TOUR CODE: CMBMLE
Trip Type: Independent Journey
Unveil the secrets of the Indian Ocean on this exotic trip to Sri Lanka & the Maldives. Visit World Heritage Sites in Habarana and Kandy before traveling to an Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela. Then, fly on to the Maldives, a destination blessed with glorious weather and white sandy beaches, making it the perfect place for sheer indulgence.
SAii Lagoon Maldives amenities:
ARRIVE COLOMBO (D)
Arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Our local representative will meet you outside the customs gate and escort you to your hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Habarana; en-route, visit the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela, a breeding ground to care for and protect wild Asian elephants. The sanctuary covers 25 acres of lush vegetation with a population of more than 90 elephants. We arrive at Habarana in the late afternoon with the evening at leisure.
In the morning, we head to Matale District of the Central Province to visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress – one of the world’s most dramatic, inspiring, and beautiful historic locations. It was built in the 5th century A.D. by the king, Kashyapa, as a fortress-palace. The Aukana Buddha is the most magnificent and well-preserved ancient image on the island. Constructed in the 5th Century B.C., during King Dhatusena, it stands at 42.5 feet high, underneath a recently built brick shelter said to be a reconstruction of an image house that contained it 1,000 years ago. We continue to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital and the crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I. It remains evident of ancient culture and heritage blended with religious beliefs. Walk across its scattered walls of the World Heritage Site – blessed by stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals, and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures – while observing the relic house – Watadage – which boasts of beautiful stone carvings. Take a close glance, and you will realize a subtle Hindu influence on architecture and statues found in Polonnaruwa. Or sit by the side of Galviharaya and observe the absolute beauty gushing out of every bend of its giant Buddhist statues. Nissankamalla Council Chamber is a head-spinning beauty to sit back and watch its swaying pillars, reminding the aesthetics of a powerful kingdom beside Parakrama Samudraya – a sea of Parakramabahu and masterpiece of irrigation! After the full-day excursion, return to your hotel in Habarana.
After breakfast, drive to Dambulla, noted for the five cave Temples on a rock. The caves, built at the base of 492 feet high rock, dating back to 1st C.B.C. All the five cave walls and ceilings are covered with Buddhist murals, and more than 130 Buddha statues, statues of gods, and Kings are also found here. Continue the drive to Kandy, stop at Matale, known for producing tea, spices, vegetables, and rubber. We visit a spice garden and learn about fragrant clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace and pepper, and many other favorites before heading to Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second-largest city in the island’s mountainous center.
Kandy is known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. A sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka in the 4th Century A.D. and enshrined within the Dalada Maligawa, or the Temple of the Tooth. This sacred relic has been the symbol of sovereignty for the Sinhalese kings and always enshrined in great splendor. Kandy’s Dalada Maligawa is a magnificent shrine with decorative walls, a golden roof, and fine woodwork. Continue our visit to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden, first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides a fantastic variety of trees, plants, and flowers. In the evening, witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan music and drumming.
KANDY/ NUWARA ELIYA (TEA COUNTRY) (B/D)
This morning we will take a train ride to Nanu Oya. Misty steep roads, twisting through lush green blankets of tea bushes in a cool climate, remind visitors that they are within the range of the renowned British colonial retreat, Nuwara Eliya. Augmented by an English countryside atmosphere, the city of light – once governed by English & Scottish planters – is still studded with colonial bungalows, hedgerows, and one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world. A hike through the green grass and red-brick walls should present breath-taking views of a buzzing countryside hamlet. Visit a tea plantation en route. Take a tour to the cold and misty hills that take pride in an ultimate tea tour, covering lush green blankets of tea plantations. Or step into a tea factory processing the prestigious brand of Ceylon Tea to observe a rich tradition kept alive up to date. As you watch the hissing and swishing of machines, inhaling the heavenly scent arising from these facilities, make sure to end your day in style over a perfectly blended cup of pure Ceylon Tea.
NUWARA ELIYA/HORTON PLAINS/NUWARA ELIYA (B/D)
Early morning leave for Horton Plains with packed breakfast. Horton Plains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Eco-tourism hideout in the heart of the isle, painted with unending stretches of green pastures, marks one of the healthiest wet montane evergreen forests in Sri Lanka. With an altitude above 7000 feet, the plateau sweeps 7,830 acres, sheltering flora and fauna varieties that only can find here. As the tributary of Belihul Oya – Bakers Falls – thunders down rocks head off the beaten track – across frost-covered grass – to feel the icy-cold wind against your face. You may even gaze down World’s End, a head-spinning 3,700 feet drop towards the Southern end, or drive carefully through herds of sambar deer, shy to human touch and birdlife chirping across the plains. You may also spot grunting wild boars, pouncing fishing cats, otters, or even the Sri Lankan Leopards! Return to the hotel after the excursion.
NUWARA ELIYA/COLOMBO/THE MALDIVES (B/D)
This morning we drive to Colombo, where we board our flight to the Maldives, situated in the Indian Ocean lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India. Upon arrival, transfer to your resort by speedboat.
FREE DAYS IN THE MALDIVES (B/D)
The following two days are at leisure. Set on a pristine island blessed with tropical beauty in Emboodhoo Lagoon, the SAii Lagoon is connected directly to the Marina @CROSSROADS Maldives, where you will find dining, upscale shopping, and spa treatments. Enjoy aquatic activities like snorkeling and scuba diving among the colorful marine life of the Maldives.
MALDIVES DEPARTURE (B)
Take a 15-minute speedboat ride to Male for our flight home.
Meals: B= Breakfast L= Lunch D = Dinner
Per person, based on double occupancy
|2023||Land Only||Solo Traveler Supplement|
|Jan 08 - Apr 19||$4,099||$2,299|
|Apr 20 - Jul 07||$3,799||$1,899|
|Jul 08 - Aug 31||$4,099||$2,299|
|Sep 01 - 23||$3,799||$1,899|
|Sep 24 - Dec 14||$4,099||$2,299|
Click on Terms & Conditions for important information.