EXPLORE CEYLON WITH A PASSION 14 Nights / 15 Days
The tour would enable you to explore island of Ceylon now known as Sri Lanka with a passion. Following tour would give travelers the opportunity in witnessing the Ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa , Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, Game drives in Minneriya National Park , Yala National Park, climbing the rock fortress , train through the tea plantations.
Meet on arrival and you will be greeted by our airport representative. Thereafter you will be transferred to your hotel in Marawila.
Overnight at Club Palm Bay , Marawila
After breakfast drive through lush green countryside, a mix of coconut palms, paddy fields and banana plantations, through Kurunagela to Dambulla. Here you will visit the magnificent Cave Temple, for some, the most impressive sight in Sri Lanka. There are colourful and very well preserved paintings and statues of Lord Buddha inside the caves which dates back to the 01st century BC. Thereafter you will continue to Habarana for the overnight stay.
Dinner and Overnight at Chaaya Village, Habarana (B,D)
After breakfast relax at an elephant camp in Habarana where you can Take an Optional Elephant Back Safari in to the forest. It is enjoyable even though it’s a bit expensive. During the safari you will inevitably witness the bird life in the forest. Those who do not want to take the Elephant back safari can relax by the pool or enjoy the nature around the hotel.
Afternoon you will be taken to the foot of the Lions Rock at Sigiriya. A mighty 600 ft high rock-fortress of a 5th century King is famous for its entrancingly beautiful frescoes which are found in a sheltered pocket of the rock. One cannot fail to marvel at the masterful execution of the sinuous forms of these women (originally 500, of which only 19 remain today). The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a huge crouching lion, carved from the rock- today only the paws remain. Remains of the handsome royal citadel are on the summit.
Return to your hotel for the overnight stay.
Overnight at Chaaya Village, Habarana (B,D)
After a leisurely breakfast you will be taken to 02nd ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. Here you will be given bikes to cycle exploring the ancient ruins.
Polonnaruwa – this medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, rose to fame as the capital (10th – 12th century AD) after the decline of Anuradhapura. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the Parakrama Samudra or the Sea of Parakrama, larger in size than the Colombo harbour. The monuments are relatively well preserved and give clear evidence of the glory of Sri Lanka’s past. Highlights are the Royal Palace complex including the Kings Palace and Audience Hall, the Quadrangle with its concentration of ancient heritage and the spectacular Gal Vihare complex of four massive images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite – a highlight of ancient Sri Lankan rock carving. Some of the best examples of the Hindu influence – the Temples of Shiva, intricate statues of Hindu Gods, fascinating Budhist temples, the Lankatileka and Watadage, the Galpotha, the Lotus bath, the Kiri Vihare Dagoba and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth are other impressive sights.
Return to your hotel in time for lunch and in the evening do a jeep safari in Minneriya National park.
Located between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, the 8,890 hectares of Minneriya National Park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to favorites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in 3 rd century AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze, as well as the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks to name but a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters
Overnight at Chaaya Village, Habarana (B,D)
After breakfast you will be transferred to Kandy enroute stop at Matale spice growing region for special insight to some unique Sri Lankan agriculture. First stop at a coconut plantation to learn about the multitude of uses of this fascinating tree; see how the coconut is husked and its fibers used to make rope. Witness the collection of the sweet coconut water for a refreshing drink, the use of the coconut kernel for the extraction of coconut milk which forms the base for most Sri Lankan curries and the production of honey and sweet juggery from sap collected from the coconut flower.
Proceed to a traditional spice garden where we will learn about the unique uses of spices in Sri Lankan cuisine. Those who would like to may assist in the preparation of some of the local dishes which we will then sample during lunch served out doors using lotus leaves instead of plates. After 05 days in the dry zone you will notice the distinctly different flavors presented in hill country cuisine.
Continue your journey to Kandy for the Overnight.
Overnight at Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy ((B, L,D)
Day 06 – 07
Kandy is located on a small lake and we spend two full days in and around the town. On the first day we will visit the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic. The Tooth of Buddha was taken from the funeral pyre in 543 BC and only found its way to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. There are literally hundreds of worshippers who visit the temple each day and in August the most spectacular ceremony takes place. Some of our trips in August should coincide with the Kandy festival, but the exact dates, decided by priests, are not known until 5 months prior to the event. We drive to a beautiful viewpoint to get a great view of Kandy and its environs, overlooked by a huge Buddha, and visit a gem museum where you can see the products of the traditional methods of gem extraction. Another highlight is the vast Peradeniya Botanical Garden with species of orchid, plants unique to Sri Lanka and others from around the world. In the evening we may have the chance to attend a performance of the athletic Kandyan Dancing and fire eating. The second day is free to explore this wonderful town. The surrounding hills are wonderful, offering fantastic views of the town below and there are many handicraft stores and antique shops in which to browse. Or for those that wish we will drive to The Pinnawela elephant orphanage (optional).
Overnight at Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy (B,D)
After breakfast leave Kandy and travel to Kitulgala witnessing the tea plantations. Arrive at your hotel in Kitulgala which is located facing the river surrounded by thick jungle. This would be an ideal location to relax after a previous days sight-seeing. While others relax you also have the option of engaging yourselves in the following optional activities.
Swim in the river
Relax in the garden or take part in Optional jungle walks or white water rafting (Rafting is optional and costs extra)
Overnight at Plantation Hotel, Kitulgala (B,D)
Or depending on your preference from the full moon day of December till the full moon day of May you can also climb the Adams peak. This would be an optional extra and you need to be very fit to attempt this. You would leave Kitulgala at Midnight on Day 08 and drive to the base of the peak. From here it is a strenuous 04 hour climb to be in time to witness the first sun rise. Decend the peak and return to your hotel in Kitulagala in time for lunch on Day 09
Engage yourself for a trek in the forest of Kitulgala. After lunch you will make the secenic drive to Nuwara Eliya. This was a favorite hill station for holiday during the British era and cool highland air at 1891 m has a very touch of the british feel to it. Known also as Little England and dotted with British style buildings and houses. In the evening take a walk around the town of Nuwara Eliya.
Overnight at Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya (B,D)
After breakfast visit and do a trek to Horton plains for a trek to Worlds End and the beautiful Bakers Falls (02 –03 hrs).
Sri Lanka’s highest plateau 7200 ft above sea level in the central mountain country. This ‘Fen” is a very scenic region with an astounding variety of scenery from mountains to grasslands, from marshes to trout streams. Sri Lanka’s best teas are grown in the surrounding areas. Spectacular view from ‘Worlds End’ where the plateau plunges a thousand feet in a straight sheer drop. Cool and bracing climate, excellent for trout fishing and very good hiking country. Distinctive flora (many English field flowers grow on the plains) colourful butterflies and many rare highland birds.
Thereafter you will be taken to the highest railway station in Sri Lanka “Pattipola “ Railway Station to take the most scenic train journey to Bandarawela. Within an hour and a half you drop from 6200 feet to 3500 feet. Train travels through the clouds forests in to the tea plantations and the views are undying and memorable. Meet your vehicle at the Bandarawela Railway Station and you will be transferred to your hotel for the overnight.
Overnight at Orient Hotel, Bandarawela (B,D)
After breakfast you will be transferred to Ella Gap where you will have a scenic views of the coastal plain nearly 1000m below. Here you would get the view of the most part of the southern country of Sri Lanka with the shimmering silver of the ocean is visible. At the times of year our trips take place, the weather is normally clear in the mornings, however, as in any mountainous area, bad weather does sometimes occur which will obviously limit the view. We then head south out of the hills to Yala down on the plains; this is our base for visiting Yala National Park. Yala is Sri Lanka’s best known National Park and is popular for elephant, leopard, bear, crocodile and wild boar. More than three times larger than Udawalawe at 97,800 hectares, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka’s national parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has become well known for leopard. The park, which is primarily shrub jungle with several salt and fresh water lagoons, has one of the highest concentrations of leopard per square kilometre in the world. (Please note that the sanctuary may be closed for 4-6 weeks from September to October allowing the park authorities to check the animals. We therefore go to an alternative area close by, usually the Udawalawe National Park.)
Overnight at Cinnamon Wild, Yala (B,D)
After breakfast do a morning jeep safari in Yala National Park. Yala is Sri Lanka’s best known National Park and is popular for elephant, leopard, bear, crocodile and wild boar. More than three times larger than Udawalawe at 97,800 hectares, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka’s national parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has become well known for leopard. The park, which is primarily shrub jungle with several salt and fresh water lagoons, has one of the highest concentrations of leopard per square kilometre in the world. (Please note that the sanctuary may be closed for 4-6 weeks from September to October allowing the park authorities to check the animals. We therefore go to an alternative area close by, usually the Udawalawe National Park.)
Thereafter you will be transferred to your resort in Galle en route stop at Hambantota and walk alongside a lake to a nearly by farm house where you will be offered tea in a coconut shell along with a local snack. Here you will have the mix of real Sri Lankan life and return to your bus in a small hand tractor used by the farmer.
Continue your journey to Galle for the Overnight stay.
Overnight at Light House Hotel, Galle (B,D)
From the strong accent on speech to dress, architecture and of course cuisine the south of Sri Lanka has traditionally evolved a distinctly unique culture. Leave after breakfast for a local villager’s home where you will join in the preparation of a few typically southern dishes…
Learn the art or more correctly the science of creating the perfect “Fish Ambul Thiyal”. This is a classical local favorite made of Tuna or similar fish where a potent concoction of spices are used in combination with an interesting method of slow-cooking to create a fish preparation which keeps fresh for many days even without refrigeration or artificial preservatives.
Also learn how to prepare a curry made of young Jack Fruit which, correctly prepared makes a great substitute for meat and so is a great favorite among Sri Lanka’s vegetarians! The curry powder used for this dish is a unique mix of powdered Coriander, Cumin, Sweet Cumin, Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Cloves!
The afternoon is at leisure to recover from the acute exposure to southern Sri Lankan spices and to relax on the beach.
Overnight at Light House Hotel, Galle (B,L,D)
After a leisurely breakfast visit the city of Galle. Dating back to the 17th century, and now a UNESCO world heritage site, we visit the Galle Fort. We then follow the coast for the drive back to Colombo visiting a turtle hatchery on the way. We reach Colombo in the late afternoon and check into our hotel.
Dinner at Nuga Gama Sri Lankan Model Village Restaurant located at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. Here you will have the opportunity in tasting authentic Sri Lankan Village Food prepared by the village ladies under the supervision of the sous chef at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. Speciality in this restaurant is that you will see and feel that you are in a typical village of Sri Lanka.
Overnight at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo (B,D)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport to take your return flight home. (B)
Applicable Rates ( 01st November 2014 – 30th April 2015)
02 – 03 Pax 04- 06 Pax 07Pax above
Price Per Person Sharing Double US$ 2300.00 2200.00 2100.00
Single Room Supplement US$ 930.00 930.00 930.00
Single Pax Transport Supplement US$ 455.00
Seasonal Supplements – 20th Dec 2014 – 15th January 2015
Price Per Person Sharing Double US$ 270.00 270.00 270.00
Single Room Supplement US$ 370.00 370.00 370.00
Applicable Rates ( 01st May 2015 – 31st October 2015)
02 – 03 Pax 04- 06 Pax 07Pax above
Price Per Person Sharing Double US$ 2085.00 1985.00 1895.00
Single Room Supplement US$ 820.00 820.00 820.00
Single Pax Transport Supplement US$ 455.00
Seasonal Supplements – 01st July 2015 – 31st August 2015
Price Per Person Sharing Double US$ 200.00 200.00 200.00
Single Room Supplement US$ 300.00 300.00 300.00
Accommodation at all hotels specified above or similar.
Meals provided on the basis mentioned above for each day. (B – Breakfast / L – Lunch and D – Dinner )
Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with the Service of Driver Guide (up to 06 Pax) / National Guide ( 07 Pax and above)
Applicable entrance fees to sites, national parks and places of interests
Hotel Service Charge and Taxes
Cost of air-ticket
Optional Tours and activities ( Elephant Back Safari , Rafting etc)
Meals not stated above for each day
Tips, Porterage and expenses of personal nature ( Laundry, Camera Permits etc: )