Sri Lanka Challenge Trek
November 18 -29, 2005
The giant tsunami that struck most of
the Indian Ocean last December had
destroyed the lives of many forever. Sri
Lanka, a tiny island nation surrounded
by the mighty ocean, was one of the
worst affected countries. The
international community came forward
with help but it needs more assistance
to alleviate the suffering as the country
makes painful inroads towards
the rehabilitation of survivors.
Each year hundreds of Canadians
donate thousands of dollars for
humanitarian causes by undertaking
physically challenging trips around the
world. Escapades is the first Canadian
tour operator to initiate a 10-day
Walking Challenge to Sri Lanka,
dedicated to the victims of the tsunami.
by Huntington Inc.
In support of “Ontario Village”
Housing project for Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka
THE PARADISE REVISITED
Quotes from past trekkers in Sri Lanka
“Sri Lanka turned out to be the best experience of my life! I made great friends;
the trek guides were so much fun and got their guitars out every night. We all
generally had a great time. The trek was challenging but we were all together to
support each other all the way! Sri Lanka is a very beautiful country with varied
terrains and climates. To top it all, meeting the hospitable locals were a real treat
and I want to do it all again! “. Veronica – a veteran trekker in Sri Lanka
“Nothing will ever beat the euphoria you feel as you walk the last steps knowing
how proud of you those you are trekking for will feel . . .What’s more…a walk in
Sri Lanka, you are sure to make life long friends”. Nick Cook, UK
“ Sri Lanka is one of the unique islands in this planet, where one can explore a
2500 year old civilization, learn about Buddhist culture, walk in the soil that gives
us world’s finest tea and rarest precious stones found nowhere else. Most of all,
one gets to savour the simplicity of life Lankans enjoy”. Jon, Canada
How can you help?
By simply undertaking this trip to Sri Lanka.
Pay the advertised tour price and you will
automatically donate C$300 in your name to
OIDA, one of the Canadian charities operat-ing
in Sri Lanka, while the rest of the funds
are used for the actual cost of your challenge.
Your donation is used to build the OIDA
designated “ Ontario Village”, a community
project in southern Sri Lanka.
What is ‘Ontario Village’
“Ontario Village” project is a part of Sri Lanka’s
post-tsunami rehabilitation program and
the estimated cost of the project is CDN$
800,000. The project, scheduled to start in
September 2005, will have three phases and
consists of a village with 40 middle-income
houses near Galle in southern Sri Lanka. The
project will also include the set up of facilities
like wastewater and onsite sanitation unit
for each house, drinking water facility, solid
waste management unit and a community
center. Ontario Village project report is avail-able
on OIDA website.
Why a Sri Lanka
A teardrop shaped island just off the
southern tip of India, Sri Lanka or Ceylon, as it
was known under the British Raj, is relatively
unknown for many Canadians but a favourite
island getaway for many world travellers of
the past and present. World’s travel elite call it
“ the pearl of the Indian Ocean”.
Sri Lanka is a natural paradise ideal for
walking; a landscape of verdant mountains,
rainforests, paddy fields, tumbling waterfalls
and sweeping gorges. A land with a thousand
shades of tropical greenery, friendly people,
delicious spicy food and 2500 years of re-corded
history of a pre-dominantly Buddhist
culture and civilization.
Our trip is co-sponsored by Air Canada and
Sri Lankan Airlines with reduced air travel
rates. The 10-day walk from central Sri Lanka
to deep south, a soft adventure, is suitable for
any age group. At times the trek involves long
days of walking in different terrains as it takes
us through remote villages and farms of cen-tral
highlands, through scrub jungle and cane
forests, on to the cooler climates of the hill
country with astounding mountain scenery.
Descend to lowlands and rain forests in the
south of the island. We also take a glimpse of
the devastation caused by the tsunami in the
Escapades invites you to walk through a
wonderful country and with your participa-tion;
there is time to rejoice knowing that you
have made a difference to the lives of those
affected by the tragedy.
Sri Lanka Challenge Trek
November 18 -29, 2005
THE PARADISE REVISITED
Price : C$ 3199 per person. All inclusive.
Official Airline for Sri Lanka Challenge Trek
“Marco Polo considered Sri Lanka the finest island of its size in all the world” – Lonely Planet
November 18 - Depart Toronto
Overnight flight to London, UK
(On Board Meals)
November 19 - London, UK
Connect with Sri Lankan Airlines flight to
Colombo (On Board Meals)
November 20-Colombo - Negombo
Early morning arrival at Colombo. A tradi-tional
fresh flower garland welcome and
transfer to the beach resort of Negombo.
A full day of rest. Breakfast and lunch at
the hotel. Welcome dinner. (B,L,D)
November 21- Negombo – Habarana
(Central Sri Lanka)
Leave for Habarana in central Sri Lanka by
coach. Orientation walk/ Bird Trail around
the hotel. Overnight at The Village, a
simple bungalow resort in the midst of
November 22-Habarana- Sigiriya Rock
Full day trek 6 – 7hours(14 KM)
Begin the trek by taking in the 5th
century AD Rock Fortress of Sigiriya, a
UNESCO heritage site. This simple trek is
the perfect way to start the Sri Lanka chal-lenge.
It exposes you to the typical dry
zone scenery with its shrub forests, lakes,
simple village life and rural agricultural
patterns. The trek is on infrequently trav-eled
gravel paths and village trails, which
abound with dry zone bird life. Overnight
in Sigiriya. (B,L,D)
November 23 - Sigiriya – Kaludiya
Pokuna – Kandalama - Dambulla
Full Day trek 6 hours (14 KM)
4-5 Km trek on an infrequently trav-eled
village road, followed by 3 Km trek
through forest and rice fields to the
ancient site, once a forest hermitage with
several simple caves, which housed medi-tating
monks. Continue in the direction of
the Kandalama reservoir.
The first part of this journey is a steep 45º
climb up a granite rock face (a rope is laid
for safety) that eases after 100 metres un-til
the summit is reached at approximately
Sri Lanka Challenge Trek
November 18 -29, 2005 TREK PROGRAM
300m. Traverse the ridge and descend
through shrub jungle and cane forest
to the watershed plateau of Kandalama
reservoir. Trek through shrub, jungle clear-ings
and grassland to Kandalama Hotel
and transfer by coach to Dambulla Oya
Family Park for the night (B,L,D)
November 24-Kandalama – Kandy–
Full Day trek 6 hours
Leave for hill capital of Kandy. Brief sight-seeing
of Kandy including a visit to Sri
Lanka’s much revered Buddhist temple of
the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Proceed
to Galaha for a trek through breathtaking
mountain scenery. The day’s trek will be
on tea estate roads, through tea planta-tions
and forests and includes a packed
lunch. Proceed to Nuwara Eliya, located
at 7,000 ft above sea level. Overnight at
Galway Forest Lodge (B,L,D)
November 25- Nuwara Eliya – Horton
Plains - Bandarawela
Full Day trek 5 hours
Leave for Horton Plains. Horton Plains
is Sri Lanka’s highest plateau at 7200 ft
above sea level in the central mountain
This ‘Fen” is a very scenic region with an
astounding variety of scenery from moun-tains
to grasslands, from marshes to trout-streams.
Sri Lanka’s best-flavoured high
grown teas are grown in the surrounding
areas. Spectacular view from ‘Worlds
End’where the plateau plunges a thou-sand
feet in a straight sheer drop. Cool
and bracing climate, excellent for trout
fishing and very good hiking country. Dis-tinctive
flora (many English field flowers
grow on the plains) colourful butterflies
and many rare highland birds. Transfer to
Orient Hotel for overnight. (B,L,D)
November 26-Banadarawela – Ha-putale
Full day trek 7 hours
Leave for Haputale. The trek this day starts
from “Adisham” a Benedictine monastery
built in the shape of a small castle. The
seven hour trek through pine forest of the
Thangamale nature reserve, the colo-nial
railway line and the highest railway
station in Sri Lanka, tea plantations and
the final decent on “Satans Steps” with
its panoramic views. Vehicles pick you up
and transfer to Ratnapura, well known
as the City of Gems (an area where finest
precious stones like white and blue Sap-phires
are found). Overnight Ratnaloka
Tour Inn. (B, L,D)
November 27-Ratnapura –Sinharaja
Rain Forest –Hikkaduwa.
Trek for 4 hours
Early breakfast, an excursion to Sinharaja
Rain Forest – the last remaining tract of
tropical rain forest in Sri Lanka, a UNESCO
“World Heritage” site and known for its
bio-diversity. Most of Sri Lanka’s endemic
bird varieties are found here. Proceed
to Hikkaduwa in the southern coast and
drive past some of the villages, which
were devastated by the tsunami. Over-night
Coral Gardens Hotel. (B,LD)
November 28-Hikkaduwa – Galle –
This morning a short walk on the
ramparts of the historic Dutch fort of
Galle and view the town of Galle, another
coastal town destroyed by the disaster.
We drive north on the scenic south coast
to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.
Farewell celebratory dinner at a typical Sri
Lankan restaurant. Our final night is spent
at the 5-star deluxe Colombo Plaza Hotel.
November 29-Colombo – Toronto via
Transfer to the Colombo Airport to board
Sri Lankan Airlines flight to London. You
will transit London Heathrow airport and
connect with Air Canada to Toronto. (B)
Escapades - Book with Confidence.
Escapades is the tour operating arm of Mississauga-based Huntington Travel Group.
Huntington has been serving the Canadian travelling public since 1973. As a leading
travel wholesaler in the country, Huntington is a name you can trust. They carry an
undeniable reputation for reliability, high standards, friendly and personal service
- the hallmark of a Huntington service. Escapades is a fully licensed and bonded tour
wholesaler with Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) and a member of Association
of Canadian Travel Agents (ACTA). This means your travel dollars and bookings are
protected when you reserve an Escapades tour product.
by Huntington Inc.
Sri Lankan Cares is the charitable arm of SriLankan
Airlines, the national airline of Sri Lanka, committed
to the empowerment of the child through educa-tion,
good health and a sustainable environment.
3100 Ridgeway Drive, Unit 15
Mississauga, Ontario L5L 5M5, Canada
(905) 820 2266 or 1 800 563 8939
Ext: 243/244 Fax: (905) 820 1090
What is included in my
Return flights Toronto – Colombo
- Toronto with Air Canada/Sri Lankan
9 nights accommodation at hotels, inn
and lodges listed in the program or
Land transportation, wherever
necessary by air-conditioned coaches.
All meals (Starting with breakfast on
Day 3 till Breakfast on Day 12) including
Welcome dinner and Farewell dinner.
Local Trekking guides and the services
of a travelling doctor on the trek,
medicines and first aid.
3 litres of mineral water per person per
Fruit and glucose and dextrose drinks
on treks and Leech socks.
Back up crew and vehicles for
Admissions to Sigiriya rock fortress,
temple of Tooth relic in Kandy and
Horton Plains reserve and Sinharaja rain
Services of the accompanying Tour
Director of Escapades.
Escapades “ Certificate of Participation”
What is not included?
Tax on air travel (Approx: CAD 250 at the time
of printing and subject to final confirmation);
Travel insurance ; Personal equipment – well
worn pair of walking boots, a day sack etc is a
must; Tips for local guides and staff (Keep aside
approx CAD 50) and personal spending money
(We recommend approx CAD 300 depending
on how many Sri Lankan souvenirs you wish
What will a typical Trekking
day be like?
On average we are on the move for about 5-10
hours each trekking day, with a break for lunch.
A typical trekking day starts with an early wake
up call and hearty breakfast. We walk for ap-proximately
3-4 hours before lunch. The trek is
not a race and there are lots of opportunities
to enjoy the beautiful scenery and meet the
friendly locals along the way. Our local guides
walk with us and add insight about the local
area. We usually arrive at lunch stop by mid
afternoon. Our main luggage will have been
transported to your inn or lodge when you
arrive. During dinner we talk about the days
events and have a briefing about the next day,
by which time most trekkers are ready for an
early night! Each day you will carry a daypack
with everything you need for the day, including
water, lunch, snacks, fleece, waterproofs, first
aid kit, sun and mosquito protection lotion and
How fit do I need to be ?
The nature of the trek means that a certain
level of fitness is required. You do not need
to be super fit but it is your responsibility to
ensure that you are fit enough and can cope
with several hours of walking over 5-6 consecu-tive
days, including steep up and downhill
sections. As with many trekking challenges, the
fitter you are the more you will enjoy the trek
and be able to take in the stunning views of
Sri Lanka. Remember, the trek is a team event
for everyone to come and complete together.
The team spirit and camaraderie certainly helps
overcome all difficulties and successfully com-plete
the challenge. Will I fit in? We welcome
participants of all ages (over 18) from many
backgrounds and varying levels of fitness.
What is the weather like in
Sri Lanka ?
Sri Lanka’s climate is tropical and in November
it will be hot and humid with temperatures of
about 25-28C, however it is toward the end of
the rainy season. Upland areas are cooler than
the coast but can still be humid. As with any
destination it is impossible to predict the exact
weather so you will need to be prepared for
How do I register my place
on this challenge?
Call or e-mail Escapades, visit your nearest
travel agent or visit www.myescapades.ca for
the registration form, medical questionnaire
and terms and conditions. You may also visit
the following web sites for details – www.wfjb.
org ; www.ontariointernational.org; www.
What is OIDA?
Ontario International Development Agency
(OIDA) is a non-profit, non-governmental
organization; solely governed by volunteers in
Ontario, Canada. OIDA does not represent any
political or religious groups. OIDA provides hu-manitarian
programs to develop skills, alleviate
poverty, chronic unemployment and hunger
in communities in Canada and worldwide. It is
actively involved in the creation of a condu-cive
and sustainable environment through
programmes and projects for the restoration of
normalcy in tsunami affected areas in Sri Lanka.
OIDA fosters socio economic development
by promoting ethnic harmony ensuring the
provision of equal opportunities to all communi-ties.
OIDA is also an umbrella organization of
Canadian registered charity - World Job and
Food Bank (WJFB).
WJFB has special consultative status in the
United Nations’ Economic and Human
Resources Council (UNEHRC).
Ontario Registration: 1646106