SRI LANKA'S NATURAL WONDERS

ITINERARY

 

DAY 1 ~ ARRIVE IN SRI LANKA

Ayubowan!   "Ayubowan" is the local word for hello. Welcome to Sri Lanka! Arrival at Katunayake airport and reception by a representative. You’ll then be privately transferred to Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve (5 hours).  Sinharaja is the only ”World Heritage Site” Rain Forest in  Sri Lanka, with a very high rate of bio-diversity. The vegetation is tropical wet evergreen forest and the area under the reserve is 11,187 hectares.Out of the 331 woody trees and lianas identified 192 (60%) are endemic at Sinharaja.Regarding Fauna 141 bird species recorded here and 24 are endemic (27 for the entire country), Butterflies 65 species (1 endemic), Fishes 10 (07 endemic), Amphibians 19 (08 endemic), Reptiles & Snakes 29 (14 endemic), and Mammals 40 (07 endemic).Sinharaja is the only relatively undisturbed rain forest of any considerable size and many of the plants are very rare and are represented by only one individual of its kind in a large area.Sinharaja can be reached from Colombo via Matugama (174 km) or Ratnapura (154 km)to Kalawana, Weddagala and up to Kudawa  Base Camp. From Galle to Deniyaya and Mederpitiya (10 km) and from there to Pitadeniya Camp and enter the Reserve.The best period to visit is between December to early April and from August to September.

 

Rainforest Eco Lodge (D)

 

DAY 2 ~ SINHARAJA

Early this morning you’ll enjoy a birdwatching tour in the reserve (6:00am).  Sinharaja world heritage site spreads over wide elevation range (300m to 1100m). It is rich in bird life with an impressive 147 species recorded to date. It is also the only location where 21 out of 26 bird species endemic to Sri Lanka may be viewed. The Rainforest Eco Lodge is ideally located at the 1025m elevation having both the lowland and the highland species present in Sinharaja in its vicinity. A few endemic and other species thought to be confined to the hill zone i.e. the Sri Lanka White-eye (Zosterops ceylonensis) , the Scaly Thrush (Zoothera dauma) , the Wood pigeon (Columba torrigtoni), the Dusky Blue Flycatcher (Muscicapa sordid) and the yellow-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus penicillatus) , have also been sighted at this area. Return to your hotel for breakfast.   Later this morning you’ll enjoy a hike through the reserve.  There are a few nature trails designed for discerning traveler to enjoy the scenery, the biodiversity and experience the rainforest eco-system. You may encounter many life forms, both flora and fauna, in this expedition. They are all free for you to observe, but please take extra care not to harm or disturb them. Note: Suitable clothing and footwear play a very important role in enjoying great outdoors. They help you to have a comfortable walk/hike with minimum physical effort/ discomfort.

 

Rainforest Eco Lodge (B, D)

 

DAY 3 ~ SINHARAJA/WELIGAMA

Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel.  Proceed by private transfer to Weligama (3 hours). This afternoon you’ll visitthe stilt fisherman in Weligama.  Overnight at hotel.

 

Marriot Weligama – Superior Ocean Room (B)

 

DAY 4 ~ WELIGAMA

This morning you’ll head out with a packed lunch, to Mirissa.   Here you’ll enjoy a whalewatching cruise.  The ever smiling, mischievous dolphins will put on a show while some of the oldest and the largest sea creatures, the humpback and the  blue whales, will nonchalantly  glide past you, when you embark on a whale/ dolphin watching excursion off the Southern, Eastern or the West coast of Sri Lanka. The ideal locations for whale watching would be Dondra Point (accessible from Galle, Hikkaduwa and Mirissa) and Trincomalee while the sea off Kalpitiya teems with an abundance of dolphins. Excursion will take approximately 3- 4 hours (note: seas can be rough, so if you suffer from seasickness, be sure to take medication). This afternoon you have the option to snorkel just off the beach (at your hotel).

 

Marriot Weligama – Superior Ocean Room (B)

 

Day 5 ~ WELIGAMA/UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast you’ll be privately transferred to Udawalae (2.5 hours).  This afternoon you’ll enjoy a safari in the park (2:30pm).  Udawalawe National Park – (duration approx. 3-4 hrs) covers an area of 230,821 hectares and was declared in 1972. It is only 115 miles from Colombo via Ratnapura and Pelmadulla.This Park is rich in Elephant population as the Park has about 500 Elephants. Wild Buffalo, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Sambhur, Hare, Mongoose, Crocodile and 30 species of Snakes are recorded.Three Circuit Bungalows are available at Seenuggala, Weheragolla, and Thimbiriyamankada and 2 Camp sites are at Weheramankada and Pransadara.50 species of Butterflies and many species of Birds are found in the Park.

 

Grand Udawalawa – Deluxe Room (B)

 

DAY 6 ~ UDAWALAWE/YALA 

This morning you’ll enjoy another game drive in the park (with packed breakfast) before heading to Yala (3 hours). This afternoon you’ll enjoy a game drive in the park.  Well-trained and experienced jeep drivers will take you through the trails of the big game – the elephant & leopard and ever elusive sloth bear. Yala (Ruhuna) National Park- (Duration approx. 03 hours) the Ruhunu National Park covers 126,786 hectares. Including the Strict Natural Reserve (Block II). The most familiar is Block I (14,101 hectares) and this block was established in 1938.Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of Elephants, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Crocodiles, Mongoose, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, and many other animals. More than 130 bird species are recorded which includes the resident and winter visitors. If bird watching is your passion you can visit Bundala National Park (nearby) where an array of birds – local, endemic and migratory.

 

Wild trail – Tent (B, D)

 

DAY 7 ~ YALA 

Today you’ll enjoy a morning and afternoon game drives in the park.

 

Wild trail – Tent (B, D)

 

DAY 8 ~ YALA/HAPUTALE

After breakfast you’ll be transferred to Haputale (4.5 hours).  You’ll have the remainder of the day free to relax or explore on your own.

 

Melheim Haputale – Superior Room (B)

 

DAY 9 ~ HORTON PLAINS/KITULGALA

Depart early from your hotel, with a packed breakfast, to explore the beautiful landscapes of Horton Plains.  Visit the misty grassland plateau of Horton Plains, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It sits at an elevation of more than 6,500 ft about 8 miles from Nuwara Eliya. There is a strange and mysterious silence about the place, and it has some excellent walks. The most amazing feature of Horton Plains is World’s End, where the southern part of the plains drops almost vertically for 700 m. The ideal time to view this site is at dawn, when the mountains are free of mist and the sun is just rising. Once you have enjoyed your hike you will drive to Kitulgula (3.5 hours). Rest of the day is free for you to relax.

 

Borderland Kitulgala – Tent with En suite bathroom (B, D)

 

DAY 10 ~ KITULGALA

This morning you’ll enjoy a white water rafting adventure.   Seven high quality, class II and III rapids and temperate waters make the Kelani River a premier introduction to the sport of whitewater or an exciting choice for experienced rafters. The river hosts rapids between grades 2 and 3, with the rafting stretch approximately 6.5 kilometers in length, and taking between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to complete, depending on water levels. With the Kelani’s special “Killer Fall” and “Butter Crunch” rapids, rafters are guaranteed a challenge, but are also offered a chance to relax, with small calm stretches allowing a refreshing swim in the river to unwind. Ideal times are from May to December. Alternative activities include hiking, canyoning, kayaking, or mountain biking.

 

Borderland Kitulgala - Tent with En suite bathroom (B, D)

 

DAY 11 ~ KITULGALA/SIGIRIYA

This morning you’ll proceed to Dambulla (4 hours).  En route you’ll visit Dambulla Cave Temple.   Dambulla Cave Temple  - (Duration approx. 01 hour) is a vast isolated rock mass 500 feet high and a mile around the base. Here is found the famous Rock Temple dating to the First Century B.C. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built the most magnificent of Rock Temples to be found in the Island. In the first Cave is a recumbent image of the Buddha 47ft long cut out of the Rock. There are images of deities associated with Buddhism all around. The frescoes on the walls and the ceiling are the oldest here but they are over painted in the Kandy period. In the Second Cave, the finest and the largest of all, there are 150 life-size statues of the Buddha in various postures with few statues of Gods and Kings. The ceiling is also covered with frescoes, which depict great events in the life of the Buddha and landmarks in the history of the Sinhalese people.

 

Amaara Forest – Deluxe Room (B, D)

 

DAY 12 ~ SIGIRIYA

This morning you’ll climb Sigiriya Rock (duration approx. 1 ½ hrs to 2 hrs climb) The plan of the city is based on a precise square module. The layout extends outwards from co-ordinates at the center of the palace complex at the summit, with the eastern and western axis directly aligned to it. The water garden moats and ramparts are based on an 'echo plan' duplicating the layout and design on either side. This city still displays its skeletal layout and its significant features. 3 km from east to west and 1 km from north to south it displays the grandeur and complexity of urban-planning in 5th century Sri Lanka. Afterwards you’ll proceed to Minneriya/Kaudulla National Park (3-4 hours).   This National Park with 8889 hectares in extent is famous for it large population of elephants in herds of 100 to 150 roaming in the jungle and seen in the catchment area of the lake. Entrance is at Ambagaswewa about 6 km from Habarana on the main Habarana Polonnaruwa road. Office is by the side of the main road. Elephants, about 300 wild elephants, wild buffaloes, wild boar, spotted deer, sloth bear, Sambhur, leopards, crocodiles, jackals, 9 kinds of amphibians, 25 kinds of reptiles, 160 species of birds, 26 varieties of fishes, 78 varieties of butterflies are recorded from the Minneriya National Park.

 

Amaara Forest – Deluxe Room (B, D)

 

DAY 13 ~ SIGIRIYA/WILPATTU 

After breakfast at the hotel you’ll transfer to Wilpathu (5 hours).  En route you’ll visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura.  Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It was 3rd capital of the Kingdom of Rajarata. The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the center of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. The city lies 205 km north of the current capital Colombo in Sri Lanka's North Central Province, on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.It is believed that from the 4th century BC, it was the capital of the Sinhalese until the beginning of the 11th century AD. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centres of political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles. You’ll have the afternoon free to relax or explore on your own.

 

Thamara Villa – Luxury Chalets (B)

 

DAY 14 ~ WILPATTU

Today you’ll enjoy a morning and afternoon game drive in Wilpathu National Park.  Experience the wonders of a jungle safari at Wilpattu National Park – the largest and one of the oldest National parks in Sri Lanka. With over 30 species of mammals and an impressive variety of flora and fauna spanning its jungles and nature trails, a visit here is definitely something to remember for a lifetime. The name Wilpattu essentially means a land of many lakes ‘villus’ or water bodies and this is exactly what you’ll find here. In addition to the flood plain lakes that are banked with white delicate sands, the park is full of endless dense, dry zone woodland forest interspersed with masses of birds and an awesome array of wildlife including spotted deer, wild boar, sloth bears, elephants and leopards.

 

Thamara Villa – Luxury Chalets (B)

 

Day 15 ~ Colombo This morning you’ll be transferred to Colombo, for your flight home. (4 hours). (B)

 

End of Tour

 

(Code: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)

LAND COST FROM:  $3,915 per person

 

Please note all rates are subject to change according to rate of exchange fluctuations.

For a more detailed or customized itinerary, optional extensions and activities, please call or email us. 

Includes:

  • Accommodation for 13 nights at 4 star hotels/lodges (subject to availability).

  • Meals as specified

  • Transportation in an air-conditioned Car with an English-speaking chauffeur with specialized site guides when necessary

  • Government taxes

  • 2 bottles of mineral water per day

  • Gift Tea pack on departure

  • All touring mentioned in itinerary

 

Excludes:

  • Camera & Video permits at Cultural sights 

  • All expenses of personal nature

  • Any additional equipment or site visit which are not mention in the tour program.

  • Tips and porterage

  • Meals not specified in itinerary

  • Christmas and new year supplements

  • Visas if applicable

  • Travel insurance

A percentage of each booking  cost goes to a charity of your (or our) choice.

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