ARRIVAL / NEGOMBO
Arrival at Colombo International Airport, meet assist by the Representative of SAS Travels and transfer to Negombo
The western coastal region starts from Negombo, a bustling town situated just 12 km away from the Bandaranaike International Airport north of Colombo. Negombo is home to the largest Catholic community in Sri Lanka, which can be considered as a legacy of the Portuguese, who industriously spread Catholicism during their rule. Many 17th-century Dutch buildings also remain in Negombo.
Negombo is one of Sri Lanka’s busiest fishing centers and is also famous for coconut products, cinnamon, ceramics and brassware. The beauty is found on the beaches and around the lagoons, where colorful fishing boats lie on the blue water against a backdrop of palm trees and blue sky. Dutch Canal which was then a supply route to the Dutch administration, old churches and fishing villagers is still being used and is an attraction for those who want to see the country from a different perspective
Dinner and Overnight stay at Negombo
NEGOMBO / PINNAWELA / PERADENIYA / KANDY
After breakfast, drive to pinnawela, and then drive to Kandy via Peradeniya
Visit to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage – Near Kegalle on the Colombo Kandy road is the Pinnawela Elephant orphanage, a riverside sanctuary which cares for elephants displaced from wild habitats. The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975, commenced with seven orphans. The orphanage is home to hundreds of abandoned or injured elephants who are looked after with warmth, love and affection. The elephants at the orphanage are bathed daily in a river located nearby. The original objective of establishing the orphanage was more towards promoting tourism, but soon became a conservation and educational centre. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawela started a scientific captive-breeding programme for elephants.
The Royal Botanical Gardens, the magnificent river girdled 57 hectare laid out in 1832 are among the finest in the world. Its treasures of tropical flora include fine collections of orchids, aromatic spices, medicinal herbs, palms and rare endangered plant species. These gardens were the naturally camouflaged operations headquarters of SEAC Supreme Allied Commander, Lord Louis Mountbatten during the 2nd World War.
Drive to Kandy and do the Kandy City Tour – (the Sacred City of Kandy) – is a city in the centre of Sri Lanka. It lies in the midst of hills of rare vegetal species. The Kandy Valley crosses an area of tropical plantations.The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an example of construction that associates the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth. It was one of a series of temples built in the places where the relic, the actual palladium of the Sinhalese monarchy, was brought following the various relocations of the capital city.The Temple of the Tooth, the palace complex and the holy city of Kandy are associated with the history of the dissemination of one of the most important religions of humanity, Buddhism. The Temple of Kandy is the product of the last peregrination of the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha and the testimony of a cult which continues to be practiced today.Kandy has now grown out to encompass Peradeniya, home to the Botanical Gardens. Kandy is also particularly famed for the great Kandy EsalaPerahara (a Pageant of Elephants and Dancers), which is over ten days in the month of Esala (August) having many attractions to justify.
KANDY / RAMBODA FALLS / NUWARA ELIYA
After breakfast, drive to Nuwara eliya via Ramboda.
The “Puna Ela” is one of the principal branches of the mighty Mahaweli River. The Water leap of the Puna Ela is referred to as the Ramboda waterfall. The Ramboda falls is a gigantic waterfall, which is divided into 03 parts.
Nuwara Eliya also known as the “City of Lights” and “Little England”, Nuwara Eliya was the favourite hill station of the British who tried to create Nuwara Eliya into a typical English Village. The old brick Post office, country house like hill club, with it’s hunting pictures, mounted hunting trophies and fish, and it’s strict formal dinner attire; the 18 hole golf course, race course etc., all remind you of ‘England’.
Blessed a with salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery; it’s hard to imagine that Nuwara Eliya is only 180 Km from the hot and humid Colombo.
The areas around Nuwara Eliya also provide the main output of tea in Sri Lanka. A trip to the highlands of Sri Lanka is never complete without witnessing the age-old traditional tea plucking and sipping a cup of “Ceylon Tea”. Visitors to Nuwara Eliya can also taste the freshly plucked strawberries and purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
NUWARA ELIYA / ELLA / YALA
After breakfast, drive Yala via Ella.
Ruhuna is an important national park on the south east coast of Sri Lanka. The reserve covers 979 km², although only the original 141 km² are open to the public. Much of the reserve is parkland, but it also contains jungle, beaches, freshwater lakes and rivers and scrubland. The latter zone is punctuated with enormous rocky outcrops. The range of habitats gives rise to a good range of wildlife.
Yala has the world’s highest concentration of Leopards, although seeing this largely nocturnal carnivore still requires some luck. There are good numbers of Asian Elephants, crocodile, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo and Grey langurs amongst other large animals. The open parkland attracts birds of prey such as White-bellied Sea Eagle and the wetlands have waders, Painted Storks, and the rare Black-necked Stork.
Landbirds of course are in abundance, and include Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Peafowl and Sri Lanka Jungle fowl.
YALA / HIKKADUWA
After breakfast, drive to Hikkaduwa.
Hikkaduwa is a fishing village located 98 km away from Colombo and is the most popular of the beach centers in the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa is blessed with natural attractions of wide and sun kissed beaches, magnificent coral gardens populated with turtles and exotic fish where best snorkeling and scuba diving facilities offering the best to the water sports lovers.
Visitors can also take a safari down the Madhu River in Balapitiya, or witness the moon stone mines and a cinnamon plantation in Meetiyagoda. Hikkaduwa is also a town of historical value, a short trip inland will bring you to the Gangarama Maha Vihara – a Buddhist temple which consists of many educational paintings.
HIKKADUWA / KOSGODA / COLOMBO / AIRPORT
After breakfast, drive to Kosgoda , Then drive to Colombo after that transfer to the Bandaranaike International Airport
Drive to the turtle hatchery located in Kosgoda is famous for several species of turtles, specially the endangered hawksbills. Eggs which are left uncovered on beaches all around the coast are brought by fishermen of Kosgoda area, which has led to the hatching and release of 100,000 young turtles in only two years since the hatchery opened.
Colombo (derived from Sinhalese name Kola-amba-thota which means “mango harbour”, altered by the Portuguese to honour Christopher Columbus), is the cultural capital and largest city and commercial center of Sri Lanka. (The new administrative capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura-Kotte.)
A vast majority of Sri Lankan corporations have their head offices located in Colombo. Some of the industries include chemicals, textiles, leather goods, furniture, and jewelry.
Colombo was probably known to Roman, Arab, and Chinese traders more than 2,000 years ago. Muslims settled there in the 8th century and controlled much of the trade between Sinhalese kingdoms and the outside world. The Portuguese arrived in the 16th century and built a fort to protect their spice trade. The Dutch captured the city in the 17th century. The British made the city the capital of their crown colony of Ceylon in 1802
Sightseeing highlights include the Colombo Gangarama Buddhist Temple, Town Hall, and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. Apart from excellent shopping, Colombo offers visits to one of the world’s leading tea auctions, an 18 hole Golf Course, seasonal Buddhist and Hindu pageants, international cricket tournaments, plush casinos, enjoyable evening entertainment and excellent restaurants. State-of-the-Art communications and Cyber services are available in the hotels and other outlets.
Good road and rail transport links are possible from Colombo to all tourist resorts. A number of cruise lines also call at the Colombo Port. The Pettah area, which is in the heart of Colombo, is a beehive of activity. Traders and payment hawkers of all kinds flock to Colombo and it’s a well-known fact that Pettah is where the best bargains are available