TREKKING THROUGH KNUCKLES MOUNTAINS, JUNGLE & VILLAGES KANDY SRI LANKA
Being on the Eastern side of Kandy, we are close to the Knuckles Mountain Range which is a World Heritage Site as declared by UNESCO for it’s bio-diversity and the rich flora and fauna. Accordingly, all our treks are in that direction, passing through quaint villages, rivers, water-falls, rice-fields and tea-plantations. En-route, you will observe a very different way of life amongst the villagers – they are laid back with time in their hands to talk to you (translated by our accompanying guide) and invite you to their humble homes with traditional hospitality where money is not the mover.
Updated on 12 January 2018 showing prices valid from 01 April 2018 when all applicable taxes (15% VAT, 2% NBT and 1% Local Council tax) take effect - VAT certificate can be given to obtain tax refund.
(soft = a fairly easy walk, medium = a bit heavier, hard = a very challenging walk)
Trek # 1: “WEPATHANA” (4 KM Walk): soft
The walk starts from our Lodge and takes the group through our own little village along Kandyan Forest Gardens of the villagers. During this walk, you will meet the local villagers attending to their daily chores who will gladly invite you into their simple homes.
DURATION: 2 hours
IDEAL FOR: bird-watchers and those wanting to experience rural life at a leisurely pace.
TERRAIN: A bit up and down and mostly on narrow paths on firm ground.
PRICE: US$ 5,- p.p. including Guide-fees and a bottle of water
10% less for groups of 4 or more persons and 50% more for a single person (this applies to all treks)
Trek # 2a: Village Walk + Waterfall swim (4-10 KM walk with a ride back in our tuk-tuk or jeep): soft-medium
This is the most popular trek especially among children with the waterfall-swim as the highlight. The walk begins from our Lodge and is through quaint villages with their Kandyan Forest Gardens where the villagers go about their daily chores at their own easy pace. You will be invited to visit their houses and see, for example, how they make treacle and jaggery (syrup and sugar blocks made from the sap/nectar of a palm tree). You will be given a "Botany lesson" by our Guide of the various trees you will see on the way, such as cloves, pepper, nutmeg, coffee, cocoa, jack, bread-fruit, arecanut, mangosteen, mango, passion-fruit, rambuttan, banana, papaya etc. You will also see rice-fields, and time permitting, a glimpse of our nearby reforestation program – life in harmony with nature……and a breath-taking view of the lake surrounded by majestic mountains.
You have the option to walk the entire 10 km to the waterfall or a part thereof – min. 4 km (rest of the way with tuktuk/jeep
DURATION: 4-5 hours
IDEAL FOR: Those wanting to combine walk at your own pace with a great village and jungle experience.
TERRAIN: 4 km mostly down-hill on village paths, 3,5 km on a tarred (asphalt) village road and 2,5 km in a jungle path to and from the water-fall.
PRICE: US$ 19,- p.p. including lunch (packed lunch at the waterfall or traditional lunch at our restaurant), guide fees and a bottle of water.
Trek # 2b: Waterfall Swim (2KM WALK + 10KM BY VEHICLE; One-way): soft
You start with a 30 minute tuk-tuk ride or jeep ride to the footpath leading to the waterfall. The walk to this secluded waterfall is about 1km in the jungle covered by large trees, rocks and waterways. The pool area is large and fairly deep. The water is clean and safe to bathe in a temperature of around 20ºC.
DURATION: 2.5 hours
IDEAL FOR: Those loving the natural beauty of a waterfall creating a natural pool in the jungle, combined with an easy walk.
TERRAIN: Flat and narrow foot path most of the way. The last 250 meters to the waterfall is a real jungle path on uneven surface where you have to walk carefully.
PRICE: US$ 14,- p.p including transport, guide fees and a bottle of water. Lunch costs an extra US$ 6,-
Trek # 3: VILLAGE-WALK & RIVER- BATH (soft: 5KM Walk)
The walk begins from our Lodge and is through quaint villages with their Kandyan Forest Gardens where the villagers go about their daily chores at their own pace. You will be invited to visit their houses and see, for example, how they make treacle and jaggery (syrup and sugar blocks made from the sap of a palm tree). You will be given a "Botany lesson" by our trained Guide in his own English of the various trees you will see on the way, such as cloves, pepper, nutmeg, coffee, cocoa, jack, bread-fruit, arecanut, mangosteen, mango, passion-fruit, rambuttan, banana, papaya etc. Nearer to the river are several ricefields, still worked by water-buffaloes.
After about 2 hours of walking, you will be at Naranpanawa by Huluganga, at the exact place of the river where the advertisement for “Sunlight” soap was filmed and where the kings of Kandy used to bathe (Naranpanawa comes from the local language ‘ne-ran-panawa’ meaning “no golden comb”, where the king lost his golden comb while bathing here). The villagers bathe, wash their clothes (and their buffaloes) and draw sand from the river. A large and deep pool of water up-river is on offer for competent swimmers.
DURATION: 3 hours including river-swim.
IDEAL FOR: Those wanting an educative soft trek mixed with nature and adventure. The river swim requires competency in swimming and is at your own risk. It is also ideal for families and children (under supervision)
TERRAIN: You start with a short climb and thereafter, it is mostly flattish and downwards on fairly broad pathways on firm ground with about 70 steps down.
After the river-bath, you have the following options:
To return to the lodge by foot (additional 2 hour walk uphill) or by vehicle.
PRICE: US$ 13,- p.p. including Guide-fees, snack, bottle of water and transport back to the lodge. Lunch is an additional US$ 6,- p.p.
Visit a tea-factory, 7 KM from the river - at an additional US$ 9,50 p.p. (price based on min 2 pax) which includes entrance ticket, a cup of tea, 250g of quality black tea, Guide and transport in our tuk-tuk or jeep (additional 2.5 hours).
Trek # 4: Five-in-one: medium
Within a few hours you experience a great deal of village life. You take a 2-km path to the local school which most village children take. Distribute pens, exercise books etc. to the school children and participate with the children and their teacher in a short lesson followed by personal interaction with the children. A 20-minute ride in the local bus (which is not crowded) will take you close to the jungle-path leading to the water-fall hidden in the jungle - you will feel like Tarzan & Jane! If you are a competent swimmer, swimming in the natural pool will be loads of fun (water temp. approx. 20 C). If you wish to have your lunch at the water-fall, please inform your guide before leaving the Lodge. Return by tuk-tuk or by safari jeep.
DURATION: Walk totally 4.5 KM in 3 breaks and sit in vehicles 1 hour. (total 5 hours)
IDEAL FOR: Those wanting to experience a wide range of village life and true nature.
TERRAIN: Somewhat up-hill at times, narrow foot-paths approaching swimming pool, the rest easy.
PRICE: US$ 19,- p.p. including lunch, guide-fees, transport, pens& exercise books (if group smaller than 7 pax. the group pays totally, US$ 13,- for the pens & books) and a bottle of water.
Trek # 5: MEDIWAKA VILLAGE (soft) (36 KM by vehicle and 4-8 km Walk)
Starts with a drive on the scenic and well carpeted A26 Kandy-Mahiyangana road (1 hour drive). This ancient village (established in the 14th century by the king of Kurunegala) has no proper road access which allows it to retain it’s old charm - water-buffaloes still work the terraced rice-fields.
This trek can begin with a school visit (70 girls and boys, 5-10 years old) where guests have the opportunity to give the children gifts such as pens and exercise books at their cost. The walk will take you to different parts of the village, along rice-fields and vegetable plots with the “fish-therapy” in the river, being the highlight for many. Here you also see how the villagers bathe and wash their clothes. You will return to the Lodge after an hour’s drive on the same scenic road.
DURATION: 7 hours in total (including travel time)
IDEAL FOR: For those seeking an experience in rural village life, Bird-watchers and soft trekkers
TERRAIN: mainly flattish on narrow paths and at times on soft ground (along rice-fields)
PRICE: US$ 21,- p.p. excluding transport. Add another US$ 25,- per vehicle for transport (max 8 pax per jeep). This also includes lunch and Guide-fees.
Trek # 6: “ALAWATHUGIRI” (medium: 12 KM Walk)
The walk starts from our Lodge and takes you through quaint villages, tea plantations and jungle. Although it is climbing most of the way, it is not too steep. You will be walking through tea-pluckers villages where you could interact with them. You will come across streams and other water ways with fantastic views of mountains, jungle and valleys. You could choose from several scenic spots to have a picnic lunch which is included. The entire trek is by foot which leaves out vehicular transport.
DURATION: 4-5 hours
IDEAL FOR: Those seeking a fairly challenging trek and wanting to see a mixture of uninhabited areas and typical rural life.
TERRAIN: A steady climb most of the way through village roads and jungle paths on firm ground.
PRICE :US$ 17,- p.p. including Guide fees, packed lunch and a drink.
Trek # 7a: KNUCKLES MOUNTAIN BASE (hard) (16-18 KM Walk + 26 KM by public transport)
Start with a walk that takes you through quaint villages, temples, jungle and tea estates. Fantastic views and plenty of rural life to be seen, including the “Line-rooms” of the tea-pluckers. You climb up to the base of the Knuckles mountains and end at a natural pool created by cascading water where you can swim (water temp. ca. 18C). You have the option of taking the local bus from here or walk another 4 KM through forest cover to a modern tea-factory from where you can take public transport to come back.
This is a very challenging trek which requires good walking shoes and a sun-hat to minimize the effects of the mid-day sun in open places.
DURATION: 6-8 hours
IDEAL FOR : Those wanting a challenge and in a good physical condition willing to endure a continuous climb at times infairlywarm and humid conditions.
TERRAIN: A steady climb most of the way on mostly wide paths on firm ground.
PRICE:US$ 24,- p.p. including transport, packed lunch and guide.
Trek # 7b: KNUCKLES MOUNTAIN RANGE (medium) (12KM Walk + 31 KM by vehicle; one-way) - Via Hunasgiriya
You start with a ride on the A26 with breathtaking views of mountains, valleys, lakes and tea estates. The walk is a total of 12km of which about 3km is by the 'mini Worlds End'. Fantastic views, birds, rare lizards, forest and streams.
DURATION: 7 hours
IDEAL FOR : Those wanting a fairly challenging walk mixed with great views of mountains in jungle surroundings.
TERRAIN: Flattish by Mini World’s End and a climb thereafter - on mainly firm ground.
PRICE: US$ 31,00 p.p. including Knuckles entrance ticket, transport, packed lunch and guide fees
Trek # 8 - Swimming and Fishing at Lake Victoria (Walk 4 KM, bus 4 KM, Tuk-tuk 6 KM)
Built by the British around 1980 and appropriately called Victoria lake, by damming the longest river in Sri Lanka, it produces electricity for the whole country and diverts water for irrigation to the dry zone. Being only a couple of kilometers away on a straight line, it takes center-stage in providing stunning views from some of our cabanas or en-route. Although swimming in this picturesque lake is the main activity, you can also try your luck at fishing with rods from the lake's edge - as the locals do. The easy walks through forests and villages, the short ride in the local bus and the tuk-tuk or jeep ride back provide variety to this unforgettable experience.
DURATION: 2-4 hours
IDEAL FOR: Families and indiduals who love swimming in a large lake (swimming area restricted as a precaution) in safe, clean and warm water (22-25 C). Although basic life-saving equipment is provided, swimming is at your own risk - a high level of swimming competency is required. If you like fishing, have a go in the local style.
TERRAIN: The 2-KM walk down from our Lodge is down-hill on firm ground through forest and village. The last 1-KM long path leading to the rock-base in the lake is a short nature-walk on a flat and firm path.
PRICE: US$ 16,- p.p, including a soft drink/water, transport, fishing rod & bait and our own guide.
IN ALL CASES, THE ELEVATION IS 650 – 1,200 METERS ABOVE MSL, THE AIR TEMPERATURE 20-28 C, HUMIDITY 50-80% AND FREE FROM ANY AIR OR NOISE POLLUTION.
THERE WILL BE A 10% PRICE DISCOUNT ON ALL TREKS IF THE GROUP-SIZE IS ABOVE 4 AND A 50% INCREASE IN PRICE IF THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON DOING THE TREK.
IN AND AROUND POLWATHTHA ECO LODGES