Culture and Nature Tour 10 Days/ 9 Nights

Summary

Day 1 :
Colombo Shopping, city tour
Night StayHotel in Colombo
Day 2 :
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, Kandy Cultural Show
Night StayHotel in Kandy
Day 3 :
Kandy - Sightseeing & Shopping tour, Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya
Night StayHotel in Kandy
Day 4 :
Kandy - Tea factory, NuwaraEliya
Night StayHotel in NuwaraEliya
Day 5 :
Hakgala Botanical gardens, Gregory’s Lake, Sightseeing tour
Night StayHotel in Nuwaraeliya
Day 6 :
Nuwaraeliya, Ella, Wellawaya, Yala
Night StayHotel in Yala
Day 7 :
Yala Jeep Excursion, Galle, Bentota beach
Night StayHotel in Bentota
Day 8 :
Balapitiya river boat safari, Sightseeing from Bentota beach resort.
Night StayHotel in Bentota
Day 9 :
Leisure at the beach resort
Night StayHotel in Bentota

Day 1 :Airport – Arrival - Colombo

Meet and assist on arrival by (TBA)Thereafter transfer clients to Colombo. As per your arrival timings the city tour of Colombo will be arranged.

Sri Lanka is one of the leading romantic destinations in the whole world. The land of serendipity brings spiritual tranquility and a chance to rediscover oneself. The beauty of this tiny island is simply breath-taking. Known for its enchanting ancient ruins, endless soft-sanded beaches, imposing mountains, colourful festivals, tempting water sports, dense wild-life, and diverse ethnical groups and off the top hospitality from the local residents Sri Lanka is bound to make you come back again. Sri Lanka Travel and Tourism brings all this for you right under your fingertips so that you can discover the serene island for yourself. – Your stay in Colombo will give you an idea to prepare yourself to explore this beautiful country.

Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, biggest city and major port, draws together all the colours and cultures that make up this island nation, condenses them into a patchwork of markets, gardens and buildings both humble and grand, and knocks them against a narrow slab of beachfront.

Many visitors will appreciate Colombo’s colonial heritage, its fine dining and shopping opportunities, and the dash of urban buzz in an overwhelmingly rural country. Others will tire quickly of the diesel fumes and the modern buildings on Galle Rd, the city’s main artery. If you’re only on a short trip to Sri Lanka, you may wish to pass by Colombo, but if you have the time – say at least two days – there are plenty of cultural and historical attractions in areas such as Fort, Cinnamon Gardens and Pettah. Colombo is the political, economic and cultural centre of Sri Lanka, so if you need to extend your visa or buy a plane ticket, you’ll find yourself here. The city was the scene of quite a few bombings during the war years, but security has been relaxed since a cease-fire was declared and peace talks began. It will be the best place to do all your last minute shopping as at some famous shopping arcades and showrooms. Odel unlimited, Liberty plaza complex, Majestic city complex, The house of Fashions, Beverly street, Gem Museum, Laksala hand craft shop, Barefoot, cotton collection, crescent boulevard, are some of the very famous shopping places in Colombo. Thereafter check in to the booked hotel in Colombo and evening your own activities.

Overnight stay at - The Booked hotel in Colombo.

Day 2 :Colombo - Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage - Kandy Cultural show

After breakfast check out from the hotel in Colombo, and proceed to Kandy via visiting the famous elephant orphanage at Pinnawela.

The wild life department of Sri Lanka established this orphanage in 1975, located 13 Kilometres northwest of the Kegalle town which is a main town on the Colombo Kandy Road. Thousands of Tourists visit this Elephant orphanage every day, as this kind orphanage is one of the rare establishments in the World. Most of the elephants are bought to this orphanage from jungles or from sites where they get injured by falling into pits and wells as well with gunshot injuries created by farming communities, since these elephants go to their cultivation sites and destroy all their cultivation. Some baby elephants lose their parents and such ones are located and directly bought to this orphanage. Today there are about 65 such elephants in this orphanage thousands of tourist both local and foreign visit this orphanage every day. Also visit to the newly opened Zoological gardens at the vicinity of this orphanage; also on the way to Kandy you can visit a famous spice garden at Mawanella.

SPICE GARDEN during Past history Sri Lanka known as Taprobane, was world renowned for its Quality Spices. During ancient times the Greeks, Romans and the Arabic maintained their links with Sri Lanka through the spice trade. In the 16th century Ceylon, as it was then known, was discovered by Portuguese who soon began trading in cinnamon and other spices. The Dutch and British followed bringing with them their own history and influences, forming a strong Western presence which created a history of food expressed with spices which can be tasted in the dishes today.

Spices are an essential element of the cuisine of Sri Lanka and the Ayurveda tradition and a visit to a garden specialises in the cultivation of these substances and an excellent way for purposes of new uses of certain ingredients that perhaps though they knew well. Find cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, cardamom and black pepper, to name a few. Europeans can buy the products in their natural state or in the form of oils and potions that are used by Ayurveda medicine, during the Dutch, very famous spices of Sri Lanka and we export to different countries. That has earned the country the name of "Island of the spices”.

Check in to the booked hotel in Kandy & evening witness the famous cultural show in Kandy.

Kandy cultural show – Sri Lanka, a country rich with culture & tradition offers a very vibrant and unique show of Sri Lankan traditional dances, in the form of Kandy cultural show. The beat a dancing from "Salupliya" depicting several demons, "Theme" vibrant expression of low country rhythm, Fire and Harvest dances accompanied by Ceremonial Drums and the Drum Orchestra rising and falling to the lively tempo. As many as 12 different folk and traditional dances are performed by Kandy lake club dance troop within the span of one hour.

The highlight of the show is definitely the fire walking show, where the artists walk through a specially prepared fire pit; roughly 8 feet by 3 feet covered with red-hot charcoal, completely barefoot and emerges unharmed at the other end! Kandy cultural show leaflet describes the fire walking as having its roots in the Valmiki epic of "Ramayana", where the king of Sri Lanka "Ravana" abducts "Sita" the wife of Indian prince Rama and after regaining her in an epic battle with "Ravana", she is made to prove her chastity by walking through fire barefoot, though the current devotees who perform fire walking in Sri Lanka seek the divine blessings of the Lord Karthekeyan & goddess Paththini.

Overnight stay at - The booked hotel in Kandy.

Day 3 :Kandy - Sightseeing & Shopping tour.

After Breakfast proceed for Kandy sightseeing and shopping tour.

Kandy is one of the best tourist cities in Sri Lanka, and located 116 Kilometers from the Capital Colombo. No one will ever want to Miss Kandy in their tour Itinerary purely because of the wonderful location and of the sites and places within the city. Kandy is located on an elevation of 488 Meters above the sea level (1600 Ft) and the focal point in Kandy is the Temple of the Tooth Relic, which symbolizes of the ancient Kandayn Kings. Kandy is also the Venue for the Annual EsalaPerahera which is held during the months of July and August each year where more than 100 colorfully decorated elephants take to the street and Parade along with Drummers, Kandayan dancers, which goes up to about 2-3 Hours. This city has the capacity to meet all the demands of a tourist and well known as a shopping hub too next to Colombo, Most of the show rooms of shopping malls and branches of many local shops and banks are in this important city along with many restaurants catering to the needs of every traveler. Also visit to the famous botanical gardens at Peradeniya.

Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya Kandy

Kandy Botanical Gardens which is also known as the Peradeniya botanical gardens was a pleasure garden and covers an acre of 60 Hectares (Approximately 147 Acres) This garden has many variety of plants over 4000 Species. The orchid house, the Palm trees and pine trees are some of those popular trees within the garden. Some of the trees are planted during the visits of foreign ambassadors as a symbolic sign of their visit to this country. It takes nearly 1-2 Hours to walk along within the garden and some nice locations are within the garden for Photography. A local guide can be hired at the entrance of the park to explain more about this Garden, Return back to the booked hotel.

Overnight stay at - The Booked hotel in Kandy.

Day 4 :Kandy - Tea factory visit NuwaraEliya.

After breakfast check out from the hotel in Kandy and proceed to NuwaraEliya via visiting tea garden and tea factory.

Nuwaraeliya is a beautiful city and the most visited city by Tourist who flock to this country. Situated at around 2000m above sea level and known as the “Little England” this city is very famous for Tea Plantations and mountains which include some of the famous water falls in Sri Lanka. When we are in Colombo we feel the Humidity and the hot weather conditions, but in Nuwaraeliya it is completely different weather as it is very much cooler and comfortable, check in to the booked hotel and late afternoon visit to the city of NuwaraEliya.

Overnight stay at - The Booked hotel in NuwaraEliya.

Day 5 :Sightseeing tour in NuwaraEliya

After breakfast proceed for the sightseeing tour in NuwaraEliya.

Nuwaraeliya is a beautiful city and the most visited city by Tourist who flock to this country. Situated at around 2000m above sea level and known as the “Little England” this city is very famous for Tea Plantations and mountains which include some of the famous water falls in Sri Lanka. When we are in Colombo we feel the Humidity and the hot weather conditions, but in Nuwaraeliya it is completely different weather as it is very much cooler and comfortable. The city is so beautiful and blessed with excellent Nature and during the journey you will be able to stop at one of the popular tea factory to watch the whole process of Sri Lanka tea which has many varieties. You will get an opportunity to sip a cup one of the best teas produced in the World. Many Plantations were established during the British rule and most of the workers whom are from the Tamil community and were bought from Southern India, later these workers were offered Sri Lanka citizenship and today we can see a much better living conditions for them.

From Nuwaraeliya one can visit to many sites such as the Golf Course, Race course, Hakgala Botanical gardens, Gregory’s Lake, where it will be a suitable place to Relax or take a nice walk, there will be also activities like pony rides and boat trips. Since of the climatic conditions Nuwaraeliya is also the place where most of the dairy farms are located along with strawberry gardens. Nuwaraeliya is also is well known for vegetable growing and many vegetables are produced and distributed to all other cities in Sri Lanka. Also visit to the famous "Ambewela" farm.

There are two farms at Ambewela and those are called New Zealand farm and Ambewela farms. New Zealand farm is at 1km from Ambewela and Ambewela farm is at before Ambewela. Rabbits, Cattle, Cows, Goats and grass lands, vegetable farm, seed potatoes producing centre and nice reservoir are available on Ambewela farm. No special permission needed to enter Ambewela Farms. In 12:30 PM of every day demonstrates the get cow milk in electronic machine. Cheese factory, Goat yard and thousands of animals can be seen in Ambewela farms. Largest grass lands of Sri Lanka also a part of Ambewela farms, after the city tour of NuwaraEliya, return back to the booked hotel in NuwaraEliya.

Overnight stay at - The Booked hotel in Nuwaraeliya.

Day 6 :Nuwaraeliya – Ella - Wellawaya - Yala

After breakfast check out from the hotel in NuwaraEliya and Proceed to Yala, this would be somewhat the longest journey in your Itinerary and the stops on the way and sightseeing will not make you feel this long drive.

Drive to Yala (5 hours). Stay 1 night at the booked hotel in Yala as there are some very good hotels within the national park location. The Yala jeep safari could be either done on the same day of arrival or in the early hours of the next day. Yala National Park, the largest national park in Sri Lanka, given over to conservation in 1938, Wild animals to look out for include elephants, monkeys and crocodiles; the very lucky may even catch sight of Yala's most elusive inhabitants, leopards. Check in to the booked hotel and be at leisure for own activities.

Overnight stay at - The booked hotel in Yala

Day 7 :Yala Jeep Excursion - Galle - Bentota beach

In the early hours the safari will begin from the hotel you are staying as the jeep will report to the hotel and you will be picked up to proceed on the Safari. (The hotel will arrange a packet breakfast which can be consumed within the park premises at the time you will be stopped for leisure.)

Yala National Park

Yala National park or called as Ruhunu National Park is located in the Southeast of the country and the second largest and most visited National Park in Sri Lanka next to Wilpattu National park. Preserved under the Wild life department, The Park consists of large herd of elephants 05 blocks in which 02 are now open for the public. The Park covers a total of 979 Square Kilometres (378 Sq Miles) and is located 300 Kilometres away from Colombo. There are Six national parks and three wild life sanctuaries in the vicinity of the Yala park and was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 along with Wilpattu national park. The Area around the Yala Park consists of important ancient civilization and two important pilgrim sites are namely Sithulpahuwa and Magulvihara are situated within the park. There are many routes to get to this park and Ratnapura and Tissamaharama routes are the most convenient and easiest. Yala Park is one of the best parks in Sri Lanka for Bird watching as it is believed that 215 Species of birds are found here and six are endemic to Sri Lanka. There are also 44 species of mammal’s resident of the Yala Park and leopards in Yala are known to have the highest densities in the World, 25 individual leopards are known to roam in Block 1 and the elephant heard in Yala are known to be from 300-350. The reptile fauna recorded in the Park is 46 and five of them are endemic. The visitors are allowed to see the wild animals from 05:30 Hrs. until 18:00 Hrs. and due the droughts the park used to be closed from 1 September until the 15th of October each year and from 2009 to date the closure was skipped as the lakes was filled with water bowsers in allowing the animals to stay on in the park during the drought seasons as well. The Jeep safari which starts from the Hotels in the vicinity and covers about 3-4 Hours’ drive at the end of the safari you will return back to the booked hotel & after refreshments you will check out and proceed to the beach resort in Bentota. On the way you will have the opportunity to see some beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka and the Dutch invaded city of Galle.

The modern history of Galle starts in 1505 when the first Portuguese ship under louranco de Almeida was driven by a storm, and the people in the city did not let then enter the city, but the Portuguese took this by force. In 1640 the Portuguese had to surrender to Dutch east India Company and the Dutch built the Galle fort in 1663. Galle is known to be the capital of the southern province is a city with a colourful history. UNESCO declared World Heritage Site the magnificent Dutch fort is the most popular attraction of the town. 300 year old Dutch atmosphere is still very much alive around the fort and amidst its many historical buildings not invaded by the skyscrapers. The beautiful beach of Unawatuna is just 6km south east of the city Centre. The southern coastal belt is the most popular among the tourists and comes to life mainly from October through April when the monsoon moves northeast and the sea becomes calm with blue skies. The earliest European administrative Centre of Sri Lanka was the major port and the largest city until the British shifted the port to Colombo. You can spend hours exploring the Dutch fort in Galle and go shopping in one of the oldest markets in Sri Lanka. The Galle town was one of the worst hit by 2004 Tsunami and many people lost their lives and living hood. The bus stand and the town was completely underwater and in the same manner the city was rebuilt at a very rapid pace and one can see the city back to its feet again with day to day activities with active tourism participation. Galle is the 4th largest city after Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna. Proceed to bentota and rest of the day at Leisure by the beach / Pool.

Overnight stay at - The Booked hotel in Bentota.

Day 8 :Sightseeing from the Beach resort

After breakfast proceed for sightseeing in and around Bentota.

One of the popular is the Maduganga river safari which goes along the Maduganga River in Balapitiya “Ma Duwa” to Balapitiya and it is wide enough to travel in a 3 wheeler. But it is a great creation and it is the longest bridge I have seen in Sri Lanka.Madu Ganga has high ecological, biological and aesthetic significance, being home to 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families and to 248 species of vertebrate animals. It might be one of the last remaining tracts of pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka. We also visited the Kothduwa temple, or KothDuwa Raja MahaViharaya located on Kothduwa Island on the Maduganga River. It is a unique experience and monks use boats for transportation. As we heard The Buddhist AmarapuraNikaya sect had its first Uasampada (Higher ordination ceremony) on a fleet of boats anchored upon it in 1803.The beaches of Bentota are unspoiled and it is possible to wander for miles along pristine stretches of sand with only the roar of the surf to disturb you, but beware of the tropical sun which can be deceivingly strong even on a cloudy day, also visit to the famous turtle farm in Kosgoda. Kosgoda is famous for its turtle hatchery- operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1981 to protect Sri Lanka's turtles from extinction. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the sandy beach. Visitors can see huge tanks filled with new born turtle hatchlings. After being fed, the baby turtles are taken to the sea and released when they are 2-4 days old, usually during the safer hours of darkness. Although October to April is the main laying season, some eggs can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year. Bentota is also known for the famous Moonstone mines as moonstones were used as jewellery for many centuries including the ancient civilizations starting from Romans to Greek and then French.

Balapitiya river boat safari

There are two places you can take a river safari in the general area of South West Sri Lanka. We chose Balapitiya and the "Madu Ganga" (with Ganga Meaning River in the local language) over Bentota and the river that ends up there. Despite tours from Balapitya being more expensive and nature being about the same as only a few kilometers separate the two, apparently the Madu Ganga river boat safaris are better to Benota's as the islands you get to visit are more interesting and the trips longer.

A bridge spans the mouth of the river and we noticed signs for a few operators offering boat rides. Our driver choice for our safari was GangabadaAsiriya. The place was a little cheesy with a fake "Pizza Hut" sign and a swimming pool. A bearded captain in a khaki uniform and naval hat greeted us and as two large groups, one Sri Lankan and one French were already waiting their turn to board, we sat under the shade of trees until the dock cleared. Ten minutes and 6000 Rupees later we boarded our boat and headed upstream on the placid waters of Madu Ganga.

The start of our journey was rather uninspiring with noxious fumes from the many outboard engines filling the air and garbage flowing about us. Our boatman, a likeable young man of about 20 years old, seemed confident in commanding the boat and we noticed with satisfaction that life jackets were on board. Within a few minutes the beauty of the area is revealed before our eyes and the first. Not so inspiring, impression is quickly forgotten. On the river shores a million shades of green are only interrupted by the presence of birds. Colourful king fisher’s pose patiently before our cameras and eagles soar high above us. We take a detour through a patch of mangrove trees that form a cave, barely big enough to fit our boat. We might not be able to see many wild animals but the water monitors we spot are the size of small alligators and you can easily make a mistake in identifying them, especially when they glide through the water. What's more the unusual sight of sweet water jelly fish with their eerily transparent body makes us wonder what else might live in these waters. Return back to the booked.

Overnight stay at - The booked hotel in Bentota.

Day 9 :Leisure at the beach resort

After breakfast full day at Leisure at the beach resort, you can take part in hotels animation activities.

Overnight stay at - The booked hotel in Bentota.

Day 10 :Colombo-Airport departure

After breakfast check out from the hotel as per the flight timings and transferred to the International Airport for the departure flight (TBA).

END OF THE TOUR.

This is all the Beauty of the “Land Like no other”.

On your flight back you will watch this tiny island disappear but we hope that you carry lasting memories of OUR friendly people and a beautiful country. We look forward to welcoming you back another day not as tourists, but as old friends.