Explore Gem Mines in Ratnapura from Kalutara
(SKU: LK60160800) This tour takes you on an interesting day-long foray to explore Ratnapura, Sri Lanka's ancient City of Gemstones. Learn about the ancient history of this mining city. Watch the traditional miners at work at a moonstone mine. See how gems are washed and treated. Visit the Sri Lanka Gem Museum in Ratnapura. Make optional purchases of certified high-quality gems.
- Hotel pickup & drop-off from/to Kalutara.
- Transport throughout the tour in an air-conditioned vehicle.
- Service of an English-speaking chauffeur guide.
- 1 Liter of bottled mineral water per person.
- All taxes & service charges.
- Entrance tickets (If any).
- Food or drinks.
- Gratuities (Optional).
- Expenses of personal nature.
What to Expect
You will be starting your tour at 7:00 am from your hotel in Kalutara. Be ready to be picked up by your chauffeur guide at that time. As you won't be stopping for breakfast, we suggest that you have breakfast before leaving or bring a packed breakfast with you. It will take you up till nearly 10:00 am to arrive at Ratnapura. The city is said to have been the core of the island’s gemstone mining industry for several millennia.
There you will first meet up with a gem miner who will take you to see the famous moonstone mines. As mechanical mining devices are prohibited in Sri Lanka to prevent the damage of natural resources, you will see the Sri Lankan traditional mining methods in action.
After spending a couple of hours there, you will be cleaning up and heading off for lunch. This will be a deliciously Sri Lankan meal. You will be having it at a good local restaurant Ratnapura. (at your own expense.)
At approximately 2:00 pm you will be visiting a gem treatment center/laboratory where the precious and semiprecious gems mined in the surrounding area are washed and treated to increase their beauty and quality. There you will see the treatment of gems such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds, moonstones, amethysts, and topazes.
Next, you will be going to the Ratnapura Gemological Museum, a small scale museum with an exclusive collection of the gems and mineral in Sri Lanka on display. A helpful guide from the museum will also take you through the properties of the gems and their identifying characteristics. You will also be able to see representations of mining equipment used in Sri Lanka through the ages.
As the final part of your tour, you will be visiting a gem and jewelry store for an opportunity to purchase top-quality gems at very reasonable prices. After any gem purchases, you may wish to make, at approximately 5:00 pm you will be leaving Ratnapura to return to Kalutara.