A spice-filled adventure to the pearl of the Indian Ocean
Discovering Sri Lanka is akin to sitting down to a gourmet feast of limitless possibilities. Every stop will quicken your pulse and tantalize your senses, from the expansive spice gardens in Matale, the heartwarming elephant orphanage, to the unforgettable climb up the rock palace of Sigiriya.
Sri Lanka has been called the pearl of the Indian Ocean – with 2,000 years of history, temples, wildlife, incomparable flavors, dense jungles and gorgeous beaches. While travel is safe, its roads can be rugged or crowded, and travel times can be long. Therefore, it’s smart to place your vacation in the reliable hands of AutoVenture’s chauffeured, expert guides. With comfortable, luxury ground transportation, you can get closer to the culture, and sit back and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
With AutoVenture, you’ll explore the urban wonders of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s most populous seaport city, which meshes its colonial past with bustling bazaars, temples, mosques, and seasonal Buddhist and Hindu pageants. Colombo offers a gorgeous collage of culture and cuisine. Here you’ll experience the riches of Sri Lanka cooking, which, due to its geographic position on trade routes between East and West, offers a tasty blend of Dutch, Portuguese, English, Arab, Malay and Indian-inspired dishes. There’s plenty of seafood, particularly crab, curries, rice, chili pepper and a variety of cakes. Naturally, the nation’s hearty British legacy ensures that high tea with the requisite sandwiches, savory tarts and scones are served properly at colonial hotels.
You’ll stop at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, which cares for hundreds of abandoned or injured elephants. Another highlight is the rock of Dambulla, which is part of a Buddhist cave-temple complex that has been occupied since 3rd century B.C. Its stunning shrine-caves have painted surfaces and statuary that are stunning in scale and exquisitely well preserved. The monastery also showcases masterpieces of 18th-century art, and a colossal, 45-foot-long figure of Buddha carved out of the rock.
In Kandy, you’ll wander the spice gardens, dazzled by the fragrance of nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees, curry, cinnamon and precious cardamom. The city of Kandy is a cultural highlight, particularly its golden-roofed Dalada Maligawa Temple, where the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is enshrined.
It wouldn’t be proper to visit Sri Lanka without a visit to the tea plantations surrounding Nuwara Eliya, also known as “Little England.” There you can witness traditional tea plucking and sip proper cups of Ceylon tea, while overlooking gardens, waterfalls and gorgeous plateaus.
Don’t worry, your trip won’t end playing croquet holding a teacup. AutoVenture guests will round out their adventure with a visit to the jungle terrain where the Bridge over the River Kwai was filmed, as well as a stop at Yala National Park, which has 215 bird species and the world’s most dense concentration of leopards.
For those unfamiliar with Sri Lanka, an AutoVenture guided tour is the surest way of getting closest to the culture, and of capturing an unforgettable land.