Example Itinerary

From Bollywood to Ancient Ruins: A Journey Through India and Sri Lanka

17 days / 16 nights
Price Per Person
From $17,600
UNESCO, Romance
India, Sri Lanka

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. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.


  • Bollywood Experience: Visit a Bollywood film set in Mumbai to learn about the magic behind the scenes of the city's huge movie industry.
  • Wildlife: From the Bird Sanctuary at Kumarakom to the megafauna of Sri Lanka's national parks, wildlife encounters showcase the epic natural beauty of South Asia.
  • Backwater Cruise: Lie back and watch the world pass by on a lazy backwater cruise, floating past coffee and coconut plantations, pineapple orchards, and paddy fields.


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. 

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.


Day 3



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.

Day 4



Spend your first day in the area exploring the natural beauty. Give yachting or fishing a try on the lake. The Bird Sanctuary is home to several species of migratory birds. The sanctuary covers over 14 acres - you may even spot a beautiful, rare Siberian Crane.

Day 5



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. 

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.


Travel 4 hours to Dambulla. Explore the fantastic UNESCO sites of the Dambulla Cave Temple and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. See the ancient Buddhist art preserved in the caves, then climb up Sigiriya rock to the fortress ruins at the top. Settle in to your hotel in Sigiriya. 

Leave the city for a bit and take a half-day trip to the UNESCO site of Polonnaruwa, some 80 minutes from Sigiriya. 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. 


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.

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. 

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. 


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.

Today take the expressway or the scenic route along the coastline back to Colombo for your flight onward.


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.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.


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