(12 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Chennai, Kochi (Cochin), Kumarakom, Backwaters of Kerala, Colombo, Cultural Triangle, Galle
This luxury private tour features a range of experiences in southern India and Sri Lanka, as well as the finest accommodation in each location. It includes visits to major temple complexes, private city touring in Kochi (Cochin), a private cruise through the Backwaters of Kerala, the best of the Cultural Triangle, a private elephant experience and private cultural touring in Galle.
Begin in Chennai (Madras), the seaside capital of Tamil Nadu, India. During private touring, visit two of the most important and impressive temple complexes in southern India: Kanchipuram, a major Hindu pilgrimage site with more than 100 active temples, and Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), a UNESCO World Heritage Site of amazing rock cut sculptures and temples created in the seventh and eighth centuries.
Next, fly to Kochi (Cochin), an evocative harbor town in the state of Kerala that stretches across islands and peninsulas on the edge of the Arabian Sea. During private touring, experience the city's rich history as a major port for Portuguese, British, Dutch, Chinese and Jewish traders. Walk through historic Fort Kochi, and see highlights such as Paradesi Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace and the Chinese fishing nets. Perhaps browse for antiques and peruse fragrant spice shops.
Then, transfer to a waterfront resort in Kumarakom, the perfect base for exploring the Backwaters of Kerala, a vast network of lagoons, canals and lakes. One day, take a leisurely private cruise through the picturesque backwaters past palm trees and rice paddies, and see villagers going about their daily lives. Also enjoy ample time to relax at your resort, and perhaps indulge in Ayurvedic treatments, a specialty of southern India.
Fly to Colombo, the vibrant capital of Sri Lanka, and enjoy private touring of historic sites, bustling markets and interesting neighborhoods.
Next, explore the Cultural Triangle, a region filled with fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Sigiriya, an ancient rock citadel that's Sri Lanka's most spectacular attraction. See the Sigiriya Damsels frescoes, which were painted on the rock walls centuries ago, and climb to the top of the rock to explore the ruins of a fifth-century palace and take in panoramic views over farmland, forests, lakes and mountains. Also tour the ruined palaces and stone sculptures in the ancient Buddhist city of Polonnaruwa or see Dambulla's impressive cave temples filled with Buddhist sculptures and vibrant religious paintings.
One afternoon, enjoy a private elephant experience at a local lake, including bathing the elephants, feeding them and walking next to them, if desired.
Continue to Galle, an ancient fortified port and UNESCO site with a colonial-era atmosphere and unique mix of cultures. Stay in the heart of the Galle Fort historic district at Amangalla, one of the finest and most romantic luxury resorts in Sri Lanka. During private touring, visit local museums, explore evocative backstreets, walk on the sea walls to the lighthouse, look for reminders of the Dutch and British colonial years, observe daily life, and browse local shops, some of the best in Sri Lanka. Also, enjoy flexible private excursions to regional highlights such as a sea turtle hatchery, a traditional mask workshop, a lace-making workshop, a folk museum dedicated to preserving Sri Lanka's traditions, and the private country estate of Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka's most acclaimed modern architect.
This tour can easily be extended with time in other popular destinations in India and Sri Lanka.
||Arrive Chennai, India
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights
||Chennai & environs
Full-day private touring
Chennai – Cochin
Private transfer to airport for flight. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night. Afternoon private city tour
||Cochin – Kumarakom
Private transfer to resort for 3 nights
||Kumarakom & Backwaters of Kerala
Morning private boat excursion through Backwaters of Kerala. Afternoon at leisure
At leisure for Ayurvedic treatments and spa appointments
||Kumarakom – Cochin – Colombo, Sri Lanka
Private transfer to airport for international flight (flight not included). Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night. Afternoon flexible private city tour
||Colombo – Cultural Triangle
Scheduled flight or private transfer to hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon private elephant experience
||Cultural Triangle: Sigiriya & Polonnaruwa or Dambulla
Full-day private tour
||Cultural Triangle – Galle
Private transfer to airport. Tickets for scheduled flight to Colombo. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon private tour
||Galle & environs
Full-day flexible private tour of the region
Private transfer to airport and VIP airport assistance
The Leela Palace Chennai
|| Brunton Boatyard
||Kumarakom Lake Resort
|| Shangri-La Colombo or Tintagel
||Water Garden Sigiriya
||Per person (double occupancy)