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Save $1,000 per couple | $500 solo

Sri Lanka In Style

11 days

A private journey for departure any day

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based on 4 Reviews

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Private Journey Discoveries for our World Travelers

+ Venture down a maze of hidden backstreets and meet the current residents of Galle Fort as you explore Asia’s best-preserved “Living Fort” with a 4th-generation city resident.
+ Join our engaging Colombo-native on a walking tour of this vibrant and historic coastal city, and meet the friendly merchants of the Pettah Bazaar where exotic spices and glittering gems have been traded for millennia.
+ Sit down to an exclusive luncheon at the hillside home of the late Ena de Silva, a pioneering textile artisan whose legacy lives on here at her former estate.
+ Spend time in Kandy... The ancient capital of the island’s Kandyan Empire is an untouched colonial gem filled with enchanting cultural treasures like the revered Temple of the Tooth.
+ Learn about the exotic tropical plants of the Royal Botanic Garden from an expert botany professor.
+ Includes 5 UNESCO World Sites c

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Day
1

Welcome to Sri Lanka... Our VIP Arrival Service in Colombo

The Wallawwa - Colombo, Sri Lanka

You’ll be warmly greeted upon arrival, personally assisted through expedited immigration procedures, and escorted to a comfortable lounge where you can relax with a cup of fine Sri Lankan tea. After your luggage is retrieved and delivered to the lounge, our guide and porters will take you to the waiting private vehicle that will chauffeur you to the The Wallawwa. Our intimate property is set in a lovely Colonial-era manor house with a broad pillared verandah overlooking the lush tropical grounds. After time to refresh and relax, sit down to a wonderful welcome dinner.  Meals D

Check out this morning after breakfast for a scenic morning drive into the Cultural Triangle, home to some of Sri Lanka’s most important ancient cities and archaeological sites. This journey will take you through small towns and pastoral villages and past vast coconut and pineapple plantations. Enjoy lunch en route and then tour the Dambulla Cave Temples c . Established by hermit monks more than 2,000 years ago and embellished with sculptures and paintings of Buddha, Bodhisattvas and other Gods and Goddesses, this is one of the most impressive cave temples in all of Asia. Continue to your choice of hotel… The enchanting Signature by Amaya is nestled in greenery on the edge of Kandalama Lake. Or choose Vil Uyana;  surrounded by reed beds, waterways and emerald paddy fields in the shadow of Sigiriya, Harper’s Bazaar has called this the best eco luxury hotel on the island.   Meals B+L+D

Day
3

Built atop a massive boulder surrounded by tropical scenery and also known as Lion Rock, no other archaeological site in Sri Lanka has sparked as much interest as the imposing Rock Fortress of Sigiriya. Layman and scholars alike ceaselessly discuss this UNESCO World Heritage Site: Surrounded by an extensive network of pleasure gardens, reservoirs and waterways, Sigiriya is at once an ancient palace complex, fortress and monastery. Ascending early in the morning for the most impressive vistas, you’ll enjoy expertly guided exploration through the extensive ruins of this 5th-century site including its celebrated frescoes – often compared to those of the Ajanta Caves in India.
 
Later this afternoon, your private touring continues with the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the second capital of the island and the seat of government from the 11th to the 13th centuries. Discovered by English explorers in the 19th century more than 600 years after it was abandoned due to repeated invasions by southern Indian warrior tribes, the ruins of this once fabulous garden-city also stand as a veritable shrine to Buddhist and Sinhalese history. You’ll be back to your resort with time to refresh before dinner.  Meals B+L+D

Set out from your resort this morning and head southward through the countryside toward Kandy. Traveling along the island’s fabled spice road, you’ll see gardens and plantations fragrant with spices like cinnamon, vanilla and pepper.
 
For lunch, we’ve made special arrangements for you to dine at the hilltop home of the late Ena de Silva, a pioneering textile artisan who was known for her vibrant batik masterpieces including the banners that adorn Sri Lanka’s Parliament. Her private estate is now a women’s cooperative that continues to produce beautiful modern fabrics inspired by traditional Sri Lankan designs. You’ll have a chance to see these fine textiles and to mingle with the skilled chefs preparing your lavish midday spread. After lunch, you can stroll around the home and its lovely grounds.
 
Continue your journey to Kandy and check in to your choice of hotel: The Elephant Stables, our stylish boutique hotel, or the luxurious Kandy House. Tonight’s dinner is highlighted by a lively performance of Kandyan dance featuring colorfully costumed dancers and traditional percussion accompaniment.  Meals B+L+D

After breakfast, join your private guide to discover the history, beauty and vibrant spirit of this ancient capital of the venerated 16th-century Kandyan Kings. This morning you’ll also be joined by Bandara Palipana, professor of botany from Peradeniya University. He is our specially arranged guide for your tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, which was first conceived as a Queen’s pleasure garden in the 14th century. Its immaculately designed lawns, plantings, pavilions and pathways reflect the order of a formal English garden, but the diversity and profusion of tropical plants makes this a uniquely Sri Lankan gem.
 
Sit down to lunch at the Colonial-style Royal Bar & Hotel and then set out for an afternoon walking tour through the bustling and historic streets of Kandy. Tailored to your personal interest, you might focus on the town’s historic architecture, explore its vegetable, fish and meat markets, or simply mingle with local residents to experience the daily rhythms of life as your personal guide offers cultural insight and answers questions. The Queens Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Asia, is a great place to end your walking tour; you can even linger here for afternoon tea if you wish.
 
This evening, you’ll enjoy a guided visit at the Temple of the Tooth. With its handsomely decorated walls, golden roof and fine woodwork, Buddhism’s most important temple is the year-round home of the sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha.  Meals B+L+D

This extraordinary day begins at Kandy’s 19th-century train station, where you’ll embark on your scenic journey into the heart of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country. As your train winds its way out of town, lush jungle will soon open to cool cloud forests and sweeping vistas of mountain peaks, ravines, waterfalls, lakes and rolling hills carpeted with tea plantations.
 
Step off the train in Hatton where you’ll be met and escorted to your choice of historic highland resort: The charming Mandira Dickoya Bungalow or the celebrated Tea Trails.  Meals B+L+D

In 1865, after blight devastated most of Old Ceylon’s hill country coffee plantations, many of the region’s spirited farmers planted a crop of tea and were met with much success. They never looked back and today Sri Lanka is the world’s largest exporter of tea, a thriving industry that directly and indirectly employs over one million island residents! This morning, you’ll join a local tea planter to learn more – from the drying and dehumidification of the green leaves to the segmentation process that results in different grades of tea. This is a working tea operation, and you’ll even learn all about packaging and distribution. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy the idyllic setting of your resort or to explore more of the region on your own. Your in-the-know guide is of course on hand to offer personal recommendations and assistance.  Meals B+L+D

You’ll set off this morning, departing the hill country and winding your way overland through the lush tea plantations which slowly give way to tropical jungle and eventually the palm-fringed coast of the Indian Ocean. Along the way, you’ll stop at a rubber plantation for a tour and luncheon. Continue to Galle and enter within the imposing walls of the Fort where you’ll check in to your choice of hotel: The deluxe and intimate Galle Fort Hotel or luxury Amangalla. Enjoy two unforgettable nights here within the ancient ramparts - soaking up the culture and history of the historic Galle Fort, Sri Lanka’s oldest living city.  Meals B+L

With its historic sites dating as far back as the 16th century and its unique fusion of European, Asian and Arabic architectural and cultural influences, Galle is one of Asia’s most captivating places. It rose to prominence centuries ago as a thriving port for Chinese, Persian, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and British merchants – all of whom left their indelible mark on this uniquely captivating seaside town.
 
By special arrangement, you’ll join a 4th-generation Fort resident for a fascinating tour of Galle Fort. Her Moorish ancestors arrived on the shores of Galle in the 17th century during one of the earliest waves of spice traders and gem merchants. Although she has traveled the world, she now resides in Galle with her husband and four children and she is remarkably well-acquainted with many of Galle’s most colorful personalities. Her knowledge of Galle’s history will be passionately shared with you and enlivened with personal stories, local legends and penetrating insight into this ancient city.
 
After your tour of the Fort, we’ll take you to the home of another local resident for a hands-on cooking class. Assisted by her daughters, you’ll join them in the kitchen to make Biryani. This popular, richly spiced rice dish originated in India and is usually prepared with lentils, vegetables and meat. Many of the ingredients will come from your host’s own garden, and you’ll be invited outside to gather some for this dish. Once done with cooking, you’ll sit down to a congenial meal with the family – enjoying your freshly prepared Biryani with side dishes that might include curried peas, Malay pickles and other condiments.  Meals B+L+D

Day
10

A Cinnamon Plantation + Back to Colombo

Galle Face Hotel - Colombo, Sri Lanka

Check out after breakfast and depart Galle to visit the cinnamon plantation that surrounds the lovely Villa Kurundu. Accompanied by a local cinnamon planter, your guided tour of the plantation reveals the secrets of Cinnamomum Zeylanicum; native to Sri Lanka, this is also known as “True Cinnamon” and it’s highly prized for its superior quality. Observe how the cinnamon is harvested from the peeled bark of this small evergreen tree, and then walk down the road to a cinnamon factory to learn about the final processing and packaging of this remarkable spice.
 
Continue to Colombo for lunch at the Gallery Café, an inviting spot set in the former offices of the world-renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Then join an engaging Colombo resident for a guided tour through this ancient and now vibrant coastal city. Delving into its architecture and history, which stretches back nearly 2,000 years, your walking tour encompasses both the Fort (the central business area) and Pettah, the lively market district where exotic spices and glittering gems have been traded for millennia. Along the way, you’ll take a break for Afternoon Tea and can even stop to sample some street food. End your tour at the Old Dutch Hospital and then return to the luxurious Galle Face Hotel, set in a 19th-century landmark overlooking the Indian Ocean. Tonight you’ll dine at the famed Ministry of Crab.   Meals B+L+D

Day
11

Farewell Sri Lanka

You’ll be escorted to the airport today for your onward journey. Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Add our exciting leopard safari!

3 days from $1,399

Famed for having the highest leopard density in the world, Yala National Park on the island’s southern tip offers extraordinary chances to spot this elusive predator and its prey. We include 2 nights at the award-winning Leopard Safaris camp, morning and evening game drives with our expert trackers, and all camp meals.

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Day
10

Overland from Galle to Yala National Park

Your overland journey from historic Galle to Yala National Park on the island’s southern tip is a fascinating 5-hour drive that encompasses beautiful coastal scenery and historic towns. Enjoy lunch en route to Yala National Park and check in to the award-winning Leopard Safaris Camp in time for a late afternoon game drive.  Meals L,D

Day
11

Tracking the Elusive Leopard

With its arid boulder-strewn landscapes, the topography of Yala National Park is quite different from the jungles, paddy fields and tea plantations you explored earlier on your journey. But amidst these long-thorn bushes and vast expanses of dry scrub and dusty glades, you’ll find a thriving population of elephants, wild boar, spotted deer, jackals and even crocodiles. And with the highest concentration of leopards on the entire planet, Yala National Park is especially acclaimed as one of the best places in the world to spot this magnificent predatory feline and its prey including the Sambur deer.  Today you’ll join our expert trackers on morning and evening safari drives. The game-viewing here is spectacular and with some luck and sharp eyes, you might spot a leopard sunning itself nonchalantly atop a rock or come across  a graceful male leopard emerging from the shadows at dusk in search of its next meal!  Meals B,L,D

Day
12

Back to Colombo

After another early morning game drive with our sharp-eyed tracker, you’ll travel overland to Colombo enjoying a picnic lunch en route. Upon arrival in Colombo, resume your Captivating Isle of Sri Lanka program as you join city-native Mark Forbes for an afternoon walking tour.  He’ll show you the city’s best-kept secrets and introduce you to some of the merchants of the Pettah Bazaar, where exotic spices and glittering gems have been traded for millennia! Spend the night at the luxurious Wallawwa where you began your travels in Sri Lanka. Meals B,L

Day
13

Farewell to Sri Lanka

Our tour ends this morning after breakfast.  Meals B

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