Sri Lanka - The Spice Island10 days & 9 nights,
Sigiriya, Kandy, Hatton, Galle & Colombo
For a small island, Sri Lanka's diversity is absolutely stunning. Set against a dramatic landscape, this jewel of the Indian Ocean will enchant you with a bounty of treasures. On this journey, visit tea plantations in colonial hill stations, get up close and personal with some friendly pachyderms and explore ancient ruins once lost to history. You'll also discover the historic treasures housed within the walls of the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and take a stroll through bustling Colombo.
Day 1Arrive Colombo / To Sigiriya
Upon arrival in Colombo, embark on a scenic drive through the lush countryside to the hill station of Sigiriya, gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Lion's Rock.
Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to relax or begin your explorations.Ulagalla Resort - 3 Nights
The impregnable rock fortress of Sigiriya looms above the surrounding jungle like a guardian spirit. Halfway up to the imposing hilltop fortress, look for some magnificent etched 6th-century frescoes, which influenced Sri Lankan art for centuries. This afternoon, visit the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa with its grand monuments to Shiva and its enchanting garden city.Ulagalla Resort (B)
The sacred city of Anuradhapura flourished as Sri Lanka's first capital for 1,400 years beginning in the 4th-century BC. Lost to the encroaching jungle for hundreds of years, it was rediscovered by British explorers in the 19th century. Explore the site with your expert guide who illuminates the history and myth of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.Ulagalla Resort (B)
Day 4To Kandy
Drive into the hills toward Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. On your way, stop to visit the Dambulla cave temple complex, which boasts stunning cave paintings (some from as early as the first century BC) and statues. This evening, enjoy a traditional Kandyan dance performance and visit the holy Temple of the Tooth. Housed in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, the relic of Buddha's tooth was believed to give its holder the rule of the country.The Clingendael - 2 Nights (B)
The hill station of Kandy has long been synonymous with luxuriant forests, cinnamon and nutmeg plantations. Take a tour of the sprawling 18th-century Royal Botanical Gardens, a 147- acre site that includes more than 4,000 varieties of plants. You'll also visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, which provides a natural habitat for nearly 100 elephants. Watch the majestic beasts eat, play and bathe on the riverbanks.The Clingendael (B)
Day 6To Hatton
Drive from Kandy to Hatton and your luxurious hideaway in Sri Lanka's verdant hills. Stay in a restored, colonial-era bungalow in the heart of lush tea country. Settle in to your luxurious estate before embarking on a scenic train journey through the "Golden Valley of Tea." British planter James Taylor introduced tea cultivation to the highlands of Sri Lanka back in the mid- 19th century. These days, tea production is an essential portion of the country's economy.Ceylon Tea Trails - 2 Nights (B)
Discover the art and science of growing, harvesting and making some of the world's finest teas. Follow the trails of the original planters as they trekked through the jungle in search of fertile land. Then learn from the master planter about caring for and harvesting the leaves and buds of the trees. And train your palate to discern the qualities that make this tea sought after the world over.Ceylon Tea Trails (B)
Day 8To Galle
This morning, drive to the 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage fort in Galle. With your expert guide, explore this stunning example of military architecture impressively situated in the Bay of Galle. First constructed in 1588 by the Portuguese, Galle Fort was extensively fortified by the Dutch beginning in the mid-17th century. Today, the interior of the fort is a heady fusion of European architecture and South Asian culture that includes hotels, restaurants and an historic Dutch Reformed church, which is located near your resort.Amangalla Resort (B)
Day 9To Colombo
Drive back to Colombo to acquaint yourself with some of the port's varied architecture, which has been influenced by the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch and British.
Then take a stroll through some of the city's bustling bazaars in search of a memento of your adventure in Sri Lanka. This evening, why not head out on the town for a final festive dinner?Uga Residence (B)
Day 10Depart Colombo
Bid farewell to the lovely island of Sri Lanka as you transfer to the international airport for your onward flight.(B)