1. Colombo: Yapahuwa, Dambadeniya, & Panduwasnuwara Tour
The tour begins with early morning pickup from your Colombo hotel at 6am, then travels the 2-hour journey to the first stop of the day, the Kingdom of Dambadeniya. Step back in time as you wander around the ruins of Dambadeniya, once a bustling mid-13th century hub reigned over by King Parakramabahu II. See the recently excavated remains of the Temple of the Tooth, as well as the fascinating royal palace complex with its gardens, walls, and moats. By 10:30am arrive at the next stop of the day, the former capital of Sri Lanka, Yapahuwa. Marvel at the city’s fortress which was built on a giant rock, boasting wide staircases, beautiful stone sculptures, and highly detailed pillar carvings. Climb to the top of the fortress to view the ruins of the stupa on the summit of the rock, which once would have been used as a center for meditation. Spend a few hours exploring ruins of Yapahuwa, then head to a local restaurant for a traditional lunch at your own expense. After lunch head to the final stop of the day, the ancient city of Panduwasnuwara, which was one of the first kingdoms in Sri Lanka. Once the capital city of the country during 5th century BC, the site was used up until the 12th century resulting in a vast array of architectural influences and styles. Once you’ve marvelled at the ruins, visit the onsite museum which houses fascinating archaeological finds from excavations in the area. After an hour and a half exploring Panduwasnuwara the tour comes to an end and you will be dropped off back to your hotel at around 7:30pm.