- Ground Operators
For the traveler pressed for time, the Quick Escapes Sri Lanka itinerary features a highlight of the best that this island gem has to offer. Although short, Quick Escapes Sri Lanka is indeed very sweet, packing a serious punch for an amazing 6-day in-country experience. From Colombo, journey to the country’s amazing “Historical Triangle,” and immerse yourself in the exquisite World Heritage sites at Dambulla and Sigiriya, before visiting the cooler climes and historic hill town of Kandy. Along the way, experience a visit to a spice plantation and the lovely Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – an extraordinary way to spend a week!
Easy to Moderate Touring
Easy to Moderate touring generally indicates walks or time on one’s feet of 3-5 hours each day during sightseeing excursions; possible adverse weather conditions (heat, humidity); and some driving on dirt or poorly maintained roads. Please note that road conditions in Sri Lanka leave a lot to be desired: The traffic can appear to be wild and unregulated, and horns are used more often than brakes. Bathroom facilities during excursions and long drives are frequently nonexistent or limited to the facilities at a local restaurant or shop. Overnights in deluxe or luxury accommodation/lodges. Elevation throughout the trip remains below 5,000 feet.
Day 1: Arrive Colombo, Sri Lanka
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel this morning. In the afternoon, explore this capital city, which has been heavily influenced by the cultures and religions of its inhabitants past and present—including Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, and British.
Cinnamon Grand Hotel
Day 2: To Habarana via Dambulla
This morning, drive to the Cave Temples in Dambulla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 1st century B.C.E. that contains over 150 images of the Buddha. Proceed to Habarana, in the heart of Sri Lanka’s “Cultural Triangle,” where you have the option to take an elephant-back safari through the village.
Cinnamon Lodge Hotel
Day 3: Excursion to Hiriwadunna and Sigiriya
After an early breakfast, make the quick trip to Hiriwaduna, where you’ll enjoy a walk and bullock cart ride through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. In the nearby forest you may glimpse birds, monkeys, and other wildlife. Late in the afternoon, climb the 5th-century rock fortress of Sigiriya (another UNESCO World Heritage Site), famous for its entrancingly beautiful frescoes.
Cinnamon Lodge Hotel
Day 4: To Kandy via Matale
Today, head first to Matale, where you visit a spice garden to learn about the local culinary and medicinal uses of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and more. Then continue to the hill town of Kandy, the last stronghold of the Sri Lankan kings and the site of the renowned Temple of the Tooth Relic. This evening, witness a cultural dance performance.
Cinnamon Citadel Hotel
Day 5: To Mount Lavinia via Pinnawala
Rise early this morning for the trip to Mount Lavinia, a beachside suburb of Colombo. On the way, stop at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, on the banks of the Maha Oya River, which is home to dozens of these gentle giants that have been orphaned or displaced from their natural habitat. Upon arrival at your hotel, the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Mount Lavinia Hotel
Day 6: Depart Sri Lanka
You will be transferred back to the airport in time for your flight home.
2015 Trip Dates
Private Departures Only – On Demand Year-round
Trip Duration: 6 days/5 nights
Starting City: Colombo (airport code – CMB)
Ending City: Colombo (airport code – CMB)
2015/2016 Land Cost
Low Season: May 1 – July 15 & September 1 – October 31
2 – 3 participants: $1,294 per person
4 + participants: $1,028 per person
Shoulder Season: March 1 – April 30 & July 16 – August 31
2 – 3 participants: $1,480 per person
4 + participants: $1,280 per person
High Season: November 1 – February
2 – 3 participants: $1,800 per person
4 + participants: $1,650 per person
Minimum: 2 participants
Internal Asia Airfare: none
IMPORTANT NOTE: Kindly note that names of hotels mentioned above only indicate that the Land Cost is based on usage of these hotels; it is not to be construed that accommodation is confirmed at these hotels until and unless we convey such confirmation to you. In the event that any of the above-mentioned hotels are not available, we shall book alternate accommodation at a similar or next-best available hotel, and shall pass on the difference of rates (supplement or reduction, as applicable) to you.
Included in Land Cost:
• All accommodations, based on double occupancy
• All transportation in a private, air-conditioned vehicle
• Breakfast each day
• All arrival/departure airport/hotel transfers
• All entry fees at all temples, museums, and monuments on sightseeing excursions
• Services of an English-speaking chauffeur/guide during your entire stay
• Elephant-back safari through Habarana
• Hiriwaduna village experience
• All service charges and current government taxes
• Two bottles of water per person per day
• TourDirect’s Medical ($25,000), Accident and Evacuation Insurance ($500,000) and Assistance Plan
Not Included in Land Cost:
• International airfare to/from Sri Lanka
• Lunch and dinner throughout the tour
• Items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone calls, shopping, etc.
• Movie, video, and still camera fees
• Gratuity to Chauffeur/Guide
• Gratuities to other local staff (bell boys, etc.)
• Trip Cancellation insurance
At TourDirect, we will assist you in obtaining any necessary visas or other travel permits required for your journey, all done through our Visa Service Partner. Detailed visa instructions, application forms, and information about applicable visa fees will be included in your Pre-Departure Packet.
You must have a valid passport with an expiration date more than 6 months from the date of your return to the U.S. The passport must also have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you will be visiting in Asia.
Sri Lanka: All visitors to Sri Lanka must apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to their arrival. An actual visa is given upon your arrival in Colombo.
No immunizations are required for entry into Sri Lanka or to return to the U.S. However, proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from (or have recently visited) a country that has risk of yellow fever. Several immunizations are recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control. A copy of the CDC’s recommended immunization list and additional health information will be included in our Pre-Departure Packet.
Please let us know if you wish to arrive early or extend your stay to visit any other sites in Sri Lanka, or in neighboring countries such as India and the Maldives; we will be happy to make the additional arrangements.
TourDirect connects you to the world’s best Ground Operators, giving you direct control of your tour, with ground operations at the high quality that you desire. All Ground Operators are tested, vetted by our Management team and comply with our Operational Standards.
179 Drakewood Place, Novato, CA 94947 USA
Ground Operators are local companies that provide the actual travel services in a destination. Typically, they own vehicles, employ guides, and negotiate special rates with hotels, combining these and other elements to create a quality full-service experience.