Encounter ancient cave temples, tea plantations and idyllic beaches on this laid-back adventure through Sri Lanka.

Set adrift in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is jam-packed with ancient sites, fascinating culture, beautiful wilderness and idyllic beaches. Go as fast or as slow as you like on this adventure through south and central Sri Lanka. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, climb Lion Rock at Sigiriya, and explore the monkey-filled mangrove forests of Unawatuna, or simply bliss-out on the beaches in Galle with ginger iced tea in hand.


Start
Negombo, Sri Lanka
Finish
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination
Sri Lanka
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
HPRS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Wander through the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy, which houses one of Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relics – a tooth of the Buddha

  • Explore the palm-tree beaches and streets of Unawatuna, perhaps even stopping for a massage along the way

  • Walk around the perimeter of the grassy Galle Fort, check out the gorgious views, and grab an icy ginger drink at a cafe in town

Is this trip right for you?

  • The recent terrorist attacks were a tragic event and have had a serious impact on tourism in the country. Intrepid has a strong commitment to our local staff and the communities we visit and are continuing to operate all our trips in Sri Lanka. While the security situation is now much more stable, you will still see a high police presence in towns and cities and many check points are still in place. We continue to follow government travel advisories and local authorities in operating our trips in Sri Lanka. We don't anticipate major changes to your itinerary at this time, however it’s important to be aware that the country is still recovering and things like travel times between destinations and time taken to go through security at the airport may be affected.

  • Though its equatorial position means fairly constant year-round temperatures, the summer months in Sri Lanka are very hot with short, sharp monsoons in the south-west of the country. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • Beaches in Sri Lanka may be unpatrolled, please seek local advice on where to swim safely.

Itinerary

Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to the international airport. You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5.30 pm. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is best explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast, leave Negombo and drive approximately 4.5 hours to Dambulla, arriving just after midday. After checking into the hotel, in the afternoon you may like to relax at the hotel or take an optional visit to a nearby wildlife reserve. With a bit of luck, you might spot some wild elephants on this jeep safari. Which park is available to visit depends on the season, but both Minneriya and Kaudulla are within easy reach of Dambulla. Another option is the nearby Dambulla Caves with their magnificently decorated interiors.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Dambulla - Cave Temples - LKR1500
  • Minneriya - Jeep Safari - LKR6500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Early this morning, before the heat is too intense, head to Sigiriya (approximately 30 minutes). This ruined fortress is one of Sri Lanka's premier sights. Those who make it to the top are rewarded with astounding views. Make sure you are wearing sturdy footwear, as this is a very steep climb with some uneven slopes. Those unable to climb to the top can explore the gardens at the base of the rock and still get some fantastic shots of the fortress from below. Return to the hotel for breakfast before heading to Kandy (approximately 3 hours). On the way, there's the option of stopping at one of the region's wonderful spice gardens for lunch. In beautifully located Kandy, visit the Dalada Maligawa (aka Temple of the Tooth), Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist site, and mingle with the white-clad pilgrims who come here to worship.
Included Activities
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day to explore the royal city of Kandy, a pleasant city surrounded by lush green hilly countryside. It’s home to a picturesque lake, old shops, a bustling market and some great restaurants. It was once the capital of the last Sri Lankan king, and the area managed to resist European control for hundreds of years, long after the coastal areas surrendered. Perhaps walk through the town to take in the sights of Kandy – explore the citadel, or take a nature walk at Udawattakele Sanctuary, close to Kandy, which offers the chance to see flowers, birds and monkeys amid 160 acres of tropical rainforest. Kandy is perfect for those who enjoy walking – the town has many hidden corners to explore and views from walks around the lake are spectacular. There's also the chance to take a day trip to Nuwara Eliya along windy roads lined by green slopes of tea leaves. This old British hill station is the heart of the tea growing industry and full of colonial charm. Built entirely during the 19th century, its quirky architecture reflects what you'd normally expect to find in an English country village, which will make you feel like you've stepped back in time.
Optional Activities
  • Kandy - Cultural performance - LKR1000
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens - LKR1200
  • Kandy - Cooking Class in a Sinhalese Home - LKR1400
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Journey south in a private vehicle to Unawatuna (approximately 6 hours). This fantastic stretch of beach has plenty of local restaurants and bars to relax in. There are no included activities today, so you'll have free time to explore Unawatuna and its surrounds. Perhaps take a walk through the monkey-filled mangrove forest off Galle–Matara road or unwind with an indulgent massage. 
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Sleep in, relax on the beach, work on your tan or grab a cocktail under the shade of a beachside restaurant. Feel like something a bit more active? Today is a good opportunity to pop into nearby Galle for some sightseeing. The city is a memorable collection of Dutch-colonial buildings with boutique shops and cafes to visit. Walk around the perimeter of the Galle fort and cool off with an icy ginger drink in a cafe, then mosey on back to the beach for some more chillaxing.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information


Leaving Galle, we travel on to Colombo, the nation's capital (approximately 3 hours). Stop by some of the city's main sights on a bus tour including Independence Square, Parliament, and past the National Museum, finishing with a shopping opportunity for a good cause at the Barefoot Fair trade Store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries. If you are lucky enough to be in Colombo on a Saturday, visit Good Market, a local market full of stalls showcasing social enterprises and responsible businesses. Tonight there's an optional final group dinner to celebrate your journey together.
Included Activities
  • Good Market Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This Sri Lankan adventure comes to an end after breakfast and you are free to depart at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Colombo - Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure - USD55
  • Colombo - Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure - USD55
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Good Market Visit

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Simply Sri Lanka trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip and is valid for all nights on tour.
2. PASSPORT DETAILS: Full passport details are required for the train journey. Without them we cannot purchase train tickets. Please advise them at the time of booking.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information

Reviews