Arrive in Colombo
Welcome to Sri Lanka
Welcome to Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. Today we explore the city, which was a gateway of the sixteenth century where many merchants, particularly from Portugal, came to in search of cinnamon and various other spices. Later on the city came under Dutch rule and finally British rule. Discover buildings of Victorian style in the Fort district, as well as the market in Pettah, colorful and crowded with its narrow and busy streets. Other points of interest are the National Museum, which has a beautiful collection of artefacts that tell the history of the country, the City Hall, and Independence Square which represents the history of this fascinating country, long renowned as a land of abundance. Other places of interest are the beautiful Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, the mosques, the historic church of Wolvendaal built in 1749, the sophisticated residential areas, the Society of Ceramics, famous for its well-known brand “Noritake”, and popular shopping center ODEL. Overnight in Colombo.
Colombo – Dambulla
Watch baby elephants
Today after breakfast you will be transferred to Dambulla in a private car (170kms/4hrs). En-route we will stop at the Pinnawela Elephant orphanage where we will get a chance to swim with the elephants. Located in Kegalle district, this orphanage was set up to nurture and care for young injured elephants. Many of the elephants that you find here were either lost or abandoned by their mothers or were forced to move out from their natural habitat. Later on in Dambulla we will head to ‘The Golden Rock’ – this UNESCO World Heritage Site has more than 150 images of Buddha. Seeing the many mural paintings and statues, intricately carved out of the rock, is a deeply atmospheric and inspiring experience. Overnight in Dambulla.
Dambulla - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Dambulla
Excursion to Sigiriya & Polonnaruwa
Today after breakfast we will visit the eighth wonder of the world, Sigiriya (15kms/35mins drive). We will climb up to this archaeological site which has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. From the top of the ‘Lion Rock’, the picturesque panorama over the verdant central plateau of Sri Lanka will leave you awestruck. We will discover the magnificent fortress built by King Kashyapa to protect himself from the vengeance of his brother. The famous frescoes of the ‘heavenly maidens’ of Sigiriya are also a famed attraction here.
In the afternoon, after lunch we drive to the ruins of Polonnaruwa, the capital of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa which was built between the eleventh and twelfth centuries and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Polonnaruwa is comprised of an intriguing and well-preserved array of palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds and irrigation lakes. Here we will explore the ruins of the royal palace, the old court, the famous Gal Viharaya, the king Parakrama statue, and the temple dedicated to Shiva and Lankathilake. After this we will drive back to Dambulla. Overnight in Dambulla.
Dambulla – Kandy
Temple of the Tooth
We drive to Kandy today (80kms/2hrs 15mins). En-route we will visit the Spice Garden in Matale, where we will see spice crops such as cinnamon, cardamom, and pepper which have long been cultivated by the locals. All visitors are explained the various features and gastronomic uses of these spices.
Kandy takes its name from ‘Kande’, which means “king of the mountain”. The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Kandy in the sixteenth century, as can be seen at the royal palace. The main attraction of the city is the Temple of the Tooth, which houses a relic of Buddha – prized as Sri Lanka’s most treasured artefact, and believed to hold power over the entire country. It is (you perhaps won’t be surprised to hear by now) a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In Kandy we shall celebrate the famous Esala Perahera festival, during which dancers, drummers, musicians, acrobats, and authorities, all bedecked in bright traditional costumes, and a large number of richly caparisoned elephants, parade through the streets of Kandy. This festival is organised for 10 nights in an unforgettable spectacle of oriental splendor. Overnight in Kandy.
The Esala Perahera Festival
There’s still another day of fun for you to explore the town of Kandy in this special festive period, with its local market, the beautiful lake, and the legends, traditions and folklore which are still intact thanks to the dedication of the locals. Visitors and pilgrims come from everywhere, the shops sell traditional sweets and fruit stalls do a roaring trade, creating a joyful carnival. The peak of the festival is today, the last night (Esala full moon) and the next morning there is the ceremony of the water cut in the Mahaweli river, which symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Overnight in Kandy.
Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
The best tea in the world
After breakfast we drive to Peradeniya and then we will take a train ride from Peradeniya to Nanu Oya. In the afternoon we visit the tea plantations and waterfalls. Sri Lankan tea is widely regarded as one of the best in the world and here we will see how it is manufactured, graded and packaged. If all this has made you thirsty for a cuppa, you can taste a cup of Ceylon tea in the factory. Overnight at Nuwara Eliya.
Trekking to the end of the world
Early in the morning, there’s the option of a trek to Horton Plains, the highest point in Sri Lanka, with evergreen forests, grasslands, wetlands and an aquatic ecosystem. Located at an altitude of 6,890 feet above sea level, Horton Plains spans over 3,169 hectares and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. World’s End and Baker’s Falls are the most idyllic of places to relish the natural beauty of Sri Lanka. In the afternoon, we continue our date with nature with a visit to Hakgala Botanical Gardens and the Strict Reserve. Overnight in Nuwara Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya – Yala
Time for some wildlife
After a very early breakfast we will drive to Yala National Park (160kms/4hrs 20mins), Sri Lanka’s most famous wildlife haven. We have a fantastic jeep safari arranged for the entire day at the Yala National Park. Make sure to keep your cameras ready at all times! You wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of capturing the exotic and magnificent animals here, including leopards. Overnight at Yala.
Yala – Hikkaduwa
Sea – and plenty of it!
After breakfast, we proceed to Hikkaduwa (210kms/4hrs 50mins) and on the way, we will visit Galle Fort, originally built in 1588 by the Portuguese, and then extensively fortified by the Dutch in the seventeenth century. Small but intimate, the fort is host to charming cobbled lanes and cosy homes and shops.
Hikkaduwa is the ideal place to relax and to enjoy a bit of time on the beach. Relax, get a tan and enjoy some traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. You’ll find yourself swimming with turtles, and you can feed them algae with your own hands! In the evening, do not miss out on the intense night life in the local bars. Overnight in Hikkaduwa.
Time for watersports
Hikkaduwa is a place well known for surfing. Grab the opportunity to take some lessons or, if you’re a seasoned surfer already, to venture out straight away. The beach is naturally divided into two sections by a coral reef: to the south, you will find the surfers competing in the waves, while to the north you will find a paradise for snorkelers, thanks to the hundreds of colorful fish there! Do not miss the dramatic sunset; as the sun dips into the ocean, the sky is tinged with a vibrant palette of shades, from violet to red. Overnight in Hikkaduwa.
Hikkaduwa – Colombo – Departure
See you soon
After breakfast we drive to Colombo (120kms/2hrs 20mins). We will check into a hotel for a wash and change and will then proceed to the international airport so you can catch your flight back home. We hope you have had a wonderful time in Sri Lanka and we hope to see you again soon!
(From Jul 15, 2021 – Aug 31, 2021)
|01 pers||$ 1,702||$ 2,541||$ 3,418|
|02 pers||$ 897||$ 1,350||$ 1,893|
* price per person
THE PRICE INCLUDES
- Accommodation on Bed and Breakfast, starting Breakfast from day 02 and Ending the Day 11 with breakfast.
- Ground transfers by Air-conditioned private car with an English Speaking Chauffeur Guide.
- English Speaking Guide
- All applicable taxes
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- International Flight & Airport taxes (International)
- Insurance and visa costs
- Expenses of personal nature.
- Entrance fees.
- Perahera Supplement.
- Camera and Video charges
- Dinner, Lunch, Beverages and extras (unless specified)
- Early check-in & Late check-out. (Unless specified)
- Tips to guides and drivers (allow about 5 $ / day / person)
- Any other Expenses that are not mentioned above
Value added services on Complementary basis
- Free Wi-Fi in Company Vehicles(subject to availability)
- Free Mobile sim card on arrival (Passport details to be given for ownership transaction)
- Free coupon worth LKR 1000/- for playing at Casino, Colombo(coupon provided on request only – Please request upon confirmation of the booking)
- Discount voucher to shop at ODEL dress boutique in Colombo.
- 20% Discount voucher at a Jewelry shop (only in Colombo or Kandy)
- 5% Discount voucher to shop at COTTON COLLECTION in Colombo.
- 5% Discount voucher to shop at Noritake Lanka Porcelain in Colombo
- 15% Discount voucher for Ayurveda treatment at Siddhalepa Ayurveda Spa Colombo 07.
- Wheel Chair for People with a disability (on request)
- Cost for Cultural dance show in Kandy
- 01 liter mineral water bottle per person per day during the round tour
YOUR HOTELS (or similar):
Each destination has a unique character, a story. So we choose the most beautiful destinations, we also choose the most charming hotels for you. In addition, we will offer you options to choose from depending on the style of travel that suits you. You will stay in comfortable, deluxe, luxury or ultra luxury hotels depending on your budget.
- Visa and Travel Formalities
- Accommodation and transportation
- Flights & Land Package
- Our guides
- Insurance and Unforeseen Circumstances
With white beaches and idyllic blue seas, Sri Lanka is indeed beauty by definition. This island has one of the best surf spots where elite surfers from around the world gather to display their art. No wonder Marco Polo was awed by Asia, particularly Sri Lanka.
Often referred to as the paradise island, Sri Lanka has so much to offer starting with the Ceylon tea plantations, cool mountains, processions of elephants and the generous population that delights all travelers without any exception. It is also home to the South Asian population of about 20 million inhabitants who are mostly Theravada Buddhist; the Sri Lankan population is very diverse.
Festivals are an integral part of the Sri Lankan culture and there are celebrations all throughout the year ! Here are some festivals to help you plan your trip :
Thai Pongal: This Hindu festival honors Surya, the Sun God. Celebrated for four days— with different rituals for each day — this is one of the most important festival for the Tamil people. It is usually celebrated in the mid of January.
Kala Pola Art Market: This art market in Kala Pola opens on the third Sunday of January, showcasing the works of more than 500 artists from across the country exhibit their works. This is one event art lovers will definitely enjoy.
Navam Perahera: First celebrated in 1979, the Navam Perahera is one of the largest and most flamboyant Perahera of the country. This is usually celebrated in in the month of February around Viharamhadevi Park and Beira Lake, Colombo.
Maha Sivarathri: A Hindu festival, often in the months of February or early March, celebrating the marriage of Shiva and Parvati with a night vigil and other rituals. This is the most important festival for the Shivbhakats, who form the majority of Hindus.
Deepavali: The Hindu Festival of Lights takes place late in October or early November. Thousands of oil lamps celebrate the victory of good over evil and the return of Rama after his period of exile.
For most trips, your passport will be enough. It must be valid for up to six months after your return trip. Passports can be easily obtained from your municipality, although there may be delays during holiday periods and holidays. Note that the passport is also required for children. For some destinations, it will be mandatory to send us a copy of your passport immediately after booking a trip.
Entry to Sri Lanka requires obtaining a visa. For more information please visit www.eta.gov.lk. We recommend you to get your visa 4 to 6 weeks before your arrival.
Minors traveling with an adult: Parents
When a minor is traveling with a parent, the officials at the airport might ask for proof of documents to confirm your relationship. Some countries require certificates such as a birth certificate. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country of destination regarding the requirements.
Minors traveling with an adult: Others
When a minor is traveling with someone other than the parents or a family member, some countries require a declaration by the relatives to give permission for this trip. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country of destination regarding the requirements.
Each destination has a unique character, a story. So we chose the most beautiful destinations, we also handpicked the most suitable hotels for your comfort. In addition, we offer options to choose according to your budget and travel style that suits you.
We offer three options in MOST of our programs:
Simple and comfortable – These are clean and comfortable hotels. As per Phocus Travel standard, they fall into a 2-3 star categorization.
Deluxe – In this option, we offer a mix of charming and deluxe hotels. Some of them are heritage palaces, which are now famous contemporary hotels. As per Phocus Travel standard, they fall into a 4-5 star categorization.
Luxury – For the ultimate luxury holiday, we have a collection of rustic, chic and stylish hotels combined with laid back indulgence and unmatched amenities. These international favorites are the best in the destinations.
Road conditions are changing and in recent years, with the construction of a new motorway between Katunayake and Matara there has been better circulation.
Transport is a very significant part of your trip to Sri Lanka. We ensure the quality of the vehicles and the drivers are trained to show you the best landscapes, rural life, by the side of highways, and be attentive to all your requirements. The local traffic is chaotic, but you will certainly enjoy the journeys with our expert d hospitable drivers. All our trips are inclusive of transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary contracted and we will not surprise you by asking any additional fees for your small wishes.
The airline and the flight schedules are subject to change. Phocus Travel will keep you informed about the latest changes in the schedule, if any.
The price in the website are indicative and may change as per the latest amendment given by the hotels or suppliers. However, Phocus Travel will honor the rates once they are offered to you and you have made the payment for the package, even partially. In the case of international or domestic flights, the additional airport taxes that are imposed by local authorities shall be passed to you.
It is also possible to book international flights with Phocus Travel. Since we have good connections with several airlines, we will be happy to assist you for your requirements.
These people are our most amazing assets, taking you on beautiful trips with Phocus Travel. Who can explain a city or town better than the locals? This is why we always work with the locals carrying a passion for their culture. Their knowledge of destinations is immaculate; eagerly indulging you to experience the journey of the moment. All destinations, most of the cities and towns have English-speaking local guides. These guides are employed by our local agents and get regular training’s pertaining to our requirements. We evaluate their performance after each trip based on your feedback’s.
The services of local guides are included in the program (if opted by you in the package). They not only show you around the city but also purchase the tickets at the monuments. They are available to answer any of your travel related queries.
Although Phocus Travel pays them with the standard rates of travel-based companies, they expect a tip at the end of the trip. We recommend a tip of 5 €/ day/ person.
Although our travels are organized with detailed planning, the climate and other factors may change due to some unforeseen events. These however, should not spoil your travel or ruin your fun. In case such circumstances arise, be assured that you have 24/7 Phocus Travel support staff ready to offer the most suited solutions to your problems. We do our best to provide the quickest resolutions; nevertheless, we are not responsible for any factor beyond our control.
Sri Lanka’s climate is tropical, but influenced by the monsoon and the central mountain range that crosses the country, which makes Sri Lanka an attractive destination all year round.
From May to August, the monsoon from the southwest (Yala season) passes through the coastal areas of southern and western and central mountains, while experiencing a dry season from December to March. From October to January, during the Maha season, the northeastern monsoon is pours on the north and east of the island. In October and November, rain and thunderstorms are common everywhere. Whichever month is it, part of the island enjoys a beautiful season
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following vaccinations for travellers going to Sri Lanka (as well as being up to date with measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations):
- Viral hepatitis A and B
- Typhoid fever
It’s a good idea to consult your government’s travel-health website before departure.
Credit cards & ATMs
In all cities, you can withdraw cash with a bank card with Master or VISA. Cash can be exchanged at a bank or the hotel where you are staying. Credit cards are accepted in most of the hotels, restaurants and shopping places except the very remote village areas. The banks at the international airports are open day and night.
Mobile in Sri Lanka
You have coverage with your cell phone in most parts of Sri Lanka. If you have international roaming on your phone, you can connect to an Sri Lankan service as soon as you land at any airport.
The Sri Lankan cuisine is very similar to the Indian cuisine, particularly South Indian food; the difference is the presence of curry in every meal. Some meals are extremely spicy and not always vegetarian.
To respect the Sri Lankan culture, the dress code is something that the traveler should know. In religious places, people are expected to wear clothes that go beyond the knees. Women are expected to cover their heads in some religious sites. Tattoos of Buddha should remain covered at all times.
There is no reason for you not to take your electrical items due to electrical outlets; Sri Lankan market has adapters.
Compared to her neighbor, India, Sri Lanka is still a little behind the development of its internet network. However, many hotels and guesthouses will have one or more computers available (sometimes paid). If you are traveling with your tablet or smartphone, wireless connections will also be available. Wifi is often free, but some luxury hotels will charge you for it.
Please note that the connection is sometimes weak or active only in public areas.
What makes Phocus Travel different?
We believe that holidays should be planned thoughtfully. Hence, we spend a good amount of time planning and offering you products considering your requirements. Amazing journeys begin the moment you contact us for a personalized trip. We design programs exactly as you wish; you will always remain a partner in making it a dream holiday.
What can I expect in a holiday with Phocus Travel?
Our trips bring you closer to the local community and culture as you will be taken to some of the places where no tourists have gone before. Our travel experts are always in search of something new, inspirational and entertaining. These ideas are intricately designed around your style of travel, creating a perfect trip for you.
How do you create a style of travel?
People are different, and so are their ways of traveling. We speak to several people from different walks of life, locals, travelers, families, and even bloggers, to get a better idea on the ways they prefer to travel. The styles of travel are created through their contributions and the expertise of our travel designers. It is our success formula in making exceptional trips for you.
Why do you make the trips participative?
In our small endeavor to support the local community, we found this as the most encouraging and heartfelt experience for both our guests and ourselves. We don’t indulge into activities with big charitable organizations, but quietly do our bit with the help of our guests. Our projects are humble and mostly recommended by our guests. For example, teaching basic French to the drivers (while traveling with him) actually came from one of our guest.
What are the different hotel combinations you offer?
Each destination has a unique character and history, so do their hotels. We have selected the best hotels as per your style and budget. We offer 3 options in most of our programs:
Simple and comfortable – These are clean and comfortable hotels. As per Phocus Travel standard, they fall into a 2-3 star categorization.
– In this option, we offer a mix of charming and deluxe hotels. Some of them are heritage palaces, which are now famous contemporary hotels. As per Phocus Travel standard, they fall into a 4-5 star categorization.
– For the ultimate luxury holiday, we have a collection of rustic, chic and stylish hotels combined with laid back indulgence and unmatched amenities. These international favorites are the best in the destinations.
How many beds can we have in a room?
A room will usually have a double bed. Most hotels will be able to add one extra bed.
If we’re traveling as a family, can we have interconnected rooms?
Some hotels offer interconnected rooms. If they don’t have, we ask them to provide two rooms next to each other or on the same floor.
Can I choose my own set of hotels?
Yes, you can. Just send us your wish list and we will do our best to fulfill your requirements.
What is the category of hotels included in the itinerary on the website?
You will have the option to choose the categories of the hotels you want to stay in. There are a few exceptions, however, some places like villages in Rajasthan or hiking tents in Bhutan will not offer you luxury. We will clearly advice you on this.
How does Phocus Travel choose the hotels?
We choose hotels based on our personal experiences. We will not recommend a hotel unless we have stayed there ourselves or have it recommended by our contributors.
What kind of vehicle do you provide?
Generally, this depends on the number of people. We provide cars for two people and micro van for three and more people. All our vehicles have air-conditioning.
Can we choose our own type of vehicle?
Yes, you can. Just let us know while sending us the information for your trip.
Are we sharing the car with someone else?
No. The car is for private use and you will share it only the people you are travelling with.
Does the car stay at my disposal every day?
Yes, it does. Our drivers are flexible and will remain at your disposal.
Do we have a guide in every city?
Yes, a guide will be provided to you in each city unless there is no visit scheduled.
How do you select your guides?
We select guides who understand your interests and requirements. They carry a flair for their culture and tradition, offering the best experiences to our clients. All our tour guides are locals, have professional licenses and are known for their passion and knowledge of the destination. We only hire highly rated guides with years of experience.
How do I plan my trip with you?
Once a program is picked from the website and the query form is filled, our travel experts will start working on the program. They will carefully prepare a tailor-made itinerary for you and will present it in details. Your itinerary will be refined and polished until you are satisfied and happy to book with us. As it is very important for us to understand your requirements, please do not hesitate to ask questions and voice your concerns or desires.
I like one of your family programs. Can it be tailor-made for a couple?
Yes, it can. All our programs can be further tailored for your specific requirements. You will be amazed to see the countless possibilities in our programs as per your style.
Can I make my own itinerary?
Yes, you can. Simply fill the form or send us e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you decide your pricing?
The itineraries in the website have indicative pricing which may change as per your personalized travel request. We choose the most important sightseeing, destinations, guides and hotels, which makes a great holiday experience for our guests. As we do not want to surprise you with hidden costs, we always include essential costs in the program. Although we are not necessarily the cheapest, we do aim to offer exceptional overall value for money and rely on our clients for repeat business and recommendations for your future dream holidays.
Can I adjust my budget?
Of course, our experts can share plenty ideas with you, fitting your budget. However, we make sure that quality is never compromised. We immediately inform you with our inability to offer you something that is below standard or of low quality. It is always better to say no than to regret a bad holiday experience.
What is included in the cost of your packages?
Our services start the moment you arrive at your destination, where a representative will be awaiting your arrival. All accommodations, transfers, local flights as well as arranged activities, unless otherwise specified will be included. Our trips are on breakfast-only basis except some special meals like welcome lunch or a special farewell dinner.
Why don’t you offer trips on full board?
We could; however, you will agree with us that everybody has different tastes. Moreover, the local cuisine is also an important aspect of your trip. Why should we charge you extra for some meals in hotels and expensive restaurants, when you can enjoy the spontaneity of discovering restaurants on your own? This is why we intentionally refuse to include all meals in our itineraries. If you are on a safari or a trekking trip, all meals are included as these are remote areas without restaurant alternatives. In lieu of this, you will receive a list of recommended restaurants, where you can have a taste of authentic cuisines.
How do I get the assurance of my travel safety?
Having our headquarter in India, Phocus Travel provides all necessary financial and legal guarantees to our travelers. You not only get the best travel programs from us but also experience a memorable and safe travel arranged by our local correspondents with 24/24 assistance. To ensure that all our local agents offer best services, quality travel and assurance, we have office in India and indian subcontinent countries supervising all the activities in Asia. In addition, for your peace of mind, we support you with a range of insurances to meet your needs.
Who will be taking care of my trip when I am on the go?
You will have a dedicated travel expert from the first moment of contact. The travel expert will work with you before and during the trip.
What are the different modes of payment you accept?
The different modes of payment we accept are bank transfer and online payment by credit or debit card. You can pay either 30 or 50% at the time of the booking and the remaining, one month prior to your travel.
How secure is my credit card for online payment?
As your trusted partner Phocus Travel guarantees secure payment via secure payment platform enabling you to make transactions by credit card or debit card. The credit or debit card details are never reserved with us for your complete peace of mind.
Where can I see the reviews on Phocus Travel?
All reviews given by our travellers are regularly uploaded to our website. Furthermore, many of our guests have shared their experiences with Phocus Travel at the sites of Trip Advisor and Trust Pilot. We are proud to share with you that; – 98% of our travelers rated our services excellent or very good – 97% of our travelers recommend our agency to their friends – 98% of our travelers would be willing to repeat the experience with Phocus Travel.
Traveling with us is the best way to come closer to the daily life of the locals. Impart your knowledge, skills and art with them. If you are an artist, a photographer, a cook or whichever skills you have that can be shared with the local community, please feel free to tell us about them, and we will organize a special activity for you at a right place to support them. In our very first communication with you, we will ask your interest and if you are willing to participate in an activity for even just one hour.
In 2016, our participants have already taught over 400 hours, the equivalent of 17 days!
Our conscious tourism does not end there; we constantly propose new participatory activities:
There are many young kids who aspire to take the job of ‘guide’. We are helping them to speak better English, or teaching them skills and techniques of travel guiding.
Post the earthquake, life is still struggling in Nepal. We are helping some small shops and businesses to get into the mainstream; not by giving money, but improvising some ideas to run their business more effectively.
“In your route, though you choose to take part in any one of these options, your trip will be the same number of days and the price will not change under any circumstances.”
How much do you donate?
Nothing Actually. We just need little bit of your time and involvement.