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Sri Lanka Adventure East Coast Beaches (April-Oct)

  • Sri 5

Background

Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time.  It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.

 

Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location.  Within a mere area of  65,610 kilometres, lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline - much of it pristine beach - 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back over 2,500 years. 

 

This is an island of magical proportions, previously known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. This land has been rediscovered by Stewart Kreltszheim and Peter Ranasinghe, who migrated to Australia as infants. They have returned to the country of their birth and put together an " amazing adventure" that will form eternal memories for you, your friends and your families.

Highlights

"Taste the Spirit of Adventure"

  • Push bike ride through the Ancient Ruins at Polonnaruwa
  • Go on safari, watch herds of wild elephants as they graze on the forest edge and head to the large lakes to bath and drink.
  • See Samba Deer, water buffalo and several different species of monkeys in their natural environment.
  • Travel by train through the cool high country as it meanders through the hills and tea plantations.
  • See tea being hand picked, visit a tea factory to see how it is processed before tasting rich pure Ceylon Tea. 

"Eat- Pray- Explore- Relax.........Repeat"

  • Taste authentic traditional local cuisines with bold influences from the Dutch and Portugese shared history.
  • Stay overnight and experience life in a Buddhist Monastery. Learn meditation and the fundamentals of their philosophy from the Monks themselves. Eat as they eat and join them or listen to them in prayer.
  • Explore the ancient ruins of Kings Palaces and the Royal Kingdoms, Day walk treks to the world famous Knuckles Ranges, Adams Peak and visit " The End of the World" at World's End.
  • Rejuvenate at some of the countries best 4 Star resorts in pristine locations and enjoy traditional local Ayurvedic spa treatments.
  • Chill out and relax by the pool or join one of the many short side trips on offer during the designated rest days.

Overview

Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavoursome food describe Sri Lanka.

Why I Love Sri Lanka

By Ryan Ver Berkmoes, Writer

"My fascination with Sri Lanka began when I read Paul Theroux's The Great Railway Bazaar as a child. His wonderment at the island's endless contradictions stayed with me. In 2004, I was in the west and south in the weeks after the tsunami. I was struck by the stories of the survivors and deeply moved by their efforts to rebuild. In the years since, I have been endlessly amazed by the Sri Lankans' ability to overcome disaster, war and myriad of other challenges as they work tirelessly to make their country match its potential, while remaining some of the most charming people on the planet".

 

Spiritual & Cultural Heritage:

With a history expanding over 3000 years, Sri Lanka holds some of the world’s ancient cities including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Digamadulla; their once glorious townships, palaces, temples, monasteries, hospitals and theatres intricately carved and modeled out of stone lay and abandoned and forgotten with time amidst the soaring jungles. 

Of all the ancient cities of Lanka, the most famed and most exquisite is the Kingdom of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka’s third and the longest serving capital and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world is also one of the most sacred cities of World Buddhists. It was the capital of Sri Lanka from the Fourth Century BC up to the turn of the eleventh Century and was one of the most stable and durable centres of political power and urban life in South Asia.

 

Drive your own tuk tuk to Sigiriya, a fifth century AD fortress and a water garden displays some of the most futuristic elements of landscaping and some of the oldest murals recorded in the country.

 

Polonnaruwa (toured on bicycles), the second most ancient kingdom of the country boasts of Irrigation systems that are far superior to those of today and they still provide irrigation water to the farmers in and around Polonnaruwa.Digamadulla, the Eastern kingdom of Sri Lanka was the agricultural and spiritual capital of the country during the Anuradhapura kingdom.

Sri Lanka’s last kingdom the Kingdom of Kandy is a testament to the Sri Lankan’s ability to pick up and rise from ashes. After being burned and ravaged more than thrice by the invading Portuguese, the Kandyan Kingdom still holds beautifully carved and built houses, palaces and temples preserved for nearly 500 years.

 

There are few expeditions that offer you the chance to eat, sleep, meditate and reflect in a buddhist monastery and converse with buddhist monks.  This experience will touch your soul.

 

Relax and enjoy:

With nearly 1600 km of palm fringed Coastline baked to perfection surrounding the country, Sri Lanka is the ideal destination for beach lovers worldwide.  I may be windsurfing, kayaking, yachting, water skiing, scuba diving or just lazing around for the perfect tan, Sri Lanka offers it all.

The two monsoon winds providing rain to the two corners of the country at various periods, makes Sri Lanka’s beach holiday a year round prospect. The north east winds make the south western coast sunny and the sea calm from November to March. The South West winds make the East Coast waters quiet with the constant sun shine happily in agreement from April to October.

 

The best of the Southern beaches include Unawatuna, which is a short drive from the city of Galle and was voted in the "top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world" by the Discovery Channel and Mark Ellingham, the founder of 'Rough Guides'.

 

Although Sri Lanka’s southern beaches have been long discovered by the international traveller the east coast is yet to be fully discovered. The most known among the Eastern beaches is Arugam Bay, the high church of surfing enthusiasts’ in the region. Once a mere rumour, Uppuveli beach is also open to the sun seekers after a three decade long civil war.

Galle Face Green, a half a kilometre stretch between Galle Road and the Indian Ocean is the playground of the Colombians

 

Adventures galore:

Despite its small size, Sri Lanka boasts one of the highest rates of biological endemism in the world whether in plants or animals and is included among the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world. Of the ninety-one species of mammals found in Sri Lanka, Asian elephants, sloth bear, leopards, sambar and wild buffaloes engage the majority of the attention of wildlife enthusiasts and the elephant safari to Minneriya National Park is a highlight for many of our guests.

Meanwhile, the ocean around Sri Lanka is home to large families of cetaceans including the mighty blue whales, sperm whales and lively dolphinss, making it one of the best locations for whale and dolphin watching in the world.

 

Despite the mighty elephants and rare amphibians found in the country birds are the glory of the Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Boasting nearly 433 bird species of which 233 are resident, Sri Lanka holds 20 endemic species while another 80 species have developed distinct Sri Lankan races, compared to their cousins in Indian mainland.

 

Climb Adams Peak / Sri Pada and watch the sunrise. A 2,243 metres (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well-known for the Sri Pada "sacred footprint", a 1.8 m rock formation near the summit, in Buddhist tradition held to be the footprint of Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Muslim tradition that of Adam. Get up early and enjoy a beautiful walk to "World's End" where you will enjoy an uninterrupted view to the coast from a ledge 880 metres from the valley floor.

 

Serendipity
Rich in gems, spices, natural resources and rare species of flaura and fauna, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is located in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Dubbed "the Pearl of the Indian Ocean"  it was a major trading hub for the Dutch, Arab and Portugese Traders for many centuries.  The fertile soils and temperate conditions were found to be perfect for growing tea and it soon became a major industry and the demand for "Ceylon Tea" saw it exported world wide and it still is today.  Sri Lanka later became a part of the British Colony and it finally obtained its independence in 1948. 

In the mid 1900's Sri Lanka became a popular tourist destination due to its amazing scenery, ancient history, architecture, nature reserves and culinary delights. It attracted adventure seekers from around the world, but in the 1970's the advent of the civil war meant travelling freely throughout Sri Lanka was no longer possible and tourism quickly declined.

Finally the end of a 30 year civil war and the rebuilding efforts since the 2004 Tsunami has opened Sri Lanka up once again as a destination that offers a multitude of diverse locations and activities allowing people to explore some of the 8  world heritage UNESCO sites throughout the country including nature reserves, ancient cities/ ruins and temples.

Experience a blend of ancient Sri Lanka's old world charm and modern day culture as the country once again grows into a holiday destination that many people will want to see for themselves.

Itinerary

Day 1: Airport / Colombo 40km / 01h00
Day 2: Colombo / Yapahuwa – 160kms – 04h30min | Yapahuwa / Sigirya 85km / 02h00
Day 3: Sigiriya - Minneriya Safari
Day 4: Anuradhapura Ayurvedic Treatment
Day 5: Sigiriya-Polonnaruwa-Passekudah
Day 6: Passekudah
Day 7: Passekudah-Arugam Bay
Day 8: Arugam Bay
Day 9: Bandarawela-Temple Stay
Day 10: Bandarawela-Nuwara Eliya
Day 11: Nuwara Eliya-Horton Plains-Adam's Peak
Day 12: Adam's Peak-Kandy
Day 13: Kandy
Day 14: Kandy - Unawatuna

Day 15: Unawatuna (Galle)
Day 16: Unawatuna -Airport

Expedition Dates 

This expedition is open between April and October for group sizes 4 - 12. If there are 8 or more of you, you can tell us when you want to go.

Routes

Day 1: Airport / Colombo 40km / 01h00
AM
Arrive at Bandaranayake International Airport on the morning flight.

Assistance on arrival by a representative of Connaissance de Ceylan.

Proceed to Colombo and check in with welcome drinks. 

PM

Join Colombo City Walks for an interesting walk through Colombo Fort and Pettah area exploring architecture and history of the merchant city. (01 Hour) and have the opportunity to go shopping.

Dinner and overnight Cinnamon Red

 

Day 2: Colombo / Yapahuwa – 160kms – 04h30min | Yapahuwa / Sigirya 85km / 02h00

AM 

After breakfast, leave for Sigiriya visiting Yapahuwa en route.

Yapahuwa, which was the seat of Government in the 13th century, is situated 5 kilometers east of Maho. The southern and south eastern parts of the land at the base of the rock are protected by two moats and ramparts. Within the fortifications are the remains of many ancient structures.

PM 

Proceed to Sigiriya. Arrive and check-in at Aliya Resort and Spa.

Relax. (B,D)

 

Day 3: Sigiriya - Minneriya Safari

AM 

After an early breakfast, leave to visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress .by Tuk Tuks. (2 pax per Tuk Tuk / self-drive available)

Sigiriya, a massive rock in the green scrub jungle, is perhaps the most memorable place for visitors to Sri Lanka. The site was known from ancient times as a hermitage for Buddhist monks. A well-planned monastic complex included caved temples, bathing pools, lovely ponds and Asia's oldest surviving landscaped gardens. Today, Sigiriya is famous for its frescoes painted in the pocket of the rock. The "Lion stairway", the "mirror wall" and the "water gardens" are its other highlights.

Return to the hotel for lunch. 

PM 

Mid-afternoon, depart for Minneriya National Park for an elephant safari

Dinner and overnight at Aliya Resort and Spa (B,D)

 

Day 4: Anuradhapura Ayurvedic Treatment

Sigiriya/ Anuradapura – 80kms – 02hrs (One way)

AM

After breakfast, proceed to Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura was the first ancient capital of the country of kings for about 1400 years. In pinnacle of its' glory, the city extended over a surface of 52 sq. km and the population amounted to several tens of thousands. Its magnificent monuments, refined sculptures and paintings are testimony to a veritable and original Sri Lankan culture. 

PM

Scheduled AYURVEDIC TREATMENT for each guest.

(Full body massage + steam bath) / 01 Hour.

 

Sri Lankan Traditional Dinner and overnight at Aliya Resort and Spa (B,D)

 

Day 5: Sigiriya-Polonnaruwa-Passekudah 

Sigiriya/ Passikudah – 152kms – 03h45min

AM

After breakfast, leave for Polonnaruwa and visit the ancient capital by bicycles with a guide.

Polonnaruwa was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka, and today it is one of the most beautiful centres of cultural heritage. With its comparatively brief history and a dozen rules, it has far more completely preserved ruins than Anuradhapura. Visit the ancient ruins and Gal Vihara complex, where 3 gigantic Buddha statues are carved out of a single rock.

PM

Proceed to Passekudah.

Check in for leisure.

Dinner and overnight at hotel.

 

Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa (Deluxe attic) (B,D)

 

Day 6: Passekudah 

AM

Wake up early morning to catch the sunrise and enjoy the spectacular view of the dawn.

Optional – walk to the close by village to watch local fisherman in action the traditional way.

Return to hotel.

After breakfast, you may engage in a coral planting project (subject to weather)

PM

Visit the village school (content to be discussed further).

Dinner and overnight at hotel. 

Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa (Deluxe attic) (B,D)

 

Day 7: Passekudah-Arugambay

 

Passikudah / Arugambay – 155kms – 03h30

AM

Relax at Resort – early lunch / brunch

PM

Late afternoon arrive at Arugambay for surfing/leisure.

Dinner and overnight stay. 

Bay Vista (Beach Side) (B,D)
 

Day 8: Arugambay

AM / PM

Enjoy the beach and surf. 

Bay Vista (Beach Side) (B,D)

 

Day 9: Arugambay-Bandarawela / Temple Stay

Arugambay / Bandarawela – 145 kms – 4hrs

AM

After breakfast, proceed to Bandarawela.

PM

Arrive and proceed to the Temple ; includes a 1.5km walk from the main road to the Temple which cannot be reached by vehicle.

3.30 PM      - Arrive at the Temple

4.00 PM      - Sound of silence – free style program

4.30 PM      - Conversation with Monks.

5.30 PM      - Buddha Puja

6.30 PM      - Meditation

Two types of meditation

Samatha or Tranquility – Meditation trains the mind to concentrate on only one object.

Vipassana or Insight – Meditation trains the mind to observe the many objects coming in to awareness through the six sense doors in order to develop the wisdom to eradicate the defilements in the mind and be freed from suffering.

8.00 PM      – Dinner

9.00 PM      – Group Discussion and Walking Meditation (Sakman )

10.00 PM    - Rest in Nature

Accomodation will be floor style sleeping arrangements and during your stay you are asked to wear (recommended) baggy trousers and shirts/ blouses/ waist coat. It’s cold in the morning and evening times.

Temple stay (B,D)

 

Day 10: Bandarawela - Nanu Oya - Nuwara Eliya

Bandarawela / Nanu Oya – by train

Nanu Oya / Nuwara Eliya – 10kms – 00h20min

AM

5.30 AM  - Wake Up

6.00 AM  - One hour trek to nearby Vegetable Plantation or Buddhist Yoga Program.                                   

7.00 AM  - Breakfast.

8.00 AM - Conversation / writing review and conclusion.

Leave Bandarawela by train station and take the train to Nanu Oya Station. (9.55 / 12.00noon)

(Tickets subject to availability / regular train – second class)

PM

Arrive at Nanu Oya station and proceed by road to Nuwara Eliya.

Visit a Tea Factory and Plantation at Ramboda.

The Ceylon tea is acclaimed as the best tea in the world. The influence of climatic conditions imparts to the product a variety of flavours and aromas, synonymous with quality. The cultivation and manufacture of tea is presently a highly skilled, scientific and technical process, with Sri Lanka producing some of the most fragrant teas in the world.

Return and Check in to hotel.

Dinner and overnight at Araliya Green Hills (B,D)

 

Day 11: Nuwara Eliya-Horton Plains-Adam's Peak

Nuwara Eliya / Horton Plains – 36kms – 01h10min (0ne way)

Nuwara Eliya / Adam’s Peak– 116kms – 03h00min

AM

Leave early morning leave for trekking (approx. 3 hrs) at Horton Plains.

Packed breakfast to enjoy en route.

Located on a high windswept saddle at 2134 metres elevation, these plains are hard to reach. Many visitors come to see “World’s End” situated on these plains which is considered to be the finest view in Sri Lanka. Early morning the Indian Ocean rims the horizon, 80 km away.

Horton Plains is Sri Lanka’s highest and most isolated plateau discovered by Sir Thomas Farr in the 1900's and named after the then British Governor of Sri Lanka Sir Horton. It is the only place where you could see the bear monkey. This is one of world’s best nature tracks and home to certain plant species, birds and insects that you see only at Horton Plaines. Nature lovers will enjoy this wide, patna-grass-covered plain, the haunt of several wild yet harmless animals and the home of many species of birds. Bridle paths through the plain will take you to the precipice, popularly referred to as “ Worlds End “; a sheer drop of 1050 metres. Lie on your stomach and peep over the ridge. When it is clear of mist, the view is simply magnificent!

Return to the hotel and check out. Proceed to Nalathanni / Adam’s Peak.

PM

Arrive late afternoon. Check in to a guesthouse to refresh and relax. Dinner & Rest.

Punsisi Guesthouse (B,D)

 

Day 12: Adam's Peak-Kandy

AM

Early morning around 2.00am, proceed to climb Adam’s Peak in time to view the sunrise from the temple.

After descending ADAMS PEAK (on same route) , meet with our transport and travel to Kandy.

 

PM

Relax and refresh.

Dinner and overnight Amaya Hills (B,D)

 

Day 13: Kandy

AM

Tour of Kandy including Temple of the tooth

Sri Lanka's second city is Kandy, a beautiful historical city in the citadel of the country. It is not only known for its great kings who ruled the city for almost 225 years independently until the British took over in 1815, but it is also the place where the Sacred Tooth of Lord Buddha is laid in a magnificent temple. The incomparable Perahera celebration, a procession of more than 100 elephants, is held here every August.

PM
Vist the home and private collection of Dr Jacques Soulie – an amazing man who will hold you capivated by his journey.

Dinner and overnight Amaya Hills. (B,D)

 

Day 14: Kandy - Kegalle - Unawatanu

Kandy / Kegalle – 40 kms – 01h00min

Kegalle / Unawatuna – 195 kms – 03h30min

AM

After breakfast, Travel to Unawatuna via the Millennium Elephant Foundation (short ride and tour of the paper factory).

PM

Arrive and check in to hotel. Dinner and Overnight

Calamander Unawatuna Beach (Deluxe) (B,D)

 

Day 15: Unawatuna - Galle - Unawatuna

Unawatuna / Galle – 5 kms – 10min

AM

After breakfast, explore Galle.

Galle is the south coast’s major city, whose oldest landmark is the massive 17th century Portuguese and Dutch Fort in which the central city is contained. As you walk through the streets you can see strong Dutch influences in the architecture, along with some old British residences and various mosques with Arabic touches.

PM

Return to hotel and relax.

Dinner and overnight.

Calamander Unawatuna Beach (Deluxe) (B,D)

 

Day 16: Unawatuna - Airport

Unawatuna / Airport 40km /01H00

AM

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure flight. 

Sri Lanka Tourist Visa

Visa applications for Sri Lanka is a quick and simple online process with applications usually processed within 24 hours. Cost is $30 USD. Passport and flight details are required to lodge an application.

Click here to link to the Visa Application

Inclusions

  • Welcome assistance on arrival and on departure.

  • Accommodation on Half Board basis through-out.

  • Transport in an a/c Mini Coach for 10-12 Pax with an English speaking guide or in a 33 seater coach for 13-15 Pax with an English speaking guide.

  • Visits / activities according to the program.

  • Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the above itinerary.

If you are travelling alone and do not want to share accommodation, a Single Supplement will apply. Please ask us before booking.

Exclusions

  • International Airfares
  • Airport Tax
  • Travel Insurance for your trip
  • Tips
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Lunch’s during the tour
  • Hiking equipment/ water / etc
  • Photo and video camera permits at some sites
  • Visa

Maps