A 14 day tour programme taking you on a journey to some of the most pristine areas in Sri Lanka. Witness the jewels of Mother Nature ranging from tiny caterpillars to lush rainforests, vibrant bird species as well the ancient capitals that bear witness to the advanced ancient civilizations.
Meet with the Aitken Spence representative who will accompany you to a Negombo Hotel. After checking- in at the hotel, go on a leisurely stroll on the beach or start your excursions to the Negombo fishing village which was famous during the colonial era.
Visit the well known Anawilundawa wetland, which was declared a Ramsar site in 2001, on your way to the Wilpattu National Park. Witness many colourful bird species, dragonflies, native & endemic butterflies as well as mammals at the wetlands that is famous for its complex reservoir system. A trip to the Willpattu National Park awaits you after lunch.
The ‘Land of Lakes’ also known as Wilpattu National Park features natural lakes which are saline in nature. These lakes (Willus) are fed by ground water due to natural depressions. Home to an array of species of mammals including elephants, leopards and sloth bears, the park is also a natural habitat of dragonflies. Lepidopterists visiting Wilpattu have the chance to spot some of the rare species of butterflies and moths.
The ancient city of Anuradhapura, once a medieval capital of Sri Lanka, hosts many archaeological ruins. Commanding a rich Sri Lankan heritage, Anuradhapura - one of the greatest and oldest civilizations in the world spanning over 1300 years in its peak - avows of being the greatest city of ancient Sri Lanka following its reign as the first capital. The sapphire of its crown is certainly the Sri Maha Bodhi - the sacred Bo sapling extracted from the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment - standing more than 2200 years in its pride. Stroll through the sacred trails of the venerated city to adore the legacy that interweaves Ruwanweliseya - the gigantic dagoba resting alongside the Basawakkulama Tank - shading the Samadhi Buddha Statue & Isurumuniya Rock Temple that empower the culture, heritage and supremacy of arguably the strongest kingdom in Sri Lankan history. Relax and spend the remainder of the day at a hotel in Habarana.
Embark on a journey to Sigiriya, early morning from Habarana. The 5th century rock citadel of King Kasyapa and World Heritage Site - Sigiriya - doesn't only boasts of ancient Sri Lankan engineering & urban planning supremacy but also acclaims to be one of the finest monuments of art & culture. Step through the gigantic 'Lion Paws' - overlooking the symmetrical royal gardens below - to comprehend the absolute splendor that once dominated this rock fortress. Surrounded by ramparts & moats the Lion Rock - resembling the mythological 'City of Gods' - is coated by frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in Ajanta caves of India. Walk in the shade of an eminent 'mirror wall' embracing the Western face of Sigiriya representing an artistic hundred meters laminated with graffiti.
Wander into the well-fabricated museum downstairs for an epic journey of yesteryears to realize how the citadel floated above citizens with the castle, ponds and irrigation systems that pumped water right onto its summit with an ingenious hydraulic system describing a colossal masterpiece of the great king which remained a wonder in Asia for centuries.
After a hearty breakfast set out on a journey looking for the fluttering jewels of the Sri Lankan jungles. If you are visiting during the right time of the year, you can witness thousands of butterflies en route to Adam’s Peak (Samanala Kanda). Knuckles, the mist-laden mountain range - resembling knuckles of a clenched fist - stretching within Matale & Kandy is nothing but a subtle habitat of flora and fauna, most of them being endemic to Sri Lanka. Knuckles is also considered to be a watering hole for hikers across the globe. Most of all, you are more likely to forget the rest of the universe once you sit back on a cliff that offers an absolutely spectacular sight of surrounding dense forests, tea plantations, terraced paddy fields and waterfalls. Meanwhile, fine tune your evening by listening to the crickets' cry as lanterns sway in the wind while you sit in content, in the comfort of your canvas tent!
Visit the last group of indigenous people also known locally as “the Veddas” who reside in Gal Oya. The dwellings of these once cavemen have been improved due to the support of the Government of Sri Lanka though the lifestyle remains the same for centuries. Another featured attraction in the area, the Gal Oya National Park is an abode to herds of elephants and other large mammals. Spend a night camping under the star-lit skies and if you are lucky you may hear the ghostly humming of the Spot bellied eagle owl.
The crack of dawn is the ideal time to visit Nilgala to see the Painted francolin that could be found in the lower Uva hills in Sri Lanka. These amazing native species are shy in nature and are often heard than seen. Those visiting Nilgala have the chance to spot rare butterfly species among the lush foliage. You might come across a sloth bear, leopard or even a pachyderm hiding among the grass. While chasing the butterflies you might even be lucky enough to spot the king crow a.k.a. the Racket Tailed Drongo.
Stop by the stunning cascading beauty, Dunhinda waterfalls on your way to Badulla with plenty of photo opportunities and the chance to see the feathery friends. After a fulfilling journey check in at your hotel in Ella and visit the famous Ravana Ella and the Mini Adams Peak.
Departure to Belihuloya starts early morning and en route stop at the Dowa temple that is known for its standing Buddha statue. Built over 2000 years ago by King Valagamba, the statue is 4m in height and carved in stone. According to chronicles a tunnel that leads to Kandy could be found here.
Listen to the rhythm of the flowing water and the chirping of the birds in Belihuloya. Take an evening stroll along the Kinchigune track and be enthralled with some of the butterfly species, insects, birds and many more. The scenic trail takes you on a journey along the Belihul Oya and the pristine forest featuring endemic flora and fauna as well as petite waterfalls that have been flowing for centuries.
Transfer to the Sinjaraja Rainforest and where you may trek to find many species of birds and butterflies. During your stay in the guest house take a stroll around to catch a glimpse of the Red slender loris or Golden palm civet cat.
Home to various species of colourful butterflies and birds, a trip to the rainforest in the morning will offer you a chance to spot these flocks of birds trying to catch their morning prey. However the likes of tree nymph and other butterfly species roam around fearlessly as their venomous nature enables their flying predators to keep away.
Bid farewell to your nature excursion after breakfast and travel back to the city of Colombo; The throbbing metropolis, Colombo - located in the West - is not only the country's capital, but also the turbine that impels above 50% of the national GDP flanking Colombo's fancy urban development effort. Drive along the clean streets edging the crystal white Race Course - horse racing hub in 1893 & World War II airstrip - furnished today with lavish clothing, food & tea boutiques. Meanwhile, ride to Pettah & tune into the Floating Market - an offbeat shopping experience - or feel the buzz surrounding the upcoming inspiration, the Colombo Port City - an offshore city - featuring parks, commercial complexes & even an F1 track! Head along Bauddhaloka Mawatha towards 'Arcade' facing a historic waypost, the Independence Square. Every designer boutique, top-notch cuisine outlet and even the 'walk-over fish tank', have revamped this colonial masterpiece into one of the trendiest shopping and hangout zones in Sri Lanka.
Have a chilled beer at the Dutch Hospital while gazing through fancy windows showcasing best fashion, jewelry & handicraft brands. Smell the scent of incense while listening to the chiming bells of Gangarama temple. Or, jazz up to Colombo's night life spiced by night clubs & casinos that borderline its bustle. If you're lucky, head into an exhibition at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) before swaying your head to an opera or play at Nelum Pokuna that should just drive your day into perfection!
Your journey comes to an end with an airport transfer to the BIA.