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Culinary Journey

Culinary Journey - 12 Days

12 Day Tour of Sri Lanka

This 12 Day Tour of Sri Lanka will take you to the island’s most famous and historic locations, while also giving you a culinary experience so unique, your taste buds would surely crave for more, giving you a reason to want to come back to the Pearl of the Indian Ocean time and time again. Visit famous ancient kingdoms and monuments like the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Discover the scenic hill country and all its beauty. Experience the wildlife at one of Sri Lanka’s finest National Parks. Relax on the calm southern coasts and walk through the commercial hub of the country, all while lavishing in the array of delicious cuisine along the way.

Highlights

  • World Class – Top UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
  • Gentle Giants – Millennium Elephant Foundation in Pinnawala
  • Into The Wild – Yala and Horton Plains National Parks.
  • Spice Trails – Spice & Herbal Gardens in Matale
  • Last Kingdom – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic & Kandyan Culture
  • Misty Mountains – Evergreen peaks and cosy little towns in Nuwara Eliya & Ella
  • On the Shores – Postcolonial City of Galle and the Galle Dutch Fort
  • Urban Adventure – Discover the commercial hub, Colombo

When to go on this trip?

The best time of the year you can enjoy this trip is from December to May. Calm south coast beaches, cool and sunny climate and green sceneries that blend perfectly with the locations you are travelling to.

What add-ons are available for this trip?

We can arrange for just about any add-on’s on this trip. Discuss with our travel expert to help you decide.

When to book

We recommend that you book this tour at least 6 months ahead.

Day 01 - Airport - Negombo

Arrive at Colombo International Airport and after the formalities proceed to Negombo and check into the hotel.

Overnight Stay –

Day 02 - Negombo - Pinnawala - Dambulla - Sigiriya

After breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed to Pinnawala and visit Elephant Orphanage.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is the home for young Elephants who have been displaced or lost from their natural habitat, located at Pinnawala village in Sabaragamuwa province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is the best place for an up close and personal experience with the world’s largest land mammals! Today with 70 elephants herein, Pinnawala has become the home to the largest captive group of elephants in the world.

Thereafter proceed to Dambulla and visit Cave Temple

Dambulla Cave Temple

Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King and the Great New Monastery. See the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex.

On completion, proceed to Sigiriya and check into the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 03 - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya

After breakfast at the hotel visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Climb the 5th century AD rock fortress, Sigiriya, where the King Kasyapa ruled. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion that is quite appropriate for its name, ‘ the Lion Rock’. View the beautiful unfading murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns.  Walk through the tunnels leading to the palace as you get a feel for times long past.

Thereafter proceed to Priyamali Gedara and participate in a Cooking Demonstration and enjoy a lovely farmer’s lunch.

Farmers Lunch

This experience provides an authentic farm lunch and cooking demo done by an actual local farming family. Learn the ins and outs of Sri Lankan cooking as the farmer’s wife and daughters demonstrate their art. Chat with the farmer to learn more about how the fresh ingredients are obtained from the surroundings. Indulge in a healthy farm meal cooked over wood fires and served on lotus leaves over woven trays. Traditional rice, lentils, fresh local vegetables cooked into fragrant curries, fried fish, and poppadum will play a major role in the meals. Those who are interested can also request the farmer’s wife for some delicious kotthu, which they can purchase separately.

Thereafter visit the Ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

The Ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa

Visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which was the second major capital of Sri Lanka. Walk through the ruins of the city that flourished between the 10th to the 13th century AD. View important monuments such as Gal Vihara, Vatadage, the lotus bath, Lankathilaka Temple and the statue of King Parakramabahu whose reign was considered the golden age of Polonnaruwa. Get to know more about Sri Lanka’s ancient history.

On completion return to the hotel and relax.

Day 04 - Sigiriya - Matale - Kandy

After breakfast check out from the hotel and proceed to Kandy. En- Route visit a spice garden Matale.

Spice Garden in Matale

Do a guided tour of a spice and herbal garden, where you learn about spices, such as coriander, chilli, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg; and their uses. Take part in a traditional cooking class that shows you how to make Sri Lankan cuisine while making full use of spices. Learn to make roti or create curry powder from scratch in one of the workshops.

Thereafter proceed to Kandy and check into the hotel.

Later that evening visit Temple of Tooth Relic and go to watch the Kandyan Cultural Show with its colourful traditional dances and delightful music.

Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic

Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was built in the 16th century as the place of veneration and protection for Lord Buddha’s sacred tooth. Walk through the beautifully embellished passageways and elaborately painted halls, done in red, cream and black. Lounge against delicately carved pillars and get amazed by the beautiful golden statues. Get an unforgettable experience of history and art.

Royal Botanical Gardens

The Kandy Cultural Show gives an opportunity to experience some of the traditions of Sri Lanka. Enjoy this hour-long extravaganza as some of the most popular art forms of the island take to the stage. Get wowed by fire dancers and sword dancers. Watch the colourful Kandyan dancers take to the air to the thrumming primal beat of the drums.

On completion return to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 05 - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast check out from the hotel and proceed to Nuwara Eliya. En-route make a stop at the Ramboda Falls and see the majestic force of Ramboda Falls and get to see the internal workings of a Tea factory.

Tea Factory Visit 

Tea Factory to learn how tea is manufactured in Sri Lanka. You can observe the tea pickers, locally known as ‘tea pluckers’ as they move between the lush green rows along the mountains with their large baskets.Thereafter you will be given a guided tour explaining fermentation, rolling, drying, cutting, sieving and the grading of tea. Finish with a tea tasting process and learn of the history, and why Ceylon Tea is considered among the best in the world.

Thereafter continue to Nuwara Eliya and check into the hotel. Later visit a Strawberry farm and do a guided tour.

Visit a local strawberry farm to experience how strawberries are grown and harvested. Walk through the expansive greenhouse and with their plants yielding the ruby red fruit. Learn more about the climatic conditions necessary for the growth of strawberries. Feast on fine fat strawberries; in the forms of strawberry milkshakes, strawberries with cream, chocolate topped strawberries, pancakes with strawberries, and much more at the farm’s very own shop. Get a chance to purchase some of the fresh fruit to take back with you too.

On completion return to the hotel and relax.

Day 06 - Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya

With a packed breakfast proceed to Horton Plains National Park to go on a lovely hike in the National Park.

Visit the beautiful Horton Plains National Park in Ohiya, with its montane grasslands and cloud forests. Enjoy the majestic views from the precipice of World’s End and the cooling sprays from Baker’s Falls. Catch glimpses of the many endemic fauna that make their home in the plains. Get to know more about the archaeological finds that were discovered in the area.

After the trek, return back to the hotel and relax.

Day 07 - Nuwar Eliya - Ella

After the breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed to Ella and explore Scenic Ella.

Marvellous Ella

Explore Ella’s most interesting places. Pass through bright green tea fields, and tough stretches of rock, and get to see the magical views of Little Adam’s Peak. Walk over the history seeped Nine Arches Bridge and listen to the story of its construction. End your hike at the Demodara Railway station with its unique loop-over track design. This tour gives you the chance to see the best sights of Sri Lanka.

On completion proceed to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay –

Day 08 - Ella - Yala

Early in the morning go on a little hike to Ella Rock.

Ella Rock

This picturesque hike takes you up to Ella Rock, which is one of the highest viewpoints in the area. Watch the distant Namunukula Range and Little Adam’s Peak along the way. Get to see some stupendous early morning views of the landscape from the top of the rock. Some of the identifiable landmarks that can be seen are the Bandarawala Range, Poonagala Hills, Narangala, the Ella Gap and the Badulla train tracks.

After the hike, return back to the hotel, relax, check out and proceed to Yala and check into the hotel.

Overnight Stay –

Day 09 - Yala - Yala

Early in the morning go on a lovely jeep safari in Yala National Park.

Yala National Park

This amazing Safari offers the opportunity to visit Yala National Park, the second largest in the island based off the Southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. Get a chance to see the famous Sri Lankan leopards, indigenous wild water buffalo, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear and large herds of Sri Lankan Elephants. The park is also home to many other species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.

After the lovely safari returns back to the hotel and relax. Later in the evening visit Kataragama Temple.

Kataragama Temple

This is the temple of Lord Karthikeya Subramaniam at Kataragama. Lord Karthikeya was requested to go to the battlefield by Lord Indra on the last day of war. This was done to protect Lord Rama from the wrath of Brahmasthra aimed by King Ravana which otherwise would have weakened Lord Rama. The benefit was one of the most powerful weapon brahma asthra aimed at Lord Rama for the second time was rendered useless by the presence of Lord Karthikeya.

On completion return to the hotel.

Overnight Stay –

Day 10 - Yala - Ahangama - Galle

After breakfast at the hotel check out and go on an educational tour to know how to make buffalo curd.

How to make Buffalo Curd

If you have ever wondered how the local buffalo curd or even normal yoghurt is made; this is the ultimate experience for you. Get a guided tour to the farmhouses in Tissa Village. Watch the buffalos get milked. Let the experts teach you the process of converting milk to curd. Try your hand at curd making with the assistance of your tutors. Finish up by tasting this delicious dessert topped with kithul treacle.

Thereafter proceed to Ahangama and have a great authentic Sri Lankan Sea Fish Lunch at Garton’s Cape hotel.

You will be treated to a delicious and authentic Sri Lankan Seafood lunch; consisting of Jaffna Crab, Negombo Prawn and the South Coast “Ambul Thiyal” (Sri Lankan style fresh fish curry), along with small crispy fried fish and village grown vegetables cooked to perfection. Whilst you are having your lunch you can watch the live cooking show where the chef will demonstrate the cooking methods of the dishes you are enjoying.

After the lovely lunch at Garton’s Cape proceed to Galle and visit Colonial City.

Old Colonial City of Galle

Discover the city of Galle, where the Portuguese and Dutch made their headquarters, and its secrets. Visit the Galle Fort which is one of the best-preserved fortifications in Asia. View the Maritime Museum, Galle National Museum and the lighthouse. Walk through the cobblestoned streets with their Dutch names as you learn more about their histories.

On completion proceed to the hotel and relax.

Day 11 - Galle - Balapitiya - Colombo

After breakfast at the hotel check out and proceed to Balapitiya and go on a Boat Safari in Madu River, and visit the cinnamon island and experience the cinnamon making process.

Boat Safari to a Cinnamon Island

Go on a wonderful boat ride down the Madu River with its flourishing ecosystem. Pass through the secretive passages created by the mangroves. See the basking crocodiles and water monitors. Visit one of the small islands with its cinnamon harvesting natives. Enjoy the restorative qualities of the famous fish massage. Observe the water birds in their natural habitats.

Visit small secretive islands that dot the river to find the cinnamon makers. Learn how cinnamon bark is obtained and processed. Learn how the quills are divided according to their qualities. Purchase the freshest top quality cinnamon to take back home, or gift to your loved ones.

Thereafter proceed to Colombo and check into the hotel and relax. Later in the evening go on street food walk in Galle Face Green.

Street Food Walk

This experience gives you the chance to try the various varieties of Sri Lankan street food all in one go. Walk along the sandy beaches of Galle Face and stop by the most delicious and stomach friendly food kiosks in this guided foray into the street food world of Sri Lanka. Shock your taste buds with the mouthwatering flavors of egg hoppers, normal hoppers, tempered kadala, prawn vadé, parippu vadé, and kotthu (vegan, chicken, etc.). Enjoy the splendid sunsets of the tropics as you relax with food in hand.

On completion return to the hotel.

Day 12 - Colombo - Airport

After breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed directly to Bandaranaike International Airport for your departure from Sri Lanka after spending a memorable time on the island.

Price

The price quoted is valid till April 2018. Will be subject to seasonal supplements. Speak to your travel expert to learn more details.

VISA

Visa can be obtained online via www.eta.gov.lk. You can obtain Visa on arrival as well, however, this option is not available for some countries. Do read more on this topic here.

Travel Information

Sri Lanka is a developing nation. Yet, there are many things you must look out for during your travel. For example; when visiting religious sites, it is important that you dress to cover. All key information you need to know before traveling is right here.

Packing Essentials

When packing for Sri Lanka, you only need to remember that this is a tropical country. Sunny weather & warm water. Hence, packing thin cotton clothing is essential. However, if your stay includes places like Kandy, Nuwara Eliya & Ella, we recommend that you pack a few sweaters just in case. You must not forget the following:

  • Effective mosquito repellent.
  • A good sunscreen.
  • (Ladies) Tampons – Nearly impossible to find outside Colombo.
  • Universal power adapter.

Booking Process

After deciding on which trip you want to go, send us an inquiry with the requested details. If you want to further customize this trip, our travel experts would be glad to help perfect the tour itinerary for you. Once all planning is final, the next step is starting the booking process. We request for a 20% deposit to confirm the booking. On receipt of the deposit, our team will start booking your hotels and the vehicles that were agreed upon. The balance 80% payment can be made 30 to 45 days prior to the date of arrival. For cancellation and refund policies please take a look at the terms & conditions.

Travel Insurance

We recommend that you purchase travel insurance before you travel.

Hotel Timing

Standard Check in time : 1400 hrs.

Standard Check out time : 1200 hrs.

The above may differ from hotel to hotel. Speak to your travel expert for more details.

We are able to arrange early check-in and late check-outs depending on the hotels you choose. However, you may be subject to additional charges.

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