The Ultimate Island Adventure

20 Nights & 21 Days,

1

Upon landing in Sri Lanka you will be greeted by a Classic Sri Lanka representative, and transferred to your hotel in Colombo. In the eavening go on a walk in Galle Face Green for a short tour on the various streetfood to be experienced in Sri Lanka. From the pickled fruits called Achcharu, to the crunchy lentil patties known as Wadey which are topped with prawns or a small crab, to the iconic Kottu Rotti which is unique to Sri Lanka and is made using cut up rotti, vegetable, your choice of meat and if you like some cheese as well, which are all mixed and cut on on a hot plate. You can enjoy this meal watching the sun go down over the Indian Ocean.

Z Max Fairway or Similar

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2

In the morning visit a home in Colombo ,where you will follow a culinary experience with a Sri Lankan housewife who will be cooking a traditional Sri Lankan meal, of crab curry and all the accompaniments. You are free to take part in preparation of the dishes and experience first hand the secret to making the “perfect curry”. Once the cooking is done, you will be served this mouth watering meal for lunch. In the evening you will hop on a tuk tuk for a unique tour of the city. A Tuk Tuk Safari is a fun-filled fully inclusive 3.5 to 4 hour “off the beaten track “adventure, showing you what we believe is authentic, real and rustic Sri Lanka. This fun filled tour will cover Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Independence Memorial Hall, Pettah Market Streets, as well as Dutch Hospital and Samodhi Stupa. You will also experience a Ceylon Tea Tasting experience, as well as an authentic Sri Lankan Dinner.

Z Max Fairway or Similar

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3

Checkout from you hotel and head towards Kitulgala (3 hrs drive). Upon checking into your hotel, you will cross the river for a unique walk in the Makandawa Rainforest. The lush green are of Kitulgala, is also home to one of the last lowland rainforests in the country. This beautiful area is bountiful in its endemic birdlife. Taking a dug out canoe across the Kelani River, one comes to the entrance of the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve. There are several walking trails in the deep dark forest, which are home to some of the rarest and elusive species of birds, amphibians, and reptiles. A walk through the village bordering the forest will give you a better chance to see these rare birds such as the Green Billed Coucal, Orange Billed Babbler, and the colorful Three Toed Kingfisher out in the open.

Plantation Hotel or Similar

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4

Today you will go on a memorable adventure, along the Kelani River for some action packed white water rafting. . This adventure covers five major rapids and four minor rapids. This is an activity for guests 10 years and older. Proper safety instructions and safety gear, modern rafts as well as worlds class licensed operators make this an experience of a lifetime.

Plantation Hotel or Similar

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5

After checkout, head towards Ella (4 hrs drive), Ella is a scenic mountain retreat visited predominantly by younger travelers who are keen to explore the outdoors. Ella town has a number of attractive guest houses and a number of restaurants and cafes. There are some interesting hiking trails, waterfalls and scenic viewpoints around the Ella area. Ella Gap is a stunning viewpoint where you can panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. During clear nights, one might be able to see the illumination projecting from Great Basses lighthouse in the South Coast of the island. There are two waterfalls in the Ella area. The most popular being the waterfall at the Bandarawela – Wellawaya main road. There is another waterfall above this falls which is not clearly visible to the main road and is also named Ravana Falls. This is generally considered the real Ravana Falls due the close proximity of the legendary cave which is considered a place there Sita (from the Indian saga the Ramayana) was hidden by the Lankan Demon King Ravana.

Ella Mountain Heaven or Similar

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6

Today you will embark on a hike to summit what is called “Little Adams Peak” Close to Ella is a mountain peak which is named Little Adams Peak, which is 1141 metres above sea level. A hike up to the peak of the mountain entails an interesting trek through paddy fields, tea plantations, waterfalls and amazing views. Thereafter you can checkout the Demodara Nine Arches Bridge, Close to Ella is the famous Nine Arch Bridge, which is a beautiful example of English engineering and design and built entirely out of solid rocks, bricks and cement without the use of steel. The bridge was commissioned in 1921 and is still used to date by trains which travel from Kandy through to Ella.

Ella Mountain Heaven or Similar

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7

After you checkout, head towards Kandy (3.5 hrs drive), En-route you will visit a Tea Factory for a guided tour, A visit to the hill country will not be complete without a visit to a tea factory and estate. You can stroll through the beautifully manicured tea fields and thereafter head to the tea factory where the magic of converting raw leaves into black tea happens. An art developed during the British colonial period, some machines used date back over 100 years. The creation of black tea is an art form which has remained relatively unchanged for over a century. Thereafter you will reach the town of Kandy. Known as the “Cultural Capital” of Sri Lanka and a UNESCO world heritage site, Kandy was established in the years 135AD by King Wickramabahu and was named Senkadagalapura at the time. In 1592 Kandy became the official Capital of the last Sinhalese Kingdom as the coastal areas were conquered by the Portuguese invaders. The hill capital remained a stronghold despite constant invasions by the Portuguese and the Dutch during the 16th , 17th and 18th century and also by the British (most notably in 1803) which were repelled thanks to the hilly landscapes, and guerilla tactics of the Sinhalese forces. The last ruling dynasty of Kandy was the ‘Nayaks’ of Kandy while the Kingdom preserved its independence until it finally fell to the British in 1815, mainly due to the lack of support of the noble families. The British deposed the last king, Sri Wikrama Rajasingha, and all claimants to the throne, thus ending the last traditional monarchy of Sri Lanka. Here you will visit the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic, This sacred temple was built in the 16th century AD and is located adjacent to the Royal Palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy and overlooks the expanses of the Kandy lake. Referred locally as the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the most revered site in the country. This temple complex houses the sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and with strong political sway to who holds possession of the tooth, as it was believed that the possessor of this sacred relic had the right to rule the country.

Oakray Regency or similar - Kandy

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8

Today you will head to a nearby village for an interesting and authentic tour of a traditional village. One of our trained Village Guides will take you through quaint villages, and show you the traditional village lifestyle and how they attend to their household chores. The walk also includes a look at the different vegetables, fruits and spices that are locally grown such as Cocoa, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg, Vanilla... and how jaggery (local sugar) is made from the flower of the Kithul palm. The village walk ends with a river swim where you can mingle with locals washing their clothes and dipping their heads in the water or chose to swim in what some may call your private natural swimming pool. A new addition is a newly found waterfall which includes a 1km walk through a jungle. This can be quite challenging so children have to be supervised at all times. A picnic lunch will be provided with locally prepared rice and curry during this experience.

Oakray Regency or Similar

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9

Today, you will checkout and head towards Riverston, (3.5 hrs drive) En-route stop over in Matale for a visit of the Batik factory and lunch. The famous batik artist who once used this beautiful property as her workshop was the daughter of Sir Richard Aluwihare, the first Ceylonese Inspector General of Police and Lucille Moonemalle. The legendary batik artist began her lifelong devotion to art in the 1960s. Together with Laki Senanayake she started producing batik. In the 80s she returned to her ancestral home in Matale where she has been living ever since and where she founded the Aluwihare Heritage Centre in her own front yard, where she trained the villagers in carpentry, wood carving, abstract hand painting, brass foundry, batik, tie and dye and needlework. Her design work was inspired by traditional Sri Lankan art and crafts. You will be welcomed by the team who manage the workshop who will welcome you into this haven and treat you the most sumptuous meal you are likely to have in Sri Lanka, albeit a spicy one! The house is on a hill, some vehicles cannot reach the top in which case a tuk tuk is organized for the final stretch. Feel free to mingle into the kitchen and meet the lady who would win master chef hands down. Lunch usually lasts about 1 hour or 1.5 hours – take a walk around the house. Thereafter head to Riverston which is a stunning mountain retreat Visit Pitawala Pathana and Little Adams Peak. One of the unique areas to visit during ones stay in the Knuckles is Pitawala Pathana. This grassland is of unique ecological value. An area spreading over 10 hectares, of gently sloping rock slab, many endemic species of plants and animals can be found. At the end of the plains is the Mini World’s End escarpment which resembles a smaller version of the world famous World's End in Horton Plains. This place grants a panoramic view of the Knuckles Range and some of its valleys below. From there it is possible to walk along to the rock extrusion which allows one to walk right up to the edge.

Sir Johns Bungalow - Matale/Riverston

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10

Today, you will be taken on a trek across villages and mountains in the Knuckles range. This mountain range is named so due to the close appearance to the knuckles of a clenched fist. This is a great location for exploring the outdoors with stunning landscapes, sweeping views, adventurous hikes, and unique eco-systems. The range contains five major forest formations, and provides a refuge for rare and endemic fauna and flora. There are many mountain trails which pass through crystal clear streams, lush dense forests, waterfalls, tea plantations, terraced paddy fields and charming home gardens. A visit to a small mountain village will give a unique perspective to the quaint and simple lifestyle of these friends and warm people. One of the key features of the mountain range is the different levels of climate conditions. During a short walk or drive one can go through around 5 climatic zones in a short expanse of time. The walk will include a packed picnic lunch.

Sir Johns Bungalow - Riverston

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11

Today you will checkout from you hotel and head down to Habarana. En-route visit the Ancient Cave Temple of Dambulla, Dambulla Cave Temple, which is famous for its rock paintings and is among the best preserved monastic temple cave complexes in Sri Lanka. Dambulla’s origins as a place of worship dates back to the reign of King Valagamba in the 1st century BC, who took refuge in these caves when driven out of Anuradhapura by Chola invaders. Once he regained the throne, the king had the interior of the caves transformed in to magnificent rock temples. More paintings and statues were added over time by later kings. Upon reaching Habarana, hop on a jeep and embark on a safari to witness the amazing gathering of wild elephants, The Gathering of Elephants’, which is ranked among the world’s top wildlife viewing spectacles runs from June – October each year. Each afternoon, around 150 - 200 individual elephants come out of the forest in to the open to graze on the fresh green pasture by the water’s edge at Minneriya and Kaudulla national parks. You have excellent opportunities here to observe the social dynamics of the Asian Elephant as the large bulls in musth compete among each other and seek the females within the herd, while young calves with carefree abandon get up to their mischievous antics often to the displeasure of its alert mothers within the herd. Water birds such as Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked Stork along with raptors such as White-bellied Sea Eagles and Grey-headed Fishing Eagles are abundant around these large man-made lakes.

The Other Corner or Similar - Habarana

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12

Early morning head to Pidurangala, and climb this ancient rock for a stunning sunrise, Pidurangala is a massive rock formation located next to the iconic Sigiriya rock fortress. The area has been occupied for over two thousand five hundred years by Buddhist monks who took residence in the caves around the site. The rock came into prominence when King Kassapa (477- 495AD), built Sigiriya, and moved the monks living around the Sigiriya Rock to a newly refurbished and enlarged temple and monastery complete at Pidurangala. The climb to the rock is a pleasant one, where you are surrounded by lush forest, and can hear the beautiful songs of birds. The summit has a stunning view of the surrounding landscape and a great view of Sigiriya at eye level. In the afternoon head to Polonnaruwa, where you will tour the ancient city with your guide, Polonnaruwa took its place in history after King Vijayabahu I defeated the invading Cholas and moved the capital from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa. It is renowned for its well-preserved 12th century ruins and impressive stone culture. Exploring Polonnaruwa, which is today a UNESCO World Heritage site, one can see Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas and the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.

The Other Corner or Similar - Habarana

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13

In the morning visit Ritigala Ritigala is an ancient retreat of Buddhist monks, where the ruins of a 1st Century BC monastery lie hidden deep within the forest. Its height and the local weather patterns create a microclimate different from that of the surrounding plains, and Ritigala is home to a variety of rare species of plant and animal. Its biodiversity is now strictly protected and the area is today demarcated as a Strict Nature Reserve. During your excursion to Ritigala, you trek through the dry evergreen forest and pass through the remains of ancient stone bathing-pools, bridges and courtyards. In the afternoon head to Sigiriya for a tour of the Ancient Rock Fortress. Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilisation. Top of this rock contains ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477AD – 495 AD) and surrounding rock is the Royal Garden. Ruins of various chambers, stairways and pools can be seen at the top of this rock. There is a stone stairway leading from the base to the top of the mountain. About half way to the top, there is a giant pair of lions paws which is in fact are the remains of a huge head of a lion whose open mouth served as the entrance to the royal palace. Surrounding the palace complex are the ruins of a garden complex consisting of two moats and various pools, some with water fountains still functioning after 1500 years.

The Other Corner or Similar - Habarana

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14

Today after checkout, head towards Trincomalee in the East Coast (3 hrs drive), Upon reaching your hotel , check in and spend the remainder of the day at leisure

Nilaveli Beach Hotel or Similar

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15

Today , go on a boat tour in the ocean seeking the acrobatic Spinner Dolphins and if you are lucky the occasional whale. Along with Mirissa in the south, Trincomalee on the east coast is the island’s other established location for whale watching the Blue Whale. The deep waters around Trincomalee’s natural harbour can often result in the Blues coming very close to shore and are occasionally seen from the land from a viewpoint at Swami Rock. The sightings of Blue Whales and pods of Sperm Whales off Trincomalee peak from March through to April. The Blue Whales however are resident around Sri Lankan waters and chance encounters are possible during other months. Large pods of Spinner Dolphins in their hundreds are encountered on most days during this period. Orca, Bryde’s Whale, Risso’s Dolphin and Short-finned Pilot Whale are some of the other cetaceans which maybe encountered during an oceanic safari. Spend the remainder of the day enjoying the beach

Nilaveli Beach Hotel or Similar - Tricomalee

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16

Today you can visit the famous Pigeon Island. Trincomalee also has an expansive area of shallow fringing coral reefs in the area off Dutch Bay. The Pigeon Island marine sanctuary off Nilaveli remains the most popular option for snorkeling in the area. Deriving its name from the Rock Pigeon which has colonized the island in large numbers, Pigeon Island contains some of the best preserved coral reefs in Sri Lanka.. Close to 100 species of coral, 300 coral reef fish species along with Hawksbill Turtle, Green Turtle and Olive Ridley may be encountered here. Spend the remainder of the time at leisure.

Nilaveli Beach Hotel or Similar - Tricomalee

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17

Spend the day at leisure by the beach

Nilaveli Beach Hotel or Similar

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Spend the day at leisure by the beach

Nilaveli Beach Hotel or Similar - Tricomalee

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19

After an early checkout head towards Wilpattu, En-route go on a guided tour of the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Anuradhapura is an ancient historical city comprising of religious places of worship and Buddhist shrines constructed by the past Kings of Sri Lanka and was the island’s capital between the 5th century BC and the 11th century AD. You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest dagobas of Sri Lanka, remains from palaces, temples, monasteries, ceremonial baths and the temple of the holy Bo-tree. This tree was grown from a sapling of the very tree under which more than 2500 years ago the Buddha found enlightenment. Thereafter you will head to Wilpattu and check into your camp for the night

Big Game Camp or Similar

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20

Early morning hop on a jeep for a full day game drive in Wilpattu National Park, along with a packed breakfast and lunch. Popularly dubbed as ‘the land of the lakes’, Wilpattu National Park is famous for watching wildlife within its picturesque villus and dry evergreen forests. It is Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park which re-opened in 2010 after being closed for nearly three decades due to the civil war. Wilpattu is one of the top spots in Sri Lanka for watching Leopard and Sloth Bear. Other larger animals seen regularly here include Elephant, Jackal, Mugger Crocodile, Sambar, Spotted Deer and Buffalo are among the larger animals regularly encountered. You also have the option of doing a mid-day excursion to Kudurumalai point along the Wilpattu coastline, believed to be the location where Prince Vijaya and the first group of Indian settlers set foot to Sri Lanka. The area is characterized by steep cliffs and fossilized limestone remains and provides panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.

Big Game Camp or Similar - Wilpatu

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21

After checkout from the camp you will be transferred back to the airport to catch your flight back home.

Airport

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