We (me and my wife) spent time together amidst verdant hills, cultural sites and enjoyed a bit of city life of Srilanka. It was the exact Srilanka package tour we wanted to have, exactly the way we wanted to have it.
Srilanka package tour-Guest Post
I was invited by Seerendipity tours to write an article on our Srilanka package tour to publish on their website. That’s why I’m writing this article, I thought of writing this article for them because they have provided a very valuable service to us in Sri Lanka. Their service was very good, time saving and trustworthy. We (me and my wife) spent time together amidst verdant hills, cultural sites and enjoyed a bit of city life of Srilanka. It was the exact Srilanka package tour we wanted to have, exactly the way we wanted to have it.
Our Sri Lanka package tour in brief
Day 1 of the tour (24 May):: Drive to Sigiriya from Colombo
We met our guide at the arrival lounge, he had been waiting for us with a name board indicating our names. Afterwards, we left to Sigiriya after a brief interval. However, we did not want to have a big break, despite our long flight from Lebanon. We wanted to gt to the hotel in Sigiriya as soon as possible and have a rest. In fact, there had been few places to visit in the way.
DAMBULLA GOLDEN CAVE TEMPLE
PINNAWALA ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE
Overnight stay in Sigiriya
Day 2 of the tour 25 May:: Drive to Kandy from Sigiriya
After the breakfast leave for Kandy, En-route visit Sigiriya rock fortress,
TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH
KANDYAN CULTURAL SHOW
Overnight stay in Kandy
Day 3 of the tour:: Day tour to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy
Breakfast at the hotel and leave for Colombo airport via Pinnawala en-route visit pinnawala elephant orphanage.
Overnight stay in Ramboda/Nuwara
Day 4 of the tour 27 May:: Return journey to Colombo
Today is the last day of our Srilankan tour package and we ha had to leave for Colombo right after the breakfast. The journey took around 4 hours with few stop on teh way. Thereafter we had a Colombo city tour and later left for Colombo airport.
End of the Srilanka tour package
Booking Srilanka package tour with Seerendipity tours
Even though I have purchased many other products online this is the first time I booked a tour package online with a foreign company. I bit hesitated at the very beginning but as the discussion went by I was convinced about their genuineness.
This Srilanka package tour was a sudden decision of my wife but I wanted to do something else rather than going on a foreign trip. My wife wanted to visit Sri Lanka for a long time, but it did not materialize somehow. So, we decided to go to Srilanka this time, of course, it was a short holiday package.
How did we find the Srilanka best tour operator?
I was started to search on the internet for various options for our Srilanka package tour. Actually, we had only 2 days before our Srilanka package. Therefore we had no time waste and I immediately shortlisted several tour packages and tour operators. Srilanka package tour of Seerendipity tours was also among them. Some of the tour operators were from Dubai (I was based in Dubai) and Some of the tour operators were local companies.
Their service was very good and very fast it did not take more than 30minutes to respond to our first email. And later whenever we asked a change (we wanted to change tour itinerary many times), they responded very quickly. They helped us to plan the entire Srilanka package within several hours, and we just had to write only a few emails. It was very convenient to work with their system.
Prices of Srilanka tour package local TO vs Foreign TO
When it comes to prices the prices of local operators were far better than foreign tour operators, therefore, I decided to go-ahead with a local tour operator.
Later I called few companies including Seerendipity tours and asked for a quotation for our trip. Even before that, I was checking the tour packages published on the websites of those travel companies. But we could not find the Srilanka package tour we looked for.
Organizing Srilanka package with Seerendipity tours
We love travelling and we have travelled a lot. I normally like to explore the beaches and city life of the destination when I travel but my wife on the other hand like culture, tradition and things like historical sites. We wanted to have a Colombo city tour in the first places and then we wanted to go to the mountains of Srilanka to see waterfalls, tea gardens and enjoy great vistas. Seerendipity tour had a tour itinerary on their website, which is a bit similar to what we wanted to have but not the exact match.
So I called Seerendipity tours on the phone but the line was not clear. I asked them to contact me on Whatsapp. Then someone from seerendipity tours (later I came to know it was Sanjeewa) was on the Whatsapp and discussed with me. Initially, I wanted them to organize our tour package to see Kandy and Nuwara Eliya and I asked them for it. In about 30 minuted they sent me an email with the tour itinerary, in which they covered only Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. I should make a note on their corresponding, they were very fast in correspondence and they send very detailed documents all the time. Some tour operators responded to us on the next day (a bit late) and some other sent us itineraries on the same day but very little information. After considering all these factors, we have decided to book our Srilanka package tour with Seerendipity tours.
Now, we wanted some changes to our tour package and I asked them to add the Colombo city tour to the package because Colombo city tour was one of the main requirements. They sent us the revised tour itinerary for our Srilanka package tour with Colombo city tour, but the rates up marginally. Still, the arrival and departure transfers had to be organized our own, why not ask seerendipity tours to add arrival and departure transfer too, my wife suggested me, indeed it was a good idea. My next email to Seerendipity tours sent asking for another change. And they provided me with a tour package with both arrival and departure transfers.
Now everything is done by seerendipity tours so that we have nothing to do other than enjoying our holiday if it goes well, hopefully, it goes well! We entrusted Seerendipity tours in organizing our entire Srilanka holiday. We got the tour package for the entire circuit from arrival to departure, it was 4 days 3 nights Srilanka package. 1 night Colombo, 1 night Kandy and 1 night Bnetota beach and the package also includes a Colombo city tour.
We wanted to study the entire program in detail before making the final decision. We had a lengthy discussion on the tour itinerary that we received Seerendipity tours. My wife wanted to make another change, she wanted to visit some cultural sites if possible, but I had a doubt if it was possible, because we were having some time constraints.
But, I had sent an email to seerendipity tours and asked them if it was possible to add Dambulla and Sigiriya to the tour. Fortunately the answer was positive under one condition, we had to eliminate the overnight stay in Colombo but still, the Colombo city tour was there. In a few minutes later we got the tour package with an overnight stay in Sigiriya, Kandy and Bentota.
We again had a lengthy discussion on the program in order of fine-tuning it. We were going to ask them for another change, by now we have done many changes to the tour itinerary it was revised about 5 times. Even though the beach is one thing we like most we wanted to evade it because it was a long drive from Kandy to Bentota around 5 hours. So we wanted to get rid of such as long drive. We asked the seerendipity tours for another change instead of Bentota hotel we wanted to stay at a hotel in Ramboda.
We came to know Ramboda was very beautiful isolated remote area and has a very beautiful surrounding (while we were googling). The hotels we wanted to have is built on a westward slope of Ramboda plateau. It commands a very beautiful view over the surrounding area. We did some changes to the tour itinerary again and made a sketch of our dream vacation, like this;
Day .1 drive to Sigiriya from the airport and visit Sigiriya and Dambulla
Day .2 drive to Kandy and visit temple of the tooth relic, royal botanical garden, Kandyan cultural show
Day .3 drive to Nuwara Eliya and visit waterfalls, tea gardens, tea factory, Gregory lake and city tour in Nuwara Eliya
Day .4 drive to the airport via pinnawala en-route visit Pinnawala elephant orphanage and Colombo city tour
This was the sketch we sent to them and we received the detailed tour itinerary for it. The tour package perfectly matched with our flight. Because we were arriving at Colombo international airport at 0830hrs on 24th may 2018 (EK 665) and our departure was on 27th May 2018 at 2200 hrs (EK 664).
We did not want to have expensive hotels for our tour and asked them to accommodate us in 3star good hotels. We had constant contact with Sanjeewa of Seerendipity tours and he helped us to organise our tour package. He suggested very good hotels we liked them a lot, they are nice, clean, very good food and good service too.
We liked the tour package and confirmed our Srilanka package with Sanjeewa. I sent him an email confirming that we go-ahead with Serendipity tours as we have discussed. Next day we got an email from Sanjeewa with all the booking details of the hotels and contact details of our driver guide.
I thought they made mistake and they have forgotten to collect the payment from us. Then I asked them how we make the payment and I said we were ready to make an advanced payment. But to my surprise, they did not want to collect any advance payment from us. It was not necessary to make an advanced payment until they collect the payment on arrival. I feel it was a good decision of Seerendipity tours because some people are worried to make payment to unknown persons or companies before arriving the destination, due to the online fraud activities.
By having talked to them many times and knowing the way they assisted us to organize our Srilanka package we did not have any doubt about their genuineness and we were ready to make an advance payment. But they did not want us to make any advance payment (if we made payment at that time we had to pay taxes as well). And asked us to make the full payment on arrival.
We had to send all the flight details to Seerendipity tours after we confirmed the tour with them, so we did it. On the day of the arrival, one of their representatives was at the arrival lounge, waiting for us. We met him and he took us to our vehicle just outside the arrival lounge, he introduced us to Shelton our driver/guide.
Everything works perfectly and our Srilanka package tour was one of the best holidays that we had so far. We went on this trip because of our wedding anniversary that was falling on 27th may. In every hotel we got a very nice room with beautiful flower decorations, I thought because of our anniversary and everything on the compliment. Later we came to know through our guide that Seerendipity tours have informed the hotels about our anniversary. When I was in a discussion with Sanjeewa I told him about the anniversary (only once) and told him we wanted to have a leisurely tour. He had registered it and arranged all the decorations for us. It was perfect customer care of seerendipity tours.
It was very well organized and we had well balanced Srilanka package with sightseeing, leisure and shopping. I think I should put a special note on our driver/guide Shelton, he is around 55 years old and well-experienced guide. He gave us every bit of information on Srilanka and the places we encountered during our Srilanka package.
After having a very nice tour we returned to the airport at around 1800hrs on 29th May, Shelton brought us to the airport 1 hour before starting the check-in, but it was totally OK. Because we had the opportunity to do some last moment shopping at the duty-free shops.
Here are the details for the tour package cost
- Trip Type: Sightseeing tour package
- Cost: USD 570
- Duration: 3 Nights 4 Days
- Accommodation on a double room on B/B basis in 3* hotels (Daily breakfast, included)
- Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking driver/guide
- Arrival/Departure transfers
- Tea factory
- Silk garden
- Gem Museum
- Kandy city tour
- Colombo city tour
- Spice garden
- Wolvendaal church
- Gamgarama temple
- Nuwara Eliya city tour
- Buddhist temple Kandy
- Gregory Lake
- All taxes
- Airport taxes
- Elephant orphanage Pinnawala
- Temple of the tooth relic
- Kandyan cultural show
- Royal botanical garden
- Sigiriya rock fortress
- Dambulla golden cave temple
- Expenses of personal nature such as tipping, porters, laundry, telephones, etc.