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Itinerary

Book With Flexibility

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Tour Itinerary

Encounter a country that radiates warmth - from its glorious sunshine to its scorching cuisine and incredibly kind people. This 14-day Premium adventure through Sri Lanka will take you straight to the heart of the country's wealth of cultural riches. Explore the ancient ruins of past civilizations, search for rare and beautiful animals, relax on palm-fringed beaches and receive a welcoming embrace from the locals. A shining gem in the Indian ocean, the teardrop isle will bring nothing but smiles.

Countries Visited

Sri Lanka

  1. Day 1
    Negombo
    Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, you will be met by an Intrepid representative and transferred to your hotel in nearby Negombo. Here you will meet your leader and fellow travellers during a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive early, perhaps take some time to relax on the golden-sand beach under a canopy of blue sky. After your welcome meeting, your leader will take you to the home of a Negombo local for a delicious home-cooked dinner. Sri Lankan food is famous for its rich scents, spices and flavours, and this evening you’ll find out why as you sample fresh seafood and local favourites like pol sambol (a tasty coconut dish) and roast paan (crispy roasted bread). Learn the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine as your taste buds go on a journey.
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Dambulla / Sigiriya
    Rise early this morning for a visit to the Negombo fish market. Morning is the best time to visit the market – your leader will help you navigate the organised frenzy of vendors displaying delicacies like crab, lobsters, and squid. Say goodbye to Negombo and make the drive to Dambulla, where you'll spend the next three nights. Settle in to your hotel then in the late afternoon, head out for one of the highlights of any visit to Sri Lanka, a visit to the magnificent palace of Sigiriya (Lion Rock). This dramatic rocky outcrop, rising from the surrounding plains is topped by a ruined palace. It's a good workout to get to the top – your leader will share stories of the ancient civilisation who once lived atop the rock as you climb, and the sight at the top makes it well worth it. In the evening, return to Dambulla for a Sri Lankan style barbecue dinner. Tuck into a delicious array of fresh grilled fish, meat and vegetables, and watch a demonstration on how to make chilli and coconut sambol, so you can recreate the taste of Sri Lanka at home.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  3. Day 3
    Dambulla / Anuradhapura
    Today you will head to Anuradhapura, the northern point of Sri Lanka’s ‘cultural triangle’, which also contains Polonnaruwa to the east and Kandy to the south-west. This area is bursting with stunning temples and sites of cultural and religious importance. The city of Anuradhapura is one of the country’s most historically significant places and its first ancient capital. Take a step back in time as your leader guides you through the giant stupas of Ruwanweliseya and Jetawanaramaya, and ponder the rise and fall of ancient civilisations as you explore crumbling temples and ruins. Pay a visit to the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree Temple – home to a sacred bodhi tree planted in 236, believed to be the oldest human-planted tree in the world. Stop by the ancient temple of Isurumuniya and see its beautiful carvings that tell stories that are thousands of years old. Return to Dambulla for an evening at leisure.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Dambulla / Polonnaruwa
    After breakfast you will make your way to Polonnaruwa to continue your explorations of the cultural triangle. Following Anuradhapura as the Sinhalese and Chola capital in the 10th century, the area is strewn with ancient riches, in better condition than the ruins of its predecessor. Discover well-preserved temples, tombs and stupas in Polonnaruwa’s Quadrangle complex – it’s not hard to imagine what this place looked like in all its former glory. Visit the remains of the seven-story palace built by King Parakramabahu, the rock temple of Gal Vihara, the giant stupa of Rankot Vihara and the ancient Buddha image house of Lankatilaka, covered in intricate carvings and housing a towering statue of Buddha. Stop by the incredible statue of Parakrama I, at 100 metres tall this is a truly impressive sight. Later in the afternoon, head back for a final evening in Dambulla, where you may like to enjoy a refreshing drink by the lake.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Kandy
    This morning you will take a short drive to the incredible Dambulla Cave Temple. Here you’ll discover five caves filled with around 150 beautiful statues and paintings of Buddha – some as many as 2000 years old. Explore the magical cave complex as your leader explains why this World Heritage-listed site has been a place of worship for thousands of years. In the afternoon, start your journey to Kandy. Along the way, stop off in the city of Matale where you will visit a local spice garden and learn about the spices that have played such an important role in Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. Continue on to Kandy where you’ll have a free evening to explore. Though it’s the second-largest city in the country, Kandy maintains a laidback atmosphere. Perhaps take a peaceful stroll around the city’s centrepiece lake, or ask your leader where you can get your hands on a tasty Sri Lankan curry.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Kandy
    This morning, meet with a local botanist and enjoy their expert insight as you take a guided tour of the Royal Botanical Garden. Your guide will help you spot Yellow Fronted Barbets, Layards Parakeets and Sri Lankan Hanging Parrots, and introduce you to an unbelievable array of orchids. You will also pay a visit to the gem museum and lapidary, where you can learn about the history of gem mining in Sri Lanka and see how gems are turned into beautiful pieces of jewellery. Today’s lunch is particularly special as you will dine at Hela Bojun, a social enterprise founded by the Sri Lankan government to empower, train and employ women from rural communities. In the afternoon you will be welcomed into the home of a local dancer where you’ll have the unique opportunity to watch an exclusive cultural performance in an intimate environment. This evening, visit the famous Temple of the Tooth Relic. Located in the heart of town, this is the most important shrine in the country, housing a relic of a tooth of Buddha taken from his funeral pyre. Arrive in time and you may have the chance to witness the pooja, a small ceremony of reverence involving drummers and dancers.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Nuwara Eliya
    Depart Kandy and board a morning train bound for Nuwara Eliya. Nestled even deeper into tea plantation country, Nuwara Eliya sits at an elevation of 1800 metres, making it one of the coolest regions in Sri Lanka. Favoured by the Scots and English during the colonial-era, remnants of the past can be seen in sculpted gardens and manor homes decorating the city today. On arrival, visit the wonderful AMMA Textile Workshop. The workshop employs mothers from nearby communities, giving them a source of income and teaching transferable skills. Chat with the local women as you learn how their beautiful pieces are woven and dyed. After your visit, enjoy some time to explore the charming town before heading to your accommodation. Tucked away among tea plantations and scenic hills is the Jetwing St. Andrew’s Hotel, a restored Georgian-style mansion and your Feature Stay for the next two nights. A nod to the colonial history of the region, rooms are classically beautiful with all modern amenities included. At its core is the hotel’s sustainable practices which focus on conserving the land it sits on and giving back to nearby communities. This evening perhaps take the time to explore the hotel’s palatial gardens overlooking lush greenery, or settle in for a first-class dining experience at the excellent on-site restaurant.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Nuwara Eliya
    Make a morning visit to the Pedro Tea Estate. Built in 1885, this fascinating factory still features some original pieces of machinery. You’ll have a new appreciation for your humble morning brew after learning about the production process and discovering how the finest tea leaves are transformed into Ceylon black tea. If touring the factory inspires a thirst, you’ll have the chance to sample some of the final product yourself. Then head to the sky-scraping Single Tree temple and embark on a short 40-minute hike, taking in spectacular views of the surrounding hills and tea fields. After your hike, sit down for a well-deserved lunch at the prestigious Nuwara Eliya Golf Club – one of the oldest golf clubs in Asia. This afternoon, continue your journey into Nuwara Eliya’s colonial past and head to the Grand Hotel for a marvellous high tea experience. Converted from the former home of a British governor, the hotel now offers up an impressive selection of tea, paired with delightful finger food and confectionary.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Yala National Park
    This morning, make your way to the sacred town of Kataragama. On the way there, make a stop at a beautiful small town in the highlands, Ella. Here, visit Ella Gap which offers beautiful vistas out across the plains. In the evening, head to Yala National Park, Sri Lanka's premier wildlife reserve. Here you’ll board a 4x4 and embark on a safari through open grasslands, lush forest and tranquil lagoons. Your guide will carefully listen out for the rustling of concealed animals that would go unnoticed by those not in the know. There's a good chance of spotting crocodiles, elephants, monkeys and buffaloes and if you are lucky, you may even spot a leopard – the park is considered one of the best places in the world to see these ever-elusive beauties. After an exciting day of wildlife spotting, retire to your resort for dinner.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Yala National Park
    Today you will enjoy another safari in Yala National Park. As Sri Lanka’s second largest national park, there’s so much to uncover here. Perhaps take the chance to do some birdwatching; Yala is home to some 215 bird species, including the Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Painted Stork and Crimson-fronted Barbet. Keep an eye out for prideful peacocks strutting their way through the park. If Yala is closed today, the group will visit the fantastic Bundala National Park instead. Enjoy an included dinner at your resort this evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Galle
    Take an optional visit Kataragama Temple in the morning to see the shrine dedicated to Kataragama Deviyo (resident god). Later you will transfer to Galle, a beautiful seaside town near Sri Lanka's southernmost tip. Settle into your hotel, then follow your leader on a walking tour through what is considered to be the best-preserved colonial town in Sri Lanka. At its core is a Dutch-built fort surrounded on three sides by the ocean, and its streets hold a treasure trove of ancient mosques and churches, museums, boutiques and more. Uncover Galle’s glory as your leader shares tales from its past through to the present day.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Galle
    This morning you will be joined by a local host who will take you to the farmers market to learn about all the fresh ingredients that make up Sri Lanka’s flavoursome and fragrant recipes. After perusing the colourful market stalls, head back to your host’s Dutch style home and take part in a Sri Lankan cooking class. Get a behind the scenes look at Sri Lankan cuisine as you conjure up some Ambulthiyal fish curry, lentil dhal, eggplant curry and something sweet for dessert. The afternoon is yours to spend. There are some wonderful ways to pass the time here. Perhaps visit a cinnamon plantation just outside of Galle to learn about the process of making the spice. Birders may wish to explore the Hiyare Rainforest Reservoir on the outskirts of the city. As always, speak to your knowledgeable leader for information on how to book or access these optional activities.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  13. Day 13
    Colombo
    Bid farewell to Galle and make your way to Colombo, Sri Lanka’s bustling capital city. On arrival, head to the charming courtyard restaurant in a former home of a family from Jaffna and enjoy a fantastic lunch comprising of dishes from northern Sri Lanka. In the afternoon, follow your leader through the buzzing streets of the Colombo Fort on a walking tour. Make a stop at the Pettah fruit and vegetable market where you’ll be fully immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of Colombo as you watch vendors and shoppers go about their business. Visit the striking candy cane coloured Red Mosque and its soaring minarets that can be seen from across the city. Further explorations will reveal Dutch and British influenced architecture, a hangover from the city’s colonial past. This evening you may like to join your leader and fellow travellers for a final group dinner to see out your Sri Lankan adventure.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  14. Day 14
    Colombo
    Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you’d like to stay on in Colombo, we can help arrange additional accommodation for you on request. Why not soak up all that Colombo has to offer on an immersive one-day Urban Adventure tour? Visit www.urbanadventues.com for more details.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • Negombo - Home-cooked welcome dinner
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Negombo - Fish market
  • Dambulla - Local BBQ dinner
  • Anuradhapura - Bodhi Tree Temple
  • Anuradhapura - World Heritage Site of ancient kingdom ruins
  • Anuradhapura - Isurumuniya Temple
  • Anuradhapura - Ruwanweliseya Stupa
  • Anuradhapura - Jetawanaramaya Stupa
  • Polonnaruwa - Site of ancient ruins
  • Polonnaruwa - Statue of Parakramabahu I
  • Polonnaruwa - Rankot Vihara
  • Polonnaruwa - Quadrangle
  • Polonnaruwa - Lankatilaka
  • Polonnaruwa - Gal Vihara
  • Matale - Spice Garden
  • Dambulla - Cave Temples
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth with pooja ceremony
  • Kandy - Private cultural dance performance
  • Kandy - Lunch at Hela Bojun
  • Kandy - Gem museum & lapidary workshop visit
  • Nuwara Eliya - AMMA textile workshop
  • Nuwara Eliya - Pedro Tea Estate visit
  • Nuwara Eliya - High Tea
  • Nuwara Eliya - Single Tree Hill hiking
  • Nuwara Eliya - Lunch at Nuwara Eliya Golf Club
  • Yala/Udawalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
  • Ella - Ella Gap view point
  • Yala/Udawalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
  • Galle - Galle Fort Walking tour
  • Galle - Farmer's market and home cooking class
  • Colombo - City walking tour

Meals
13 Breakfast(s) Included
4 Lunch(es) Included
4 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Premium

Health and Safety Protocols for Intrepid Tours

Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced protocols in hygiene and sanitation. We will put in place additional measures, in line with government health advice and with global health authorities (including the WHO and CDC) to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Hand Hygiene
Handwashing is one of the most important safety measures to prevent the spread of disease. Intrepid will actively reinforce its importance by:

  • Implementing a handwashing policy that dictates when, how often and for how long all staff, leaders and crew must wash their hands on-trip.
  • Promote the importance of hand hygiene to customers through signage and online customer material.
  • Contract suppliers that have hand hygiene protocols in place
  • Contract suppliers that provide hand sanitizer in public places (where applicable)
  • Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of hand hygiene via training.

Respiratory Hygiene
Practicing good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of disease by reducing the number of droplets in the air when you sneeze or cough. Intrepid will:

  • Actively reinforce its importance to customers through signage and online customer material.
  • Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of respiratory hygiene via training.
  • Contract suppliers who have respiratory hygiene protocols in place.

Masks
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them. Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy and that the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene must also form part of the strategy.

Medical/Surgical Masks
On our trips, regardless of destination, the following people must wear medical/surgical masks:

  • Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they have been tested yet.
  • People caring for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases (outside of hospitals/clinics).

In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them.

  • People over 60
  • People with underlying health conditions
Intrepid will:
  • Provide medical/surgical masks as part of the First Aid Kits carried by leaders.
  • Educate leaders, crew, staff and customers on the correct method to wear, handle and dispose of a mask.
  • Require all customers, leaders and staff to comply with any local regulations or requirements that require the use of a mask in public or in certain places

Fabric Masks
Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is not necessary for the public to wear fabric masks generally.

However in certain circumstances, in places where community transmission of COVID-19 is high and/or physical distancing is not possible (e.g. on public transport, in shops or in other confined environments) then a fabric mask can be a useful barrier to prevent the spread of virus.

Fabric masks be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardised like medical masks. Fabric masks should:

  • Cover the nose, mouth, and chin
  • Be secured with elastic loops or ties
  • Include multiple layers
  • Be washable and reusable.

Sanitation
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced sanitation processes. Intrepid will take the following measures:

  • Require all suppliers to detail their cleaning and sanitation protocols
  • Audit/monitor all suppliers on their cleanliness and sanitation.
  • All cleaning and disinfecting products must be approved by health authorities (e.g. WHO).
Accomodation
  • All rooms must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available in public areas.
  • There must be a process in place for customers to escalate any concerns regarding hygiene or sanitation.
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Camping
  • All tents must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use.
  • If staying at a campground, ensure all bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. If the area is remote, with limited facilities and/or minimal staffing, then customers should be informed to bring their own hygiene equipment.
Transport
  • All mini buses, transfers, charters, overland trucks must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer should be made available
  • Close top bins with bin liners should be available on board and disposed of at every stop
Restaurants
  • Must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day
  • Tables and chairs must be disinfected after each guest use
  • Avoid buffets where possible. If buffets are used, prevent customers from handling food and operating machines (e.g. self-serve coffee stations)
  • Either disinfect shared use objects (e.g. table salt) between guest use. Where possible, Intrepid will try to source safe alternatives to single serve packaging.
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
  • Preferred: Provide hand sanitizer to guests at the door before entry
Activities
  • All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guest us
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Contactless/low touch
Limiting the number of surfaces touched by large numbers of people helps prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, it is important to proactively move towards contactless or low touch solutions for travel. Intrepid will:
  • Prioritise contactless/low touch as a key feature when sourcing new tech or solutions.
Brand Material
  • Remove any paperwork required on the ground (e.g. signing forms, feedback cards)
  • If details must be entered using a shared device (e.g. insurance details), then it must be disinfected between each customer. Preference is to move entirely to digital solutions.
Contracting
  • Accommodation should provide online check in (no paperwork)
  • Contactless keys (e.g. QR codes)
  • Contactless tech (e.g. lights)
  • Online ticketing for attractions and transport
  • Online payment

Physical Distancing
Physical distancing is important in the preventing the spread of COVID-19 as it can be transmitted via droplets sprayed when coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling etc…
Intrepid will take the following measures:

  • Require all suppliers to detail their physical distancing protocols
  • Follow local regulation and advice on the need for physical distancing.
Accommodation Intrepid operates product that is based on twin share accommodation and allows single travellers the chance to share accommodation with a stranger.
We will continue to offer this as an option. Single supplements are available for single travellers who do not wish to share a room. We will work closely with accommodation suppliers to ensure increased availability of single rooms.

Camping
  • Consider whether it is appropriate to offer single tents for solo travellers as customers will be much closer together then in a traditional room.
  • Consider whether staggering meal times may reduce the number of people sharing a dining tent.
Transport
Intrepid will consider the following factors when designing or amending transport options on trips.
  • Local laws or requirements regarding physical distancing on transport
  • Hygiene protocols of the transport provider
  • Level of active community transmission in the destination
Possible risks include:
  • Using designated seating on transport. Customers have assigned seats throughout the trip.
  • If trip is longer than 15 minutes and air conditioning is available, it must be set to external airflow rather than to recirculation or windows should be opened for the duration of the trip.
  • Designing or amending itineraries to reduce the duration of travel.
  • Increasing the size of the vehicle, using multiple vehicles.
In Public
  • Educate all leaders, crew, staff and customers to maintain a 1.5m distance wherever practical in public (e.g. queueing at a museum).
  • Proactively design product to avoid crowds by visiting attractions at off-peak times.
  • Proactively design product to avoid crowds on public transport or at airports where practical.
Restaurants
  • Follow local regulations on table spacing and guest seating in restaurants. Wherever possible, try to ensure groups are sitting at their own table without strangers in restaurants.
  • Proactively design product that focuses on experiences that assist with physical distancing (e.g. picnics over crowded marketplaces) if relevant for that destination.
Health Screening & Tracking
Screening for COVID-19 helps isolate anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and stops the spread of disease. It is likely to become more common for future travellers.

Pre-Departure (Brand Material)
Customers should be informed as part of ‘Essential Trip Information (ETIs) or other similar trip notes if their trip is likely to include any of the following:
  • Testing for COVID-19 before being able to pass through immigration and/or board planes.
  • Negative test results to be uploaded for visa purposes.
  • Thermal temperature checks in airports, train or bus stations, major hotels or attractions.
Pre-Departure (Customers)
Pre-departure, all customers are required to fill out an online questionnaire (“self- declaration/assessment” form) to identify any high-risk customers before travel.

Extra qualifiers will be included to address customers with symptoms that can be contributed to pre-existing conditions (e.g. breathlessness to asthma).

Customers answering YES to any question should be removed from the departure and appropriate arrangements made.

COVID-19 Testing
Intrepid will not require a negative COVID-19 test as proof of health from customers or leaders at this stage unless it is required by local law or regulations.

This is partially due to the lack of availability of testing for people with no symptoms in many parts of the world and may change in due course.

On Trip
  • Ask customers, leaders, crew and staff to monitor their own health
  • Display appropriate signage on COVID-19 symptoms
  • Educate leaders, crew and staff on how to identify COVID-19 symptoms
  • Describe COVID-19 symptoms in group meetings
Removal of customers, leaders, crew
If customers, leaders or crew show symptoms of COVID-19 and are either unable to or unwilling to be tested, Intrepid reserves the right to remove them from our trips to prevent any risk to others.

Flexible Booking Conditions
Customers will be supported by flexible booking conditions to stay home if unwell or displaying symptoms

Flexible Work Conditions
Intrepid will support leaders and crew to stay home rather than lead a trip if they are unwell or displaying symptoms. Schedules will need to be created with back up availability of leaders/crew.

Data Collection & Health Tracking
Intrepid will assist government health departments in tracking and tracing any customers, staff, leaders, crew or suppliers at risk of contracting COVID-19 via exposure to a known case and/or outbreak by providing relevant details in line with privacy laws and regulations.

COVID Tracking apps
Intrepid strongly recommends that customers and staff download COVID tracking apps (e.g. COVIDSafe in Australia, StayHomeSafe in Hong Kong) to assist in reducing the spread of disease within their communities.

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Accommodations

Hotels (11 nights), Nuwara Eliya features stay(2 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.3
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.8

Ratings based off 124 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 7 reviews with comments only

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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