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Your Next Island Getaway
SRI LANKA

Valid
May '22 - October '22
 

Price

from USD2,500 pp sharing

Duration

15 days

Travel Type

Private Travel

Service Level

4+ Star

Travel Style

Classic

Physical Rating

Walking fit

Sri Lanka

You will be enchanted by the island of Sri Lanka with it's white sand beaches, its lush tropical jungle and villages.

Asian Elephants and Leopards roam in the safari plains. You will be mesmerised by ancient world heritage sites.

Take an idyllic train ride through the rolling tea plantations and get to experience the vibrant cultural heritage. 

Meet with the friendly locals and enjoy the abundant and sumptuous local food and fruit of this beautiful island.

Tour Highlights

Colombo
Colombo

Colombo, the gateway to the wonders of Sri Lanka, it boasts a rich colonial heritage, featuring a melting pot of races, religions and cultures.

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Galle
Galle

This city is a delight to explore on foot, an endlessly exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums.

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Pasikudah
Pasikudah

If you’re looking for a tropical paradise with swaying palms, endless sandy beaches, a relaxed and easygoing vibe, and with water sports and lesser-known sights to explore, you’ll love Pasikudah.

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Colombo
Colombo

Colombo, the gateway to the wonders of Sri Lanka, it boasts a rich colonial heritage, featuring a melting pot of races, religions and cultures.

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Fully Inclusive

Local English speaking guide service for the duration of the tour

All applicable entrance fees, experiences and meals as per the above itinerary

Entry Visa to Sri Lanka

Exit PCR or Rapid Antigen Test

Mandatory COVID19 Insurance Cover worth US$ 75,000 per person for 30 days

A flower garland (for him) and a bouquet (for her) on arrival

Scenic Train ride from Ella – Nanu Oya - tickets are strictly subject to availability

Accommodation

14 nights based on per person sharing basis at the hotels in the itinerary with their respective meal plans

Meals Included

As specified on itinerary

Transportation

Private car for the full duration of the tour

Welcome Pouch and Wi-Fi in the vehicle

In vehicle VIP Amenities (insect repellent, cinnamon tooth pics, hand sanitizer, IR thermometer, wet and dry

wipes, mints, handwoven fabric sarong for him and wraparound for her and socks for temple visits)

Taxes

All applicable Government Taxes / Levies on the date

All applicable Hotel Taxes and Service Charges on the date

Extras

Personalised insulated stainless steel water bottle (sterilised and refilled daily)

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DAILY SCHEDULE:

Day 01 - Airport Colombo

Day 02 - Colombo (B/L)

Day 03 - Colombo - Galle (B)

Day 04 - Galle (B)

Day 05 - Galle - Ella (B)

Day 06 - Ella  (B/L)

Day 07 - Ella - Nuwara Eliya - Kandy (B/L/D)

Day 08 - Kandy - Matale - Dambulla - Sigiriya (B/L/D)

Day 09 - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya - Sigiriya (B/L/D)

Day 10 - Sigiriya - Pasikudah (B/D)

Day 11 to 13 - Pasikudah (B/D)

Day 14 - Pasikudah - Colombo (B)

Day 15 - Colombo - Airport (B)

Authentic Experiences

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UNESCO World Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa.

We spend a morning exploring this medieval city by bicycle. 

Once a massive structure with 50 rooms, today impressive walls still stand strong. Lion sculptures guard the stairs to the king’s audience hall, where intricately carved stone elephants line the walls and the king’s swimming pool with large crocodile mouth statues spouting fresh water.

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Sri Lanka is the capital of a rich variety of spices that determined its history, being the cause of many invasions.

Fragrant Clove, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Mace, Pepper, Cocoa and Vanilla amongst others account for a diversity of cooking styles and applications.

We attend a cooking demonstration followed by lunch and learn how different spices are used in dishes and how they are grown.

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At the end of a quiet street in Colombo you will find a house marked Number 11, Colombo. The home of Geoffrey Bawas a renowned architect of Sri Lanka.

The house known as Lunuganga which means salty river in Sinhalese, showcases a garden consisting of an abundance of local trees including the gigantic Mahogany, Teak, Ebony and various other trees.

The old cow shed and the chicken hutch are still here even the water well that was used for the house can be seen.

Full Trip Details

 

Accommodation Summary

CHECK IN
LOCATION
HOTEL
ROOM TYPE
# OF NIGHTS
MEAL PLAN

Day 01 | Airport - Colombo

Meal Plan: None

Ayubowan & Welcome to Sri Lanka!

 

Sri Lanka is +05:30 GMT.

 

Arrive in Colombo via international flight. Pass through immigrations and customs formalities and proceed to the General Arrivals Hall where you will meet with your Chauffeur Guide who will accompany you throughout your stay in SriLanka. 

 

If you would like to have some local currency with you during your stay in Sri Lanka, the airport would be the ideal opportunity to do so, as there are a number of currency exchange counters with competitive rates, as well as ATMs which accept VISA & MasterCard.

 

Afterwards, depart the airport on an easy 40-minute drive to Colombo and check in at your hotel for a good night’s rest.

 

Overnight at The Kingsbury Hotel | Superior Room

Day 02 | Colombo

Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

This morning you will visit the Colombo residence of Sri Lanka’s greatest architect, Geoffrey Bawa.

 

The house on 33rd Lane is an essay in architectural brilliance. In 1958 Bawa bought the third in a row of four small houses which lay along a short cul-de-sac at the end of a narrow suburban lane and converted it into a pied-terre with livingroom, bedroom, tiny kitchen and room for a servant. 

 

When the fourth bungalow became vacant this was colonized to serve as a dining room and second living room. Ten years later the remaining bungalows were acquired and added into the composition and the first in the row was demolished to be replaced by a four-story tower. 

 

As we walk along the corridors and the pathways of the house we learn about Bawa's inspirations and how he transformed them into ideas and win him the title as the inventor of Tropical Modernism, an eccentric form of architecture. 

 

During this educational journey, your host, who is a member of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and enlighten you on the world-famous legacy of Geoffrey Bawa.

 

Afterwards, take a brief drive around Colombo along with your guide to take in the sights and sounds of the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. You will be able to spot the following highlights:

 

The Old Parliament: Built in the 1920s by the British and now houses the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka, with memorial statues of past Presidents scattered around the gardens.

Galle Face Green, Colombo: An integral part of Colombo’s colonial history and once used by the British for various sports such as Horse racing, Golf, Rugby and Cricket over the years.

 

The Galle Face Hotel: Established in 1864, it is the first hotel in Sri Lanka and was recently restored to it’s former glory, facing the Galle Face Green. A highly awarded and celebrated Heritage hotel, it also boasts a long list of celebrity guests who have stayed there over the years, including Prince Philip, Richard Nixon, Mahatma Ghandi, Carrie Fisher and Roger Moore.

 

Gangaramaya Temple and Seema Malakaya: One of the most famous Temples in Sri Lanka, it also houses a varied collection of gifts such as Buddha statues, and other replicas, from foreign dignitaries from around the world which have been gifted to the celebrated Chief Incumbent.

 

You will also be passing by the Town Hall Building, Viharamahadevi Park, The National Museum for Natural History, and Independence Square.

 

Our tour ends at local favourite Barefoot Cafe for lunch.

Return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

 

Overnight at The Kingsbury Hotel | Superior Room

Day 03 | Colombo - Galle

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Today after breakfast, we check out and take a 2.5-hour drive via the southern expressway to Galle.

 

The ancient trading post of Galle, said to be the famous Tarshish of the Bible. Historically, this award-winning World Heritage fortified township was an essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab and Indian traders. 

 

Javanese and Sumatrans came later followed by Marco Polo in 1299 AD. The Portuguese arrived in the 1500’s and built a settlement with a fort of palm trees and mud. 

 

This was captured by the Dutch (and finally the British) who built the 400-year-old fort with great ramparts and bastions to protect their presence. Narrow streets are lined with old houses displaying Dutch heritage, with their pillared verandahs. Government offices remain in use and the community within the fort is a bustle with daily life – a living-breathing town, hidden within fortified walls of this ancient, maritime citadel.

 

On arrival we check-in at the hotel.

 

Later this afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of the Galle Fort.

 

Historically, this award-winning World Heritage fortified township was an essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab and Indian traders. Javanese and Sumatrans came later followed by Marco Polo in 1299 AD. The Portuguese arrived in

the 1500’s and built a settlement with a fort of palm trees and mud. This was captured by the Dutch (and finally the British) who added great ramparts and bastions to protect their presence. Narrow streets are lined with old houses displaying Dutch heritage and pillared verandahs. Government offices remain in use and the community is a bustle with daily life – a living breathing town, hidden within fortified walls of this ancient, maritime citadel.

 

Overnight at The Heritage Hotel | Deluxe Room

Day 04 | Galle

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Today after breakfast, we will visit a Cinnamon Plantation in the area. 

 

Here you will learn the history and health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon, and see the harvest, peeling and preparation of quills.

 

Afterwards, we visit the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum.

 

The house in which Martin Wickramasinghe, a famous local author, was born has inspired the Martin Wickramasinghe Trust to establish a Folk Museum Complex, surrounded by a restored ecosystem planted with hundreds of varieties of indigenous trees and shrubs in which bird life abounds. The house and the surroundings bring to life a little part of the

Koggala which is so vividly depicted in Wickramasinghe’s writings.

 

On our way back to Galle, we visit the iconic Stilt Fishermen.

 

You will have the unique opportunity to learn Stilt Fishing from the local fishermen in the area. Stilt fishing, termed as ‘Ritipanna’, is a traditional fishing method practiced by fishermen along the Southern coast. These are the fisher folk who engage in fishing from a narrow pole tied to a stick installed on the sea bed. We visit a stilt fishing site today and

get to know the fisherman and about their lifestyle. They will then invite you to get on the stilts where you try your hand at Stilt Fishing. If you are lucky and the catch is good there is a good chance a smiling fisherman might bargain for the fish you caught.

 

Return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

 

Overnight at The Heritage Hotel | Deluxe Room

Day 05 | Galle - Ella

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Today after breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to Ella. 

 

Upon arrival in Ella, check into your hotel and spend

the rest of the day at leisure.

 

Overnight at 98 Acres Resort & Spa| Premium Deluxe Room

Day 06 | Ella

Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

Spend today exploring the highlights of the charming town of Ella, which translates to 'waterfall.' Ella is located in a hilly nook with stunning vistas adorned with cascades that trickle down its rugged terrain. This one-of-a-kind locale offers

some of the most scenic sights in Sri Lanka.

 

Begin your day with a hike to Ella Rock. Though a strenuous climb, the panoramic views from the peak are worth it. The hike is about 3.5 hours roundtrip.

 

Afterwards, proceed to the Nine Arch Bridge. This incredible historical viaduct built entirely from stone, bricks and cement (with no steel) was created in the British era of Sri Lanka. It spans a space of over 300 feet and has a height of approximately 100 feet. Walk along the railroad and pass over the bridge as your hiking guide explains the history and

stories about Nine Arches.

 

After lunch at a local cafe, hike Little Adam's Peak. This is an easy hike unlike its big brother in Hatton. It is 1141 meters in

height and from the entrance it takes approximately 30-45 minutes to reach the summit. The 360-degree, panoramic

views from the summit are incredible. You will also encounter friendly locals joining in the climb with you and those who

are descending, greeting you with their warm smiles. The hike itself is a worthy experience as you walk through lush

green tea estates. Once at the top, witness the breathtaking sunset.

 

Overnight at 98 Acres Resort & Spa | Premium Deluxe Room

Day 07 | Ella - Nuwara Eliya - Kandy

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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Today after breakfast, proceed to the quaint Ella station and take a 2.5-hour train journey to the tea-side town of Nuwara Eliya.

 

09:23 AM – Train departs Ella station.

11:58 AM – Train arrives at Nanu Oya station.

 

First-class, reserved seats, along with snacks  and toiletries are included during your train journey.

 

Upon arrival in Nanu Oya, we take a 45-minute drive to Nuwara Eliya, En route visiting a working tea factory.

 

Strange as it may seem, the story of Ceylon Tea begins with the end of coffee due to the coffee blight in 1865. Old Ceylon’s up-country plantations were devastated – but the planters didn’t give up their ambition of cultivating the rich soil of Sri Lanka. Their ambition bore fruit and it has ever since the first crop of tea was thrown into the central highlands of Sri Lanka. You will visit a plantation, and observe how the plant is grown and harvested. Learn about the whole processing procedure and how different types of teas are created.

 

Afterwards, we proceed to the timeless Grand Hotel for lunch.

 

After lunch, enjoy a guided walk around town. Nuwara Eliya is known as the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains, valleys, waterfalls and tea plantations. It is supposed to be one of the coldest places on the island, but is really just like an English spring day, although the temperature does drop slightly towards evening. All around Nuwara Eliya, you will see evidence of the British colonial influence, including public buildings such as the post office, as well as many bungalows, cottages and hotels.

 

Afterwards, we continue our journey towards Kandy and check in at your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure.

 

Overnight at Cinnamon Citadel | Superior Room

Day 08 | Kandy - Metale - Dambulla - Sigiriya

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After an early breakfast, we check out and visit the impressive Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya.

 

The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is one of the largest botanical gardens of Sri Lanka and the finest of its kind in Asia. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the central highlands, the Gardens lies at an elevation of 460 meters above sea-level, tightly bounded on three sides by the loop of the River Mahaweli (Great Sandy River), Sri Lanka’s largest river. Before it was decreed as a Botanical Gardens it used to be a pleasure garden in the days of the kings of Kandy and during WWII the gardens were the headquarters of the allied command for the pacific.

 

We then make our way to the town of Matale. Sri Lanka is the capital of a rich variety of spices that determined its history, being the cause of many invasions. Fragrant Clove, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Mace, Pepper, Cocoa and Vanilla amongst others account for a diversity of cooking styles and applications. We learn how different spices are grown during our visit to our Private Spice Garden. Today’s Lunch will be at the Private Spice Garden.

 

Continue our journey towards Habarana, En route stopping at the World Heritage Site of the Dambulla Cave Temple, known for its richly painted cave temples. Dambulla is a vast isolated rock mass and it was here that king Valagam Bahu took refuge from invasions in the 1st century B.C., later turning the caves into a rock temple. Some of its frescoes are over 2000 years old. Another highlight is a colossal figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of the living rock, some 15 meters long. The caves have a mixture of religious and secular paintings and sculptures with ceiling frescoes depicting scenes from Buddha’s life and Sinhalese history.

 

Check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

 

Overnight at Roo Mansala | Kassapa Suite

Day 09 | Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya - Sigiriya

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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Early this morning we climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of Sri Lanka's many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After an ancient prince killed his father to claim the throne, he was forced to flee to his pleasure palace and convert it into a fortress to guard against his enemies The spectacular citadel of Sigiriya built on a giant rock rises sheer and impregnable out of the plains below. Spend the morning exploring the grounds of the fortress and if interested, climb this remarkable 5th century archeological site which is made unforgettable by its dramatic setting. A moat, rampart and extensive

gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock and the frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya.

 

Please note that to reach the top of Sigiriya Rock, there are nearly 1,200 steep and narrow stone steps up and then down (hand rails in place). Anybody in reasonably good condition will be able to venture to the top of Sigiriya Rock and it’s certainly worth the effort. The Sigiriya experience can take from approximately 90 minutes to three hours depending on the pace at which you wish to ascend.

 

Return to the hotel for some downtime.

 

Later this afternoon, continue on the half-hour drive to Minneriya National Park for a jeep safari. Famous for large wild herds of elephants that congregate on the edge of rivers and reservoirs to bathe and socialize, these are the best parks in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants. Minneriya covers 8,890 hectares and consists of a mixed forest of evergreen shrubs. Keep an eye out for deer and monkeys as well, including the purple-faced langur and macaques. After the safari, return to your hotel for the evening.

 

Overnight at Roo Mansala | Kassapa Suite

Day 10 | Sigiriya - Pasikudah

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Following a breakfast at leisure, we check out and embark on the approximately 90-minute drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa. Spend the morning exploring this medieval city by bicycle. Polonnaruwa rose to fame as the capital between the 10th and 12th centuries. A resemblance to Angkor Wat, the Royal Palace and Audience Hall, the Quadrangle and spectacular Gal Vihara complex give evidence of Sri Lanka's past glory.

 

In the early afternoon, visit a local farmer's house for a traditional Sri Lankan lunch cooked on clay pots and pans.

Indulge in the various aromas and flavors that go into these local dishes.

 

After lunch, continue on a 2-hour drive to Pasikudah and check in with the remainder of the day at leisure.

 

Overnight at Amaya Beach | Deluxe Room 

Day 11 - 13 | Pasikudah

Days at leisure.

Overnight at Amaya Beach | Deluxe Room

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Day 14 & 15 | Pasikudah - Colombo

Meal Plan: Breakfast

This morning, we check out after breakfast and return to Colombo and check in at The Kingsbury with the rest of the day at leisure.

 

Overnight in Kingsbury | Superior Room

Next morning, check out after breakfast to he Bandaranaike International Airport in time for your onward flight