Seven Days in Sri Lanka

29th Dec 2014
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 1/11 by Antara Sen
Bentota Beach
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 2/11 by Antara Sen
Pinnawala elephant orphanage
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 3/11 by Antara Sen
Lunch on Bentota Beach
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 4/11 by Antara Sen
Red Snappers
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 5/11 by Antara Sen
Mirissa beach
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 6/11 by Antara Sen
Mirissa beach
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 7/11 by Antara Sen
Bentota Beach
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 8/11 by Antara Sen
Elephant Orphanage
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 9/11 by Antara Sen
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 10/11 by Antara Sen
Turtle Hatchery
Photo of Seven Days in Sri Lanka 11/11 by Antara Sen
Catch of the day

We spent 7 days in Sri Lanka in December 2014 and this little island country has quickly become one of my favourite places visited so far. Sri Lanka largely comprises of the Sinhalese and Tamilians and is happily situated in the Indian Ocean, only an hours plane ride away from Ciombatore.

The country has beautiful untouched beaches, wild life reserves, coffee/tea plantations, lush green hill stations and ancient ruinous villages. With stark contrasts in weather and landscapes and with incredible cultural diversity as one can see in India; trying to fit in as much as possible in 7 days seemed challenging. With a little research though, we did manage to capture a little of everything and came away with a deep longing to keep going back.

We have detailed our itinerary below:

Day 1

Beach Hopping Sri Lanka has one of the best coast lines in the world. Thankfully the beaches are still untouched by the hordes of tourists that typically flock Thailand or Goa. There are all kinds of beaches and one is spoilt for choice between the North, East and South coast lines. Families tend to choose the idyllic coast lines of Bentota and Mirissa in the South, party animals prefer Unawatuna in the South, the East has beaches that are a surfers paradise and are much more secluded that the ones down south. We spent most of our time in Bentota and Mirissa. With endless miles of golden sand, blue waters and sublime seafood, all you need is a good book to make this a perfect holiday.

Day 2

Pinnawala elephant orphanage This orphanage is a 2-3 hours drive from Colombo, located in Pinnawala. The orphanage takes care of hundreds of elephants whose parents have been killed. The objective is to rehabilitate the elephants to be released into the wild. We spent a few hours in this orphanage marveling at the sight of these majestic tuskers.

The best time to go is during bathing time as you get to see many elephants splashing around in the lake. There are the usual tourist traps that should be avoided in this place. For instance, the orphanage charges visitors additional fee for feeding the elephants. This is a complete scam as each person is allowed to hold the milk bottle for only 10 seconds.

Day 3

Whale and Dolphin watching On the second last day of our visit to Sri Lanka, we decided to go whale watching. We were staying in Bentota beach in the South and had to drive to Mirissa beach, which is considered one of the best places in the world to watch whales. We had to leave Bentota at five in the morning as Mirissa is a two hour ride away and the boats leave the harbour at 7 am.

We had booked ourselves with an excellent company called 'Geeth and the Whales', whose guides were very knowledgeable regarding the precise spots where whales and dolphins are found. We entered the deep seas as the sun rose and with the spray of salt water on our faces, we truly felt like the kings of the world. Within an hour, we spotted the blue whale as it emerged from the water to perform an elegant tail flip.

Everyone on the boat fell silent, humbled as we had witnessed the largest living mammal in the world. Over the course of the next two hours, we had several sightings of the blue whale and dolphins. This is an experience in Sri Lanka that must not be missed.

Day 4

Turtle Hatcheries in Bentota Sri Lanka has several sea turtle conservation projects. These hatcheries pay fisherman for the eggs that they collect at night along the beach. The hatcheries bury the eggs in the sand and around 50 days later the turtles are released into the sea. For an additional fees, the hatcheries in Bentota allow you to carry baby the turtles to the water, when they are ready to be released. It is an amazing experience. In the conservation centres, one can see all kinds of turtles floating in pools of water. These are usually disabled or injured turtles that need medical aid.

Day 5

Galle Fort The Galle Fort located in Galle, South Sri Lanka is a beautiful place with Dutch Colonial architecture, narrow lanes and lovely shops. A few hours should be spent here, browsing through the many interesting souvenir shops, cafes and churches.

Day 6

Colombo Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka is a beautiful city with a rich colonial heritage. We spent the last leg of our journey in this vibrant city and decided to soak in some history.

We visited the Colombo National Museum and were transported back in time as we saw ancient paintings, sculptures and costumes dating back to the 4th Century BC.

Day 7

The museum allows you to trace the history of the Sinhalese people. We also visited the GanaramaVihara temple which is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in this country.

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