Sri Lanka

B-Driven – Your Style

Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is a similar size to Tasmania. It is a tropical island nation where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoiled. Sri Lanka B-Driven and discover a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences.

Make the most of your Sri Lanka experience; we assist you to choose your own style and budget. Most recommended is “B-Driven”© by modern, air-conditioned vehicle with your very own chauffeur, who doubles as your fully licensed guide. This method is perfect for navigating Sri Lanka’s winding, mostly narrow roads. Enjoy more flexibility stopping at local places of interest. Your chauffeur will greet you on arrival at Colombo Int’l Airport and stay with you until your last day.

Your itinerary allows adequate time for sightseeing, lunchtimes, tasting local snacks and local traffic conditions. Local train experiences may also be included. Prior to returning extend your program to include extra days at any one of many fantastic beach resorts.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Inclusions 
Meals: 3 continental breakfasts
Transport:Travel by Deluxe Air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 6 nights accommodation
Guide: Professional Tour Director
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

Classic Sri Lanka

With tea plantations, leopard safaris, a former British hill station and UNESCO World Heritage sites, this 15-day itinerary is an ideal introduction to Sri Lanka.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application
Inclusions: 
Meals:14 breakfasts
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Rail:Train Ticket: Kandy / Nuwara Eliya
Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

Boutique Sri Lanka

This leisurely paced 15 day itinerary features a selection of Sri Lanka’s unique and elegant boutique hotels – a truly indulgent way of touring this fascinating country.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application

Inclusions: 
Meals:14 breakfasts
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

Backroads of Sri Lanka

The jewel of the Indian Ocean with ancient sites, beautiful beaches, pristine wilderness, fascinating culture and delectable cuisine. Sri Lanka has it all! This is a fascinating journey including some of the island’s better-known sites, and some of its more off-beat locations, with authentic dining experiences along the way.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:From $6,400.00Price on Application

Inclusions 
Meals:20 breakfasts, all meals at Anamaduwa and Jaffna, 1 dinner
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Rail: Train Ticket: Anuradhapura - Jaffna / Kandy - Ella
Accommodation: 20 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Boutique Sri Lanka

This leisurely paced 15 Day Boutique Sri Lanka itinerary features a selection of Sri Lanka’s unique and elegant boutique hotels – a truly indulgent way of touring this fascinating country.

Visit two of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the spectacular rock citadel of Sigiriya and the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. Stay at the exclusive Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge with its breathtaking views of mist covered mountains, lush green valleys and crystal clear streams.

Take the time to indulge in a spa treatment at the Stone House in Kandy – offering magnificent views over lush green hills and valleys to the central mountains. Visit historic Galle with its unique blend of Persian, Arab, Greek, Roman, Malay, Indian, Chinese, Dutch & British influences before you relax on the beautiful beaches of Bentota from your private beach side hideaway.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Colombo

You will be met on arrival at Colombo International Airport and transferred to your hotel, The Wallawwa, for an overnight stay.

A small property of seventeen guestrooms, it has a real sense of tranquillity. It is set in a lush tropical garden with glorious large trees and a magnificent pool. There are plenty of outdoor spaces for relaxation – verandas dotted with couches, a pretty courtyard and pond, and comfy chairs set out under umbrellas. A popular feature here is the spa – a wonderful place to unwind after a long international flight.

Day 2: Dambulla

Depart for Dambulla, making a stop en route to visit the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple, one of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Festooned with a marvellous array of sculptures and murals, these temples, dating from 1st century BC, are the most beautiful in the country.

Continue on to your accommodation at Dambulla, Kalundewa Retreat.  This is an idyllic hide-away nestled in 40 hectares of land, an extension of a secluded rural village and farming community.  It boasts a large collection of herbal plants, varieties of fruit trees and an extensive vegetable garden. It is also blessed with many waterways, which have been restored from derelict conditions.

Take a dip in the ‘Ulpatha’, a natural spring with cool sparkling water converted into a pool, hidden away under giant trees, surrounded by breathtaking views.  This evening enjoy your dinner by the lake’s edge, on the pool deck, on a floating raft or under the stars in a rice field.

Day 3: Dambulla

Rise early this morning for your visit to another of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the spectacular rock citadel of Sigiriya. Rising 200 metres above green scrub jungle, this massive rock embellished with the remains of one of the country’s most remarkable royal palaces is a stunning sight.  It includes caved temples, frescoes, bathing pools, ponds and Asia’s oldest surviving landscaped gardens.

Later drive to the marvellous ruined city of Polonnaruwa.  Once the country’s capital, this is home to some of medieval Sri Lanka’s finest art and architecture, including the giant Buddha statues of the Gal Vihara.

Day 4: Madulkelle

Depart Dambulla this morning for Madulkelle, making a stop en route at Matale where you will have an opportunity at Matale to explore the delightful green and fragrant Spice Garden. Enjoy a hot cup of spice tea or cocoa tea as trained herbalists introduce you to a variety of different spices, explaining how they are grown and processed and their Ayurvedic uses.

Your accommodation at Madulkelle, Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, nestles on a picturesque tea plantation, on the Knuckles Mountain Range 1000 meters above sea level.  The lodges’ main attractions though are their breathtaking views – mist covered mountains, lush green valleys, crystal clear streams, as well as the sounds of chirping birds and the sighting of the occasional deer or giant squirrel outside your front door. Food here is a special treat, with around 60% of the organically grown vegetables, fruits and herbs used in the hotel kitchen harvested from its own garden.

Seating areas placed within the tea estate, are ideal for a quiet read, meditation or just to spend some quiet time alone with nature.

Day 5: Madulkelle

Today is at leisure.  You can simply spend the day lazing by the infinity pool with its fabulous views of the Madulkelle Village and the majestic Knuckles Mountain range and indulge in a rejuvenating treatment in the Spa.

Alternatively, the hotel offers a range of activities and excursions including: hiking and trekking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, yoga sessions and cooking classes.

Day 6: Kandy

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departing Madukelle for the historic city of Kandy, located in the hills at the heart of Sri Lanka.

Your accommodation here, Stone House, is located on a secluded plateau in the hills of Kandy, with magnificent views over lush green hills and valleys to the central mountains. This 1940’s built colonial mansion has been converted in to a luxurious, architect-designed boutique hotel with each elegant room designed using a blend of local culture and western influences – including artworks by renowned local artists – to create an inviting individual décor.

You may like to indulge in a spa treatment, take a dip in the pool, stroll in the beautifully landscaped tropical gardens or have a browse in the library.  If Sri Lankan cuisine is of interest, be sure to take a cooking class with the chef at some point during your stay here. If you want to explore the surrounding area you can take a tuk tuk ride around the town or make use of the mountain bikes on offer.

Early this evening attend a display of traditional Kandyan dance. Following the performance visit the Dalada Maligawa – the Buddhist ‘Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Here you can witness the evening puja ceremony, a daily religious observation that has been followed for generations.

Day 7: Kandy

Kandy is a delight to explore.  Spend this morning touring this atmospheric town with your guide, beginning with a drive around its lovely centrepiece, Kandy Lake. Stroll through the bustling town centre and colourful bazaar, visit the arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary.

You may also like to visit the lovely Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya. Once the pleasure garden of 14th century Kandyan queen, today it is one of the best gardens in Asia with over 4,000 tropical and subtropical flora, including spice and herbal gardens as well as a stunning collection of orchids.

The afternoon is at leisure.

Day 8: Colombo

After breakfast depart for Colombo.

You have the option to make a stop en route at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage – an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants.  Established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation, today it houses the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. This is an opportunity to observe the care and daily routine of these gentle creatures, such as the bottle-feeding of calves, and to view elephants from the broad river bank as the herd interacts socially, bathing and playing.

Your accommodation here, the elegant Lake Lodge, is perfectly situated to combine the peace and quiet of a residential lane location with the convenience of being in the heart of the business district of the city. Recently refurbished, its stylish interiors and comfortable surroundings aim to offer guests a ‘home away from home’ experience.

Day 9: Colombo

This morning enjoy a guided walk through the city of Colombo with its fascinating variety of colonial architecture, beautiful mosques and Hindu temples.  Interact with locals as you shop for gifts from streets devoted to different products – from gold to Ayurveda items –and sample typical Sri Lankan food and beverages in the amazing atmosphere of the hundred year old vegetable market.

This evening enjoy dinner at Ministry of Crab. Located in the Old Dutch Hospital district, this popular restaurant was started by a couple of Sri Lankan cricketers and deserves all the praise it’s getting.

Day 10: Galle

Depart for Galle this morning. A UNESCO `World Heritage City’, this is the most perfectly preserved colonial town in Sri Lanka.   Although a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country – Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians and Chinese all traded through Galle port – the city’s ‘modern’ history began with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1502. In 1640, the Portuguese surrendered to the Dutch East India Company and Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period.

Your accommodation here, Rampart Street, is located inside Galle Fort itself. A recently refurbished heritage property, it has been styled in an elegant combination of colonial charm – with antique furniture, rich fabrics and tapestries – and modern amenities that cater to all creature comforts.  It comprises only four guest rooms, a spacious common living room, a plush TV room and a number of outdoor living areas.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.  You may like to take a refreshing dip in the villa pool  – this is one of the few properties within the Galle Fort that provides the luxury of a private swimming pool.

Day 11: Galle

Spend this morning with your guide exploring the fortified city of Galle. The Old Town of Galle and its fortifications were built by the Portuguese who arrived in the 16th century. Learn about some of the fort’s important heritage monuments, including the Dutch Reformed Church, the old Dutch government house, the residence of the Commander, the National Maritime Museum, the Old Dutch Hospital, Meera Mosque, All Saints Anglican Church, the Clock Tower and the Galle Lighthouse.

The afternoon is at leisure. A nice end to a day here is a sunset walk along the fort’s ramparts overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Day 12: Galle

Today is at leisure. If shopping is of interest, Galle is renowned for its intricate lace and ebony carvings.

Day 13: Bentota

After a leisurely breakfast, depart Galle for the short drive to Bentota and your ‘home’ for the next two nights, Paradise Road The Villa Bentota – a unique and private beach side hotel.

The world renowned Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa, was originally drawn to this property in the 1970s, converting the then dilapidated ancestral home into the country’s first boutique hotel. In 2007 the property was acquired by ‘Paradise Road’ (the company that owns the famous Colombo shop of the same name), who refurbished and extended it in keeping with the original design. A new wing and entrance pavilion and a new swimming pool were added and the gardens were re-landscaped.  Re-opened in 2009, today the hotel comprises fifteen rooms and suites with all modern amenities.  Each room is unique in decoration, style and layout.

Day 14: Bentota

Today is at leisure.  The beaches of Bentota are perfect for swimming, lounging and sunbathing and walking along.  In addition, the hotel offers a number of activities.

Just ten minutes down the Galle Road, the Bentota Lake provides the perfect location to water ski, ride a jet ski or go for a group trip on a banana boat.

A boat safari is a unique experience for nature lovers. The mangroves of Sri Lanka are protected by the environmental authorities and contain some of the island’s beautiful wildlife. The lakes of Bentota and surrounding areas provide a memorable discovery trip with temples hidden on islands and breathtaking views.

The turtle hatchery is another attraction. The hatcheries house turtles that have been saved from fisherman or injury and also play a huge role in protecting the endangered species by safely providing nesting grounds.  On the right day visitors can help release baby turtles into the wild.

Day 15: Colombo

Depart Bentota for the 2-hour drive to the Airport to board your flight home.

 

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application

Inclusions: 
Meals:14 breakfasts
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Classic Sri Lanka

With tea plantations, leopard safaris, a former British hill station and UNESCO World Heritage sites, this 15 day Classic Sri Lanka itinerary is an ideal introduction to Sri Lanka.

The pace is easy going, with mostly two night stays.
 This Classic Sri Lanka trip is unique to India Unbound. We have designed it to showcase the cultural highlights and diversity of the country, while allowing time for rest and relaxation along the way.

The trip includes several significant and renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites – from the Sigiriya Rock Fortress to the Buddhist `Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’ – plus the World Heritage city of Galle Fort where cafes, boutiques and artisan workshops line the cobbled streets.

Away from the archaeological wonders, see the picturesque landscape with a comfortable local train ride into the hills and visit tea plantations to learn (and taste!) more about Sri Lanka’s best known crop – after all Ceylon grows some of the world’s best tea!

Concluding in the capital Colombo, this trip also features jeep safaris in Yala National Park, a traditional dance performance and an optional bicycle tour, and is an ideal introduction to Sri Lanka.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Arrive Colombo

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel near the airport for an overnight stay.

Day 2: Anuradhapura

Depart for Anuradhapura this morning. This was the first ancient capital of the ‘country of kings’ for approximately 1,400 years. At the pinnacle of its glory, the city extended over 52 square kilometres. Its magnificent monuments, refined sculpture and paintings are testimony to a veritable and original Sri Lankan culture.

Check in to your accommodation on arrival and afterwards take in the sights of the ancient city, with its rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders.

Day 3: Sigiriya

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departing for the 2-hour drive to Sigiriya.

This afternoon visit one of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Set in green scrub jungle, this massive rock was a retreat for Buddhist monks in ancient times. The well-planned monastic complex includes caved temples, frescoes, bathing pools, ponds and Asia’s oldest surviving landscaped gardens. Today Sigiriya is best known for its frescos painted in the pocket of the rock. Other highlights of the site include the ‘Lion Stairway’, the ‘Mirror Wall’ and the ‘Water Gardens’.

Day 4: Sigiriya

This morning visit Polonnaruwa (where you have the option to tour by bicycle).  Once the medieval capital, this is one of the most beautiful centres in Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. Explore the ancient ruins and the Gal Vihara complex, where three gigantic Buddha statues are carved out of a single rock.

This afternoon take a safari in to Minneriya National Park. Comprising 88.9 sq kms of scrub and light forest, it provides shelter for a number of animals, including toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The park is also of interest because of its ancient Minneriya Tank, which was built by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD.

Day 4: Sigiriya

This morning visit Polonnaruwa (where you have the option to tour by bicycle).  Once the medieval capital, this is one of the most beautiful centres in Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. Explore the ancient ruins and the Gal Vihara complex, where three gigantic Buddha statues are carved out of a single rock.

This afternoon take a safari in to Minneriya National Park. Comprising 88.9 sq kms of scrub and light forest, it provides shelter for a number of animals, including toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The park is also of interest because of its ancient Minneriya Tank, which was built by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD.

Day 5: Kandy

Depart for Kandy this morning, making stops en route to visit the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple and a spice garden at Matale.

Another of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Dambulla Rock cave temple is thought to date back to the 1st century BC; this is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country.

Sri Lanka is famous for its spices. At Matale you will have an opportunity to explore the delightful green and fragrant Spice Garden. Trained staff will introduce you to different spices including nutmeg, pepper vines, cloves trees, curry, cinnamon, and the precious cardamom (which grows in the shade of high jungle trees and can only be harvested by hand). They will explain how some of these are grown and show you how they are processed. If you are interested, you can purchase spices, traditional remedies and cosmetics here. (A processing and training unit has been set up in the area and farmers are grouped in a cooperative to ensure fair prices).

Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was established in the 14th century and the Kingdom of Kandy became the country’s capital city in the 16th century. Under the patronage of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka indigenous culture flourished for more than 2,500 years until the occupation by the British in 1815. Steeped in political, cultural and religious history, Kandy also played a central role in the tea plantation industry once tea production began in Ceylon.

Day 6: Kandy

After breakfast drive to Pinnawela to visit the Elephant Orphanage, which was established to feed, nurse and house young elephants abandoned by their mothers and displaced from their natural environment due to development projects. Most orphans cannot be introduced back into the wild, as other elephant family groups will not accept them. They enjoy a good life with their human ‘parents’ and many find foster homes in zoos around the world. Arrive at the Orphanage early this morning in order to see the baby elephants being bottle-fed. Afterwards, the entire herd is taken to the river for a bath.

This afternoon, take a city tour. The charming, easy-going capital of the hill country, Kandy’s lovely centrepiece is Kandy Lake. An artificial lake 4 kilometres in circumference, it was created in 1807 by Sri Wickrama Rajasinha, the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy. The island in the centre was used as his personal harem, to which he crossed on a barge. Later the British used it as an ammunition store and added the fortress style parapet around the perimeter. The town centre, close to the lake is a delightful jumble of old shops, antique and gemstones specialists, a bustling market and a good selection of restaurants.

You may also like to visit the Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya. Established in 1821, the garden is well known for its spectacular ornamental plants, large variety of tropical trees and creepers, including a nutmeg grove and its orchid house, which contains more than three hundred orchids.

Later this afternoon visit the Dalada Maligawa – the Buddhist ‘Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage site partly due to this temple. Here you can witness the puja ceremony, a daily religious observation that has been followed for generations.

This evening, enjoy a Kandyan Dance performance; this traditional Sri Lankan dance flourished in the hill country during ancient times. The dancers, who are attired in frilled costumes with glistening head-dresses and breastplates, skip and whirl to the beat of drums executing astonishing acrobatics in mid-air; the highlight is the fire walking at the end of the performance.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya

Transfer to the railway station this morning to board a train to Nuwara Eliya. Set in a picturesque landscape, it is located at an altitude of 1884 metres; it is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.

The town was founded in about 1825 as a retreat for British civil servants and planters seeking to escape from the heat of the plains. A ‘hill station’, where they could indulge in pastimes such as fox hunting, polo, golf and cricket, it was known as “Little England” due to its picturesque landscape and cool climate and the many buildings that retain features from the colonial period.

Day 8: Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is considered to be the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. This morning visit a tea plantation. The tour includes observing the day-to-day operations of an estate – and also enables you to participate in some activities such as tea picking, etc (and tea tasting, of course!).

Return to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure. You may like to take a stroll around the town; many of the buildings here, such as the Queen’s Cottage, General’s House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club and Town Post Office retain features from the colonial period; many private homes still maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens.

Day 9: Yala

Depart Nuwara Eliya this morning for Yala and your accommodation here, close to Yala National Park, Sri Lanka’s most visited wildlife reserve.

Check in to your accommodation on arrival and afterwards take an afternoon jeep safari in to the park accompanied by a tracker. The park is home to herds of elephants, wild boar, wild buffalo, crocodiles, sloth bears, monkeys and other animals. Its most famous residents, however, are its elusive leopards. There are also about 130 species of resident and migrant birds in the park including fantailed peacocks, painted storks, jackals, serpent eagles, sea eagles and pelicans.

Day 10: Yala

Enjoy an early morning jeep safari in to Yala National Park (breakfast packets will be provided).

Return to your accommodation and the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 11: Galle

Depart for Galle this morning. One of the best-preserved colonial-era cities in Southeast Asia, Galle has been declared a UNESCO `World Heritage City’.

Galle was a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country as Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians and Chinese were doing business through Galle port. The ‘modern’ history of the city began with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1502. In 1640, the Portuguese surrendered to the Dutch East India Company and Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period.

Day 12: Galle

Full day at leisure. Galle Fort is a delightful place to explore with its narrow, cobbled streets, laid back cafes, boutique hotels, and artisan workshops. Outside the fort’s walls are long stretches of beach backed by coconut palms and lush hillsides.

Day 13: Colombo

After breakfast depart for Colombo. The largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo stretches for 14 kilometres along the western shore of the country. Due to its large harbour and strategic position along the East West sea-trade routes, it was well known to ancient traders as long as 2,000 years ago. Today it is a metropolis of over two million people where different ethnic groups, religions and cultures mingle. The contrast between high-rise hotels and colonial mansions, supermarkets and street bazaars, dazzling cars and motor-rickshaws, is found everywhere.

Day 14: Colombo

Spend today sightseeing with a local guide, including visits to many of the city’s famous landmarks such as Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, the National Museum, the Old Parliament, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Independence Square, the Town Hall and Buddhist and Hindu Temples.

Day 15: Depart Colombo

Transfer to the airport to board your departure flight.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application

Inclusions: 
Meals:14 breakfasts
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Rail:Train Ticket: Kandy / Nuwara Eliya
Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Wildlife of Sri Lanka

Wildlife lovers will visit and experience three of Sri Lanka’s top wildlife destinations as part of this trip. Combining some of Sri Lanka’s most important archaeological sites, World Heritage-listed locations and the country’s best national parks abundant with wildlife – this is an ideal introduction to all Sri Lanka has to offer.

This comprehensive 17-day exploration of Sri Lanka’s ‘must see’ locations commences at the wonderful Horathapola Estate – where the tranquility of rural Sri Lanka is lay before you. Search for the elusive Sri Lankan leopard in Wilpattu National Park on guided game drives, wander the ancient sacred grounds of Anuradhapura and explore the mediational pathways of Ritigala.

You will have the opportunity to climb of the magnificent Rock Fortress of Sigiriya – a rare jewel amongst the treasures this land has to offer. Visit the charming capital of the hill country – Kandy and explore this former capital city by bicycle. See swimming elephant herds at Gal Oya National Park, stay at a luxurious tented camp from where you will take game drives into the world famous Yala National Park and walk the historical streets of the UNESCO World Heritage City of Galle – once a prominent sea port hosting traders from all over the world.

A wonderful 17-day wildlife and sightseeing trip in Sri Lanka.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Colombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met upon arrival at Colombo’s international airport and make the short drive to the seclusion of Horathapola Estate. This astutely renovated plantation bungalow offers you contemporary comforts coupled with local charm that will entice you from the moment you reach this property.

Day 2: Horathapola

Morning at leisure to enjoy the ambiance of the 50-acre estate. With its large agricultural expanse you may like to stroll through the coconut trees and paddy fields or  take a guided village walk. You are also welcome to help prepare lunch or dinner and learn about the local spices and cooking methods.

Day 3: Wilpattu

Drive to Wilpattu National Park. Wilpattu is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and popular due to the high prevalence of Sri Lankan leopards. The park is also home to a diverse range of other wildlife, including the highly threatened Sri Lankan sloth bear, elephant, spotted deer, water buffalo, sambar and mongoose. A number of wetland bird species are found here including garganey, pintail and whistling teal. Spend the next two days exploring this amazing eco system on guided game drives.

Day 4: Wilpattu

Today continue your exploration of the Wilpattu National Park on guided game drives.

Day 5: Sigiriya

This morning drive to Anuradhapura. Wander the sacred and ancient grounds of Anuradhapura with its rich collection of archaeological treasures dating back over 2,000 years. Anuradhapura is a sprawling complex and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Afterwards, visit Ritigala archeological site to explore its long meditational pathways that open into the thick jungle and large stone-lined reservoirs. Continue onto Sigiriya.

Day 6: Sigiriya

This morning visit the magnificent Rock Fortress of Sigiriya. The rock fortress also known as Lion Rock, is a rare jewel among the many treasures in Sri Lanka. The site was the domain of King Kashyapa whose aim was to build an impregnable fortress and within it, a heavenly abode. Later visit the massive rock formation of Pidurangala located just a few kilometers north.

Day 7: Sigiriya

Morning at leisure before you set out on a jeep safari to either Kaudulla or Minneriya National Park where you can see elephants in their natural habitat. Encountering these giants at close range is an unforgettable experience. Both parks also present sightings of bird-flocks such as painted storks, pelicans and little cormorants as well as toque macaques, sambar deer, buffalo and crocodiles.

Day 8: Kandy

Continue on to Kandy today. The charming, easy-going capital of the hill country, Kandy once served as the country’s capital of the Sinhalese kingdom until its fall to the British in 1815. With the lovely centerpiece of Kandy Lake, Kandy is a big city that still retains touches of its colonial history in its buildings.  Visit the Buddhist ‘Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha.

Day 9: Kandy

Mounting the older Sri Lankan style of bikes, take a guided cycling tour rolling along small lanes and back roads to discover the heritage of Kandy through its people who carry on the traditions of the Kandyan Kingdom, from the keeper of a Buddhist temple, to a lady selling coconuts.  Enjoy a snack break along the way and stop by some local cottage industries.

Day 10: Gal Oya

Gal Oya is the only place in Sri Lanka where safaris can be conducted by boat, giving you an opportunity to observe animals as they come to the water’s edge to drink. A highlight is seeing the spectacle of herds of elephants swimming from one island to another in search of greener pastures. Nearby are the Veddha – the forest-dwelling indigenous people of Sri Lanka who will take you through the jungles to learn more about their way of life. Spend the next three days at Gal Oya exploring by boat, jeep and on foot.

Day 11: Gal Oya

Today continue your exploration of Gal Oya on guided game drives. Gal Oya is the only place in Sri Lanka where safaris can also be conducted by boat providing an opportunity to observe Wildlife by the waters edge.

Day 12: Gal Oya

Today we take an excursion to a nearby Veddha village – the forest dwelling indigenous people of Sri Lanka who will share their knowledge of the jungle and their way of life.

Day 13: Yala

Continue on to Yala. Your stay for the next two nights will be at a luxury campsite where you can set out for game drives into the Yala National Park. This is Sri Lanka’s most visited wildlife reserve and is home to herds of elephants, wild boar, wild buffalo, crocodiles, sloth bears, monkeys and other animals. Its most famous residents, however, are its leopards.

Day 14: Yala

Further exploration today by way of game drives into the Yala National Park – Sri Lanka’s most popular and home to an incredible variety of wildlife.  Today you will have yet another chance to spot the most famous resident of the park – the Sri Lankan Leopard.

Day 15: Galle

One of the best-preserved colonial-era cities in Southeast Asia, Galle has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage City. Galle was a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country as Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians and Chinese were doing business through Galle port. A leisurely day to relax by the pool or you can take a walk and enjoy the views of the sunset from the ramparts of the fort.

Day 16: Galle

Discover Galle Fort with its narrow, cobbled streets, laid back cafes, boutique hotels, and artisan workshops. The Fort remains a working community with locals going about their business as they have done here for centuries. Dine at a local home tonight to taste some of Sri Lanka’s finest curries.

Day 17: Colombo

Transfer to Colombo for international departing flight.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:From $9,915.00 per personPrice on Application
Inclusions: 
Meals:16 breakfasts, all meals at Wilpattu, Gal Oya & Yalla, dinner in Galle Day 16
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 16 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Spirit of Sri Lanka

Welcome to Negombo! This coastal city north of the capital Colombo offers a laid-back introduction to Sri Lanka. We’ll meet you on arrival and take you to your hotel.

Hotel: The Heritance Negombo, 2 nights

This morning, get a feel for the Sri Lankan way of life, exploring the streets and secret corners of Negombo with local expert Mark Forbes. Later, discover a fish market where seafood is king, which will surprise the senses with intense smells and flavours. Then, as the sun sets, it’s time to kick back on a leisurely cruise across the city’s lagoon before dinner.

Some monuments simply take your breath away and today the Dambulla Cave Temple is no exception. After breakfast, make your way to this World Heritage-listed Buddhist temple system, one of the largest and best-preserved in Sri Lanka. The temple’s five shrine rooms are all in caves, housing ornate statues and ancient artwork relating to the life of Buddha. Your venue for dinner tonight is in the Caves of Heritance, where you can dine by candlelight on divine Sri Lankan dishes.

Hotel: Heritance Kandalama, 3 nights

Today, brace yourself for perhaps Sri Lanka’s most dramatic sight. Sigiriya Rock Fortress rises from the forest floor, an extraordinary monument to the reign of King Kasyapa, centuries ago. This ancient World heritage-listed citadel commands spectacular views if you’re up for the climb. Then with time on your hands back at your resort, you might like to head out on a village trek, cycle around the local countryside or undulge in a spa treatment. This evening, taste your way through a seven-course feast for dinner.

Set out for a day’s adventure, beginning in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa after breakfast. This World Heritage-listed archaeological park etches a lost kingdom into an ethereal landscape. Moving on this afternoon to Minneriya National Park for a safari, where the chance to see Sri Lankan elephants in their natural habitat is a must. As you return to your resort tonight, enjoy time to relax. This evening choose from a range of dining options for dinner this evening.

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Sri Lanka In Style

With a focus on luxury and designed around some of Sri Lanka’s finest properties, 2-to-3 night stays at each location creates a more leisurely pace of travel and leaves plenty of time to experience these amazing hotels and resorts.

On this unique 12 Day Sri Lanka In Style tour you will experience first-hand Sri Lanka’s most luxurious boutique hotels and resorts. Stay at the world-renowned Tea Trails – which features just five luxury restored tea planter’s bungalows in the heart of the country’s beautiful tea country. Visit the archaeological wonders of Anuradhapura and the ancient Buddhist Monastery of Ritigala. Enjoy a scenic rail journey to Hatton, stroll amongst the lush tea plantations of Dickoya and visit the UNESCO `Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’ in Kandy.  In Colombo, be entertained by stories of the past on a personalised guided walking tour.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Arrive Colombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met upon arrival in Colombo and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: Thirappane

After breakfast, drive to Anuradhapura. At the pinnacle of its glory, the city of Anuradhapura extended over 52-square-kilometers. Its magnificent monuments, refined sculpture and paintings are testimony to a veritable and original Sri Lankan culture. Take in the sights of the ancient city, with its rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders. Afterwards, continue on to Thirappane to your accommodation. You may wish to indulge in some of the optional activities available to you at the resort such as a jungle walk or, for something far less rigorous, be at one with your surroundings with a private yoga session.

Day 3: Thirappane

Continue your journey of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle with a visit to the Ritigala Archeological Monastery. The archeological site bears a certain mysterious nature owing to the long meditational pathways that open into the thick jungle and large stone-lined reservoirs. Remainder of the day at leisure at your resort.

Day 4: Thirappane

This morning you will drive to Pidurangala and make the climb up this massive rock formation. The slightly taxing climb is all worth the effort once you reach the top and are rewarded with views of a green carpet of forest punctuated by Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the distance. In the afternoon, there’s the option to set out on a jeep safari at either of Kaudulla or Minneriya National Parks. Both national parks are famous for observing elephants in their natural habitat.

Day 5: Kandy

Drive this morning to Kandy. Steeped in political, cultural and religious history, Kandy became the country’s capital city in the 16th century and also played a central role in the tea plantation industry once tea production began in Ceylon. Wander around the lake and the streets of Kandy getting a feel for this wonderful city and exploring the local markets. This evening visit the ‘Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’.

Day 6: Kandy

Explore Kandy on a bicycle tour. Cycle along the streets and alleys of Kandy going beyond the usual landmarks and deeper into the everyday life of the locals. Afternoon is at your leisure.

Day 7: Kandy

Day at leisure to relax by the pool or you could take afternoon tea on the lawn while partaking in a game of croquet.

Day 8: Dickoya

Today experience a breathtaking train journey through Sri Lanka’s hill country with lush tea plantations, mountains covered in mist and its smiling people. Arrive at Ceylon Tea Trails, the world’s first tea bungalow resort, perched at an altitude of 1,250 meters in Sri Lanka’s panoramic tea region. You can either relax or put your walking shoes on and stride out into the picturesque tea country – right at your doorstep.

Day 9: Dickoya

Traditional ‘bed tea’ will be served by your butler this morning and later your chef can suggest meals based on fresh produce and homegrown vegetables and herbs. Spend the morning seeing how Ceylon tea is made and learn the art of becoming a discerning tea taster. Visit the nearby Warleigh Church built by early British planters located in one of the most stunning locations. Enjoy a walk/trek or bicycle ride through the tea plantations and indulge in one of Tea Trail’s delicious picnics!

Day 10: Colombo

After breakfast, depart for Colombo. With its large harbor and strategic position along the East West sea-trade routes, Colombo was well known to ancient traders as long as 2,000 years ago. Today it is a metropolis of over two million people where different ethnic groups, religions and cultures mingle. The contrast between high-rise hotels and colonial mansions, supermarkets and street bazaars, dazzling cars and motor-rickshaws, is found everywhere.

Day 11: Colombo

A morning at leisure to relax at your beautiful accommodation. Later in the afternoon, take a leisurely 2-3 hour walk that takes you through the city’s heart reflecting a bygone era of Portuguese, Dutch and English colonialism all the while mingling with modern high-rise hotels. Stroll to the Pettah market place with its labyrinth of gridlocked streets with tiny shops and footpaths stacked high with merchandise.

Day 12: Depart Colombo

Your tour concludes after breakfast. Transfer to Colombo Airport for departing flight.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:From $6,765.00Price on Application
Inclusions 
Meals:11 breakfasts, all meals in Dickoya
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Rail: Train Ticket: Train journey through Sri Lanka’s hill country
Accommodation: 11 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Backroads of Sri Lanka

The jewel of the Indian Ocean with its ancient sites, beautiful beaches, pristine wilderness, fascinating culture and delectable cuisine – Sri Lanka has it all! This fascinating journey includes some of the island’s better-known sites, as well as some of its more off-beat locations, with authentic dining experiences along the way.

Begin your 21-day journey of the Backroads of Sri Lanka at the beautiful Hoakelle Estate. Roam the lush tropical gardens or simply relax by the pool. Sample local curries on your guided exploration of rural Horakelle. Stay at a secluded eco retreat set amidst six acres of remote wilderness and tranquil lakes located at the foot of the Rock Temple in Anamaduwa.

Travel to Sri Lanka’s north and take a boat to the former Portuguese settlement of Delft Island – best known for its population of wild horses. Feast on a variety of Sri Lankan curries as you dine with your host family in Jaffna. Enjoy a unique boat safari at Gal Oya National Park to spot wildlife drinking on the waters edge. Visit the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Take the scenic rail journey to Ella passing lush tea plantations and mist shrouded mountains along the way. Indulge in a private and secluded beach house stay at Matara. Bicycle tours in Jaffna & Kandy. A 21-day journey that will give you memories for a lifetime.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Arrive Colombo

Upon arrival in Colombo you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Horakelle Estate is the ideal place to start your Sri Lankan adventure. Enjoy a walk around the lush gardens, or swim in the pool.

Day 2: Horakelle

Begin your exploration of the small villages nearby with a locally guided tuk tuk ride on quiet roads of rural Horakelle. Stops are made along the way to sample the local curries that this area is famous for. Afternoon is at your leisure.

Day 3: Anamaduwa

Proceed to Anamaduwa – a sprawling 2,000-year-old archaeological treasure. Check in to The Mud House, a secluded eco retreat nestled at the foot of the ancient Rock Temple in Anamaduwa.  Set amidst six acres of remote wilderness, tranquil lakes and abundant fauna and flora, there is plenty to see and do for the more adventurous.

Day 4: Anamaduwa

Steeped in myth and legend, the Paramankanda Rock Temple is said to hold mysterious powers found behind its trap doors and its rumored underground tunnel network. At ground level, the temple has a number of fascinating shrine rooms found under the overhanging rock and offers incredible views from atop its stone staircase. Later enjoy a lake swim or explore the surrounding villages.

Day 5: Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura – the city of Kings – was once the seat of power in Sri Lanka before being abandoned in search of a new capital after numerous invasions. Today Anuradhapura’s sacred Bodhi tree stands as majestic as it did during the reign of King Tissa – over 2,000 years ago.

Day 6: Jaffna

Travel by train to Jaffna – a city of attractive palm-shaded colonial-era suburbs and intriguing temples and churches. After meeting your host family, embark on an extensive guided city tour travelling like the locals, by bike. Later your host family will share with you a traditional Sri Lankan meal of various soups, curries and tropical fruits.

Day 7: Jaffna

Start this morning at the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, the city’s most important Hindu temple. Later, explore the city’s major sights including Kayts jetty, Hanuman temple, Kantharodai Buddhist miniature pagodas, Keerimalai pond and Naguleswaram temple. Lunch will be taken at a village home served on banana leaf in traditional Jaffna style. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax on the peaceful Casuarina beach.

Day 8: Delft Island

Delft Island is about as remote as it gets in Sri Lanka. A small and isolated island that due to civil war remained off limits from tourism for many years. The island is perhaps best known for its population of wild horses, which were left by the Portuguese and remain an iconic feature of the rural life here. Tour the islands other attractions before enjoying a seafood lunch at a local home on the island.

Day 9: Habarana

En route to our next destination – Habarana – we enter Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle and continue onto the Ritigala Forest Monastery. Ritigala has the feel of an undiscovered world and archaeologists have uncovered various structures and implements dating back to the 4th century B.C. – proof of a once extensive monastic complex. The stone meditational pathways snaking through the jungle seem from another world. Spend the next few nights at Elephant Watch Hut – and as its name suggests, it is not unusual to be awoken in the wee hours by an elephant strolling by your stilted hut.

Day 10: Habarana

Visit Sigiriya. Rising over the dry and baron plains is the magnificent Rock Fortress of Sigiriya – also known as Lion Rock. Later a short journey north brings you to Pidurangala – a massive rock formation offering magnificent views of the lush forests below.

Day 11: Kandy

Proceed to Kandy, the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings and a city still in touch with its colonial past.  Wander around the city’s lake and streets and explore the local markets. Located in the Royal Palace complex, also visit the revered Temple of the Tooth that houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha.

Day 12: Kandy

A great way to see Kandy at a slower pace is by bicycle. A guided tour on an older style Lumala bike will show you the backroads and narrow laneways of Kandy, travelling much as they did in Ceylon in the 1920’s. Along the way visit some interesting cottage industries, explore the tiny shops and pause for a snack break at a picturesque location.

Day 13: Ella

A train journey today will take you high up into the hills passing lush tea plantations and mist shrouded mountains before reaching the town of Ella. Here the air is cooler and the vegetation is lush. This is one of Sri Lanka’s prime hiking destinations yet at the same time is the perfect spot to unwind for a few days. Stay at a homestay where you can experience the genuine hospitality of the local families.

Day 14: Ella

An early morning optional leisurely hike to Little Adam’s Peak will be rewarded with stunning views across the valley of the surrounding hills.

Day 15: Gal Oya

Gal Oya is an unexplored treasure in Sri Lanka – a national park surrounded by water and islands. Safaris are conducted by boat giving you the opportunity to observe wildlife at close range as they gather at the water’s edge. Herds of elephant can often be seen swimming from one island to another – one of the many highlights this park has to offer. You can also join one of the resident naturalists for a walk to discover the beauty and birdlife around the lodge.

Day 16: Matara

Today proceed to Matara where you will spend two days at a secluded beach house. Enjoy walks along the beach, swim in the pool, and stroll along the tropical garden.

Day 17: Matara

A full day to relax and enjoy your surroundings and the facilities of your secluded and private beach house.

Day 18: Galle

Continue onto the coastal town of Galle – a town of great beauty where colonial architecture meets lush tropical vegetation and the glimmering sea. Galle Fort is a living-breathing city within a city complete with boutique shops, cafes and hotels. Take a walk and enjoy the views of the sunset from the ramparts of the fort – a short way from your accommodation.

Day 19: Galle

Morning at leisure. Later, visit Galle’s major sights. Spend time exploring the inner sanctum of Galle Fort where time seemingly has stood still for hundreds of years and marvel at the fortifications that resemble those in the coastal areas of Portugal. Dine tonight in a local home trying the many exotic curries this city is famous for.

Day 20: Depart Colombo

Your tour concludes today. Transfer to Colombo for international departing flight.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:From $6,400.00Price on Application

Inclusions 
Meals:20 breakfasts, all meals at Anamaduwa and Jaffna, 1 dinner
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Rail: Train Ticket: Anuradhapura - Jaffna / Kandy - Ella
Accommodation: 20 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Splendours of Sri Lanka

Take in the natural wonders of Sri Lanka in style during this extraordinary 12 Day Splendours of Sri Lanka tour, taking you to such places as Kandy, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya and Ahungalla as well as Horton Plains and Yala national parks.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Late today, you’ll arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport, located near the charming fishing village of Negombo. On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, the Jetwing Lagoon.

Hotel: Jetwing Lagoon

Hotel: Sigiriya Aliya Resort & Sap, 3 nights

Day 3: Sigiriya

This morning visit the World Heritage-listed ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya. Rising 200 metres above the central plains, this spectacular geological formation was once home to an ancient civilisation. If you’re feeling active, climb the open staircases to the top of Sigiriya and take in the impressive views at its summit. Alternatively, visit the Sigiriya Museum and learn more about the cultural significance behind the iconic rock mass. Take a guided tour of the area before returning to your hotel. The afternoon is yours to spend at leisure.

Today after breakfast, head to the World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa for a tour of its ancient city. Once a prosperous religious centre, it was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in AD993. Explore the fascinating ruins and discover a world of archaeological treasures, including beautiful Buddha statues, impressive stupas and intricately carved Hindu sculptures. Have lunch in Polonnaruwa before returning to the hotel. This afternoon you may wish to embark on a safari to see the herds of elephants at Minneriya National Park.

Day 5: Sigiriya – Kandy

This morning travel from Sigiriya to the historic city of Kandy, the last capital from the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. Here you’ll depart on a guided tour of Kandy’s major sights, learning more about its intriguing history and culture. See the World Heritage-listed Temple of the Tooth, which houses one of Buddhism’s most sacred relics – the tooth of Buddha. Later this evening, experience the energy of a traditional Sri Lankan cultural performance before returning to your hotel. Nestled in the picturesque hilltops of Kandy, Amaya Hills is a breathtaking retreat that looks out onto the lush green mountains of Hanthana. With its design inspired by a traditional Kandyan palace, experience a tasteful mingling of Kandyan culture with fabulous contemporary trimmings

Hotel: K Amaya Hills, 2 nights

Day 6: Kandy – Peradeniya

Today you will visit the exquisite Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. Home to over 4,000 species of exotic flora and fauna, the gardens are renowned for their collection of beautiful orchids. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. You might choose to set out on an optional trip to the sustainable farm at Tamarind Garden in the Digana country side.

This morning, journey onwards to the lush, green hills of Nuwara Eliya. En route, visit one of the famous tea plantations and factories. Here learn all about the traditions behind the tea making while you sample some of the world’s finest Ceylon tea. This afternoon, take in a tour of Nuwara Eliya.

Hotel: Araliya Green Hills Hotel

Day 8: Nuwara Eliya – Yala National Park

This morning head to Nanu Oya to board a unique train for the journey to Ella. As you travel take in the superb views of the lush, green hill country. Later, continue to Yala where you’ll check in to your hotel. Nestled amid splendid vegetation, enjoy both style and privacy at the premium Jetwing Yala.

Hotel: Jetwing Yal, 2 nights

Day 9: Yala National Park

Board a Jeep and venture out on a morning safari in Yala National Park. The park is home to over 32 species of mammals including elephants, crocodiles and sloth bears. Its star attraction however is the spectacular Sri Lankan leopard. Spend the afternoon at your leisure, or head out on an optional afternoon safari for a chance to see more of the park’s wonderful wildlife.

Travel to Galle. Enroute, stop in at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, where displaced baby elephants are cared for and rehabilitated a fortified port city steeped in history. Here you’ll depart on a tour and see many of its major landmarks. Admire the Dutch-colonial architecture and marvel at the ancient mosques, churches and grand mansions of this World Heritage-listed city. Continue to your beachside hotel in Ahungalla.

Hotel: Heritance Ahungalla, 2 nights

The day is free for yout to enjoy at your relaxing beachfront hotel. You may like to join an optional tour to the Lunuganga Estate.

Day 12: Colombo – Depart Negombo

After a morning at leisure, venture to the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, home to diverse races, religions and cultures. Go on a guided tour of the city and see many of its sights. This evening, enjoy a special Farewell Dinner at Lagoon Seafood Restaurant before being transferred to the airport for your evening flight home.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
January 31$4,995.00Price on Application
February: 07, 21$4,995.00Price on Application
March: 06, 20$4,895.00Price on Application
April: 10$4,895.00Price on Application
May: 01, 08$4,895.00Price on Application
September: 25$4,595.00Price on Application
October: 16$4,595.00Price on Application
October: 30$4,995.00Price on Application
November: 13, 20$4,995.00Price on Application
December: 04$4,995.00Price on Application
2021 Dates & Prices
January 30$4,895.00Price on Application
February: 06, 13$4,895.00Price on Application
March: 06, 20, 27$4,795.00Price on Application
April: 24$4,795.00Price on Application
September: 25$4,495.00Price on Application
October: 16, 23, 29$4,495.00Price on Application
November: 06, 20$4,895.00Price on Application
December: 10$4,895.00Price on Application
Inclusions 
Meals: 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 lunches
Transport:Airport Transfers & Air-Conditioned Vehicle
Train: Rail Ticket: Nuwara Eliya - Ella
Accommodation:11 nights accommodation
Guide:Professional Tour Director
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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A Taste of Sri Lanka

A Taste of Sri Lanka has been created to give travellers a snapshot of this incredible country. Covering cosmopolitan Colombo, the central Highlands and tea plantations and the quaint, historical city of Galle.

A Taste of Sri Lanka is a one-week journey ideal for travellers with limited time; as a compliment to a tour of India, or as a stopover from Australia to other destinations. This itinerary is perfect for travellers who want to travel to some of Sri Lanka’s highlight destinations and like to discover a country through gentle walking tours and guided activities.  With two night stays at just three destinations, this tour has a leisurely pace and has two options for accommodation – comfortable and superior.

Highlights: Explore Colombo with an expert local resident on a fascinating walking tour: Experience life on a tea estate with a stay at a colonial plantation bungalow: Sri Lankan cooking class: Uncover the history and charm of World Heritage-listed city of Galle with a guided walking tour.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Arrive Colombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka, Your tour of Sri Lanka starts here in Colombo. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. Experience your first impressions of this amazing island. Emerson Tennent, a traveller to Sri Lanka in the 1850s wrote: “There is no country in the world that has attracted the attention of authors in so many distant ages and of so many different countries as Ceylon … Its aspects, its religion, its antiquities, and productions, have been described as well by the classic Greeks, by the Romans; by the writers of China, Burma, India and Kashmir; by the geographers of Arabia and Persia; by the mediaeval voyagers of Italy and France; by the annalists of Portugal and Spain; by the merchant adventurers of Holland, and by the travellers and topographers of Great Britain … Ceylon, from whatever direction it is approached, unfolds a scene of loveliness and grandeur unsurpassed, if it be rivalled, by any land in the universe”. 

Day 2: Colombo

After a leisurely breakfast, begin your exploration of Colombo.

Mark Forbes and his team are passionate, interesting local characters that love their city and sharing their knowledge and insights about Colombo with people. Their personalized, guided city walks are often among highlights for our visitors to Sri Lanka. Their walk will take you through the years of the Portuguese, the Dutch Fort in the heart of the city and the most recent British period. See the city’s landmark buildings like GOH Hotel and Cargills department store, as well as visiting the bustling laneways of the local Pettah Market. Along the way you will see the changes underway in Colombo as the city modernises, hear some of the stories and secrets of the city and have the opportunity to try some local foods. The walk will be run by Mark Forbes or a member of his team.

Afternoon at leisure or discover Colombo further with a vehicle at your disposal. You may also wish to visit some of the city’s boutiques or cafes for some shopping or refreshments. Ask us for our list of suggested boutiques and cafes.  

Day 3: Kegalle

After breakfast begin the approximately three hour drive towards Kegalle, where you will experience some of Sri Lanka’s colonial heritage with a stay on a tea plantation.

Built in 1926, Rosyth Estate House is an old colonial planter’s bungalow set in a 62-acre private working tea and rubber estate. The estate has a rich history; originally part of a 350-acre estate, it was developed by Aollin Ondaatje, a local Kegalle family and whose great nephew is the well-known author Michael Ondaatje. (Author of The English Patient.)
Rosyth is a small working estate. Tea is plucked by hand and sold to the nearby tea factory, whilst latex is tapped, treated and sold to a local rubber factory. Coconuts, fruits, spices and other produce are grown on the estate. The estate contains walking trails & mountain biking routes. Guests are free to explore the estate and join the ladies plucking two leaves and a bud from the tea bushes. There is a small pool at the hotel, ideal for relaxing in the afternoons, complimentary daily yoga, games and books in the library and onsite masseurs should you wish to pamper yourself. Or you may simple wish to enjoy a pot of tea on the verandah and enjoy the stunning views.

This afternoon you can enjoy a walk around the estate.

The estate Superintendent Subramanium, who has worked there for nearly 40 years, will be happy to guide you through the estate and give you an appreciation of rural Sri Lankan life as you wind through paddy fields, jungle and streams and stumble upon some local villagers on the way. Guided walks with Subramanium last between one and one and a half hours and take place around 4:30 p.m., as it gets cooler at the end of the day. Should Subramanium not be available, another member of staff will accompany you. The walk begins through the local village before crossing into Rosyth’s plantation.
Tonight, enjoy dinner at the estate.

Day 4: Kegalle

This morning after a relaxed breakfast learn the secrets of cooking a typical Sri Lankan rice and curry.

Start with a tour of Rosyth’s vegetable garden with the chef, who will introduce you to the local produce and explain their uses. Returning to the kitchen, you will have the opportunity to cook authentic Sri Lankan curries. Your hands on cooking class will include a fish or chicken curry, three other vegetable curries and a traditional salad. Afterwards, sit down for lunch in the dining room in the canopy of the trees with the curries that you have cooked and enjoy your lunch with rice and papadums. You will be given a small recipe book with the dishes in it that you have learnt today to take home.

Later in the afternoon you can visit the nearby tea factory and observe the process of how tea is processed. (Optional)

Just a few minutes’ walk from the house is the local tea factory, and whilst not part of the estate, guests are welcome to visit the factory and understand how the tea grown in Sri Lanka is processed and turned into tea ready for export. A short tour will take through the factory where the fresh leaves are dried by fans on withering troughs to reduce the moisture content and then rolled and pressed to express the juices which coat the leaves. The leaves are then left to ferment in humidity. The final process dries the leaves and then the leaves are graded. Unbroken is the best quality, with fannings and the dust most commonly used in tea bags.

Day 5: Galle

After breakfast proceed to Galle, a drive of about 4 and a-half hours.

The World Heritage-listed city of Galle is a popular and pleasant place to visit. With cobbled streets that have seen 400 years of history from Arab merchants to the adventurous Portuguese and the industrious Dutch, colonial homes with red tiled roofs and the impressive fort walls – there’s much to see and experience here. Inside the fortified city, families that have lived there for generations continue to do so and the streets remain relatively car free.

Arriving in Galle, check into your hotel and the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

Day 6: Galle

Discover Galle today, starting with a personalised, guided city walk led by an expert local guide and personality. See the city’s key sights, learn some of its intriguing history and meet some of the local characters.

Along the way, sample tea with a gentleman who pours a magical cup, enjoy a chat with a passionate local amateur historian, or buy some samosas from a smiling lad on a bicycle cart. Galle will reveal itself in its full depth to you during this fascinating walking tour.

Later in the afternoon, venture just outside of Galle to visit a local Buddhist temple and experience the daily rituals and offerings that occur here. Travel by tuk-tuk on small backroads through lush paddy fields where you won’t see other tourists just a few villagers harvesting crops of chatting with neighbours. The journey to reach Yatagala Temple will take about 20 minutes.  Once you arrive at the temple, climb the stairs to reach the main site. Don’t forget to look up as you climb the stairs – Yatagala means `under the rocks’ as the Buddhist statues lay under the huge stones piled upon each other. (You will need to remove your shoes to enter the temple.)

Your guide, who is a Buddhist himself, will take you on a spiritual journey to purge the body and mind from negative thoughts and pay tribute to Buddha. This symbolic act practiced by every Sri Lankan Buddhist gives a sense of happiness, peace and relief. During your temple visit, you will have the opportunity to stand before the big Buddha statue and offer the traditional Pichcha flowers. Other rituals you will experience are the burning of incense, lighting of votive lamps and offering water to a sacred Bo Tree. Your guide will tell you more about the meaning of these Pujas.

After the offerings you will be ready to receive the blessing from the devoted monks, should you wish. Make sure to see the mural paintings at the temple before you leave.
Return to Galle and remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 7: Depart Colombo

This morning is at leisure. You may wish to take an early and final stroll around the rampart walls soaking in the atmosphere of the city, or spend some time visiting Galle’s boutiques and its pleasant cafes or indulge in a treatment at one of its spas. Galle offers many great places to pick up some last minute gifts or souvenirs to take home, as well as great dining options. It is an easy and pleasant place to explore on foot and easily accessible from your hotel. Later, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport, in time to arrive about 3 hours before your international flight.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo Daily: $2,865.00Price on Application
Inclusions 
Meals:14 6 breakfasts
Transport:Airport Transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation:6 nights accommodation
Guide:English Speaking guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Wildlife Journey of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is full of wildlife with some of the densest populations of elephants and leopards in the world. Take a journey through some of the best wildlife parks the country has to offer. Explore the natural lakes of Wilpattu National Park and search for Sri Lankan Leopards, elephants, sloth bears and an array of other wildlife; visit the rock fortress of Sigiriya and spend time in Minneriya National Park, home to a large population of elephants; enjoy the beautiful flora of Peradeniya Botanical Gardens in Kandy; and spend the day at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Horton Plains.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Arrive Colombo

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Embark on a walking tour via the bustling bazaar, Independence Square, the national museum and finishing at a Barefoot fair trade shop.

Day 2: Colombo – Wilpattu

Depart for Wilpattu National Park, studded with natural lakes and home to a vast number of Sri Lankan leopards. Along with big cats there is the chance to see elephants, sloth bears and an array of other wildlife and flora on a jeep safari. Check in to your luxurious jungle camp.

Day 3: Wilpattu – Anuradhapura – Sigiriya

Rise early for a morning jeep safari in Wilpattu. After lunch depart for Sigiriya via Anuradhapura, touring some of its Buddhist sites.

Day 4: Sigiriya – Minneriya – Sigiriya

Visit Sigiriya’s impressive rock fortress this morning and then continue to Minneriya National Park. Spread over 8800 hectares, Minneriya is a sanctuary for elephants in particular, but also deer and birdlife. Return to Sigiriya.

Day 5: Sigiriya – Kandy

After breakfast depart for Kandy. On arrival a city tour will showcase the heritage, culture and history of the region. In the late afternoon visit the revered Temple of the Tooth.

Day 6: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya

This morning tour the lush tropical botanic gardens at Peradeniya, then take a scenic train ride through the picturesque tea-growing highlands to Nuwara Eliya.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya

Spend the day at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Horton Plains. Incredible landscapes are uncovered as you trek through green pastures, evergreen forests and waterfalls sheltering all sorts of flora and fauna. You may even encounter herds of sambar or wild boar. The trek takes approximately four hours.

Day 8: Nuwara Eliya – Gal Oya National Park

After an early breakfast transfer to Gal Oya Lodge, in a beautiful jungle setting. In the afternoon visit the nearby national park on a boat safari in search of the park’s famous swimming elephants.

Day 9: Gal Oya – Yala National Park

This morning take a jeep safari into Gal Oya. On return, check out and drive to Yala National Park and your jungle accommodation.

Day 10: Yala National Park

Today explore Yala’s scrub and jungles in search of wildlife, including one of the world’s most visible Leopard populations.

Hotel: Fairway Colombo

Day 11: Yala – Colombo

This morning is at leisure depending on your flight time, before your transfer to Colombo airport.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo Daily:$3,588.00Price on Application
Inclusions 
Meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Transport:Airport Transfers & Touring by private, air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation:10 nights accommodation
Guide:English speaking chauffeur guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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