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Family Sri Lanka Tour

Overview

This exciting journey across Sri Lanka offers a little bit of everything for all the family,we explore dense jungles, discover Buddhist relics and enjoy a fun–filled few days on beautiful sandy beaches. Elephant safaris, tractor tours and game drives are all part of the adventure in this tropical paradise known as "Buddha′s Island".

Tour Highlights?

Itinerary

Check-in at our hotel in Negombo (situated close to Colombo airport). In the late afternoon we will visit a nearby fishing village. The catch here is made in traditional style large outrigger canoes, known locally as "oruvas".

Overnight Standard Hotel Swimming available.

Boarding our minibus we drive inland to Habarana. En route we stop in Negombo Village before driving on to watch the toddy tappers climbing tall coconut trees and collecting sap from the flowers to make Arrack, a local whisky type spirit. We then drive on via Kurunegala to Habarana for our Elephant back safari through the shrub jungles & across the Habarana ponds – here we should encounter a variety of small wild animals and birds amidst fascinating plants and flowers. We continue in our coach to Giritale.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast Swimming available.

In the morning we use the most common & versatile mode of transport used by the villagers of nearby farming communities, a "Land Master" (a two wheeled tractor with a trailer). We will visit a nearby village where we can experience the day to day life of a typical Sri Lankan village and also visit a chena or paddy cultivation of a local farmer. This afternoon, we explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa by bike (with the option to travel in our bus), which reached the pinnacle of its glory in the 12th century. The city still has many interesting and spectacular buildings and monuments. There is the Royal Palace Group with its Audience Hall, Bathing Pool and Quadrangle–a very compact collection of ruins. Close by is the Circular Relic House, a curious round structure with a beautifully preserved "moonstone" carved at the foot of a flight of steps. Another famous feature of the deserted city is the group of carved images of the Buddha known as Galvihara. Here there are four colossal figures, all of which are hewn out of solid granite. The Reclining Buddha is no less than 14m long!

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast Swimming available.

We drive to Sigiriya (approximately 40 mins) for a morning climb up to the Sky Fortress. The ruins of this 5th century fortress are one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions, a stupendous sight to behold and a feat of consummate engineering skill. A switchback series of steps (sometimes very steep) ascends to the top. Halfway up, tucked beneath a sheltering overhang of rock, are the famous frescoes –the Sigiriya Damsels, their colours still glowing. Magnificent views can be enjoyed from the summit of the rock palace (200m high). On our descent we board the bus for a short drive to Giritale. The rest of the day is at leisure or free for personal exploration around the Giritale reservoir which is rich in birdlife. There is time for an optional visit to the nearby Minneriya or Kaudulla National park where you can see wild elephants in their natural habitat.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast Swimming available.

Leaving Giritale in the morning we drive to Dambulla, where a great series of caves have been turned into temples (dating from the 1st century BC). We will visit five separate caves, which contain a large number of Buddha images and a few sculptures of Hindu Gods. This World Heritage Site is visited by crowds of worshippers. We now board our bus for our 2 hour drive to Kandy. On the way we stop to visit a spice garden. Lying in the mountains, 112km northeast of Colombo, Kandy is in climatic terms, a world apart due to its altitude of 500m above sea level. The town was captured by the British in 1815, and is known more for its cultural and spiritual importance rather than its history. Buddhists from all over the world come to this delightful old highland town specifically to visit the Temple of the Tooth, the Dalada Maligawa. The costly jewelled shrine of the holy tooth (said to be 3.5cm long by 1cm thick and Buddha’s left canine) is kept in the upper floor of the original building. This relic was brought from India 1,500 years ago and every year, at the time of the August full moon, it is paraded round the town with great pomp and circumstance. During this ten night festival of Perahera, the tooth (or a replica) is borne along on a richly decorated elephant, surrounded by saffron–robed monks and Kandyan dancers. Kandyan dancers can be seen performing every night at one or two locales around town. The evening’s sight-seeing includes attending the Temple of the Tooth Ceremony.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast Swimming available.

After breakfast, we drive to Peradeniya, located just outside the city, where we wander through the lush Royal Botanical Gardens. Afterwards, we will get rickshaws to the University complex before joining our tour leader for a walking tour of Kandy which will include visiting the town’s colourful and interesting markets. The rest of the day is free for personal exploration. You may wish to continue shopping at the Kandyan Art Association’s workshops, which has plenty of brassware, batik, lacquer work and other craft items which make excellent souvenirs or presents.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast Swimming available.

This morning we head off across the highlands visiting a working tea factory en route to the hill station of Nuwara Eliya. We take a look around this little town, known as "Little England", famous for its lake, golf and race course and well manicured gardens. We drive through the mountains and around green rolling hills covered in tea plantations. In the late afternoon we arrive at the bustling market town of Bandarawela.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast.

Our road takes us through a pass and down the escarpment to the lowlands, offering fantastic views of the plains and the mountains above us. A short drive brings us to Belihuloya, a very picturesque and romantic hamlet situated about 160km east of Colombo in the historic "Sabaragamuwa" province. This zone is a climatically transitional area linking the wet and dry zones with the hill country and the low country. This very important location has made it one of the areas of the country with the highest level of bio–diversity. We explore the surrounding villages on foot (a very easy walk) , walking through paddy fields down to the nearby lake. On return to Belihuloya we may have time to bathe in the natural rock pool and have lunch. This is a unique place where two streams namely Belihuloya and Galagamaoya meet, creating a natural swimming area with clear unpolluted water that flows down from Horton Plains 2200 meters above sea level. We leave in the early afternoon drive to our camp on the Eastern border of Udawalawe National Park. Designated a national park in 1972, Udawalawe covers some 31,800 hectacres and, surrounded by mountains, is a mix of rolling grasslands, teak plantations, rainforest and scrub. Renowned for its large herd of elephants (this is in fact one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see them), the park is also home to deer, wild boar, buffalo, jackal, even the odd leopard. Its resident bird population is also second to none, including a magnificent collection of birds of prey, chief amongst them being the impressive whitebellied sea eagle.
This afternoon we will drive into the National Park to take a game drive by jeep. Whilst it cannot be guaranteed, we hope to see some of the animals which can be found here including, of course, elephants. We finish off the day with a relaxing BBQ and campfire under the stars.
Overnight Simple Camping Included meals–Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will drive to our next localtion, Hikkaduwa. En route we will stop at some local hot springs to relax. Further on we will call in at a local lace making project suppoted by the travel foundation. This is a project which allows women to become self sufficient and learn a skill to support themselves. You may want to buy a gift here to support the women or just watch while they show you their work.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast.

Today is free to relax on the beautiful beaches Hikkaduwa has to offer.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast.Swimming available

You may wish to book a whalewatching trip leaving from the Harbour in Mirissa and see if you can spot some of the amazing whales of the area. This evening we will head to Galle fort where you will have the chance to walk around it’s walls and watch the sunset over the sea. The fort area of Galle dating back over 400 years. A dinner will be provided at the fort which you can chose to enjoy.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast.Swimming available

This morning you will have time to relax on the beach before we head back to Negombo. En route to Negombo we visit a Turtle Hatchery at Bentota to see the breeding process of the endangered sea turtle.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals –Breakfast.Swimming available.



Our tour ends this morning after breakfast. Included meals–Breakfast