WHY we need you in Sri Lanka
WHAT Does Trekking Week Involve?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: HILL COUNTRY TREKKING WEEK
LOCATION: SRI LANKA
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS) & CAMPING
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
This week you will be led by an experienced guide through the Hill Country in the central region of Sri Lanka, famous for its flora and fauna. We will take a trek to Ambuluwawa Hills, visit the Riverstone mountains for a day full of adventure and have an overnight camping trip. You will trek through the lush forests, searching for natural waterfalls to swim in and also visit the popular Sigiriya Rock. We will enjoy a morning hike to Pidurangala to view the stunning and magical sunrise. (check the schedule in the dropdown section below).
Kandy, is an amazing destination high up in the hills approx 3 hours drive from Colombo with incredible views, dense forests and a buzzy atmosphere with locals and tourists. Kandy is the last royal capital of Sri Lanka and is famous for it’s culture and temples such as Temple of the Tooth and plenty of others. The city has bustling markets with all kinds of interesting and diverse goods and services from unique handicrafts, exotic foods, arts, music and dance. Kandy has a really cool vibe and is somewhere you can happily explore for an extended period of time.
- To explore the central hills region of Sri Lanka
- Take part in adventurous activities such as rafting and waterfall swimming
- Learn more about the local culture
Food & Accommodation
You will be accommodated in one of our centres which are located 2-4 km away from Kandy centre, and about a 15 min walk to the nearest supermarket and ATM. You’ll share rooms with 4-10 other volunteers of the same gender with a shared toilet per room. A fridge, safety deposit boxes, lockable rooms, hot showers, bed linen and fan are included with volunteers expected to bring their own towel. Laundry facilities are available at a small fee. The centres do not have Wi-Fi but you can buy a local sim card. Most volunteers will purchase a local data plan and connect this to their personal devices.
3 meals per day are provided during weekdays and 2 meals per day on weekends. Safe filtered drinking water is provided along with tea and coffee. You can expect meals with rice, coconut, spices, roti, lots of vegetables & sparing amounts of meat.
1 Day Orientation
24/7 In-Country Support
Project Materials & Equipment
Pre-departure Expert Advice
Preperation Tools & Checklists
Certificate of Completion
Trekking week is the perfect opportunity to make friends with your fellow volunteers before your project starts, or as a week of sightseeing after your project ends. If you love being outdoors and adventurous, you will love the sporty activites on this project, as well as relaxing by the campfire!
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.
A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Bandaranayake International Airport (CMB). You must arrive between the hours 05:00 to 21:00 on Sunday.
If you arrive outside the pickup times, you can book a private transfer for an extra fee.
If you want to book any extra nights before or after your program, you can do this for an extra fee.
Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).
From the airport to the Kandy accommodation, it takes around 3-4 hours by road and to the Ambalangoda accommodation, around 3 hours.
We take a hike to the Ambuluwawa Peak and admire the lush green valleys all around. At the top of Ambuluwawa hill, you can climb the white giant tower, making you feel you are floating in the sky. At the top of the hill there is also a Buddhist temple, a Hindu temple, and Islamic Mosque.
We then transfer to Ulapane and set up at a camping site near the river Mahaweli. After dinner, we enjoy a bonfire before camping overnight.
Get ready for an adventurous day! You start with a physical training work out and a morning trek through a lovely tea plantation. After a rest following the morning activities, we prepare for water sports and kayaking. You can kayak or take part in water rafting along the beautiful Mahaweli river, which is the longest and the most scenic river in the country. You can also cliff jump and go swimming in the river.
After lunch we will head back to camp for some climbing activities. You can try abseiling, repelling, and wall climbing. You will stay overnight at the camp.
After breakfast, you will go trekking for waterfalls. We embark on a short train ride along one of the most scenic railway routes in the country. Then we trek through the forest to find the beautiful Galabada falls.
After your trek, you will transfer back to Kandy by train.
Today we take another adventure by hiking to Riverstone mountain, set amongst green rolling hills. You will discover a hidden waterfall and a freshwater pool where you can take a swim. You will also visit the cliff called the mini world’s end, providing stunning views.
After the hike you will transfer to Dambulla for an overnight stay.
Today would be another exciting day, as you will complete a morning hike to Pidurangala to see the enchanting sunrise. Pidurangala Rock lies adjacent to Sigiriya Rock, which you will also get the chance to climb. Commonly known as ‘Lion Rock’ this hike will take you up the huge rock, past ancient paintings, old palace ruins and leading to stunning panoramic countryside views.
Here are a few things you can do in Sri Lanka!
Royal Botanical Gardens
The Botanic Gardens are situated around 5. km to the West of Kandy. Once being only for the Kandyan royalty, they are now open to the public to wander around at their leisure. There’s 60 hectares of beautiful garden to explore, where you will see a huge Javan fig tree, pretty orchids and even monkeys!
Knuckles mountain range
This stunning mountain range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts many walking trails. You will find small villages, beautiful waterfalls, numerous native wildlife and rice fields. This is the perfect place for people who love the outdoors and adventurous hiking trails.
Sigiriya (Lion Rock)
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this ancient rock is situated around 91km North from Kandy and is very popular with tourists, who can climb up to the top for some seriously stunning views. Along the way you will see antient rock carvings and paintings on the walls of this sacred rock. It will take roughly just over an hour to climb up.
Yala National Park
Located on the South coast of Sri Lanka, this stunning park hosts one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Not only that, you can also spot elephants, monkeys, birds, buffalo and more. There are numerous tours in Yala, from day tours to over several days of safari.
Around 91km South of Kandy you can climb to the top of this sacred sight, just as the locals do for pilgrimage. It’s a bit of a trek up in the dark but totally worth it to see the sun coming up over the clouds, mountains and lush forest. You will be greeted by stunning views to reward your efforts!
Hortons Plains National Park
You can trek through this beautiful national park to ‘World’s End’, a 9.5km round loop trail, taking around 3 hours. This is a pretty easy walk, but you will be greeted with amazing views out over the countryside and above the clouds! It’s best to visit here early (before 10am) as the clouds can roll in after that and block the incredible views.
Udawatta Kele Reserve
Situated near the Kandy lake, this nature reserve is complete with monkeys and birds- fantastic for wildlife and nature lovers. Here you will find wooded forests, over 400 species of plants and 70 bird species. You can trek through the forest for a relaxing break away from the city.
Kandy and Nuwara Eliya are both popular places to visit a tea plantation, for a refreshing taste of some of Sri Lanka’s best fresh tea! Not only do they produce great tea, the landscape is stunningly green, with endless hills rolling off into the distance.
The following are further necessary in order for both the participants, local staff and everyones involved to have a meaningful, enjoyable and safe beach experience.
- Older participants or over 65 years are required to have a medical clearance as proof of their physical fitness as they may perform various activities.
- Participants below 18 years old need a signed parental consent as proof of involvement of their children for the program. If possible, accompaniment by an adult is highly advised.
- Due to the length and active nature of this program and as there are lots of outdoor activities under the heat of the sun, a decent level of fitness is required.
- Excellent time management and self – organizing and strong desire to take on new challenges and learn as much as possible.
- Recommended a COVID – 19 Vaccination, purchase travel insurance, medical and Covid – 19 insurance prior to your arrival.
- Recommended vaccinations often include hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and polio.
Personal belongings such as:
- Comfortable and sturdy shoes as there are lots of activities taken by foot such as trekking, walking and hiking activities.
- Bring Personal toiletries such as basic soap, shampoo, toothpaste and towels and blanket.
- Bring also hat, sunglasses to protect from the heat of the sun particularly during hiking and beach/waterfall days.
- Bring proper swimming gear that you will wear during the beach/waterfall day. Dry clothes for change are also required during the beach/waterfall day.
- An environmentally friendly sunscreen or lotion is also advised to protect you from the heat of the sun and please carry with you preventive agents during outdoor activities, such as mosquito repellents for insect bites or other insects that may irritate your skin.Protective measures against mosquitoes, you might consider a net for your bed.
- Medicines you may require and especially if you have to take specific medicines on a regular basis, bring them along. Also you can bring a simple first aid kit with yourself.
- You might want to bring a prescription of Keflex, or another type of oral antibiotic that can help with stomach ailments.
- Refillable water bottles and hydration packs to stay hydrated throughout the day particularly during exploration and outdoor activities.
- Modest and Tidy clean clothes for temple visits. Wherever you go into a temple ladies MUST cover their shoulders and knees, and basically the more that is covered the better. Carrying in your bag a large scarf to cover shoulders and arms and a sarong for the legs, is a good idea. For men it is also best to cover as much as possible in a religious site.
- The locals do tend to dress more conservatively and the safest choice of clothes to bring is “smart casual” as a great compliment and a sign of respect for their culture.
- Comfortable sandals are a must, and should be easy to take off as most Sri Lankans do not wear shoes indoors.
With a population of 20 million, the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka, formally known as Ceylon is a tear drop shaped island off the south eastern coast of India. Steeped in over 2000 years of history, the culture is unique to Sri Lanka and known for it’s export of tea, holistic medicines, cinnamon and gemstones including a unique blend of music, dance and visual arts.
Colinised by the British, Dutch and Portugese, there is a multi-culturalism with distinct Sri Lankan flair that feels similar to India, only a whole lot more chilled out! Sri Lanka, better known as the “nation of smiling people” is predominently buddhist (approx 80%) with some Hindu, Muslim and Christianity.
Sri Lanka has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and given it’s size it’s easy to experience them all in a short period of time. From the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, to the colonial architecture of Colombo, to the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, to lush natural forest, picturesque cities, thousand year old temples, and ancient civilation ruins there are really so many reasons to visit this amazing land.
Sri lanka has a tropical climate with distinctive wet and dry seasons. Temperatures vary and it can get much cooler in the mountains than it can on the beach.
On average temperatures in Sri Lanka vary from 28- 32 degrees, but in the mountain regions this can go to as low as 16 degrees.
From mid-April to September the Southwest moonsoon rains come, affecting the West, Southwest coastline and the Hill Country. On the East coast, the monsoon rains start from November to March but are not quite as severe.
December to March are the best months to visit the West or South coastline and the Hill Country. For the East coast or the North, the best time to visit is from April to September.
Sri Lanka and known for it’s export of tea, holistic medicines, cinnamon and gemstones including a unique blend of music, dance and visual arts.
Colinised by the British, Dutch and Portugese, there is a multi-culturalism with distinct Sri Lankan flair that feels similar to India, only a whole lot more chilled out! Sri Lanka is predominently buddhist (approx 80%) with some Hindu, Muslim and Christianity.
There are many festivals in Sri Lanka. Here are the dates for some of them!
- January: Duruthu
Celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. During Duruthu, thousands of people attend colorful parades, which consist of three processions on the nights before the full moon. The processions consist of fireball performers, drummers, dances, decorated elephants and the most important – a gigantic tusker treading a white carpet.
- April 13th or 14th: Avurudda (New Year)
Avurudda celebrates the Sinhalese New Year in Sri Lanka. According to Sinhalese astrology, the new year begins when the sun changes from Meena Rashi (Pisces) to Mesha Rashi (Aries).
- June: Poson Festival
Poson Festival takes place on the full moon day of June and celebrates the arrival of Buddhism, which occurred when Arahat Mahinda, the son of the emperor of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.
- October or November: Diwali (Festival of Lights)
Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, and good over evil. It is celebrated with millions of lights shining over houses, temples, and buildings.
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