Sri Lanka Adventure

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Sri Lanka

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World Expeditions

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An active adventure to the heart of Sri Lanka

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.


Join Negombo

Upon arrival at Colombo Airport, you will be met and transferred to the group hotel in Negombo. In the afternoon we take a boat ride in the Muthurajawela Nature Reserve, a unique tropical wetland located between Colombo and Negombo. This reserve covers an area of 7000 hectares and includes wetland marshes and mangrove forests. During the boat trip relax and enjoy the birdlife including herons, storks, waders and brilliantly coloured kingfishers. Overnight: at Rani Beach Hotel

Drive to Salgala Buddhist Monastery in town (2 hours driving, 2 hours walking)

After breakfast we visit the Salgala monastic complex, a haven for monks who have renounced worldly pleasures to lead a life of austerity and meditation. This evening we cross the river and hike through coconut estates, rubber plantations, rice fields, and remote villages. Overnight: Elephant Bay Hotel Pinnawala

To the ancient capital of Anuradhapura (approx. 3.5 hours driving, 2.5 hours walking)

After breakfast we journey by road to Anuradhapura - the 1st capital dating back to the 5th Century BC. On the way we visit the ancient Buddhist library building in Padeniya Temple. Discover Yapahuwa with its beautiful ornamental stairway that climbs to a natural terrace and magnificent views. We then contunue to Anuradhapura. Overnight: Palm Garden Village Hotel Anuradhapura or similar

Visit Buddhist monuments en route to Giritale (approx. 2.5 hours driving, 1.5 hours walking)

It is an early start this morning at 7.00am as we visit the historical and cultural sights of Anuradhapura. This will include the Sacred Bo Tree – the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world grown from the sapling of the Bo Tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Also, Ruwanweliseya Dagaba; Thuparama - the first Dagaba built enshrining the Collar Bone of the Lord Buddha, Isurumuniya Rock Temple - famous forts sculpture of lovers; Jethawanarama- which is said to have been higher than the great Pyramid at Giza in its original form and which is now a World Heritage Site; Samadhi Statue sculpture depicting the meditation posture of the Lord Buddha; Royal Pleasure Garden; Moonstone and the Twin Ponds. Later we continue to Mihintale and Habarana, en-route we stop at the famous Avukana Buddha image. Overnight: Dannawwa Resort and Spa or similar.

To Sigiriya via Polonnaruwa (approx. 2.5 hours driving, 4 hours walking)

After breakfast we visit the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa - the medieval Capital of Sri Lanka - 11th Century AD. Polonnaruwa rose to fame after the decline of Anuradhapura. The largest of the man made reservoirs, the huge Parakrama Samudra, is larger in size than the Colombo harbour. We will visit the ruins of the King’s Council Chamber, the Royal Citadel, the Kumara Pokuna, Royal Pavilion, the Vatadage Relic House lavished with moonstones, guardstones and sculptured railing, Kiri Vehera - the best preserved of all Sri Lanka’s un-restored dagabas; Gal Vihare - the most impressive sculptures are the colossal Buddha images carved on the face of a granite boulder. The recumbent Buddha measures 14 metres and the standing figure is 7 metres in height. Overnight: Dannawwa Resort and Spa or similar.

To Dambulla Cave and the cultural center of Kandy (approx. 2 hours driving)

En route to Kandy we visit Dambulla Cave Temple famous for its wall paintings, statues of Lord Buddha and deities among which lies a 47ft recumbent Buddha. Overnight: Hotel Senani or similar

Explore Kandy

The name Kandy conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. The Kandy Lake built by the last King Sri Wickramarajasinghe in 1806 adds colour to the city. It is a city for arts and crafts as well as culture and history. Today we visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, Upper Lake Drive (for a great view of the city), the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya (one of the finest of its kind in Asia with more than 5000 species of flora, and once the headquarters of Lord Mountbatten), and a Gem Museum. In the evening we will enjoy a Cultural Performance by traditional Kandyan Dancers and Drummers including devotional “Fire Walking”. Overnight: Hotel Senani or similar

Journey by train, rafting (1.5hours) and Adam's Peak Climb (5,600 steps), total travel time approx. 3.5 hours.

After breakfast we leave for the Peradeniya railway station to travel by train to Nawalapitiya. On arrival at Nawalapitiya we continue by road to Kithulagala for white water rafting on the Kalani river. Continue to the village of Dalhousie at the base of Adam’s Peak – the Holy Mountain. Depending on the anticipated number of pilgrims to climb Adams Peak for sunrise (between 5:30am and 6:00am) we will either leave late this evening or early tomorrow morning. The actual climb takes between 3 hours and 11 hours on very busy days (weekends and full moon). It is reasonably demanding and the majority of the well worn track is stairs with the final stages one long staircase. On the way up there are tea stalls (some open through the night), pagoda’s and tiny lights to illuminate the way. Adam’s Peak (2224m), has attracted pilgrims for more than 1000 years, due to the legend that it was here that Adam first stepped onto the earth after being expelled from Heaven. Whilst pilgrims climb to the top to view the enormous ‘footprint’, claimed by various groups to be that of Adam’s, Buddhas and even Lord Shiva, the view at the top at dawn is spectacular, making it well worth the effort. As the weather can be quite cold before the sunrise, it is advisable to bring warm, windproof clothing. Check into guesthouse, Dalhousie

To Ella (approx. 3.5 hours)

After the climb we descend to Dickoya where have a late breakfast before driving to Ella. This town is set at 1100ms and the landscape falls dramatically to the plains 1000ms below, offering spectacular views. The afternoon if for relaxation, however there is the option to visit Rawana Ella waterfalls. Overnight: Ella Mount Heaven Hotel or similar

To the Bambarakanda Falls - the highest in Sri Lanka (12km, 6 hours)

This morning we take a two hour train journey before a moderate 12 km hike through scenic tea plantations, paddy fields and villages to the Bambarakanda Falls - the highest in Sri Lanka. There is the chance to take a dip in the pool at the bottom before continuing to a small village where we enjoy lunch with a local family. Overnight: Belihuloya Riverside Camp

Drive to Uda Walawe National Park (approx. 2 hours)

Today we will undertake a jeep safari of the Uda Walawe National Park. This park is approximately 30,821 hectares in extent and lies within the Ratnapura and Monaragala Districts. It acts as the catchment to the Uda Walawe Reservoir and is located in the Dry Zone. This Park comprises grasslands and thorn scrubs and many valuable species of trees are found within it. Large herds of Elephants and Deer species such as spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking deer and Langur, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo, Jackal are some of the prominent wild animals found in this Park and a variety of avifauna is seen. Today we will also visit the Elephant Transit Home. Overnight: Athgira Riverside Camp or Elephant Trails Hotel

To Ratnapura (approx. 1 hour), commence canoe trip on Kalu Ganga

This morning we journey by road to the bustling market town of Ratnapura, Sri Lanka’s famous Gem mining, region. Literally meaning “City of Gems” (“ratna” meaning gems and “pura” meaning City), Ratnapura has the greatest concentration of gems in the world. These precious stones include Familiar and exotic gems such as rubies, aquamarines, alexandrite, topaz, moonstone, spinel, Amethyst, tourmaline, and zircon. From Ratnapura we commence canoeing down the Kalu Ganga, or Black River, latest by 10.00am we commence near the Ratnapuraand commence the Calmer part of canoeing through the river which cover around 15Kms and thereafter. The second stage covers around 17Kms where it becomes more adventurous up to the Bridge of Ellagawa where we stop at a scenic location for a snack and re commence the final stage at a speed of around 04kmphr till we reach the point Wegawatta Village where we camp the night. Overnight: at Wegawatta Village Camp Site

Canoeing on the Kalu Ganga and and journey to Colombo (approx. 1 hour)

After an early breakfast we set out canoeing through magnificent jungle scenery, with a variety of vegetation and changing landscapes. Covering a distance of 19kms of calm waters to Thebuwana before journeying by road to Colombo for an afternoon of sightseeing. Overnight: Hotel

Trip concludes

Transfer to the airport for departure

Additional Information

Sri Lanka is ideally suited to adventure touring. A land of misty highlands and tea plantations, dense jungles and National Parks that are ideally suited for trekking and day walks. We also appreciate the multitude of handicrafts, Buddhist monuments and colonial heritage that forms the country's rich cultural history. Our journey leads deep into the rainforest of central Sri Lanka where monks conduct prayers in harmony with the forest before continuing to the ancient Buddhist capital of Anuradhapura and the world heritage site of Polonnaruwa. We wander the renowned tea plantations and botanical gardens of Kandy before an ascent of the famous pilgrimage site, Adam's Peak and a wildlife safari in the elephant prolific National Parkland. Our introductory canoeing trip down the Kalu Ganga is a fitting highlight to our journey. No prior experience is necessary just a willingness to go with the flow and savour the village life and nature that abound along the rivers edge.

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