Think of Sri Lanka and the first things that come to mind are tea, culture and wildlife and that's what we bring to you in this itinerary. By incorporating visits to the Elephant Orphanage, Cultural hub of Kandy, Tea Plantations of Nuwara Elliya and the coastal town of Galle you will find this trip an ideal introduction to the highlights of this island paradise. With visits to Southlands College and work on a community project , participants will be able to gain hands on experience and valuable knowledge of Sri Lanka and the people who live there.
Although there is no commitment to extended physical activity on this journey we nonetheless want to keep the ‘accent on the active’. We therefore advise that any physical training you complete before undertaking the trip will be to good effect and enhance your travel experience.
Upon arrival at Colombo Airport, you will be met and transferred to the group hotel in Negombo. Depending on the time you arrive the afternoon is free to relax or explore the area before meeting your guide in the evening where you will have a trip briefing. This evening enjoy a tour of Negombo including the Old Dutch fortress dating back to 1678, the Hamilton Canal which was built by the Dutch for the transportation of cinnamon, St Mary’s Church, the Old Dutch Cemetery and the Negombo Fish Market.
After early breakfast we leave for the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya, a Royal Citadel for 20 years in the 5th Century AD built by King Kasyapa. The highlights being the Frescoes, Mirror Wall and the Lion's Paw, considered as the 8th Wonder of the modern world. We will spend the night at a hotel in Dambulla.
This morning we depart for Kandy – literally the “City on the Hills”; so named as it was protected by nature - water, rocks and jungles. En route we will visit the Dambulla Cave Temple considered to be the largest painted caves in the world with more than 22,000 sq ft of painted surfaces with many paintings , sculptures, statues of Lord Buddha, Kings and Gods. We will also stop to enjoy the natural beauty of the Knuckles Range in the Pitawalapatana Plains and walk in a Spice Garden and take part in a conducted tour to get some knowledge about the growth and use of spices in the day to day life. We will also stop in a Batik Making Factory, see how beautifully the village girls turn out beautiful coloured cloths for different purposes with colourful designs. We will arrive into Kandy in the late afternoon. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings before falling to the British in 1815AD, and a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. The central attraction is the golden roofed Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. The Kandy Lake built by the last King Sri Wickramarajasinghe in 1806 adds colour to the City. It is a City for arts and crafts as well as culture and history.
After breakfast leave for a City Tour including the Upper Lake Drive - a place where one could have a bird's eye view of the city below, the Royal Botanical Gardens - one of the best of its kind in Asia with more than 5000 species of different varieties of flora which incidentally was the Headquarters of Lord Louise Mountbatten - the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during the 2nd World War, a Gem Museum - to see how the valuable gems that you see on a shop shelf are turned out from a raw stone with the back ground history.
In the evening watch a Cultural Performance by traditional Kandyan Dancers and Drummers including devotional "Fire Walking" and walk across in the star lit night to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha - by far the most important place of worship for Buddhists worldover.
After breakfast we depart for Nuwara Eliya - “Little England” through the Ramboda Pass. Nuwara Eliya is nestled in a wooded basin at the foot of Mount Pidurutalagala Sri Lanka’s highest peak; this region at 6,183ft above sea-level has a cool, crisp climate unknown elsewhere in Sri Lanka. A serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of Colombo, the town seems like a piece of the English Lake District. Unusual plants, birds and animals thrive here besides natural features like waterfalls and caves. Tea, the glistening green leaves of this lovely shrub, along with neat rows of green, cloak ridges and valleys provide a lasting impression of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country. The Golf Course – one of the finest and picturesque in Asia, the serene Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, beautiful parks and well kept lawns and hedges give the place an air of nostalgia. En route visit a Tea Factory and a Plantation to witness the manufacturing process of world famous "Ceylon Tea" and to taste a pure unblended cup of factory fresh tea before being sent to the Tea Auctions in Colombo leading to Export. This evening is free for walks /tour around the city - the important places being the Victoria Park, Gregory Lake, Golf Course, Market etc.
We will drive to Galle after breakfast known as the Southern Capital and where we will be based for the next 6 days. En route we will visit the Elephant Transit Home which is a widely regarded as being the best elephant rehabilitation centre in Sri Lanka and with the strongest animal protection policies in place. The centre is home to many baby elephants who have been victims of the human elephant conflict. We take a stop to experience the baby elephants being bottle fed; here we will also partake in presenting a donation in the form of Milk Powder (Lacktogen) to be used for the baby elephants. Galle is a coastal city rich in culture and history. After we have checked into our hotel we will spend the afternoon visiting the Galle Fort a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Turtle Hatchery and a Mask Museum.
Every project is different. Details of your school's project will be confirmed after further discussion of your itinerary. Overnight hotel Galle
We will say farewell to the friends we have made and make our way leisurely up to Colombo, the Commercial capital of Sri Lanka.. A fascinating city, not only for its comfortable blend of East and West, but also for its balanced mixture of past and present. This afternoon we take a city tour with sights including a Buddhist Temple, Dutch Wolvendhal Church, a Hindu Temple, Town Hall, BMICH (Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall) and Cinnamon Gardens the prime residential area as well as the newly opened Performing Arts Theatre. Depending on time we will also visit the Cresat Shopping mall.
After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for our flight home.
Per Person, Twin Share