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Marvels of
SRI LANKA

May '22 - October '22
 

Price

from USD2,228 pp sharing

Duration

11 days

Travel Type

Private Travel

Service Level

4+ Star

Travel Style

Classic

Physical Rating

Walking fit

One of the five biodiversity hotspots in the world.

The marvels of Sri Lanka is in the beaches that are endless and the surf rolls constantly. The people are welcoming and friendly. The many ruins and heritage sites are timeless.

You will enjoy famous tea, fun train rides, flavourful food and much more.

Marvels of Sri Lanka

Tour Highlights

Colombo Sri Lanka
Colombo Sri Lanka

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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Sigiriya Sri Lanka
Sigiriya Sri Lanka

Also known as Lion Rock built on top of a huge boulder. Can it be the 8th wonder of the world?

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Galle Sri Lanka
Galle Sri Lanka

Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions.

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Colombo Sri Lanka
Colombo Sri Lanka

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

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

Accommodation

10 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 - Sigiriya (B/D)

Day 04 - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya - Sigiriya (B/L/D)

Day 05 - Sigiriya - Dambulla - Matale - Kandy (B/L/D)

Day 06 - Kandy (B/L/D)

Day 07 - Kandy - Ella (B/L)

Day 08 - Ella (B/L)

Day 09 - Ella - Galle (B)

Day 10 - Galle (B/L)

Day 11 - Galle - airport (B)

Authentic Experiences

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The "Suriyakantha Centre for Arts & Culture" is established within the 18th century "Walawwa" or an ancient village chief's residence.

It houses an interesting panoply of ancient books, Buddhist manuscripts, photography, collection of ancient and traditional furniture and wall paintings.

We meet with Professor Jacques Soulie, a French national who has been residing in Sri Lanka for over 40 years as a co-founder.

The Professor personally welcomes you to this establishment where he proudly takes you through the different sections of the house and helps you discover a piece of Sri Lankan history.

Together with the Professor, you enjoy a delicious Sri Lankan rice & curry lunch.

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A visit to Master Ruwan, who is a guru of the ancient Kandyan art of dancing and drumming.

After a mesmerising performance the master will teach you the basics of dancing and drumming. 

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Meet your host Mama at a lovely art deco style house in the Galle Fort. Mama and her daughters have been teaching Sri Lankan cooking techniques for curry hungry food enthusiasts for decades.

She is a

charming lady with a soft smile who has a real passion for sharing knowledge of Sri Lankan cuisine with her clients.

She is a legend in the Galle Fort as the first to launch a cooking class for travelers 20 years ago.

Her dream is to take the story

of Sri Lankan cuisine to the world through her cooking class.

Full Trip Details

 

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

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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

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Day 03 | Colombo - Sigiriya

Meal Plan: Breakfast & Dinner

Today after an early breakfast, you will check out from your hotel and drive to Sigiriya

Later this afternoon, you will climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, built on top of a huge boulder in the 5th century. A palace. A rock fortress. The hidden

castle of King Kasyapa. A Buddhist monastery from the 14th century. Similar to the cosmic mountain of Meru? The eighth

wonder of the world? No place in Sri Lanka has generated as many theories and legends as the 180m monolith, set

amidst stunning scenery. During the climb, you can talk to your guide about these many theories and decipher

between myth and fact. Sigiriya consists of 1200 steps. The first part of the visit is a leisurely walk through the pleasure

gardens. When one starts to climb. There are two areas where one can take a break on the way up. First near the rocky

cave areas during the pre-climb and secondly at the halfway point of the climb, at the Lions Paw area. Along the way

there are several highlights that you will encounter. These include the cave shelters, the mirror wall, the fresco cave and

the royal palace ruin at the summit of the rock. The entire duration of the experience takes approximately 1.5 to 2.5

hours depending on the speed at which you want to climb. Water is provided.

When you are back at the base of Sigiriya you will receive fresh fruits, water and wet/dry towels to refresh yourself after

the climb.

Return to the hotel for the evening.

Overnight at Roo Mansala | Kassapa Suite

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Day 04 | Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya - Sigiriya

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After breakfast, reconvene with your guide 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.

Later this afternoon, continue on the half-hour drive to Minneriya National Park, Kaudulla National Park or Wasgamuwa 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

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Day 05 | Sigiriya - Dambulla - Matale - Kandy

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

This morning, check out of your hotel and depart on the short drive to nearby Dambulla, a rock temple built by King

Walagambahu in the 1st century BC. Dambulla houses a complex of five cave temples, with over 2,000-square meters

of painted walls and ceilings. It is the largest area of paintings found in the world. Also, here is the largest colossal figure

of the Buddha carved out of rock, spanning 46 feet. Please note that to reach the Dambulla Caves, there is a short, but

fairly steep climb with over 300 steps.

Then continue on the approximately two-hour drive to Kandy. En route, stop at a private Spice Garden in 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. Learn how different spices are grown and sit down for an authentic Sri Lankan lunch,

cooked using the same herbs and spices grown in the garden.

Then continue to Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan Buddhist Sinhalese Kings and another of the country's UNESCO

World Heritage sites. This hill station is remarkable for the natural beauty of its setting in a peaceful wooded valley

overlooking a vast artificial lake. The palace, shrines and British period buildings give it a special character, while

Buddha's Tooth Relic lends a religious importance to the historic highland capital.

Spend some time walking through Kandy's streets with your guide, taking in the local life, sounds and smells around the

vegetable, meat and fish markets.

Later this afternoon, we visit the impressive Royal Botanical Gardens, formerly the pleasure place of the Kandyan kings.

The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens are the largest of the botanical gardens in Sri Lanka and the finest of its kind in

Asia. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gardens are 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 a Botanical Garden, it was a pleasure garden in the days of the kings of Kandy. Then during WWII, the gardens

were the headquarters of the allied command for the pacific.

Afterwards, make your way to the hotel and check in for the evening.

Overnight at Cinnamon Citadel | Superior Room

Day 06 | Kandy

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today, we visit the Gadaladeniya Temple. The Gadaladeniya Temple was built by a minister named "Senadi Lankara"

during the Gampola kingdom in the year 1341 – 1408. It is said that Indian artists were used for building this temple and

most of the structure was built using stones, The carved statue and the "Makara Thorana" are beautiful creations at the

temple.

Our next stop will be at the 'ancient craft artisans', engaging in the process of traditional brass making, producing

brassware using traditional methods and techniques and whose dedication for arts, sculptures and crafts go back to

the ancient Kandyan Kingdom period.

We then visit the Suriyakantha Centre for Arts and Culture for lunch. The "Suriyakantha Centre for Arts & Culture" is established within the 18th century "Walawwa" or an ancient village chief's residence. The Walawwa, inspired by

quintessential Dutch architecture houses an interesting panoply of ancient books, Buddhist manuscripts, photography,

collection of ancient and traditional furniture and wall paintings. We meet with Professor Jacques Soulie, a French

national who has been residing in Sri Lanka for over 40 years as a co-founder. The Professor personally welcomes you to

this establishment where he proudly takes you through the different sections of the house and helps you discover a

piece of Sri Lankan history. Together with the Professor, you enjoy a delicious Sri Lankan rice & curry lunch.

After lunch, we visit Master Ruwan, who is a guru of the ancient Kandyan art of dancing and drumming. Traditional

Kandyan dances include the cobra dance, mask dance and the Ginisila (showing power over fire). The entire frenetic

and colorful spectacle climaxes with an amazing fire-walking act. The dancers wear elaborate costumes including a

headdress, their chests only covered by a decorative beaded net. The Kandyan Dance is traditionally performed to

percussion only; To assist the dancer to keep rhythm a small pair of cymbals is also used as well as a conch shell to

announce the arrival of the dancers and the climax of the dance. This experience is very engaging as our local

dancing master will teach you the basics of dancing and drumming if you are interested.

As we return to Kandy, you will have some free time to explore the city and then return to the hotel for the evening.

Overnight at Cinnamon Citadel | Superior Room

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Day 07 | Kandy - Ella

Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

Today after breakfast, we take a 3 hour drive to the Nanu Oya station and take a 2.5-hour train journey to the town of

Ella

12:45 PM – Train departs Nanu Oya station.

15:17 PM – Train arrives at Ella station.

*First-class, reserved seats, along with a packed lunch box and toiletries are included during your train journey.

On arrival in Ella, proceed to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight at 98 Acres Resort & Spa | Premium Deluxe Room

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Day 08 | Ella

Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

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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 09 | Ella - Galle

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Today after breakfast, drive 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.

Later this afternoon, 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.

Afterwards 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

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Day 10 | Galle

Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

Sri Lankan cuisine is one of the most complex cuisines of South Asia. What better place to learn to cook Sri Lankan dishes

than within the walls of the historic Galle Fort The Galle Fort was known as a hub from time immemorial where a

multitude of foreign merchants and colonial powers were involved in the spice trade. They all brought their own recipes

and ingredients with them and many were incorporated into the dishes seen today which are distinct to the Southern

part of the island. You will meet your host Mama at a lovely art deco style house in the Galle Fort. Mama and her

daughters have been teaching Sri Lankan cooking techniques for curry hungry food enthusiasts for decades. She is a

charming lady with a soft smile who has a real passion for sharing knowledge of Sri Lankan cuisine with her clients. She is

a legend in the Galle Fort as the first to launch a cooking class for travelers 20 years ago. Her dream is to take the story

of Sri Lankan cuisine to the world through her cooking class.

Your experience will begin with a visit to a local market, where you will learn how to select the best fresh produce. You

will then proceed to the kitchen, which is set in a lovely semi outdoor court yard and learn how to prepare

mouthwatering Sri Lankan dishes. Grab your copy of the recipes, and ask plenty of questions. Once the class is

complete, you will have the opportunity to taste the prepared food in a very peaceful ambience.

After lunch, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight at The Heritage Hotel | Deluxe Room

Day 11 | Galle - Airport (BIA

Meal Plan: Breakfast

This morning, we check out after breakfast and proceed to the Bandaranaike International Airport in time for your flight

home.