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Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

london
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Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Hello.

Pease help me if I can...

I'm planning a trip end of this month for 2 of us, have booked flights, now just need to take care of the rest of it,

I have a rough itinerary with scope for moving it to work best.

Day 1. Arrive midday. Is it best to stay in Colombo a night and then get train to kandy or is it best to get bus or a driver straight to kandy, is Colombo worth a visit?

Day 2/3/4... Would like to see pinwella, sigiriya rock, dambulla caves, temple of sacred tooth, is minneriya worth a visit? How much time should I allow for all of this.... And anywhere else I should visit In the area. Am thinking hiring a driver for these few days is the best idea for sure?

Day 5/6/7 head to batticola/ trincomalee (any opinion which is best for sunbathing and relaxing, sea swimming and snorkeling) and relax for a couple of days, iunderstand the weather is better on the east coast in July, have I got this right,

Day 8/9/10- is safari worth it in Sri Lanka, have heard yala is best national park to go.. Any opinions on yala or better places to go, do you see much big wildlife on safari. Not really interested on birds,

Then need to head back to airport to catch flight on 10th day? Any idea on a good route back?

this Is all ideas , please feel free to comment and help me, would be appreciated. Is there anything else is a must see in Sri Lanka. Maybe turtles? Is there things on my list you don't reccomend...

Thanking you in advance

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Hi there,

The Habarana parks (Minneriya, Kaudulla, Ecopark) suit your plan much more than Yala, hence better do one of these. Schedule then would be:

* Day1 direct to Kandy. Stay 2 nights and do Pinawela and other sights day2

* Day3 to Dambulla/Sigiriya/Habarana, also for safari

* Day6 to Passekudah or Trinco beaches

* Day9 back to Negombo

* Day10th fly

If you use car-driver that's far more comfortable and faster, but costs more; in that case use until beach as he has daily minimum mileage. Day9 train to Colombo. But all _can_ be done by bus/train too, just much slower and less comfort (e.g. small luggage space).

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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2. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Hello ballyk,

Looks like a pretty good itinerary you have! I just came back from a few weeks in Sri Lanka and saw many of the same things as you are planning.

Colombo has no really major sites, but there are a few good restaurants and hotels there. I enjoyed it because I like to also see a little of "normal" life in a new place and not just the tourist sites. You could also go straight to Kandy on Day 1 (2-3 hours by car).

Day 2/3/4... Sigiriya is a good base for the "ancient cities" or "cultural triangle" and 3 days is what we spent there. That was enough for the major sites plus an elephant safari in the Habarana parks. You could spend more if you wan to go into more detail in the various ruins and museums.

Day 5/6/7 ... Yes, east coast is better at the moment for sun, sea and snorkeling! Nilavelli beach is a beautiful, long, uncrowded beach north of Trinco. Pigeon Island is a national park where you can take a boat and go snorkeling...(please be careful on the reef!!! it is being kicked to death!!d).

Day 8/9/10... Yes, a safari was definitely worth it for us! As above, we went near Sigiriya. I think in July this is the better location than in Yala for seeing more...plus Yala is pretty far for your itinerary. We saw 20-30 elephants!

Negombo is a good place to stay the night before your flight. It is pretty close to the airport and has some decent hotels on the beach.

We had a very good experience with a tour operator and driver...organized some of our rooms, did the driving for the middle part of the trip, arranged guides in some sites. I can give you his contact details if you send me a private message.

Have fun in Sri Lanka!!!!

Kandy, Sri Lanka
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3. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

For wild life you might want to have a look at Willpattu as well , since it is not that far from Sigiriya and has variety of animals compare to habarana parks.

Edited: 09 July 2013, 04:04
london
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4. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Thanks for all youre input. Ok so looks like yala is too far but wanted to try see leopards,and bears as well as elephants and other wildlife, which park would be reccomended for that?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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5. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Hi there,

Wilpattu is the only other park that has quite a few leopards. Not sure about sloth bears.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

london
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6. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Ok thanks, so out of all the wildlife things which would anyone recommend? Willpattu? Minneriya? Pinwella?

Don't need to do them all, especially if there all elephants, can we do elephant riding at any of these? Which is best price and length, read somewhere that some awe 15 min, some are 1hr.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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7. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Hi again,

Wilpattu and Minneriya are wildlife reserves for jeep safaris. W has more variety including leopard, and M has much larger herds of jumbos.

Pinnawela is a zoo, and near the entrance there are a few places to ride jumbos. 15 minutes bareback. Next to this in Habarana, not that far from Minneriya entrance, are 1-hour jumbo rides on a big basket on the back.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Fredericia, Denmark
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8. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Pinnawala is not a zoo. It's an elephant sanctuary.

Hans

Dubai, United Arab...
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9. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

@richtigspass

hi , can u provide me with some info abt the price of cab (hired) a we r 2 ppl n I vl b goin to Annuradhapura , sigiriya , kandy , nuwara eliya and is there anything worth watching in Colombo . message me in inbox n also suggest some tour operaters there and some good hotels to stay in . message me the stuff in Inbox

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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10. Re: Help please planning trip. I have lots of questions...

Well, if you really love to see elephant calves..or orphaned baby jumbos...then Pinnawela and Elephant Transit Home in Uda Walawe are great and a half day affair.