Untouched tropical beach_Best of Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Best of Sri Lanka and the Maldives Embrace the very best of Sri Lanka and the Maldives on a 10-day cultural and beach adventure

Your journey at a glance

This Sri Lanka and Maldives tour offers 10-days of exceptional cultural adventures and beautiful landscapes before ending on a silky white beach, surrounded by turquoise waters.

Begin your journey in Sri Lanka where you will discover the country’s rich heritage on an assortment of privately guided tours. Explore Sigiriya’s beautiful Dambulla Cave Temple, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa and the spectacular Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Afterwards, you will discover the Temple of the Tooth and Royal Botanical Gardens, in Kandy, before venturing to Colombo for a heart-warming excursion to the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela.

Your adventure culminates in an indulgent stay at the Coco Island Resort, in the Maldives, where you will explore this idyllic location’s wonderful house reef, tuck into sensational menus and unwind with an assortment of spa treatments – the perfect end to this incredible holiday.

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What to expect …

Transfer to Hotel Day 1

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Upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International airport, you will be warmly welcomed by a representative from &Beyond, who will drive you to the Horathapola Estate. Upon arrival, you will spend the day relaxing and enjoying the hotel facilities.

Overnight in Negombo Day 1

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Horathapola Estate lies hidden in the beautifully lush landscapes of rural Sri Lanka. Its grand plantation bungalow dates from the early 1900s. It has been beautifully restored to host five spacious luxury guestrooms. Horathapola Estate is a fully functioning organic coconut estate of roughly 50 acres. It sustains the livelihoods of about 30 families living in the neighbouring village.

Spend one night at Horathapola Estate. Accommodation is in a Standard Room with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Drive to Sigiriya Day 2

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After tucking into a scrumptious breakfast you will be driven to Sigiriya, the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, which is home to many historical vestiges. During the course of your drive you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful Dambulla Cave Temple, the largest cave monastery in the country, with a history that dates back to the 1st century BC.

Overnight in Sigiriya Day 2

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The Dambulla Caves host various historical statues and paintings, which have been repaired and repainted over the centuries. The network of caves once provided refuge to King Valagamba during his 14 year exile from the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Here, the King was afforded protection from his enemies by the Buddhist monks meditating in the caves. When King Valagamba returned to the throne at Anuradhapura, in the 1st century BC, he had a magnificent rock temple built at Dambulla to showcase his gratitude to the monks there.

Spend two nights at Jetwing Vil Uyana. Accommodation is in a Paddy / Marsh Dwelling with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the historical heart of Sri Lanka. Day 3

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This important royal capital, with its well-preserved 12th century ruins and impressive stone culture, recalls an inspired past. Although, nearly 1 000 years old, Polonnaruwa is much younger than Anuradhapura and in better repair.

In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the spectacular Sigiriya Rock Fortress, with its rocky abode and water gardens. Sigiriya is famous for its toadstool of golden-hued granite, protruding into the searing blue sky from a hot, flat wilderness of scrubland, which is transformed in the rainy season to a water garden. In the 5th century, King Kashyapa domesticated the “Lions Rock” by building a palace atop its summit. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history.

In the evening, you will be able to relax and unwind from your adventure-filled day at the hotel’s sparkling poolside, taking in the splendid views of the Fortress nearby. Alternatively, enjoy a tranquil walk to explore a nearby traditional.

Transfer to Kandy Day 4

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After a wholesome breakfast, you will be driven to the beautiful region of Kandy, where you will check into the charming Kandy House.

Overnight in Kandy Day 4

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Spend the day relaxing at the hotel or exploring its surrounds before embarking on a late afternoon excursion to the Temple of the Tooth. This is said to be the resting place of the country’s most precious Buddhist relic, a sacred tooth of Buddha. Afterwards, you can enjoy the lively happenings of the Puja Ceremony that starts at around 19h00pm.

Spend two nights at Kandy House. Accommodation is in Deluxe Room with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Meander through magnificently manicured gardens Day 5

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Explore the exotic plants and shrubs of Peradeniya Botanical Garden, which is situated in Kandy’s suburb of Peradeniya and dates back to 1371. Originally created for the pleasure of a Kandyan queen, this stunningly beautiful garden is enclosed on three sides by a large bend in the Mahaweli River.

The site of a Kandyan prince’s residence in the 18th Century, in the early 1800s the leafy green tangle was converted into one of the greatest botanical gardens in the British Empire. For a short spell during the Second World War it was used as the Allied Forces Headquarters for the Asian region. Today it is home to over 4 000 different species of plants and is renowned as the largest of Sri Lanka’s botanical gardens, as well as one of the best of its kind in Asia.
The garden’s highlights include the superb orchid collection and a mighty avenue lined by of royal palm trees. In addition to a plethora of flowering plants, there is also an extensive collection of medicinal herbs and spices which you can browse through on your stroll across the gardens.

Encompassing over 60 hectares of sublimely designed lawns, pavilions and greenhouses, the extraordinary array of Sri Lankan, Asian and international flora delights all the sense with its delectable fragrance and charming colours. Elegant avenues lead on to sections exploding in bursts of tropical colour, while sweeping lawns are interrupted by gigantic old trees.

For those with a limited time who would like to see as much of the garden as possible, &Beyond can arrange a buggy cart with prior warning. &Beyond also offers specialist botanical guides who can accompany you during your visit to share their experiences and practical knowledge about the flora and fauna found within the garden. Spend a leisurely two to three hours meandering along the garden’s looping paths.

Transfer to Colombo Day 6

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Today, after a delicious breakfast, you will be driven to Colombo where, along the way, you will have the opportunity to visit the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela. The best time to visit is between 9h15 to 9h30am and 13h15 to 13h30pm, when the elephants are being fed and then later bathed from 10h00am to 12h00 (noon) and 14h00pm to 16h00pm.

Overnight in Colombo Day 6

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Spend one night at Tintagel. Accommodation is in a Superior Suite with lovely ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Flight to Male Day 7

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Today you will be driven to the airport for your connecting flight to Male.

Overnight at Cocoa Island by Como Day 7

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The Maldives is an idyllic ring of islands famous for its white sandy beaches, turquoise water and sunshine. Perfect for a romantic getaway or spending time with your friends and family, you will have the opportunity to fill your days with spa treatments, scuba diving, snorkelling or just relaxing by the lagoon.

Upon your arrival you will be warmly welcomed for your transfer to Cocoa Island by Como.
Cocoa Island by Como is an intimate Maldives resort with 33 spectacular overwater suites – allowing you to slip right into the turquoise lagoon to explore an exceptional house reef.

Encircled with powder white sand, the carefree, understated luxury experience includes holistic wellness treatments at COMO Shambhala Retreat, South Indian-influenced cuisine and world-class diving.

Spend three nights at Cocoa Island by Como. Accommodation is in a Dhoni Suite or one bedroom Villa with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Seek out spectacular coral reefs and leaping dolphins Day 8

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Whiter-than-white powder sand and luminous cyan-blue water, the Maldives is like nowhere else on earth.  Climb aboard a speed boat for an incredibly intimate experience and be guided through untouched coral reefs and flawless, untouched islands. Soak up the spectacular infinite turquoise blues of the sea and sky, feeling at one with nature as you relax in a truly remote setting on an uninhabited island. Gasp at the deep waters of the open ocean abyss as you reach the atoll edge, delve deep on a deserted island, and discover amazing dive sites through untouched reefs by privately snorkeling or diving with your own personal guide.  Marvel at how the fragile coral reefs flourish and develop the underwater structures that have created the scattering of strikingly beautiful islands. Be amazed by the incredible array of marine life present, as you explore the colorful underwater landscapes. Take in a number of whale sharks, turtles and of course a sensational variety of reef fish and shellfish.

Experience one of the top excursions of dolphin watching where you will get an opportunity to see some variety in the dolphin species like the bottlenose dolphin, the most well-known; and the fascinating spinner dolphin. Unrivalled luxury, stunning white-sand beaches and an amazing underwater world make the Maldives an obvious choice for a true holiday of a lifetime.

Enhance your cultural knowledge by exploring the land and interacting with local people Day 9

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A deeply satisfying experience is seeing a countries beating heart through the eyes of the locals, the people who call it home. This allows you to be open to what goes on around you and gives you a great perspective, and understanding into how these people live. Heighten your cultural knowledge and interact with them, stroll along the island streets with your guide, and delight in traditional snacks at a local café.

Smile at a stranger and ask them a question. Chat with shop owners or market vendors, get to know your driver, and show the locals you’re interested in them and their culture. You never know where a simple introduction or question may lead. Catch scores of local children kicking a football around coconut trees and engage with the inhabitants who are so friendly and happy to immerse themselves in a conversation with you. Listen to them share their stories, traditions and cultural practices and surrender yourself to the real Maldives.

Established as a magnificent luxury destination, the Maldives was never a destination that popped to mind for tourists who were looking for a cultural experience or to engage with locals other than within the confines of their idyllic holiday island. Fortunately this has changed and your experience will be both enlightening and informative.

Boat transfer back to Male Airport Day 10

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Today, we wave a fond farewell as you enjoy the last boat trip back to Male Airport for your flight home.

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