Days
11
Price from
FR990CHF

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 in Negombo, check out Buddha’s tooth in Kandy, spot elephants and leopards and sloths (oh my!) in Yala and have a whale of a time in Unawatuna.

PLEASE NOTE
Bandaranaike International airport in Colombo Sri Lanka will undergo maintenance work daily between the hours of 0830am – 1630 (430pm) between 05th Jan – 05Apr 2017.
All flights scheduled to arrive or depart during these times will be affected and be subject to a schedule change. Please consult your airline or travel agent with regards to changes and advise Gecko’s as soon as possible so we can rebook arrival and/or departure transfers. Please note that during this time, your flight may change several times. It’s a good idea to recheck your flight details several days prior to travelling.


Start
Negombo, Sri Lanka
Finish
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Country
Sri Lanka
Code
GISL
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
31 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Shark, squid, barracuda and hundreds of things with fins that nobody knows the name of – visit the sea-nsational Negombo fish market

  • 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

  • Leave the imprint of you face on the train window as you stare out wide-eyed from Kandy to Ella – it’s basically a 6-hour movie of amazing scenery

  • Not only will you safari in search of leopards and elephants in Yala National Park, but you’ll also get to camp among the wildlife overnight

  • Sri Lanka + Unawatuna's golden beach + blue ocean + three nights = the cure for (most) of life’s problems

Is this trip right for you?

  • 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.

  • At 6 hours, the train from Kandy to Ella is the longest travel day. But the only reason you’ll want to get off this train is to charge your camera after what is basically one long amazing natural photoshoot.

  • The drive from Ella to Yala goes down from the mountains to the coast on a very windy 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.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Welcome to Negombo, Sri Lanka. There are are no activities planned today so you're free to arrive at any time. A welcome meeting with your trip leader will take place at around 6 pm, so check with reception or the noticeboard for details. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these with you. Although Colombo is the commercial capital and by far the largest city in Sri Lanka, it's still relatively small. You won't be staying in the capital itself, but in a place by the beach. There are plenty of beach bars, pubs and restaurants available close by, and guests can use the Golden Star Hotel’s swimming pool if you fancy a swim.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head to the fish market in Negombo this morning. This can be quite an intense affair, but the variety of fish being presented by the locals is a great experience. 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. It's also worth attending a cultural show while in town - the Kandyan dance performances are awesome. 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to explore Kandy. If you didn't visit the Royal Botanical Garden yesterday, then take a stroll around it today. 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, why not try an Ayurvedic massage to relax those weary muscles?
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, say goodbye to Kandy as you hop on a train for around six hours to Ella. It’s a kinda long trip, but you can buy all sorts of yum treats from the onboard sellers. On arrival to Ella, check in to your accommodation which is within walking distance of the station. Once you've dropped off your luggage, perhaps head out for a visit to a local tea factory. If this doesn't take your fancy, go for dinner in one of the many local restaurants and bars.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Venture out on an included half day's trek this morning, then stop for a spicy curry lunch and a pot of Ceylon tea in a local village. This is an awesome way of getting to know the area and a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals. In the late afternoon, cool off with a dip in your hotel's pool. Your evening is then free to do what you want.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today is going to be so cool. Head out of Ella in a private vehicle for around three hours to your camp in Yala National Park. 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. Return to camp in the evening for a night under the stars.

Notes: Accomodation is quad share in large fixed tents. Bathrooms and showers are shared facilities.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yala National Park Jeep safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Each September the Wildlife Conservation Department of Sri Lanka close Yala National Park for the development of infrastructure as well as for plant and wildlife rejuvination. 
We instead visit the Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe, followed by 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Life’s a beach, so spend the day on one. With a book and a cocktail and a bottle of sunscreen. Today is a free day to explore, there are no included activities. Possibly organise a whale watching tour or take a day trip to visit the Galle Royal Dutch Fort. You'll be staying at a guest house on the beach tonight, so make use of the hundreds of beach restaurants and bars that surround you.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You have another free day beside the beach again 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 pop into Galle for some sightseeing. Walk around the perimeter of the fort, check out the snake charmers and grab an icy ginger drink in a cafe, then mosey on back to the beach for some more well-earned chillaxing.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Unawatuna behind and make the short journey to Galle, where you'll jump on a train to Colombo (approximately four hours). On arrival to Sir Lanka's capital, why not head out on an optional city walk with your leader? If you'd rather pick up some last minute shopping, then pay a visit to the mass amounts of shops that are available. Tonight is free but your leader will suggest an optional final group dinner.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Have string hoppers and a super-black coffee for breakfast, then pull your saddest face as our trip comes to an end. Call the wahmbulance!
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Bicycle, Bus, Taxi, Train

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights), Camping (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Yala National Park Jeep safari

Reviews

Our Sri Lankan Adventure trips score an average of 4.94 out of 5 based on 31 reviews in the last year.

Sri Lankan Adventure, November 2016

Judith Hui

Sri Lankan Adventure, November 2016

Mackenzie Wakefield

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available to purchase for this trip and is valid for all nights on tour with the exception of Yala National Park on day 6.

PERAHERA FESTIVAL:
The Festival is a 10 day period of evening processions to honour the Sacred Tooth, which is enshrined at Kandy's Temple of the Tooth. Each night features thousands of dancers and drummers, and a parade of more than 50 decorated elephants. Due to Gecko's stance on Elephant cruelty we do not visit the Perahera and cannot purchase tickets on your behalf. .

PLEASE NOTE
Bandaranaike International airport in Colombo Sri Lanka will undergo maintenance work daily between the hours of 0830am – 1630 (430pm) between 05th Jan – 05Apr 2017.
All flights scheduled to arrive or depart during these times will be affected and be subject to a schedule change. Please consult your airline or travel agent with regards to changes and advise Gecko’s as soon as possible so we can rebook arrival and/or departure transfers. Please note that during this time, your flight may change several times. It’s a good idea to recheck your flight details several days prior to travelling.

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.