Sri Lanka Highlights Tour

Experience the best of Sri Lanka on our relaxed discovery holiday

14

days

Discovery

From $1,940 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • The UNESCO listed ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa
  • Visit the tea growing `hill country` & walk to the `World`s End`
  • Search for leopards in Yala National Park & sea turtles at Rakawa
  • Chill out on the palm-fringed white sandy beaches at Tangalle

The tiny island nation of Sri Lanka has inspired many names overtime, known variously as ‘the Pearl of the Indian Ocean', the ‘Teardrop of India', the ‘Spice Island' (due to it's famous cinnamon), and ‘Ceylon' during the time of its colonial rule. These days, it's probably best known as an exporter of tea and for its national cricket team, but Sri Lanka has far more secrets to reveal as we'll discover on this two week holiday. Few places on earth can boast such diversity of geography, wildlife, history and culture in such a small area - and that's the great thing about this discovery holiday; there are only short drives required between each of the areas we'll be exploring. Beginning in the North with its ancient cities and Buddhist temples, we'll visit Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and the 5th century citadel of Sigiriya before winding down through the beautiful (and cooler!) hill country all the way to the palm-fringed beaches of Tangalle in the south. En route we will encounter 2000 year old civilisations, visit the ‘Temple of the Sacred Tooth' in Kandy (said to house the tooth of Buddha himself!), ‘Live Like a Local' on a working farm project, visit tea plantations, charming old colonial hill stations, take a trip on the narrow gauge railway all the way to Pattipola - the highest station in the whole of Sri Lanka and walk to the jaw dropping sheer cliff known as ‘the World's End'. What's more, along our journey we'll chance to meet a host of wildlife including river crocodile, sea turtles, elephants and possibly even a leopard whilst on safari in the Yala National park. Two weeks full of sun, sea, spice, temples and, of course, tea! What more could you want?

Is this holiday for you?

This is one of KE's range of discovery holidays. As such, there are no elements of trekking or sustained walking, but we'll still have opportunity to stretch our legs and get in amongst the action as we discover all of Sri Lanka's secrets. In order to visit as much as possible in our two weeks, there will be driving involved, but since the island is reasonably compact there are no day-long drives and the pace of the holiday is reasonably relaxed throughout.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Dambulla. A single timed transfer from Colombo Airport is provided.
  • Gentle morning walk to a traditional Chena village. Afternoon visit to UNESCO listed Anuradhapua.
  • Explore the ancient capital city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Morning boat ride on lake. Afternoon visit to the specacular 'Lion's Rock' Fortress at Sigiriya.
  • Drive to Kandy in the hill country. Spice walk at Matale. Free time to explore Sigiriya.
  • 'Live Like a Local Homestay' at Lake Mahaweli. Learn about village life and help prepare dinner.
  • A day exploring Sri Lanka's tea growing region, including a visit to a tea factory.
  • Train journey to Horton Plains and World's End walk.
  • A morning to enjoy exploring Bandarawela. Drive to Tissamaharama via the Ravana Ella Waterfall.
  • Visit the shrine of Kataragama and afternoon wildlife safari in Yala National Park.
  • Free morning to explore Tissa. Optional second safari. Drive to coastal resort of Tangalle.
  • A day to relax on the beautiful palm fringed Sri Lankan beach. Evening turtle walk.
  • Drive to Katunayake with time to explore Galle and Colombo en route.
  • Departure day. Complimentary transfers to Colombo Airport are provided.
2016
Sun 07 Feb - Sat 20 Feb Code SLH /01/16/ Adult$1,940 Status Departed
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /01/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 07 Feb and departs on Sat 20 Feb
  • This trip has already departed
  • Single Supplement $635 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 27 Mar - Sat 09 Apr Code SLH /03/16/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 27 Mar and departs on Sat 09 Apr
  • This departure is available and departs within weeks. Secure your place today with full payment.
  • Single Supplement $635 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 14 Aug - Sat 27 Aug Code SLH /04/16/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /04/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 14 Aug and departs on Sat 27 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $635 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 11 Sep - Sat 24 Sep Code SLH /05/16/ Adult$1,940 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /05/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 11 Sep and departs on Sat 24 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $635 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 02 Oct - Sat 15 Oct Code SLH /06/16/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /06/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 02 Oct and departs on Sat 15 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $635 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 23 Oct - Sat 05 Nov Code SLH /07/16/ Adult$2,020 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /07/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 23 Oct and departs on Sat 05 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $685 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 20 Nov - Sat 03 Dec Code SLH /08/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /08/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 20 Nov and departs on Sat 03 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $685 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 18 Dec - Sat 31 Dec Code SLH /09/16/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /09/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 18 Dec and departs on Sat 31 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $725 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
2017
Sun 05 Feb - Sat 18 Feb Code SLH /01/17/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 05 Feb and departs on Sat 18 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $635 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 19 Feb - Sat 04 Mar Code SLH /02/17/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 19 Feb and departs on Sat 04 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $635 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
Sun 26 Mar - Sat 08 Apr Code SLH /03/17/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Sri Lanka Highlights Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is SLH /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 26 Mar and departs on Sat 08 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $635 - Includes all nights, except the homestay on day 6.
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Colombo. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Colombo Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • airport
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Dambulla. A single timed transfer from Colombo Airport is provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Dambulla. A single time transfer from Colombo Airport is provided. Dambulla, located in the north central part of the island, this region is a part of Sri Lanka’s 'Dry Zone'. Thanks to the work of its ancient kings dating as far as the 5th Century AD, the Sri Lankan 'Dry Zone' is anything but dry, with hundreds of lakes and reservoirs which are connected by an elaborate network of canals which are part of an amazing gravity-fed irrigation system. Besides the obvious benefit for agriculture the waterworks of the dry zone provide some of the most breathtakingly beautiful scenery as well as providing a habitat for the island's incredible bio-diversity. The rest of the day is to relax and recover from our journey. Drive time: 3 - 4 hrs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Gentle morning walk to a traditional Chena village. Afternoon visit to UNESCO listed Anuradhapua.

    We leave after an early breakfast for an easy walk in the cool of the morning through an archetypal Sri Lankan village. The walk which will take approximately 3 hours begins along a bund (bank) of a wewa (manmade reservoir). The reservoir is always a hive of early morning activity as the villagers as they go about their early morning tasks of fishing, or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake. Further along the walk we stop to visit a Chena cultivation and to enjoy the farmer’s humble hospitality with perhaps a drink of sweet King Coconut or some other seasonal fruit. Our walk continues through shrub forests, home to many forest birds and other wildlife including monkeys, bear and elephant. At the end of the walk we meet our tour bus and return to the hotel in time for lunch. After lunch we set off again driving for just over an hour to the ancient Sri Lankan capital of Anuradhapura, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Anuradhapura was the first city of Sri Lanka from the 5th century BC to the 9th century AD and during this period it was the centre of the island's Buddhist civilisation. It contains the oldest historically documented tree on earth (over 2,200 years old), the Sri Maha Bodhi, reputedly grown from a sapling of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. In fact the city contains some of the world's oldest Buddhist shrines, dating back to the 3rd century BC, as well as stone carvings, pleasure gardens, ponds and reservoirs with interlinked canals. After spending some time at this endlessly fascinating place we return to our hotel in Dambulla for dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

    • Time 3 hrs walking

  • Explore the ancient capital city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    We drive for approximately 2 hours to another stunning example of ancient Sri Lankan art and culture. Following the decline of Anuradhapura in the 10th century AD, a new first city arose at Polonnaruwa and this became Sri Lanka's capital for the next 200 years. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the entire landscape of Polonnaruwa is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the Parakrama Samudra or the 'Sea of Parakrama', which is bigger than Colombo harbour! The monuments on the site are relatively well preserved and give a clear picture of the glory of Sri Lanka's ancient architecture. Highlights are the Royal Palace complex including the Kings Palace and Audience Hall, the Quadrangle with its concentration of ancient heritage and the spectacular Gal Vihare complex of four massive images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite. Polonnaruwa also contained the original 'Temple of the Tooth' before the relic was moved to its present-day site at Kandy. In the afternoon we return to Dambulla.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Morning boat ride on lake. Afternoon visit to the specacular 'Lion's Rock' Fortress at Sigiriya.

    We will have another early start this morning to join local fishermen who take out their catamarans on a nearby lake. We can watch and learn as the fisherman effortlessly cast out their nets across the lake in wide arks. Silently we glide along the lake to view the birdlife which surrounds the area. Our fisherman will dock the catamaran at a quiet location across the lake where we can enjoy a packed breakfast. Returning to our hotel we will have some free time to relax or to explore the village before setting off again in the afternoon (30 minute drive) to visit yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions, the spectacular Rock Fortress of Sigiriya. Situated on the top of an isolated rock butte rising 200 metres above the surrounding jungle, the fortress of Sigiriya was a unique complex of palaces, temples and water gardens. Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 A.D), the 'Lion Rock' was the innermost stronghold of a 70 hectare fortified town and the base is ringed by a moat and rampart. The stairway to the top of the rock led through the mouth of a crouching lion but today only the huge paws remain giving an indication of the massive proportions of the head. A sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway contains world-renowned frescoes and at the summit we can see the remains of the buildings which used to cover the entire rock including Royal Citadel. After exploring Sigiriya, we return to our hotel in Dambulla for dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Drive to Kandy in the hill country. Spice walk at Matale. Free time to explore Sigiriya.

    We leave the north today and head south to Sri Lanka's central 'Hill country' driving through a fascinating landscape of rice paddies, and jungle punctuated with small villages and busy towns eventually giving way to rolling hills and tea plantations. The total driving time today is only a couple of hours but we will make some stops along the way including a break at Matale where we can stretch our legs with a short walk to visit the spice garden where we can learn to identify the different spices and their uses in Sri Lankan cuisine. During this walk we can see villagers harvesting the produce of the forest and even sample some of the fresh local fruit. At the spice garden we will enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan ‘Spice Lunch’ before continuing our journey to the capital of Sri Lanka's hill country at Kandy. After checking in at our hotel we have some free time to explore the town. Top of everyone's list will be the famous 'Temple of the Tooth' which houses a tooth of Lord Buddha, known throughout Sri Lanka simply as 'The Relic'.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • 'Live Like a Local Homestay' at Lake Mahaweli. Learn about village life and help prepare dinner.

    After an early breakfast we drive (45 minutes) to the Tamarind Gardens for a unique ‘Live Like a Local’ home-stay. Located on a working farm on the banks of Mahaweli Lake approximately 20 kilometers outside Kandy, Tamarind Gardens is a collection of chalets which have been designed and built to be similar to local village homes. The chalets are simple like villagers homes with no air conditioning but basic amenities such as electric fans and mosquito netting are provided and the rooms have attached bathrooms. The farm rears cattle, goats and poultry and has a vegetable and fruit garden. All fruit, meat and vegetables used are locally sourced from the farm or the surrounding village and all services including laundry, maintenance & housekeeping are outsourced to local villagers to ensure that the community as a whole gains direct benefit through your visit. In return we are enriched through a rare insight to the lives of the local community and their individual personalities and way of life. This experience is designed to allow us the opportunity to interact freely with the local community and we can volunteer to help on the farm or take part in any village activities. Traditional meals are cooked in an open kitchen by village folk and we are invited to join in and assist in the preparation of the meals to learn about Sri Lankan cuisine.

    • Accommodation Chalet

    • Meals bd

  • A day exploring Sri Lanka's tea growing region, including a visit to a tea factory.

    For those who wish, there is an optional pre-dawn start to help with the early feeding of the animals and the milking of the cows. After a traditional Sri Lankan farm breakfast, we leave Tamarind Gardens and drive into Sri Lanka's 'Hill Country', climbing on winding roads up into this utterly charming region heading first for Nuwara Eliya. On the way we will stop at a Tea Factory and plantation to witness the process of turning the raw green leaf in to the familiar finished product in our tea packets. Nuwara Eliya which was an original British hill station still sports cottages complete with rose gardens which would not look out of place in Sussex or Surry. From Nuwara Eliya we proceed to the lesser known and more quite tea and vegetable growing hill station of Bandarawela where we check into our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Train journey to Horton Plains and World's End walk.

    After an early breakfast we take the local train from Bandarawela to the Horton Plains (1 hour 30 min). Alighting at the Pattipola station which is the highest point of Sri Lanka’s railway, we meet our tour vehicle and drive for around 10 minutes to the Horton Plains National Park. This is Sri Lanka's highest plateau at over 2100 metres elevation with an astounding variety of scenery from misty mountains to grasslands and from marshes to ice cold streams, lakes and waterfalls. Here we can stretch our legs with a walk to 'Worlds End' where the plateau plunges almost 1000 metres in a sheer drop. We will also visit the beautiful “Bridal Veil” also known as Bakers Falls. The National Park is also home to many rare endemic, resident or migrant birds and several animal species including sambhur, bear monkey, barking deer, giant squirrel, fishing cat, wild boar, and hare. After the walk we drive (45 - 60 minutes) back to our hotel at Bandarawela.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • A morning to enjoy exploring Bandarawela. Drive to Tissamaharama via the Ravana Ella Waterfall.

    This morning we have time for a stroll through the town and the vegetable gardens which surround it. Bandarawela is an unhurried, unpretentious hill-country town which exists to supply the needs of the tea plantation workers, farmers and its hardworking inhabitants. The people of Bandarawela enjoy a simple way of life where school children and grandparents work together in the family plot and also tend their cattle and goats. After our walk we board the tour vehicle and drive for approximately 15 minutes to the panoramic viewpoint of Ella and the multi-tiered cascades of Ravana Ella Waterfall said to be the place where Sita the wife of Rama was hidden by Ravana in the epic Hindu tale, the Ramayana. We continue our drive heading south and down from the hill country towards the coast. After approximately 3 hours driving we arrive at the town of Tissamaharama on the edge of Yala national Park.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Visit the shrine of Kataragama and afternoon wildlife safari in Yala National Park.

    We leave after breakfast to visit the town and shrine of Kataragama which is possibly the holiest place in Sri Lanka containing the 95 feet high Kiri Vehera stupa built by King Mahasena in the 3rd century BC. In the afternoon we take an exciting jeep safari through Yala National Park. This is Sri Lanka’s most well-known National Park and is the habitat for elephant, bear, crocodile and wild boar as well as reputedly having the world’s highest concentration of leopard per square kilometre. The vegetation in the park is primarily grassland and shrub jungle with patches of dense growth, while several salt and fresh water lagoons are a haven for a large variety of resident and migrant birds. The areas where we are likely to find leopard tend to be typified by rock strewn hillocks with dense shrub in which the animals hide. After the safari we return to our hotel at Tissamaharama.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Free morning to explore Tissa. Optional second safari. Drive to coastal resort of Tangalle.

    The morning is free to relax at the hotel or to explore Tissamaharama (known as Tissa). The backdrop to the town is the Tissa Wewa, a large artificial lake where you can stroll along the shore and watch bathers mixing with flocks of aquatic birds. Between the lake and the town is surrounded by paddy fields, is the beautifully restored 3rd century 'Great Stupa'. The modern town is a bustling city with the main street lined with shops, cafes and kiosks. For those who want more wildlife there is also the option this morning to take a second jeep safari in Yala National Park. In the afternoon we will drive (1 hour 30 minutes) to the beach resort of Tangalle located at the southern tip of the island. Tangalle has clear waters and soft sandy beaches in several bays. It is a tranquil area without the crowds of some of the coastal resorts to the west. Arriving in Tangalle we check into our hotel right beside the beach.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • A day to relax on the beautiful palm fringed Sri Lankan beach. Evening turtle walk.

    We have a full day to relax and enjoy the palm-fringed beach, to play in the surf, or explore the nearby sprawling town of Tangalle. After an early dinner we will leave at around 8.00pm to visit the Rakawa Turtle sanctuary which is located 20 minutes drive away. The sanctuary is a 2 km stretch of protected coastline which is a nesting haven for 5 species of marine turtle. After visiting the information centre to learn about the habits and lives of the turtles, we have a guided tour by torchlight to the nesting sites. Between the months of January to May turtle nesting is at its peak and sighting is quite frequent, although nesting does occur during the rest of the year though also. It is possible to approach the nesting turtles once they have dug their pit and begun the process of laying between 100 – 200 eggs! With luck we may get to sit by the turtle and share an unforgettable experience. After the visit we return to the hotel for bed.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Drive to Katunayake with time to explore Galle and Colombo en route.

    For our final full day of touring in this 'land like no other' we head up the coast to the old colonial Dutch port of Galle. The original fortified town built on a square-shaped promontory jutting out into the Ocean by the Dutch in 1663 has had few changes over the centuries and walking round the old town we are transported back in time. From 17th century Galle we now travel to 21st century Colombo and we have some time to look around Sri Lanka's modern capital before continuing our journey to the group hotel at Katunayake on Sri Lanka's west coast and close to the international airport. After check in we can relax by the hotel pool or enjoy the excellent gardens. Total driving time today is approximately 6 hours.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Departure day. Complimentary transfers to Colombo Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.

    • Meals bd

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking local driver / guide
  • Single-timed group Airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Guided sightseeing and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Airport transfers (other than single group transfers)
  • Tips to local staff
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Optional tours and excursions
  • Miscellaneous expenses - soft drinks and souvenirs etc.

Sri Lanka’s rich history includes several periods of colonisation which has created an exotic cuisine with influences from Indian, Portuguese, Dutch, Malay and a host of other world food traditions. The staple food of Sri Lanka is rice, which is boiled or steamed and served with a variety of curries ranging from very mild to very fiery. A typical Sri Lankan meal would consist of a main curry of fish, beef, chicken or mutton, accompanied by several other side dishes made with vegetables or lentils, pickles, chutneys and 'sambols' - a spicy condiment made of ground coconut or onions mixed with chilli, dried fish and lime juice. Other Sri Lankan foods include Hoppers - rice pancakes commonly eaten for breakfast and lunch, and lamprais - a dish of Indonesian / Dutch origin comprising of rice cooked in a meat stock and slowly baked in a banana leaf with a variety of meat and vegetable sides. In the majority of tourist hotels including the ones we shall be using for this holiday it is also usual to find several Western dishes offered on the menu.

All breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 13. You will need to pay directly for all lunches. Dining out is not particularly expensive in Sri Lanka and we suggest a budget of £60 - £100 should adequatelly cover this.
There will be a single group transfer arranged on day 1 to meet the group flight. This transfer will normally depart from the airport at approximately 9.00m am. Anyone may use this transfer regardless of which flights they use but if you are not on the group flight you should check the timings of this transfer prior to departure. Independent airport transfers can be arranged to meet clients arriving prior to day 1 at an additional cost. On the final day there will be a single transfer to Colombo Airport to meet the check in for the group flight. This transfer will normally reach the airport by 8.00 am. If you are departing later the hotel can arrange and airport shuttle at the cost of around $10. Detailed joining instructions along with an emergency number and hotel contact information will be provided with your booking confirmation.
Our first 4 nights will be spent at Pelwehera Village Resort, Dambulla, an eco friendly resort surrounded by beautiful gardens. In Kandy we will spend one night in a tourist class hotel. The following night will be spent at the Tamarind Garden a working farm on the banks for the Mahaweli Weewa, which is part of a community based project 'Live Like a Local'. Accommodation here will be in simple modern chalets in the design of a traditional fisherman's home, each with its own bathroom (but no hot water!). There will be simple amenities such as fans and mosquito nets. The following 2 nights will be spent in Bandarawela at a relaxing mountain inn with comfortable rooms and a lovely sunny beer garden! For our two nights in Tissamaharama we will use a tourist class hotel. To conclude the holiday we will enjoy 1 night at a comfortable beach resort and 1 night in a comfortable hotel in Katunayake, near to Negombo Lagoon, and Colombo (Bandaranaike) International Airport. All accommodation is on twin share basis. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Depending on availability it may be possible to book a single room for some of the hotel nights. For additional hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The group will be led by an experienced English-speaking local guide / driver. Walks will be guided by a local guide.

Approximately £200 - £250 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including lunches and tips for local guides and hotel staff. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, or take optional activities you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Allow a further £50 if you intend to take the additional safari in Yala Park. It is not necessary to obtain local currency (the Sri Lankan Rupee) prior to departure. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Sri Lanka. When changing your travel money you should obtain a quantity of small bills for tips to hotel staff.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local support staff. Tips do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your guide and driver we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. We suggest that tips to local staff are presented from the group as a whole and suggest a contribution of approximately £15 - 25 in equivalent local currency will provide a sufficient pool to provide good tips to your local staff plus incidental tips to hotel staff etc. As a rough guide, tips to other people who do you a service should range from Rs 10 to someone who minds your shoes when visiting a temple to Rs 20 for a the hotel porter who carries your bag to the room.

Your main baggage will be carried in the support vehicles. There is no weight limit other than that set by the airline (usually 20kg) but we do ask you to restrict your luggage to one main bag plus a small hand bag or daypack.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sandals (for the beach)

  • Socks

  • Lightweight trousers

  • Underwear

  • Shirts

  • Lightweight fleece jacket

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Sunglasses

  • Small daypack

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles (1 Litre)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Personal first aid kit, including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Immodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite)

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

The following items are optional:

  • Torch with spare batteries

  • Shorts

  • Buff or scarf

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Insect repellant – (DEET)

  • Travel clothes

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Camera

Notes

At religious sites it is necessary to cover shoulders and wear long trousers or a skirt that extends below the knees. You also have to remove hats and shoes. The stone floors can be very hot so it is a good idea to take a pair of socks that you can put on when visiting temples.

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Sri Lanka

UK and USA passport holders do require a visa/ETA. The ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) fee is US$30 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at www.eta.gov.lk

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise. Though this trip is not especially demanding, the fitter you are, the more enjoyable you will find the experience.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Sri Lanka has a typically tropical climate with an average annual temperature of 27°C at sea-level. It is, of course, cooler at higher elevations, with annual average temperatures of 20°C in Kandy, dropping to 16°C at Newara Eliya. Year round, the conditions in the hill country are pleasantly warm with cool evenings and hot at the coast with warm evenings. Sri Lanka is subject to two monsoonal influences. The south-west monsoon brings rain from May to July to the western, southern and central regions, while the north-east monsoon brings rain to the northern and eastern regions in December and January. However these monsoons are not as pronounced as the Indian Monsoon and bright, sunny, warm days are common even during the height of a 'monsoon' season. From the point of view of the visitor, Sri Lanka has no 'off season'.

  • Sri Lanka. Lonely Planet Guide.

  • Footprint Sri Lanka. Footprint Guides.

  • Sri Lanka: The Bradt Travel Guide.

Sri Lanka.. Nelles Guides & Maps

Featuring a new style cover and easy fold system, this map has been revised with the help of local correspondents. It is marked with tourist attractions and public transport systems, and includes inset maps of major cities. The scale of this map 1:450,000 and it includes city maps of Colombo, Anuradhapura, Kandy and Galle.

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