Ceylan Wild – Short Tour

Despite its small size Sri Lanka boasts of 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 91 species of mammals found in Sri Lanka Asian Elephants, Sloth Bear, Leopards, Sambar and Wild Buffaloes engages the majority of the attention of wildlife enthusiast. Yet the rarest mammals of Sri Lanka are the Red Slender Loris, Toque Macaque, and Purple-faced Langur. Meanwhile the ocean around Sri Lanka is home to large families of cetaceans including the mighty Blue Whales, Sperm Whales and lively Dolphins. Altogether 26 species of cetaceans rule the waters surrounding the country, making it one of the best locations for whale and dolphin watching. Sri Lanka is also home to a large number of endemic and migrant birds.

PLEASE NOTE:
Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo Sri Lanka will undergo daily maintenance work between the hours of08:30 to 16:30 (8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.) from the 5th of January to the 5 th  of April 2017. All flights scheduled to arrive or depart during these times will be affected and will be subjected to a schedule change. Please consult your airline or travel agent with regards to the changes and advise Ceylan Vacations as soon as possible so that we can rebook arrival and/or departure transfers. Please note that during this time, your flight may change several times. So make sure to recheck your flight details several days prior to travel.







Highlights

  • Elephant Orphanage
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Elephant Ride
  • 4x4 Jeep safari at Minneriya National Park
  • Technical visit to a Spice Garden and Batik Factory
  • Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Cultural Dance Show
  • A bathing experience at a picturesque waterfall – Ramboda Falls
  • Tea factory and Plantation experience
  • Horton Plains National Park & World’s End
  • Colombo City Experience



Itinerary

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You will arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport and be met and warmly greeted by your chauffeur guide. Proceed to Negombo.Negombo is a characteristic fishing town north of Colombo and is a mere 6 km from the international airport. Set amidst lush groves of coconut palms, it breathes the spirit of the sea and is naturally a sea food paradise. Old - world fishing craft, like the outrigger canoe and the catamaran, bring seer, skipjack, herring, mullet, pomfret and amber jack, whilst lobster and prawn are caught in the lagoon. PM – If you’re not too tired, you could do some sightseeing.

After a hearty breakfast, you will leave for Habarana visiting the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage en-route. The Elephant Orphanage is the home for Elephants who have been displaced or lost from their natural habitat. This is the only such sanctuary in the world. You could watch the beasts gamboling in the water and the young ones being fed their quota of milk from handheld bottles. Continues to Habarana In the evening you will climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site) which is known as the 8th wonder of the world. This rock fortress was built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century A.D. and was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. In a sheltered a pocket, approached by a spiral stairway, are the famous frescoes. The summit of the rock, with an area of nearly one hectare was the site of the palace and the outer wall was built on the very brink of the precipice. The UNESCO sponsored Central Cultural Fund has restored Sigiriya 5th century water gardens to their former glory.

After breakfast visit the Minneriya National Park and proceed on a safari. Minneriya National Park consists of 8890 hectares and consists of mixed evergreen forest, scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka's favorites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in 3rd century AD by King Mahasena) and a significant feature is the “Elephant Gathering” which happens between July & August when the tanks and other water sources around the area dry out. When this happens the elephants living in the surrounding areas gather at the Minneriya Tank that never runs dry. During this period you could witness around 300 wild elephants at a glance which is a truly amazing sight. Thereafter you will be given the chance to do an Elephant Ride on the back of a majestic elephant. You will ride through the jungle and also cross a river on an Elephant's back. This is truly an experience of a lifetime!! PM – Second safari at Minneriya National Park.

After breakfast proceed to Kandy. On the way you will visit a Spice Garden and a Batik Factory. The Sacred City of Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful towns. This cool weathered hill station is Sri Lanka’s most visited place after Colombo. The main attraction of the town is the golden-roofed ‘Dalada Maligawa’. This is where the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is enshrined. There are also many numerous shrines and temples in and around Kandy where you could see rare paintings, frescoes, and stone carvings. PM - Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the Relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple. Also if time permits, you could witness a very interesting Cultural Dance Show.

After breakfast proceed to Nuwara Eliya visiting the famous waterfall known as 'Ramboda Falls' and a Tea Factory and Plantation. Ramboda Falls (109m and is the 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka) assures serenity and peace just by looking at it. Soak in the flora and fauna the Ramboda falls have to offer, which includes butterflies, wild boar, hare, deer, mouse deer and monkeys. If the weather is right, you could have a dip in the cool fresh waters which is a beautiful experience. Also you would visit a Tea Factory and Plantation where you would be educated on the production process of the world’s famous “Ceylon Tea” and also taste a factory fresh cuppa! Nuwara Eliya is set in the heart of The Tea Country and is a beautiful little town where the British succeeded in creating a replica of the English countryside with homes in styles from Georgian to Queen Anne. Well-kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican church, a famous golf course and beautiful parks give the place an air of nostalgia. Situated 6,200 feet above sea level, the air is cool and fresh. This is surely a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city life. PM – Drive around the town and also visit Lake Gregory. It was built by the Governor William Gregory during 1872 – 1877 periods by utilizing water from the Nanu-Oya which runs across the town. It is about 91.2 hectares in extent. It was said to be used for water sports and for re-recreational activities during the British rule.

Wake up early morning and proceed to Horton Plains National Park with packed breakfast. Lying 6500ft above sea level, this is the highest and most isolated plateau consisting of wide patna-grass covered plains which is the haunt of many wild, yet harmless animals and the home to many species of birds. Bridle paths will take you to the precipice known as World’s End – a sheer drop of 1,050 meters. Waterfalls are seen and heard everywhere. The 4 ½ km trek to World’s End takes from 40 minutes to 1½ hours depending on how many times you stop to admire the view. You cross a small streams with lots of croaking frogs before passing across the grassland and then descending a few hundred metres through the forest. Then you return to the main path and a track drops down to a valley along which a 2km walk leads to a small forested escarpment. A climb and then a scrambling descent (very slippery for the last few metres so take care) take you to the picturesque waterfall named Baker’s Falls. After this 11 km trek you would return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel.

After breakfast leave for Colombo. Sightseeing tour of the Commercial Capital of the Island which includes a mile-long promenade of Galle Face Green, the exclusive Cinnamon Gardens, the Independence Square, the vibrant bazaars of Pettah, and the pristine beaches of Mt. Lavinia. Your journey will be enhanced by the many religious sanctuaries, which manifest in their variety, the peaceful tolerance of the city’s diverse inhabitants. You might also visit the National Museum and get a real taste of the ancient, colonial and modern influences, which make up the city.

After breakfast proceed to the airport OR drop at your selected beach resort for extended stay.

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