Map of Sri Lanka: Hike, Bike & Kayak including Sri Lanka

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.

1€ deposit on trips

Offer applies to trips departing in 2022.

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?

  • 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

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.
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 is 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. Your visit begins early, at 7am, to beat the heat of the day, reaching Lion Paw’s Terrace by 8:30am. On the way you’ll visit the water and boulder gardens, frescoes and the mirror wall. The next section of the climb takes approximately 30mins along steep walkways and steps. You can opt out of this section, resting at Lion’s Paw Terrace. Afterwards, 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. The trek goes from Brew Junction to Weddapani Ella, crossing Thelgamu Oya, reaching your campsite by approximately 5:30pm. 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Knuckles Mountain Range guided trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total walking distance is approximately 9kms/5.5miles, with a maximum altitude of 1104m/3622ft.

We only cross Thelgamu Oya if the water level is below knee height. If it is above knee height, the current is strong or it is raining heavily, we will take an alternative route to the campsite. If it is raining heavily we will stay in a guesthouse instead of camping.

Should the rain be so severe that there is a risk of landslides, we will visit Project Orange Elephant located near Wasgamuwa 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.
Today you’ll head out on a rigorous full day trek, the Manigala Trek, through the Knuckles region. Head out after breakfast and wind your way through forests and hillsides, perhaps stopping at villages along the way. Enjoy lunch by the river and 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
Special Information
Today’s total walking distance is approximately 12kms/7.5miles, with a maximum altitude of 1112m/3650ft.
Start your day with a morning hike to Mini World’s End (approximately 3 hours), before transferring to Kandy (approximately 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
Special Information
Today’s total walking distance is approximately 6kms/3.7miles.
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 with pooja ceremony
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a scenic train journey to Hatton today (approximately 3 hours). After arriving, cycle from the train station to your hotel via Norton Bridge. Enjoy the passing scenery of vast tea estates lying in the flowing hills, dotted with trees. After arriving at your hotel, you can choose to hike up to Adam’s Peak. The peak is often visited by pilgrims who climb a candle lit trail in the evening, passing shrines and food stalls along the way.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hatton - Mountain biking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total cycling distance is approximately 38kms/23.5miles and takes about 3 hours.
After breakfast it’s back on your mountain bike to ride from the hotel to Ellarawa Junction, passing through Bogawantalawa and Balangoda, cycling through the rich forests and sprawling fields of rural Sri Lanka. Your cycling will be broken up with snack breaks and a lunch break, providing plenty of fuel for your ride. At the end of your ride, transfer to Ratnapura, the bustling capital of the Sabaragamuwa Province, where you’ll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hatton - Mountain biking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total cycling distance is approximately 65kms/40miles, with 720m/2362ft of elevation gain.
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 shifts 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
Today’s total kayaking time is approximately 4 hours.

In the off chance that we are unable to kayak due to unsafe river water levels, caused by heavy rain, we will spend the night in Udawalawe and two nights in Mirissa. We will include a half day cycle and a visit to the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe, and a day visit to Galle Fort during our stay in Mirissa.
Continue your kayaking journey down the Kaluganga River, heading off after breakfast and arriving at your next campsite, in Anguruwatota, by 1:30pm. Enjoy the changing scenery and wildlife along the riverbanks as you paddle onwards.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kalunganga River - Canoeing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total kayaking time is approximately 5 hours.
Depart your campsite after breakfast and set out on the final leg of your kayak adventure, arriving at Kalutara, where the river meets the sea, at approximately 11am. 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 (approximately 1 hour).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total kayaking time is approximately 3 hours.
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 with pooja ceremony
  • Hatton - Mountain biking
  • Kalunganga River - Canoeing

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Sri Lanka: Hike, Bike & Kayak trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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

Important notes

From 01 September 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips will be required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Excludes Australia, New Zealand and Cook Islands tours. Read details here.

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 3, 4, 9 & 10 (Camping). Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
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.
4. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.

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