Day 1: Colombo, the capital of the island - a city with a particularly Asian flair
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"Ayubowan" - the local word for welcome - you will begin your journey in the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Colombo is by far the largest and most developed city in the country.The natural harbor was once a magnet for successive traders and Conquerors - first the Arab merchants, then the Portuguese, Dutch and British imperialists. It's easy to explore the city on your own, with a tuk-tuk, the most typical public transport in Sri Lanka. You stop a tuk-tuk by hand. It is absolutely important that the Tuk-Tuk has a working taximeter,to avoid any rate deiscussions with the drivers! We also recommend downloading "Pick Me", our local "Uber" (which also works in Sri Lanka), because you can rent a tuk-tuk with this app. In the evening, be sure to treat yourself to a sunset cocktail in one of the hotels on the Corniche (Marine Drive / Galle Face Green). So you can tune in on the upcoming tour through our beautiful island.
Day 2 + 3: Galle - the old Dutch fortress, rice paddies and a great cooking class!
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Today it starts! Your driver will take you to Galle / Unawatuna where you will spend the next two nights. The program here is versatile, entertaining and very individually designed. The 17th-century Dutch fortress in Galle (UNESCO World Heritage Site), near the southernmost point of the island, is the best preserved marine fortress in South Asia. Stepping through the imposing stone bastions, one goes on a time travel. Inside the fortress you can feel that it radiates the charm of the old world. In the narrow streets you will find numerous Dutch colonial villas, several museums and antique shops that exhibit curiosities from the colonial period of the island. Of the many colonial buildings, the most intriguing is probably the Dutch Reformed Church, where artfully carved monuments have been erected for the city's Dutch settlers. The fortress also houses some of the island's most exclusive boutique accommodation, set in former mansions restored to their colonial splendor. Furthermore, you will find a good selection of restaurants, galleries and boutiques, some of which offer exclusive designer fashion and decorative items. Take time for a lunch. A recommendation is the restaurant known there "Minutes by Tuk-Tuk". Here you will find exotic dishes with a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean. On the second day, we have organized a cooking class for you to discover the secrets of local cuisine, as well as a bike tour through the hinterland. Both activities ares fun for all ages and are ideal for gaining local impressions outside the normal routes.
Day 4: Sinharaja - the tropical rainforest of Sri Lanka
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In 1875, the majority of Sinharaja Forest was declared a forest reserve. It then became part of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program in 1978 and was the first nature reserve to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988. In addition to the historical background of the Sinharaja Rainforest, the forest is the last living remnant of Sri Lanka's tropical lowland rainforest covering an area of 18,900 acres. On arrival, depending on the weather and time of day, the local guide will decide if the hike through the forest can take place the same afternoon or the next morning. This relatively small reserve is a treasure trove when it comes to the uniqueness and number of endemic species of fauna and flora in Sri Lanka. There are also elephants and up to 15 leopards in the park, but these two species are quite rare to see. The focus of the trekking tour through the rainforest are the insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and small mammals. Most of the species found here are protected and unique on the island. Spend the night in a hotel outside the park, where you can enjoy the quiet and relaxed atmosphere of the area.
Day 5: Udawalawe - the Elephant Park
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From the rainforest region, head south to visit the elephant park of Udawalawe. One of the highlights of the day is the "Elephant Transit Home" of Udawalawe. The Udawalawe National Park can be found in the southern central hill country between wet and dry areas Here you will find a mixture of bushes, meadows and deserted teak plantations and is known as the best place to watch wild elephants. The area was declared a National Park in the early 1970s after the reservoir was built and the wild elephants wanted to create a protected area. Furthermore, you will find in the wide open plains many birds of prey such. White-tailed Eagles, Brahminy Kites and Crested Hawk Eagles. In order to preserve the, in the decades before, greatly reduced elephant population in Sri Lanka, the elephant orphanage was established in 1995. It picks up injured or orphaned elephants. The animals receive milk and food and receive medical care. Right from the start, people are working towards the goal of releasing the animals to freedom after a few years. But that does not end the caring. Expelled elephants carry a transmitter around their necks four years after their release and during this time the condition of the animals is checked by the gamekeepers. The elephant orphans can only be seen during feeding times, which take place at 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm and 6 pm. At these times you can watch for about 20 minutes from the observation deck as they get milk. The rest of the time you spend in the National Park, outside the field of vision of the people
Day 6 + 7: Ella - the young village in the mountains and its unique surroundings
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The journey now continues in the direction of mountain landscape and tea plantations. Before you reach Ella, another stop awaits you at the famous Buddhas of Buduruwagala. Ella is a small town in the highlands, an equally popular place for locals and tourists to relax in nature. In addition, Ella is known for its best viewpoints and easy trekking paths, surrounded by an endless green as far as the eye can see. After a short evening stroll through the city, enjoy a delicious dinner in one of the many small eateries before returning to your booked hotel. Our tip: Visit the popular "Cafe Chill", which looks more like a beach bar than a restaurant in the mountains. However, if you like it "down-to-earth" and prefer good authentic food, we recommend the Adam's Breeze where you can enjoy a variety of delicious Curry's or Kotthu dishes. On the second day you can design the day yourself. An early hike to the "Little Adam's Peak" for sunrise in combination with a "Zipline" activity a real adrenaline rush in the morning! Great photos of the 9-Arches Bridge, the Ravana waterfall and another sporting activity, the ascent of the "Ella Rocks".In the evening a typical dinner in one of the restaurants of the village!
Day 8 + 9: Kitulgala - pure nature and adventurous activities!
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After breakfast, continue towards Kitulgala. Through Hatton, you will reach the shores of the Kelani River, where the active highlight of this journey awaits. Jump headlong into the adventure and experience pure adrenaline during a 1 ˝ hour rafting tour. The tour ends at the camp where you will spend the next two nights. Here you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Kelani River. Afterwards you can explore the area on your own. If you want, you can make yourself comfortable in the camp and enjoy the quaint and totally relaxing atmosphere. Kitulgala is surrounded by wooded hills through which the river Kelani Ganga seeks its way. Surrounded by low wooded hills, Kitulgala is a lush village. On the other side of the Kelani River is a jungle of lush tropical flora. Here live about 54 rare species of birds. Despite the lower density, most of the rainforest species found in Sinharaja Rainforest can also be seen in Kitulgala. Endemic species such as the Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Green-billed Coucal and Spot-winged Thrush can also be seen in the forests. The hills above the rubber plantations are populated with Mountain Hawk Eagles, Arrowheads and Layard's Parakeets. However, Kitulgala is best known for its adventurous water sports: whitewater rafting, canyoning and abseiling enjoy it all while you spend 2 active days in this beautiful spot!
Day 10: Kandy - the former royal city
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After a good breakfast head towards the last ancient city of Sri Lanka, Kandy. Between green mountains in the north of the mountainous country of the island, lies the royal city of Kandy, the capital of the last independent kingdom of Sri Lanka. It survived two centuries of colonial invasions by the Portuguese and the Dutch before it fell victim to the British in 1815. Arriving in Kandy today you have the opportunity to attend the evening ceremony in the Tooth Temple (18.00 clock). According to the legend, the tooth was removed from the Buddha when he lay on his pyre, and was smuggled into Sri Lanka in 313 AD, hidden in the hair of Princess Hemamali who fled from the Hindu armies who besieged her father's kingdom in India. When the capital was moved to Kandy, the tooth was brought to the new city and a temple was built to honor this holy relic.It was built under Kandyan kings in 1687 and 1707, it was later heavily damaged during the colonial wars of the 18th century against the Portuguese and Dutch, and after the wars, the original wooden structures were restored in stone.
Day 11: Negombo - the last night of the Sri Lanka tour
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The last leg of your tour will take you to Negombo. On the way you have the opportunity to take a break in one of the numerous little local rest houses along the way. Negombo is a traditional fishing town in Sri Lanka and its economy is based on tourism and a centuries-old fishing industry. If you stroll along the Negombo coastal road, you will find a wealth of restaurants, including. offer delicious and above all fresh seafood. The city has a Roman Catholic history and has been given the name "Little Rome", so you can find several buildings dating back to the Dutch and Portuguese colonial era, such as the Dutch Canal, the old administration buildings and many of the city's landmarks Churches The 100 km long canal that runs through the city offers the opportunity to discover Negombo from a different perspective.
Day 12: Time to say goodbye!
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One last time you have breakfast in Sri Lanka, then you go to the airport. Depending on the departure time, the pick-up from the hotel varies. We hope that you have spent a great time in Sri Lanka and have taken the country and its people to heart. Come back soon! Until then a good trip home and a safe arrival (Please note: Check-out at the hotel is at 12:00 noon!)