Discover Sri Lanka

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15 days
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$2,165 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 156 reviews >
Trip code: 
AIL
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

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

  • Take a train journey through tea plantations

  • Search for leopard in Yala National Park

  • Climb the rock fortress at Sigiriya for breathtaking views

Key information

  • 14 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite
  • Travel by private bus
  • Additional travel by train, bicycle and jeep
  • Some long drives

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 lunch
  • All accommodation
  • 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

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Veyangoda.

    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.
    The Covanro or alternative accommodation in the area

  • Day 2

    Visit cave temples at Dambulla; to Sigiriya.

    We depart after breakfast for the drive (approx. 4 hours) 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).
    Hotel Sigiriya 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.
    Hotel Sigiriya 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 don't want to cycle you can follow the group in the support vehicle). 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.
    Giritale 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.
    Hotel Thilanka 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 walking.

    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.
    Hotel Thilanka 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).
    Hill Club 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.
    Hill Club 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. Although the train can be very busy on occasion, this is still a great experience. We get off at Bandarawela, a town relatively untouched by tourism.
    Orient 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.
    Insight Resort or alternative accommodation in the area

    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.
    Insight Resort or alternative accommodation in the area

    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.

    Hotel Mirage or alternative accommodation in the area

    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.

Post-trip Extensions

Maldives

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note we can arrange a visit to the Maldives for you.

The flight from Colombo is around 1 hour and upon arrival you will be transferred by speedboat (approximately 20mins) to the Paradise Island 4* resort. Paradise Island is a beautiful coral island with a total land area of 178,900 square metres, covered with lush tropical vegetation, numerous palm trees, surrounded by a wide sandy beach and the crystal clear waters of an azure lagoon.

 You can choose to add on as many extra nights to your trip as you wish; your time on the island will be at leisure for you to do as you wish. The accommodation used has a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, room service and all rooms are air‐conditioned and have en suite facilities. As well as the modern amenities of the resort there is also access to scuba diving and snorkelling or for the less active the chance to swim in these wonderful, calm waters. Either way it is a veritable paradise and a memorable end to the trip.

 If you choose to take advantage of this opportunity then we can arrange flights for you to Malé as well as booking the hotel and speedboat transfer to the island.

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.

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 en suite hotels. Hotels on this trip are generally of a good standard, most with swimming pools and good facilities. The standards and styles of the hotels do vary however and some of our selections are based on location and what is available in the area or the character and atmosphere at the premises.

The hotel that we typically use in Nuwara Eliya has been selected for the character of the premises and the appearance of its grounds but the level of service is not always at the standard of the other hotels on this itinerary.

The Hill Club in Numara Eliya was originally set up as a private  members’ club. Some traditions are still in place and so occasionally rooms  are blocked off for a members’ conference.  It might be that in the months of April , June , July , September or December we are not able to secure rooms at the hill club. If this is the case we will accommodate your  group in a similar standard hotel in Nuwara Eliya, though the hotel  may not have the same kind of ‘old style’ character.

The hotel that we typically use on the south coast for two nights has been selected because it has a good beach location, where it is possible to swim in the sea most of the time, there are good photo opportunities with the stilt fisherman nearby and it is within close proximity to the optional excursions. Although service at the hotel can sometimes be rather slow it is a small property so the staff and management are flexible and cater for our group’s needs.

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 a similar 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.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

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

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 2018
    Pauline Molloy

    Smiling Sri Lanka

    Smiling people, beautiful scenery, wildlife, culture, history, delicious food and great company; our trip to Sri Lanka ticked so many boxes and we absolutely loved it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We elected to climb Adam’s Peak. This was a highlight for me. It was physically challenging, with beautiful views from the top, but to see all of the pilgrims making their way up and down, many of them quite elderly and infirm, was so inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was the perfect guide. He was friendly, knowledgeable, informative, patient, helpful, funny and entertaining, He really added enormously to our trip and we were very grateful for his services.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travellers need to know that even more expensive items need to be paid for in rupees. I had expected to be able to pay for these items (eg rafting and whale watching) by credit card but this was not the case. Had we known this in advance we would have changed a lot more money at the airport.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No great trip. We will definitely be travelling with Exodus again.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    David Cowle

    Discover Sri lanka

    This was a wonderful holiday experience Beautiful lush country Abundant wildelife The locals were very kind and helpful- never felt unsafe Sights and scenes were so varied and the itinerary so diverse each day something new and exciting to experience Cycle on local tracks to sample a village lunch - very tasty Safari - elephants, leopards Whale watching Temples Tea plantation Train journey Sandy beaches The warm Indian Ocean The food/ delicious I could go on... Our tour guide - neelaka - fabulous so knowledgeable and enthusiastic with humour This is a must holiday who loves to explore and sample new cultures and environments Can’t enthuse enough about it Thank you exodus!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing a new cultural experience
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Felicity Iredale

    Sri Lankan Discovery

    I thought the trip was very well organised and our guide Ruwan was excellent

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a leopard in the wild . I also enjoyed The 3 visits to the houses of local people and having the privilege of them cooking a meal for us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent could not have been better. He was kind thoughtful and very capable with a very good knowledge of local history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t expect a relaxing holiday there is a lot of travelling on this trip and some early morning starts

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Personally I could have done without the trips to the gem factory and spice garden. I also found the turtle hatchery quite distasteful. The turtles are kept in very small bare tanks. Some cannot be released back 8nto the wild ans so may spend the next 90 years in one of these awful tanks. I see a visit to this place is not now included in your itinerary.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Julie and William Knuckey

    Discover Sri Lanka

    We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this trip. It was very varied in experiences from Buddhist temples to a taste of the local culture and life of the villagers. The contrast of the busy noisy towns to the tea plantations , national parks & forest areas. The whole experience was made extra special and interesting by our excellent guide' Bob'( his Sri Lankan name is impossible to pronounce), who explained clearly the history, culture & life of Sri Lanka, illustrated by his own personal stories. Hotels were of a good standard and the food & service were on the whole good. The train ride was an experience, expect to stand for 2 hours, though some local women made a small seating space for me and I enjoyed hearing their life stories and they generously wanted to share their snacks with me! Yala national park was very good and we did see a leopard however, the game drive in Kaudulla National park was too crowded with other viewers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a Leopard in Yala National Park, Seeing blue wales, the white water rafting, and visits to local villages where we were served local food and drank from freshly cut coconuts. As well as the Buddhist Temple of the tooth.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, the best we have had yet, so informative without being over powering, always smiling and his own personal stories brought to life the history, religion and culture of the Island. I would live to go on another trip led by him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you have a light fleece for the hills of Nuwara Ella. Have plenty of sun cream & after sun for the coast. Be ready for sudden downpours. Trust your leader he knows the best time to arrive at attractions which might mean an early start! Just enjoy all the different experiences

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I feel on our last day we could have explored Galle for longer and It was a shame that we had to end our holiday at the hotel Mirage in Columbo as it was situated on a very noisy road and our last breakfast was very poor, which was a disappointing note to what had been a fantastic experience.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Kenneth Garrod

    Mr. Ken Garrod

    An absolutely wonderful trip. Full of enjoyable activities and varied, excellent and interesting hotels. Would definitely recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking up Sigiriya Rock Fortress with the very knowledgeable tour leader.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best - well planned, knowledgeable and fun

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We did all the optional activities except Adams Peak and really enjoyed them all.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of our best holidays
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Dennis Jenkins

    Discover Sri Lanka

    A superb trip with so many varied experiences and one which although most of the major sites were visited also included chances to see day to day Sri Lanka and meet the people whose ever smiling personalties are one of the hallmarks of this beautiful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many inspirational moments that prioritising some of them proves rather difficult. The temples, climbing to the top of Sigiriya Rock, the ancient site of Polonnaruwa, exploring Kandy, especially the ceremony in the Temple of the Tooth, but above all seeing a wild elephant emerging from the forest of the Kadulla National Park and then seeing such large numbers of elephants, many with young, on the open plains of the park. Also, seeing a leopard, all be it for only a few seconds, and the other wildlife in the Yala National Park. The whale watching was also another highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan has won many awards for running this trip and it is easy to see why. He was able to remain calm at all times, his instructions were always very clear and he drew the group together so that although we were all strangers at the beginning, by the end we felt we had known each other for years! His hidden talent of singing on the penultimate night will always be remembered! He was able to rearrange things at a moments notice, for example when it was obvious that doing the Horton Plains trek was not really feasible in the thick mist that we encountered at the start, he managed to still get us the train ride(well worth it), and a walk to Little Adam's Peak which was at lower altitude and so therefore meant we did get some excellent views.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most of the general advice has been given in previous reviews but one useful extra we did was to extend our stay by 2 nights to include Colombo which wasn't on the itinerary. Roshan, however, was very helpful to us by changing our extra 2 nights in Colombo to an excellent hotel resort called the Suriya just north of Negombo and getting our transfer there to include a Colombo City Tour. A relaxing way to end a busy tour!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Contrary to some of the reviews, we did enjoy our stay at the Hill Club and eating in style on the first night there. It is quirky but the whole experience is to relive a bygone age and shouldn't be missed. To find your room prepared for retiring with a hot water bottle in the bed was truly retro! On our second night we had an excellent Thai meal at the Grand next door. There was some excellent food on this trip. The curries prepared by the families we visited in the villages were so varied and tasty and many of the hotel buffets similarly had a wide variety of curries available as did some of our lunch stops.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Dennis Jenkins

    Discover Sri Lanka

    A superb trip with so many varied experiences and one which although most of the major sites were visited also included chances to see day to day Sri Lanka and meet the people whose ever smiling personalties are one of the hallmarks of this beautiful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many inspirational moments that prioritising some of them proves rather difficult. The temples, climbing to the top of Sigiriya Rock, the ancient site of Polonnaruwa, exploring Kandy, especially the ceremony in the Temple of the Tooth, but above all seeing a wild elephant emerging from the forest of the Kadulla National Park and then seeing such large numbers of elephants, many with young, on the open plains of the park. Also, seeing a leopard, all be it for only a few seconds, and the other wildlife in the Yala National Park. The whale watching was also another highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan has won many awards for running this trip and it is easy to see why. He was able to remain calm at all times, his instructions were always very clear and he drew the group together so that although we were all strangers at the beginning, by the end we felt we had known each other for years! His hidden talent of singing on the penultimate night will always be remembered! He was able to rearrange things at a moments notice, for example when it was obvious that doing the Horton Plains trek was not really feasible in the thick mist that we encountered at the start, he managed to still get us the train ride(well worth it), and a walk to Little Adam's Peak which was at lower altitude and so therefore meant we did get some excellent views.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most of the general advice has been given in previous reviews but one useful extra we did was to extend our stay by 2 nights to include Colombo which wasn't on the itinerary. Roshan, however, was very helpful to us by changing our extra 2 nights in Colombo to an excellent hotel resort called the Suriya just north of Negombo and getting our transfer there to include a Colombo City Tour. A relaxing way to end a busy tour!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Contrary to some of the reviews, we did enjoy our stay at the Hill Club and eating in style on the first night there. It is quirky but the whole experience is to relive a bygone age and shouldn't be missed. To find your room prepared for retiring with a hot water bottle in the bed was truly retro! On our second night we had an excellent Thai meal at the Grand next door. There was some excellent food on this trip. The curries prepared by the families we visited in the villages were so varied and tasty and many of the hotel buffets similarly had a wide variety of curries available as did some of our lunch stops.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Tony Renfrey

    Excellent trip to Sri Lanka with Exodus

    We have just returned from our first trip with Exodus and must say we were very impressed with all aspects of the holiday. The administration and trip documentation were top class. The tour leader was brilliant....nothing seemed to faze him and he organised day-to-day activities superbly. The coach driver and his helper were also excellent and the tour coach was first class. The itinerary was comprehensive, with a nice blend of iconic and historical sites, cultural and physical activities, and nicely varied transport and accommodation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We loved the white water rafting and cycle ride through the villages.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As I said before, he was brilliant! His smiley face and warm and friendly personality will live long in the memory.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring your own re-usable water bottle to reduce the plastic waste from single-use bottles.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We can only highly recommend Exodus and we will definitely travel with them again.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Lisa Macdonald-Smith

    An Amazing Tour of Sri Lankan Highlights

    If you want the see some of the main essential sites of Sri Lanka in a week this is the tour for you. It is not too full on compared with some other Exodus trips and you do have time to take in the beauty of some of the wonderful places you see and stay.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mornings cycle ride was great fun as was the lunch we had with a local family, the Sri Lankan’s are such friendly people. The elephant safari was just amazing, highlighted by seeing a week old baby elephant. Also a personal achievement and highlight for me was getting to the top of the Sigiria Rock, I don’t do heights and the stairs around the side were quite an experience - but I made it! The views were breathtaking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dileepa our tour leader was just brilliant. He was funny, very informative and obviously loved his country. Dileepa always made sure everyone had everything they needed and went out of his way to achieve this. We could not of asked for a better tour leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go, having travelled to India last year and Cambodia/Vietnam the year before this would of been a good place to start as not so much of a cultural shock. The Sri Lankan’s are such friendly people and it is a beautiful county.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We stayed on 5 nights near Galle after the tour to fully unwind and do a little of our own touring.
  • Reviewed October 2017

    Discover Sri Lanka Sept 2017

    This was a wonderful trip, full of colour and variety. We travelled all over the country and saw so many interesting places and had fantastic experiences, but also had time to relax along the way. The tour leaders in Sri Lanka were the winning leader team in the Exodus leader awards in 2016 and I can see why.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed all of it! However I particularly liked the Polonnaruwa ruins and loved our visit to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. The countryside was so colourful and lush, and we saw lots of animals and birds even outwith the parks. To my surprise I also enjoyed the white water rafting which I had never done before.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujan Weerakoon was an excellent tour leader. He knows the country inside out and was a mine of interesting information but delivered in small digestible chunks. He was very well organised and gave us lot of helpful advice re what to take/wear/expect each day. Everything was taken care of for us and we were able to relax. He was friendly with everyone and had a good sense of humour. He judged the mood of the group well and on one memorable occasion was able to conjure up tea and chocolate cake just when we were all running out of energy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take up the offer of the leader to organise the tipping kitty. Everyone expects a tip in Sri Lanka and it would have been a complete nightmare to manage this ourselves. Sujan did this for us and kept meticulous records and it smoothed our path through the country. Many of the activities are optional and opting out does not cause a problem. I did not do the cycling and was able to follow the group in the support vehicle.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As this tour is so well established, it runs like a well oiled machine. I can see why it is popular - it is very varied with something for everyone, and great fun. Go for it!

Dates & Prices

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Maldives Extension

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note we can arrange a visit to the Maldives, just 1 hour flying time from Colombo

For more details on this particular extension please go to page 4 of the Trip Notes. Alternatively, you can call one of our Sales team, who will be happy to assist you.

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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