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Welcome to Sri Lanka. A land of historic ruins, sweeping beaches and mouth-watering food, you’ve made it to paradise. On arrival, you’ll be picked up and transferred to your hotel, the Taj Samudra, Colombo. A contemporary, luxury build situated on the seafront, it provides an idyllic ambience at sunset. Unwind and rejuvenate before meeting your fellow travellers and Travel Director at 19:00, for a Welcome Dinner with drinks.
There’s no better way to get to know a city than to walk through its back streets and experience it like a local. In the morning, head on a leisurely walking tour of Colombo with Mark Forbes, a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, and discover the city's hidden treasures. Journey through a myriad of buildings that date back from 17th century and were erected mostly during Dutch and British rule. Visit Pettah Market, where locals head to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, garments and jewellery. This market place is older than the buildings around it and an area best explored with a local. Later, board your customised tuk-tuk and head out to explore the hustle and bustle of an afternoon in Colombo's oldest neighbourhoods. Cruise the city streets as the sun descends over the Indian Ocean and the city lights spring to life around a pulse of evening activity.
After breakfast, begin your journey to Wilpattu National Park. A unique complex of over fifty wetlands and gravel roads that trace watering holes, the perfect place to observe wildlife. On arrival, check into your luxury safari camp located on the boarder of the park, a quintessential glamping experience and a satisfying blend of comfort and nature. Enjoy relaxing in your spacious living room, with views of the lush, green jungle just steps away. In the evening, venture deep into the thick wilderness. Explore the park by jeep safari, taking the back roads in search for Sri Lanka's big four—leopards, elephants, sloth bears and deer.
Enjoy journeying through the jungle on your full day safari. Keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles, buffalos, mongooese and turtles.
In the morning head south, making your way to Sigiriya. Stop on your journey at the Anuradhapura temple complex, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, sprawling and with a rich collection of archaeological wonders. Now a World Heritage site, you’ll have the opportunity to explore its ancient ruins with your Travel Director. Meet a practicing Buddhist and embark on a guided walking tour of the Ritigala jungle’s enveloped paths. Hear the tales and secrets of the forest dwelling monks, who once inhabited the reserve. Begin your gradual ascent, making your way through seemingly endless paths and flights of carved stairs. This was once a place of meditation, congregation, teaching and general life for a monastic community who today devote their lives to simple living in the forest.
Surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens and reservoirs, Sigiriya is steeped in history. Explore Sigiriya with Insight Choice. Choose to climb Sigiriya Rock. Alternatively, visit Sigiriya Botanical Gardens. Later, visit the historic city of Polonnaruwa, the second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms. During a tuk-tuk ride, explore the ancient remains of temples and tombs. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site for yourself before heading back to your hotel.
Today you’ll visit the colourful Dambulla Caves. Also known as the Golden Temple caves, this World Heritage Site is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Take in its mighty artwork dedicated to Gautama Buddha as you explore with your group. Stop at Matale Spice Garden, home to exotic plant species and spice trees, and find out how those spices are used in the preparation of local dishes. Later, arrive in Kandy. Surrounded by mountains, rainforest and tea plantations, this sacred city if famous for its Buddhist sites, such as the Temple of the Tooth shrine. Once here you’ll enjoy a cultural evening of drums and a dance performance. Your accommodation for the evening is, Mahaweli Reach. Located next to the mighty Mahaweli River, this traditional hotel is based in the hill capital of Sri Lanka and offers incredible culture, history and authentic dining options.
In the morning head to the Sacred Tooth Relic. Located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic, a tooth of Buddha is located here.Later meet Rahju, a local artist, at his contemporary art gallery. Enjoy a private viewing of his magnificent paintings and discuss his unique perspectives on life over a cup of tea. Continue to Nuwara Eliya. A city in Sri Lanka’s tea country hills, this pretty destination is famous for Seetha Amman Temple, a Hindu shrine and Galway’s Land National Park. In the evening, participate in a cooking demonstration. Learn to cook Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine with a local chef, before indulging in the fruits of your hard work.
Rise early this morning for an excursion to Horton Plains for a trek to World's End, where a stunning escarpment that plunges 880 metres down to the jungle floor. World’s End is situated in one of the most popular National Parks in Sri Lanka and is the only one where you can are able walk freely as there are no elephants. Stand in awe and capture incredible views of the expansive plateau, before mist and cloud obscure the scene. In the afternoon, learn everything there is to know about Ceylon tea during a visit to a tea plantation and garden. Walk through the plantation during plucking time and spend time with a tea plucker to learn about their life, before enjoying a tasting session hosted by an expert. In the evening, toast to your travels with your new friends over a Celebration Dinner at your hotel.
It’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers, as your journey comes to an end. You’ll be driven back to Colombo airport for your onward flight. A stop will be made in Colombo for those extending their stay.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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