Meet your driver-guide early at your Kandy hotel and begin your roughly 2.5-hour trip to Sigiriya by private, air-conditioned vehicle.
The 5th-century capital of King Kasyapa, the 590-foot (180-meter) granite rock of Sigiriya rears from jungle, and boasts the ruins of palace buildings, ponds, moats, and reservoirs at the summit and base.
On arrival, head inside (own expense) for a 2-hour visit. Admire the carved lion paws at the entrance and climb to the famous, 1,500-year-old paintings of maidens on the rock face. Marvel at the still-bright frescoes, and take in the terraced summit, garden ruins, and Sigiriya Museum, as your guide outlines the rock’s history.
After lunch at a local restaurant (own expense) of your choice, continue toward UNESCO-protected Dambulla, home to rock caves thought to have been crafted by King Valagambahu in the 1st century BC.
Following a roughly 40-minute journey, go inside (own expense) and walk to the caves as your guide tells how Valagambahu carved them into temples and adorned them with murals and Buddha statues. Then, wander through the caverns and marvel at the incredibly detailed paintings, statues, figurines, and images.
Finally, drive back to Kandy where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.