Sri Lanka Experience
12 days from $1,631 (was $2,039)
- See Asian elephants in the wild in Udawalawe National Park
- Stay at an eco-retreat in Tallala - one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka
- Take the most beautiful train journey in the world to Ella
- Visit a tea plantation and learn how to pick and make tea
- Climb to the summit of Sigiriya Rock Fortress and take in the incredible views
- Go glamping in the jungle in Dambulla
Unspoilt, exquisitely beautiful and budget friendly, Sri Lanka is a real Asian gem. With dazzling beaches, ancient ruins, elephants and mouth-wateringcuisine, it’s a wonder that it’s not on more people’s travel lust-list. Our Sri Lanka Experience takes you to all the most Insta-worthy sights, from tropical beaches to majestic ruins, sacred sites and emerald green tea plantations. We’ve included a wealth of activities as well, from surf lessons, to cooking demos and an unforgettable elephant safari. The accommodation is pretty special too - think beachside eco-retreats, minimal hotels and jungle glamping. It’s the best way to explore this paradise island.
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Day 1: Negombo
Welcome to Sri Lanka! We’ll meet you from the airport and take you to our chic beachfront hotel in Negombo. Have a smoothie at the restaurant, wander down the gorgeous sandy beach, or splash about in the pool. You’ll meet the rest of your group this evening.
Day 2: Negombo to Dambulla
This morning, we’ll explore Negombo by tuk-tuk, including a stop at a local fish market. This afternoon head, north to Dambulla, where we’ll spend the next 2 nights in a luxurious glamping resort - It’s camping, but not as you know it!
Day 3: Dambulla Local Village and Sigiriya
Start the day with a steep climb to the top of the spectacular Sigiriya Rock Fortress.The views are out of this world! After, visit a rural village, where the localswill give a cooking demonstration, before we tuck in. Then enjoy the lush countryside on a river cruise.
Day 4: Dambulla to Kandy
Today we’re off to Kandy, via a spice garden. In Kandy, we’ll visit the Temple of the Tooth, the sacred buildingthat holds one of Buddah’s gnashers! After, we’ll check out Kandy Lake, before heading out for dinner and drinks with the group.
Day 5: Kandy to Ella
Continue south towards Ella, stopping at a tea plantation on the way. The train ride to Ellapasses through rolling green hills covered in tea plantations and is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. On arrival in Ella, head out for some street food and a cold beer.
Day 6: Ella
You’re free to enjoy this gorgeous hill-country village at your leisure this morning. Go for a walk in the stunning countryside or treat yourself to a traditional massage. This afternoon we’ll hike up Little Adam’s Peak for the most epic views across the valley.
Day 7: Ella to Udawalawe National Park
Today we’ll visit the Nine Arch Bridge. Set between emerald green tea fields, you can easily see why it’s Insta-famous. Then journey on to Udawalawe National Park. Our accommodation tonight will be a riverside glamping resort.
Day 8: Udawalawe National Park to Dikwella
You’ve got a real treat in store today, exploring magnificent Udawalawe - one of the top locations in the world for wild elephant spotting.Later we’ll travel to the hip beach town of Dikwella. Finish the day with a barbecue on the beach.
Day 9: Dikwella to Tallala
This morning we’re off to paradise. Pristine Tallalla Beach is one of the best in Sri Lanka. You’ll be staying in an eco-retreat right on the shoreline, with a freshwater pool, yoga on tap and an open-air restaurant.
Day 10: Tallala to Mirissa
Our destination today is Mirissa. We’ll stop on the way for a private surf lesson. Spend the afternoon enjoying Mirissa and its paradise beach. Look for the monkeys in the palm trees! As the light fades, kick back on the sands with a sundowner.
Day 11: Mirissa
Today we’ll have an incredible cultural experience at a Buddhist monastery. Spend time with the monks and learn about their peaceful way of life. Later, we’ll enjoy a farewell meal and drinks on the beach before going out in laid-back Mirissa.
Day 12: Trip End
Your epic Sri Lanka Experience has come to an end. Swap contact details with your new friends and say your goodbyes. Your group leader will be able to help you with planning onward travel or transfers back to the airport.
- 11 nights’ accommodation
- 10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
- Airport transfer on arrival
- Tour guide
- Local markets
- TukTuk rides
- Local village visit
- River boat ride
- Sigiriya View climb
- Spice garden
- Temple of the Tooth
- Tea plantation
- Ella train journey
- Little Adams Peak
- Nine Arches Bridge
- Safari experience
- Learn to surf
- Buddhist monk visit
- 24/7 support after the trip finishes.
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Some meals, snacks and drinks
The accommodation on this trip is a mix of high quality hotels, beach front villas and gorgeous riverside glamping. 11 nights of accommodation are included. 7 nights will be spent in hotels, 3 nights glamping, and 1 night in an eco-retreat. All rooms are on a twin or double share basis and are single sex.
10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners are included on this tour.You’ll need to buy the rest of your meals yourself.It’s a great opportunity to have a real cultural experience, interacting with the locals and sampling regional delicacies.Food in Sri Lanka is great value and delicious. While Indian food is better known in the UK, it’s about time that more attention was given to the cuisine of Sri Lanka. To give you the headlines, Sri Lankan food is vegan friendly, seafood heavy, spicy but light and totally coconuts! Like much of Asia, rice is a staple. Classic dishes include sour fish curry (made with coconut, chilli, and a tropical fruit called goraka), kottu (Sri Lanka’s favourite street food – stir fried chopped roti, meat, egg, veg and spices), lamprais (a combination of meat, rice and sambal chilli sauce, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed), and lentil dhal.
Fly into Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI) where you will be met by one of our lovely greeters. It’s best to arrive on the actual start date. There are no activities on the first day, so you can arrive at any time. If you do arrive early, we’ll still pick you up from the airport and take you to our Negombo hotel. If you decide to arrive earlier than the start date, we can book you into the hotel early, but you will be charged for any extra nights.
Your Sri Lanka Experience finishes in Mirissa. If you’re staying on in Sri Lanka, your group leader can help you organise any onward travel. If you’re flying home, Colombo Airport is approximately 3 hours’ drive from Mirissa. If you’re departing Sri Lanka on day 12, our bus will be leaving Mirissa between 8-10am and returning to Hotel J in Negombo, arriving at approx. 12-2pm. It is then a 20-25 min taxi to Colombo airport. Your group leader can organise this for you. They can also help you arrange a private transfer direct to the airport if you prefer.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years.
You will need to get a visa before arrival for Sri Lanka with a UK passport. You can apply for a Electronic Travel Authorization visa online (ETA) through the offical Sri Lankan ETA website.
We recommend you check the latest visa regulations with the Sri Lanka Embassy.
You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information
When Is The Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka?
It might sound like a cliché but Sri Lanka is a proper year round destination. With a tropical climate, the island is always hot, with averages of 28 - 32°C and 15 – 18°C in the highlands. The island is influenced by two separate monsoon systems. From May to September, the east coast and northern regions experience dry, sunny weather and from October to February, the west and south west are the most favourable. Either way, there’s always somewhere on the island where the weather is great!
Can I Chat To My Group Before I Leave?
Absolutely! Once you’ve booked your trip, we’ll put you in touch with the rest of your group so you can start getting to know each other before you go.
How Much Spending Money Will I Need?
All your activities, accommodation, in-country transport and some meals are included with your Sri Lanka Experience, so you’ll just need money for other meals and snacks, drinks, shopping and any onward travel. We suggest you bring between £250 and £500, depending on your personal spending habits.
How Will I Access Money While I’m Away?
There are ATMs available throughout Sri Lanka, particularly in the cities.We suggest you bring Visa or Master Card debit, credit or a travel money card.Some places accept credit card, but not all of them.
Is There Wi-fi Throughout The Trip?
Most of the accommodations we will be staying at have free Wi-Fi available.The network quality will probably be lower than you’re used to but you should still be able to do the basics.
What Luggage Do You Recommend?
We would always suggest a rucksack rather than a suitcase as they’re easier to travel with.We’ll be moving round quite a lot and dragging a heavy suitcase in hot weather isn’t fun!Pack as light as you can as well – 10-20kg of stuff should be plenty.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.