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Beach & Wildlife

duration
Holiday By Design
07 Nights
Holiday By Design
08 Days
day Location/Route duration Overnight
Day 01 Arrival and Transfer to Negombo (40 minutes) Negombo
Day 02 Morning: drive to Galle (2.5 hours). Evening: explore the Galle Dutch Fort Galle
Day 03 Morning: drive to Yala Yala
Day 04 Morning: Safari at the Yala National Park. Evening: at leisure Yala
Day 05 Day at leisure on the beach Tangalle
Day 06 Day at leisure on the beach Tangalle
Day 07 Return to Colombo with a visit to a Mask Museum en route (2.5 hours).
Evening; tour the city’s highlights with dinner at the Ministry of Crab.
Colombo
Day 08 Departure
Golden beaches

Needless to say, one of the prime features of the island, which attracts thousands of visitors every year, are its beaches of golden sand that surround the island and have gained popularity over the years with visitors. These include the beaches of Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Pasikudah, Weligama, Mirissa and Tangalle.

Wildlife sanctuaries

Sri Lanka is an island that is teeming with flora and fauna with a large number of endemic species. This island will truly delight nature lovers. There are currently 61 sanctuaries which include Maduganga, Wilpattu North, Yala, Minneriya, Udawatta Kele and Rummassala.

Sinharaja Rainforest

The Sinharaja Rainforest is one of Sri Lanka’s only remaining pristine forest. It has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many species of endemic birds can be spotted here in mixed breeding flocks. It also holds a rich variety of trees, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Bird Watching by Boat

Indulge the ornithologist or bird watcher in you, with a serene catamaran cruise during sunrise or sunset along the Habarana Reservoir. Our naturalist will escort you on a scenic stroll along the bund of the reservoir from where you will embark on a leisurely cruise.

The tank is home to a plethora of waders you may observe, as the boatman paddles you along. Keep an eye out for birds such as the Large-Billed Leaf Warbler, Forest Wagtail and Blue-Tailed Bee Eater, to name a few. This activity lasts approximately 1.5 hours, and we recommend starting the journey at 06:30am or 04:30pm in order to avoid the glare of the midday sun.

Whale Watching

Did you know? The waters off Sri Lanka’s south and west coasts are along the annual migration route of the Humpback, Sperm and colossal Blue Whale. Towns such as Mirissa, where our excursion begins, are considered global hotspots for whale sightings. The best time to catch a glimpse of these gentle giants of the sea is between December and March.

Set off on your whale watching adventure at 06:00am in the morning with a snack of a selection of nibbles and beverages while you scan the waters for your prize. Keep an eye out for playful Spinner Dolphins, a common sight. You will be out at sea for around four to five hours. An onboard washroom will be available for your use.

Day 01
ARRIVAL AND TRANSFER TO NEGOMBO | OVERNIGHT IN NEGOMBO

Ayubowan!!!
A warm welcome to Sri Lanka! Your guide from Holidays by Design will be present at the arrivals hall to greet you and assist you to your vehicle.
For convenience sake, you may want to change your currency before departing the airport. Banks are open 24/7
A short drive from the airport will take you to Negombo (30 minutes)
Settle in rest and relax from your journey.
Overnight in Negombo.

Day 02
DRIVE TO GALLE I VISIT THE GALLE DUTCH FORT | OVERNIGHT IN GALLE
Galle (UNESCO World Heritage site) x
The Port city of Galle has grown from its ancient origins into Sri Lanka's 5th largest city, but it differs from the rest in terms of character & atmosphere. Its sea front gives it a languid air. At the heart of the city - but strangely detached from it - lies the Old Dutch Quarter known as the Fort. Dutch administrators and those in their service lived within the Fort protected by its city walls and the ramparts by the sea. Its entrance, a massive archway gives it a medieval air and appears magically time warped, with its red tiled Dutch period villas, their open verandahs facing the narrow streets, bearing names like Church Street, Leyban Street and such like. A well-preserved townscape with several imposing churches, Dutch period storehouses, a courthouse and a lighthouse jutting out to sea, the Fort has lasted through the centuries. A stroll along its ramparts overlooking a natural harbour at sunset is a must. Other places to visit include a marine museum, the St. Mary’s Church and thoughtfully restored Amangalle, a historic luxury hotel. Life moves at an easy pace within the Fort. Visitors may relax at any of its several arty restaurants and watering holes. The Galle Literary Festival held during the 1st quarter of the year, is a much sought-after annual event that has secured its place on the cultural calendar." The Festival throws, people, cultures, hot ideas, hot food, laughter, poetry and arrack together in a beautiful country. Pointless to resist," Sebastian Faulks a participant had this to say of the event. Outside the Fort, Galle has a cricket stadium and a string of resort hotels along its coast; a favorite among visitors is Unawatuna – a beautiful stretch of beach.

This morning after breakfast we will be heading to Galle (2.5 hours). Feel free to speak to your chauffeur should you wish to make a pit stop en route.
Settle in to your hotel, rest and relax this afternoon. Set out in the evening, to explore the Galle Dutch Fort with your chauffeur guide.

Day 03
DRIVE TO YALA | OVERNIGHT IN YALA
Yala National Park x
With an area covering 1260 square kilometers, of which only one-fifth of the area is open to visitors, Yala not surprisingly, is still the most visited reserve located in the deep south. The rest of the Park is a strict natural reserve, and you are only allowed entry into the park in a vehicle. Its charm lies in its dry zone landscape dotted by low scrub; rocky outcrops, lush green trees and its serene lakes, which are particularly magical. The views from Sithulpahuwa are special! The main attraction and thrill in Yala are spotting the leopard and if lucky the cubs too, the largest population of leopard in a natural environment – approximately 40 in Block 1. The park is home to 44 species of mammals including elephants and the sloth bear, and an incredible 215 bird species; Huddles of colorful painted stork among many a species of waders found feeding on the edge of the water holes, the sight of dozing crocodiles, elephants cooling off in the water or quenching their thirst, or a glimpse of the elusive sloth bear, leave an indelible mark on any nature lover. Spend the evening at leisure. Overnight in Yala.

This morning after breakfast we will proceed further into the deep south towards Yala (3.5 hours).
Settle into the hotel and spend the evening at leisure. Perhaps a spa experience if you wish to unwind and relax from your days travelling.

Day 04
MORNING: GAME DRIVE INTO THE YALA PARK: | OVERNIGHT IN YALA

You may choose to opt for 2 game drives into the Park - early morning and early afternoon or one of two.

Day 05
DRIVE TO TANGALLE | OVERNIGHT IN TANGALLE

Depending on your sightings the previous day, you may choose how you wish to spend your morning.
This afternoon, a leisurely drive will take you to Tangalle (2.5 hours).
Check in to your hotel and spend the rest of your day at leisure.

Day 06
BEACH STAY I OVERNIGHT IN TANGALLE
Tangalle x
A pleasant fishing port located in one of the largest bays in Sri Lanka, the town is located 195 kilometers south of the Capital Colombo. An important anchorage during colonial times, their influence on the architecture is evident in the Dutch Fort, Rest House and Court House. Other attractions in the area include the wetlands of the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary (a protected area), the blowhole, the Mulkirigala Temple and the numerous bays and reef which protects the town from the ocean. The beautiful stretches of quiet beach, in particular Medaketiya with its fine white sand are ideally suited for swimming. An equally important fact is that its beaches are a nesting site for five species of turtles. Option: A visit to the Rekawa Turtle Hatchery, the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary and the Mulkirigala Temple Overnight in Tangalle.

Spend your day at leisure or opt to visit any of the attractions in the area.

Day 07
DRIVE TO COLOMBO | OVERNIGHT IN COLOMBO
Colombo x
A dynamic capital that can vie with many a city around the world, it has evolved to be the commercial hub of the island connecting with several towns linked by a fine system of roads and railways connecting both the North, the South, the East and the hill country. A new expressway, one of many coming up, connects the international airport at Katunayake, with the capital - a 20-minute drive avoiding the busy sprawling towns on the old route. Crowded streets and peak hour traffic are the results of a long and formless urban straggle overflowing from Colombo. Nevertheless, the city’s impressive commercial and cultural life grows apace and a heady mixture of Asian anarchy, colonial charm and modern progress defines its character. Showily opulent and shiny office blocks rub shoulders with tumbledown local cafes and shops while serene Buddhist shrines and colonial churches stand cheek-by--jowl with ornate, colourful Hindu temples - all evidence of a rich mix of races and religions, that has blossomed into this cosmopolitan city. A rebuilt and revitalized Pettah, the more colonial styled Fort area, the renovated Dutch Hospital, the Independence Square, the Nelum Pokuna theatre hall, the Victoria Park, now ablaze with lights are all elegant architectural landmarks, that the city can justly be proud of. Overnight in Colombo.

This morning after breakfast you will make your way to Colombo via the Southern Expressway (2.5 hours). Do feel free to speak to the chauffeur if you wish to make a comfort stop at the service area, located midway on the highway.
Option: Perhaps a visit to the crafts village to watch deft hands weaving intricate lace patterns and the pottery wheels in action en route to Colombo.
On reaching Colombo, settle into your hotel, and rest and relax from your journey.
This evening explore the busy streets of Colombo with your chauffeur.

Day 08
DEPARTURE

You will leave for the airport in time for your departure flight.

Add on

  • In and around Negombo & Colombo – visit the Fish Market or the Lellama - where the fishing boats come ashore for the auction / Lagoon Fishing / Tea Tasting in Colombo / Night cycling tour of the city / Dinner at the Ministry of Crab in Colombo / Shopping for Linen clothing
  • In and around Galle – Hike in the Sinharaja forest reserve / Visit Ruhumassala Hill / Visit a Turtle Hatchery / Cycling in the Galle Countryside

Location Accommodation Meal Plan
Negombo Jetwing Beach Bed & Breakfast Basis
Galle Le Grand
Yala Cinnamon Wild
Colombo Galle Face Hotel

What to Pack!

  • Socks – as footwear have to be removed when visiting places of worship. You could be walking on heated paving, gravel or cement. Also shoulders and knees should be covered
  • Footwear – choose comfy shoes - sneakers, sandals or similar
  • Shawl – to cover your shoulders or dress up!
  • A sweater or light jacket if you plan to visit the Hill Country
  • Sunscreen, Sun hat, Sunglasses, Travel Umbrella or lightweight raincoat

Notes:

  • Train tickets strictly subjected to availability
  • All drive times are approximate and subject to road conditions
  • Alcohol is not served on “POYA DAYS” (FULL MOON) and other days prohibited by the Government
  • The standard check in time is 14:00 at Hotels
  • The standard check out time is 11:00 from Hotels
  • Gratuity: tour guides & drivers are tipped at the end of the tour
  • Online visa application link: http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
  • Purposeful Tourism: Your support: www.hbdasia.com USD 1 from every booking supports a cause
  • Holidays by Design terms and conditions (www.hbdasia.com/terms.html)
  • Connect with us via FB: www.facebook.com/hbdasia or Twitter on https://twitter.com/hbd_asia

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