SRI LANKA with MALDIVES option
Sri Lanka - 12 days/10 nights accommodated
Optional extension to the Maldives from Colombo, stopover in Singapore, or Asia cruise from Singapore
My first visit to Sri Lanka was in 1965 and I have been back many times since. I enjoy the beauty, the national parks,the wild life, and history of the island as well as the friendliness and warmth of the people. Please join me in July for my 12th visit to Sri Lanka and experience it for yourself.
Locally hosted departures from Auckland every monday year round for minimum of 2 people.
ESCORTED GROUP DEPARTURE
03 September, 2018
Tour cost per person(We recommend enjoy the flights more and arrive refreshed - upgrade to Premium Economy seats for just $1500 more return)
SAVE $500 PER PERSON. Pay air fares and deposit ($2,500) by 31 October, 2016
|Sri Lanka only||
$6,990 share twin
$7,900 single room
|Sri Lanka and Maldives.||$8,950 share twin||$10,900 single room|
Please note: The ending of this tour is flexible. You are welcome to fly to the Maldives if you wish and/or stopover in Singapore en route to or from the tour.
Why not enjoy a "Superstar Virgo" cruise from Singapore or our Discover Malaysia coach tour?Days and Dates relate to our escorted tour. Locally hosted tours can depart any day and are flexible
Day 1. Monday. 24 July. AUCKLAND - COLOMBO
Depart Auckland early afternoon with Singapore Airlines for Singapore and on to Colombo arriving about midnight. Transfer to our hotel nearby
Day 2. Tuesday. 25 July. NEGOMBO - YAPAHUWA - ANURADHAPURA - HABARANA. (BD)
Drive north to explore the ruins of Yapahuwa, one of Sri Lanka's ancient capitals including the 100 metre high rock fortress. Continue to Anuradhapura established as a capital first in 380BC but it was under Devanampiya Tissa (247 - 207BC), during whose reign Buddhism came to Sri Lanka, that Anuradhapura first flourished. Explore the ancient ruins including the temples, tanks, and canals.. Accommodation at Cinnamon Lodge at Habarana for 2 nights.
Day 3. Wednesday. 26 July. SIGIRIYA AND POLONNARUWA plus the gathering of the elephants in Minneriya National Park. (BD)
This morning drive to Sigiriya to visit the 5th century rock fortress, built by King Kashyapa (473-491AD), and now a World Heritage site. The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens, including the renowned water gardens, ring the base of the rock. We will visit the world renowned 'Heavenly Maidens' rock frescoes and climb to the top to see the remains of the palace and its environments. This afternoon explore ancient Polonnaruwa, a thriving commercial and religious centre - 800 years ago. The Chola dynasty made it their capital in in the late 10th century. It was abandoned around the 13th century. In 1982 UNESCO added Polonnaruwa to to its World Heritage List.
Each year up to 300 elephants gather in Minneriya National Park in July and August prior to the rains. We will take a 4WD tour to see them this afternoon although as with all nature we cannot guarantee how many we will see.
Day 4. Thursday. 27 July. HABARANA - DAMBULLA - KANDY. (BD)
Visit the Dambulla Rock cave Temple. Continue to a spice garden in Matale to learn the secrets of different spices before driving to Kandy, ancient hill country capital of Sri Lanka for 225 years from 1590. Accommodation and dinner at Mahaweli Reach Hotel for 3 nights.
Day 5. Friday. KANDY. 28 July. (BD)
This morning we visit the elephant orphanage at Pinnuwala before exploring Kandy. Visit the Temple of the Tooth relic and see the ancient manuscripts and Emerald Buddha, and Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya to see its magnificent Orchid House and grove of splendid trees planted by eminent world figures. Drive around Kandy Lake and visit the Bazaar, the Arts and Crafts Centre, and the Gem Museum and Lapidary to discover the secrets of Sri Lanka's precious stones. This evening enjoy an introduction to Kandyan culture.
Day 6. Saturday. 29 July KANDY - NUWARA ELIYA. (BD)
We take a scenic train ride through the hills and massive tea plantations to Nanu Oya past Sri Lanka's highest mountain (8282 ft). Rejoin our vehicle and visit a tea plantation and tea factory en route to Nuwara Eliya - hill country retreat of the British Raj. Enjoy a short tour of Nuwara Eliya. Accommodation at the Heritance Tea Factory or Grand Hotel.
Day 7. Sunday. 30 July. NUWARA ELIYA - KATARAGAMA. (BD)
Drive to Ella to view the Ella Gap and Ravana Falls then on to Yala National Park for a safari by jeep. Yala is the largest National Park in Sri Lanka and is home of wild elephants, wild boar, buffalo, leopard, bear, deer, and crocodiles. Accommodation at Chaaya Wild Hotel. (Highlght of July 2012 game drive was to have a large leopard stroll from the lake where he was drinking and cross the road a few metres in front of our safari vehicle - and 10 minutes later a wild elephant doing the same. Numerous wild elephants were seen. Unfortunately in 2013 no leopards were seen, normally the chance of spotting leopards is only about 25%
Day 8. Monday. 31 July. KATARAGAMA - GALLE. (BD)
Drive along the beautiful southern coast through Matara to Galle. This area is known for its high quality lace work and ebony wood carvers and you will have the opportunity to see and purchase their products. We will also see the famous stilt fishermen. Accommodation for 2 nights at the Lighthouse hotel in Galle.
Day 9. Tuesday. 01 August. GALLE (BD)
This morning we explore Galle (said to be the Tarshish of the Bible). Visit the old Portuguese Fort where the Portuguese landed in 1505. It was rebuilt by the Dutch who captured and fortified it in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Day 10. Wednesday. 02 August. GALLE - KALUTARA. (BD)
We take a leisurely drive along the coast with a visit to a turtle hatchery and relaxing cruise on the Madu River for 1 night at Bentota Beach Hotel or Kalutara.
Day 11. Thursday.03 August. COLOMBO DEPART. (BD)
Drive to Colombo for a city tour including the Fort, Bazaar, city and residential areas and National Museum. Dinner is included before checking in at Colombo airport.
Day 12. Friday.04 August. SINGAPORE - AUCKLAND
Arrive Singapore early morning and transfer to your Air New Zealand flight to Auckland arriving late evening.
PLEASE NOTE: You are welcome to stopover in Singapore of you wish. Enjoy the day and come home tonight or stayover in Singapore.
Passengers from Christchurch are welcome to use direct flights to and from Singapore but this will mean a day stay in Singapore on return. Why not enjoy a "Superstar Virgo" 3 or 5 day cruise to Malaysia?
Tour cost includes:
** Round trip economy class air fares with Singapore from Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch.
** Arrival and departure transfers in Sri Lanka
** 10 nights accommodation at 4 and 5 star hotels in Sri Lanka
** 10 breakfasts, and 10 dinners in Sri Lanka.
** Comprehensive sightseeing in Sri Lanka including admissions on all activities listed for the group.
** Services of escort from New Zealand for a minimum of 6 passengers.
4 and a half night MALDIVES EXTENSION
Day 11. Thursday. COLOMBO. (BD)
Stay at a hotel in Colombo tonight.
Fly to Male this morning and transfer by speedboat to your island getaway for 3 nights.
Days 13/14 Saturday/Sunday MALDIVES. (BD)
Two free days to relax and enjoy all the facilities of your resort
Day 15. Monday. MALDIVES DEPART. (BD)
The day is free with all rooms kept until 6pm. After dinner transfer back to the airport and depart around midnight.
YOU ARE WELCOME TO EXTEND YOUR STAY IN THE MALDIVES IF YOU WISH
Day 16. Tuesday. SINGAPORE - AUCKLAND.
Arrive Singapore early this morning with an immediate connection available to Auckland arriving late evening. You are welcome to stayover in Singapore if you wish for the day or a night or two.
Total cost per person including Sri Lanka and Maldives, August
|Two per room||$7,850|
Sri Lanka suffered immensely when the Tsunami struck on Boxing Day, 2004, my first "Helping Hands" tour departed for Sri Lanka on the 20th January, 2005 as a direct response to the needs of the Tsunami victims. We were able to resettle 65 families from 3 classrooms of a school where they had been temporarily housed (which enabled the school to reopen) into a building restored by the group, restore fishing boats to working order, and assist with the social needs of children orphaned in the tsunami. We were also able to assist in the re-establishment of the tourist industry on which so many Sri Lankans depend for their income. Since then we have also been able to assist in meeting the needs of schools and orphanages struggling to upgrade their standards amid developing country poverty. We have provided so far new toilet blocks, better security in classrooms, musical instruments, science equipment, and students writing and study materials in schools. A carpenters shop reconstructed by one team in March, 2005 made furniture for new homes and for the open market, and sewing machines donated by some of our group members are still earning their owners a living. The 65 families we arranged temporary accommodation for in 2005 to get them out of a school are now housed in a new housing block fully funded by Red Cross.
Add a fabulous Asian Cruise
Before or after your Sri Lanka tour"SUPERSTAR VIRGO" 76,800 tons 1,960 passengers
3 or 5 night cruise departs most sundays throughout the year.
|Monday||Penang||Arrive noon||Sail 8pm|
|Tuesday||Phuket||Arrive 7.30am||Sail 5pm|
|Wednesday||Singapore||Arrive 7pm||Sail midnight; 3 night cruise ends|
|Thursday||Malacca||Arrive 7am||Sail 9am (For shore excursion to Kuala Lumpur)|
|Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur)||Arrive 2pm||Sail midnight|
|Friday||Singapore||Arrive 1pm||5 night cruise ends|
|Approximate fares (low season - to be confirmed on making reservation)||from: Inside||Outside||Balcony|