Discover a world of spice and splendour on an active trip through Sri Lanka.

Ride through tea plantations, kayak down rivers, and hike to ancient fortresses on this fitness focused adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is one of Asia’s most exciting destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled national parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. Explore the country’s premier sites while wandering through the wilds on this Sri Lankan experience.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Negombo, Sri Lanka
Finish
Mt Lavinia, Sri Lanka
Destination
Sri Lanka
Style
Original
Theme
Active Adventures
Code
HPXS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Witness ritual devotion in the spiritual heart of the country during a visit to Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth.

  • Spot birdlife and watch as Sri Lanka's forested landscape shifts with the flow of the Kaluganga River on a three-day kayaking expedition.

  • Encounter Sri Lanka's rich plant life while hiking through the Knuckles Mountain Range, so named for it's fist-like appearance.

  • Soothe sore muscles while relaxing on Mt Lavinia's 'Golden Mile' of incredible beaches.

  • Visit Sigiriya's ancient carved-rock fortress, which rises dramatically above the surrounding plains.

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. We continue to follow government travel advisories and local authorities in operating our trips in Sri Lanka. The security situation is now much more stable and we don't anticipate major changes to your itinerary at this time.

  • This trip requires a good level of fitness to be able to enjoy the physical activities included.

  • The weather in this region varies seasonally. Be prepared to get sweaty, and for the occasional rainstorm which may require a change of plans.

  • All travellers will need to be competent swimmers to take part in the kayaking section of this trip.

  • Sri Lanka gets hot and humid, drink plenty of water and remember a good quality hat and sun block.

  • Read more about what it's like travelling on this trip here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/active-sri-lanka-tour-with-int...

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2019 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.
Travel by private vehicle (4.5 hours) to Sigiriya, and check into your accommodation. Once the evening rolls in, head out to the Minneriya National Park for a jeep safari. The park plays home to a mix of evergreen forest and scrublands, not to mention the sambar deer, leopards and elephants that can often be spotted roaming the wilds.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Minneriya National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Sigiriya an ancient carved-rock fortress that rises dramatically above the surrounding plains. The near vertical walls elevate the ancient city of Sigiriya high into the air, keeping the secrets of the Kassapa kingdom inaccessible save for a rigorous climb along steep staircases. Take a morning visit to witness this monolith with your own eyes, then transfer onward to Illukkumbura. From here, take a half-day walk through the Knuckles Mountain Range, named because the peaks and folds resemble a clenched fist when viewed from certain angles. More than 34 per cent of Sri Lanka’s endemic trees, shrubs and herbs are only found in these forests, so keep an eye out for these various plants as you push along the trail.

In the off chance that there is heavy downpour during the hiking portion of the itinerary you will stay in a local guest house instead of camping in tents. Should the rain be so severe that there is a risk of landslides, you will visit Project Orange Elephant located near Wasgomuwa National Park. Project Orange Elephant is finding sustainable solutions to overcome human elephant conflict in rural Sri Lanka. You will meet some the local farmers and learn about life for both the elephant and human inhabitants that live in the area.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Knuckles Mountain Range guided trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The visit to Lion Rock takes around 3.5 hrs. Start around 7am, reaching the lion paw around 8.30 am. On the way visit the water garden, boulder garden, Sigiriya Frescoes and the mirror wall. After the Lion Paw its a steep climb with plenty of steps and walkways along the side of the rock. This part of the climb takes around 30 minutes. Those not wanting to go to the top can rest at the Lion Paw until the rest of the group return.


Continue on a rigorous full day trek through the Knuckles region. After winding through the forests and hillsides, perhaps stopping at villages along the way. Climb Manigala Rock where views of the valley below and adjacent peaks await.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Knuckles Mountain Range guided trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Begin your hike out of Knuckles National Park (3 hours) before transferring to Kandy (2 hours). Lying in the hills of the Kandy plateau, this major city previously served as the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. Spend the rest of the day relaxing here – maybe find a spot by the scenic lake in the centre of town and while away the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we visit the golden roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Housed inside, the relic of the tooth of the Buddha has played an important role in local politics due to the belief that whoever holds the relic holds governance of the country. It’s because of both the temple and Kandy’s status as the last city of the Sri Lankan Kings that Kandy stands as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Afterwards, enjoy the rest of the day with free exploration of the city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information



Take a scenic train journey to Hatton today (approx 3 hours). After arriving, continue on a mountain bike ride through the area. Pass by the vast tea estates lying in the flowing hills, dotted with few trees which stand like beacons over the plantations below. After roaming around the idyllic countryside, consider taking the hike up Adam’s Peak. The peak itself is often visited by pilgrims who climb a candle lit trail to the top in the evenings, passing shrines and food stalls along the way.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hatton - Mountain biking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive to Bogawanthalwa. Once you arrive, jump on your mountain bike and continue on a ride across the central highlands towards Balangoda. Travel through the rich forests and sprawling fields of rural Sri Lanka before finally arriving at Balangoda, pushing through 55 kilometres (34 miles) and 720 metres (2362 feet) of elevation gain along the way. From here, travel by private vehicle and drive onwards to Ratnapura, the bustling capital of the Sabaragamuwa Province, where you’ll spend the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hatton - Mountain biking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Wake up in the morning and stretch those arm muscles as you prepare for a big day of kayaking along the Kaluganga River, meaning Black River in Sinhalese language. The Kaluganga stretches an impressive 129 kilometres (80 miles) in length, reaching through many of Sri Lanka’s districts and provinces. As a result, the landscape and vegetation next to the river seems to shift the further you paddle along the river, listening out for bird calls as you quietly drift on. Stop off at a local village where you'll camp for the night.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kalunganga River - Canoeing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
ALTERNATE ITINERARY
In the off chance that we are forced to cancel kayaking due to unsafe river water levels caused by heavy rain you will instead spend one night in Udewalawe and two nights at Marissa beach. We will include a half day cycle in Udewalawe, a visit to the Elephant Transit Home, and a day visit to Galle Royal Dutch Fort during our stay in Marissa.
Depart from the village in the morning and continue paddling down the Kaluganga River, taking in more sights and sounds as you paddle onwards.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kalunganga River - Canoeing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Continue on your kayak adventure before arriving at Kalutara, where the river meets the sea. Once an important trading centre for spices, the town’s name is derived from the Kaluganga River and was temporarily made the capital by order of a South Indian prince. After a little bit of time looking over the beautiful beaches, board your private vehicle and depart to Mount Lavinia for the next stage of your journey (approx 1 hour).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Located 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the Colombo city centre, Mount Lavinia is a suburb renowned for its “Golden Mile” of beaches. It’s one of the most liberal areas of Sri Lanka and plays host to the island’s annual Gay Pride and Rainbow Kite festival since 2005. With a free day to relax on the beach, wash yourself off after a big haul of physical exercise and calm your muscles down. Consider taking on an optional yoga class to knock off any extra tension, or even say goodbye to your fellow adventurers over a group meal, if you choose to do so.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today marks the end of your adventure and there are no activities scheduled after breakfast.
Optional Activities
  • Colombo - Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure - USD55
  • Colombo - Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure - USD55
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Jeep, Taxi, Kayak, bike

Accommodation

Camping (basic facilities) (4 nights), Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Minneriya National Park
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Knuckles Mountain Range guided trek
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
  • Hatton - Mountain biking
  • Kalunganga River - Canoeing

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip and is applicable for all nights with the exception of nights 3 and 4 while camping in the Knuckles Ranges and night 9 and 10 while kayaking on the Kalugaga River.
2. In case of weather conditions leading to cancellations or delays in the included outdoor activities, this trip will operate on an alternate itinerary.
3. You do not need to bring a sleeping bag or sleeping mat. Your luggage will transported by vehicle and will meet you at the camp site.

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.

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