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15 DAY SRI LANKA TOUR
Monday 02 March 2020 — Monday 16 March 2020

Sri Lanka is a country of diversity. No two days throughout our itinerary will be the same. This Pearl of the Ocean is small but offers so much. We will encounter wonderful wildlife, beautiful beaches, tantalizing tea plantations, history from the beginning of time, an abundance of waterfalls and a culture that is so endearing it will be difficult to leave. Not to mention some of the tastiest food in the world! This is sure to be a trip that will be long remembered as a highlight of our travels.

DAY 1 NARACOORTE TO SRI LANKA: Monday 02 March 2020

With all the packing done and excitement levels high, we make our way to the Melbourne airport to board our flight to Colombo. UL605 is a direct flight from Melbourne to Colombo. Boarding in Melbourne at 5.25pm has us arriving in Sri Lanka at 10.35pm. We make our way from the airport to our hotel which is approximately an hour away. We check into our delightful accommodation and go immediately to bed for a restful night. Cinnamon Grand, Colombo (1 night)

DAY 2 (BLD) COLOMBO SIGHTSEEING & BENTOA: Tuesday 03 March 2020

We have a chance to sleep in this morning and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. This morning we venture out to take a city sights tour of Sri Lankas’ capital. Returning to the hotel we check out of our rooms and enjoy lunch at the hotel before we head off to our next destination. Once we board the coach we head south through the beach area of Bentota and a number of other small villages. Taking a look around at the local attractions is a lovely introduction to the versatility of this pearl of the ocean. Be prepared to see something different every day. We arrive at our hotel late afternoon where we settle in and familiarise ourselves with the facilities. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the hotel)
Avani Bentota Resort and Spa, Bentota (2 nights)

DAY 3 (BLD) AMBALANGODA: Wednesday 04 March 2020

Keep an eye out for the unique way of fishing (pictured), which is amazing considering fish are such a large part of the diet here. We visit the area of Ambalangoda as it is renowned for the wooden masks and puppets it produces. We also visit a Turtle Hatchery where eggs are kept safe from predators and released after hatching for a better chance of survival. Sri Lanka has five breeds of turtles calling it home. Our guide has chosen a small local restaurant for lunch after which will be time to go on a boat ride through the Mangrove swamps of the Madu River. We then return to the hotel looking forward to another enjoyable dinner. (Breakfast and dinner in the hotel, lunch provided)

DAY 4 (BLD) BENTOA VIA GALLE TO TANGALLE: Thursday 05 March 2020

Our main visit today is to Galle Fort. This fort was built by the Portuguese in 1588. Recognised by UNESCO for its cultural heritage makes this is a very interesting place. As we wander around we can imagine how this secure small community would have looked after each other, although different today it still has the same community loyalty within the walls. We will want some free time this afternoon as we will be checking into one of the best hotels at the southernmost shores of Sri Lanka in Tangalle. Although it is quite luxurious we will be made feel very welcome so take a look around and enjoy the facilities of our overnight accommodation. (Breakfast and dinner in the hotel, lunch provided)
Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Tangalle (1 night)
Our main visit today is to Galle Fort. This fort was built by the Portuguese in 1588. Recognised by UNESCO for its cultural heritage makes this is a very interesting place. As we wander around we can imagine how this secure small community would have looked after each other, although different today it still has the same community loyalty within the walls. We will want some free time this afternoon as we will be checking into one of the best hotels at the southernmost shores of Sri Lanka in Tangalle. Although it is quite luxurious we will be made feel very welcome so take a look around and enjoy the facilities of our overnight accommodation. (Breakfast and dinner in the hotel, lunch provided)
Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Tangalle (1 night)
The destination today is Yala National Park. Our guide will choose a lunch venue along the way. Upon arrival at our hotel we check into this beautiful accommodation with time to freshen up and put on our safari gear! Make sure your eyes are peeled and cameras are charged as we take our safari jeeps into the Yala National Park. This is leopard country, and they are the Lords of the Jungle! With a leopard density that's higher than anywhere else on this planet, these menacing predators prowl majestically in Yala, although spotting them is still a rare occurrence. Elephants roam in larger numbers with cautious deer scampering by their side. There is a multitude of birds to keep an eye out for and our guide will explain anything else we come across throughout the drive. The animals in the area have decided the hotel is part of their home aswell so it is not uncommon to get up close to the “animal residents”! (Breakfast and dinner in the hotel, lunch provided)
Jetwing, Yala (2 nights)

DAY 6 (BLD) YALA: Saturday 07 March 2020

The morning we have arranged to take a morning safari, which showcases the animals in a different light from the afternoon safari we did yesterday. The rest of the day has been left free to enjoy lunch and the facilities at our hotel. A stroll to the beach is a lovely way to spend some time, but the pool is so inviting too! (Breakfast, lunch and dinner in

DAY 7 (BLHT) YALA TO NUWARA ELIVA : Sunday 08 March 2020

We need to be checked out early this morning as we have a train to catch a bit later. Today we travel through changing scenery from the low flat terraine to the picturesque mountains. We have a local experience late morning as we board a local train taking us through the hills from Ella to Nuwara Eliya. Rail travel has been an important part of Sri Lankan history. The journey into Nuwara Eliya remains one of the world’s most stunning rail journeys. Lunch is served onboard the train as we are in a first class carriage (but don’t be fooled this is truly a local journey). Arriving in Nuwara Eliya will give us the sense of being in England, we take a look around the small town before we arrive at The Grand hotel for High Tea. (Breakfast and High Tea in the hotel, train lunch)
Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya (1 night)

DAY 8 (BLD) NUWARA ELIVA TO KANDY: Monday 09 March 2020 

Checking out of the hotel this morning we take a tour of a tea factory, explaining the process. Sri Lanka provides a large segment of the worlds’ tea. It is surprising how much labour goes into the process but the scenery from here is just divine so the tea pluckers seem to always have a smile on their faces! The rest of the afternoon will be spent getting to the metropolis that is Kandy. Located in the central province Kandy is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. Dominating the town is Kandy Lake. This is an artificial lake created in 1807 by the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy. One of the most pleasant areas around the lake is at the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth, housing Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. We have a tour of this wonderful complex giving us a chance to see it in the day and also as all the candles are lit at night. Finally we make our way up the mountain through the narrow streets to arrive at our lovely accommodation. Once we check in we meet together in the restaurant for an extensive buffet dinner. (Breakfast and dinner in the hotel, lunch provided) Earl’s Regency, Kandy (3 nights)

DAY 9 (BLD) PINNAWALA & THE KANDY DANCERS: Tuesday 10 March 2020

Today will incorporate some real highlights. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in the morning has to be seen to be believed. We will not only have a chance to watch a baby elephant being fed but see some of the 100 resident elephants of the orphanage wander down the village street to their bathing area! It is definitely a site to behold. There is time to enjoy lunch here while watching the elephants revel in the water for their favourite time of the day – bath time! We don’t need to rush today so there is time to look through the village shops before we meet the coach. Returning to Kandy gives us a chance to do some local shopping. If you want to take a sari home as a souvenir this is the time to buy one. Ask our guide for the best places to visit. The city of Kandy is also known for its performers that dance and play music. This evening we are treated to a performance by Kandy dancers. This type of dancing cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The costumes are specific to the Kandy area also. Back at the hotel we make our way to dinner. If the weather is nice we will sit outside tonight. What a top day we have had! (Breakfast and dinner in the hotel, lunch Pinnawala restaurant)

DAY 10 (BLD) KANDY: Wednesday 11 March 2020

We head into the city centre this morning to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya. Attracting over 2 million visitors a year the gardens are a must to visit while we are in Kandy. Once upon a time these gardens were reserved exclusively for Kandyan royalty but are now accessible to everyone. Taking time to wander through the gardens is a perfect way to begin our day in the city. Our final visit for the day is to “Tiesh” by Lakmini Gem Shop. Among the array of Sri Lankan precious stones, infamous worldwide are Blue Sapphires, Star Sapphires, Rubies, Star Rubies, White Sapphires, Yellow Sapphires, Cats Eye and many more. A unique feature of Tiesh by Lakmini is the simulator gem mine which is created inside the premises of the organization. This gem mine will cater to the curiosity of those of us who may not get an opportunity to visit the real gem mine in Rathnapura (the area where most of Sri Lanka’s gems are sourced). Even if we do not intend to purchase a gem the visit is most interesting. After lunch at a local restaurant we have some time to ourselves where we can visit the Kandy markets as the afternoon is free to do as we wish. Our driver will take us into the shopping precinct once again if required or we can go back to the hotel to take a swim or simply rest up for a bit. Dinner is included this evening at the hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

DAY 11 (BLD) KANDY TO DAMBULLA: Thursday 12 March 2020

We travel further north today, still in the centre of Sri Lanka. The wonderful food we are tasting during our tour is due to the cooks understanding of spices. We visit a spice garden today to see how some of the more unusual items are grown. We also enjoy a cooking demonstration to show how easy it is to use the spices to make some delicious food. We will look at lunch in a different light from today. Our final stop is in Dambulla. This is where The Golden Temple is situated. This is the largest best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The mural paintings and 157 statues are of particular importance but please be aware getting to them entails walking up many steps but if you can do this you will not be disappointed. For those not wishing to brave the steps our driver will take us a short distance to see some more accessible displays. We have a bit of time to relax and reflect in the coach before we arrive at our destination in Dambulla today. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided) Jetwing Lakeside, Dambulla (2 nights)

DAY 12 (BLD) SIGIRIYA/POLONNARUWA: Friday 13 March 2020

Setting off after breakfast we arrive in Polonnaruwa today, which was once the capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to the 13th century. The ancient remains consist of a walled inner and outer city, surrounded by monasteries and temples, with palaces, gardens and a manmade lake. This fascinating place will be explained to us throughout our tour. We make our way to a local restaurant for lunch. We have a couple of options of how to spend the afternoon. Either climbing Sigiriya Rock, which is only for anyone looking for a real challenge or taking a tour in a cart pulled by an oxen to the river then a boat ride across the river and a tour in a local village to see village life as it was and still is for many. (Breakfast and dinner in the hotel, local restaurant lunch provided)

DAY 13 (BLD) DAMBULLA TO NEGOMBO: Saturday 14 March 2020

Before leaving this area completely we visit a school (subject to availability) to see how all those children we have seen throughout our travels spend their day. As you would be aware of by now the people of this country are a large reason it is such a special place and the children are no exception. With a gift to present to the school we can know we will have made a small difference to their day. Making our way to Negombo sees us heading back to the beach. By now we are used to beautiful accommodation and this one will not disappoint. Hopefully there will be time for a swim today. (Breakfast and dinner in the hotel, lunch provided) Heritance, Negombo (1 night and full day use with checkout after dinner)

DAY 14 (BD) NEGOMBO: Sunday 15 March 2020

The Fish Market is a must see experience whilst in Negombo so this will be one of our stops during our brief city sights tour of the area. If you haven’t taken a Tuk Tuk ride yet why not hail one and take a trip wherever you like? This is a cheap and exciting way to get around and a chance to do any last minute shopping. Our guide will suggest venues for lunch but most of the day has been left free to do our own thing. Our tour has come to an end so we say goodbye to Sri Lanka leaving with memories of two weeks spent in a beautiful part of the world. We have arranged a wonderful farewell dinner this evening. Right after dinner we are transferred to the airport for our return flight home.

DAY 15 HEADING HOME: Monday 16 March 2020

Flight UL604 departs Colombo at 0020 with an arrival time in Melbourne at 3.55pm. Our Naracoorte Charters coach will be there to meet us for the drive home, so we are ready for bed, but with memories of a most wonderful two weeks away!

Deposit of $600.00 payable on booking to reserve your place.
Value Packed!

$7480.00 per person $ 920.00 single supplement

Balance due 60 days prior to departure.
PLEASE MAKE CHEQUES PAYABLE TO “NARACOORTE CHARTERS” Travel insurance is not included, but strongly recommended.
Cancellation Policy: More than 60 days, loss of deposit, 29-14 days, 50% of payment, less than 14 days, 100% of payment. See full terms and conditions on separate insert.