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Ratnapura, Uda Walawe and Galle

Duration: 2 Days

ratnapura, uda walawe and galle

Discover a wealth of natural and historical treasures during your holiday in Sri Lanka as you explore some of the most beautiful areas on the island. This fascinating tour will introduce you to precious gems, ancient towns and spectacular wildlife on a journey to remember.

Located in the Indian Ocean, off the south-eastern tip of India, the beautiful tropical island of Sri Lanka (also called Ceyclon) is famously known as the “Island of Gems” due to its long history of gem-mining and trading, which dates back over 2,000 years. Sri Lanka hosts the greatest concentration of gems in the world, which include familiar and exotic stones such as rubies, chrysoberyl, aquamarines, alexandrite, topaz, moonstone, spinel, amethyst, tourmaline, and zircon. The most famous island gems are sapphires, which come in a variety of colours  such as Ceylon Blue, Pushparaga (yellow), Padparadscha (orange-pink), green, orange, pink, purple and white.

Your tour will begin with a leisurely drive southeast of Colombo to the famous “Gem City” of Ratnapura, which is literally derived from the Sinhala name "ratna" meaning gems and "pura" meaning city. Ratnapura is the gem-mining centre of Sri Lanka and a bustling market city where many of the prominent gem dealers in Sri Lanka buy and sell their gems at auction. A guided tour of the local gem mine will teach you all about these beautiful precious stones and the fascinating mining process.

Afterwards we will continue to Embilipitiya to check into your hotel, where you can refresh yourself before heading off for an exciting jeep safari in the Uda Walawe Sanctuary. This beautiful reserve was set up in 1972 to offer a refuge to migratory elephants and orphans, and the park now supports approximately 500 Asian elephants.

Much of the wild habitat in the surrounding area has unfortunately been lost to cultivation, however, so the park has also become a sanctuary for many other native creatures such as water buffalo, grey langurs, toque monkeys, mongoose, spotted deer, wild pigs, crocodiles, lizards, leopards and sambar deer. Up to 100 bird species may also be spotted in Uda Walawe in a single day, including the White-bellied Sea Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Fish Eagle, Painted Stork, Indian Peafowl, Pied Cuckoo and many, many more. At the end of the day you will return to your hotel in Embilipitiya for an overnight stay.

After breakfast the next morning, we continue our journey to the historic city of Galle, renowned for its imposing 17th century Dutch fort. On the way we will stop at the picturesque village of Weligama, home of the famous stilt fishermen. Watch the spectacular sight of local fishermen perching on poles embedded in the seabed, waiting patiently for their daily catch. This final part of the tour is a wonderful way to gain a glimpse of the scenic beauty and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka’s south coast.

Tour includes: half board accommodation on a twin sharing basis, air conditioned transportation, an English speaking chauffeur guide, entrance fees as per itinerary and jeep and tracker for safari.

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