Habarana, Sigiriya & Dambulla Hotels & Resorts

Stay in a luxury lakeside lodge, an eco-resort or a plush boutique hotel while you explore the Cultural Triangle. We’ve handpicked hotels in the best locations for seeing it all. With beautiful pools, fabulous spas, serene views and stand-alone villas, it’s easy to combine your hunt for ancient relics with plenty of in-resort relaxation

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Anuradhapura Kingdom Ruins

Dating back as far as 377BC, this ancient kingdom is an essential stop on any tour of Sri Lanka. Established as the first capital city of the island by King Pandukabhaya, it survived 119 successive kings for over 1500 years before becoming one of the world’s most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Regarded as the cradle of Buddhism, the sacred site is home to a vast network of temples and monasteries which can be explored at leisure during this four-hour tour. Discover the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree which is said to have grown from a cutting from the tree in India under which Buddha attained enlightenment, marvel at the preservation of the Twin Ponds and soak up the impressive history at the onsite museum housed within one of the ancient monasteries which is filled with ornate trinkets dating back to the pre-Christian era.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Sigiriya hotels

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Polonnaruwa Kingdom Ruins

Brush off your explorer hat as you traverse the ancient second capital of the island and discover the monumental ruins of this glorious garden-city. Dating back to 1070 A.D, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is brimming with history and the on-site museum will soon have you up to speed. The ancient compact city is easy to navigate and filled with impressive architectural structures from the enormous Royal Palace that stands seven stories tall to more personal relics such as the King’s private swimming pool. During this five-hour tour you’ll have the opportunity to explore many of the city’s highlights including the beautiful white Kiri Vihara Dagoba which archaeologists found when clearing the area from jungle in perfect condition after 700 years. From evocative temples and shrines to the serene Sea Of Parakrama, this is one of the best -preserved sites in Sri Lanka and sure to create lasting memories for years to come.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Passikudah and Trincomalee hotels

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Sigiriya Rock Fortress (car & driver and stay-put excursion)

One of Sri Lanka’s most iconic landmarks, Sigiriya Rock is a sight to behold, towering 200 metres above the surrounding jungle. Formed from magma of an extinct volcano, the fortress was created over 1500 years ago by King Kashyapa and is considered one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, discover the vast history of the plateau at the onsite museum before making the climb up the vertiginous staircases to the summit passing impressive frescoes and the famed Mirror Wall and colossal Lions Platform as you go. From the top, explore the ruins of the ancient civilisation through the remnants of the palace and vast gardens and soak up the panoramic vistas of the jungle covered central plains.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Sigiriya, Kandalama, Kandy and Trincomalee hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Negombo

Good to know
For the most pleasurable experience we recommend organising this excursion first thing in the morning or after 4pm to avoid the heat of the day. While suitable for all, the climb to the summit requires a good degree of physical fitness.

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Dambulla Cave Temple

A fantastic stopping off point when travelling between Habarana or Kandalama and Kandy, the famous cave complexes of Dambulla are a haven for those interested in Sri Lanka’s rich history. Dating back to the first Century BC, this ancient cave temple has been a pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus for 22 centuries and is still a place of holy importance to this day. There are over 80 documented caves at the site, but with around an hour to explore, this excursion will guide you through the major highlights which are spread over just five of them. Adorned with statues of Gautama Buddha and ornate ceiling paintings, the iconic temple is brimming with artefacts depicting the island’s glorious past and is not to be missed.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Kandy and Passikudah hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Negombo

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Kandy’s Highlights

Whether time is of the essence or you’re after an introduction to this vibrant city that’s brimming with history and culture, this half day excursion will ensure you don’t miss any of Kandy’s major attractions. Discover one of Buddhism’s most sacred shrines at the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth, where the relic tooth of Buddha is housed and explore the spectacular Royal Palace complex – the perfect backdrop for some holiday snaps. Dating back to 1821, finish your trip with a meander through the delightful Royal Botanical Garden where you’ll find over 100 endemic plants before exploring the rest of the city at leisure or returning to your hotel to unwind.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya and Kandy hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Beruwela, Kalutara, Bentota & Negombo

Good to know
This trip is suitable for all, but legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when entering the temple.

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Wilpattu Jeep Safari full day

Much quieter than Sri Lanka’s other popular national parks, Wilpattu offers a genuine sense of wilderness with scientific research on the bio-diversity of the park still in its infancy. This ‘Land of Lakes’ is dotted with water-basins and hidden in the dense forests you’ll find an array of wildlife from sloth bears and spotted deer to elephants and crocodiles. Little is known of the large population of leopards who reside in the park, but next to Yala in the south. this is the second-best place to spot them in Sri Lanka. With an intimate knowledge of the area, your guide and driver will navigate the day based on their experience giving you the best chance to catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat.

• Daily departures
• Operates between February and October
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Sigiriya

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Wilpattu 3-hour Jeep Safari

Much quieter than Sri Lanka’s other popular national parks, Wilpattu offers a genuine sense of wilderness with scientific research on the bio-diversity of the park still in its infancy. This ‘Land of Lakes’ is dotted with water-basins and hidden in the dense forests you’ll find an array of wildlife from sloth bears and spotted deer to elephants and crocodiles. Little is known of the large population of leopards who reside in the park, but next to Yala in the south. this is the second-best place to spot them in Sri Lanka. With an intimate knowledge of the area, your guide and driver will navigate the day based on their experience giving you the best chance to catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat.

• Daily departures
• between February and October
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Sigiriya

Good to know
Suitable for all, for those staying further afield and those who can’t commit to a day trip, we’d recommend an afternoon visit.

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Minneriya Jeep Safari

If observing elephants in their natural habitat is on your to do list while in Sri Lanka, Minneriya National Park should be top of your list. While elephants can be spotted all year round in huge numbers, during the dry season, between April and October, the park plays host to one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world: The Great Elephant Gathering. As the Minneriya Tank dries up and gives way to a lush grass plain, 300 or more elephants gather in the late afternoon to feed offering visitors an unforgettable spectacle. Home to a host of other wildlife from two endemic monkey species to the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, the endangered Grey Slender Loris and elusive Sri Lankan Leopard can also occasionally be spotted.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Kandy

Good to know
Depending on the time of year, guests may be taken to the Hurulu Eco-park (Jan to May) or Kandulla National Park (Nov to Dec) as elephant migrations interchange between all three parks.

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Whale Watching Cruise (car & driver excursion and stay put excursion)

Embark on this once in a lifetime trip in search of whales on this thrilling cruise across the Indian Ocean and discover the multitude of marine life off the coast of Sri Lanka. As your expert skipper and crew sail through areas frequented by whales, look out for sperm, killer, humpback and pilot whales in the tropical waters as well as acrobatic spinner dolphins racing alongside the boat. Home to the largest Blue Whale colony in the world, there’s a good chance you’ll spot these enormous mammals during your excursion offering some incredible photo opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime.

• Daily departure
• Operates between October and March
• Group experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Galle, Hambantota, Koggala, Mirissa & Tangalle
• Available for guests staying at hotels in Galle, Koggala & Welogama.

Good to know
A great experience for those looking to explore Sri Lanka’s marine life however as these are wild animals, sightings can’t be guaranteed.

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Hot Air Balloon Flight

Embark on this unforgettable adventure activity and experience the serenity of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle from the sky. Revel at the views as the sun rises and you gently glide across dense forests, ancient ruins and grassy plains, witnessing the stunning landscapes from a whole new perspective. The perfect addition to any honeymoon or those celebrating a special occasion, after landing your flight will be toasted with a glass of champagne or juice.

• Daily departures
• Operates between November and April
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Kandalama, Dambulla, Habarana and Sigiriya

Good to know
Not suitable for those under 16 years of age, pregnant passengers or those with heart conditions.

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Sri Lankan Cooking Class

There’s no better souvenir than mastering the art of Sri Lankan cooking, providing you with instant access to the island’s rich flavours once home. Since the Dutch, Portuguese and British settlers began trading spices they have become an important commodity in Sri Lankan cuisine and are the key to mastering the perfect dish. Your class will begin with a guided spice tour where you’ll discover the country’s rich herbal heritage, from harvesting and processing through to the health benefits of the most popular flavours. Set in a restaurant adjacent to a cinnamon plantation, you’ll get busy preparing a traditional Sri Lankan curry with a recipe that’s been inherited over generations before tucking into your own delicious creations over lunch.

• Daily departures
• year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Kandalama, Dambulla, Habarana and Kandy

Good to know
This class is ideal for those travelling between Habarana or Kandalama and Kandy or vice versa due to its location between the two.

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Hike Pidurangala Rock

Climbing Sigiriya Rock is a Sri Lanka rite of passage, however, as with scaling any iconic viewpoint – once you’ve reached the top, it’s not part of the landscape that you’re viewing. The almost-200-metre-high Pidurangala Rock lies just to the north of its more famous neighbour and has some pretty epic views from its summit (which, like Lion Rock, is reached by man-made paths and staircases). The best times to climb are sunrise and sunset when the shifting light casts dramatic shadows across the landscape, and – if you are lucky – creates dramatic skies of many colours.

• Daily departures from Habarana, Sigiriya, Kandalama, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Village Cooking Experience

The cuisine of Sri Lanka has been shaped over centuries, influenced by Arab traders and European settlers, and trying the spice-enriched specialities – whether from a high-end restaurant or a street hawker – is a staple experience during a visit to the island. To really enhance your time here, we recommend learning how to create a handful of dishes in a local village. You’ll buy your produce from a village vendor in the company of your host; they’ll show you the essential ingredients used in traditional cooking and select the freshest vegetables that will be used to create their culinary masterpieces. In a wattle-and-daub hut that’s surrounded by paddy fields, your host will whip up a range of flavourful and authentic curries that you’ll get to enjoy at the end of the morning.

• Daily departures from Habarana, Sigiriya, Kandalama, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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