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Remote Lands arranged an absolutely flawless trip for me to Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan where I stayed in some of the world's finest hotels.
Peter, Litchfield, CT

The Ultimate Indian Ocean Adventure: India, Sri Lanka and Maldives

Embark on a 26-day-long tour that is sure to leave you with enough incredible memories to last a lifetime. Start your journey in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, India and explore urban life in a world removed. Explore the countryside of Sri Lanka on a walking tour of the tea plantations. Appreciate the natural wonders of Southern Asia on multiple safari treks. And spend the last days of your adventurous tour unwinding in the stunning and tranquil Maldives. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • Receive royal treatment at five-star hotels along your journey
  • Visit some of India’s most revered sites, from city palaces, to temples, and more
  • Roam the historic, rolling tea fields of Sri Lanka’s Bogawantalawa Valley
  • Explore multiple mesmerizing UNESCO sites in three different countries
  • Watch baby sea turtles hatching on the shores of Tangalle
  • Safari through lush natural landscapes in India and Sri Lanka
 
Starting at
$927
per person per day
View more details
Day by Day Itinerary

View Cochin in a larger map
Day 1

Touch down in Mumbai, India’s most affluent locale. Your driver will be waiting to take you to the luxury Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. Check in, rest and feel refreshed. The rest of the day is yours to explore your surroundings and relax before the busy days ahead.

Day 2

Today your private guide will take you on a whirlwind tour of bustling, vibrant Mumbai. Starting with the Prince of Wales Museum and a look to India’s fascinating past. Next up, Victoria station, the historic railway station is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finish off the tour with a visit to the markets of Malabar Hill. Take in the colors and chaos of the space with its many foreign sights, scents and sounds. Enjoy dinner at one of your hotels on-site fine dining restaurants.

Day 3
Mumbai & Cochin

Wake at your leisure and enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel. Today you will transfer to Cochin. Check in at one of three recommended hotels - Brunton Boatyard, Vivanta by Taj Malabar or the Malabar House. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring the hotel and surrounding sights.

Day 4

Today you will explore Cochin Bay, and take the Colonial Cochin Tour. The winding, narrow streets of this southern city will transport you back in time. Take in the charming blend of colonial architecture and native aesthetics as they meet in a beautiful fusion of culture.

Day 5
Cochin & Kumarakom

Rise and shine early this morning, before visiting Cochin’s famous Jew Town, Paradesi Synagogue, and the beautiful Dutch Palace before packing up and transferring to Kumarakom. Check in at the luxury Kumarakom Lake Resort.

Day 6
Kumarakom

Kumarakom is home to a rich ecosystem of mangrove forests, paddy fields, coconut groves and a plethora of exotic bird species. Take a boat through the backwaters and visit the Bird Sanctuary. Round off the day with a sunset cruise.

Day 7
Kumarakom & Chennai

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to Chennai. Check in to the Leela or Park Hyatt hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 8

Today you will visit the country’s most impressive artesian commune, the Cholamandal Artists’ Village. Next, learn of the region’s social-political landscape with a visit to the Government Museum. Last stop on today’s tour is the city’s oldest railway station, the Southern Railway Terminus. Spend the evening relaxing at your hotel.

Day 9
Chennai & Bangalore

Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before your departure to Bangalore, India’s third-largest city. Check in to your suite at the Taj West End Hotel. Rest, refresh and relax for the rest of the day.

Day 10

You will spend the first half of the day exploring Bangalore, the country’s tech hub. Visit Lal Bagh botanical gardens, home to India’s most extensive collection of tropical plants. Next see the Dodda Basavana Gudi, or Bull Temple and the Bangalore Palace. Depart for Colombo and check in to the Tintagel or Park Street hotel.

Day 11

Start your day off with a spiritually-inspiring visit to the Gangaramaya Temple. Continue on to the Seema Malakaya Temple, a temple in the middle of a lake only reachable by a small bridge. Take a tour of the National Museum and stop at the historic military fort. As the sun begins to set, head for the local markets and shop for some traditional trinkets or try some of the local foods.

Day 12
Colombo & Dambulla

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before departing for Dambulla. Check in to the Heritance Kandalama. Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful area, and admiring the cliffside architecture of your charming hotel, lounge by the pool or treat yourself to the world-renowned Six Senses Spa with an Asian, Swedish or Ayurvedic massage.

Day 13

Today explore Dambulla’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Dambulla Cave Temple and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Next, take an elephant safari and befriend the friendly giants of the Asian jungles as you tour the natural surroundings.

Day 14

Take a half-day trip to the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, yet another UNESCO site of the beautiful region. An afternoon departure will bring you to Kandy, Sri Lanka’s cultural capital. Check into the Earl’s Regency Hotel, and relax poolside or explore your surroundings and get a good night’s rest.

Day 15

Today you’ll explore the city of Kandy, tour the Bahirawakanda Monastery and experience life through the eyes of a Sri Lankan monk. Visit the Temple of the Tooth and be amazed by its adornment in tiny white lights. Today transfer to Ceylon and check in at the Ceylon Tea Trails hotel, where each room and suite comes with a personal butler. Have your personal butler draw you a bath and relax.

Day 16

The region is known for its tea and sprawling estates - today you will take the Ceylon Tea Trail working plantation hike. Feel refreshed after a tea tasting at the plantations. Return to your suite and enjoy the exclusive royal treatment offered by your hotel.

Day 17
Bogawantalawa Valley & Galle

Enjoy a hearty breakfast before a half-day trek up Adam’s Peak, a sacred space of worship for centuries. Next, on to the stunning coastal city of Galle, where you will check into the Amangalla hotel. Enjoy the five-star treatment you will receive at this historic hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing.

Day 18

Begin the day with a spectacular experience – take a whale watching tour! Next check out the Ancient Port of Galle, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Round off the day of incredible sights with a visit to the Yatagala and Rhumasala temples.

Day 19
Galle & Tangalle

After breakfast depart for Tangalle. Here you will experience the unique opportunity to view baby sea turtles hatching on a remote, isolated beach. Check in to the Amanwella resort before taking a local cooking class and learning some of the secrets of the delicious Sri Lankan dishes.

Day 20

Today visit the impressive Mulkirigala Rock temple, standing 676-feet tall. This unique temple is unlike any other in the world. Make your way through the winding cave temples of Mulkirigala. Enjoy a relaxing evening at the luxury hotel.

Day 21

Today embark on an exciting safari through Yala National Park on a full day tour. This wildlife sanctuary is home to a rich array of aquatic bird species, tropical plants and many natural wonders. Return to your hotel for a good night’s rest.

Day 22
Maldives

Today depart for the final destination on the tour, the stunning Maldives. It’s time to unwind. Fly in to the capital of Male, hop on a speedboat, and cruise to the paradisiacal Kaafu Atoll. Check in to one of our recommended luxury resorts: Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, One & Only Reethi Rah, Baros Maldives, Huvafen Fushi by Per Aquum or Naladhu by Minor Group.

Day 23
Maldives

Start your day with a relaxing and invigorating yoga session on the soft beach sand. After breakfast, you’ll take an unforgettable sea plane flight through the Maldives, giving you an epic view of the country’s stunning scenery. In the afternoon, you may enjoy some leisure time on the beach. Toast the sunset aboard a Dolphin Cruise, and enjoy a tasty beachside dinner.

Day 24
Maldives

A leisurely beach morning can be broken up with snorkel sessions through the vibrant reefs that line the shores of Kaafu Atoll. Later on, give parasailing a try, and enjoy yet another bird’s-eye view of the exquisite beaches that surround you. In the afternoon, you’ll unlock the secrets behind Maldivian cooking. Relax afterwards with an indulgent spa treatment, to help you wind down for the evening.

Day 25
Maldives

Keep your zen vibe going with some early morning Tai Chi. Mid-morning, you’ll learn all about the pink corals that add such color to the surrounding crystal waters from a resident marine biologist. You’ll even get to replenish the coral population by planting some yourself! Laze the afternoon away on the beach. Return home to freshen up ahead of a romantic private beach dinner tonight.

Day 26
Maldives & Departure

Say goodbye to the Maldives today, as you’re whisked away by speedboat to Male, where you’ll be assisted with check in for your international departure flight for your onward travels.

 

Suggested Accommodations

Location
Accommodation
MUMBAI
Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

For over a century, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower has been the haunt of India's elite, and has played host to princes, kings, maharajas, presidents, CEOs and countless celebrities. Built in 1903, it is an architectural marvel, bringing together Moorish, Oriental, and Florentine styles. Inside, the hotel showcases contemporary Indian art framed by vaulted alabaster ceilings, onyx columns, graceful archways, hand-woven silk carpets, crystal chandeliers, and an eclectic collection of furniture. There are 519 rooms and 46 opulent suites with panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India. The Taj's excellent dining options include Golden Dragon - voted the best Chinese restaurant in Mumbai; Masala Kraft - Indian cuisine with a contemporary twist; Souk, which has stunning views of Mumbai from its rooftop location and serves Middle Eastern cuisine; The Zodiac Grill, where a special menu is offered for each month's star sign, and the stellar Wasabi By Morimoto - Mumbai's first contemporary Japanese restaurant, helmed by the Iron Chef himself. There is also the Harbour Bar, Mumbai's first drinking establishment, and the Insomnia nightclub, filled with "Bombabes" and their millionaire boyfriends. Guests can unwind at the luxurious spa, the fitness center, equipped with cardiovascular and weight training equipment, steam shower and sauna and swimming pool, or with a game of badminton, squash, tennis or billiards. The hotel also has a private yacht available for day trips on the Arabian Sea or to nearby Elephanta Island. There is a business center with wired and wireless Internet access, secretarial services and cell phones and laptops for hire. Wi-fi available throughout the hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace is 45 minutes from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM).

 
 
COCHIN
Brunton Boatyard, Malabar House, Vivanta by Taj Malabar

Brunton Boatyard

Set in a restored boatyard dating from the Victorian era, the Brunton is located at the tip of Fort Cochin. Designed in the style of early Dutch and Portuguese buildings, with whitewashed walls, a sloping tile roof and terracotta floors, the Brunton features twenty-two rooms – all of which face the sea, and are fitted with antique furniture and high royal beds with steps to climb up to them. Dining options include the History Café, which serves a fusion of Dutch, Syrian, Indian and Keralan cuisines in a room paneled with warm woods and teak crossbeams; the Terrace Grill serves the best of that morning's catch; and lastly, the Armoury Bar, which overlooks the harbor and features a selection of teas and classic cocktails. The hotel has a small pool next to the sea, an Ayurvedic center with massage and healing treatments, and a steam room, but does not have a fitness center. There is no business center, though there are secretarial services and Internet access. The Brunton Boatyard lies approximately 30 minutes from the airport in Cochin (COK).

 

Malabar House

The charming Malabar House, voted Best Boutique Hotel by Time magazine, dates back to 1755 when Dutchman Jan Herman Clausing owned it. Spice traders, tea merchants and bankers subsequently occupied it before being turned into luxury accommodations. There are 17 rooms and suites, divided into Deluxe Rooms, Roof Garden Suites and the Malabar Suite; all have tiled floors and are decorated in vibrant color schemes with antique objets d’art. In-room amenities include televisions, direct dial telephones, safe deposit lockers, coffee makers and mini bars. The property’s restaurant, Malabar Junction, serves delectable seafood prepared in Indian and Mediterranean styles and if the weather is nice, meals or drinks can be taken in the courtyard, which often hosts local dance or musical performances. Upstairs from the restaurant is Divine, a wine bar focused on Indian wines. Malabar House is in the heart of historical Fort Cochin, opposite St. Francis Church and 3 minutes walk to the Chinese fishing nets. The property is a 1.5-hour drive from Nedumbassery Cochin International airport.

 

Vivanta by Taj Malabar

Situated on the manmade Willingdon Island, the Vivanta by Taj Malabar provides remarkable views of historic, picturesque Cochin harbor. Each room offers a LCD television, custom, stylish décor, surround-sound systems, massage showerheads, and work desks and chairs. Dining options include the Rice Boat, which specializes in fresh-caught seafood and is modeled after a traditional kettuvalam boat, complete with garden entrance in the form of a ship’s bow and an authentic cane roof; the Pepper, a twenty-four hour eatery featuring eastern and western cuisine in a bright, cheery space; the Thai Pavilion, reputedly the only restaurant of its kind in Kerala; and the Mattancherry Bar. In addition to wireless Internet in every room, there is a business center and the Jiva Spa, which features a full menu of rejuvenating, refreshing therapies. The Taj Malabar is approximately 60 minutes from Cochin airport (COK).
 
 
KERALA BACKWATERS
Kumarakom Lake Resort

Kumarakom Lake Resort


Located on the banks of Lake Vembanad, the luxury resort Kumarakom is a beautiful retreat on the backwaters of Kerala. The building that houses Ettukettu, its principal restaurant, was commissioned by the King Marthanda Varma as a gift to his favorite martial arts teacher, and dismantled from its original location before being reassembled at Kumarakom. The 115-seat restaurant offers multiple cuisines, including Continental, Chinese, Mughlai, North Indian and traditional Kerala dishes. Ayurmana, Kumarakom’s Ayurveda spa, has an extensive menu of massages, therapeutic and beauty treatments and more, while the fitness has a wide array of exercise machines and free weights. Thattukada is a traditional Kerala teashop. In addition to the business center, wireless Internet is available across the resort’s public spaces and in villas and rooms. Kumarakom is approximately 1.5 hours from Cochin airport (COK).


 
 
CHENNAI
Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt

Designed by the architects of New York’s George Wong Designs, the Park Hyatt offers its guests a modern, international aesthetic, accented with fine Indian textiles. Built beside the governor’s residence with a pool overlooking the the Guindy National Park, the hotel contains 201 rooms, with 20 suites, across seven floors of the hotel’s 11 stories. For dinner, take a seat at The Flying Elephant. Designed to be an unforgettable dining experience, The Flying Elephant spans 6 interaactive kitchens on 3 themed levels, including a bar, dance floor, and family dining room, each serving a rotating menu of Indian delights as well as international fair. The Park Hyatt Chennai was named “The Best New Hotel of the Year” at the HICSA conference in 2013 and is approximately 20 minutes from the Chennai Airport (MAA) by car.

 
 
BANGALORE
Taj West End

Taj West End

Set amidst twenty acres of gardens, this luxury hotel in central Bangalore was the city’s first hotel. Constructed in 1887, the Taj West End has been meticulously preserved throughout the decades, and remains a fine example of colonial-era luxury, opulence, and hospitality. Each of the Taj’s ninety-one rooms feature twenty-four hour room service, electronic safes, mini-bar, a plasma television with satellite channels, telephones with an international calling capability, and queen size beds. On-site restaurants include Blue Ginger, which serves refined, elegant versions of classic Vietnamese food within a tasteful, atmospheric setting; Masala Klub, which features light, refreshing twists on traditional north and south Indian dishes; Mynt, which offers refreshing, authentic Mediterranean cuisine; and Blue Bar, an open air bar located in the gardens adjacent to Blue Ginger. Other amenities include a business center, a fully-equipped fitness center, swimming pools, and a full-service spa. The Taj West End is located approximately 45 minutes away from Bangalore airport (BLR).
 
 
COLOMBO
Tintagel

Tintagel

The dramatic and sultry Tintagel property is located in central Colombo, close to Colombo Town Hall, National Art Gallery and Sinhalese Sports Club. The hotel was previously home to three of Sri Lanka’s political leaders, making it an important structure of national heritage. This unique and intimate hotel boasts ten high-ceilinged suites with timber floors, lavishly decorated with a unique blend of color, texture and atmosphere. The spacious bathrooms feature rain showers, bathtubs and large vanities. All rooms include complimentary WiFi, LCD TV screens with DVD/CD players, a minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities and Egyptian cotton bedding. Selected suites come with a private courtyard or a balcony. There are a range of dining facilities including an alfresco restaurant, a chic indoor restaurant offering international cuisine, a private dining room and a bar with black leather lounges and bronze tables. Other facilities and services of the hotel include a spa with optional in-room service, swimming pool, gym, steam room, library and courtyard.

 
 
DAMBULLA
Heritance Kandalama

Heritance Kandalama

Designed by famed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, the unique Heritance Kandalama hotel is set into a cliff face among dense tropical forests, flanked by the Dambulla rock temple and Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The hotel’s buildings were planned to blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment and are covered with hanging vines and flowering plants. Each of the 152 rooms faces either Kandalama Lake or the forest – even the bathrooms were planned to showcase the view – and is decorated in an elegantly simple contemporary style. The Kandalama is the first Green Globe 21-certified hotel in Asia, and the first hotel in the world to be awarded the prestigious LEED Green Building certification. There are three restaurants to choose from, including the Kanchana Café, which has won multiple awards. Among The Kandalama’s amenities are a pool, business center and fitness center, while the world-renowned Six Senses Spa has a location here that offers Asian, Swedish, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic massage.

 
 
KANDY
Earl's Regency Hotel

Earl's Regency Hotel

Located in the centre of Kandy, just a short drive from the railway station and the famous Temple of the Tooth, Earl's Regency Hotel is a luxurious property with splendid views of the mountains around Kandy. All its rooms are air-conditioned and come with a minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities and a TV with satellite channels. Free WiFi is available in the public areas. The hotel also has a 24-hour coffee shop, as well as the sumptuous Far Pavilions restaurant, which offers local and international cuisine. The spa has massage rooms, a sauna and steam room, and there are also tennis and badminton courts.
 
 
BOGAWANTALAWA VALLEY
Ceylon Tea Trails

Ceylon Tea Trails

Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon, is one of the world's historic centers of tea production, replete with rolling green hills and genteel plantation homes. Ceylon Tea Trails, run by the Dilmah Tea Company, has restored four classic colonial bungalows built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj. These historic houses offer guests the unique experience of life on a working tea estate in the highlands (elevation here is over 4,000 feet). The bungalows range in size from four to six rooms and two have their own pools. Summerville and Castlereagh are situated opposite each other on the shores of the Castlereagh Lake, Norwood is at the other end of the valley about 15 minutes away by car and Tientsin is about 30 minutes away in the next valley. Maintained trails with beautiful views run between all the bungalows, and through the surrounding hillsides and plantations. Each house comes with its own manager, chef, butler and houseboys; in-house massage appointments can be arranged. Meals and afternoon tea are prepared by your private chef using gourmet ingredients and produce grown right on the property, and can be served indoors or on the lawn.

 
 
GALLE
Amangalla

Amangalla

Located in the center of a preserved 17th-century Dutch Fort, the sumptuous Amangalla resort is also a beautifully restored UNESCO World Heritage site that perfectly captures the charm of the historic trading port of Galle. Amangalla has 17 rooms, eight suites and the Garden House, a two-story house with treetop views. Rooms are decorated in a style that blends luxurious contemporary amenities with a perfectly rendered colonial-era aesthetic. Sri Lankan curry and other traditional dishes are served in the dining room, and the Veranda is a cool spot to have a drink during the day; the fort's Zaal (Dutch for Great Hall) serves light meals and a classic afternoon tea. The pool is located in the resort's gardens and has five shaded pavilions where you can relax post-swim. A library with Internet access houses information on Sri Lanka and the history of the Fort. The Baths, Amangalla's spa, offers Ayurvedic massage, hydrotherapy pools, and a steam room and sauna, among other treatments. There is also a garden pavilion for yoga practice or meditation. There is no fitness center. The resort is roughly a four-hour drive from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).

 
 
TANGALLE
Amanwella

Amanwella

Situated in the midst of a coconut grove on a secluded bay, the Amanwella resort is one of the world's most exclusive beach retreats. The resort sits on a perfect crescent of white-sand beach and is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, national parks and exotic wildlife and a 5 and 1/2 hour drive from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB). There are 30 suites, each equipped with a plunge pool, terrace, and floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides. A number of ocean suites are located further down the hill and have uninterrupted views of the coconut palms and the beach. The Amanwella restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, and uses its location next to the ocean to cook up fresh Asian- and Mediterranean-style seafood. The Pool Terrace also serves meals in a more laid-back setting. When not enjoying a safari, snorkeling, or swimming in the pool, there is a library with Internet access and reference books on Sri Lanka. The spa offers massages and traditional therapies using local, natural ingredients, which can be given either in the spa's suite or in selected garden locations. There is no fitness center.

 
 
RESORTS BY SEAPLANE
Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli is luxurious new property in the Maldives' Noonu Atoll, inhabiting a handful of islands surrounded by teeming reefs. It's still new, having opened in November 2013 and is top of its class; a Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy property, only the second of its kind. The Randheli is around 40 minutes away from Male airport by seaplane, with a luxurious lounge at the airport so guests can make their transfer in comfort. The design and décor of The Randheli conveys relaxed island living in its light, natural palette and thatched roofs, yet a refined, contemporary edge shines through in its all modern interiors, up-to-the-minute technology and cathedral-style loft ceilings.

 
 
Meet An Asia Expert
From Our Blog
Our co-founder Jay Tindall is a regular visitor to India, where he loves staying in the palace hotels of Rajasthan. His favourite experience? The amazing Kumbh Mela festival.
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