will see how these masks are brought to life through the hard work of artisans. After this, you will visit a family run gem and jewellery store and find various items at very affordable rates. Then, visit the agriculture and coir industry of Hikkaduwa, meeting a family that makes various products using coir and see the hard work they put in to make various valuable items. A very important ecological asset of the region is the Hikkaduwa lagoon. Take a boating trip on which you will discover the many avian fauna species of the region. Next up, visit one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the area. The temple is virtually free of tourists and mostly frequented by the local people. Here you can learn all about Buddhism with our local guide. After a busy day full of discovery head to Hikkaduwa beach to have a leisurely stroll and take in the sunset. Taste the most popular Sri Lankan alcoholic drink, Arrack, distilled from 100% coconut syrup.  End your tour with a barbecue dinner, consisting of fish bought from the nearby fishing harbour.

From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

2. 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.

From Bentota: 2-Day Tour to Wild Wonders and Galle Fort

3. From Bentota: 2-Day Tour to Wild Wonders and Galle Fort

Day 1: Bentota-Weherahena-Yala Upon starting your journey at 4:00 AM from your hotel in Bentota, you will be met by your designated chauffeur guide. After exchanging formalities at your hotel, you will be escorted to your air-conditioned vehicle in which you will proceed to Yala. En-route, visit the Mirissa fisheries harbor, and partake in a whale watching tour. Whale watching in Mirissa is one of the most sought-after activities in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is one of the best places to spot blue whales after a short period of time from the harbor. Mirissa is one of the best places to see not only blue whales but also sperm whales and dolphins. Visit Weherahena Poorwarama Raja Maha Viharaya is situated in the Matara District of Sri Lanka, about 6 kilometers from Matara town. This unique temple is known as the first tunnel temple in the world. The temple hosts a massive 130-foot Buddha image that was built following the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa eras. It also consists of all the main features of a Buddhist temple, such as the pagoda, a sacred bo-tree and a Samadhi Buddha statue. Following this tour, you will proceed to Yala National Park, one of the best national parks in the world to spot leopards. Here you find a large concentration of leopards in a small geographical area. Yala is home to many species of wild animals such as leopards, elephants, crocodiles, and monkeys.  Day 2: Yala-Galle-Hikkaduwa Early in the morning, you will proceed to Yala National Park to go on a lovely jeep safari. Yala National Park is the second largest on this island based off the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. You will get a chance to see the famous Sri Lankan leopards, indigenous wild water buffalo, Sri Lankan Sloth Bears and large herds of Sri Lankan Elephants. The park is also home to many other species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Later, visit the Galle Fortress and Hikkaduwa Beach. Galle Fortress is the best preserved Dutch fort in Asia, and it is one of the 7 UNESCO world heritage sites on the island. The Dutch Fort is a fortified city built in the 1600's and is home to hundreds of houses, palaces, shops, churches, museums, bars, pubs, hotels and much much more. On completion of this day, you will begin your journey back to your hotel in Hikkaduwa.

From Bentota: Kandy Tour with Tooth Temple & Gardens Visit

4. From Bentota: Kandy Tour with Tooth Temple & Gardens Visit

The day begins with hotel pickup in Bentota. Travel in an air-conditioned vehicle through mountain valleys and tea plantations to Kegalle, and take in the delicious aromas of its spice gardens which attracted merchants from all over the world to the ports of Sri Lanka.   Continue on to the ancient capitol of Kandy, home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988, it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Explore the the area surrounding Kandy Lake and check out the Hindu and Buddhist temples within the Natha Devale. The next stop on the route is the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, home to over 8,000 different species of trees and plants. Finally, visit a local tea factory and relax with a cup of unblendes, fresh Ceylon tea before the return journey.

From Colombo: 8-Day Private Tour of Sri Lanka with Transport

5. From Colombo: 8-Day Private Tour of Sri Lanka with Transport

Day 1: Airport to Sigiriya / Dambulla welcome by our English-speaking driver from hotels at Colombo and drive to Sigiriya on the way Visiting Dambulla Golden cave temple Evening Minneriya, Kaudulla, or Hurulu Eco national parks 4x4 safari according to Elephant’s availability Overnight at Sigiriya Day 2: Sigiriya to Kandy Earlier morning climb Sigiriya Rock before sun become rough which is suitable for pictures and climbing to the top and back to the hotel for breakfast after driving to Kandy on the way, Nalanda Gedige, Mathale Spice garden (only for a visit), Gem Museum and Workshop, & Hindu temple later Kandy city tour Evening View the traditional Kandyan Cultural Dance Performance and Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic Overnight at Kandy Day 3: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya After breakfast, drive to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya (Kandy) Later to Nuwaraeliya on the way Ramboda Falls, Tea Plantation, and Tea Factory after that Nuwara Eliya City Tour Overnight at Nuwara Eliya Day 4: Nuwara Eliya to Ella After Breakfast Drive to Visit Gregory Lake and Victoria Park Garden after 12.40 train ride to Ella do the gorgeous panoramic view train Evening Climbing Little Adam’s peak Ella Overnight at Ella Day 5: Ella to Tissamaharama / Yala National Park After Breakfast Drive to Tissamaharama on the way visiting Rawana waterfall and Buduruwagala Rock Temple Evening 4x4 Safari in Yala National Park Safari (most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean) Overnight at Tissamaharama Day 6: Tissamaharama to Mirissa After breakfast drive to Mirissa on the visit snake farm Evening Leisure at the beach resort. Overnight at Mirissa Day 07: Mirissa Earlier morning 6.30 AM whale watching from Mirissa. come back to hotel and travel to Bentota and visit Sea Turtle Hatchery & Rescue Center and Later visit Galle Dutch Fort (Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards) and Madu river boat safari Leisure at the beach resort. Overnight at Mirissa Day 8: Time to Say Bye Mirissa to Colombo or Negombo Wake up to a freshly-prepared breakfast at the hotel and then get ready to check out as it’s time to say ‘Goodbye’ to Sri Lanka. You will be transferred to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo or Negombo for your onward journey back home

Bentota: Colombo Fishmarket and City Tour

6. Bentota: Colombo Fishmarket and City Tour

After getting picked up from your hotel in Kalutara or Bentota, head to Pettah, the oldest part of Colombo. Marvel at the thousands of stalls selling items from medicine to electronic equipment before beginning your driving tour of the city. Visit sites such as Beira Lake, Viharamahdevi Park, and Independence Square, where you can see one of the oldest examples of Sri Lankan architecture. The first stop of your visit is the Pettah fish market, which is the biggest fish market on the island featuring a concentration of hundreds of fish sellers. Enjoy a walking tour of the fish market. Afterward, head to the fort area and discover a mix of contemporary architecture and old-world charm with high-rise modern buildings built alongside medieval structures. Towards the end of the drive, visit the Colombo Historical Museum where you can see a large number of valuable exhibits. After your drive around the city, begin your walking tour. As you walk along the narrow and charming streets of the city center, learn more about Colombo's historical eras and their impact on the architectural ensemble of the city. Stroll past sights such as the Old Parliament, Gangrama Temple, and the Town Hall. Shop 'til you drop in the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct or head for lunch at one of the area's famed restaurants. Discover examples of British architecture and learn more about Colombo's history and its remarkable growth as you visit the BMICH, the Wolvendaal Church, and Colombo's most beautiful Hindu temple. Get dropped off back at your hotel in the evening.

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What people are saying about Southern Province, Sri Lanka

We were about 16 hours on the road and looked at something for a maximum of 4 hours. From Bentota, this excursion is quite strenuous. In the botanical we had an hour. That's a little bit of time but it wasn't that nice either. The botanical garden in Kandy should be better. A visit to the tea factory is also superfluous. You will be told a bit about the different types of tea and how they are made. But in the end they only want to sell tea. I would have liked a little hike through the tea fields better. What is definitely worth it are the impressions in the highlands. This is really nice.

2 day trip yo yale park andGalke

Well organized. Nice and very flexibel guide. Good accommodation. Thx