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Discover Sri Lanka - Premium

  • Premium
15 days
from
$2,799 USD
incl. taxes
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 14 reviews >
Trip code: 
AILP
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures, Premium Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

Spend two weeks exploring the delights of this diverse and inspiring island

Lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a natural paradise with a landscape of verdant mountains, rainforests, paddy fields, tumbling waterfalls and sweeping gorges. From ancient Buddhist temples, the fortress of Sigiriya, the towns of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya in the hill country, the wildlife of Yala National Park (which has one of the highest concentrations of leopards in the world), to the idyllic palm-fringed beaches of the south coast, this small island offers incredible variety, made extra special by its laid back atmosphere and hospitable people.

Highlights

  • The magnificent cave temples at Dambulla
  • Cycle through rice paddy fields
  • Search leopard in Yala National Park
  • Climb the rock fortress at Sigiriya for breathtaking views

Key information

  • 14 nights premium hotels, all en suite
  • Travel by private bus
  • Additional travel by train, bicycle and jeep
  • Some long drives
  • Countries visited: Sri Lanka

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 lunch
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

All the hotels used on this trip are dedicated to hiring local staff and uses local produce wherever possible. This thereby provides employment opportunities and ensures that the money stays within the local community. We strongly encourage fostering interaction with the locals and hence, we have visits to a farm house and a Tsunami victim’s home in Tangalle to foster friendship over a meal. Additionally, we ensure that the vehicles used on this tour are subjected to annual eco testing and monitored closely to minimise our carbon footprint.

We have financially co-sponsored a local Tsunami relief project – ‘Back to Life’ after the Tsunami in 2004. This enabled 25 families to be rehoused and for two schools to be equipped with toilets, running water and outdoor swings.  In collaboration with a German partner and the village temple, we have helped towards 10 large water tanks and an eye clinic in a remote village with a donation of 200 pairs of glasses. We also assisted in the development of a day care and education of school children in the hill country.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Negombo.

    The group flight arrives at Colombo's Bandaranaike Airport and we transfer to our hotel approximately 30 minutes away. Those not flying with the group will meet us at the hotel.
    Jetwing Lagoon or alternative accommodation in the area

  • Day 2

    Visit cave temples at Dambulla; to Sigiriya.

    We depart after breakfast and for approximately 4 hours drive through lush green countryside (a mix of coconut palms, paddy fields and banana plantations) through Kurunegala to Dambulla. Here we visit the magnificent Cave Temple, for some, the most impressive sight in Sri Lanka. There are colourful, well preserved paintings and statues of Buddha inside the caves, which date back to the 1st century BC. After lunch we continue to Sigiriya where we stay for the night. From our hotel we can see Lions Rock rising up from the plains (occasionally we may stay nearer to Dambulla due to hotel availability).
    Aliya Resort & Spa or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Morning climb to the rock fortress; optional afternoon game drive.

    This morning we drive to the foot of the Lions Rock at Sigiriya. The imposing 5th century rock fortress of Sigiriya rises 600 feet from the plains overlooking the surrounding countryside and giving far-reaching views. Used as a safe haven from invaders, the route to the top goes via a series of steep steps and gangways. From the base, where a moat surrounds impressive water gardens, we ascend 200m, passing an overhanging rock under which superb portraits of native maidens holding flowers and temple offerings still adorn the rock wall. Crowning the flat-topped summit of the rock are extensive remains of the King's Summer Palace.

    During the afternoon there is a chance to enjoy an optional game drive in either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park or the Hurulu Eco Park to see elephants in their natural habitat. For those who don’t want to take part, there is time to relax at the hotel.

    Aliya Resort & Spa or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    To Giritale; bike ride through country villages.

    This morning we have a short drive to Giritale where our usual hotel overlooks the scenic Giritale Tank. The island’s early inhabitants solved the dual problem of heat and lack of water in this dry area by constructing large tanks to act as reservoirs and cool the warm breeze. Nowadays they provide an important habitat for bird life, particularly from August to April. Today we take to bikes and cycle at a leisurely pace through a series of small villages and lakes (if you do not wish to participate you can hire a tuk tuk locally for approximately £10 and follow the group but not cycle). We should see plenty of bird life including Egrets, Brahmany kites, Kingfishers and Bulbuls. Stopping for lunch in a traditional village will break up the journey. In the late afternoon we return to our hotel in Giritale.

    Deer Park Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Visit ancient capital of Polonnaruwa; drive to Kandy via spice garden.

    After breakfast we take a short drive to the 10th century capital of Sri Lanka; Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital of the Sinhalese. Here there are many Buddhist relics and ruins dating from a thousand years ago when Sinhalese culture reached its zenith. The city flourished in the 12th century after the decision was made to move the capital from Anuradhapura, so it was further away from incursions from Southern India. The ruins are therefore younger and better preserved than those at Anuradhapura. We visit many of the temples, palaces, huge dagobas (Buddhist stupas) and remarkable Buddhist sculptures. After lunch we head into the hills to the picturesque town of Kandy. On the way we stop at a spice garden near Matale where we can see various spices and herbs growing, and there is a chance to stock up on massage oils, spices and Ayurvedic medicines. This is a long but fascinating day and we arrive at Kandy in the early evening.
    Grand Kandyan Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 6-7

    Free time in Kandy to explore or relax.

    Kandy is located by a small lake and we spend two full days in and around the town. On the first day we will visit the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic. The Tooth of Buddha was taken from the funeral pyre in 543 BC and only found its way to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. There are literally hundreds of worshippers who visit the temple each day and in August the most spectacular ceremony takes place. Some of our trips in August should coincide with the Kandy festival, but the exact dates, decided by priests, are not known until 5 months prior to the event. After our visit we drive to a beautiful viewpoint over Kandy overlooked by a huge Buddha, and visit a gem museum where you can see the products of the traditional methods of gem extraction. Another highlight is the vast Peradeniya Botanical Garden with species of orchid that are endemic to Sri Lanka. In the evening we may have the chance to attend a performance of dancing and fire eating.

    The second day is free to explore this wonderful town. The surrounding hills are wonderful, offering fantastic views of the town below and there are many handicraft stores and antique shops in which to browse.
    Grand Kandyan Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    To Nuwara Eliya via Kitulgala; optional Adams Peak climb (Dec-Apr only).

    Leaving Kandy early, we have a spectacular drive through the countryside on the way to Kitulgala. Here we have the opportunity of going on a walk through the jungle or local villages followed by an optional white water rafting excursion. The rafting costs extra (see the Optional Excursions section), lasts a maximum of 1.5 hours and there is a choice of gentle or wild water (grade 3 rapids) depending on your preference. Those of us who do not wish to go rafting will be able to freshen up and relax by the water until the rafters return in time for lunch. Afterwards we will drive to our hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

    (Please note that from the full moon day of December to the full moon day of May it is possible to climb Adams Peak. This is optional and you need to be very fit to attempt this. You would leave Nuwara Eliya at 11pm on day 8 and drive to the base of the peak. From here it is a strenuous 4 hour climb to the top in time for sunrise. We then return to Nuwara Eliya to join the group for lunch on day 9).

    St Andrew's Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Free morning in old colonial hillstation of Nuwara Eliya. Visit tea factory in afternoon.

    This morning we will have free time to explore the beautiful town of Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya was a popular hill station during the British era and is situated in the cool highland air at 1890m. Known locally as 'Little England' it is dotted with British style houses and parks and features a golf club and a racecourse! Following lunch we will visit a nearby tea factory and learn about the process of tea production.

    St. Andrew's Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Early morning to Horton Plains; walk to World's End viewpoint; to Bandarawela by train.

    We have an early start this morning and take a 30km drive south to Horton Plains, a large plateau over 2,000m high, overlooked by the second and third highest peaks in Sri Lanka. The scenery is beautiful and the best way to explore is on foot. We take a guided walk through the rolling grasslands where we hope to see such as the Sambur and Purple Faced monkey. We also visit 'World's End' which is one of the most stunning sights in Sri Lanka where the ground drops 1050m to the plains. Following this we catch a train from the highest railway station in the country - within an hour and a half we drop from 1889m to 1097m. The train travels through the cloud forest into the tea plantations, with breath-taking views of the lush valley below. Please note that at times, particularly in peak season, the train may be extremely busy and as a result we cannot guarantee that the group will be allocated seats together for this train ride. We get off at Bandarawela, a town relatively untouched by tourism.

     

    Bandarawela Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Scenic drive through Ella Gap to Kataragama; game drive in Yala N.P.

    Today we continue on to Ella Gap where we have spectacular views of the coastal plain nearly 1,000m below. Almost the entire southern part of the island is in view and on a particularly clear day the shimmering silver of the Indian Ocean is visible. Heading south out of the hills we travel to Kataragama on the plains; this is our base for visiting Sri Lanka's best known national park, Yala. The park is popular for elephant, leopard, bear, crocodile and Wild boar. At 97,800 hectares, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka's national parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has also become better known for leopard. The park, which is primarily shrub jungle with several salt and fresh water lagoons, has one of the highest concentrations of leopard per square kilometre in the world. (Please note that the sanctuary may be closed for 4-6 weeks from September to October allowing the park authorities to check the welfare of the animals. We therefore go to an alternative area close by, usually Udawalawe National Park).
    Mandara Rosen or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Drive to Tangalle and walk through rice paddies; coastal drive to Ahangama; optional lunch at Tsunami house.

    Today we leave for the coast, with its beautiful palm fringed bays. Stopping on the way at Hambantota and walking to a nearby farm house where you be offered tea in a coconut shell along with a local snack. We will mix with real Sri Lankan life and take part in some traditional Sri Lankan games, returning to our bus in tractors used by the farmers. We have the option of enjoying lunch at one of the houses that we built for Tsunami victims; this may be one of the best curries of your trip! Continuing on to Ahangama in the afternoon we arrive at our coastal hotel and you can relax for the rest of the day.
    Amari Galle or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Free day to relax on the beach or optional activities including whale watching (Nov to April).

    Today is a free day to relax on the beach or by the hotel pool. There are also optional activities during the day including a boat ride through mangrove swamps to a cinnamon plantation or, from November to April you can go whale watching off Dondra head, one of the best places in the world for seeing Blue and Sperm whales. Huge pods of dolphins are also often seen playing alongside the boats.
    Amari Galle or similar 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    To Galle; visit old fort; transfer to Colombo.

    We set off today and drive along the coastal road to the historic port of Galle, which dates back to the 17th century, and now a UNESCO world heritage site. On the way we stop at a small folk museum inspired by the local writer Martin Wickramasinghe. The museum is a typical house from the Koggala region and is set amongst beautiful gardens. We continue along the expressway to Colombo reaching our hotel in the late afternoon.

    Ramada or similar accommodation 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Colombo.

    The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport in time for their flight home.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Sri Lanka

A visa (Electronic Travel Authorisation) is required if you are British and for most other nationalities. If you do not hold a British passport, please check the visa requirements with your local Sri Lankan Embassy or the ETA website www.eta.gov.lk. Passengers should also be aware of local laws and customs in Sri Lanka (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sri-lanka/local-laws-and-customs). The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is an offence; please note that people have been refused entry to Sri Lanka because of visible tattoos of Buddha.

Vaccinations

Sri Lanka

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 lunch is included.

We suggest allowing about £15-£17 (approx. US$24 - US$27.50) per day for all other meals. Sri Lankan cuisine is a fascinating reflection of the island’s heritage; there is a unique fusion of fresh local produce with spices brought to the island over the centuries by Malays, Arabs, Indians as well as the Dutch, Portuguese and English. Despite (or perhaps because of) these influences, Sri Lankan cuisine is often referred to as simply ‘Rice and Curry’. This is the staple dish in most restaurants and is usually a serving of rice accompanied by assorted meat and vegetable curries as well as various pickles, ‘sambols,’ and a handful of tiny poppadum’s – all using the contrasting flavours of coconut, chilli, curry leaves, cinnamon and garlic.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Sri Lanka the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free. Please be prepared for this and you may need to bring these from home. Spicier food can be avoided easily and lots of the hotels will serve Western options alongside traditional food.

Weather

Generally, you should expect rain at some time but with plenty of sunshine. On the plains, day and night time temperatures are warm to hot with Colombo having an average daytime temperature of 30ºC. The temperatures drop as we go higher into the hills and especially at Nuwara Eliya and Horton Plains where daytime temperatures are between 10º - 15º C and night time temperatures will be chilly (about 8º C minimum) and a warmish jacket will be needed.

Kandy

Is this trip for you?

This is not a demanding trip although there are a few long drives, on bumpy and twisty mountain roads. The buses that we use are comfortable and air-conditioned. Temperatures can vary between the tropical heat of the coast to the cool of the mountains.

This is not a demanding trip although there are a few long drives, on bumpy and twisty mountain roads and the itinerary is quite busy. The buses that we use are comfortable and air-conditioned. Temperatures can vary between the tropical heat of the coast to the cool of the mountains.

We use a  range of 4 -star hotels, or the local equivalent. These offer more comfort and  the rooms and services are of a higher quality  than on standard  Exodus trips. Most  have pools and  excellent facilities as well as restaurants serving a range of  local specialities and international dishes.

 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

You will spend 14 nights in premium hotels. We use a  range of 4 -star hotels, or the local equivalent. These offer more comfort and  the rooms and services are of a higher quality than on standard  Exodus trips. Most  have pools and  excellent facilities as well as restaurants serving a range of  local specialities and international dishes.

Please note that hotels in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly busy and occasionally we have to find alternatives to the ones that we usually use. We will endeavour to find the nearest alternative that provides the same standard of rooms.

Single accommodation available on request.

Please  note paying the  single supplement may not mean that you receive a double or twin room for sole use. The room you are allocated may differ from hotel to hotel , and on some nights a  smaller room for ‘one person’ may well be allocated.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

If you're having trouble choosing between a trip lounging on the beach, exploring the wild, or soaking in t

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed April 2019
    S J

    Excellent

    Without going into the interesting detail of the trip notes, this tour was well lead by Sujan who was very funny and knowledgeable. Compared to other Exodus holidays it is quite laid back with more time off on most days and reflects the laid back feel of Sri Lanka. The elephant safaris were wonderful and we saw 60 elephants in all.....a bit of excitement!!! had when one rammed the jeep in front, whale watching was fabulous too with 17 sightings of Blue Whale and some mating turtles. The cycling was very relaxed seeing plenty of interesting village life along the river. The hotels were mostly luxurious, always a welcome drink, barely had to move a suitcase as porters dealt with them all, most with pools and a feast for breakfast. Although it was very often only an omelette and fries or club sandwich option for lunch. Most evenings the dinners were in the hotels so this meant you could eat and go to bed when you felt like it. In Late March with 38 degrees and great humidity it was boiling but the air conditioned coach helped tremendously and there were no mosquitos. Do take an umbrella for sightseeing to keep out the sun as a hat didn’t feel enough. Drives that were set to be three hours turned out to be interesting stop and start drives as things were pointed out along the way, A trip I can recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The elephant safaris.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In late March we saw no mosquitos whatsoever so you could safely wear shorts and short sleeves to keep cool. Do take a light coloured umbrella to keep at bay the sun, like the locals, a must for sightseeing.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Lesley Parks

    Another great holiday by Exodus

    Following Exodus's usual formula of maximising a tour around a country to experience its cultural and history with the added benefit of premium hotels throughout (well one had and enchanting feel of colonial days but that was just one night) I experienced a fab time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a few moments but it was a personal one of climbing Adam's Peak with my condition of OSA and seeing a beautiful sunrise.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suniel had an extensive knowledge of Sri Lanka which he delivered in an amenable way with a gentle Sri Lankan manner that we experienced from the locals throughout the tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I needed my waterproofs for the wind at the top of Adam's Peak even though I did not need them the rest of the holiday.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Avni Lakhani

    Brilliant holiday.

    The trip was very well organised & the tour leader was efficient & knowledgeable. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, I would definitely return. Although this was advertised as a ‘premium’ trip a few of the hotels we went to were nowhere near what I’d describe as premium. (Although the majority of the hotels were very good).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed Kandy, the tea plantations, the safari in Yala national park and the beach resort

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujan was excellent, knowledgeable, well organised & efficient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring plenty of changes of clothes, as you may get hot & sweaty doing some activities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think some of the hotels, like the Deer Park hotel & especially the hotel in Bandarawela should not be used. (Ella is really near & we could have stayed at a nicer hotel there).
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Michael Black

    Discover Sri Lanka

    An excellent trip, made by a wonderful leader. A really good variety of visits and activities. We gained a very good impression of Sri Lankan life, history, culture, natural history and politics.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Perhaps visiting the Tooth Temple in Kandy, but the variety of visits and activities was so diverse, it's difficult to select just one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best ever. Thoroughly caring, and a brilliant organizer. It was always clear that he was keen to give use a very good impression of his country.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Heather Banks

    Amazing trip - a real ‘Pearl’ in the Indian Ocean

    2 weeks of ‘Heaven’ - a full on and busy trip with ‘free’ time if needed - the trip included a bit of everything - temples, Buddhist sculptures, tea plantations, ancient cities, history, religion, hiking, wildlife and amazing scenery etc. I loved meeting the tsunami victims and the local farmers and I loved the variety of transport - coach, jeeps, tuk tuks, cycles, tractor, train and ferry. The hotels were outstanding although the Bandarawela Hotel did not reach anywhere near the standard you would expect on a Premium trip - it was a very dated, tired hotel - luckily we only stayed there for one night.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Adams Peak climb and reaching the top was amazing! Visiting Lions Rock with its wonderful views of the surrounding area.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan was an outstanding group leader! He was knowledgeable, super organised, professional, helpful, friendly, approachable, was always smiling and he even had an ‘English’ sense of humour! He is clearly passionate about his country and his job. Every day he gave an excellent history lesson of Sri Lanka which we all found extremely interesting! Our bus driver, Roshan, was an excellent driver and made us feel safe on the hectic, busy Sri Lankan roads.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind - be prepared for some early starts and if possible, do everything that is on offer - you won’t be disappointed!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Richard Keel

    Good Trip With Lots To See With A Good Guide

    Great trip with a busy itinerary. But also a few hours free to do what you want also. Well balanced trip. Weather was very hot some days and the 5 mile bike ride was too hot for some. Jungle walk was also very humid. Luckily Sigiri Rock was cool that am, but if it had been high 90s weather that am, then that would also be a tough climb for some. Whale watching was an optional extra but it was absolutely brilliant, we saw lots of whales. Being a bird watcher, I counted 83 different species throughout the holiday. Along with 100+ elephants in Kaudula National Park and the whales, the trip had lots of wildlife for people like me to see and enjoy. All in all, a great trip, but if you don’t like the heat, then be aware, that Sri Lanka is a hot country. There are a few early am wake up calls, but was always worth it. Lastly, the guide Sujeeva, was absolutely brilliant. He took us to some amazing restaurants (and family homes) to eat every evening. The Red Snapper on the beach was absolutely stunning. I would recommend this holiday for anyone thinking of going to Sri Lanka.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whale watching. An early am start but worth it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely brilliant!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of the heat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only that the drive down through the Ella Gap was absolutely stunning and we could have probably stopped for a walk to a really good view point as we thought the drive down through the mountains was stunning.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Lynne Davison

    Discover Sri Lanka

    My overall experience of the holiday was fantastic and I was most impressed with Exodus as a company and will certainly be using them again. All members of the group of 16 were included in all activities and no-one was left out. It is a great way for singles to go on holiday and be assured of good company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were lucky on both safaris to see many elephants, two leopards, birds and many other animals. Loved having the opportunity to have lunch in many different situations such as with farmers, locals and tsunami victims. Really enjoyed the cultural show , in the front row! Loved the variety of transport, coach, jeep, tractor, cycles and ferry. Cycling through villages was a great experience as well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Nalica was exceptional. he had a wide knowledge of facts, was very caring and professional at all times and was always smiling. He was a joy. Having tickets bought for us, restaurants booked and tips given took all the stress away.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Great variety of activities, be prepared for some early starts, warm clothing is require on a couple of occasions when on higher ground.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    While I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday, i do have two complaints. 1) Several hotels were not at premium standard, I encountered three cockroaches The Tamarind Tree Hotel and felt it was a very dated, tired establishment. The Mirage in Colombo was equally of a disappointing standard. Hotel Sigiriya, , Deer Park Hotel, st Andrews and Rosen were all delightful. It is good to stay a couple of nights in hotels as long as they are good ones. 2) Enjoyed the idea of the train ride but as premium customers I would have expected a reserved seat. As it was, we had to stand for over an hour absolutely packed together in great heat and couldn't see the scenery. The experience was extremely unpleasant.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Wendy Dunk

    Discover Sri Lanka - just do it.

    If you think India might be too much but really want to discover a different culture, this is the perfect trip to do. Full on and busy every day but with "free time" just when you need it. So many experiences in 2 short weeks, cultural, home based, incredible climbs, bike rides, white water rafting, incredible views, ancient cities, spice garden tour with an expert, turtle hatchery, visiting a tea factory, and that is just to mention a few of the things we did. Our guide was so knowledgeable and soon became part of our group of 16, the bus driver was brilliant as was his support, we felt safe every time we went anywhere, Our Guide Nalaka was charming and always available to us and answered our numerous questions with charm and knowledge. All the hotels were of a high standard, only two were not that good but for one night they were fine, but throughout the tour we were given 5* treatment and courtesy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It would be difficult to say which particular moment was any more inspirational than another. The whole tour was inspirational. I would have to say that the least inspirational for me personally was on day 12 where we had tea in a coconut shell and played Sri Lankan games. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the novelty and played the games, it was not inspirational in any way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Knowledgeable. Concerned. Made sure we were safe and happy. Ensured we were given the right amount of information. Excellent communication skills. Friendly and welcoming right from the start. I cannot speak highly enough of Nalaka.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the notes given by Exodus, as they are accurate. Just go with an open mind, take in all the experiences. Take mosquito repellant with you, it is really necessary. Remember to get your ETA on line Things can be bit pricey but take cash in £'s and US$.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No, just do it. We had a great group of people, good age selection, eclectic and we worked well together the whole trip, I would have liked a couple of days in Galle, the atmosphere was lovely and there is so much to see there.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Dayl Dufrane

    DIscover Sri Lanka

    Two weeks of absolute bliss. A group of 15 gelled magnificently considering age range was between 28- 72! Starting in the capitol, Columbo we ventured north to Dambulla + Sigiriya taking in Cave temples and climbing the impressive Lion Rock- what views! Something we would get used to over the course of the fortnight, each different view offering us an awesome insight to the lush, green island before us. Game parks - herds of elephants- not the odd one or two - dozens. Along with multitudinal birds of all colours , shapes, sizes and other animals( although the Leopard did not make an appearance this time )- Sri Lanka is a nature lovers paradise. Temples, architecture, stupas, sculptures in abundance enough to satisfy the cultural aspect of the trip. Cycling through paddy fields, white water rafting , whale watching all achieved and even if you were not athletically inclined the majority of luxurious hotels had a pool to lounge by and an informal game of cricket on the beach caught the imagination of even the most non sporting amongst us. Trips to a gem factory , woodcarving store, spice garden were also on the itinerary. There was something for everyone. Food was delicious - curry and rice but other 'western' food available. Beer relatively cheap. shopping in Kandy was a must - this definitely the place to get any souvenir or just to treat yourself. Can't believe we did so much and saw so much - the time flew by - even the 'free days'. Thoroughly recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the white water rafting and floating down the river kept afloat by life jacket. Swimming in Indian ocean also high on hit list

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Neelaka has the broadest grin ever. He was so knowledgeable about all sorts, plants, animals, birds, temples, history, religion, geography- like many guides has a repertoire of anecdotes. He had time for everyone, no 'problem' was too small and was sorted immediately. Definitely made the holiday - a good group leader, one of best I have encountered

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a prepaid card for money. ATMs available and cash can be exchanged at airport. Buy goods in Kandy - best prices here. Laundry available in some hotels - you do not need to take loads of clothes. Try all the food - even curry for breakfast - has to be done Be aware the train may be mega crowded

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the most enjoyable trips I have been on with Exodus. Try everything - even eating your food with fingers! Take lots of photos- you will do sooooooo much you will not remember - oh don't forget the tuk tuk transport
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Mark Quigley

    Discover Sri Lanka Premium

    Beautiful and varied country with a lovely laid back and fascinating culture. The trip manages to combine a good mix of scenery, culture and history in a relaxed manner with outstanding food if you like moderately spicy curry. The logistics and transport were excellent. The hotels were superb except for one which we understand Exodus will not use in future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sigirya rock was both fascinating and visually impressive, helped by the fact that our tour leader organised for us to see it first thing in the morning before the crowds arrived. Candy and the temple of the Tooth were also impressive but then again so was the bike ride along the river and travelling through the tea plantations. Each day was different and interesting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was outstanding. He was calm, assured, organised, approachable, knowledgeable, sociable, with an English sense of humour. He brought the trip to life not only explaining the history but also never afraid to discuss the challenges facing modern Sri Lanka. It was no surprise to learn is in the Exodus Hall of fame.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Watch out for small leeches on the jungle walk if it's been raining. they are harmless but it's a bit unpleasant.

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