Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
Leave your home in favor of culture, history, art and adventure when you embark on this 17-day journey from Bollywood to Ancient Ruins through India and Sri Lanka itinerary. There's hiking, temples, ancient ruins, a backwater boat trip and more in store! Travel through Mumbai, Cochin and Kumarakom in India. Depart lively India and travel to its island neighbor, through Colombo, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Tangalle and Galle in stunning Sri Lanka.
Arrive in western India where Bollywood was born - Mumbai. Famously overcrowded, this is the fourth-largest city in the entire world. The culture-rich city is the perfect starting point for your adventure. For an absolutely unforgettable luxurious stay, we suggest the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.
Enjoy a full day touring the pulsing city. The National Gallery of Modern Art is a fantastic spot to check out the country’s artistic side. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Victoria Station is an incredible central railway station constructed in the Victorian Gothic style. There are several ancient, well-preserved churches throughout the city. A trip to Mumbai isn’t complete without a visit to Bollywood - visit a set for a closer look at how the cultural favorites are created.
Depart Mumbai for a more remote location. Fly to Cochin and transfer to Kumarakom, an area known for its incredible backwater tourism. The city is set against the stunning largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala - Vembanad Lake. Check into the hotel of your choice in the city.
Enjoy a unique experience as you spend the day on one of the area’s much-loved backwater cruise boats. The area surrounding the lake is covered in mangrove forests, paddy fields, coffee plantations, pineapple orchards and coconut plantations. Step aboard and sail across the massive lake and absorb the natural surroundings.
Travel back to Cochin (also known as Kochi,) to see a town seemingly retired after the spice trade cooled off in the area. The once bustling cosmopolitan city is now a sleepy, charming port town. We suggest checking into the Brunton Boatyard, Malabar House or the Vivanta by Taj Malabar for a lush stay.
Begin your day by paying a visit to the Jewish section of the city. The area was largely populated in the 1940s and the brightly painted houses are built in classic old-world designs. Visit the bay and watch as fishermen haul in Chinese fishing nets filled with fresh fish - you can even buy fish straight from their nets and carry your purchase to the nearby Dutch House to have it filleted. Come evening, you’ll have the opportunity to learn local favorite dishes from a warm and welcoming chef who teaches classes in the intimate setting of her private home.
Depart India as you fly from Cochin to colorful Colombo in Sri Lanka. You arrive in the nation's capital city in the mid-morning. Begin your city tour by visiting the pivotal Gangaramaya Temple - an important learning and spiritual location. Next, visit the tiny temple built on a lake, the Seema Malaka Temple. Observe the national sport at a Sri Lankan cricket match. Finish the day with a stroll along the half-kilometer-long Galle Face Green Promenade.
Leave the city for a bit and take a half-day trip to the UNESCO site of Polonnaruwa, some 80 minutes from Dambulla. The ruins are in amazing shape and make it easy to imagine life in ancient times. This afternoon, take a safari at the Minneriya National Park. The wildlife refuge has been known to serve as a home to wild elephants.
Travel 2 hours to picturesque Kandy, a UNESCO-designated city known as the island’s cultural capital. Kandy was the last kingdom in Sri Lanka. Learn about Sri Lankan spiritual practices when visiting the Bahirawakanda Monastery. See the incredible Temple of the Tooth that contains the relic of the tooth of Buddha. The Earl’s Regency has a refreshing swimming pool and comfortable rooms for resting up that night.
Leave vibrant Kandy and gaze at the green rolling hills as you make your way 2 hours into the heart of Sri Lanka’s hill country. See the temple where the Hindu God Rama’s lover prayed for Rama to rescue her from the evil King Ravana. Check in to the Grand Hotel where you will enjoy endless hospitality and comfort.
Spend your second day in the the area in the great outdoors. Take a hike in the rolling hills, in the idyllic Horton Plains National Park. The park is one of many UNESCO sites in the country. The Grand Hotel’s spa services are perfect after a day out in the fresh air.
Travel 4 hours to Tangalle to soak in the sunshine. Here, you’ll have the incredible opportunity to catch baby sea turtles hatch on a deserted beach. The Rekawa Turtle Conservation’s mission is to preserve the turtles’ natural environment, and help them thrive within it. In the evening, learn to cook the area’s famous cuisine and eat your own creations. Relax tonight at the Amanwella Resort.
Enjoy an extra-special sight this morning, as you marvel at the Mulkirigala Rock Temple, home to seven cave temples, perched on terraces of various altitudes, the highest of which is 676 feet above sea-level. Note the handdrawn Buddhist art on the cave walls. The afternoon has you taking a safari ride through seaside Yala National Park. Return to you hotel tonight to enjoy some leisure time.
Reach the final destination of your adventure - the gorgeous coastal city of Galle, 90 minutes away. Along the way, stop at the UNESCO site, the Ancient Port of Galle. Enjoy a whale-watching tour and see the large mammals playing in their natural environment. Visit the Yatagala and Rhumasala temples for a unique spiritual tour. Check in to the historic Amangalla hotel located inside of the old fort within the Ancient Port, for the final night of your trip. The hotel is known for providing five-star quality in an old-world beautiful setting. Get a good sleep ahead of tomorrow morning’s departure.