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Insight - Classical Sri Lanka - Small Group, 2021 2022 Small Group (SA526N16)

10 Days From Colombo to Colombo 
Tour Style: South Asia
Insight Brochure Price from $4,275.00
Brochures: Ancient Civilizations 2021, Ancient Civilizations 2022
Visits: Sri Lanka

Live and breathe the culture of Sri Lanka as you take a walking tour through the picturesque backstreets of Colombo, see the famous fortress of Sigiriya set upon its rocky outcrop and visit Rahju’s Contemporary Art Gallery in Kandy. For something truly unique, take part in a Nuwara Eliya tea experience—an all-immersive tea leaf picking and fresh tea tasting affair, at one of the world’s most beautiful tea plantations. Voyage into the depths of the jungle on a game drive in Wilpattu National Park and keep your eyes peeled for leopards and elephants. Before the journey home, be sure not to miss the exquisite fragrances of the National Spice Garden in Matale and the architectural wonders of Anuradhapura—the capital city of Sri Lanka’s first kingdom that ruled for a thousand years.
Choice Highlights
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Sigiriya Rock: Visit the beautifully landscaped Sigiryia's Royal Gardens, boasting ancient water features, terraced gardens and natural boulders.
  • Sigiriya: Climb Sigiriya Rock and admire breathtaking views over the lakes and villages below.

Well-being
  • : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on trips with 20 or more guests).
  • : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Authentic Dining
  • Colombo: Join your Travel Director and get to know your fellow travellers during your Welcome Dinner.
  • Nuwara Eliya: Enjoy an evening cooking demonstration of Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine with local chef, before dining on your creations.
  • Nuwara Eliya: Join your Local Expert to visit a tea plantation and learn how this crop is produced. You'll even have the opportunity to experience the traditional technique of tea-leaf picking, before sampling some of the freshest tea possible.
  • Nuwara Eliya: Your mouthwatering Celebration Dinner features the best of Sri Lankan cuisine.
  • Dining Summary: 9 Breakfast (B), 4 Dinner (D), 2 Dinner with Wine (DW), and 2 Lunch (L)

Top Rated Highlights
  • Colombo: Head on a leisurely walking tour of Colombo with Mark Forbes, a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, and discover the hidden treasures this city has to offer.
  • Colombo: Take a panoramic city tour of Colombo including all the main sights and Pettah market.
  • Colombo: Explore by Tuk-Tuk old Colombo town and cruise the city streets while watching the sun lower over the Indian ocean. See the city lights come alive for an evening of buzzing activity.
  • Wilpattu National Park: Ascend deep into the lush, dense jungle on a jeep safari in search for Sri Lanka's big four. Keep your eyes peeled for leopards, elephants, sloth bears and an array of colourful birds.
  • Anuradhapura: With your Travel Director you will visit the former capital of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura. Admire the architectural wonders of this first-kingdom that ruled for a thousand years.
  • Sigiriya Rock: Visit the beautifully landscaped Sigiryia's Royal Gardens, boasting ancient water features, terraced gardens and natural boulders.
  • Sigiriya: Climb Sigiriya Rock and admire breathtaking views over the lakes and villages below.
  • Sigiriya: Visit this famous fortress set upon its prominent rocky outcrop.
  • Polonnaruwa: Your visit to the archaeological park will reveal what life in the area was like when the city was thriving, 800-years-ago.
  • Dambulla: See Raja Maha Vihara - the most impressive of Sri Lanka's Cave Temples.
  • Matale: Vist 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.
  • Kandy: Enjoy a traditional dance performance in the evening.
  • Kandy: Visit the site of the Sacred Tooth Relic Temple.

Insight Experiences
  • Kandy: Meet a practising Buddhist and embark on a guided walking tour through Ritigala Jungle and hear tales of the forest dwelling monks, a monastic community, who once inhabited the monastic reserve, devoting their lives to living simply in the forest.
  • Kandy: Visit Rahju’s Contemporary Art Gallery, enjoy a private viewing of his magnificent paintings and discuss his unique perspectives on life over a cup of tea.

Insight Tour Itinerary

Day 1Welcome to Sri Lanka
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.
Visits: Colombo
Meals: Dinner with Wine
Accommodation: Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo.
Day 2Explore Colombo
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.
Visits: Colombo
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo.
Day 3Welcome to the Jungle Relaxed Start
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.
Visits: Colombo, Wilpattu National Park
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mahoora Safari Camp, Wilpattu National Park.
Day 4Jungle Safari
Enjoy journeying through the jungle on your full day safari. Keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles, buffalos, mongooese and turtles.
Visits: Wilpattu National Park
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mahoora Safari Camp, Wilpattu National Park.
Day 5Wilpattu to Sigiriya
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.
Visits: Wilpattu National Park, Sigiriya
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Aliya Resort & Spa, Sigiriya.
Day 6Exploring Sigiriya's Ancient Kingdom
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.
Visits: Sigiriya
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Aliya Resort & Spa, Sigiriya.
Day 7Colourful Caves and Rainforests
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.
Visits: Sigiriya, Kandy
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Mahaweli Reach Hotel, Kandy.
Day 8Tea Country Hills Relaxed Start
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.
Visits: Kandy, Nuwara Eliya
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya.
Day 9Exploring Nuwara Eliya
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.
Visits: Nuwara Eliya
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 10Goodbye Colombo
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.
Visits: Nuwara Eliya, Colombo
Meals: Breakfast


Available Room Types: Single, Twin
Child: ages 5 to 17

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