Our Boutique Ceylon tour suggests three days in the Cultural Triangle. As you enter this dry, central region, you should visit Dambulla Cave Temple, a must-see with its rock ceiling covered in one large sweep of colourful frescoes, some of which dates back more than 2,000 years. This cave temple has the largest number of Buddha statues all housed in one place including a 14-metre figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of the rock. You could also explore Polonnaruwa which became Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital in 1073 and remained Sri Lanka’s capital until the late 13C. Today, the ancient city’s ruins remain in remarkably good nick, and are a fascinating site to visit. The most impressive are the ancient sculptures of Lord Buddha at the Gal Vihara cut into Granite stone dating back to the middle of the 12C. The nearby Archeological Museum adds extra interest. and boating on the lake.
On the next day, why not rise early and climb the magnificent Sigiriya Rock, one of Sri Lanka's fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites? No matter how often you climb to the summit of this one-time fortress of the murderous, maverick Sinhalese king, Kassapa, the pleasure barely diminishes. Many scholars believe that Kassapa sought to rule as a God-king. About two hours can happily be spent walking through the water gardens, and then up the steep steps - either hewn out of the rock or on circular iron staircases - past the frescoes. You will be in no rush to abandon the spectacular views at the summit.
There is much more you can potentially see and do in the Cultural Triangle – as well as other famous sites such as Anuradhapura and Mihintale, you can visit the game park at Minneriya or engage in activities such as bullock cart rides, boating on the lakes, nature trails, bird watching and fishing.