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HIGHLIGHTS OF SRI LANKA

Price
FromR30,497
Price
FromR30,497
September 18, 2019

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12 DAYS
Availability : DEP 22 DEC 2019 / RET 02 JAN 2020
SRI LANKA
Max People : 10

SRI LANKA

The ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is a stunningly beautiful island in the Indian Ocean, with an interior of dense tropical jungles framed by sandy golden beaches.

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The teardrop-shaped island is made up of a mountainous landscape with more than a hundred picturesque waterfalls and innumerable hiking trails leading to breathtaking vistas like the famous World’s End. Sri Lanka is also home to diverse wildlife, including leopards, monkeys, crocodiles, and many species of birds; it is most famous for its elephant population, however, and tourists flock to the elephant sanctuaries to get an up-close-and-personal experience with the majestic creatures.

HIGHLIGHTS OF SRI LANKA

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Crystal white Race Course, World War II airstrip, Dutch Hospital, Gangarama temple, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Nelum Pokuna, Christmas Eve Dinner, Elephant Rock, Buddha statue, Ibba-Gala temple, Dambulla Cave Temple, Sigiriya Lions Rock, Hiriwadunna Village trek, Spice Garden, Gem Museum, Botanical Gardens, Kandy city tour, Tea Factory & Tea Plantation, Nuwara Eliya City tour, Ravana Falls & Caves + Nine Arch Bridge, Safari in Yala, New Year’s Eve Dinner & Galle City Tour

INCLUDES

Return airfare from Johannesburg
2 nights in Colombo, 2 in Dambulla, 2 in Kandy, 1 in Nuwara Eliya, 1 in Tissamaharama & 2 in Ranna
Accommodation in standard rooms on BED & BREAKFAST basis.
Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
English Speaking Guide
1st Jan – Dinner at Ranna 212
Christmas & New Year’s Eve Dinner supplements – 24th & 31st December
Kandy Cultural Show Entrance

EXCLUDES

Meals and beverages not specified above
Entrance fees to sites
Expenses of a personal nature
Any other services not specified above
Early Check-in & Late Check-out

ITINERARY

DAY 1 – 23 Dec – AIRPORT – COLOMBO

Meet and assist on arrival at Airport by Representative

Arrival Flight @ 14:35 pm

Transfer from Airport to Colombo

Relax & Leisure by the Hotel.

If the client wishes can go on a panoramic tour of the city.

Overnight Stay at Ozo Colombo

DAY 2 – 24 Dec – COLOMBO

Breakfast at Ozo Colombo

Colombo City tour: The throbbing metropolis, Colombo – located in the West – is not only the country’s commercial capital but also the turbine that impels above 50% of the national GDP flanking Colombo’s fancy urban development effort. Drive along the clean streets edging the crystal white Race Course – horse racing hub in 1893 & World War II airstrip – furnished today with lavish clothing, food & tea boutiques. Meanwhile, ride to Pettah – an offbeat shopping experience – or feel the buzz surrounding the upcoming inspiration, the Colombo Port City – an offshore city – featuring parks, commercial complexes! Head along Bauddhaloka Mawatha towards ‘Arcade’ facing a historic way post, the Independence Square. Every designer boutique, top-notch cuisine outlet, and even the ‘walk-over fish tank’, have revamped this colonial masterpiece into one of the trendiest shopping and hangout zones in Sri Lanka. Have a chilled beer at the Dutch Hospital while gazing through fancy windows showcasing best fashion, jewelry & handicraft brands. Smell the scent of incense while listening to the chiming bells of Gangarama temple. Or, jazz up to Colombo’s nightlife spiced by night clubs & casinos that borderline its bustle. If you’re lucky, head into an exhibition at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) before swaying your head to an opera or play at Nelum Pokuna that should just drive your day into perfection!

Towards the Evening, proceed to enjoy the festivities in the heart of the city whilst experience fireworks and Christmas in Colombo

Christmas Eve Dinner and Overnight Stay at Ozo Colombo

DAY 3 – 25 Dec – COLOMBO – KURUNEGALA – DAMBULLA

Breakfast at Ozo Colombo

Transfer from Colombo to Kurunegala

Intersecting numerous main roads snaking through the island, Kurunegala – the late 13th-century royal capital – shares the respect of both ancient ruins & wide stretches of coconut & rubber plantations that flourish the local economy. Hop into a ‘Tuk Tuk’ and get dropped off at the Elephant Rock – Ethagala – which heats up the entire city by day. Hike up the rock for a stunning aerial view as you stand in the shade of an enormous Buddha statue inhaling the scent of incense rising from Ibba-Gala temple.

Transfer from Kurunegala to Dambulla

Dambulla Cave Temple: In the city of Dambulla lies a hub which has been treasured by many kings since the 1st century B.C. Today, an icon in the face of Sri Lanka, Dambulla Rock Temple houses some of the most unique drawings in magnificently constructed 5 cave temples flanking the golden temple of Dambulla. Observe how exquisitely cave paintings are done along walls that shelter 150 statues of Lord Buddha. As you enter the retreat, look straight up to the gigantic Buddha statue glittering in gold over a land, which today houses an important junction in the country’s economic and cultural uplifting.

Overnight Stay at The Paradise Resort and Spa

DAY 4 – 26 Dec – DAMBULLA – SIGIRIYA – HIRIWADUNNA – DAMBULLA

Breakfast at The Paradise Resort and Spa

Transfer from Habarana to Sigiriya

Sigiriya Lions Rock: The 5th-century rock citadel of King Kasyapa and World Heritage Site – Sigiriya – doesn’t only boasts of ancient Sri Lankan engineering & urban planning supremacy but also acclaims to be one of the finest monuments of art & culture. Step through the gigantic ‘Lion Paws’ – overlooking the symmetrical royal gardens below – to comprehend the absolute splendor that once dominated this rock fortress. Surrounded by ramparts & moats the Lion Rock – resembling the mythological ‘City of Gods’ – is coated by frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in Ajanta caves of India. Walk in the shade of an eminent ‘mirror wall’ embracing the Western face of Sigiriya representing an artistic hundred meters laminated with graffiti. Wander into the well-fabricated museum downstairs for an epic journey of yesteryears to realize how the citadel floated above citizens with the castle, ponds and irrigation systems that pumped water right onto its summit with an ingenious hydraulic system describing a colossal masterpiece of the great king which remained a wonder in Asia for centuries.

Transfer from Sigiriya to Hiriwadunna

Hiriwadunna Village trek: On completion leave for Hiriwaduna for a village walk. you get to stroll along the contours of the lake enjoying the countryside through authentic Sri Lankan villages, an incredible opportunity to be immersed in the culture. All life here springs from the rivers and streams that make the land so fertile and it’s clear as one crosses a large tributary by catamaran, observes fishermen, farmers and village women washing clothes at the periphery of the waterways. At the chena one will get to part take in traditional Sri Lankan food, in the form of Pol roti (Coconut roti) and lunumiris (a spicy concoction of chilies, onions, and salt). At lunch, you will be given a cookery demonstration in the preparation of traditional Sri Lankan food unique to the area.

Transfer from Hiriwadunna to Dambulla

Overnight Stay at The Paradise Resort and Spa

DAY 5 – 27 Dec – DAMBULLA – MATALE – KANDY

Breakfast at The Paradise Resort and Spa

Transfer from Habarana to Matale

Spice Garden Visit: An agricultural zone in the Central Province, Matale seldom drops off the maps due to its remarkable contribution through flagship crops of the island extending from tea, rubber & vegetables to spices. Spearheading the Rebellion back in 1848, Matale today takes immense pride in its story woven around spices. Stop by the side of a spice garden – into which you will be most welcome – and observe the therapeutic values of spices & processes over a refreshing cup of herbal tea! Or spend some time idling on the hardened streets if you mean a real town adventure filled with voices and colors.

Transfer from Matale to Kandy

Visit the Gem Museum.

Cultural show: Fine-tune your evening by stepping to the beat of traditional music & drumming amplified by a cultural show enhancing the rich and vibrant culture of the Wonder of Asia, Sri Lanka.

Overnight Stay at Hotel Thilanka

DAY 6 – 28 Dec – KANDY – PERADENIYA – KANDY

Breakfast at Hotel Thilanka

Transfer from Kandy to Peradeniya

Botanical Gardens: First developed as a pleasure garden under royalty and later harmonized by the British, the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya – today bundled with the most welcoming facilities located just 4 miles off Kandy – is a flourishing national asset in the Wonder of Asia. Walk into this 147-acre bliss of an experience, passing well-tended lawns, pavilions & an octagon conservatory to be greeted by the vast expanse of a magnificently landscaped lush green turf which will encourage you for an exhilarating break. Towards the north of the entrance rests a cafeteria that one might come across before stepping into some of the highlights – the orchid house & giant Javan fig tree – of this place which overflows in grace.

Transfer from Peradeniya to Kandy

Kandy city tour + Kandy temple: Last ruled by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe – before it was brought under the British rule in 1815, Kandy – the World Heritage Site & last royal capital of Sri Lankan kings – crafts an array of culture, history, and heritage in the minds of visitors across the globe. Experience an ancient Kandyan legacy engraved around its crown jewel, the temple of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. A stroll across this small lakeside town – cradled among the misty hills – will feature the Kandy City Centre – bundled with latest and world-class brands, bazaar, an arts & crafts center, as well as a gem museum & lapidary. Walk in color as you glide through fresh fruits and vegetables in the Kandy market.

Overnight Stay at Hotel Thilanka

DAY 7 – 29 Dec – KANDY – TEA PLANTATION – NUWARA ELIYA

Breakfast at Hotel Thilanka

Transfer from Kandy to Tea Plantation

Tea Factory & Tea Plantation Visit: Sri Lanka, Tea, and Tourism are words which cannot be separated. Take a tour to the cold & misty hills that take pride of an ultimate tea tour, covering lush green blankets of tea plantations. Or just step into a tea factory processing the prestigious brand of Ceylon Tea, to observe a rich tradition kept alive up to date. As you observe the hissing and swishing of machines, inhaling the heavenly scent arising from these facilities, make sure to end your day in style over a perfectly blended cup of pure Ceylon Tea.

Transfer from Tea Plantation to Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya City tour: Misty steep roads, twisting through lush green blankets of tea bushes in a cool climate, remind visitors that they are within the range of the renowned British colonial retreat, Nuwara Eliya. Augmented by an English countryside atmosphere, the city of light – once governed by English & Scottish planters – is still studded with colonial bungalows, hedgerows & one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world. A hike through the green grass and red-brick walls should present breathtaking views of a buzzing countryside hamlet. Drive through green valleys of the hill country pierced by endless waterfalls & dotted by tea pluckers draped in bright-colored saris. Or rent a bike for a gentle ride along the banks splashed by the waters of Lake Gregory.

Optional Excursion: Boat Ride in Gregory Lake ( USD 10.00 per person )

Overnight Stay at Galway Heights Hotel

DAY 8 – 30 Dec – NUWARA ELIYA – ELLA – TISSAMAHARAMA

Breakfast at Galway Heights Hotel

Transfer from Nuwara Eliya to Ella

Visit the Ravana Falls & Caves + Nine Arch Bridge: A quaint hill side village offering the most amazing view in all of Sri Lanka, Ella is ideal for leisurely treks. Trudge through tea plantations, temple sites, and waterfalls through the day. Welcome the night with clear skies, twinkling stars and the distant glow of light houses in the Southern Coast. Though there are just a handful of guesthouses and hotels here, Sri Lankans warm and friendly signature hospitality is more than available at every place.

Optional Excursion: Ravana Zip Line from 98 Acres to the bottom of the hill. (USD 25.00 per person)

Transfer from Ella to Tissamaharama

Relax & Leisure by the Hotel.

Overnight Stay at Chaarya Resort & Spa (Chandrika Hotel)

DAY 9 – 31 Dec – TISSAMAHARAMA – YALA – RANNA

Breakfast at Chaarya Resort & Spa (Chandrika Hotel)

Transfer from Tissamaharama to Yala

Morning Safari: Spreading into a vast 1259 Km2 Yala – with its glory spinning around vast grasslands, shrubs, tanks, and dunes – rightfully is the heartland of wildlife in Sri Lanka. As your jeep rumble through the giant gates of Yala, you are not only stepping into the most visited national park in the country but also the lands of a civilization which thrived during the reign of Sri Lankan kings. You name it, and Yala has it! Its usual inmates cover herds of elephant, sloth bear, spotted dear, jackal, extensively populated birdlife as well as the highest density of leopards in the world that garnish the park to be one of the finest destinations in the country. Feel the rough track as your jeep thunders over rocks and swish passing narrow bends for an exhilarating experience blended with the cries of wilderness under the tropical sun.

Transfer from Yala to Mirissa

Relax & Leisure by the beach.

New Year’s Eve Dinner and Overnight Stay at RANNA 212

DAY 10 – 01 Jan – RANNA – MIRISSA – GALLE – RANNA

Breakfast at RANNA 212

Optional Excursion: Whale & Dolphin watching (USD 50.00 per person)

Mirissa beach is located close to the southern-most part of the island and consists of beautiful beaches that promise a tranquil holiday. Today, Mirissa is renowned as a prime location for whale and dolphin watching. The beach also provides ample opportunities for deep-sea diving, snorkeling, and river trips.

Transfer from Mirissa to Galle

Optional Excursion: Galle City Tour

Galle, the epic Southern capital, is the intersection where classic Dutch architecture meets a tropical setting creating a vivid atmosphere in beauty. Walk the Dutch-haunted streets listening to the creaks of wooden saloon doors and observe how European architecture mingles with South Asian traditions today flooding cultural enthusiasts on a global scale. Its original ramparts and bastions preserved up to date showcase evidence of a heritage preserved for more than 3 1/2 centuries. Walk clockwise within the fort to observe the ‘old gate’ carrying the British coat of arms. Flanking the old gate is the Zwart bastion – the oldest of all – and the lighthouse standing 18 feet in its glory next to the Point Utrecht Bastion. This Dutch bliss is painted with streets that spread in a rectangular grid pattern pierced with houses carrying Dutch colonial style verandas. Hop into the Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex to be mesmerized by an array of souvenir selections. However, its hallmark stands a reality where the Dutch fort remains a working community with its usual buzz of administrative offices, court complex, commercial buildings, churches and Southern folks frequenting its streets bracing the air of the Elysium of architecture, Galle!

Transfer from Galle to Ranna

Relax & Leisure by the beach.

Dinner & Overnight at RANNA – 212

DAY 11 – 02 Jan – RANNA – AIRPORT

Breakfast at Ranna 212

Transfer to the Airport for Departure 3 hours before flight time.