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Adventure-Sea-Sand & Wildlife Expedition
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Tour Name : Adventure-Sea-Sand & Wildlife Expedition
     
Number of Days : 4 Nights / 5 Days
     
Tour Highlights : Kalpitiya,Yapahuwa,Talawila, Diving, Beach, Camping Wildlife
     
Places of visit : Cultural site visits en route to Turtle Point Lodge, Kalpitiya,Munneswaram Hindu Temple,St.Annes Church Talawila
     
Price per person : Rates on Request
   
 
Day 1
 


  • Cultural site visits en route to Turtle Point Lodge, Kalpitiya
  • Early morning departure from Katunayaka International Airport or Colombo
  • City – pick-up guests from requested location.

      After heading north up the coast from Katunayaka, we head inland to visit various sites of cultural/historical/religious importance. Unlike the more crowded sites in the ‘Cultural Triangle' area, visitors to the beautiful “Munneswaram” Hindu Temple , the ancient sites of Panduwasnuwara and Yapahuwa, and the famous St Anne's church in Talawila will have a real cultural experience of Sri Lanka , without the usual hoards of tourists!

      TURTLE POINT LODGE
      Guests will arrive at their destination of Turtle Point Lodge(approx. 6 km from Kalpitiya) in time for early evening. This ocean-side lodge is situated near the small fishing village of Kandakuliya on the west coast of the Puttalam district of Sri Lanka, approximately 7 km from Kalpitiya. The lodge is a true escape from modern-day civilisation, and guests can enjoy the romanticism of using oil lamps instead of electricity. There are 3 basic but comfortable twin bedrooms (mosquito nets are provided), each with an attached bathroom with cold water shower, seated toilet, wash basin and mirror. It therefore has a total capacity for 6 people, with the option to put up extra beds on the porch area or pitch tents in the area next to the lodge.

      DETAILS OF VISITS TO CULTURAL/HISTORICAL AND RELIGIOUS SITES

      MUNNESWARAM HINDU TEMPLE
      This Hindu temple, dedicated to the Lord Ishwara, is located on the outskirts of the coastal town of Chilaw . As one of the oldest temples in Sri Lanka , it is reminiscent of other celebrated and renowned temples like Koneswaram and Thiruketheeswaram, in which three Sivalingams are enshrined. According to the legend, Rama, after slaying Ravana, was returning to India with Sita when he was overcome with guilt about his actions. Whilst passing Munneswaram, he decided to stop and worship there. While praying, Lord Siva and his consort Parvathy appeared before him and ordered him to enshrine three Sivalingams, one in each of the most sacred places: Munneswaram, Koneswaram and Thiruketheeswaram

      The main temple has been well restored, largely due to generous donations and assistance by religious devotees, especially Hindus who visit this shrine annually in August for the festive season. In the vicinity of the main temple, is the imposing temple of goddess Badra Kali. Visitors who explore the temple will not only experience its visual beauty, but also the smells of burning incense (purifying the environment) and a general aura of peace.

      PANDUWASNUWARA
      This ancient archaeological site, located on the road between Wariyapola and Chilaw, is home to the 12 th century remains of this ancient capital of King Parakramabahu I.

      The site covers an area of approximately 20 hectares and visitors are free to explore at their leisure, offering a fascinating insight into the layout and ground plan of a medieval Sinhalese royal palace, complete with inner courtyard (meda midula) and fortifications.

      There is also a small onsite museum with a display of interesting finds from various excavations, including a small bronze statue, very similar to the famous sculpture of King Parakramabahu at Polonnaruwa's Potgul Vihara.

      Further along the road past the local school, one can visit the ancient remains of the ‘ Round Palace ', which is surrounded by a circular moat. There are many differing stories that attempt to explain the reasons behind the palace's construction. One of the most popular legends is that it was intended to keep the king's daughter (Princess Unmada Chitra) away from any prospective suitors due to prophesies that if she bore a son, he would become king.

      YAPAHUWA
      This ancient rock fortress, also known as ‘Fire Rock', was built in the early 13 th century as a fortress to defend against the invading South Indian armies. The famous sacred tooth-relic (now kept in Kandy ) used to be located at the top of the fortress. However, it is believed that invading Indians stole it when the fortress was the capital of King Bhuvanekabahu I.

      The fortress rises an impressive 100 meters up a beautifully ornate staircase, and at the top of the steep climb visitors are rewarded by a fabulous view of the surrounding area. Expect to see monkeys and a variety of birds in the trees on the way up! The intricate rock carvings at the top of the fortress (where the tooth-relic was originally located) include the lions that feature on the Rs 10 note.

      The small onsite museum displays some stone sculptures of the Hindu gods, Vishnu and Kali as well as various fragments of pottery. There is also a Buddhist cave temple, located behind the museum, displaying various wooden and bronze images of Buddha.

      FURNITURE-MAKING WORKSHOP
      Further along the road to Maho, we can visit a furniture-making workshop where locals carry out painstaking work in order to create incredibly beautiful wooden carved chairs (amongst other things). Much of the furniture made has a strong Dutch influence dating back to the Dutch period of rule.

      ST ANNE'S CHURCH, TALAWILA
      At the nearby fishing community of Talawila on the Kalpitiya Peninsula , this well-known Roman Catholic church is the focal point of a pilgrimage for the Feast of St. Anne, which is dedicated to the mother of the Virgin Mary, held on July 26. The church was founded by a 17 th century Portuguese who had a divine vision of St. Anne herself. Although it is particularly overwhelmed by the number of pilgrims at the time of the Feast, it has year-round importance because of its reputation as a place of healing, and is well worth a visit.

      THE EVENING AT THE BUNGALOW CAN BE SPENT AT LEISURE - enjoying a game of cricket with the locals, sea-bathing whilst watching the sun set or simply relaxing at the lodge and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle. Flaming torches light up the outside area of the lodge from which guests can relax and marvel at the beauty of the open starry skies whilst enjoying a hearty barbecue dinner of locally caught fresh fish or have a go at making the traditional Sri Lankan ‘kotthu roti'!

      SCHEDULE

    • Pickup & leaving to Kalpitiya early in the morning.
    • On your way visit the Munneswaram Hindu Temple , Panduwasnuwara, Yapahuwa,Furniture-Making Workshop & the St, Anne's Church at Talawila.
    • lunch at a hotel or restaurant.
    • Arrival at the “Turtle Point Lodge or Camp” in the early evening.
    • At leisure Dinner & night stay at the Turtle Point Lodge or Camp (FB) – starting from dinner.


    •  
      Adventure-Sea-Sand & Wildlife Expedition

       
      Day 2
       


      Option A – Scuba-Diving/Snorkeling or Option B – Non Scuba-Diving

      Option A (for divers/snorkelers):
      N.B. It is possible to use this first morning as a basic introduction to diving in shallow water, with training for beginners. The next morning would therefore be a chance to put the training into practice and experience a proper dive on the reef!

      SCHEDULE - Option A (for divers/snorkelers)

    • After an early morning cup of tea, depart from the lodge at approx. 7 am for an exciting morning of scuba-diving or snorkeling.
    • Enjoy a light breakfast during the 1 hour boat journey (approx. 9 nautical miles) to the ‘Bar reef' that is located at 8 degrees 23'N latitude and 79 degrees 44'E longitude.
    • The colourful live coral reef is the largest reef in Sri Lanka (at 3km in length and 1km breadth) and offers diving on the main reef of 2 - 8 meters (40 meters slightly further out).
    • The beautiful reef is home to an incredible variety of tropical fish as well as offering sighting of manta rays, reef sharks and the occasional turtle!)
    • Return to the lodge at about 1 pm for lunch and a rest of 3-4 hours.
    • Option A (divers/snorkelers) could use this time to do a selection of the optional activities (done in the morning by Option B group) if they should so wish- its optional.
    • Depart the lodge at around 5 pm in the 4WD for an incredible drive along the sand dunes.
    • Driving through the mangrove trees offers a chance for bird enthusiasts to spot a wide variety of birds before turning back to the empty beach and relaxing with a cold drink in time to watch the sun set.
    • Return to the lodge by 7.00pm for a barbecue of the fresh fish, bought at the local fish market in the morning.
    • Night stay at the Turtle Point Lodge or Camp.

      Option B (for non-divers) – Visits of cultural/community/historical importance:

      VISIT KUWENI'S SHRINE (need all the relevant info) and experience the local way of worshipping by lighting the top of a coconut and smashing it. Local belief is such that this ritual can also be used to bring good fortune and predict the future.

      VISIT ANOTHER FISHING AREA (near entrance to town of Kalpitiya ) where local fishermen are unraveling their nets from the early morning catch. Fishermen use canoe-style boats (known as ‘vallam' in Sinhalese). The boats have a sail that is used when there is enough wind, and an outboard motor for other times. The majority of the boats fish for prawns. Option to go out into the lagoon in one of the canoes for an hour or so.

      VISIT THE DUTCH FORT that was constructed in 1676 on the spot where the Portuguese had a stockade and a Jesuit chapel. The Fort is located approx. 1 km from town's entrance, at the extreme tip of the peninsular. Roofless, but otherwise in reasonable condition, the fort is four-sided with two whole and two half bastions. The walls are about 4 meters high and inside are the remnants of the chapel, a commander's house, barrack rooms, a prison and several god-owns.

      VISIT THE LOCAL DUTCH CHURCH (connected to the ort by an underground tunnel). The church, called St. Peter's Kerk lies about a half-mile west of the fort. Although the church is Dutch in origin, it now displays the architecture of the British who rebuilt the church in 1840.

      EXPLORE THE TOWN OF KALPITIYA (known as Calpenteyn or Calpetty by the Dutch). The town is predominantly a Muslim fishing community, strategically located at the mouth of the Puttalam Lagoon. This community is as yet completely untouched by tourism so visitors can enjoy a real insight into the local way of life.



    •  
      Adventure-Sea-Sand & Wildlife Expedition

       
      Day 3
       


      Option A – Scuba-Diving/Snorkelingor Option B – Non Scuba-Diving Option

      Option A (for divers/snorelers)
      Guests can choose to return to the same reef as the previous day (even a full week of diving at the reef would not be sufficient time to explore all that it has to offer!) or to go to a ridge only 30 minutes from the shore (approx. 4 nautical miles). The ridge is 2 km in length and offers dives at a depth of 20 – 30 meters. At this location, as well as observing the numerous fish, it is also possible to explore underwater caves.

      SCHEDULE - Option A.

    • Morning diving / snorkeling. Depart at 7 am for a second morning of diving or snorkeling (breakfast to be eaten en route).
    • Enjoy an afternoon at leisure Sea bathing / any other optional activity not previously done (see list for day one)/relaxing at lodge.
    • Evening barbecue and spent at leisure (option to go looking for turtles again).
      Night stay at the Turtle Point Lodge or Camp.

        Option B (for non-divers)

        SCHEDULE - Option B. – at leisure

      • Morning and afternoon at leisure Seabathing / any other optional activity not previously done (see list for day one) / or simply relaxing at the lodge.
      • Evening barbecue and spent at leisure (option to go looking for turtles again).
        Night stay at the Turtle Point Lodge or Camp


      •  
        Adventure-Sea-Sand & Wildlife Expedition

         
        Day 4
         


        Lagoon/river boat trip and Wilpattu National Park

        WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK is located 26 km north of Puttalam (approx. 180 km north of Colombo) spanning from the northwest coast inland towards the ancient capital of Anuradhapura (50 km to the east of the park). Covering an impressive 425 sq miles, the park is Sri Lanka 's largest, and having reopened in 2003 after a period of ethnic violence, it is now an increasingly popular eco-tourism destination. The camp boasts an impressive variety of flora in huge expanses of forest, and wildlife, including deer, elephants, wild boar, sloth bears and leopards.

        OVERNIGHT CAMPING IN PARK … but this is no ordinary camp! The camp is set up that morning or previous day just for you, with everything from the kitchen sink and toilets to a full wine list and extensive menu of food, transported in to make guests as comfortable as possible.

        A fantastic barbecue supper will be served in the camp area, lit only by the stars, a roaring campfire and traditional flame torches.

        There are guards keeping watch all night, and a total of ten staff with two vehicles will ensure you will have the most unforgettable camping experience ever!

        SCHEDULE
      • Leave the lodge at 7:30 am after an early breakfast to the Kalpitiya harbour.
      • From where you will go on a boat ride up the Puttalam lagoon and the river channel off the lagoon (“Malwatu Oya”). If the water levels are very low we will be doing a canoe ride from the river mouth to our disembarking point.
      • There will be an early picnic lunch at 11:30 / 12 noon , served on the sandy beach area next to the river where guests can enjoy freshwater bathing.
      • At about 12:30pm , guests will do a small trekking trail of about 2km.
      • Then the guests will be picked up by a jeep and driven to the coach / car (bags will be brought from the lodge).
      • It is then just under a 2 hour drive to Wilpattu National Park where guests will be in time for an afternoon/evening safari – a fascinating guided tour of the national park.
      • Wilpattu safari starts fron the gate entrance.
      • Dinner & night stay at a fully serviced movable luxury camp insid e the park.


      •  
        Adventure-Sea-Sand & Wildlife Expedition

         
        Day 5
         


        Departure for next destination (Option to visit Ayurveda Centre, Maho)

        After a hearty breakfast, guests depart Wilpattu National Park for their next destination.
        Option to go via the Ayurveda Centre in Maho for an introduction to Ayurveda therapy.
        Ayururvedic treatments are designed especially for each individual guest with “the intent to restore the harmonic balance of body, mind and spirit” (source: Ayurveda Centre, Maho).
        Treatments can include facial massage, head massage, acupuncture, steam bath, herbal massage, herbal water bath and herbal inhalation treatment. An initial consultation with a doctor, experienced in Ayurveda, will ensure that you get the right treatments for your individual needs.

        Option B (for non-divers)
      • Full day handled by ET Depart the lodge early (approx. 7am ) after breakfast, in time to explore the nearby fishing village of Kandakuliya and watch the local fishermen returning from the night's catch.
      • Observe the unraveling of their nets to prepare the fish for exportation to other areas of the island and abroad.
      • Guests have the option to choose from the fresh catch to cook on the evening barbecue!Then leave in your vehicles for sightseeing to Kuweni's Shrine, visit another fishing area, local prawn farm, watch a local demonstration of climbing a coconut tree in order to pick the coconuts, dutch fort, Kalpitiya town.
      • Return to the lodge at about 1 pm for lunch and a rest of 3-4 hours.
      • Depart the lodge at around 5 pm in the 4WD for an incredible drive along the sand dunes.
      • Driving through the mangrove trees offers a chance for bird enthusiasts to spot a wide variety of birds before turning back to the empty beach and relaxing with a cold drink in time to watch the sun set.
      • Return to the lodge by 7.00pm for a barbecue of the fresh fish, bought at the local fish market in the morning.
      • Night stay at the Turtle Point Lodge or Camp.

          A stay at Turtle Point Lodge wouldn't be complete without a night walk along the beach to look for turtles. Turtles are very nervous when they are looking for a place to nest and can be easily scared. The turtle can only be approached when she starts laying the eggs. By then the turtle is engaged in a very mechanical, almost trance-like behavior and it is unlikely for her to be frightened by spectators. Turtle watching can include some waiting and some walking on the beach as this is nature and it is the female turtle, which sets the time and place of the event. Of course there is no guarantee that the turtles come to nest every night, but sitting on a deserted beach under the open starry sky is an incredible experience in itself.



        •  
          Adventure-Sea-Sand & Wildlife Expedition

          ------End of the tour------
           
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