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Sri Lanka Adventure - 13 Days
Sri Lanka
 

 

 

Departure November 29, 2012 & Return December 11, 2012

 
   
$2365 per person Land Only including all land transportations
$4355 per person Land & Air from West Coast Gateway cities
$969 per person Single Supplement
 
       
Prices include Government Taxes and Fees.
 
Highlights: Experience the mixture of historical and modern Colombo. Observe the elephants at the Elephant Orphanage and view the many paintings of Ajantha and Ellora Caves in the 8th Wonder of the World, Sigiriya Rock Fortess of Sigiriya. Explore World Heritage site, Polonnoruwa, fortified with three concentric walls, beautified with many parks and gardens, and sanctified by many shrines. Visit the largest painted caves and World Heritage site, Dambulla Cave Temple, complete with five painted caves. Walk in Kandy to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. View the breathtaking landscapes from the hills covered with tea and cascading waterfalls in the serene retreat of Nuwara Eliya, and witness the process for producing the famous Ceylon Tea. And relax on the beautiful beach at Bentota on the India Ocean.  
 
 

Day 1, November 29, Thursday - USA/Colombo
Depart the USA gateway city via Cathay Pacific Airways Colombo.

Day 2, November 30, Friday - En Route
Cross the International Dateline.

Day 3, December 1, Saturday - Colombo
Arrive in the fascinating city of Colombo and transfer to your hotel. Colombo has a comfortable blend of East and West and a balanced mixture of the past and the present. (Pegasus Reef Hotel, Wattala) (D)

 

Day 4, December 2, Sunday - Colombo/Sigiriya
After breakfast, travel to Sigiriya and transfer to your hotel. Along the way, visit the Elephant Orphanage to see the worlds largest herd of domestic elephants, including babies who are still being fed by bottle throughout the day. The Elephant Orphanage was established in 1975 as an effort towards education and conservation by way of scientific captive breeding. Located on the banks of the Maha Oya, the Elephant Orphanage provides shelter to house young elephants who find themselves lost and displaced from their natural habitats for various reasons; such as environmental changes due to development projects or being abandoned by their parents when they fall into pits and ravines. Visit Yapahuwa Rock, where the majestic Gateway remains to be seen as the proof to the grandeur that this former capital enjoyed. Once in Sigiriya, climb the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya, a Royal Citadel for 20 years in the 5th Century AD, built by King Kasyapa. Sigiriya is stark and forbidding, haunted by an epic story of murder and betrayal attributed to King Kasyapa, who found hiding, after killing his father, to be more fruitful than meeting with the wrath of the people who loved King Dhatusena. Currently, the fortress holds the paintings of Ajantha and Ellora Caves in India, with highlights being the Frescoes, Mirror Wall, and the Lions Paw. It is considered the 8th Wonder of the Modern World and thought to be the equivalent to the Alakamanda, the Celestial Palace of God Kuvera. This castle in the sky is a massive monolith of red stone that rises 600ft above ground. The entrance to the climb to the summit is called the majestic Lion Rock, because the summit is reached between the paws of a lion. (Sigiriya Village Hotel) (B/D)

Day 5, December 3, Monday - Polonnaruwa
After breakfast, travel to the Medieval Capital of Sri Lanka (11th C 13th Century AD), Polonnaruwa. It rose to fame after the decline of Anuradhapura. The city was fortified with three concentric walls, beautified with parks and gardens, and sanctified by many shrines. A unique Irrigation complex watered the city, as well as the surrounding plains, helping in agriculture, making the island The Granary of the East. The largest of the manmade reservoirs, the huge Parakrama Samudra (The Sea of Parakrama), is larger in size than the Colombo Harbor. Polonnaruwa is home to two magnificent World Heritage sites and numerous other sites of archaeological and historical interest, some of which depict the influence that Hinduism had on the Buddhist Civilization during that period of history. Visit these sites in the Sacred City, including the Grate Statue, Quadrangle, Royal Palace, Vatadage, Hatadage, Siva Devalaya, Gal Viharaya, Alahana Pirivena Complex, Kumara and Lotus Ponds, Thuparamaya, Rankoth Vehera, Pabalu Vehera, Thiwanka Image House, and The Museum. Walk through a wood-carving factory to see the skills of Sri Lankan craftsmen. In the afternoon, take a Jeep Safari of the Minneriya National Park, famous for the many large herds of wild elephants. The National Park is situated around the reservoir of the same name, in the south central area of the island. The park is full of grasslands, thorny scrubs, and valuable species of trees. Large herds of elephants, species of deer, wild boar, water buffalo and jackals are some of the wild animals found, along with a variety of avifauna. The Park has become synonymous with the annual Elephant Gathering. Return to Sigiriya for overnight. (B/D)

 

Day 6, December 4, Tuesday - Sigiriya/Kandy
After breakfast, travel to Kandy, the Hill Capital. Along the way, visit Dambulla Cave Temple, considered to be the largest painted caves in the world, with more than 22,000 sq ft of painted surfaces, and many paintings, sculptures, statues of Lord Buddha, his disciples, Kings, Gods, and more. It is a collection of five caves of different sizes and declared a World Heritage Site. Initial authorship is attributed to King Valagambahu, who took refuge here after being driven out of Anuradhapura by invading armies. The works, however, span over all periods since that time to the late Kandy Period in the 18th Century. Walk through the Spice Garden and gain knowledge about the growth and use of spices in the day to day life. In a Batik Making Factory, see how beautifully the village girls produce exquisite colored cloths for different purposes with colorful designs. In the evening, watch a cultural performance by traditional Kandyan dancers and drummers, including devotional Fire Walking. Walk in the star-lit night to the most important place of worship for Buddhists world over, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. This golden roofed temple is the center of attraction. (Mahaweli Reach Hotel) (B/D)

Day 7, December 5, Wednesday - Kandy
After breakfast, experience a city tour of Kandy, the City on the Hills, named as it was protected by nature - water, rocks, and jungles. It was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings before falling to the British and is a World Heritage site. Many of the legends, traditions, and folklore are lovingly kept alive in Kandy, and it is a city for arts, crafts, culture and history. Witness a prominent view of the city from Kandy Lake, built by the last King Sri Wickramarajasinghe in 1806. Experience a birds eye view of the city from Upper Lake Drive. Also, discover more than 5,000 species of different varieties of flora in the Royal Botanical Gardens, one of the best of its kind in Asia. It was the Headquarters of Lord Louise Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during the Second World War. Also, view how gorgeous, valuable gems are made from raw stone at the Gem Museum, and learn the background history. (B/D)

 

 

Day 8, December 6, Thursday - Kandy/Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, travel through the Ramboda Pass to Little England, Nuwara Eliya, surrounded by Green Carpets, the hills covered with tea and cascading waterfalls amidst breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. Nuwara Eliya is nestled in a wooden basin at the foot of Mount Pidurutalagala, Sri Lankas highest peak. At 6,183 ft above sea-level, this region has a cool, crisp climate unknown elsewhere in Sri Lanka. It is a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of Colombo, and the town seems like a piece of the English Lake District. Unusual plants, birds, and animals thrive here besides natural features like waterfalls and caves. Tea, the glistening green leaves of this lovely shrub, along with neat rows of green, cloak ridges and valleys provide a lasting impression of Sri Lankas Hill Country. View the Golf Course, one of the finest and most picturesque in Asia. Visit the serene Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, beautiful parks and well kept lawns and hedges that give the place an air of nostalgia. Witness the manufacturing process of world famous Ceylon Tea with a visit to a tea factory and plantation, and taste a pure unblended cup of factory tea before going to the Tea Auctions in Colombo to be exported. (Heritance Tea Factory Hotel) (B/D)

Day 9, December 7, Friday - Nuwara Eliya
Enjoy today at your leisure to explore the natural beauty of the city. Walk around and visit Victoria Park, with its variety of plants from tropical rain forest plants to English country garden plants. Also, be sure to relax at Gregory Lake, which offers a splendid and peaceful environment for sightseeing and boating. View the many picturesque waterfalls that surround the area, like Dunhinda Falls, Diyaluma Falls, Bakers Falls, Lovers Leap, Bridal Falls and more. See the golf course and the market, as well. (B/D)

 
 

Day 10, December 8, Saturday - Nuwara Eliya/Bentota
After breakfast, travel to Bentota on the Southwest Coast. The tropical lagoon and major river Bentota faces the Indian Ocean, and is one of the most established beach resorts in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the natural beauty on the mountainous route, while passing two waterfalls - the Devon and St. Claires. Stop at the location of David Leans award winning film Bridge on the River Kwai and find the Jungle Boy willing to escort you to the site. (Marina Hotel) (B/D)

Day 11, December 9, Sunday - Bentota
Use this day to relax on the beach in peace. Enjoy a boat cruise upriver, which will give you a glimpse of different lifestyles of the rural folks. Cruise by temples, cinnamon estates and other nature resorts. Have fun with the many water sports available like swimming, body-surfing and diving, or jet-skiing, windsurfing, parasailing. Or enjoy a romantic river safari on the river and lagoon. (B/D)

 

Day 12, December 10, Monday - Bentota/Colombo/USA
Return to Colombo. Take a city tour of the capital. Many attractions, opportunities for shopping, and the availability of tasting a multitude of cuisine make it an interesting city. See a Buddhist Temple, the Dutch Wolvendhal Church, a Hindu Temple, and the Town Hall. Also explore Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, a convention center located in prime residential area, and Cinnamon Gardens. At almost midnight, board your flight to the US. (B)

Day 13, December 11. Tuesday - USA
Arrive in the States. You may take a 3-day extension to Singapore or 3-day extension to Hong Kong. Or, both.

 

 
Hong Kong Extension - 3 Days

 

   
$360 per person Land Only
$220 per person Single Supplement
 
       

Day 13 - Colombo/Hong Kong
Transfer to the airport for your departure via Cathay Pacific Airways and arrive in Hong Kong. Transfer to your hotel. (B) (Grand Harbor Hotel)

Day 14 - Hong Kong
A morning sightseeing tour introduces you to the highlights of this bustling city including Stanley Market, Aberdeen's floating restaurants and sampan dwellers, and a panoramic view of city and harbor from atop Victoria Peak. Afternoon free. (B)

Day 15 - Hong Kong/USA
Transfer to the airport for your departure via Cathay Pacific Airways and arrive the States the same day. (B)

 

 
Singapore Extension - 3 Days
 
   
$345 per person Land Only
$240 per person Single Supplement
$120 per person surcharge if taking land and air
 
       
 

Day 13 - Colombo/Singapore
Transfer to the airport for your departure via Cathay Pacific Airways and arrive in Singapore. Transfer to your hotel. (B) (York Hotel)

Day 14 - Singapore
After breakfast, take a city tour and see the waterfront, the botanical gardens, China Town and a batik factory.Afternoon free. (B)

Day 15 - Singapore/USA
Transfer to the airport for your departure via Cathay Pacific Airways and arrive the States the same day. (B)

 
   
 
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