sri lanka

MARCH 2 - MARCH 13, 2019

$4,650 (per person, based on double occupancy)

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Day 1 - Airport / Negambo

We will be picked up from Colombo Airport and have our first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality. Our local guide will welcome us and bring us to Negambo where we will check in to the hotel and have the evening to get settled before we begin our adventures tomorrow.

Day 2 - Negambo / Anuradhapura / Mihintale / Anuradhapura

Today we visit the Negambo-Fish Market in the morning. The Negombo Fish Market is interesting because it takes place right on the beach, fresh from fishing boats. Crowds of fishermen are seen untangling their fishing nets, playing with their kids, and stretching out miles of fish to dry in the sun on Negombo’s shore. We'll see long blue sheds on the way to the shore where they store fishing baskets and the lot. 

Then we continue our journeys to Anuradhapura and have an Anuradhapura city tour. Anuradhapura was made the first capital of Sri Lanka by King Pandukhabaya in the 4th century BC and it so remained until the 11th century AD (now known as one of the longest serving capitals, famous in ancient and modern times). Anuradhapura is a beautiful picturesque town located along a river bank which is popular for the fascinating ancient ruins and deep rooted Buddhist culture.

There is plenty to see in Anuradhapura from ancient trees like the Sri Maha Bodhi, the oldest tree in the world, to ancient monasteries and ruins of historical importance. Anuradhapura is one of the eight historical heritage sites in Sri Lanka.

We'll visit Sri Maha Bodhiya, Isurumuniya, then carry our journey to Mihintalaya, a mountain peak situated east of Anuradhapura. We will venture for a climb! This area is a pilgrimage site with several religious shrines and abandoned structures, including ruins of a hospital medical bath at the foot of the peak.

The area is fringed by beautiful landscapes: jungle and rock boulders scattered around the mountainous area. There are also many caves which were believed to be used by monks for meditation.  Ancient stone architecture is found on several dome shaped monuments, monastic complexes and other sacred places. Overnight stay at Anuradhapura.

Day 3 - Anuradhapura / Sigiriya

After breakfast at the hotel, we'll venture to Sigiriya and visit the Sigiriya Lion Rock in the morning. Sigiriya is situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka close to Dambulla. It is a fortress complex of a ruined palace and one of the World Heritage sites declared by UNESCO. Undoubtedly the most treasured historical monument in Sri Lanka and probably the most visited tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, the most looked forward to feature of the fortress is the frescoes. Another fascinating detail is its mirror wall. Every step from the entrance to the top is a marvel on its own, and the interesting surroundings makes the tedious climb to the top easy. We'll have an overnight at Sigiriya.

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Day 4 - Sigiriya / Polonnaruwa / Minneriya / Sigiriya

We'll have breakfast at the hotel, then proceed to Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa is the main town of Polonnaruwa District in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in this province and famous for its clean and beautiful environment, amazing ancient constructions and most importantly the huge lake ‘Parakrama Samudra’ built in 1200.

The city has many untouched ancient archeological relic sites and remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country. UNESCO has declared this ancient city as one of the World Heritage sites. 

After this area, we'll continue to Minneriya for an incredible evening safari by Jeep in Minneriya National Park! The park is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, and is a dry-season feeding ground for the elephant population. Sri Lankan leopard and sloth bear, which are rare and endangered species, also inhabit this area. The park was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in order to protect the watershed of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is historically important for the country as it was built by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD. We'll have an overnight stay at Sigiriya.

Day 5 - Sigiriya / Dambulla / Matale / Kandy

Today we'll visit Dambulla, which belongs to the North Central Province. The popular cave temple complex in Dambulla (dated to the 2nd century BC) is declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. There are over 80 caves in Dambulla, some of which are used for meditation by monks.

The Famous Rock temple has five separate caves containing 153 magnificent Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan monarchs and 4 Hindu deities.

We'll visit the Iron Wood Forest (Namal Uyana), an ancient garden with a wide variety of plants built in the 10th century, and Rose Quarts Mountain range which is 500 million years old.

Later we will visit spice gardens at Matale and in Mawanella on the Colombo-Kandy road where Cinnamon, Cardamom, Pepper Creepers and many other spices trees and plants can be seen. We'll continue to Kandy, the charming capital of Sri Lanka surrounded by hills, valleys, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. It is the cultural center of the island and a UNESCO heritage city. 

While in Kandy, a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens is a must, where we can see around 4000 species of plants. The arts and crafts center in Kandy, the main Buddhist monasteries Malwatta and Asgiriya Monasteries are all places that can be visited. 

In the evening, we'll have a city tour and take in a cultural dance, followed by an overnight stay at Kandy.

Day 6 - Kandy / Nuwara Eliya

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit  Peradeniya Botanical Garden in the morning. Peradeniya Botanical Garden is situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka and visited approximately 02 million people  annually. The unusual name is Sinhalese translation of guava plain. The garden is notable for its collection of a variety of Orchids. It is home to various species of plants, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. It is also one of the largest botanical gardens of Sri Lanka, An artificial lake with water plants including giant water lily and papyrus seeds is found in the centre of the garden. Proceed to Nuwara Eliya and en-route Visit Ramboda Falls  & Blue Field Tea Factory.  Nuwara Eliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The city is considered to be one of the most important locations for tea cultivation and well known for its cool climate being the coolest area in Sri Lanka. Many of the buildings have still preserved features from the colonial period. Many private homes have also maintained their old English-style lawns and gardens. The town wakes up with many activities in April for the Sinhalese and Tamil New year. Main allure during April season include the motor and horse racing events. Checking to the hotel. Overnight stay at Nuwara Eliya.

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Day 7 - Nuwara Eliya / Horton Plains / Pattipola / Ella

Pack breakfast from the hotel and proceed to Horton Plains.(30km – 1 Hour 30 Mins). HORTON PLAINS NATIONAL PARK – (32 km) from Nuwara Eliya via Ambewela and Pattipola, is the Horton Plains only 3160 hectares in extent. Known to Sri Lankans as Mahaeliya, it became Horton Plains after Sir Robert Horton, British Governor from 1831- 1837.Horton Plains became a Nature Reserve in 1969 and upgraded as a National Park in 1988 due to its unique watershed and bio-diversity values of the “Cloud Forest Reserve”. Its flora has high level of endemism. The hills are covered with diverse wet low evergreen forest with even large trees grown flattened to the ground on the higher windswept slopes. Horton Plains harbours 52 species of resident birds and 11 species of migrant birds. More than 2,000 to 3,000 Sambhur, Bear Monkey, Leopard, Barking Deer, Giant Squirrel, Fishing Cat, Wild Boar and Hares roam in the forests and grasslands but only seldom they could be seen other than the Sambhur in the evening and morning.. Two escarpments- “World’s End” and “Little World’s End” falling from the Horton Plains 1000 feet and 3000 feet respectively, to the land below and the Baker’s Falls are places you should visit. This is the only National Park where visitors could walk on their own on the designated tracks. Drop Off to Pattipola Railway Station. Train Journey from Pattipola to  Ella (approx. 2 Hrs)  – Observation Class. Pick up from Ella station. Check in to the hotel. Overnight stay at Ella.

Day 8 - Ella / Yala

Breakfast at the hotel. Trek to the Mini Adam’s peak Ella.This beautiful short walk up to the top of Little Adam’s Peak, would take about 45 minutes from the main road.  The road is flat and wide and when you climb half way through the walk you would come across some concrete steps about 200-250 and these steps would take you to the top of the mountain where you can get a panoramic view of the southern coastal belt and on a clear day you may be able to see the ocean.  The average day time temperature is between 23°- 27°. Proceed to Yala. Check in to the hotel. Overnight stay at Kataragama.

Day 9 - Yala / Ahangama

Breakfast at the hotel. Leave to Yala National Park by private Jeep for Morning safari.  Yala is approximately 1259 Km in extent and is located in the south eastern corner of the Island. The terrain is varied, flat plains alternating with rocky outcrops. The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle a must for any wildlife enthusiast with the specialty being the large number of Elephants, Deer, Wild Boar and Sambhur. Proceed to Ahangama. Checking to the hotel. Overnight stay at Ahangama

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Day 10 - Ahangama / Mirissa / Ahangama

Pack breakfast from the hotel and proceed to Mirissa .(20 Km- 45 Mins) Proceed to do Whale Watching. Driver will pick up the clients at 5.00 am. The Whale Watching includes Snack packet & refreshments. Sri Lanka is renowned as the major destination for Whale and Dolphin watching. Sri Lanka is one of best places in the world to see Blue whales and it is also renowned in the world as the best place to see Blue Whales and Sperm Whales on the same sailing.  You will have a close encounter with the largest animal ever to roam the planet, the Blue Whale, seen in high concentrations not seen elsewhere in the world. Blue whale is the largest animal to roam the planet. It is up to 100 feet long and weighing over 200 tons. The secret behind the gigantic size of this animal is its meal—4 tons of tiny shrimps like animals called Krill. Blue Whales swim in almost all the world’s oceans. And They reach near equator waters in the winter. Most of the times they can be seen either alone or in pairs. But occasionally swim with small groups.  Back to the hotel. .(20 Km- 45 Mins). Overnight stay at Ahangama.

Day 11 - Ahangama / Balapitiya / Colombo / Airport

Breakfast at the hotel. Do boat ride on Madu Ganga (River)  – Optional (60 Km -1 hour 10 mins). A perfect creation of nature surrounded by greenery and undisturbed natural habitat, 80km south from the city of Colombo in Balapitiya is the Madu River. The Madu Ganga as it is locally known is a lagoon with 64 small islands which holds ancient monasteries and ruins surrounded by pristine mangrove. A boat ride is a must in Madu River to experience the beauty of nature and to see the wild animals and birds in their natural habitat. The boat ride will take you through mangrove tunnels to explore the wetland and help you experience the magic of nature. Proceed to Colombo. Do a city tour in Colombo with shopping. – Optional (110 Km- 2 hours 30 mins). Colombo – a drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street – the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area, where is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings and the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749. The historic Dawatagaha Mosque and the former Eye Hospital are two buildings in Cinnamon Gardens worth looking at. Also visit the BMICH, see the replica of Avukana Buddha and the Independence Square.

Transfer to Airport to connect the departure flight.

PRICE: $4,650

  • Per person in double occupancy room

  • $950 additional for single room accommodation

price includes

  • Airport transfer upon arrival and departure
  • Private ground transportation to all locations
  • Hotel accommodations
  • All dinners and breakfasts as described in the itinerary
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Expert photography guidance from Tim Vollmer and Marisa Marulli
  • Entrance fees to national parks, museums and other sites as described in the itinerary
  • Afternoon safari at Minneriya National Park
  • Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Temple of Tooth Relic
  • Matale Hindu Temple
  • Train Ride from Kandy to Ella
  • Horton Plains trek
  • Full day Yala safari
  • Whale Watching at Mirissa
  • Galle Fort
  • Boat ride at Negombo

price does not include

  • International airfare to and from Sri Lanka
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • What is not mentioned as included




March 2 - March 13, 2019


$4,650 (per person, based on double occupancy)


Sri Lanka


Field instruction

Class instruction

One-on-one critiques


Negambo fish market

Climb Mihinthalaya

Anuradhapura city of history and temple

Trek to the mini adam’s peak ella.

Ella Gap Waterfall

Yala National Park by private jeep for morning safari

Whale watching

Boat ride on Madu Ganga

City tour in Colombo

Horton Plains National Park

Scenic train journey

Nuwara Eliya tea country

Temple of the sacred tooth relic

Cultural dance

Spice gardens

Dambulla cave temple

Photography guide: Tim Vollmer

Photography guide: Marisa Marulli

Photography guide: Marisa Marulli

Tim has everything. He has the knowledge, the eye, the patience. He is an amazing photographer, one of the best I know. A great person and professional photographer. Highly recommended him - he is just amazing.
— Sharon Hahn
I am very happy to recommend Tim and his work. His landscape photography is simply beautiful. Tim’s appreciation of light, composition and his ability to capture the moment is exquisite; with the results on his site speak for themselves.
— Rocky Kirschner