Soak up the sights in Kandy, Ella, Unawatuna and Colombo

Sri Lanka, land of rolling tea plantations, wild cinnamon groves, heaps of elephants and amazing surf breaks. And really incredible food. Chow on curry everywhere you go, check out where Buddha's tooth is said to live in Kandy, spot elephants and leopards in Yala and have a whale of a time at the beach in Unawatuna.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We’ve got over 900 other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more.

10% OFF 18-29s Early-bird

Book an 18-29s trip 12 months in advance or more and get 10% off. Learn more>

Terms & Conditions

Start
Negombo, Sri Lanka
Finish
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination
Sri Lanka
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
HPYL
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Travel solo, together

You're never alone when travelling solo with Intrepid

Why you'll love this trip

  • Hike to the spectacular Ella Gap in Sri Lanka's Hill Country

  • Practice sticking out your little finger and delicately holding a teacup with your thumb and forefinger. Why? To prep for a delicious cuppa in the tea-heartland of Kandy.

  • Go on safari in search of leopards and elephants in Yala National Park.

  • Three days (and nights) on Unawatuna's golden beach can cure almost all of life’s problems.

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.

  • Can you feel that tingling in your fingers? That my friend is power! This trip puts it in your hands – there are few inclusions so you’ll have plenty of local choices to decide what you want to do.

  • The drive from Ella to Yala goes down from the mountains to the coast on a very winding road, and while this means the going can be a little slow, it also means that you’ll get to see the awesome scenery from literally every angle.

  • Tourism in Sri Lanka is booming, and with it has come a huge increase in visitors to Yala National Park. Overtourism and lack of sustainable management practices have become a major concern for us in continuing to visit Yala. In order to reduce our impact on wildlife and the environment we are trialing visiting a less touristed section of Yala, known as Block 5 or Veheragala. Should we determine that high tourist numbers at Block 5 also make it difficult to continue visiting responsibly we will change our itinerary to visit Udawalawe National Park, where wild elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards also reside. This is the same itinerary we follow from September to mid-October when Yala National Park is closed annually for infrastructure development and rejuvenation.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Oct 2018 to 31 Dec 2019.
View the 2020 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)
Optional Activities
  • Negombo - Spirit of Negombo Urban Adventure - USD60
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Those who arrive early can dive straight into it by joining our local Urban Adventure - Spirit of Negombo. First check out the sights on foot and then take a leisurely boat tour, all while soaking up some epic views and learning all about the history and culture of Negombo. If you’d prefer to explore on your own, perhaps stroll the seaside 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.
From here, begin your journey by private vehicle to Kandy and visit a spice garden on the way, which should take around three hours in total (120 kilometres). On arrival to Kandy, there's an optional visit to the Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa), the most important shrine in the country. The Royal Botanical Garden is just ten minutes away from your accommodation and there is access to the swimming pool of Kandyan Residencies (next door). Your evening is free to do as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Matale - Spice Garden visit
Optional Activities
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth - LKR2000
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens - LKR2000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to explore Kandy. Perhaps organise a day trip to the famous palace of Sigiriya and Dambulla Caves Temple - discovering this magnificent cave complex. The World Heritage listed cave monastery has been a pilgrimage site for 22 centuries and for good reason. If you're feeling a little worse for wear in the afternoon after all those steps, why not try an Ayurvedic massage to relax those weary muscles?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Dambulla - Cave Temples - LKR1500
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock - LKR4650
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, say goodbye to Kandy as you travel for around six hours to Ella. On arrival to Ella, check in to your accommodation. Once you've dropped off your luggage, perhaps head out for a visit to a local tea factory.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tea Factory Visit - LKR250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Venture out on an included half day trek to Ella Gap this morning. We'll stop in a small mountain village for a spicy curry lunch and a pot of Ceylon tea. This is an awesome way of getting to know the area and a great opportunity to meet local people.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ella - Trek to Ella Gap
  • Ella - Nine Arch Bridge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Head out of Ella in a private vehicle for around three hours to your resort on the edge of Tissa Lake. Once settled, you'll head out on a jeep safari where you'll come across the area's native wildlife such as elephants, leopards and aquatic birds. This is an amazing experience that you'll never forget. After your day in nature soak in the view from the lovely hotel pool overlooking Lake Tissa.
Accommodation
  • Lakeside Resort (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yala/Udawalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Tourism in Sri Lanka is booming, and with it has come a huge increase in visitors to Yala National Park. Overtourism and lack of sustainable management practices have become a major concern for us in continuing to visit Yala. In order to reduce our impact on wildlife and the environment we are trialling visiting a less touristed section of Yala, known as Block 5. Should we determine that high tourist numbers at Block 5 also make it difficult to continue visiting responsibly we will change our itinerary to visit Udawalawe National Park, where wild elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards also reside.

From September through October when Yala National Park is closed annually for infrastructure development and rejuvenation we go on a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park. Udawalawe is home to wild elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards.
Journey west in a private vehicle for around three and a half hours to Unawatuna. 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 plenty of free time to explore Unawatuna and its surrounds.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Mirissa - Whale Watching (Nov to Mar) - USD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Life’s a beach, so spend the day on one. With a book and a cocktail and a bottle of sunscreen. Possibly head out early on an optional whale watching tour or take a day trip to visit the Galle Royal Dutch Fort. Walk around the fort for free or 'bikesplore' the lesser known areas of the city on an Urban Adventure. You'll be staying at a guest house on the beach tonight, so make use of the many beach restaurants and bars that line the shore.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Galle - Walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Galle - Dutch Fort - Free
  • Mirissa - Whale Watching (Nov to Mar) - USD45
  • Galle - Bikesplore Galle Urban Adventure - USD49
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You have another free day beside the beach today. Take a towel and relax on the beach, sleep in, work on your tan or grab a cocktail under the shade of a restaurant. This is the perfect way to chill out and enjoy the Sri Lankan coast. Otherwise maybe today is the day to hop in a tuk-tuk and discover some of the other amazing beaches on Sri Lanka's southern coast.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Unawatuna behind and travel on to Colombo (approximately four 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Colombo - City Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end today, with no activities planned. Checkout time at the hotel is 12 noon.
Optional Activities
  • Colombo - Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure - USD55
  • Colombo - Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure - USD55
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

9 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights)

Included activities

  • Matale - Spice Garden visit
  • Ella - Trek to Ella Gap
  • Ella - Nine Arch Bridge
  • Yala/Udawalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
  • Galle - Walking tour
  • Colombo - City Tour

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Essential 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. In the wet season, we occasionally need to alter the length and itinerary of the Hill Country hike due to weather conditions.
3. 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