(Negombo, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Induruwa)
Discover the land Marco Polo christened “the most beautiful island in the world” with this enticingly exotic journey through heart-pulling Sri Lanka. From sun kissed beaches, cool jungles, elephant safaris & turtle sanctuaries, to Buddhist blessings, sweet scented spice plantations & cave temples dating back to 1st century B.C., this tour is a feast for the eyes & soul. Explore the treasures of Sigiriya, Matale, Kandy, Gampola, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Induruwa & Colombo, led by private guide. Follow in the steps of bygone kings in mystical palaces, relax during an herbal massage, make aromatic curries during a culinary class, visit artisans workshops, watch colorful Kandyan shows, bargain in bazaars, tour tea plantations, make friends at an elephant orphanage, help at a sea turtle hatchery, pass mangroves heavy with fruit on the Madhu River & much more. Boasting far more attractions than can ever be list, the once inaccessible, “Teardrop of India” simply cannot be missed.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer from Negombo to Sigiriya.
Climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of this fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens encompass the base of the rock. Visit the frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster.
Start the day with an elephant back ride in the Habarana Jungle. This excursion will take you along one of the most picturesque sites through the jungle and observe bird life as well as during the trek to the surrounding forest and foothills. In addition, a variety of large and small animals live in the surrounding forest could be seen. Thereafter, visit Polonnaruwa which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in 'Upright', 'Sedentary' and 'Recumbent' postures carved out of rock could be seen, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, the statue of king Parakramabahu, and the Parakrama Samudraya - a lake built by King Parakramabahu the great. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic. Return back to the hotel.
In the afternoon, enjoy a jeep safari of through Minneriya National Park. Located between Habarana and Pollonnaruwa, Minneriya is yet another haven for the elephants that migrate from surrounding jungles to enjoy the lush grass fields on the banks of the Minneriya reservoir, during the dry season. Reports of elephant sightings range from a mere 100 to an astounding 700. Endemic monkeys as well as many resident and migratory bird species also can be spotted along with endemic reptiles such as the painted-lip lizard. Among the reptiles that dwell here, are the saltwater crocodile, the Indian python and the water monitor.
Drive from Dambulla to Kandy. Dating back to the First Century BC, the Golden Temple of Dambulla has been the centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus alike for 22 centuries. It is Sri Lanka’s most popular historic site. The Cave monastery, home to Buddhist monks is covered with exquisite 2,000 year-old murals depicting the life and times of the Lord Buddha. The shrines also house a collection of 157 statues of Buddha in various sizes and poses, including a 15 metre long reclining Buddha and vividly coloured frescoes on the walls and ceiling, making this the largest antique painted surface in the world. Continue to Kandy via Matale. Visit a spice garden in Matale, there you will see different spices and how some of these spices are grown and processed today spices are used mainly to flavor food. In medieval times, however, spices played a more important role as food preserving agents. In the absence of fridges and freezers, people used spices to preserve meat during the long winter months. Tasting of spiced tea, massage with natural products and demonstration of a preparation of curry and little massage with herbal oils of spices and plants. In the evening visit Temple of the Tooth relic - one of Buddhism's most sacred relics and draws followers of the Buddhist faith from all over the world.
Visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This orphanage is the residence of baby elephants where you will see how these elephants are cared, fed and bathed. Continue to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. Peradeniya botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. Transfer to Kandy. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site. The name "Kandy" conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and bazaar, the arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary. Thereafter witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing. Return to the hotel by Tuk Tuk.
After breakfast, proceed to the Peradeniya Railway Station for the 08:40 train ride (20 mins) to Gampola (seats cannot be reserved in advance). Gampola is a large town located in amidst the central highlands of the country. You will visit the longest Buddha statue in South Asia, the Saliyalapura Temple. Continue towards Nuwara Eliya, which is Sri Lanka's most popular hill resort, also the heart of Sri Lanka's tea zone producing a significant share of the world's best tea. Visit a tea plantation & taste a cup of tea in the factory. In the evening, take a walking tour of Nuwara Eliya known to the local people as “Little England”.
Explore the Kitulgala River where the famous film “Bridge Over The River Kwai” was filmed. Visit the turtle hatchery in Kosgoda, operated by the Wildlife Protection Society of Sri Lanka. Several species of turtles, especially the endangered hawksbills are protected here. Most vulnerable of all are their eggs, which are left uncovered on beaches up and down the coast. The goodwill of Kosgoda area fishermen who bring these eggs gratis to the hatchery have led to the hatching and have released around 100,000 young turtles into the wild. Continue to the hotel.
Do a city tour in Galle. The capital of the southern province is a city with a colorful history. UNESCO declared World Heritage Site the magnificent Dutch fort is the most popular attraction of the town. In 1587 the Portuguese annexed Galle from its Sinhala kings and built its first fortress naming it “Santacrusz”. Its old world charm appeals as a tourist destination. To this, it looks back to 500 years of nurture under Sinhala, Portuguese, Dutch and British stewardship. Thereafter proceed to Balapitiya. Enjoy a scenic cruise along the Madhu River, a relaxing trip with plenty of interesting stops. You pass dozens of islets forested with mangroves and can appreciate the timeless natural rhythms of rural life. Return to the hotel.
Transfer from Induruwa to Colombo for an afternoon tour of the capital city. Tour Colombo Museum, the Old Parliament, Buddhist and Hindu Temples, Bayra Lake, and the Pettah Bazaar. Transfer to Bandaranayke International Airport for the departure.
Along the Western coast of Sri Lanka mile upon mile of golden beach stretches as far as the eye can see and in the resort town of Negombo, hotels of many a description line its palm fringed shore. Glittering bright amongst them all is the luxuriant paradise of Jetwing Beach. Indulgently spacious in the inimitable style of Geoffrey Bawa – Sri Lanka’s most renowned architect, this is the perfect place for those with a penchant for stylish extravagance combined with the simple pleasures of a seaside holiday. Whether guests are coming alone or bringing their family; tots and all, here everyone is equally assured of a royal welcome and good times galore. Take playful days and restful nights aplenty, with equal measures of exuberance, pampering and leisure guests can handle in between. Luxurious rooms with every facility, speciality cuisine at three restaurants, a large pool and a spa with Ayurvedic treatments are just some of the things guests can indulge in at this plush seaside resort.
Jetwing's newest and most ambitious project located within 5km of the "8th Wonder of the World" Sigiriya - is the creation of a true Lifestyle Hotel. With the challenge of introducing a wetland system on reclaimed agricultural lands within the Dry Zone, provides the unique backdrop for this exciting new property. Whether it is the nature lover in you or the task of "finding yourself again", treat yourself to an experience; come be part of the lifestyle.
The Kandy House is a unique ancestral manor house providing seclusion and serenity for its guests in a lush, tropical garden setting close to Kandy. In 1804, the last Chief Minister of the Kandyan Kingdom, Ratwatte Adigar, committed an act of “defiant decadence” - he dared to build himself a palatial villa using roof tiles which at that time were decreed only for royal residences. 200 years later, Tim and Sarah Jacobson dared to start the process to turn it into a designer boutique hotel, in partnership with Channa Daswatte: to retain the charisma of this captivating house while taking it to the standard for 21st century guests. The resulting restoration sensitively blends modernized bathrooms with elegant antique furniture, and fresh touches of colour set off the traditional architecture.
Cocoon Hills is an exquisite 6 bed roomed English Mock Tudor Bungalow with a beautiful lawn and flower beds built nearly 25 years ago, nestled in the hill country amidst tea plantations and verdant mountains which exudes its personal charm within a setting of refined elegance. On a sunny day, the Bungalow allows guests to borrow its bicycles to peddle around the town, sightseeing.
Discover the pleasure of serenity in exquisite surroundings between tropical forest and lush greenery. Over a hundred years ago, the hill in the midst of the former Cinnamon Plantation was given a name by the local inhabitants. They christened it, “Sumanagiri”– the Silent Mount. Today, this land of Sumanagiri, stretched amongst 8 ½ acres has metamorphosed into Cocoon Resort and Villas.
India & Area
Jim & Gayle Stinson ,
April 21, 2014
"Our individualized, private trip to India was just fabulous. Thanks to all for a trip of a lifetime!"
India & Area
Sharleen Dickson ,
April 21, 2014
"The driver and guides were excellent!"
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