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Sumptuous Sri Lanka - 12 Days March 2018

Price A$5,413


Destination

PolonnaruwaDambullaKandyNurawa EliyaYala National ParkBeruwelaColombo


Category
Group Tours

Duration
12 days 11 nights
Tour Details

Sri Lanka: 4 - 16 March 2018 A$5,413 plus airfares

Join us on this 12 day solo tour and discover what led Marco Polo to describe Sri Lanka as ‘the finest island of its size in the world’.

Lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a natural paradise and our tour brings you an itinerary which offers an excellent and exhilarating, all-round introduction to this magical place.

We begin with a trip to the ancient ruined city of Anuradhapura, with its towering and awe inspiring dagobas.

Next we spend three days in Dambulla from where we visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa, the Minneriya National Park and the magnificent Dambulla Cave Temples.

On day 5 we head to Kandy via one of Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sights, the Sigiriya rock fortress.

The following day we visit the site of the largest herd of captive elephants in the world, the Pinnawela elephant orphanage, before heading back to Kandy for a traditional dance show that evening.

On day 6 we take a scenic railway journey to Nuwara Eliya, where we visit a Tea Plantation and enjoy a cuppa straight from the factory!

Next we visit the Yala National park, famous for its big herds and large number of Elephants, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Crocodiles, Mongoose, Wild Boar and Wild Buffalo.

After a trip to the beautiful, Dutch inspired town of Galle, our last two days on tour include a boat safari on the Madu River and a fabulous Tuk-Tuk tour of Colombo itself.

That’s 12 days of adventure and discovery in a land that will take your breath away.

Will you join us?

Don’t forget, if you fancy even more adventure, our India and Sri Lanka Tours can be booked as ‘back to back’ tours.

Day 3 - Polonnaruwa and Wildlife

Day 3 starts with a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka. The city remains one of the best archaeological sites in the country, a testimony to the discipline of the Kingdom’s first rulers. In the afternoon we set off for a wildlife safari at the Minneriya National Park. Set in 90 sq km of scrub, forest and wetlands, the park is one of the best places in the country to see wild elephants, as well as providing shelter for toque macaques, sambar deer, buffalo, crocodiles and leopards. In the evening we take an excursion on the Habarana lake with a local fisherman.

Accommodation: Paradise Resort (Deluxe Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Village Experience and Dambulla Caves

This morning we begin our day with an easy and enjoyable 2.5 hours walk around the local villages and discover what daily life is like for the local farmers. The guided walk takes us alongside the Hiriwadunna lake, giving us the opportunity to spot native birds, before we cross a little jungle rivulet by Catamaran to reach a simple ‘wattle and daub’ farmer’s house. Here we’ll enjoy a lunch cooked by the villagers. Next we travel back in time as we take a bullock cart ride through the paddy fields, a mode of transport familiar to early Sri Lankans.

Later in the afternoon we visit the Dambulla Cave Temples. There are five separate caves containing about 150 Buddha images. Most of the paintings in the temples date from the 19th century. The caves sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne, he had the interior of the caves carved into magnificent rock temples. Further improvements were made by later kings,, who had the caves’ interiors gilded, earning the place the name Ran Giri (Golden Rock).

Accommodation: Paradise Resort (Deluxe Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Dambulla - Kandy

After breakfast we travel to the Sigiriya rock fortress, one of Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sights. The palace still has the remains of four indoor swimming pools where the King’s 500 concubines bathed and a complex water artery in the walls that provided natural air conditioning during the hot climate. Later we drive to the Matale spice plantation, where our guide will walk us through the spice gardens, explaining the various spices and how they are used. There’s also the opportunity to purchase your own at the on-site shop. 

Accommodation: Earls Regent (Deluxe Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Kandy

On day 6 we visit the Pinnawela elephant orphanage, established in 1975 with seven orphan elephants. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, it soon branched out into a captive-breeding program and conservation center. On this 25-acre coconut plantation on the Maha Oya River, the elephants are free to roam in a natural habitat. They are taken to the river to bathe daily and are fed a mix of rice bran and maize to promote strong health. The babies under three years of age are bottle-fed by mahouts and volunteers. Since 1984, over 23 elephants have been born and the center contains the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In the afternoon we head back into Kandy and visit a Gem Museum as well as the Temple of the Tooth Relic where the Buddhists visit daily for holy rituals. In the evening we’ll experience the real culture of Sri Lanka, when we enjoy a local dance show. Kandy is known for it’s dance and generations of music are performed, as well as a host of other activities, such as walking on fire, balancing plates and spinning dishes on sticks. An evening not to be missed!

Accommodation: Earls Regent (Deluxe Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

With a packed breakfast prepared, we leave early today for the railway station, to board our train to Nuwara Eliya. What’s more exciting than seeing the Sri Lankan country side aboard a country train ride? Passing through misted mountain tops we’ll enjoy the rhythmic swinging of the train whilst taking in the breath-taking views of the surroundings. Our first stop on arrival is to a Tea Plantation and factory to witness the complete process of turning raw green leaf into the finished product. Tea is a huge industry in Sri Lanka and it’s Ceylon Tea is world famous for it’s taste, quality and health benefits. We’ll get the chance to try it for ourselves, when we enjoy a cuppa straight from the factory!

Accommodation: Jetwing St. Andrews (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park

After breakfast we leave for Yala with a stop en-route at Ella. Meaning ‘waterfall’ in the Sinhala language, Ella is one of the most scenic locations in the country. The views through the famous Ella Gap are stunning, with the chance to see the mountain tops and the beautiful Ella waterfall in all it’s glory.

Accommodation: Tamarind Lake (Standard Room)

Day 9 - Yala - Beruwela

Today we visit the Yala National park. Established in 1938, Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of Elephants, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Crocodiles, Mongoose, Wild Boar and Wild Buffalo. More than 130 bird species sightings have been recorded, including the resident and winter visitors. Next we head to the unmissable destination of Galle. With its wonderful collection of Dutch-colonial buildings Galle is a town of great beauty and was the most ancient and important harbour of the country, until the Colombo harbour was established. Brimming with boutique shops, cafes and hotels the town is famous for lace making, Ebony carving, Gem cutting and polishing. All of which can be seen in the local Bazaar. 

Accommodation: The Palms (Standard Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - Beruwela

Today is a free day to relax and unwind by the beach.

Accommodation: The Palms (Standard Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 2 - Colombo - Dambulla

Our first full day on tour starts with a welcome breakfast before we set off to Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka from 5th century BC to the end of the 10th century AD and one of the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. Home to a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders, the city’s greatest treasures are its towering dagobas - huge brick monuments which take your breath away on first sight. The most notable of these are the Ruvanveliseya. Dating back to the 2nd Century BC and 300 feet in diameter, the Jetawanarama is 370 feet and the Thuparama Dagoba is enshrined with the collarbone of the Buddha. The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo Tree, ‘Sri Mahabodhi’ which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world.

Accommodation: Paradise Resort (Deluxe Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 1 - Colombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by your Tour Host and transferred to your hotel.Your Two’s a Crowd Tour Host will meet you at the hotel to assist with check-in, answer any questions you may have and confirm the time for our welcome breakfast and tour briefing on Day 2*.

Accommodation: Ramada Colombo (Standard Room)

*Depending on client arrival times, the tour briefing may be held on the evening of Day 1.

Day 10 - Beruwela - Colombo

After breakfast we head off on the drive to Colombo. En-route we’ll enjoy a wonderful boat ride on the Madu river. This 1½hrs river safari takes us through the mangrove passages, taking in Buddhist temples and includes a visit to the fish massage stall, as well as a stop at the Cinnamon Island, where you’ll get the chance to see how cinnamon is produced before buying some of the finest kind at a bargain price!

Accommodation: Ramada Colombo (Standard Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - Colombo

Our last day on tour is packed full of fun as we get to explore Colombo in a Tuk-Tuk!

No seat belts, no steep charges, no regrets!

We’ll hop onto the eccentric three-wheeled taxis and get the rawest experience of our lives as we explore the history, beauty and heritage of chaotic Colombo. Sit back as this mini-sized taxi manoeuvres through the tangled Colombo streets and takes us to the biggest attractions, friendliest shops and the best kept secrets. All guided by our English speaking, friendly driver.

Some of the locations visited in the Tuk-Tuk ride include:

The creepy Old Town Hall Museum

The post-gothic Wolvendaal Church

The colourful Sri Kailasanthar Swami Devasthanam Temple

The Jail cell of the last king of Sri Lanka

The queer Coin Museum of Sri Lanka

The Colombo Fort Clock Tower that tells the time - sometimes!

The Galle Face Lighthouse - home of the best Colombo selfies!

On our last evening we enjoy a farewell dinner of traditional Sri Lankan food at the Raja Bojun restaurant. 

Accommodation: Ramada Colombo (Standard Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 - Colombo Departure

COLOMBO DEPARTURE 

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals : Breakfast

Ramada Colombo Hotel: The Ramada Colombo Hotel is located in the prime commercial and entertainment district, offering easy access to a variety of leisure venues and the business hub on the island. Minutes away from the shopping strip and major tourist hotspots. The hotel is just an easy distance away from the railway and 45 minutes away from the airport. A contemporary and modern hotel that houses a variety of room styles that are suitable for singles, corporate travelers, couples, and even family vacations. It's just a short trip to the beach, the Excel World Entertainment Park, Dehiwala Zoo, Green Path, and the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple.

Paradise ResortThe Paradise Resort offers tastefully designed luxurious rooms with all the modern amenities to ensure that your stay is memorable, 67 eco villas ranging from Deluxe Rooms, Superior Duplex Rooms and Suites, replete with every imaginable comfort to fulfill the expectations of a luxury boutique hotel. The Deluxe rooms span  35 square meters and are tastefully furnished with twin size beds, teak furniture, parquet flooring. Terrace, Shower, Hair Dryer, Piped Music, Air Conditioner, Mini Bar, Tea / Coffee Making Facility, In-Room safe , Satellite TV, IDD facility, In-Room Wi-Fi, In-Room Dining.

Earls RegentNestled within the lush green surroundings of the ancient kingdom of Kandy, Earl’s Regent showcases the very essence of authentic Kandyan heritage. Set amongst the misty hills, the airy and spacious rooms combine the very essence of tradition and Kandyan heritage together with modern day luxuries. The hotel features authentic hand painted Kandyan murals that decorate the walls of all the rooms. Rooms feature Telephones, Mini-Bar, Shower Cubical, Free Toiletries, Laundry Service, Room Service, Tea/Coffee Facilities, In room safe.

Jetwing St. AndrewsAmidst mountains swathed in mist and dotted with tea plantations, stands the quaint old mansion of Jetwing St. Andrews. A former country house converted into a Jetwing Hotel, life at Jetwing St. Andrews is reminiscent of the days of the British Rulers. Situated in Nuwara Eliya, which was a favourite holiday destination for the Colonial rulers, this mock Tudor Country house is the ideal location to retreat to for those in search of cooler climates. Wake up to a typical English breakfast of bacon and eggs, high tea on the lawn and a stiff brandy at night. Enjoy a round of golf, fishing on the lake or hiking through Horton Plains. The Superior Rooms reflect the excellent standards, designed in an old world style without compromising on any of the modern world’s amenities, the rooms feature Cable TV, tea/coffee making facilities and an electronic safe.

Tamarind LakeStay lakeside in intimate luxury in a region renowned for its natural beauty and breathtaking safaris. Tamarind Lake in southern Sri Lanka is perfectly positioned within reach of the untamed wildlife of Yala National Park, and each room looks out over the serene expanse of Detagamuwa Lake. Each of Tamarind Lake’s 23 deluxe twin or double air-conditioned rooms overlook Detagamuwa Lake and deliver impeccable service alongside in-room luxuries like wide-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and en-suite bathrooms.

The PalmsCapturing the finest elements of the surrounding beauty, the Palms offers plush comforts and wonderful overviews of the Beruwala Coastal lines, with a touch of class and solitude. Featuring modern amenities and 98 deluxe rooms each with a character and charm of their own. The hotel features a gym, spa and swimming pool. Roomes feature king size beds, tea/coffee making facility, Mini refrigerator, TV with international channels, Complimentary bottled water, Air conditioner, Attached bathroom with hot/cold water, hair dryer, shower cubicle and bathtub, Guest toiletries.

 

Weather

Due to the location of Sri Lanka, within the tropics between 5o 55' to 9o 51' North latitude and between 79o 42' to 81o 53' East longitude, the climate of the island could be characterized as tropical.

The central part of the southern half of the island is mountainous with heights more than 2.5 Km. The core regions of the central highlands contain many complex topographical features such as ridges, peaks, plateaus, basins, valleys and escarpments. The remainder of the island is practically flat except for several small hills that rise abruptly in the lowlands. These topographical features strongly affect the spatial patterns of winds, seasonal rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and other climatic elements, particularly during the monsoon season.

Money

The local currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee, divided into 100 cents (you rarely come across scents today). Currency notes are Rs.5,000, Rs2,000, Rs1,000, Rs500, Rs100, Rs50, Rs20 and Rs10. Beware of mistaking the Rs500 note for the somewhat similar Rs100 one. To check whether notes are genuine when not given at a bank, look for a lion watermark. Coins, should you have receive them, will be in denominations up to Rs10.
Make sure you have plenty of lower denomination notes (Rs50, Rs100, Rs500), especially when travelling and you need to buy small items, fruit, and eat cheap meals, because change is often hard to come by apart from at hotels and big shops.

Electricity

The electricity in Sri Lanka is generally 230 . 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer.

Visas

A Visit Visa is an entry permit signifying the consent of the Sri Lankan Government for the admission of a foreign national to the country. The Visa contains details of the period of time and the condition/s of the stay. There are two sub-categories which come under visit visas – Tourist Visit Visa
A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives or yoga training for a short period of time.

Let us handle your travel arrangements

Remember we are a full service travel company. We can provide a competitive quote and book  your airfare no matter where you are from. Just leave it to us.

Tour inclusions:

  • Transport as described in the itinerary(fully insured vehicle with heating and air conditioning and professional driver).

  • 12 nights quality hotel accommodation in your own room — always!

  • English speaking Tour Guide throughout complemented by local English speaking guides.

  • Entry tickets to the monuments / sights as below:

  • Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa Ancient cities

  • Minneriya National Park Jeep Safari

  • Hiriwadunna Village Experience

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress

  • Dambulla Cave Temple

  • Matale Spice Garden

  • Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

  • Temple of Tooth Relic

  • Cultural show in Kandy

  • Train ride from Kandy – Nuwara Eliya(Nanu-Oya)

  • Tea plantation visit

  • Yala National Park Jeep Safari

  • Galle city sightseeing

  • Madu river boat ride

  • Colombo city tour by Tuk-Tuk

  • Meals as per itinerary: 12 breakfasts, 1 lunch,11 dinners.

  • Meet and greet at the airport.

  • Garlands on arrival

  • One Bottle of Mineral water per person perday (during drives and sightseeing only)

  • Return Airport transfers.

  • All applicable and current taxes.

  • Two’s a Crowd tour host from Australia.

  • Standard CHI Travel Insurance Policy.Additional premium may be payable if over59 years, have an existing medial conditionor wish to extend your travelling dates.(Underwritten by Allianz).

Tour exclusions:

  • International airfares.

  • Porterage at the Airports / Railway Stations.

  • Airport taxes and Visa fee.

  • Early check in or late checkout.

  • Meals other than specified above.

  • Tips & Gratuities.

  • Camera and video permits.

  • Expenses incurred due to flight / traincancellation or delay.

  • Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks,laundry, telephone calls, camera fees, mini bar,etc.

  • Any optional excursion.

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