Negombo - Fish Market & the Ancient Rock Fortress
Early morning head to the Negombo Fishmarket with your guide, which will be a great introduction to coastal life on the island.
Negombo is a fishing town where most of the locals hail from fishing families of centuries of descent. Currently, over 2,000 boats including traditional outrigger canoes called ‘oru’ in Sinhalese, catamarans, and larger mechanized motorboats operate from Negombo harbor. The harbor is best visited early in the morning when it is a hive of activity. Fishermen can be seen taking fish from their nets, vendors within the market bargain and trade and a variety of different fish species including herrings, sardines, snappers, breams, croakers, groupers, parrotfish, sprats, catfish, mullets, and shellfish such as prawn and crab are stored in all parts of the harbor. A short drive away from the main fish market is the fruit and vegetable market where local produce from all parts of the country and some imported food items are sold here which include a variety of local spices. Adjacent to the market, you can see fish being dried in the sun on the beach.
Afterward, checkout from the hotel at around 9.30 AM and head towards the North Central region of Sigiriya. (4 hours drive) Upon reaching Sigiriya, check into your hotel.
In the afternoon head towards the Ancient Rock Fortress which is world-famous and a historical wonder located close to your hotel for a guided tour and climb of the rock as the sun cools down.
Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near- vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization. The top of this rock contains ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477AD – 495 AD) and the surrounding rock is the Royal Garden. Ruins of various chambers, stairways, and pools can be seen at the top of this rock. There is a stone stairway leading from the base to the top of the mountain. About halfway to the top, there is a giant pair of lion paws which are in fact are the remains of a huge head of a lion whose open mouth served as the entrance to the royal palace. Surrounding the palace complex are the ruins of a garden complex consisting of two moats and various pools, some with water fountains still functioning after 1500 years.