ROUND-TRIP FROM AND TO COLOMBO 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

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Day 01

COLOMBO AIRPORT – PINNAWALA – DAMBULLA (135km – 4.5 hrs)

Departure from Colombo or arrival at Colombo Airport for meet and greet by Aitken Spence Travels guide for transfer to Dambulla with a stop en route at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Heading inland, the climes become cooler, the landscapes ever more verdant and the countryside hillier. Located in the foothills of the central highlands, the world-famous Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was founded in 1975 with just five calves, growing to more than 100 today. As well as all the elephants rescued from the rainforests, there have been dozens of births at the shelter, with the first arriving in 1984. Here, they are fed, bathed and allowed to roam freely. Catch sight of them at feeding time – a bottle for the calves and coconut leaves for the adults – and then watch these gentle giants frolicking in the waters of the River Maha Oya at bath time. After this fun and wild interlude, continue to Dambulla.

Overnight at hotel in Sigiriya / Habarana.
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Day 02

DAMBULLA – SIGIRIYA – POLONNARUWA – DAMBULLA (160km – 3.5 hrs)

Take to the road after a delicious breakfast for a day steeped in Sri Lanka’s rich heritage. Begin on a high with a climb to the fifth century Sigiriya fortress, which sits atop a rock that dramatically rises almost 200 metres above the rainforest. King Kashyapa built this citadel at the top of this giant boulder known as the ‘Lion Rock’, which was the innermost stronghold of a vast fortified city. In time it came to be abandoned and forgotten, covered by dense overgrowth until the British encountered it and began a painstaking archaeological exploration. Today, the terraced gardens and cisterns, the moat, the ‘Mirror Wall’ and the fragile frescoes of the ‘heavenly maidens’ among the other remnants of this once thriving city offer only a tantalising indication of what once stood here. Pass through the lion’s ‘belly’ and climb to the top via a spiral staircase that snakes its way around the rock. From the summit, enjoy breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape and beyond into horizon. In the afternoon, discover the well-preserved ruins of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Built about 1,000 years ago, it features a large artificial lake, which is still in use and feeds a network of irrigation canals, the remains of a royal palace and a number of temples and administrative buildings. Admire the Gal Viharaya with its four statues of the Buddha carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath and the statue of King Parakramabahu. Contemplate also the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha and much, much more.

Overnight at hotel in Sigiriya / Habarana. Breakfast included.
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Day 03

DAMBULLA – MATALE – KANDY (90km – 2 hrs)

Enjoy a spiritual start to the day with a visit to the Golden Temple of Dambulla. Explore this 2,000-year-old sacred pilgrimage site carved deep inside a mountain. This awe-inspiring complex of five caves is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features thousands of metres of painted walls and ceilings, and contains more than 150 images of the Lord Buddha as well as a few of deities and Sri Lankan kings. Each cave dates from a different era and tells its own story, with defining aspects such as a colossal 14-metre Buddha statue carved out of the rock or a frescoed ceiling with more than 1,500 images of Buddha. Continue to Matale to visit a spice and herb gardens. Sri Lankan spices such as turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon and lemon grass are considered among the best in the world. Witness a cookery demonstration and learn about the culinary and therapeutic values of these products. Enjoy a spiritual start to the day with a visit to the Golden Temple of Dambulla. Explore this 2,000-year-old sacred pilgrimage site carved deep inside a mountain. This awe-inspiring complex of five caves is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features thousands of metres of painted walls and ceilings, and contains more than 150 images of the Lord Buddha as well as a few of deities and Sri Lankan kings. Each cave dates from a different era and tells its own story, with defining aspects such as a colossal 14-metre Buddha statue carved out of the rock or a frescoed ceiling with more than 1,500 images of Buddha. Continue to Matale to visit a spice and herb gardens. Sri Lankan spices such as turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon and lemon grass are considered among the best in the world. Witness a cookery demonstration and learn about the culinary and therapeutic values of these products.

Overnight on a bed-and-breakfast basis in a Kandy hotel
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Day 04

KANDY – COLOMBO (115km – 2.5 hrs)

Kandy is a city renowned for its beautiful lakeside location, framed by lush hills, and an all-pervasive divinity but the jewel in its ever-resplendent crown is surely the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This stunning complex, the holiest of all for Sri Lankan Buddhists, was built in the 16th century solely for the purpose of housing a relic of one of the Lord Buddha’s canine teeth. The tooth relic is ritually cleansed every week by monks and the scented waters they use are considered holy. Situated on the banks of Kandy Lake, the innermost section where the temple itself is located is surrounded by a moat and wall. Other notable structures include the Golden Canopy, the New Palace and the Royal Palace, the old courthouse, the Queen’s Bathing House, the National Museum and the sanctuary. Contemplate in peace the magnificent period architecture and experience the tranquillity of the atmosphere. Kandy is a city renowned for its beautiful lakeside location, framed by lush hills, and an all-pervasive divinity but the jewel in its ever-resplendent crown is surely the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This stunning complex, the holiest of all for Sri Lankan Buddhists, was built in the 16th century solely for the purpose of housing a relic of one of the Lord Buddha’s canine teeth. The tooth relic is ritually cleansed every week by monks and the scented waters they use are considered holy. Situated on the banks of Kandy Lake, the innermost section where the temple itself is located is surrounded by a moat and wall. Other notable structures include the Golden Canopy, the New Palace and the Royal Palace, the old courthouse, the Queen’s Bathing House, the National Museum and the sanctuary. Contemplate in peace the magnificent period architecture and experience the tranquillity of the atmosphere.

Overnight on a bed-and-breakfast basis in a Colombo hotel

TOUR OVERVIEW

Explore Sri Lanka's central highlands and discover a world of lush landscapes, picturesque lakeside cities, historic temples and ancient citadels. Meet some of the friendliest and gentlest creatures in the animal kingdom at an elephant orphanage and breathe in the fragrances of Sri Lanka at herb and spice gardens. Enjoy, too, cultural shows and spiritual experiences over four unforgettable days travelling across this idyllic island and also be enchanted by the contrasts between the old world charms and modernity of the capital.

RATES

Package rates per person sharing twin/double room in US dollars
Period of departure Category Sharing twin / double Single supplement Half - board supplement
15 Jan. 2018 – 31st Oct 2018 (Except from 10.07 till 15.08.2018) Superior 4* $365.00 $215.00 $55.00
Deluxe 5* $480.00 $310.00 $70.00

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Colombo: Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital is both a historic city packed with colonial architecture and modern metropolis with soaring skyscrapers
  • Sigiriya: The ‘Lion Rock’ that rises almost 200 metres above the jungle is a sight to behold and offers stunning panoramic views
  • Kandy: This beautiful city is home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and its associated palaces and gardens
  • Dambulla: Discover an impressive cave temple consisting of five caverns decorated with painted walls and ceilings
  • Polonnaruwa: The ruined medieval capital of Sri Lanka remains in excellent condition despite the ravages of time

    DON’T MISS!

  • Kandy: Visit the Kandy bazaar and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and scents of the Orient in what is one of the ultimate Sri Lankan experiences
  • Matale: Breathe in the scents of Sri Lanka at a verdant and fragrant spice gardens complex and learn how they are used for cooking traditional dishes
  • Pinnawala: Spend some time with the real kings of the jungle at an elephant orphanage and watch these gentle giants live a carefree life in a safe environment

    INCLUDED

  • Tour guide: Operated with English-speaking chauffeur guide / guide
  • Accommodation: Four nights in standard accommodation on bed and breakfast basis
  • Transport:Air-conditioned transportation, transfers as stated in the programme
  • Taxes: Package rates include all government taxes

    NOT INCLUDED

  • Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals if not stated explicitly in the programme
  • Lunch and dinner throughout the programme
  • Gratuity for driver and guide
  • Optional tours
  • Entrance fees to attractions specified above (USD 155.00 for all admissions)
  • Video camera and photography permits at the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy
  • Video camera permits at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

    CHILD POLICY

  • 30% discount on the per person sharing a double room rate for a child aged 2 to 12, sharing a room with parents
  • 10% discount on the per person sharing a double room rate for a child aged 2 to 12, sharing a triple room

    ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

    Day Destination Hotel 4*/resort Hotel 5*/resort
    1-2 Dambulla The Paradise or similar Cinnamon Lodge
    3 Kandy Ozo Kandy or similar The Grand Kandyan or similar
    4 Colombo Ozo Colombo or similar Cinnamon Lakeside or similar

    TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • Minimum 2 pax needed to guarantee departure
  • Hotel early check-in, late check-out, connecting or adjoining rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed
  • No refund for unused services. Splitting of package is not allowed
  • Please note that local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to tour contents without prior notice

    CANCELLATION POLICY

  • 21 days or less days prior to travel date, 100% cancellation charge
  • 22 to 28 days prior to travel date, 50% cancellation charges or the equivalent of the first two days of days’ charges depending on the programme and period of stay
  • 29 days or more prior to travel date, no cancellation charges provided no commitment or advances were made to third parties

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    Comfortable and light clothing is the most suitable for travelling in Sri Lanka. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Shoes should be removed before entering a temple or private house. Sun protection, sun glasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay. Clients arriving in early morning flights will be transferred to the Gateway Hotel to wait in a comfortable environment until the last tour participant has arrived

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