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

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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.

FROM $17,600 PER PERSON
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DURATION

17 days | 16 nights

DESTINATIONS

India, Sri Lanka

INTERESTS

Romance,
UNESCO

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit a film set in the much-loved Bollywood in Mumbai
  • Tour majestic Dambulla atop a majestic elephant
  • See an actual tooth of Buddha in the magical Temple of the Tooth
  • Observe baby sea turtles making their way to the sea in Tangalle

DETAILED DECRIPTION

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. 

DAY-TO-DAY

DAY 1: Mumbai

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.

DAY 2: Mumbai

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: Kumarakom

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: Kumarakom

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: Kumarakom

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.

DAY 6: Cochin

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.

DAY 7: Cochin

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.

DAY 8: Colombo

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.

DAY 9: Dambulla

Travel 4 hours to Dambulla. Explore the fantastic UNESCO sites of the Dambulla Cave Temple and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Tour the area atop a local elephant. This evening, you’ll bed down at the deluxe Heritance Kandalama.

DAY 10: Dambulla

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.

DAY 11: Kandy

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.

DAY 12: Nuwara Eliya

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.

DAY 13: Nuwara Eliya

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.

DAY 14: Tangalle

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.

DAY 15: Tangalle

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.

DAY 16: Galle

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.

DAY 17: Departure

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

EXPLORE OTHER ITINERARIES

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When to go

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Off The Grid
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