Central Province, Sri Lanka
Cave Tours

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Our most recommended Central Province, Sri Lanka Cave Tours

Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

1. Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

Depart Colombo and travel by a shared vehicle, in a small group, to the city of Sigiriya, and head directly to Sigiriya Rock on arrival. Gaze in awe at the massive column of rock that, according to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle The Culavamsa, was selected by King Kasyapa as the site of his new capital. Admire numerous paintings of historic queens, princesses, and maids inside the rock fortress before getting a break for lunch at your own expense. Then, explore some of the traditional crafts of the region, such as wood carving and batik textiles, with time to purchase souvenirs before departing. Start the journey back towards Colombo via Dambulla to explore the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Discover the magnificent Buddha images and rock paintings of vivid colors and different shapes, painted from around the 2nd century B.C. up to the 18th-century Kandyan era.

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From Colombo: Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle 2-Day Tour

2. From Colombo: Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle 2-Day Tour

Begin the tour by meeting your tour leader in Colombo and set off for the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. After exploring the history museum of Polonnaruwa, discover the ruins of the ancient city. Later, check in to a 3-star hotel in Sigiriya for your overnight stay.  The next morning, enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Set off for the Dambulla golden cave temple which was the site where a king of Anuradhapura took refuge from the South Induan invasion in the 1st-century BC. Learn about how when the king recaptured the region 13 years later, he converted the caves into a monastery and gifted it to the Buddhist monks. After this, head over to the ancient Sigiriya Rock, where a 5th-century prince who had committed patricide made it his hideout. Also make a stop at the Pidurangala ancient cave temple. At the end of the tour you will be returned to Colombo and dropped off at the start point.

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From Colombo: All Inclusive Sigiriya and Dambulla Tour

3. From Colombo: All Inclusive Sigiriya and Dambulla Tour

Begin your 14-hour tour with an early-morning drive to Sigiriya. When you arrive, climb the Sigiriya Rock fortress, considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World. In the 5th century, King Kashyapa built a palace atop the rock. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history. Stop to enjoy a restaurant lunch before heading to Dambulla. Visit the UNESCO-listed cave temple built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. It is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of 5 caves features more than 2,000 square meters of painted walls and ceilings. See 150 images of the Buddha, of which the largest is a 14-meter-high image carved out of the rock.

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Kandy: Sigiriya Fortress & Cave Temple All-Inclusive Tour

4. Kandy: Sigiriya Fortress & Cave Temple All-Inclusive Tour

Following early morning pick-up from your hotel in Kandy, travel by chauffeur-driven vehicle to Sigiriya. Upon arrival, climb the rock fortress of golden-hued granite, chosen by King Kasyapa at the site for his new capital. Get stunning views of the surrounding plains, which in the rainy season can turn into a delightful water garden. Continue to the Dambulla cave temple complex, built by the 1st-century King Walagambahu as a site of worship after his exile from Anuradhapura. Enjoy lunch before the drive back to Kandy, and stop at the spice garden in Matale en route. 

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Dambulla: Cave Temple and Village All-Inclusive Tour

5. Dambulla: Cave Temple and Village All-Inclusive Tour

You will begin your day as you are picked up by tuk-tuk and driven to the Cave Temple of Dambulla. Once there, you will be able to explore the complex of five caves, with over 2,000 square meters of painted walls and ceilings. The cave temple has the best-preserved ancient paintings found in Sri Lanka. Containing over 150 images of the Buddha, the highlight is the colossal figure of Buddha carved out of rock, which spans 14 meters. Following some time exploring the cave, you will arrive at the rural village of Dambulla and start the the bullock cart ride. Passing some wonderful paddy fields and other countryside attractions, you will arrive at a beautiful lake where you will experience an unforgettable traditional catamaran ride. Throughout your tour you will also enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan village lunch. Later on at 3:00PM, you will be returned back to your hotel by tuk-tuk.

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From Kandy: Ancient Heritage of Sri Lanka 2-Day Guided Tour

6. From Kandy: Ancient Heritage of Sri Lanka 2-Day Guided Tour

Embark on a 2-day tour of Sri Lanka’s cultural history, including one of its most famous National Parks. Explore the sacred city of Anuradhapura, Dambulla Golden Cave Temple, and Wilpattu National Park.   Day 1: Kandy – Dambulla – Anuradhapura Start your journey at 7:00 AM with hotel pickup in Kandy. Hop into an air-conditioned vehicle and head for Dambulla to your first stop: the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Marvel at the hundreds of Buddha figurines and other deities scattered across the 5 main caves. You’ll also see the giant golden Buddha statue just a little distance outside the cave complex and hear the tales of this ancient kingdom.   Afterwards, head to Anuradhapura where you’ll check into your hotel for a short rest. In the evening, explore the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, which served as the country’s capital for over a millennium until the 10th century AD. See its pagodas, monastic buildings, and ponds scattered over a vast area. Visit important landmarks, like Jetavanarama, one of the tallest buildings of the ancient world; the Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment; and the huge Abhayagiri Monastery. Learn about the fascinating history of this region as you walk in the footsteps of kings.   Day 2: Anuradhapura – Wilpattu – Kandy Early in the morning, head to Wilpattu National Park for a jeep safari. Feel the call of the wild as you catch sight of the elusive Sri Lankan leopard—this National Park is believed to have the highest concentration of leopards in the entire world. See hundreds of other types of wildlife such as deer, buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles, and rare birds. Get the photographs of a lifetime of these curious creatures.   After the safari, return to your hotel for a short rest before setting off again for a visit to Mihintale Rock. This is the place where Buddhism began in Sri Lanka, the spot where King Devanampiyatissa and Monk Mahina met. View the monastic ruins at the foot of the mountain and walk in the footsteps of Mahina as you visit the cave where he lived. See historic stupas (commemorative monuments) as you wander the ruins of an age long past, helping you to understand its impact on the history and current state of Sri Lanka. After this final visit, you’ll head back to your hotel in Kandy.

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From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Full-Day Private Tour

7. From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Full-Day Private Tour

Explore two of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO-listed highlights on a privately guided day trip to Dambulla and the Sigiriya Rock from Colombo. Start with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Colombo. Make your first stop at the Dambulla Cave Temple. View Sri Lanka’s countryside and villages as you journey to the atmospheric Dambulla Cave Temple, a Cliffside cave complex packed with Buddha images and frescoes. Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King, and the Great New Monastery. See the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex. Go to Sigiriya to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climb the 5th century AD rock fortress, Sigiriya, where King Kassapa ruled. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion that is quite appropriate for its name, the Lion Rock. View the beautiful unfading murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns. Go through the tunnels leading to the palace as you get a feel for times long past.

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Secrets of Sri Lanka - Matale From Dambulla

8. Secrets of Sri Lanka - Matale From Dambulla

You will be picked up from your Dambulla hotel to begin the tour. Ensure that you bring a packed breakfast with you if you are unable to have your meal at the hotel. Your first destination is Nalanda Gedige in Matale. This old Dravidian (Pallava era) structure is believed to have been built between the 8th to 10th centuries. After viewing this structure and discussing it with your tour guide, you will set off for Euphoria Spice and Herbal Gardens. Upon arrival, you will receive a one hour tour of the spice and herbal gardens. During the tour, you will get to know more about the different spices and herbs, as well as how they are grown and harvested. Finally, you will drive to Aluvihara, which is supposed to mean ‘light temple’ or ‘cave with light’. Learn about the site's importance to the Buddhist religion and the 13 caves that have been found here. Afterwards, spend some time having lunch at a local restaurant (at your own expense). You will then visit Sembuwatta Lake, famed for its amazing views and natural swimming pool.

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What people are saying about Central Province, Sri Lanka

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 37 reviews

Very nice day tour. The temple in Dambulla is very worth seeing. The Löwenfels is also worth a visit, but admission is expensive. My driver tried very hard and explained a lot. He also stopped at many vantage points and responded to individual requests.

CJ was a fantastic, knowledgeable guide who patiently answered all my questions. He went out of his way to ensure my comfort and convienience. The trek up to the top was absolutely worth it! One of my highlights in Sri Lanka.

This is a must do activity in Sri Lanka. Amazing view of endless nature in Sigiriya, but also a lot of other small activities on the way there and back.

The Tour was really good and the driver gave a lot of explanations and was very friendly. I recommend this tour, I had a very nice day.

Fantastic day, great knowledgeable and friendly guide, stunning scenery and beautiful food. Perfect!