Indulge in the unique and tasty cuisine of delightful Sri Lanka

Despite being influenced by the cooking traditions of India, Portugal, Arabia and Holland, Sri Lanka’s cuisine – complex, gratifying and redolent with spices – has a style uniquely its own. Working your way through Sri Lanka in a circle from Negombo to Colombo, indulge in seafood on the coast, hoppers on the streets and Tamil cuisine in the Highlands. Plus there's a hefty dose of culture, history and fun to round off a delicious adventure through this provocative country.

Negombo, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
343kg pp per trip


  • Sample fresh seafood in Negombo
  • Master a traditional hoppers recipe
  • Get active in the cave temples of Dambulla
  • Sip tea at a Sri Lankan tea plantation
  • Take a walk on Sri Lanka's wild side in Yala National Park
  • Relax on the white sandy beaches of Tangalle
  • Indulge on Sri Lanka's famously fragrant curries


Welcome to Sri Lanka, an island nation of sunny sands, exotic scents and mouth-tingling spices. Relax on Negombo’s sweeping coastline and watch the fishing boats float on by. Later, why not dine on the catch of the day at a local seafood restaurant.
Spend an evening learning some classic Sri Lankan street food recipes. Master how to make hoppers (a bowl shaped pancake), paratha (stuffed flat bread) and sweet banana and pineapple roti with locals in a street stall. Some of the vendors have even fine-tuned their chopping skills into a musical performance, resulting in a feast for all the senses. After a cycling tour around sacred sites, including the Ruwanweli Maha Seya dagaba and Jetavana Monastery, get an insight into local food preparation while helping out a family in the kitchen. Cook up some traditional Sri Lankan curry before sitting down for a family meal.
Admire the commanding views from the top of Sigiriya and explore the cave temples of Dambulla – the biggest in the country. In the evening, take a master class to learn the local way to cook seafood.
Travel to Kandy for a tour of a local spice garden. Learn how spices such as kurundu (or ‘true’ cinnamon), which is indigenous to Sri Lanka, and cardamom are grown and used to season traditional dishes. Pick a few goodies and hit the kitchen for some more cooking. Later, witness a traditional Kandyan dance performance and stroll the ornate architecture of the Temple of the Tooth.
Hightail it to Sri Lanka’s lush hill country for an overnight stay overlooking tea plantations. Observe the tea leaves for which the country is renowned for and sample the distinct flavours of Tamil cuisine over lunch with a local family.
Take a tea-tasting tour while on a factory visit and see how one of the country’s most important crop is processed. Sink your sweet tooth into some local desserts like vadi and aluwa – it’s in some of these dishes that the epicurean influence of former colonial power Portugal and the Netherlands is apparent.
Scan the woods for deer, elephants and birdlife in Yala National Park, which is also home to one of the highest densities of leopards in the world.
Bask on the white sands of Tangalle, then peruse the fresh catch on offer at the seafood markets and have it cooked up before your eyes at a local seaside restaurant. Perhaps be tempted by favourite local dish Ambulthiayal (sour fish curry) or just sit back with feet in the sand and a frosty Lion beer.
Enjoy a final morning of relaxation in Tangalle, then drive to nearby Unawatuna. Meet Unawatuna’s famed stilt fishermen and hear how their livelihoods and lifestyles have changed post-tsunami. You may even get the chance to taste the local drop, toddy (a drink made from palm tree sap) or coconut arrack.
Check out the charming seaside town of Galle, then enjoy a final dinner as the sun sets. Return to Colombo, stopping past a producer of jadi fish. This fermented fish concoction is a vital Sri Lankan pantry staple. Arrive back in Colombo at approximately 3pm, where this Real Food Adventure comes to an end.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 7 dinners
Auto rickshaw, Bicycle, Train
Hotel (14 nights)
Included activities
  • Anuradhapura - Ancient city cycling tour
  • Dambulla - Cave temples
  • Dambulla - Wholesale Markets tour
  • Galle - City orientation tour
  • Haputale - Sri Lankan sweets cooking demonstration
  • Haputale - Tamil family lunch
  • Haputale - Tea factory tour
  • Kandy - Cultural dance performance
  • Kandy - Spice & Herb Garden visit
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
  • Negombo - coconut plantation visit and lunch
  • Negombo - Fish Market Tour
  • Sigiriya - Rock Fortress


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Important notes

From February 2015 this trip will be 12 days in duration and no longer include a stop in Yala National Park or Tissamaharama. This trip will continue to depart on a Tuesday.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes


Our Real Food Adventure - Sri Lanka trips score an average of 4.83 out of 5 based on 24 reviews in the last year.

Real Food Adventure - Sri Lanka , November 2015

Real Food Adventure - Sri Lanka , November 2015