Sri Lanka 2

Sri Lanka Tour Plan

Sri Lanka is among countries that start with S listed on The tropical island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, only about 55 km south of the Indian subcontinent, only broke away from the Indian mainland about 8,000 years ago. With 65,000 km², Sri Lanka is somewhat smaller than Bavaria and has over 20 million residents. The largest population group are Sinhalese with approx. 75% share of the population, followed by Tamils ​​(approx. 15%), who fought bloody battles with the Sinhalese in the north of the island in the course of a 25-year civil war until 2009. The predominant religion is Buddhism. The capital Colombo in the west of the island is still the largest city in the country with over 700,000 residents.

Sri Lanka 1

  • Day 1: Off to “India’s Tear in the Ocean”
  • Day 2: Descent to Colombo & continuation towards Yapahuwa
  • Day 3: The rock fortress of Yapahuwa
  • Day 4: Kandy & Esala Perahera Festival
  • Day 5: Hiking the Simpson’s Trail
  • Day 6: Eisenwald, rose quartz & the elephant gathering
  • Day 7: Sigiriya rock fortress & the cloud girls
  • Day 8: Sun, sand & sea
  • Day 9: Dolphins & Beach Fun
  • Day 10: Day at leisure
  • Day 11: Wilpattu National Park
  • Day 12: Wilpattu National Park
  • Day 13: Lively metropolis, colorful bazaars, colonial buildings – Colombo
  • Day 14: Goodbye, Sri Lanka!

The adults stand side by side in rows, the little ones form a group apart: up to 300 elephants come together at the lake in Minneriya National Park, people drink and bathe. When the pachyderms move around the Tooth Temple together with dancers, drummers and fire-eaters, we will be there live on one of our travel dates (from July 23). In addition, we go out to sea to see the spinner dolphins, with luck we will look a slim lory in his big eyes during the night safari.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

On to “India’s tear in the ocean”

Slightly excited, but with all the more anticipation, we board the plane to Sri Lanka today, the land of tea and spices.

2nd day:

Descent to Colombo & continuation towards Yapahuwa

Approach for landing in Colombo, where a little later we are welcomed with a “world wide hiking” sign. Only an hour’s drive and we reach our current quarters in Polgahawela, which is near the old capital Yapahuwa. We live in the “Birds Park”, a small, sustainably managed lodge with a wonderful view of lush green forests and hills. In the evening we have time to explore the area around our accommodation. During a walk to a waterfall we discover the diverse flora and fauna.

Driving time: approx. 1.5 hours overnight at Birds Park in Polgahawela
(- / – / A)

3rd day:

The rock fortress of Yapahuwa

Refreshed and strengthened, we explore the old royal city of Yapahuwa from the 13th century. The dormant fortress is enthroned on an imposing rock and is reminiscent of times long past. The rock was once surrounded by two strong wall rings and a moat, its almost 100 m high walls were another protective wall. Some of the fortress reminds of Khmer architecture or Mayan pyramids. It is believed that the houses of the townspeople were located in the spacious area between the two walls, while the houses of the ruling family were distributed in the inner ring. The Temple of the Tooth is unmistakable on a natural rock platform, to which a mighty flight of stairs adorned with lion sculptures and rock paintings leads up. Also a monastery cave on the east side of the rock, which has been used since the 2nd century, we can visit. The afternoon is at our disposal.

Driving time: approx. 1.5 hours. Overnight: Birds Park, Polgahawela
(B / – / D)

4th day:

Kandy & Esala Perahera Festival

We slip into our hiking shoes and start today from our lodge. Our path is lined with pepper trees until we finally come to a natural pool at a waterfall. After a refreshing swim, we continue towards Kandy, the last capital of the Sinhalese kingdom. In Kandy, which is picturesquely nestled against a lake, we encounter a cultural stronghold that maintains and continues the old traditions, classical dance forms and centuries-old handicrafts. The highlight for many is Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth (UNESCO cultural heritage).
Today we stay in a comfortable lodge in the green hill country near Kandy, surrounded by fragrant spice and tea plantations. Depending on our mood, we take time to relax in the spa or explore the area in the afternoon.
During our travel date in July 2020 we will visit the Esala Perahera, one of the interesting festivals in Southeast Asia. Processions with magnificently decorated elephants, dancers and drummers parade through the streets. All in honor of the Buddha’s tooth relic, which is kept in the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. We observe the colorful and happy events very closely.

Travel time: approx. 3 hours.
Hikes: approx. 2 hours.
Overnight: Simpsons Forest Lodge in Wattegama
(B / – / D)

5th day:

Hiking the Simpson’s Trail

Our hike through the cooler highlands starts right at our lodge. The path leads us through the Hunnasgiriya Mountains (1100-1300 m). We hike through rainforest and tea plantations, where we will meet the farmers at work in the tea plantations. At harvest time, women are out and about with large baskets on their backs to pluck the top leaves of the tea bushes, which are then dried, fermented and packaged. Relaxation awaits us in the afternoon at the pool of our lodge.

Hike: approx. 4 hours (12 km) (+ 200m / -200m)
Overnight: Simpsons Forest Lodge in Wattegama
(B / – / D)

6th day:

Eisenwald, Rosenquarz & the elephant gathering

Today we go to Habarana, the center of the so-called cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. On the way we discover a special landscape on our hike: Jathika Namal Uyana. The largest ironwood forest in Asia extends here. This type of ironwood tree is endemic to Sri Lanka. We also see the pink shining rocks, which testify to the once rich occurrence of rose quartz. 102 tropical plant species, 19 species of birds and numerous mammals such as elephants, leopards, monkeys and axis deer are said to be at home here in Jathika Namal Uyana. But this region also has an eventful history behind it – from the retreat for Buddhist monks to the prison camp.
Later, in Minneriya National Park, on a jeep safari – with a bit of luck – we watch a grandiose spectacle: “The Gathering” – the gathering of elephants! Up to 300 Asian elephants gather here at the lake in Minneriya National Park because many bodies of water dry up towards the end of June. Here you can also wonderfully observe the “social life” of the elephants.

Travel time: approx. 3 hours.
Hike: approx. 3 hours (+/- 100 m)
Overnight: Hotel Kassapa Lion’s Rock, Sigiriya
(B / – / D)

7th day:

Sigiriya Rock Fortress & the Cloud Girls

This morning we cycle comfortably through small villages to Sigirya. There we experience another highlight of our trip: We climb the Sigiriya Fortress (“Lion Rock”), which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. King Kassapa I built a fortress in the 5th century on the monolithic magma block of an eroded volcano, which rises about 200 meters from the jungle. The way up leads over 1,200 steps carved into the rock. Halfway up we make a detour to the famous “Cloud Girls”: Under a rock overhang you can find the ancient frescoes of bare-breasted young women. The murals are originally from the 5th century and have been touched up again and again over time. Around 20 cloud girls have been preserved from the original 500.
Our way to the rock plateau leads us past the “mirror wall”. On the plateau, the remains of the wall and the gardens of the once magnificent fortress of Kassapas await us, including the remains of a giant lion sculpture that gave the rock its name.
In the evening we drive to Ritigala, a region known for its biodiversity. At the foot of the hill we also find what was once the largest monastery of a brotherhood of Buddhist monks from the 8th century. For their buildings they have developed specific architectural forms that serve the strict implementation of the rules of the order.

Hike: approx. 2 hours (+/- 400 m)
Bike tour: approx. 2 hours (18 km)
Overnight stay: Hotel Kassapa Lion’s Rock, Sigiriya
(B / – / D)

8th day:

Sun, sand & sea

Today we enjoy the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka, we drive to Trincomalee on the east coast of the island. The turquoise blue sea sloshes on the fine, white beaches where we can relax today.
The best travel time for beach days on the east coast is from May to October. The town of Trincomalee also has a lot to offer: It has the world’s fifth largest natural harbor. On the Swami Rock above the city stands the Koneswaram Temple, the most famous Hindu temple in Sri Lanka. We visit him and the Dutch fort in the city center. In the nearby village of Kanniyai there are hot springs that are still venerated by believers today. Then we drive to the “Jungle Beach Resort”, our charming domicile on the wonderful, fine sandy, long beach, which is lined with lush nature and a lagoon.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours (98 km)
Overnight: Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes, Kuchaveli
(B / – / D)

Day 9:

Dolphins & Beach Fun

In the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Sri Lanka there are often hundreds of dolphins, sometimes blue and sperm whales. The dolphins are spinner dolphins that turn around their own axis when they jump. We will not miss this spectacle. We take a small boat out to sea and – with a little luck – spend around 3 hours with the dolphins.

Overnight: Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes, Kuchaveli
(F / – / A)

10th day:

Day at leisure

Today we enjoy the free time on the beach. If you feel like it, you can go snorkeling or diving to Pigeon Island. (optional, booking on site)

Overnight: Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes, Kuchaveli
(F / – / A)

11th day:

Wilpattu National Park

After breakfast we drive to the Willpattu National Park, where we will stay in the Big Game Camp on the edge of the National Park for two days. We live in comfortable tents that are equipped with two beds, their own shower / toilet and electric light. In the evening a romantic candle light dinner awaits us under the starry sky. Then we go on a night hike with our ranger. Maybe we’re looking into the big round eyes of a slim lorry?

Driving time: approx. 3 hours (150 km)
Hike: 1 hour
Overnight: Big Game Camp, Wilpattu
(B / L / D)

12th day:

Wilpattu National Park

In the morning we explore the wild animals in Wilpattu National Park on a jeep safari. The national park is one of the largest and oldest in the country and is known for its leopard population. Elephants, sloth bears, leopards, water buffalo, mongooses and red deer live here on over 500 km². The “Willus”, natural lakes filled with rainwater, are unique in the park; most of the other lakes in Sri Lanka were artificially created centuries ago. Countless species of birds, sea monitors and marsh crocodiles live around the lakes. Before sunset we go on another safari to get as many wild animals as possible in front of our camera lens. Back at our camp, the kitchen team shows us how traditional dishes such as curries and / or Colombo hoppers are prepared during a cooking demonstration.

Overnight: Big Game Camp, Wilpattu
(B / L / D)

13th day:

Lively metropolis, colorful bazaars, colonial buildings – Colombo

Like many cities in developing countries, Colombo is changing rapidly. Skyscrapers emerge overnight, entire residential areas disappear. But in some parts of the city the old charm can still be felt. A 100 year old bell tower and several colonial buildings bear witness to Sri Lanka’s British past. The Pettah Bazaar, temples, magnificent mansions, the Colombo Museum, the Bandaranaike Memorial Conference Hall, which was a gift from China to Sri Lanka, the new Parliament in Sri Jayewardenepura and the Folk Art Center are just some of the sights. During an afternoon stroll with our guide, we immerse ourselves in the maze of streets, stroll through markets and explore the charm of the colonial district.

Driving time: 3.5 hours, (170 km)
Overnight: Galle Face Hotel, Colombo
(B / – / D)

14th day:

Goodbye Sri Lanka!

The time has come: We start our journey home. We will be brought to the airport in good time, depending on the departure time, we will land in Europe on the same day (14th day) or the next day (15th day).

“It takes a while to arrive. Many indigenous peoples know that the soul needs time to get from one place to another, ”is Christian Hlade’s tip for a successful journey.

(F / – / -)

Sri Lanka 2

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