For a small island, Sri Lanka has many nicknames: Serendib, Ceylon, Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Orient. This colorful collection reveals its richness and beauty, and the intensity of the affection it evokes in its visitors.
Head for the rolling hills to escape the heat of the plains in the cool of tea plantations. The entire island is teeming with bird life, and exotics like elephants and leopards are not uncommon. To top it all off, the people are friendly, the food is delicious and costs are low.
Day 01 - COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
Upon arrival at Colombo International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check-in and overnight.
Colombo, the island's largest city, is noisy, frenetic - and just a little crazy. Thankfully, the breakdowns, snarled traffic and power cuts are received with a shrug and a smile. While the city holds less obvious interest than many other parts of the island, it's still colorful and worth a look.
The Hotel Galadari is situated in the heart of Colombo's business district overlooking the Indian Ocean, adjacent to the office of the President.
Day 02 - COLOMBO - DAMBULLA
After breakfast depart for Dambulla (150kms - 4 hours) en route visit the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela.
Among the green hills of Kegalle, about 50 miles (85km) from Colombo on the road to Kandy in the hill country, a herd of about 75 elephants roam free in the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. This popular attraction, established as a sanctuary covering 25 acres of lush forest by the Sri Lankan Government in 1975, is unique. Its purpose is to feed, nurse and house young elephants lost or abandoned by their mothers.
Continue to Dambulla for hotel check-in.
Later, you will climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Sigiriya, built by the controversial king, Kasyapa, sought to convert a huge boulder rock into a castle amidst a walled and moated city. In a sheltered pocket on the western face of the Sigiriya rock, approached by a spiral stairway, are the famous frescoes. On the western and northern sides of the steep rock, runs a gallery. Shielding this gallery is a 91/2 ft. plaster wall in which one can see one's reflection (Mirror Wall.)
Return to your hotel for overnight. The first hotel in Asia to get Green Globe certification, this Aitken Spence hotel overlooks the Kandalama Irrigation Lake and close to UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Dambulla and Sigiriya.
Day 03 - DAMBULLA - KANDY
After breakfast leave for Kandy (72kms - 3 hours) en route, enjoy a visit to Dambulla Rock/Cave Temple and a spice garden in Matale.
The five caves at the Dambulla Cave Temple lie under a huge overhanging rock. Images of Lord Buddha, the various Bodhisattavas and deities adorn the walls and ceilings of these caves
The Dambulla Cave Temple is also known as the Golden Cave Temple and boasts of having more 150 images of Lord Buddha. These caves are so old that there origin can be traced back to the 1st century B.C. and this fact alone adds to the excitement of visiting these ancient caves. These caves are subtly lit and that adds to the charm of this world heritage site.
You feel as though you have stepped back in time and experience the intense feelings of the artists who gave shape to their feelings, hopes and wishes in the form of these paintings. The religious fervor and devotion to Buddhism is very evident as you visit these rock caves at Dambulla, Sri Lanka. Later visit the spice garden in Matale. It is located between Kandy and Dambulla. This is small town, which is famous for spices there are many spice gardens and you could visit one of them.
Arrive Kandy in the afternoon & check-in at Hotel Mahaweli Reach. The Mahaweli Reach Hotel, Kandy is located near to the Mahaweli River, on the outskirts of Kandy City, just 20 minutes drive away. The large rooms are comfortable with warm pastel colors. The large pool and beautiful Mahaweli River running nearby helps create a tranquil atmosphere.
Evening sightseeing tour of Kandy including the visit to the Kandy Temple and cultural show.
Mahaweli Reach Hotel
Day 04 - KANDY - COLOMBO
Morning local visit in Kandy including the visit to the Peradeniya Botanical garden, it houses an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. Kandy is an exciting place for shopping, with souvenirs in wood, copper, silver, brass, ebony and bronze. Ceramics, lacquer work, handlooms, batiks, and jewelry.
Return to Colombo this afternoon (115kms - 3 hours) for overnight.
Day 05 - COLOMBO - DEPART
Morning sightseeing tour of Colombo driving through the Commercial area of the 'Fort' so named, because both the Portuguese and Dutch had a fort at this point. Drive past 'Pettah' - a noisy Oriental bazaar with a hotchpotch of humanity, ancient vehicles, bargains, mosques and temples. Visit a Hindu and Buddhist temple and the Jumi-ul Alfar Jumma Mosque.
Continue the tour through the Wolvendhal Dutch Church and Hultsdorf Law Courts, then the residential area of Cinnamon Gardens which was an important cinnamon-growing region during the Dutch period. From here you proceed on to the Independence Square, the Convention Center (BMICH) and the National Museum.
On time transfer to airport for flight to onward destination.
Depart any day! Contact iExplore for details!
April 1 to October 31, 2011*
$1,129 per person double occupancy.
$989 per person double occupancy, based on four persons traveling together
$629 single supplement
$2,009 solo traveler
August 15-24, 2011:
$1,189 per person double occupancy.
$1,039 per person double occupancy, based on four persons traveling together
$729 single supplement
$2,069 solo traveler
Prices for your dates of travel may vary- please contact iExplore for an exact quote. Quoted prices are based on current rates of exchange, tariffs and taxes as of January, 2011. iExplore reserves the right to increase tour prices to cover increased costs, tariffs and taxes received after prices are published, and to reflect fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. iExplore is under no obligation to give breakdown costs involved in any package.
· Welcome and assistance on arrival at the airport
· 4 nights accommodation (as indicated) on twin sharing basis as per the program
· Daily buffet breakfast at all hotels
· All transfers, excursions and sightseeing tours will be by one air-conditioned vehicle
· Entrance fee to all monuments, road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, Porter charges at the airport
· All present applicable tax
· Domestic or International Air (Delhi-Colombo from $510, Chennai-Colombo from $165 - per person/one way and subject to change)
· Expenses of personal nature like tipping, laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses etc.
· Holiday & fuel surcharges
· Any meals other than breakfast
· Any other service not mentioned in the inclusions
· Travel Insurance
· Check-in/check-out time is 12:00 NOON
· Prices are subject to change with any increase in the cost
· Rates included only those items specified in the itinerary
· In the case of currency fluctuations, amendment in Government taxes, fuel hikes, etc., we reserve the right to adjust the tour price accordingly
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.