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JTW 2018 – Sri Lanka

19 February 2018 – 8 March 2018

Known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt. Rolling green hills of tea, expansive stretches of palm fringed and white sandy beaches…World Heritage Sites combined with European colonial influences… these are what make Sri Lanka a must-see destination. Sri Lanka will leave you spellbound.

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Hiriwaduna Local Village Experience
// Visit a Tea Plantation and pick your own tea leaves
// Amazing scenic views over Little Adam’s Peak
// Scenic train ride from Ella to Haputale
// Cultural show in Kandy
// Visit to a Cinnamon Farm
// Safari through Uda Walawe National Park
// City Tour in World War II Jeeps, Colombo

Day One // 19th February 2018
Today you will be transferred to Sydney International airport for your overnight flight to Sri Lanka.
Meals: In flight

Day Two // 20th February 2018
After arriving into Colombo, you will be transferred to Negombo where you will check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon to rest and relax after an overnight flight.
Meals: In flight, Dinner

Day Three // 21st February 2018
This morning witness all the action at Sri Lanka’s second largest fish market as it becomes a bustling hive of activity. Negombo is where you will find colourful fishing boats lying on blue water against a backdrop of palm trees and blue sky. Today we will explore what remains of the quaint sea sides town fort and also cruise along the Dutch canal. As you float down the Muthurajawela Marsh, keep your eyes out for a variety of flora and fauna, waters birds and fish.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Four // 22nd February 2018
Today you will be transferred to Anuradhapura. The ruins of Anuradhapura are one of South Asia’s most evocative sights. The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagobas, soaring brick towers, ancient pools and crumbling temples, built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Five // 23rd February 2018
Today we will visit Sigiriya, one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka. Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. At the entrance to Sigiriya rock, we will make our way through the gigantic Lions Paws. In ancient times, it is said that it was a full structure of a lion with the final ascent to the summit through its’ mouth. Today, only the paws remain.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day Six // 24th February 2018
Our day begins with a trek through a typical Sri Lankan village, Hiriwaduwa. The trek begins with a fantastic walk along a bund of a Wewa (manmade reservoir). The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of morning or an evening activity. The amazing birdlife, butterflies and possible sightings of crocodile only add to the charm of seeing the villagers as they go about their early morning tasks of fishing, or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake. Afterwards we will travel to Polonnaruwa, where Kings ruled the central plains 800 years ago when it was a thriving commercial and religious centre. From here, free-marketeers haggled for rare goods and the pious prayed at any one of its numerous temples. The glories of that age can be found in archaeological treasures which give a pretty good idea of how the city looked in its heyday. You’ll find the archaeological park a delight to explore, with hundreds of ancient structures – tombs and temples, statues and stupas – in a compact area.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Seven // 25th February 2018
Kandy is our final destination for the day, however en route we will visit the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. This cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. We will stop for a lovely Kamatha lunch before continuing onto Kandy. Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second largest city located in the mountainous centre of the island.
It is considered by some as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, and was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. A cooler climate and smaller size make it a great place to experience Sri Lankan culture and cuisine surrounded by a beautiful natural environment.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Eight // 26th February 2018
Today we will spend the day exploring Kandy. One of the experiences will be a visit to the Temple of the Tooth. It is believed that whoever holds the Tooth relic, holds the governance of the country. We will also explore Kandy’s colourful and busy market place before proceeding to the Peradniya Botonical Gardens. Here we will find an amazing collection of over 300 varieties of orchids! Tonight, end the day with a vibrant and unique dance performance in the form of the Kandy Cultural show – performed to the rhythm of drums rising and falling to a lively tempo.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Nine // 27th February 2018
The leaves that go into a cup of Ceylon tea play a surprisingly complex role in the history of Sri Lanka. Today we will not only learn about this history, it will be a hands-on experience! Surrounded by fresh climate and scenery all round, our visit to the Tea Plantation includes the chance to take part in a tea plucking competition. Afterwards enjoy a High Tea, sampling the products this area is famous for. We stay tonight in Nuwara Eliya, also known as ‘’Little England’’.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day Ten // 28th February 2018
This morning you will be transferred to Ella. This is a favourite hill-country village for travellers, and on a clear night, the views through the Ella Hap are stunning. Here we will embark on a city tour, ambling through tea plantations; visiting temple sites, and waterfalls.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Eleven // 1st March 2018
Today visit ‘Little Adam’s Peak’. Located in a beautiful area of the southern Hill Country, this lofty peak has sparked the imagination for centuries and been a focus for pilgrimage for more than 1000 years. Later, take part in a personal, fun and informative cooking class which gives you great insight to cooking real Sri Lankan food before enjoying the lunch you prepared. This evening is at leisure to enjoy the views from our accommodations.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Twelve // 2nd March 2018
A scenic train journey will take us to Haputale, before continuing onto Udawalawe National Park. Udawalawe is the third most visited park in Sri Lanka, spanning over 30,000 hectares and created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Thirteen // 3rd March 2018
Sure to be a highlight of your journey; today we take a morning safari through Uda Walawe National Park to experience the majestic Asian elephants in their natural habitat. You may also spot mammals, reptiles, species of birds and even try your luck to spot a leopard! Also experience the Elephant Transit Home, a rehabilitation for orphaned young elephants. After rehabilitation, the elephants are released back into the wild, many into the Uda Walawe National Park.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day Fourteen // 4th March 2018
This morning we will travel to Galle – endlessly exotic, bursting with the scent of spices and salty winds, and yet also, with its wonderful collection of Dutch-colonial buildings, a town of great beauty. Classic architecture melds with a dramatic tropical setting to create a reality that is endlessly interesting. Our adventure here begins with a city tour to immerse yourself in the architecture and traditions of this unique town.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Fifteen // 5th March 2018
Today visit the Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda. This projects aim is to monitor local sea turtle activity and conserve the local nesting sites, making the public more aware of how endangered these beautiful creatures are and just how important it is to help protect them before it is too late. Later, stop at the Traditional Sri Lankan Mask Factory. Mask making is a popular tradition in Sri Lanka, with the craft perfected over the years. Over the years craftsmen have been able to provide new and improved designs, when compared to the ones that were found in ancient Sri Lanka.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Sixteen // 6th March 2018
Today we travel to Colombo, stopping along the way at Balapitiya. Here we take a boat ride along the Madu Ganga river, a mangrove eco system spreading across 915 hectares. Here we will also visit a truly fragrant cinnamon plantation! Sri Lankan cinnamon “kurundu“ has been enjoyed since antiquity for its delicate flavour. A 17th century Dutch captain is said to have claimed that Sri Lankan cinnamon is the best in all the Orient. Arriving in Colombo, we will take World War II Jeeps around the city. Colombo is a multi-cultural cosmopolitan community that encompasses the past, present and future. Our city tour will give you a great overview of this vibrant city.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Seventeen // 7th March 2018
This morning is at leisure to further explore Colombo, pack your luggage or simply relax before starting the journey home. Late checkout is included at the hotel, before we enjoy a Farewell Dinner in Colombo. Afterwards we will be transferred to the airport for your overnight flight home.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Eighteen // 8th March 2018
Arrive in Sydney and you will be transferred to your home address.
Meals: In flight

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