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Sri Lanka’s Treasures: From Cinnamon to Sea Turtles

Program Number: 19868RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/7/2015 - 2/20/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Sri Lanka
Price starting at: $2,755.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 31; 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Sri Lanka is one of Asia's richest treasure troves of both natural and man-made wonders, with no fewer than seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Delight in its amazing vistas and tapestry of cultures — where saffron-robed monks traverse stark white temples, Hindu priests chant beneath rainbow-colored towers, colonial European architecture stands the test of time, tea estates in the hill country offer refreshing cups, and National Parks are home to an array of exotic species.


• Learn about Sri Lanka’s prominent role in the efforts of sea turtle preservation during a field trip to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery.
• Thrill in an Asian Elephant-back exploration of the Sri Lankan jungle and learn about conservation efforts at the Elephant Orphanage.
• Explore the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the fortress of Sigiriya, and former capital city of Polonnaruwa — all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Activity Particulars

Extensive walking over uneven terrain. No elevators available.

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Colombo, 2 nights; coach to Habarana, 3 nights; coach to Kandy, 2 nights; transfer to Nuwara Eliya, 1 night; coach to Yala National Park, 2 nights; coach to Kalutara, 1 night; departure.

Overnight flight from U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Colombo
2 nights

Begin your immersion into Sri Lanka’s local culture with an expert-led exploration of Colombo’s most noted landmarks, including the Cinnamon Gardens and Galle Face Green promenade, the Hindu Temple at Sea Street – a street lined with goldsmith's shops – and the Dutch Church at Wolfendaal. Visit the National Museum, and see the replica of Avukana Buddha.

Coach to Habarana
3 nights

Spend a day at two of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the cave complex of the Golden Temple of Dambulla and the fortress of Sigiriya, or “Lion Rock.” An elephant-back safari into the jungle offers a unique perspective into the region’s natural beauty, while a visit to a local school provides a chance to speak with schoolchildren and learn about their studies. Learn about ancient Sri Lanka during a field trip to the UNESCO site of Polonnaruwa. Gain deeper understanding for the Asian Elephant at the Elephant Orphanage.

Coach to Kandy
2 nights
Train to Nuwara Eliya
1 night

Learn how spices are grown and sold during an excursion to the Matale spice gardens, and explore the city of Kandy with visits to Upper Lake Driver, Market Square and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. In Nuwara Eliya, learn why the city is called “Little England” and admire its Colonial era feel.

Coach to Yala National Park
2 nights

With a naturalist, drive along the park’s many tracks and keep a look out for potential sightings of the “Big three” — Asian Elephants, leopards and Sloth Bears. Add to your birding life list as you note some of the park’s 140 species which include the Changeable Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Malabar Pied Hornbill, painted Stork, Black-necked Stork and more.

Coach to Kalutara
1 night
Overnight flight to U.S.
1 night

Learn about Sri Lanka’s turtle conservation project at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, and learn why Sri Lanka is a prime sea turtle nesting site. Discover the Dutch Fort in Galle — once used to house spices — and explore the nearby New Oriental Hotel, National Museum, the Dutch church, the clock tower, the lighthouse.

Sri Lanka

Once known as “Serendip” — or, the root of the word “serendipity” — by Arab traders, the exotic island of Sri Lanka offers much of its earliest recorded history to the trade of spices such as cinnamon. Today, the country continues to utilize its lush, tropical climate to grow spices, and is a leading international producer of rubber, coffee and tea.

Colombo: Hotel with views of the Indian Ocean. Habarana: Hotel with cozy cottages on beautiful lakefront property. Kandy: Hotel in former royal home. Nuwara Eliya: Hotel in Tudor mansion. Yala National Park: Jungle chalets. Kalutara: Charming hotel in Kalutara.
Meals and Lodgings
   Ramada Colombo
  Colombo, Sri Lanka 2 nights
   Chaaya Village Habarana
  Habarana, Sri Lanka 3 nights
   Chaaya Citadel Kandy
  Kandy, Sri Lanka 2 nights
   Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya
  Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka 1 night
   The Safari Hotel
  Yala National Park, Sri Lanka 2 nights
   The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotel
  Kulatara, Sri Lanka 1 night
 Ramada Colombo
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Ramada Colombo is a 4 star hotel located in the heart of the city just minutes away from the Central Business District. Those on leisure can appreciate a quick drive or pleasant stroll that will lead you to the city’s hotspots for entertainment and shopping. Just 25 minutes from the International Airport, Ramada Colombo presents a great stay combining supreme functionality with features to make you feel at ease. Book in and leave the rest to us.
  Contact info: 30 Sir Mohamed Macan Markar
Colombo,  03 Sri Lanka
phone: +94 11-2422001
  Room amenities: King or 2 double beds, a separate seating area and worldly elements of style together with a 42 inch LED TV and an ergonomically inspired work space. Bathroom with bathtub and a separate shower cubicle with rain shower.
  Facility amenities: Wifi from any location of the hotel Outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi adjacent to coffeeshop for all day nibbles Work out at our fitness centre Unwind with steam & sauna Stay in and indulge with an extensive 24 hour in-room dining menu Business Centre Laundry Service Travel Counter Gift Shop Facilities for differently abled travellers
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: x Please call Road Scholar Travel Services to ask about booking pre-nights.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Chaaya Village Habarana
Type: Hotel
  Description: Like a well-disguised tree with thirsty widespread roots reaching far and wide to drink from the closest brook, Chaaya Village Habarana lies sprawled across 27 acres of luxuriant land bordering a stunning lake. Habarana is situated 176 km from Colombo in the heart of Sri Lanka's cultural triangle and is part of the Anuradhapura District. The hotel's cozy cottages, inspired by the typical thatched roof huts found locally, lie in clusters with low roofs and brownish yellow exteriors. The paint used is specially mixed with mud, in true native fashion, to ensure the facade is in harmony with nature.
  Contact info: PO Box 01
Harbarana,   Sri Lanka
phone: +946-6227-0047
  Room amenities: Superior rooms have air-conditioning, mini bar, cable TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, open lounge bar, conference room, room service, IDD/local direct dialing in rooms, internet facilities, laundry service, gift shop, swimming pool, tennis court, gym and Ayurveda health center.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Chaaya Citadel Kandy
Type: Hotel
  Description: Chaaya Citadel Kandy is constructed in the place of the former Dunuvila Wallauwa (The ancestral home of the Dunivila family). Dunuvila, one of the King's Ministers, lived here with his extended family. And, as the legend goes the King of Kandy would make it a point to break journey at this very location whenever he passed by in his boat. It is said that he did not simply stop to rest, but to bathe in the river and spend some time at the Wallauwa. An old family photograph of the original Wallauwa still hangs at the entrance to the hotel.
  Contact info: 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte
Kandy,   Sri Lanka
phone: +94 (0)8-1223-4365
  Room amenities: Superior rooms have air conditioning, Cable TV, Mini bar, in-room safes and telephone with IDD facilities, a balcony with outdoor-style seating, Glass shower cubical, Hair Dryers & complimentary toiletries Complimentary Tea/Coffee making facilities
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, swimming pool,
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Type: Hotel
  Description: It may be the 21st century, but colonial splendor still reigns in all its past glory at the Grand Hotel. Built in 1891, this was the palatial residence of the former Governor of Sri Lanka, Sir Edward Barnes; today this hotel offers comfort and the best of traditions from the ‘good old days’ to all who seek the charms of our famed hill country landmark.
  Contact info: x
Nuwara Eliya,   Sri Lanka
phone: +94-52-2222881/7
  Room amenities: Air conditioned , Telephone with IDD, Cable TV, Tea and coffee making facilities, Mini fridge, Hair dryer, Complimentary toiletries, Hot and cold water.
  Facility amenities: Banquet Facilities Cafe Parking Facilities Bar / Lounge Concierge Reception Business Centre Internet Access - High Speed Restaurant
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 The Safari Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: There are 47 Superior Rooms and three spacious suites all with lake views. 13 of the superior rooms have private balconies overlooking the lake. Room interiors are stylishly decorated in hues of black, white and saffron and furnished with double beds. The suites are spacious and also consist of a lounge and dining area.
  Contact info: No : 02, Galle Road, Colombo 3
Tissamaharama,   Sri Lanka
phone: +0094-11-5634573
  Room amenities: Standard in-room facilities include a/c, overhead fans, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, tea/coffee facility, mini-bar, and safety locker. Ensuite bathrooms have h/w rain showers.
  Facility amenities: The main restaurant has indoor and outdoor dining overlooking the swimming pool and lake beyond. Traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, Indian, and Western cuisine is served here. Ceylon Hotels Corporation properties are well known for serving tasty Sri Lankan rice and curries and The Safari holds up this tradition. The bar serves a range of alcoholic beverages. Other hotel facilities include wifi internet, travel desk, room service, laundry service, swimming pool set amidst lush tropical gardens, and boat rides on the Tissa Lake. Nature lovers will enjoy spotting the numerous species of birds that inhabit the small island just in front of the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No

 The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The revamped hotel also features a gymnasium, night club, shopping arcade, spa and pool. For relaxation, guests can rejuvenate themselves in the steam bath or enjoy sauna facilities. The Sweeping Ocean and garden views accompany the buffet spreads at the hotel’s main restaurant. There is also an ala carte dining restaurant and coffee shop. Refreshing cocktails are also available at the pool bar.
  Ship Information: x
  Contact info: Kudawaskaduwa.
Kalutara,  12000 Sri Lanka
phone: +011 94 34 2 228484
  Room amenities: Air conditioning , an LCD TV with satellite and local channels, a mini bar that could be used at a cost, tea and coffee-making equipment, free bottled water, hairdryer, telephone and safe. All rooms are accessible to wheelchairs, and offer free Wi-Fi. The Hotel provides 24-hour room service, laundry service and dry cleaning.
  Facility amenities: Bar/Lounge Business Center Fitness Center Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBA Please call Road Scholar Travel Services for more information.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins on Day 2 in the early evening at the program hotel in Colombo. You will be staying at Ramada Colombo that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends on Day 13 after breakfast at the program hotel. You will be staying at The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. N/A
  Parking availability:
Driving is not recommended.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Colombo
  Transportation to site: Colombo Airport is 31Km away from Kingsbury Hotel the from and approximately one hour drive (during rush hour it could take up to hour thirty minutes). You may also get an airport taxi service supervised by the Airport and Aviation Services (S/L)LTD which operates from a counter in the arrival Lobby.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Kulatara
  Nearest city or town:  It is located approximately 40 km south of the capital Colombo.
  Nearest airport:  Colombo Airport
  Transportation from site: The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotel is a 2-hour drive from the Colombo Airport. You may want to inquire with the concierge at the Hotel about alternative transportation services from the hotel to the airport. Private arrival and departure transfers -at an additional cost- may be arranged in advance by the calling Road Scholar Travel Services.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure for Sri Lanka
(Saturday, February 7)
 Depart From: Overnight flight to Sri Lanka

Day 2: Arrival to Colombo
(Sunday, February 8)

Note: Arrive Colombo (CMB) airport and transfer to the hotel for check in. The group flight generally arrive late in the evening, so no activities have been planned on this day. PLEASE NOTE: Those arriving earlier check in begins at 2 PM. You may leave your luggage at the reception while you wait.

 Arrive To: Arrive and transfer to hotel for check-in (usually arrive in late-night).
Accommodations: Ramada Colombo

Day 3: Presentation / City Orientation
(Monday, February 9)

Note: Today there is some walking and standing involved also climbing steps at the museum.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Then listen to a presentation by a local scholar on Sri Lanka to deepen your understanding of this country.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in town.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, discover Colombo with visits to the following places: historic Fort and bustling Pettah, Cinnamon Gardens and Galle Face Green, the Hindu Temple at Sea Street – a street lined with goldsmith's shops – the Dutch Church at Wolfendaal, dating back to 1749, the historic Davatagaha Mosque, Independence Hall, B.M.I.C.H, see the replica of Avukana Buddha and the Independence Square and the National Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Ramada Colombo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Coach to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage/ Sigiriya Rock Fortress / coach to Habarana
(Tuesday, February 10)

Note: The roads in Sri Lanka are single carriage ways in good condition generally passing through villages and towns which appear almost linked with each other. There is a lot of traffic and the journey is slow paced.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, depart your hotel to make your way to Pinnawala. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage provides visitors with the best chance of seeing a large number of elephants at close quarters. The orphanage was established in 1975 and commenced with seven orphaned elephants. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location. Assisted by local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawala commenced a successful captive breeding program and the first baby elephant was born in 1984. It is most interesting to visit at feeding time to see the baby elephants being bottle fed and the entire herd taken for a bath thereafter to the river near by.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant en-route.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, visit Sigiriya or Lion Rock is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 5th Century ? Fortress in the Sky? which is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the Island. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the fortress. Within it triple-moat defense the huge rock rises almost to a sheer height of 500ft. On its summit are the foundations of what was once a great and sumptuous palace and gardens complete with swimming pool. On one of the stairways the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting survived in the form of frescoes of life sized damsels in all the freshness and delicacy of their original color. Note: There are approximately 1000 steps to climb to the top of the rock, there is no rush and many people climb to the top from where the views are amazing which make the climb very rewarding. The steps are part carved in stone, part made of iron much like ladder with iron hand rail and thousands of visitors of all ages climb the rock. One can choose not to climb and can wait at the lunch venue. Trainers are recommended and a bottle of water, and a hat for protection from the sun. The rest rooms are not up to western standards however there is an attendant keeping the same as clean as possible in exchange for small change in local currency.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Chaaya Village Habarana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Elephant ride / School visit/Dambulla Golden Temple
(Wednesday, February 11)

Note: There are approximately 500 steps to climb to the caves. One can choose not to climb and can wait at the coffee shop by the entrance. A bottle of water and some sort of head cover for protection from the sun is recommended.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, feel the power and majesty of the Asian elephant as you take an Elephant back Safari through the beautiful wilderness of Sri Lanka. This safari provides you with an opportunity to share a day in the life of the elephant. Continue with a visit to a local village and meet the people in the community. Simultaneously, visit the local school and gain a better understanding of how children are educated in this country.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in town.
 Afternoon: Visit Dambulla Cave Temple, known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a World Heritage Site (1991), situated in the central part of the country, 30 km east of Habarana and 72 km north of Kandy. It is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented Caves in the surrounding area. These paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life, covering an area of 2,100 square meters. The caves’ history dates back to the 1st Century BC, when King Walagamba, defeated at Anuradhapura, took refuge in one of the caves. Many of the paintings in the temple date back to the 19th Century CE, of which the largest is the colossal figure carved out of granite rock and spanning 14 meters.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Chaaya Village Habarana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Polonaruwa
(Thursday, February 12)

Note: The visit today takes approximately 3 hours with standing and some steps to climb up or down. There is approximately one mile circular walking from the bus through the archaeological site back to the bus. An umbrella is recommended to provide shelter from the sun also a bottle of water

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Spend the morning at Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and once the capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century. Polonnaruwa's extensive and well-preserved ruins offer a fascinating snapshot of ancient Sri Lanka, including some of the finest monuments. Ruins of royal castles and Buddhist temples: Royal Palace Group, The Quadrangle, the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, (circular relic house), Shiva Devale (Hindu temple), The Alahana Pirivena, Rankot Vihara, Lankatilake, Kiri Vihara, Gal Vihara, Potugal Vihara encompasses this ancient city.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel in the late afternoon and then participate in a presentation by your study leader.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Chaaya Village Habarana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Spice Gardens and Royal City of Kandy
(Friday, February 13)

Note: The visit today takes approximately 2 hours with standing and some steps to climb up or down at the temple.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, depart for Kandy. En route take a field trip to the spice garden in Matale to learn about the different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous for. Just 25 km from the hill capital of Kandy, the Matale spice gardens are among the best on the island. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. A processing and training unit has been set up in the area and farmers are grouped in a cooperative to ensure fair prices.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant or at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Spend the afternoon exploring the city of Kandy with visits to Upper Lake Driver, Market Square and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Ever since 4th Century AD, when the Buddha?s Tooth was brought to Sri Lanka hidden from sacrilegious hands in an Orissan princess? hair, the Relic has grown in repute and holiness in Sri Lanka and throughout the Buddhist world. It is considered Sri Lanka?s most prized possession.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Chaaya Citadel Kandy
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Royal City of Kandy
(Saturday, February 14)

Note: The visit today takes approximately 2 hours with standing and walking on predominantly flat terrain. There is approximately one mile circular walking from the bus through the gardens back to the bus. We recommend you carry an umbrella to provide shelter from the sun also a bottle of water.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we visit Peradeniya Botanical Garden. This beautiful garden is located 4 milesto the west from the city of Kandy. It was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British It covers approximately 147 acres and is a walkers paradise with extensive well kept lawns, pavilions, an octagon conservatory, fernery, a giant Javan fig tree and numerous flower beds The best attraction is the orchid house.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in town.
 Afternoon: In the late afternoon, join your group for a presentation by a local expert on topic relevant to Sri Lanka.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Chaaya Citadel Kandy
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Nuwara Eliya / The Hill Country
(Sunday, February 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer from Peredaniya and Nuwara Eliya. It’s a really leisurely journey where you will have plenty of opportunity to admire (and take photos of) the fabulous scenery from the tea plantations to the distant views of the southern part of the Island.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in town or the hotel.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, explore Nuwara Eliya, "the city of dawn”, established by the British in the nineteenth century, and known as "Little England" because of its cool climate and quaint colonial feel. Located in the 'heart' of the tea country, Nuwara Eliya is a mountain station at 1,900 meters above sea level situated in splendid landscape with beautiful backdrops of mountains, valleys, waterfalls and tea plantations. The town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings. It is one of the coolest places on the Island, but it is really just like an English spring day, with cooler temperature at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence, houses like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions. The Victoria Park, in the middle of the town, is a lovely place for a stroll or a picnic. Seasons may be absent elsewhere in Sri Lanka, but here you can read them by the flowers, which bloom in the spring (March to May) and the fall (August and September).
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Nuwarar Eliya / Yala National Park
(Monday, February 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: En route to Yala National Park, visit a tea plantation and witness tea tasting. Originally introduced to the island around 1850 by the British, Ceylon Tea is world famous for its high quality and has remained a major contributor to the island’s economy for generations. Currently, Sri Lanka is one of largest exporter of tea worldwide. The high altitudes produce the best flavours, so Sri Lanka’s hill-country is the ideal environment to grow the most flavoursome tea. Taking a guided tour around a Tea Factory is an enlightening experience, which explains the whole process of tea production before it reaches your cup.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in town or at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Check into your hotel and relax.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: The Safari Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Yala National Park / Nature Exploration
(Tuesday, February 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Start your day with an early morning safari to Yala National Park famous for its abundant bird life. Over 140 species have been recorded so far within the area. Changeable Hawk Eagle, Crested serpent Eagle, Malabar pied Hornbill, Jungle fowl, painted Stork, White Ibis and Black necked Stork are commonly seen. (Please note there is no guarantee that you will see wildlife, but the chances are great).
 Lunch: Lunch provided.
 Afternoon: In the early evening, discover Yala National Park Early on another jeep safari. Yala National park is Sri Lanka?s most visited wildlife reserve. Yala covers an area of 1260 square kilometers. The park?s dry-zone landscape is strikingly beautiful and the park?s wildlife has its own distinctive charm, with huddles of colorful Painted Storks perched on the incongruously conjoined sight of Elephants marching sedately through the bush. Leopards, Sloth Bears and Elephants are the "big 3" here. The sighting of wildlife is not guaranteed
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: The Safari Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Turtle Hatchery / Transfer to Kulatara
(Wednesday, February 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Discover the Dutch Fort in Galle, originally built by the Portuguese in 1589 to house spices. You can walk around the fort within an hour and a half visiting the New Oriental Hotel, National Museum, the Dutch church, the clock tower, the lighthouse and some old colonial buildings. The ramparts and the bastions still bring the old world to life.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in town.
 Afternoon: Make a stop at Kosgoda Turtle Hachery. Here, learn about Sri Lanka's pioneering sea turtle conservation project and why Sri Lanka (and the village of Kosgoda in particular) is a prime turtle nesting site, why the conservation project is needed and how the project is operated by local people with the help of international volunteers.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Departure
(Thursday, February 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

An Introduction to Buddhism

Author: Peter Harvey

Description: Harvey's wide-ranging overview of Buddhist thought, teachings and practice across the Buddhist world includes an excellent treatment of the varieties of Theravada Buddhism.

Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God

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Description: Blank's entertaining portrait of contemporary India and Sri Lanka mixes reporting, anecdote and myth as he travels, sometimes in the footsteps of India's great hero Rama.

At the Water's Edge

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Description: A Sri Lankan social anthropologist and novelist, Jeganathan draws on his own experiences in these seven interconnected stories spanning 30 tumultuous years of his county's recent past.

Insight Guide Sri Lanka

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Description: An illustrated overview of Sri Lanka with essays on its attractions, history and culture complemented by many pictures and maps.

Lonely Planet Sri Lanka

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Description: A practical guide in the popular series.

Not Quite Paradise, An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka

Author: Adele Barker

Description: A deft, nuanced account of an American's year-and-a-half teaching stint. Baker weaves information about the history, traditions and daily life of Sri Lanka with reports on the 30-year war between the government and the Tamils, as well as the devastating 2004 tsunami.


Author: Romesh Gunesekera

Description: This slim novel tells the story of modern Sri Lanka through the eyes of a servant and his oblivious master. Haunting and atmospheric.

Running in the Family

Author: Michael Ondaatje

Description: Award-winning author Ondaatje returns to his native Sri Lanka in this hypnotic travelogue. His lovingly traced family memoirs are interspersed with poetry and ruminations on the island's post-colonial history.

Sri Lanka Map

Author: Nelles

Description: A detailed, colorful map of the island, at a scale of 1:450,000.

Sri Lankan Wildlife

Author: Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

Description: A concise, illustrated field guide to the plants, animals and habitats of Sri Lanka in the popular British series.

The Age of Kali, Indian Travels and Encounters

Author: William Dalrymple

Description: A journalist stationed in Delhi, Dalrymple recounts his travels and interviews, including memorable encounters with Tamil tigers, Benazir Bhutto and Imran Khan. Humorous, insightful and well-informed.

The Cage, The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers

Author: Gordon Weiss

Description: An incisive first account of the formation, history, and bloody dissolution of the rebel Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

The Legend of Pradeep Mathew

Author: Shehan Karunatilaka

Description: A retired hard-drinking sports journalist searches for truths about cricket and about Sri Lanka in this daring first novel, winner of the 2012 Commonwealth Prize. "This fabulously enjoyable read will keep you entertained and rooting for the protagonist until the very end, while delivering startling truths about cricket and about Sri Lanka," said Margaret Busby, chair of the prize.

The Spice Route, A History

Author: John Keay

Description: John Keay draws on ancient logs, traveler's accounts and maps for this rousing history of trade in cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pepper, gums, resins and other costly goods from antiquity to the 17th century.

What the Buddha Taught

Author: Walpola Sri Rahula

Description: A classic account of Theravada Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for any visitor to Southeast Asia.

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