CULTURAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL TRIP TO SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka
THE OLD CEYLON
departure: All year
Duration: 16 days

FROM

1.550

Sri Lanka is known as the “Tear of India” or “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” due to the particular shape that the island confers. It is also known as “The island of a thousand names” and today it is still a little exploited paradise, pure, virgin and with a lot of charm. It could even be said that Sri Lanka has been hiding from the world since many travelers have preferred other Southeast Asian destinations before this one. However, many years of history and experience have forged the extraordinary capacity of the Sri Lankans to recover from catastrophes, wars and other setbacks; They work tirelessly to ensure that their country lives up to its potential, being an example for the rest and without ceasing to be one of the most endearing and hospitable peoples on the planet.

Sri Lanka was defined by Marco Polo as the “most beautiful island in the world” and today, of all Asian countries, it is probably one of the least known. However, this wonderful and colorful country offers the traveler multiple attractions and of a very diverse nature: history, culture, World Heritage Sites, temples, archaeological sites, mountain trekking, yoga centers, tropical landscapes, endless paradisiacal beaches and deserts, religious festivals, natural parks, waterfalls, wild nature, Ayurvedic treatments, meditation centers, a rich local cuisine, tea culture, good infrastructure and a long etcetera. And all this in a relatively small space, without great distances to travel and with few hours invested in traveling on the road.

In this anthropological and cultural program for Sri Lanka we offer unique routes, visits and experiences, largely removed from the most conventional tourist circuits, always seeking authenticity, coexistence with the local population, cultural immersion, learning, meditation, reflection and respect and commitment to the environment. And all this under the non-negotiable premise of sustainable tourism, which is committed to promoting the local economy, promoting environmental protection and respect, and preserving cultural heritage and ethnic diversity.

Best season:
All year
Selección X-Plore   
TYPE OF ACTIVITY:
PHYSICAL:
TECHNICAL:
WILDERNESS:

TRAVEL ITINERARY

DAY 1. FLIGHT FROM SPAIN TO SRI LANKA
Flight departure Barcelona / Madrid – Colombo.
Night on board.

DAY 2. ARRIVAL AT SRI LANKA – ANURADHAPURA
Breakfast.

Early morning arrival at Bandaranayaka airport serving Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Then we will head northeast (170 km / 5h) to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1982. Founded in the 5th century BC. C, was the first capital of Sri Lanka and remained active for 1,500 years. Anuradhapura is one of the largest archaeological sites in the world and like cities like Athens and Rome it flourished with majesty and grandeur. Even some Sinhalese ambassadors were at the court of Rome especially during the mandate of Augustus Caesar, since Roman coins have been discovered in Anuradhapura. It came to have a million inhabitants in its time of maximum splendor and kings, queens, monks, engineers and sculptors left in this city the largest collection of Buddhist monuments on the island. Even today, a part of the city is considered as Sacred City (Nagaraya puja). We will visit the most important sites of the ancient city, including the 2,300 year old sacred Bodhi tree (Sri Maha Bodhi), the statue of the Buddha Samadhi, the ponds of the twin baths (Kuttam Pokuna), the pond of elephants ( Ath Pokuna), the Isurumuni Viharaya Buddhist Temple and the Royal Garden (Ranmasu Uyana). After visiting this magnificent archaeological site, we will go to the hotel to rest.

Overnight at the Lakeside hotel in Nuwara Wewa or at the 4 u Saliya Garden hotel.

DAY 3. ANURADHAPURA – WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK – ANURADHAPURA (D/A)
Breakfast food.

After having breakfast at the hotel, we will go to the Wilpattu National Park (meaning “natural lakes”), located 40 km (1.5h) west of Anuradhapura and where we will make a spectacular one-day photographic safari. This park, located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, is the largest in the country with 1,317 km², and one of the oldest. Here you really have the feeling of being in an authentic wilderness. One of the attractions of this park is its large network of Villus, natural tanks that are filled with the water that falls from the rain, and which total 106 lakes that are scattered throughout the park. Wilpattu is among the best national parks famous worldwide for its population of leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya). In addition, up to 31 mammal species have been identified within Wilpattu National Park. The mammals identified as threatened species that live in this park are: the elephant (Elephas maximus maximus), the bear bear (Melursus ursinus inornatus), the leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) and the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). Sambhur (Rusa unicolor unicolor), spotted deer (Axis axis ceylonensis), mongoose, mouse, and shrew are other residents of Wilpattu. Also here we can find birds such as the painted stork, the small cormorant, owls of different species, eagles, vultures, the mallard duck (Anas acuta), the Indian yaguasa (Dendrocygna javanica), the common spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), the ibis black-headed (Threskiornis malanocephalus), the cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) or the imperial heron (Ardea purpurea). Regarding the most common reptiles that we can find in this park, the Bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis), the marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), the spectacled cobra (Naja naja), the Ptyas mucosa (Ptyas mucosus), the Indian python (Python molurus), the pond turtle (Melanonchelys trrijuga) and the Indian shell turtle (Lissemys punctata). In 1905 the area was declared a sanctuary and in 1938 it became a National Park. After this exciting and intense day of full contact with nature we will return to Anuradhapura.

Overnight at the Lakeside hotel in Nuwara Wewa or at the 4 u Saliya Garden hotel.

DAY 4. ANURADHAPURA – THANTHIRIMALE TEMPLE – MAHAWILACHCHIYA – COEXISTENCE WITH THE CINGALESA FAMILY
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

After having breakfast at the hotel, we will continue our tour towards the Thanthirimale Temple, which is located about 40 km from Anuradhapura. This place is surrounded by huge rocks and covered by a tropical forest. Here we can imagine what life was like in this monastery 2,300 years ago and where peace and serenity still prevail. Here we will have the opportunity to meet an authentic Buddhist monk who lives in the middle of this peaceful environment of the Thanthirimale Temple. We will be able to converse with a Bhikku (Buddhist monk who has received the full ordination) who will gladly teach us and explain the basic doctrines of Buddhism and the most interesting events in the life of the Buddha. After these mystical and reflective experiences we will continue our way to the small town of Mahawilachchiya that is located on the banks of the Mahavilachchiya Weva lake. In this spectacular environment we will live with a local Sinhalese family: Ayubowan! Welcome home! Sri Lanka is known for its always smiling inhabitants, and this country is reputed to have the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world. Today we will have an authentic life experience living with a local family and observing their daily life. First we will take a walk through an authentic rural town such as Mahawilachchiya accompanied by an expert guide from the village. It is not simply a walk, but it is also an authentic encounter with the people of the local town; experiencing their lifestyles, culture and hospitality. By authentic we mean that it is not a town created to be a tourist attraction. The predominant local economy in this village is agriculture, so we will have the opportunity to experience cultivation in the fields of rice, vegetables, yams, etc., in addition to poultry, beekeeping and many other economic activities. For those who want a little adventure, they can try climbing the makeshift “tree house” from where villagers watch over and chase away wild animals at night. You can even have the opportunity to have a practical experience of what it means to be one more with the generosity of nature. We can assure you that at the end of this authentic tour, you will have experienced true Sri Lankan hospitality, immersed in warmth and genuine smiles. After lunch we will have the opportunity to experience inland fishing (lake fishing). The picturesque Mahavilachchiya Weva Lake with its hordes of waterfowl is a pleasant way to enjoy this wonderful place, while fishing with an experienced fisherman in the area from a traditional catamaran. Some of the fish found here include a variety of species. It is an excellent way to get to know the local fishing community. It is a two-hour program at night, with the sun slowly setting, while dusk is captured in an unforgettable photograph or in your own hand. In the evening we will enjoy a delicious typical Sri Lankan meal sharing the food with our hosts. Today’s drive will be 65 km / 2h.

Accommodation in local family house, Mahavilachchiya.

DAY 5. MAHAWILACHCHIYA –HABARANA JUNGLE– HOPPER PARTY – SIGIRIYA
Breakfast food.

After breakfast, we will move south (100 km / 2h) until we reach the small town of Habarana. It is a very interesting place that is immersed in a colorful historical past, in addition to being an access point for wildlife, making it a popular tourist destination that serves a good combination of both worlds. During our tour, in 4×4 jeep, we will be accompanied by an expert naturalist who will explain and not show us some incredible natural wonders, hidden in the depths of this treasure of wildlife. The Habarana Jungle is close to the Minneriya Sanctuary and offers some spectacular wildlife sightings, including encounters with elephants. The lake with its placid waters is a great attraction, so we will have to prepare to see many endemic and migratory birds, crocodiles basking in the sun, wild buffalo roaming and occasionally elephants, sometimes in flocks, with jumbos babies clinging to their mothers. We will be captivated by the beautiful flora and fauna, while listening to some interesting stories from a flourishing past. At the end of this exciting and arduous day, it’s time to cool off, relax, and enjoy a sunset gathering, hosted on the edge of a rock cliff that boasts a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding jungles. We will go down a remote path from the village, to a typical rural house on the outskirts of Habarana, to spend a night full of fun, partying and lots of good Sri Lankan food. We will prepare an authentic “Hopper party” where the typical egg hoppers are cooked under intense fire by a veteran village hand. You can also try to make some hoppers yourself, turning the dough in the hot pan and breaking the egg into the center. Of course, all under the guidance of an expert local veteran. This gastronomic experience will surely be one of the best moments of our tour of Sri Lanka. After this “street party” we will transfer to the hotel located in the town of Sigiriya .

Hotel accommodation, Sigiriya.

DAY 6 SIGIRIYA – POLONNARUWA
Breakfast.

Today will be an intense and exciting day that will take us to know some of the wonders of Sri Lanka’s historical past. It will be a very complete tour of two of the most important and wonderful archaeological sites in the country: Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa. After lunch we will go to the impressive and spectacular Sigiriya fortress, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1982. Sigiriya was founded in the 5th century AD. C. by King Kasyapa. Built in 11 years, it had more than 500 paintings and 4 km of walls and was built on a rock about 350 meters high. The city contains high walls, deep moats, gardens, really impressive frescoes and an entrance to the citadel from which only the claws of a lion remain standing. This archaeological site represents the best of ancient Sinhalese engineering with a unique architecture, gardening, hydrology, painting and sculpture in the world. Sigiriya is without a doubt one of the biggest tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, there is ample archaeological evidence that these were prehistoric settlements in this area. Similarly, the huts in the caves of the hills in the Sigiriya rock have been used by Buddhist monks since the 3rd century BC. C. After lunch we will go to visit another spectacular place from the splendid Sinhalese past: the ancient city of Polonnaruwa and we will do it by bicycle (optional), which is the best and most ecological way to see it. Polonnaruwa declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1982 and was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka during the tenth and twelfth centuries AD. C. It was also a strategically important city during the Anuradhapura era (5th century BC to 10th century AD). Polonnaruwa had 435,000 inhabitants in the 12th century. The distance between Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa was said to be 80 km, and the population was so great and so full of houses that a rooster could go from roof to roof without touching the ground. The walls of this city were 13 km long and there were hospitals, palaces, local markets, royal courts and a great irrigation system. Inside the citadel (city center) we will visit: the Royal Palace of King Parakumbhahu the Great, the Council Chamber and the Sacred Quadrant (Dalada Maruva) with the temple of the sacred relic (Watadage), the House of the Image (Thuparama ), the 60-day temple (Hatadage), the 3,000-letter stone tablet with inscriptions written in gold (Galpotha), and the seven-story shrine (Sath Mahal Prasadaya). The other important sites in the ancient city that we will visit are the Lankathilaka Vihara Temple (which was the highest in its time) and the Thiwanka Temple (the chapels of the images), and the very well preserved large stupas of Rankoth Vehera and Kirivehera . We will also visit the Gal Viharaya rock temple that contains exquisitely carved Buddha statues (it took 7 years to sculpt them), the Monastic and Librarian complex (Pothgul Viharaya) and finally the King Parakrama reservoir (Parakrama Samudraya), one of the 60,000 works of hydrology that the Sinhalese built in the past. After these visits we will return to the hotel to rest and recharge our batteries for the following day that awaits us with more emotions.

Hotel accommodation, Sigiriya.

DAY 7. SIGIRIYA – DAMBULLA – IBBANKATUWA – MATALE – KANDY
Breakfast.

After having breakfast at the hotel, we will continue our program visiting (100 km / 3h) some of the archaeological sites that make up the so-called “Cultural Triangle” of Sri Lanka, which extends in an area located between Kandy, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura and where they proliferate the archaeological remains of large cities and temples that were, in their day, the greatest exponent of the Sinhalese civilization in the past; in fact, in this area there are five of the eight World Heritage Sites by Unesco that the country has. We will start by visiting the Golden Cave Temple of Dambulla, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1991. It has been an important pilgrimage site for 2,200 years. Although Buddhist monks came here in the 2nd century BC. C., it was not until a century later that King Walagamba decided to build this temple. This cave monastery, located inside a large cave, is made up of five sanctuaries from different periods and built by different Sinhalese kings. It is also the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Especially notable are its 157 statues (of the Buddha, Sri Lankan kings and some Hindu deities) and the Buddhist wall paintings that cover an area of ​​2,100 m². In their entirety they form a magnificent art gallery of statues and colorful paintings. Then we will visit the wonderful Ibbankatuwa megalithic cemetery. It is the largest megalithic necropolis found in Sri Lanka. About 70 bodies have been found so far cremated and kept in urns along with their personal jewelry and decorations. This cemetery dates from 600 a. C. We will continue our way to Matale Hindu Kovil. Visiting a Hindu temple is a revered ritual because it serves as a sacred gathering place for the Hindu community to gather and worship for the purpose of revitalizing and sanctifying the body, mind, and soul. The striking architecture of this Hindu temple, also known as Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanam, which has evolved for 2,000 years, is believed to be admired for its different styles of intricate domes, steeples, and sculptures. Some special things can be seen at the temple entrance, on the front porch, where devotees ring the great metal bell hanging from the ceiling as a declaration of their entry and exit to the hallowed place. Upon entering the Temple Hall, one can observe the devotees with offerings, several in deep meditation, and some singing in silence, and others witnessing the rituals performed by priests. After this interesting and mystical visit we will move to the sacred city of Kandy, known as “the capital of the mountains” and declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1988. We will start our city tour visiting the famous Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple, the jewel from the crown of the city of Kandy, and also known as the Temple of the Holy Relic. The Sacred Relic of Gautama Buddha (the tooth of the Buddha) was previously preserved in Kalinga (Republic of India). King Kalinga Guhasiva in the 4th century AD. C. He sent the Sacred Tooth Relic to Sri Lanka with Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala (according to legend, the tooth was hidden in his hair). Since ancient times, this relic has played a very important role in the life of Sri Lanka, since it was believed that whoever owned it held power. Present-day Sri Daladha Maligawa was rebuilt by King Weera Parakrama Narendra Singha in the early 18th century. The moat and octagonal structure were added by King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha in the early 19th century. Sri Daladha Maligawa is a paradise for art and history lovers. The temple was built using the classic Kandyana architecture. We will continue our tour of the city visiting Lake Kandy. It is an artificial lake in the heart of the hill of the city of Kandy, built in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, right next to the Temple of the Holy Relic. The lake is charming and calm, ideal for a walk. Then we will go to the Mirador, considered one of the highest points in Kandy, it is an absolutely impressive place that offers magnificent views of the city. Next, we will visit the Municipal Market of Kandy, which is near the center of this town. The market is spread over two floors, with a small courtyard in the center with landscaped gardens. The market is an ideal place to see the local lifestyle, with colorful sections of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. After this city tour we will transfer to our hotel.

Hotel accommodation, Kandy.

DAY 8. KANDY – WERAPITIYA – KANDY
Breakfast food.

After breakfast at the hotel, we will move to the traditional village of Werapitiya. It is one of the most beautiful and remote towns around Kandy, in the foothills of the Knuckles Valley. About 4,000 individuals live between this town and the surrounding towns and all of them are farmers. It is one of the most traditional Sinhalese peoples in Sri Lanka and its population lives in perfect harmony between the traditional world and the modern world. When we get to this town the first thing we will do is trekking with an experienced guide and a villager. This walk will take us to places where we will have spectacular views of the valley, and where we will be able to observe that the population of Werapitiya has not been affected by the growth or development of mass tourism. This easy level trekking will take place in a mountainous rural area in the Kandy district, with some attractions such as forests, tea and spice plantations, tropical fruit trees and terraced rice paddies. Next, we will move back to Werapitiya where we can observe the authentic life of the village and interact with the locals, bathe in a stream and enjoy a traditional Sinhala lunch with a local family. In the afternoon we will return to Kandy where we will have free time to rest.

Hotel accommodation, Kandy.

DAY 9. KANDY – DABANA – TRIBU YAKKHA (VEDDHA) – MAHIYANGANA
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

In the morning, and after breakfast, we will go to the traditional village of Dabana (120 km / 4h), located in the Badulla district, in the Uva province, in the Maduru Oya Park. Here lives the Yakkha tribe belonging to the Veddha ethnic group and who still have very little contact with the “white man”.

Here we will have the opportunity to experience the traditional way of life of the Veddhas, the aborigines of Sri Lanka. We will be able to visit its small “museum” where the history of this town is explained and we will also have the opportunity to meet with the chief of the tribe to explain some of the most important aspects of its people. In addition, they will teach us how to make fire by friction, they will show us how to make a bow and arrow and how to shoot with it. We will also have the opportunity to accompany the Veddhas to the jungle to study how they hunt for food and to learn their way of life. Without a doubt, it will be an authentic experience of life and one of the most impressive and impressive moments that we will have throughout this trip through Sri Lanka. In the afternoon – night we will move to Mahiyangana.

Hotel accommodation, Mahiyangana.

DAY 10. MAHIYANGANA – ELLA
Breakfast.

After breakfast at the hotel, we will head towards the picturesque town of Ella. We will visit a tea plantation, which is truly an unforgettable experience. Here we can enjoy wonderful and spectacular landscapes, in addition to breathing breathing the fresh mountain air while contemplating the beautiful views that this place offers us. Then we will visit the factory to explain what tea collapse consists of, the initial step in the process of making this product. It is a delicate act that is cleverly done by hand to eventually produce the best quality tea. If desired, we can join the tea collectors, also collecting unforgettable and unique memories. Then we will move to the city of Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya is a tourist town in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Blessed by a healthy climate, stunning views of valleys, meadows, mountains, and tea plantations.

Nuwara Eliya, also known as “Little England”, was the favorite refuge of British colonists who tried to recreate a typical English village. The Grand Hotel, the red brick post office, The Hill Club, the 18-hole golf course, Victoria Park and Gregory Lake are the most outstanding attractions of this population. In the afternoon we will return to Ella to spend the night there. Total tour by car today: 160 km / 1.5h.

Hotel accommodation, Ella.

DAY 11. ELLA – RAWANA FALLS – BUDURUWAGALA BUDDHA STATUE –  THELULLA
Breakfast food.

After having breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the picturesque city of Ella. We will first visit the charismatic Nine Arches Bridge, one of the most famous and iconic bridges in Sri Lanka. It is a stone railway bridge, built by Appuhami (Sri Lankan architect) with British engineers during the colonial period. It is surrounded by picturesque views and lush hills. Then we will go to the viewpoint of “the 98 acre estate” (the little Sri Padya) also known as “Little Adam’s Peak”. From the top of this hill, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surroundings and Ella Gap. Likewise, and for the most daring, there is the option of zip-lining on Sri Lanka’s first mega dual zip-line, located amidst the lush tea bushes, at the foot of the viewpoint. The two-wire zip line stretches for more than half a kilometer and glides at a top speed of 80 km / h, offering a panoramic view of the beautiful hills of the island. Then we will visit the spectacular Rawana Falls. This waterfall is approximately 25 m high and cascades from an oval-shaped concave rock outcrop. Although it is comparatively shorter than most waterfalls, it has a wide flow of water and is very impressive. Then we will go to visit the Buduruwagala Buddha Statue. Here we can see seven statues carved in relief in the rock during the 9th and 10th centuries BC. C. in a single rock face. The main image of the Gautama Buddha, sculpted in the center, is the tallest in Sri Lanka and stands 15.5m tall. The surrounding area has lush vegetation, a beautiful lake with many species of birds, and is a mystical experience for visitors. We will then head south to a rural farm in Thelulla near the town of Wellawaya.

Accommodation at a local farm, Thelulla.

DAY 12. THELULLA – STAY IN A RURAL FARM
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

This day will be special, and different for us, since we will be in a rural farm and we will be able to live a direct experience with the surrounding wildlife. It is a rustic and ecological getaway out of the ordinary, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and towns. This is an ideal place for adventure, where you live on an authentic and traditional farm and where you can see how the cultivation of many agricultural products works and you can see, for example, wild elephants from your own room. This is a 30-acre agricultural land where it is cultivated, among other products: orange, mango, banana, papaya and different types of vegetables. In this farm you can also take a traditional canoe ride on a lake, observe elephants, fish, work in cultivated fields, ride a tractor, eat freshly prepared village food or even participate in cooking, experiences that can be extremely interesting. Also, this is one of the best places for enthusiastic bird watchers, and guests will be able to see up to almost 30 different varieties of birds in this area. In short, an ideal place for travelers to spend the night and experience an authentic rural getaway. You should not expect great luxuries, since this is a stay on a rural farm and therefore with limited infrastructure.

Accommodation at a local farm, Thelulla.

DAY 13. THELULLA – SOUTHERN BEACHES AND FISHERMAN’S VILLAGES – TURTLE FARM – TANGALLE
Breakfast.

After breakfast, we will continue our journey to the south, until we reach the southernmost coast of the island (100 km / 2h). Next, we will go to a turtle hatchery located in Rekawa, which is 10 km from the southern coast city of Tangalle. Sri Lanka is a vital habitat for sea turtles. Five of the seven endangered species have been observed reaching the shores of Sri Lankan beaches to spawn. Observing adult and newborn turtles is a fascinating study. We will be able to see five of the seven species of endangered turtles found in turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka: loggerhead and green turtle (endangered), leatherback turtle and hawksbill turtle (critically endangered), Olive Ridley turtle (vulnerable state). At this hatchery, baby turtles hatch from collected turtle eggs, are trained for three days to make them strong enough to survive at sea, and are then released into the Indian Ocean. The Endangered Sea Turtle Conservation Project is a pioneering conservation program that began in 1996 to protect sea turtles in their natural habitat. Today we will have a unique and unforgettable experience since we will be able to observe how the turtles lay their eggs on the beach of Rekawa. After so many emotions accumulated, we will move to Tangalle.

Hotel accommodation, Tangalle.

DAY 14. TANGALLE  – GALLE
Breakfast.

After breakfast we will visit the southern coast of Sri Lanka which is unique, since there is no other continental mass further south … except the Antarctic continent! This is a traditional fishing area where the visitor will be able to find sporadic anglers during the season, as well as colorful fishing boats, traditional villages and markets along the coast. The coastline is dotted with many charming beaches such as Marakolilla, Goyambokka, Hiriketiya, Jungle Beach, Unawatuna, etc. Depending on the time we go we will have the opportunity to take a bath if we want in one of these impressive beaches (from October to April). We will continue our way towards the city of Galle. We will take a bike tour with an experienced tour guide who will explain the history of this interesting place.

Fort Galle was an important port during the time of the Sinhalese kings, from the 12th century. In 1505, a group of Portuguese sailors led by Don Lorenzo de Almeida invaded the island. They built the first fortification in Galle, on a cliff jutting out into the sea. It was called Swart Bastion or Black Fort. The fortress, which was built by the Portuguese. then it was taken by the Dutch, on March 13, 1640, after a battle. The small fortification in Galle that was captured from the Portuguese by the Dutch was considerably enlarged and improved by the Dutch according to their own distinctive architectural style, and was considered one of the most important by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) , whose monogram was beautifully engraved in stone in 1669 and is still visible above the entrance. On February 23, 1796, the 70th British Forces Regiment in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon), led by Captain Locklan Macwary, took control of Galle without any resistance. Fort Galle was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. After this interesting tour of the historic part of Galle, we will transfer to the hotel. Today’s car tour will be 75 km in about 2 hours.

Hotel accommodation, Galle.

DAY 15. GALLE – BOAT EXCURSION ON THE MADU RIVER – NEGOMBO
Breakfast.

After breakfast we will head north towards the town of Negombo (160 km / 3.5h). Along the way we will stop for a boat trip on the Madu river under mangroves. The Madu river, located in Balapitiya, in the southern province, is a true natural paradise. Both banks are covered with mangroves and there is a great variety of birds and reptiles, with many islets in the middle of the river. While we enjoy a boat excursion on the river, we will also have the opportunity to learn the cinnamon peeling explained and shown directly by local farmers. After our last experience on this trip, with the wild nature of Sri Lanka, we will continue our journey until we reach Negombo. One of the most popular places in this town is the fish market, known to locals as “Lellama”. Here travelers are offered the opportunity to meet local fishermen and view daily fish auctions. In addition we will learn to select and choose dry, fresh and succulent fish. We will also be able to observe all kinds of fresh catch; fish, cuttlefish, crabs, lobsters, shrimp and even sharks. Then, if we want, we can learn to prepare fresh fish and enjoy these dishes by eating them on the beach as a culmination to our trip through Sri Lanka.

Hotel accommodation, Negombo.

DAY 16. NEGOMBO – BANDARANAYAKA AIRPORT – INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
Breakfast.

After breakfast and at the agreed time, we will transfer to the Bandaranayaka International Airport to take our International flight

End of our services.

INCLUDED
  • 11 nights of hotel accommodation
  • 1 night accommodation in a local family home
  • 2 nights accommodation in a local rural farm
  • Diet according to program
  • Local English-speaking X-plore guide
  • Transfers to and from the airport / accommodation
  • All private ground transportation. Car with air conditioning
  • Parking and tolls
  • Entrances to reserves, museums and national parks
NOT INCLUDED
  • International flight
  • Visa
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Excess luggage
  • Individual clothing / equipment, travel bag, clothing, etc. (contact us for advice)
  • Travel insurance
  • Anything not specified in the “INCLUDED” section.

 

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