SRI LANKA: CULTURE & LANDSCAPES JAN 5-17, 2024
with Jeremy Woodhouse
(13 days – 12 nights), maximum group size 6-8
- Highlights of the cultural triangle, Kandy, a Tea plantation, Galle, southern beach areas/fishing villages, markets, craft villages, iconic homes, and special photo shoots like the early AM fishing boats coming in with their catch, to name just a few
- Explore Anuradhapura, where Buddhist shrines date to the 3rd century BC, colonial Nuwara Eliya, and the Buddhist cave temples of Dambulla
- Driving is kept at a minimum, where ever possible
- Ride on a train through breathtaking scenery
- Hotels – a nice mix of smaller properties, and some larger hotels. Some of the smaller hotels offer a limited number of rooms, therefore, where we could not find one that would fit your needs, then we offer a larger hotel
- Transport in a 12 seater mini coach with room for luggage
- Meals – Breakfasts and dinners are included (lunch will be on your own unless where shown on the itinerary)
- Total of 13 days (12 nights)
Sri Lanka has seduced travellers for centuries. Marco Polo described it as the finest island of its size in the world, while successive waves of Indian, Arab and European traders and adventurers flocked to its palm-fringed shores, attracted by reports of rare spices, precious stones and magnificent elephants. Poised just above the Equator amid the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean, the island’s legendary reputation for natural beauty and plenty has inspired an almost magical regard even in those who have never visited the place. Romantically inclined geographers, poring over maps of the island, compared its outline to a teardrop falling from the tip of India or to the shape of a pearl (the less impressionable Dutch likened it to a leg of ham), while even the name given to the island by early Arab traders – Serendib – gave rise to the English word “serendipity”.
Marco Polo’s bold claim still holds true. Sri Lanka packs an extraordinary variety of places to visit within its modest physical dimensions, and few islands of comparable size can boast a natural environment of such beauty and diversity. Lapped by the Indian Ocean, the coast is fringed with idyllic – and often refreshingly undeveloped – beaches, while the interior boasts a compelling variety of landscapes ranging from wildlife-rich lowland jungles, home to extensive populations of elephants, leopards and rare endemic bird species, to the misty heights of the hill country, swathed in immaculately manicured tea plantations. Nor does the island lack in man-made attractions. Sri Lanka boasts more than two thousand years of recorded history, and the remarkable achievements of the early Sinhalese civilization can still be seen in the sequence of ruined cities and great religious monuments that litter the northern plains.
The glories of this early Buddhist civilization continue to provide a benchmark of national identity for the island’s Sinhalese population, while Sri Lanka’s historic role as the world’s oldest stronghold of Theravada Buddhism lends it a unique cultural identity that permeates life at every level. There’s more to Sri Lanka than just Buddhists, however. The island’s geographical position at one of the most important staging posts of Indian Ocean trade laid it open to a uniquely wide range of influences, as generations of Arab, Malay, Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers subtly transformed its culture, architecture and cuisine, while the long-established Tamil population in the north have established a vibrant Hindu culture that owes more to India than to the Sinhalese south.
Day 1: Mon, Jan 5—Arrive Colombo
Arrive at the Colombo International Airport, where you would be greeted by a Pixelchrome representative and then transferred by Coach to Colombo.
Although it’s unlikely it will reclaim its 19th-century moniker “the garden city of the East”, Colombo has nevertheless emerged as a must-see stop in Sri Lanka. No longer just the sprawling city you have to endure on your way to the beaches, it has become a worthy destination in its own right and makes an excellent start – or finish – to your Sri Lankan adventures. The legacies of colonial Colombo’s garden roots are still very much intact along its often-shady boulevards. Fort is a compelling place thanks to on-going restoration of its landmark colonial architecture, while Pettah brims with markets and rampant commerce. Even traffic- clogged Galle Rd is getting spiffier with glossy new hotel complexes. Colombo’s cosmopolitan side supports ever-more stylish eateries, galleries and shops. Surprises abound: with a little exploration you'll find great local food, characterful shops and tiny, convivial cafes. Meanwhile, a building boom like no other is transforming the city's skyline.
O/N Jetwing Blue Hotel, Welcome Dinner
Situated on the coastline of Negombo, Jetwing Blue is a chic seaside resort that reflects a mixture of modern elegance and cosy ambience. Its excellent location makes it a popular destination for a family vacation or a romantic retreat.
Day 2: Tue, Jan 6 — Colombo/ Negombo Fish Market
After Breakfast, proceed to the Negombo Fish Market. And the town of Negombo.
Negombo is a modest beach town located just 10km from Bandaranaike International Airport. With a stash of decent hotels and restaurants to suit all pockets, a friendly local community, an interesting old quarter and a reasonable (though somewhat polluted) beach, Negombo is a much easier place to find your Sri Lankan feet than Colombo. The Dutch captured the town from the Portuguese in 1640, lost it, and then captured it again in 1644. The British then took it from them in 1796 without a struggle. Negombo was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and there are still reminders of the European days.
The busy centre of Negombo town lies to the west of the bus and train stations. Most places to stay, however, line the main road that heads north from the town centre, with the beachside hotel strip starting about 2km north of town.
Each day, fishermen take their oruvas (outrigger canoes) and go out in search of the fish for which Negombo is famous. They’re a fine sight as they sweep home into the lagoon after a fishing trip. Fish auctions on the beach and sales at the fish market near the fort are a slippery and smelly affair, but one that’s well worth forgoing some pool time for.
O/N Jetwing Blue Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 3: Wed, Jan 7 — Drive North Pinawalla/Sigiriya
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, halfway between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department in a 25 acre coconut property adjoining the Maha Oya River. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the many orphaned Elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka.
In 1978 the orphanage was taken over by the National Zoological Gardens from the Department of Wildlife. A captive breeding program was launched in 1982. Since the inception of the program over 20 elephants have been bred here. The aim of the orphanage is to simulate a natural habitat to these elephants. However, there are some exceptions: the elephants are taken to the river twice a day for a bath, and all the babies less than three years of age are still bottle fed by the mahouts and volunteers.
Each animal is also given around 76 kg of green matter a day and around 2 kg from a food bag containing rice bran and maize. The orphanage which boasts to have the largest herd of captive elephants in the world is very popular and visited daily by many Sri Lankan and foreign tourists. The main attraction is clearly to observe the elephants bathing which is quite a spectacle.
Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to be once the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning.
Sigiriya refuses to reveal its secrets easily, and you'll have to climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top. On the way you'll pass a series of quite remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion's paws carved into the bedrock. The surrounding landscape – lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens and cave shrines – only add to Sigiriya's rock-star appeal.
In the evening proceed to Sigiriya declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and indentified as the 8th Wonder of the World by Sir Arthur C Clarke, science fiction writer. Climb the 5th century A.D. Rock Fortress. The vision of a patricidal king named Kasyapa transformed an awesome monolith into a cloud swept city. The mirror wall, which, protects a series of exquisite frescoes of celestial maidens which are murals using natural pigments and the Lion’s Paw entrance to the ruined palace on the summit are well worth the effort of the ascent.
Day 4: Thu, Jan 8 —Sigiriya/Polonnaruwa/Sigiriya
After breakfast fast leave for Polonnaruwa another UNESCO World Heritage site and a former capital of Sri Lanka 11th to 12th century AD. An obvious South Indian influence in the architecture is noticeable. The Gal Vihare comprises of four colossal statues of the Buddha carved out of the living rock stand testimony to the skill of master craftsmen. The reclining Statue of Lord Buddha is 14 metres long.
Lankathilake or the Image House was one of the splendid shrines in Asia in the 12th century. The Watadage and the Hatadage, Gal Pota, and Kiri Vihara are also included in the visits. Visit also the Tivanka Pilimage with its priceless murals and the vast man-made lake that is the Sea of Parakrama – a feat of ancient engineering.
Kings ruled the central plains of Sri Lanka from Polonnaruwa 800 years ago, when it was a thriving commercial and religious centre. The glories of that age can be found in the archaeological treasures that still give a pretty good idea of how the city looked in its heyday. You'll find the archaeological park a delight to explore, with hundreds of ancient structures – tombs and temples, statues and stupas – in a compact core. The Quadrangle alone is worth the trip.
Tivanka Image House (Tivanka Pilimage)
Polonnaruwa's northern road ends at Tivanka Image House. Tivanka means ‘thrice bent’, and refers to the fact that the Buddha image within is in a three-curve position normally reserved for female statues. The building is notable for its fine frescoes depicting Buddha in his past lives – the only Polonnaruwa murals to have survived (photos not allowed). Some of these date from a later attempt by Parakramabahu III to restore Polonnaruwa, but others are much older.
O/N Cinnamon Lodge Habarana (B,L,D)
Day 5: Fri, Jan 9 — Sigiriya/Anuradhapura/Sigiriya
Travel from Sigirya to Anuradhapura after breakfast. Anuradhapura, which is known as one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura is known for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It was the third capital of the Kingdom of Rajarata, following the kingdoms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara.
The ruins of Anuradhapura are one of South Asia’s most evocative sights. The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagobas (brick stupas), ancient pools and crumbling temples, built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka. Today, several of the sites remain in use as holy places and temples; frequent ceremonies give Anuradhapura a vibrancy that’s a sharp contrast to the museum-like ambience at Polonnaruwa.
Current-day Anuradhapura is a pleasant albeit sprawling city; a small town that feels more like a large village. There's loads of good budget accommodation, easy bike hire and a relaxed pace, making it a good place to spend an extra day.
Sri Maha Bodhi
The sacred bodhi tree is central to Anuradhapura in both a spiritual and physical sense. It was grown from a cutting brought from Bodhgaya in India and is said to be the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world, tended by an uninterrupted succession of guardians for over 2,000 years. Today thousands of devotees come to make offerings, particularly on poya (full moon) days and weekends. Sunset is a magical time to visit.
The faithful believe it was Princess Sangamitta, daughter of the Indian Emperor Ashoka and sister of Mahinda (who introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka), who brought the cutting from India. These days there is not one but many bodhi trees here; the oldest and holiest stands on the top platform. Railing and other structures around the trees are festooned with prayer flags.
In 1985, during the civil war, Tamil Tigers opened fire in the enclosure, killing several worshippers as part of a larger offensive that took the lives of almost 150 civilians.
April and December are particularly busy months as pilgrims converge on the site for snana puja (offerings or prayers).
The Ruwanweliseya was built by King Dutugemunu in the 2nd century BCE. Since being restored, the dome is clear and shines white in the sun. SM Burrows of the Ceylon Civil Service wrote in 1885, “Its present height is about 150 feet, with a diameter of 379 feet. It is now being restored by the pious contributions of pilgrims, and the zealous efforts of the Chief Priest. The Dagoba was originally surrounded by two large paved courts or platforms, the inner one raised above the outer. Round the outer side of the boundary-wall there was originally a complete circle of elephants, made out of brickwork, and coated with Chunam each elephant being furnished, says the Mahavamsa or Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka, compiled in about the 6th century AD with tusks of real ivory. Most of these figures have fallen away beyond recognition; but in some few, the shape of the animal is still plainly discernable.”
O/N Cinnamon Lodge Habarana B,L,D
Day 6: Sat, Jan 10 — Sigiriya/Dambulla/Kandy
Today in the morning, on our journey to Kandy, we will visit to Dambulla, another UNESCO World Heritage site. We will visit the rock cave temple, which is comprised of a series of 5 caverns with ceilings of natural rock covered with intricate paintings. The natural folds of the rock have been skilfully used to give the illusion of cloth. Forty eight statues of the Buddha and images of the various deities can be seen inside the cave.
The beautiful Royal Rock Temple complex sits about 160m above the road in the southern part of Dambulla. Five separate caves contain about 150 absolutely stunning Buddha statues and paintings, some of Sri Lanka’s most important and evocative religious art. Buddha images were first created here over 2000 years ago, and over the centuries subsequent kings added to and embellished the cave art. From the caves there are superb views over the surrounding countryside; Sigiriya is clearly visible some 20km away.
The city of Kandy, a sacred Buddhist site, popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura, was the last capital of the Sinhala kings whose patronage enabled the Dinahala culture to flourish for more than 2,500 years until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815. It is also the site of the Temple of the Tooth Relic or the Dalada Maligawa (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), which is a famous pilgrimage site. It enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status
Join in the ‘pooja’ or act of worship along with the devotees who walk in a sombre mood bearing flowers and offerings. Some days Kandy’s skies seem perpetually bruised, with stubborn mist clinging to the hills surrounding the city’s beautiful centrepiece lake. Delicate hill-country breezes impel the mist to gently part, revealing colourful houses amid Kandy’s improbable forested halo. In the centre of town, three-wheelers careen around slippery corners, raising a soft spray that threatens the silk saris worn by local women. Here’s a city that looks good even when it’s raining.
And when the drizzle subsides, cobalt-blue skies reveal a city of imposing colonial-era and Kandyan architecture, none more impressive than the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, one of Buddhism’s most sacred shrines.
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
The golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. During puja (offerings or prayers), the heavily guarded room housing the tooth is open to devotees and tourists. However, you don’t actually see the tooth. It’s kept in a gold casket shaped like a dagoba (stupa), which contains a series of six dagoba caskets of diminishing size.
As well as the revered main temple, the complex includes a series of smaller temples, shrines and museums. The complex can get crowded as it receives many worshippers and tourists, and backpackers, Chinese tour groups and Thai monks all jostle for space. Wear clothes that cover your legs and your shoulders, and remove your shoes.
O/N Radisson, Kandy (B,L,D)
Radisson Hotel Kandy welcomes you to the heart of Kandy. Our convenient location is ideal for business and leisure with plenty of attractions nearby. Relax in one of our 122 stylish rooms, each equipped with thoughtful and modern amenities to ensure your stay is a comfortable one. Make sure you visit iconic attractions such as Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) or the peaceful Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Everything you need is at your fingertips, including dining options at our on-site restaurant and rooftop bar, meeting spaces, pool and fitness center.
Day 7: Sun, Jan 11 — Kandy
Morning visit to Trinity College. Founded in 1872, its Chapel continues to be admired today being the first open chapel in the world and architecturally similar to the Polonnaruwa period.
Three Temples Loop Pilimatalawa
In the afternoon, visit the Monasteries of Gadaladeniya, Lankatilake and the Embekke Devale temples belonging to the 14th century. Gadaladeniya is built of stone and reminds us of the South Indian influence of the period. Lankatilaka temple is a magnificent brick building in white and in the shrine room is found a superb seated image of the Buddha. Embekke temples are famous for their carved wooden pillars with intricate designs.
Also visit the brass making village where some beautiful works of art, such as lamps, figurines, trays, wall hanging etc., are made.
This Buddhist temple with a Hindu annex dates from the 14th century, and the main shrine room contains a stunningly beautiful, gilded seated Buddha. Built on a rocky outcrop and covered with small pools, the temple is reached by a series of steps cut into the rock.
You may encounter it protected by scaffolding and a tin roof to prevent further rain-induced erosion. It's 13km southwest of central Kandy.
This impressive 14th-century temple, mounted on a rocky bluff, is the most imposing in the region. It's divided into two halves – one half Buddhist and one half Hindu – and features a seated Buddha image, Kandy-period paintings, rock-face inscriptions and stone elephant figures. A caretaker or monk will unlock the shrine if it’s not already open. A perahera (procession) takes place in August.
The setting is as memorable as the temple. It's located 15km southwest of Kandy.
Dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Mahasen, this beautiful temple, with its finely carved wooden pillars depicting swans, eagles, wrestling men and dancing women, was constructed in the 14th century. The best carvings are in the so-called drummers' hall.
Peradeniya Botanic Gardens
These stunning gardens were once reserved exclusively for Kandyan royalty. Today, even commoners are allowed in to enjoy the most impressive and largest (60 hectares) botanic gardens in Sri Lanka.
Highlights include a fine collection of orchids, a stately avenue of royal palms, the extraordinary, aptly named cannonball fruit tree and 40m-high Burma bamboo. Another big hit is the giant Javan fig tree on the great lawn, with its colossal central trunk and umbrella-like canopy of branches. Peradeniya is 6km from central Kandy.
O/N Radisson, Kandy (B,L,D)
Day 8: Mon, Jan 12 — Kandy/Nuwara Eliya
Often referred to as ‘Little England’, this genteel highland community does have a rose-tinted, After Breakfast, transfer to Nuwara Eliya. This morning we will take a leisurely drive through magnificent tea country as out road winds up the hills higher and higher. At one point along the route, after numerous hairpin bends, we will stop and visit the Queensbury Estate Tea Factory, a very traditional tea factory which is rarely, if at all, visited by tourists. Although photography is strictly profited inside the factory (as it is in almost all tea factories in Sri Lanka), the experience is well worth the 45 minute tour.
Our lunch will be at the Mlesna Tea Castle situated in the vicinity of two great waterfalls, Devon Falls and St. Clair Falls, along the Hatton - Talawakele Road.
Often referred to as ‘Little England’, this genteel highland community does have a rose-tinted, vaguely British- country-village feel to it, with its colonial-era bungalows, Tudor-style hotels, well-tended hedgerows and pretty gardens. Indeed, Nuwara Eliya was once was the favoured cool climate escape for the hard-working and hard-drinking English and Scottish pioneers of Sri Lanka’s tea industry.
A recent construction boom has blighted the scene to a degree, and the dusty and bustling centre is a thoroughly Sri Lankan urban tangle, but Nuwara Eliya still makes a fine base for a few days' relaxation. The verdant surrounding countryside of tea plantations, carefully tended vegetable plots and craggy hills is highly scenic.
O/N The Grand Hotel (B,L,D)
An elegant High Tea on a manicured lawn; sip a stiff brandy by the blazing fire after a round of golf in the chill air. Is it England in the Days of the Raj? It may be the 21st century, but colonial splendour still reigns in all its past glory at the Grand Hotel. Built in 1891, this was the palatial residence of the former Governor of Sri Lanka, Sir Edward Barnes; today we offer the ultimate in comfort and the best of traditions from the ‘good old days’ to all who seek the charms of our famed hill country landmark.
Day 9: Tue, Jan 13 — Nuwara Eliya/Horton Plains
After Breakfast, hike to Horton Plain’s National Park. Perched on the very edge of the hill country midway between Nuwara Eliya and Haputale, Horton Plains National Park covers a wild stretch of bleak, high-altitude grassland bounded at its southern edge by the dramatically plunging cliffs that mark the edge of the hill country, including the famous World’s End, where the escarpment falls sheer for the best part of a kilometre to the lowlands below.
The Horton Plains plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m. The walk here is 4km, but the trail then loops back to Baker’s Falls (2km) and continues back to the entrance (another 3.5km). The 9.5km round trip takes a leisurely three hours. Unless you get there early, the view from World’s End is often obscured by mist, particularly during the rainy season from April to September. All you can expect to see from World’s End after around 9am is a swirling white wall. The early morning (between 6am and 10am) is the best time to visit, before the clouds roll in. That’s when you’ll spy toy-town, tea-plantation villages in the valley below, and an unencumbered view south towards the coast.
Wear strong and comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunglasses. Bring sunscreen, food and water. Ask your guesthouse to prepare a breakfast package for you, and reward yourself with an alfresco breakfast once you reach World’s End. The weather can change very quickly on the plains – one minute it can be sunny and clear, the next chilly and misty. Bring a few extra layers of warm clothing (it’s very cold up here at 6am).
It is forbidden to leave the paths, which can be slippery and tough to negotiate in places. There are no safety rails around World’s End and there have been a couple of accidents where people have fallen to their deaths. If you have young children with you keep a very firm grip on them as you approach the cliff edge.
Later in the afternoon we will drive 13 km to the Heritance Tea Factory, a very luxurious hotel set among verdant tea fields, for a very special “high tea”.
Heritance Tea Factory
High in mist-wrapped hills 13km northeast of Nuwara Eliya, this unique place has been built into and around a century-old tea factory. Blurring the line between museum and luxury hotel, much of the factory machinery is still in situ and has been incorporated into the design.
O/N The Grand Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 10: Wed, Jan 14 — Nuwara Eliya/Ella
This morning we board the 9:30 train that takes us from Nuwara Eliya to Ella, with a box lunch aboard the train en-route. Ella is a pretty hill-country town, set among some of the most beautiful mountain views in Sri Lanka.
Set on the southeastern edge of Uva Province, Ella is one of the hill country’s most appealing destinations. This is the closest thing to an English country village you’ll find in Sri Lanka, enjoying a pleasantly temperate climate and surrounded by idyllic green hills blanketed in tea plantations and offering some good walking, as well as one of the finest views in Sri Lanka.
O/N 98 Acres Resort (B,L,D)
The uniquely designed resort blends well with nature, and consists of charming chalets mostly made of recyclable substance. Discarded railway sleepers are put to good use in the making of decks and walls at the resort. Rough, hewn granite lend simple elegance to the floors of chalets adorned with thatched roofs of ‘Illuk’ straw that adds to their rustic beauty. The exquisite country side, breathtaking views and exciting nature trails will assure you of a memorable holiday at one of the most breathtaking Ella hotels in the region.
Day 11: Mon, Jan 15 — Ella/Weligama/Galle
Leaving Ella after breakfast, Transfer to Galle through Buduruwagala. We will first visit the beautiful, 1000-year-old, rock-cut Buddha figures of Buduruwagala, the region’s biggest attraction. The name Buduruwagala is derived from the words for Buddha (Budu), images (ruva) and stone (gala). The figures are thought to date from around the 10th century and belong to the Mahayana Buddhist school, which enjoyed a brief heyday in Sri Lanka during this time. The gigantic standing Buddha (at 15m, it is the tallest on the island) here still bears traces of its original stuccoed robe, and a long streak of orange suggests it was once brightly painted. It's surrounded by smaller carved figures. This remote site is located 9km south of Wellawaya, accessed by a scenic side road.
Stilt Fishing is one of the most interesting traditional fishing methods of Sri Lanka. Records indicate that it came into being just after World War II. This mode of fishing was more widely used all along the coast until the tsunami in 2004 which caused such activities to cease temporarily until recent years. The beautiful sight of fishermen perched branched poles as they fish skilfully during dawn, noon and dusk; can now be commonly along the southern coast in towns such as Koggala, Kaththaluwa, Ahangama and Weligama. Occasional stilt fishermen can also be seen amongst the waters of Madu River, etc.
O/N Heritage Galle Fort (B,L,D)
Situated in the heart of the city of Galle inside the historic Dutch Fort, The Heritage, over 300 years ago was originally a shop, named ‘Kotuwa Kade’, and was converted into the Castle in the Dutch Fort’ by well-known Sri Lankan architect Vidyajothy Ashley De Vos.
Day 12: Tue, Jan 16 — Galle
Sunrise shoot at a nearby beach which is home to a fleet of colourful, traditional outrigger fishing boats. After breakfast, stroll around the Fort with its paved driveway, alleys, shops, restaurants and guest houses. Galle Dutch Fort has a magical feel to it taking you back in time, perhaps 400 years ago. Photo opportunities are everywhere!
Galle is the prime example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and south Asian traditions. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the Natural Harbor, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary’s Cathedral, founded by Jesuit priests, and the Clock Tower.
O/N Heritage Galle Fort (B,L,Farewell Dinner)
Day 13: Wed, Jan 17 — Galle/Departure
We will pack up and head towards Colombo (Bandaranaike, airport) Airport. Our checkout time is at 12PM. We will transfer to Colombo, arriving mid-afternoon. (B)
END OF TOUR
Arrival & Departure
Jetwing Blue Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Date: Day 1
- Suggested arrival time: by 3:00 pm
- Suggested Arrival Airport: Colombo (Bandaranaike) Airport (airport code CMB)
- A complimentary transfer is provided from the Colombo (Bandaranaike) Airport to the Jetwing Sea Beach Resort. A Pixelchrome Phototours representative will meet you outside the customs area and will be holding a Pixelchrome Phototours sign with your name on it.
- A Welcome Dinner and orientation meeting will take place in the evening of Day 1.
- If you have booked extra services for early arrival, a voucher for your transfer and extra hotel nights will be sent with your final documents.
Suggested Airport for Departure: Colombo (Bandaranaike) Airport, Sri Lanka (airport code CMB)
Sri Lanka has a tropical climate with high humidity, tempered by sea breezes on the coast. The average temperature is about 81°F. In the highlands in places like Nuwara Eliya, it is in the 60s during the day and can get very cold at night, with lows in the 40s, so you’ll need a sweater.
6-8 SPOTS OPEN
DEPOSIT: $1,000 (NON-REFUNDABLE)
Tour Price Includes
- All meals are included starting from dinner on Day 1 and ending with Breakfast on Day 13
- Entrance fees of the scenic spots as listed in the itinerary
- Activities as listed in the itinerary
- Accommodations: Rooms based on twin or double sharing with double bed or a queen size bed
- Accompanying English speaking guide
- Meeting and assistance by our representative on arrival/departure at Airport/hotel. *Please note that our representative in each city or area will not fly/drive with you from one city to another
- Private Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in each city or area by private air- conditioned vehicle with driver
- A/C Vehicle
- Drinking water: 2 bottles of mineral water per person per day in the car.
Tour Fee Does not Include
- Travel insurance. Highly recommend to take your own insurance on or before paying us
- Flight/Accommodation/Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary
- Visa Fee—Sri Lanka visa: Visa is requested to be obtained before your arrival. Please make sure that you have got your valid passport and visa before your entry to Sri Lanka
- Tipping: tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc. You can pay more or less depending on their services. As appreciation to the guide and driver, we highly recommend $3-5USD per person per day to the driver and $6-10USD per person per day to the guide. Not necessary tip to our airport representatives but first arrival from your region, which are often wee hours, so we suggest $2USD for thanks
- Personal expenses such as room service, internet charge, laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, camera fee in monuments, etc
- Optional activities
- Excess Baggage Charges.
Paying by check
If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:
605 Rouen Drive,
McKinney TX 75072
Paying by Wire Transfer
If you would like to pay by Wire Transfer please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for bank account details.
- Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
- Camera body(s)
- Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good
- Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
- Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
- Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
- Charger for batteries
- Spare batteries
- Spare Memory cards
- Memory card reader
- USB key to exchange images
Also good to have
- Good quality polarizing filter