This is an amazing trip that provide traveller with an opportunity to explore Sri Lanka on it's own way. The trip highlights a capital city Colombo, Wildlife and Sri Lankan culture.
Day 01 - Airport - Bolgoda
Upon arrival meet & greet and transfer to your private Bungalow in Bolgoda. Check-in at Medagama River Retreat. Rest of the day at leisure to relax.
MEDAGAMA RIVER RETREAT – BOLGODA www.medagama.com
Bolgoda Lake is the largest and most beautiful fresh water lake with the highest bio-diversity in the island. The added advantage is that it is situated not more than 20km from the commercial capital Colombo. It is full of mangroves giving rise to a rich diversity in aquatic fauna and flora.
By the water's edge of this lake is a beautiful holiday bungalow named The Medagama River Retreat. The calmness and tranquillity of the area adds to the charm of the bungalow and its surrounds. The River Retreat with an experienced chef to cater to the taste buds of discerning guests has three air-conditioned rooms and a spacious garden. The expansive lawn is an ideal playground for kids of all ages. Furthermore, the Retreat has its own swimming pool & for adventure lovers, its own Mini boat-house where supervised canoe & boat rides can be arranged.
Dinner and overnight stay at Medagama River Retreat.
Day 02 - Bolgoda
After breakfast full day at leisure or Optional for Lake exploration. Canoe are available free of charge for guests at Medagama River Retreat. Previous canoeing experience is not required and all safety gear is provided too.
Bolgoda Lake spread out over a very large area was extensively used during the Dutch & British occupation periods as a bird hunting ground. The location is also popular as a traditional lake fishing area. Although angling is a common way of fishing in this lake, a very prominent and a primitive method is by installing fences erected on the lake as a kind of native trap. The lake is also a popular destination for water sport lovers.
Today you will be given an opportunity to try a river crossing in a traditional human powered ferry as well.
Optional visit to the Commercial Capital of Sri Lanka - Colombo also could be done today.
COLOMBO is Sri Lanka’s commercial capital with Great shopping arcades, luxury hotels & restaurants, Karaoke Bars, Casinos- which has the highest winning percentage in the world, night-clubs and other entertainment facilities
Colombo is an important port in the Indian Ocean since ancient time. The traders from the middle-east used Sri Lanka as an exchange centre. The Arab traders came to gather the ivory, the precious stones and spices such as cinnamons, cardamom, cloves and pepper, which were highly priced in Europe.
Even a commercial city, the needs of the leisure travellers can be fulfilled with the range of activities available in the city. Great shopping arcades, luxury hotels restaurants, Karaoke Bars, Casinos, night-clubs and other entertainment facilities available within the city limits.
There are many locations relating to the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial times. The Colombo Museum, Vihara Maha Devi Park, Old Parliament, World Trade Center, Zoo, Dutch Museum, Kelani Viharaya, National Art Gallery. Folk Art Center- Kotte, Natural History Museum, BMICH, Municipal Museum, Fort Railway Station dates back to 1904, Wolfandhal Church and Vaneshwara Kovil and main tourist attractions in Colombo.
Dinner and overnight stay at Medagama River Retreat.
Day 03 - Bolgoda - Sinharaja
After breakfast proceed to Sinharajah Rain forest via Rathnapura - City of Gems.
RATNAPURA - CITY OF GEMS
A land of stirring myth and legend, for you raises your eyes. This area has a long history for finest gems in the world specifically best rubies in the world.
The extent to which Ratnapura still yields its fabulous gems is sufficient to account for the early tales of their profusion and splendour. Yes, Ratnapura (also called the city of rubies) remains to this day the convergence of Sri Lanka's mineral wealth, the place to which the detritus of the rocks sweep down and are held lovingly in the dips and rises of a land that seems to stir in its sleep, then pulls the coverlets of green and gold around it. Gem collections can be seen at the National Museum, Ratnapura, and a number of private museums.
GEM INDUSTRY Gems are a very important mineral resource in Sri Lanka. According to the chronicles, Sri Lankan gem industry has a very long history and dates back even before the 6th century B.C. It is one of the oldest industries of Sri Lanka, which still plays a major contribution to Sri Lankan economy. In ancient times Sri Lanka was known as the "Ratnadeepa" (the island of gems) by foreigners. There is much evidence available on the ancient Sri Lankan gem industry and gems and they are found in the chronicles and records of monks, tourists, explorers, historians and others.
En route visit a Gem pit & a Gem museum in Rathnapura.
Visit to a Rubber Plantation and a factory.
RUBBER production was established in Sri Lanka in 1876 with the planting of rubber plants imported from Brazil. The rubber products manufacturing industry emerged in the 1950s primarily to retreat tires and the industry expanded rapidly after the introduction of free trade policies and investment promotion zones in the late 1970s. At present, the value of the rubber products manufacturing sector is five times greater than the export value of raw rubber from Sri Lanka. However, the plantation sector remains an important component as it is the 'resource base' or the primary competitive advantage of Sri Lanka 's rubber industry. Dinner and overnight stay at a basic forest lodge bordering the forest.
Day 04 - Sinharaja
SINHARAJA RAIN FOREST is a world heritage site, which can also be described as a Tropical Lowland Rainforest or Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest. Whatever its ‘technical’ name, it is undoubtedly a rich treasure trove of nature with a great diversity of habitats and a vast repository of Sri Lanka’s endemic species found nowhere else in the world. Bird Watching in this ecosystem is particularly interesting because it is home to 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka! Named as a world heritage site in 1989, this lowland evergreen rain forest is steeped in deep legend and mystery. The word ‘Sinharaja’ means, Lion (Sinha) King (Raja), and it is popular belief that the legendary origin of the Sinhala people is from the union between a princess and the lion king who once lived in the forest!
The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests Eco region, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Kingdom of the Lion.
The reserve is only 21 km from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Because of the dense vegetation, wildlife is not as easily seen as at dry-zone national parks such as Yala. There are no elephants and the 15 or so leopards are rarely seen. The commonest larger mammal is the endemic Purple-faced Langur.
An interesting phenomenon is that birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the noisy Orange-billed Babbler. Of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic birds, the 20 rainforest species all occur here, including the elusive Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.
Reptiles include the endemic Green pit viper and Hump-nosed Vipers, and there are a large variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. Invertebrates include the endemic Common Birdwing butterfly and the inevitable leeches.
Back to the Martin’s Lodge. Dinner and overnight stay at Martin’s Lodge.
Day 05 - Sinharaja - Udawalawe - Belihuloya
After breakfast proceed to Belihuloya.
En-route visit the Udawalwe National Park for 4 WD Jeep Safari.
UDAWALAWE ELEPHANT TRANSIT HOME
Udawalawe transit home is a place; where closer to 30 baby elephants are being taken care of with minimum human interaction as they are separated from their mothers. Mothers of these babies are either killed or lost due to non-ending Elephant -human conflict in Sri Lanka.
The transit home provides food, medical care, everything a baby elephant needs. When the elephants are big and strong enough, they are released into wilderness and start living "normal" elephant life.
A few times a day, visitors can enjoy the feeding hour, when the small elephants rush to drink milk and play with their mates. As any other babies, elephants like showing off, especially when spectators are around, which is also a great source of entertainment.
UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK is located approximately 200 km south-east of Colombo city. The 30,821 hectare dry zone game park has an annual rainfall of 1,524 mm and an average temperature of 29.4 0 C. It is most famous for the many elephants that live there (about 400 in total). During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds - adults and young, feeding and bathing or playing in the water! In addition to this main attraction, the park is home to many water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard, as well as being an exciting location for bird enthusiasts. A 4WD open-top safari is the only way to see all the wonders this protected reserve has to offer, and our experienced and knowledgeable nature guides will make this an unforgettable experience.
Proceed to Belihuloya
BELIHULOYA is a very picturesque little hamlet situated in the "Sabaragamuwa" province of Sri Lanka , approximately 160 km from Colombo . This beautiful hillside location is a climatically transitional area, linking both the dry and wet zones and the hill and low country at an altitude of less than 1500m. As a result, the vegetation consists of moist semi-evergreen forests, tropical savanna forests, dry patana grasslands and montane temperate forests, making it one of the richest bio-diversity spots in Sri Lanka - a perfect location for nature lovers
Check-in at River Garden Adventure Resort for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 06 - Belihuloya
After breakfast take part in a Cycling trail to the Duvili Ella.
[Cycling is optional and this excursion could be done in your vehicle too]
Cycling Trail to Duvili Ella
DUVILI ELLA FALLS
The majestic , breath-taking and awesome ' Duvili Ella Falls ' This water fall is also called the Walawe Ganga Falls (East), it plunges a dramatic 80 ft from a level rocky ground in to a large deep pool at the base. The falling of the water creates a cloud of spray , resembling a cloud of dust (hence of the name 'Duvili Ella' - in Sihalese , 'Duvili' means 'dust' and 'Ella' is waterfall.
On completion return to Belihuloya for Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 07 - Belihuloya
After breakfast take part in a Nature Trail of Kinchigune
THE KINCHIGUNE NATURE TRAIL
This diverse trail of approximately 6km begins at the River Garden Resort in Belihuloya, running alongside a riverine forest and the Belihuloya river itself. During the trail, you will venture through paddy fields, across rivers and past local village houses with their extensive vegetable plots. It is an ideal opportunity to learn a bit about the local agricultural systems and simple way of village living. Along the way, you will also witness several types of beautiful birds and butterflies and some charming waterfalls. The trail finishes where the Belihuloya river meets the Samanalawewa reservoir.
Observe inhabitants of the villages, growing of Natural Spices, Herbs and Coconut husking, preparation of Sambol, made out of coconut and Sambol is used to eat with Sweet Potatoes together.
Lunch in Kinchigune. Thereafter take part in canoeing at the Samanalawewa Reservoir.
CANOEING IN SAMANALAWEWA The still calm waters of the Samanalawewa reservoir are perfect for canoeing. Whether you want to take your time and go for a leisurely paddle for a couple of hours, perhaps venturing out to the mouth of the Belihuloya River or spend an entire day exploring the perimeter of the reservoir, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience. The surrounding mountains add to the idyllic setting of the reservoir. All groups will be supplied with an experienced guide and modern life jackets, and a proper orientation will be offered for those who are new to canoeing.
Dinner and overnight stay Kinchigune Camp.
Day 08 - Belihuloya - (HB)
After breakfast visit to the village Temple and Ancient Uggal Aluthnuwara Dewalaya - an ancient shrine dedicated to God Katharagama , Built in 1304 or visit to & the Sabaragamuwe University Museum. In the museum you will be amazed to see a model of a world's oldest steel furnace. The earliest evidence of steel making in the ancient world, dating back to 300 BC [that’s almost 2300 years before!] has been found in the Belihuloya area.
To experience a country there is no better way other than going through the experiences of locales.Today you are given an experience of traveling in public bus and a Tuk - Tuk . [Three wheeler!]
On completion return to the Resort for lunch. Rest of the evening at leisure or optional visit to a Buddhist Meditation centre. Dinner and overnight stay at the River garden Adventure Resort.
Day 09 - Belihuloya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast proceed to Nuwara Eliya via Horton Plains National Park
Nature walk in Horton Plains Nature Reserve , which is approximately 10,000 Hectares in extent, is haunted by Elk, Deer, Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Wild Hare , Porcupine, and a variety of Migratory birds, unique to this region. According to a recent count there are 16 Leopards in Horton Plains. If you are very lucky you may get a glimpse of a Leopard during your sojourn in the Horton Plains.
You will first visit the Baker's falls and then arrive at the World's End cliff covering approximately 3km. To get to the Baker's Falls, you have to deviate from the main trail and go approximately 500m on a very difficult downward path.
Take pictures at these locations to take your memories home. Most of the day both small and big "World's Ends" are covered with mist and clouds. So, one must have patience to wait at these points for clouds to clear up to get a glimpse of a steep drop and a tea estate beneath World's End. The big World's End has a sheer drop of 3700 feet.
Total distance of trekking inside the park would be 6km [Graded as a soft trail]
Proceed to Nuwara Eliya.
Lunch to be taken at suitable location.
NUWARA ELIYA as a cool sparkling climate with the temperature changing around
This is exquisite and healthy city famous for its wide range in flowers. With building of English architecture everywhere in the city, it is affectionately called little England. The Victoria Park in the centre of Nuwara Eliya, the highest town in Sri Lanka.
En-route, visit a tea plantation and a tea factory, where the best tea in the world is produced. Here you could observe all about the process of manufacturing tea. You can also see how tea is graded. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory.
Check-in at Alpine Hotel. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight stay at Alpine Hotel.
Day 10 - Nuwara Eliya- Kandy - (FB)
After breakfast proceed to Kandy by train
This will be another great experience for you! It's an wonderful sight seeing opportunity of cascading waterfalls / huge tea plantations / misty mountains etc.
We will pick you up from the Kandy railway station.
Check-in at Swiss Residence.
KANDY was the last stronghold of the Buddhist political power against colonial powers. It is also the home of the Temple of the Tooth relic. Its architectural monuments date mainly from the 19th century, when Vikrama Rajashinha went on a building spree, the cost of which hastened the downfall and eventual surrender to the British forces in 1815.
Kandy was originally known as Senkadagala pura after a hermit named Senkada who lived there. Many of Sinhalese people call it “Mahanuwara” meaning the "Great City”. But the name Kandy was derived from the Word Kanda, which means mountain. Due to its geographical location Kandy was not an easy target for the foreign invaders who could gain the control of coastal area of the island. It is still very much a focal point of Sri Lankan culture. It was the capitol of last generation of Sri Lanka`s kings until it fell in to the hands of British.
City Tour in the Evening. Visit Temple of Tooth, Gem Museum.
DALADAMALIGAWA - The Temple of the Tooth or Dalada Malgawa dates from the 16th century, though most of the present buildings were built in the 19th century. Entering the shrine over a moonstone step, you pass a stone depicting the Indian goddess Lakshmi and a wall with frescoes illustrating the Buddhist conception of hell. The upper stories house the relic of the tooth, caged behind the gilded iron bars. Behind the toothrelic sanctuary is a hall with a number of golden Buddha statues and modern paintings, showing Buddha's life and the arrival of Buddhism in the land. We end our tour just before the evening drumming begins, which precedes the ceremonious opening of the window for the public viewing of the casket with the tooth.
Back to the Hotel. Visit a Cultural Show in Kandy in the late evening. Dinner and overnight stay at Swiss Residence.
Day 11 - Kandy - Sigiriya
After breakfast visit the PERADENIYA BOTANICAL GARDENS - This is 147 acres in extent started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the kings of Kandy. There are more than 500 species of trees and plants. Some are rare & endemic as well as flora from the tropical world. Spice Garden on Orchid House is more popular with tourist.
On completion proceed to Sigiriya
SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS
The ancient city of SIGIRIYA was designated a cultural World Heritage Site in 1982. It is also proposed that the site should be named the eighth wonder of the world, indicating it is in the same league as other international wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Ancient Pyramids. Translated as 'Lion Rock' into English, the name of the monument indicates the way in which visitors used to begin their final ascent to the top - through the open jaws and throat ('giriya') of a lion ('sinha'). Unfortunately, the only remains of this lion figure are the gigantic paws, sculpted into the side of the rock.
The topography of the area is flat except for the massive rock outcrop of the fortress itself (which rises an incredible 600ft up from the green scrub jungle). The unusual rock is particularly interesting due to its flat top (nearly an acre in size), that was used in its entirety to build King Kasyapa's fortress complex, still evident by the presence of the extensive ruins.
On completion proceed to check-in for Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Sigiriya.
Day 12 - Sigiriya- Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya
After breakfast proceed to visit Dambulla
DAMBULLA - is an ancient city, is known for its beautiful Cave temples and a huge Buddha statue. The history of the 5 caves containing over 150 images of Buddha goes back to 1st century BC when king Valagambahu took refuge here. This place is worth visiting not only for the cave temple, but also for the beautiful view over the countryside you can get from the hill.
Proceed to Polonnaruwa. Visit the Historical Site
POLONNARUWA, the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, is now a world heritage site. This magnificent city, although originally built by King Vijayabahu 1, was later developed to the magnificent state it has been, by King Parakramabahu the Great who was the builder of the largest lake in the island – the Parakrama Samudraya (Sea of Parakrama).
Among the important ruins we come across in Polonnaruwa are, the Royal Palace, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, the Statue of king Parakramabahu and the famous Gal Viharaya - where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in 'Upright', 'Sedentary' and 'Recumbent' postures are carved out of rock - , and the Parakrama Samudraya. The Gal Vihara marks a very important land mark and a high point in rock carving. These four separate large statues out of which, the upright statue is 7m tall and the recumbent statue is 14m long are all carved out of one large slab of rock. Some of the other important and famous ruins and places of worship are, the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic. Out of these, the Gal-potha (the Stone-Book), is the largest stone inscription in Sri Lanka with its length being 9m and the width 1.5m. A footnote on this 25 tonne gigantic rock slab indicates that it was dragged here from Minintale – an astounding 100km away.
Back to Dambulla. Elephant Back Ride in Habarana en route.
A 2 hour Elephant Ride in Habarana. Do not miss the chance of lifetime; ride through the jungle on an Elephant's back - a whole different experience from the traditional transportation methods - jeep or other vehicle. You will get to spend a few hours with a tamed Elephant riding through the forest, where you will have ample opportunities to take photographs of birds, animals, reptiles etc.
On completion return to Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 13 - Sigiriya - Negambo - (BB)
After breakfast proceed to Negombo
NEGOMBO A characteristic fishing town 6 km from the International Airport, Negambo has a fascinating and picturesque beachfront. Bustling Negambo town is a historically interesting place strongly influenced by the Catholic Church. The narrow strip of land between the lagoon & the sea and the many canals make for a good exploring. The lagoon is famous for its harvest of lobsters, crabs and prawns and fish auctions on the beach that are worth a look.
The town has several buildings dating back to the Dutch and Portuguese Colonial days. The Dutch captured the town from the Portuguese in 1640, lost it again in the same year, and then captured it again in 1644. The British then took it from them in 1796 without a struggle. Negambo was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and there are still reminders of the European days.
Check in to the Golden Star Beach Hotel for lunch.
Evening relax on the beach. Dinner and overnight stay at Golden Star Beach Hotel.
Day 14 - Negombo - Airport
After breakfast proceed to airport for departure or extend your beach stay!
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