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Around the World by Private Jet: Islands, Savannas & the Amazon26 days from $117,000 (USD)
Come aboard a private jet equipped with fully lie-flat seats for a journey specially designed by Geoffrey Kent to include some of his favorite dest...
Poets have lauded the beauty of Sri Lanka for centuries. Long called Ceylon, the “teardrop of India” is a lush tropical paradise. Explorer Marco Polo called it the finest island in the world. Today, one can stand atop the rolling green hills and breathe in the perfume of the spice and tea plantations, and experience the same otherworldly beauty that enchanted the Dutch and British. From balmy white beaches to the cooler peaks of steep mountains, jungles full of prowling big cats and breezy highlands, there is no end to the loveliness you’ll find.
Tinged with a personable colonial influence and Buddhist sensibility, Sri Lanka is infinitely welcoming. It’s a land of temples and stupas, historical landmarks, and monuments to the various faiths that came ashore with hundreds of years of merchants and conquerors. There’s a deeply sensual artistic tradition and plenteous, delicious food, which borrows heavily in inspiration from India.
Your Sri Lanka trip of a lifetime.will bring you through quaint colonial villages, ancient churches, and the fortified walls of old forts. You’ll dance in the nightclubs of Colombo, ending your night with hot, delectable street food, sun yourself on the beaches of Trincomalee, and whisk off to the mist-veiled shores of Kandy, which is rife with botanical gardens and wending lakeside paths. No matter where you go, unforgettable adventure is sure to follow. Let a monsoon romance carry you away!
Sri Lanka Top Attractions
The capital city, located on the west coast, is a seaside paradise bursting with fun! Shop ‘til you drop on the crowded street of Pettah, let your spirit take flight within the massive, gorgeous Gangaramaya temple, soak up some history within the National Museum, and nosh on some delicious kottu roti, which is the ideal balm after a night of Colombo’s whirlwind nightlife! Fabulous beaches await, with golden, sun-warmed sands and the calming murmur of the waves washing in. Take in some city scenery along the 13-mile long Galle Face Green Promenade, which is dotted with perfect spots for picnics and photos. The weather is delightful year-round, and there’s no shortage of things to do!
The last stronghold of the Sinhalese kings, Kandy is revered still as a sacred city. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is rife with landmarks of cultural and historic significance. Chief among these attractions is the Sri Dalada Maligawa, a stupa known for housing one of the Lord Buddha’s teeth. Gorgeous botanical gardens and the romantic paths around Kandy Lake make for long, leisurely walks, while a persistent, hanging mist gives the town an otherworldly feel. Kandy is the gateway to Sri Lanka’s hill country, which is covered in spice and tea plantations. This is the perfect place to breathe in the perfumed air and crack open the poems of Ananda Samarakoon or Michael Ondaatje.
Excellent whale- and dolphin watching are found on Trincomalee, the biggest town on Sri Lanka’s eastern seaboard. Pay your respects at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, a meticulously-tended memorial to those who lost their lives in the second World War, or worship at the glorious, neo-Baroque cathedral of St. Mary, the sky-blue walls of which reflect the heavens above. Behind Komeswaram Temple, where fishermen stop to pray before casting their nets, find the sacred tree (locals tie ribbons on the limbs for luck and wishes granted) and Lovers Leap, a precarious cliff associated with plenty of lore. A wealth of both natural and manmade beauty have secured Trincomalee spot as a must-see destination.
Miles of rolling green hills and dainty colonial architecture - along with a decidedly more temperate climate than the rest of the country - led to Nuwara Eliya’s nickname of “Little England.” One can easily imagine the Victorian gentlemen playing cricket and taking tea here: a tantalizing waft of the past clings about this place. Colonial pursuits like golf and horse-racing thrive still today, and gorgeous public gardens tempt passersby to stop for a lingering stroll. Don’t miss a tour of the local tea plantations, after which you might have the opportunity to rest for the night in a preserved colonial bungalow!
The Dutch forts of Galle are a testament to the South’s embattled colonial history, and have been preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle has been a busy trading hub for over five hundred years, and has retained gorgeous harbors and outstanding seaside views. One of the nicest hotels in town is the former governor’s mansion, which is just one of many historic buildings still lining the streets. Don’t miss the Dutch Reformed Church, with its floor of repurposed old gravestones, or the museum/shopping site of the Historical Mansion. Just outside town, catch a glimpse of the bizarre and fascinating stilt fishers of Midigama.
|Primary Airports: Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Ratmalana Airport (RML), Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (HRI|
|Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)|
|Population: 20,330,000 (2012 est.)|
|Language: Sinhala, Tamil|
|Electricity: 230V/50Hz (British or Indian plug)|
|Time Zone: UTC +5:30|