Discover Sri Lanka’s fascinating history and culture, diverse landscapes, and ancient cities and palaces using your camera’s lens as a window into this fabulous world.
Whether you’re just starting out and want to use your phone camera or are an experienced photographer with the latest lenses, you’ll broaden your photographic perspective with these eye-opening experiences…while making photography images you will love. This tour gives you a great introduction into Sri Lanka’s distinctive culture, from the outstanding ruins of the former capital cities, the stunning rock fortress of Sigiriya, to the picturesque tea plantations in the breathtaking central mountain regions. We take a guided tour of Kandy, experience the old-world charm of Galle, the amazing Buddhist murals and carvings at Dambulla Cave Temples, as well as Trincomalee’s picturesque beaches.
Group walks, short focused photography exercises, and one on one coaching are interspersed with opportunities to explore surprisingly-intact ancient monuments, colourful markets, and lush landscapes, all while meeting friendly locals.
Facilitated by Mumbai-based travel photographer Jay Weinstein, best known for his popular international photography project ‘so I asked them to smile’ (soiaskedthemtosmile.com, awandererseye.com), this tour gives beginners and intermediates a deeper insight into Sri Lanka, as well as photography knowledge and tips. It offers fabulous perspectives of architecture, landscapes and people, with a ‘behind the scenes’ look at this ancient culture.
Arrive Colombo airport. We have a late afternoon meeting with the group. Overnight Negombo
After breakfast, visit fishing boats and a few other local sights. Drive to the magical ancient city of Anuradhapura, the former capital of Sri Lanka. En route we visit a coconut plantation for a demonstration of toddy tapping as well as have a jeep safari through Wilpattu National park. Overnight Anuradhapura
There’s a bird watching walk for the early risers. After breakfast, we go on a sightseeing tour of the fascinating Buddhist stupas and ruins of the ancient capital of Anuradhapura. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon before a late afternoon tour takes you to the beautiful hill-top location of Mihintale, famous as the place where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka. Overnight Anuradhapura.
Enjoy the scenery as we drive to Trincomalee stopping on the way at the Kanniya Hotsprings and other local sights including Koneshwaram Temple and Fort Fredrick. Overnight Trincomalee
Take an early whale and dolphin watching boat trip. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the beach, go snorkeling, relax or enjoy a relaxing massage. Overnight Trincomalee
Today we visit the outstanding ancient monuments of Polonnaruwa, the second former capital of the country, for a guided tour. After lunch we have a short drive to Habarana. There is some free time in the afternoon to relax with an ayurvedic massage or have a swim in the resort’s garden pool. Overnight Habarana
An early visit to Sigiriya Rock, one of the most amazing sights in Sri Lanka makes a great start to the morning. This is followed by a visit to the colossal Buddha statue at Aukana. Later in the afternoon, we visit a nearby national park for elephant sighting. Overnight Habarana.
This morning we drive to Kandy, en route visiting the amazing Dambulla cave temples. We then have a guided tour and lunch at one of Sri Lanka’s spice plantations. In the early evening we visit the Temple of the Tooth, the most-visited sacred sight in Sri Lanka. Overnight Kandy.
A walk around Kandy’s famous Botanical gardens is on the agenda for the morning followed by a short walking tour of the town. In the afternoon we visit the gem factory or have some free time to wander or enjoy an ayurvedic massage etc. There’s a cultural dance and fire walk in the late afternoon. Overnight Kandy
Drive through beautiful tea plantations to Nuwara Eliya. On the way, we visit a tea factory to see how Sri Lanka’s famous tea is made and in the late afternoon we have a driving town of the tour. Overnight Nuwara Eliya
This morning there is an optional trek at Horton Plains National Park to see the World’s End cliff and Bakers Falls. After lunch, we have a scenic train trip to the lovely mountain town of Ella and in the evening we have a cooking demonstration and dinner with some friendly locals. Overnight Ella
We have another early optional trek this morning to Little Adam’s Peak. After a drive to Tissamahara and some free time, we have a safari at Yala National Park in the late afternoon. Yala is famous for its leopards and other animals including elephants, deer, sloth bears, crocodiles, wild boars and a large variety of birds. Overnight Tissamahara.
After breakfast we drive to Galle with a visit to the Udawalawe Elephant Transit home on the way, as well as a photo stop for the stilt fisherman. Enjoy a free afternoon. Overnight Galle
This morning we do a walking tour of the historic Galle Fort area. Galle Fort, on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Enjoy a free afternoon. Overnight Galle
Drive to Colombo, en route visiting a moonstone mine. We have a city tour and free time for shopping in the afternoon. Overnight Colombo
Depart any time today.
Your 16-day experience includes air-conditioned travel, fabulous accommodation, all tours, entrance fees, train ride, local guide, photography facilitator, some meals and bottled water.
Tour Price $4490 per person twin share.
(Single supplement $890)
Dates – 2nd to 17th October 2018
Jay Weinstein is a Mumbai-based, Hindi and English-speaking photographer of mainly Australian-American heritage. At the age of 3, he moved to India with his schoolteacher parents and spent the next 12 years living in Vrindavan, a historic town filled with temples and monkeys. At 15, his family moved back to Australia to facilitate his secondary education. Though Jay thought he was done with India, he ended up returning year after year, drawn by her overpowering, vibrant, chaotic cadence. His passion for photography was ignited on these trips. Later, his profession had him traveling from the lush, palm-dotted southern states to the breathtaking Himalayan mountains of Nepal; the ancient majestic forts of Rajasthan to the unending paddy fields of West Bengal. These gradually transformed into the photography travel trips he is now addicted to!
Jay brings to his work a unique charm and an eye for hidden beauty. Through the easy rapport he builds with his subjects, he creates unforgettable images that transport one to the heart of India and its people. See more of Jay’s work on this website – www.jaywphotography.com
Jay has been working on a wonderful photography project over the last couple of years called ‘So I asked them to smile’. To view photos, click this link – https://www.facebook.com/soIaskedthemtosmile/
Short theory sessions and focused practice time cover portraiture, basic composition, point of view and other topics. There will be regular ‘photo’ walks where participants focus on a specific photography element for a limited time and can then go freestyle. Participants are always encouraged to make the most of any magic moments. Our meditative approach to photography also leaves plenty of room for participants to wander ahead and explore their photography independently.
Other Topics covered include –
Respectful and culture-sensitive interactions
Breathe then see – meditative approach to photography
What makes an image interesting?
Portraits – etiquette, approach and composition etc
Point of View – finding the unique
Beauty in the big picture
Beauty in the detail
ISO and shutter speed
Aperture and lenses
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on altered circumstances.
Thank you so much for introducing me to India. It has been a wonderful experience in so many ways – the countryside, the temples, the food, the company of like-minded travellers. Your care and spirituality allowed me to open up to it all.
Tour: Heart of the south
Our tour of Southern India far exceeded our expectations. The informative journey took us to so many places which really highlighted the life and culture of Southern India. We would recommend this tour to anyone who wants an in-depth and behind the scenes view of Indian life.
Geoff & Wendy
Mt Martha Investor
Indian Tour: Heart of the South
Thank you for making my trip to India such an enjoyable one. The tours that you run are wonderful and it is comforting to have such a caring person run them. I had an experience of a lifetime and will never forget my time in the South of India with you and your group. Everything about the trip educated me, helped me grow and taught me what really matters in life. Thank you again.
Primary School Teacher
Indian Tour: Heart of the South
I really want to thank Touch of Spirit Tours for making my trip to India so memorable and such a wonderful experience. I had my apprehensions about coping and really being out of my ‘comfort zone.’ I had visions of getting seriously ill or being mugged. Instead I found the Indian people were truly lovely, always smiling and willing to help. We had so many adventures in such a short time and you went out of your way to make sure that we were happy and enjoying ourselves. Nothing was any trouble and I personally appreciate the attention which was given to every detail.
Melbourne Yoga Teacher
Indian Tour: Body Mind Spirit Healing