5. 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.