Sri Lanka Tracks and Trails

See the real Sri Lanka on this tropical paradise walking holiday




From $2,260 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Watch the sunrise from the summit of Adam`s Peak
  • Get off the beaten track in the formerly restricted Eastern zone
  • Spectacular views in the Knuckles mountains and at World`s End
  • Check out the surf in Aurugam Bay & go leopard spotting in Yala

With its 2500 metre peaks, emerald-green tea plantations, vast forest reserves and tropical coastline, few places can rival the geographical variety of this teardrop-shaped island at the southern tip of India. Our two week walking holiday takes us 'off the beaten track' to discover relatively unvisited and secluded parts of this tiny paradise island. We've included a 2-day traverse of the spectacular Knuckles mountain range and 2 days trekking in the Namunukula range, which until recently was off limits to visitors, as well as day hikes in the Thangamale Reserve, on the famous Horton Plains and a climb to the summit of the sacred Adam's Peak (2243m) to catch the sunrise. Sri Lanka is bursting with unmissable historical, cultural and archaeological highlights, so visits to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the natural rock fortress of Sigiriya, the cave temples of Dambulla and the former capital of Kandy, home to the 'Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic' are also a shoo-in! After all that, we've still time to relax (or hit the surf) in the surfers' paradise of Aurugam Bay and a jeep safari in the Yala National Park (noted for its abundant leopard population). Much more than a walking tour, this holiday offers a real insight into Sri Lankan culture, both historic and modern, and takes you to the heart of this spectacular island nation.

Is this holiday for you?

This is not a long or sustained trekking holiday. The intention is to see the 'real' Sri Lanka and enjoy the best of the varied hiking the island has to offer. The altitudes attained are never sufficiently high to cause problems with acclimatisation and the underfoot conditions are generally good, on tracks and trails through tea plantations and forest and between villages. We may encounter some slippery conditions on forest trails. There are 6 days when we do a significant amount of walking, averaging 5 to 6 hours on each of these days. The ascent of Adam's Peak involves 4 hours up and 2 hours down on an unrelenting series of more than 3000 steps! In order to catch the sunrise most of this ascent is made at night. During the Pilgrim season (December to May) the entire trail is lit with electric lights. Outside of this season we will make the ascent by the light of our head-torches.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Sigiriya. A single timed transfer from Colombo Airport is provided.
  • UNESCO listed Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital, and the magnificent fortress at Lion's Rock
  • Explore the cave temples of Dambulla. Drive to Kandy. Visit the famous 'Temple of the Tooth'.
  • Transfer to 'The Knuckles'. Afternoon trek through the foothills of the Knuckles Range.
  • Day walk through the Knuckles Valley.
  • Visit Corbet's Gap and drive to Maskeliya.
  • Climb Adam's Peak. Drive to Nuwara Eliya.
  • Trek from Horton's Plains to World's End. Drive to Bandarawela.
  • Trek in the Namunukula Range. Visit the Monaragala Lake Monastery.
  • Trek through the South Eastern 'Dry Zone'. Drive to Arugam Bay.
  • Free morning to enjoy the beach or explore the local market. Afternoon visit to Panama and nature walk.
  • Drive to Tissamaharama. Yala Wildlife Safari.
  • Visit the Shrine of Kataragama and the Kiri Vehera Stupa. Transfer to Katunayake.
  • Departure day. A single timed transfer to the airport in Colombo is provided.
Mon 02 Nov - Sun 15 Nov Code SLT /06/15/ Adult$2,260 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 23 Nov - Sun 06 Dec Code SLT /07/15/ Adult$2,260 Status Limited Availability Book now
Mon 21 Dec - Sun 03 Jan Code SLT /08/15/ Adult$2,420 Status Available Book now
Mon 08 Feb - Sun 21 Feb Code SLT /01/16/ Adult$2,260 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 15 Feb - Sun 28 Feb Code SLT /02/16/ Adult$2,260 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Mon 04 Apr - Sun 17 Apr Code SLT /03/16/ Adult$2,260 Status Available Book now
Mon 25 Apr - Sun 08 May Code SLT /04/16/ Adult$2,260 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 15 Aug - Sun 28 Aug Code SLT /05/16/ Adult$2,260 Status Available Book now
Mon 31 Oct - Sun 13 Nov Code SLT /06/16/ Adult$2,260 Status Available Book now
Mon 21 Nov - Sun 04 Dec Code SLT /07/16/ Adult$2,260 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 19 Dec - Sun 01 Jan Code SLT /08/16/ Adult$2,580 Status Available Book now
Mon 06 Feb - Sun 19 Feb Code SLT /01/17/ Adult$2,260 Status Available Book now
Mon 13 Feb - Sun 26 Feb Code SLT /02/17/ Adult$2,260 Status Available Book now
Mon 03 Apr - Sun 16 Apr Code SLT /03/17/ Adult$2,260 Status Available Book now
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*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • airport
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

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

    Meet at the group hotel in Sigiriya. A single timed transfer from Colombo Airport is provided, the drive will take around 4hrs. Sigiriya is the central point of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle and the most convenient base for excursions to a number of ancient historical cities. Our hotel which is in a very tranquil location near the famous Lion Rock. The hotel has a swimming pool, restaurant and bar.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • UNESCO listed Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital, and the magnificent fortress at Lion's Rock

    We drive 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. We return to the hotel for lunch and in the afternoon we drive to nearby Sigiriya where we can climb to the top of the amazing fortress known as Lion Rock. This spectacular natural stronghold is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. The most impressive facets of the unique complex are the Water Gardens, the frescoes of beautiful maidens, the Mirror Wall with its ancient graffiti and the Lion Platform. We can climb up to the summit of the rock, which extends to 1.6 hectares and which was completely covered by buildings during the period of Sigiriya’s glory. Descending from the rock we have a short transfer back to our hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax before dinner at the hotel. Drive time: 3hrs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Explore the cave temples of Dambulla. Drive to Kandy. Visit the famous 'Temple of the Tooth'.

    After a visit to the cave temples of Dambulla we drive south through a varying landscape of rice paddies and jungle , passing small farms and bustling towns. The plains eventually give way to rolling hills as we enter the ‘tea country’ and complete our drive to the charming town of Kandy where we check into a hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this bustling town encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake at its centre. An absolute must-see is the famous ‘temple of the tooth’ where the Buddha’s tooth, known simply as ‘the relic’ is kept. We meet back at the hotel in the evening for dinner. Drive time: 2hrs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Transfer to 'The Knuckles'. Afternoon trek through the foothills of the Knuckles Range.

    After breakfast we transfer up into the Knuckles range of mountains, so called for their resemblance to a clenched fist when seen from near Kandy. The Knuckles exhibit just about every climate zone in Sri Lanka progressing from the ‘dry zone’ at their base, through lemongrass and flame trees up to high cloud forest with tumbling waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife. The Knuckles were once used extensively to grow cardamom and the cultivation of this spice had created a serious deforestation problem which threatened an entire and unique eco-system. Fortunately the Sri Lankan government stepped in and the entire range was made a conservation area. Today the forests are pristine and in 2010 UNESCO recognised this unique area by making it a 'World Heritage Site'. We drive to our mountain lodge base located high on a ridge overlooking the Knuckles Valley. Here we will stay in chalets (if the lodge is heavily booked, we may also opt to stay in tents which are located on a special viewing terrace). After settling in, we head off our our trek through the rich and varied foliage of sub-montane and montane rain forest with a breathtaking view of the valley as the backdrop. We will stop at a local village to take our lunch before heading back to the lodge. Drive time: 2hrs

    • Accommodation Chalet

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hours

  • Day walk through the Knuckles Valley.

    We make a short transfer to the start of our trek at a small village. The trek is on rough trails through scrub, jungle and forests and we may need to ford some streams en route. After trekking for approximately 3 hours we reach the isolated farming village of Meemure, deep in the Knuckles Valley. We can take a break here at the little village shop and partake in the local elevenses of hot sweetened tea with 'jiggery', made of coconut sap. We then continue our trek climbing out of the valley and make our way back to the lodge.

    • Accommodation Chalet

    • Meals bd

    • Time 6 hours

  • Visit Corbet's Gap and drive to Maskeliya.

    Back in the vehicle we transfer to Corbet’s Gap. Named after the Englishman who discovered it, the ‘gap’ is a vast split in the range of Kandyan Hills. On a clear day, the views extend to the sea in both directions - east and west. From Corbet’s Gap we continue to Maskeliya at the base of Adam's Peak for an early dinner and some rest before our early start tomorrow.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Climb Adam's Peak. Drive to Nuwara Eliya.

    Separate from the central mountain massif of southern Sri Lanka, the dramatic 2243 metre high Adam's Peak would present an unmissable challenge, even without its religious significance. However, the mountain, also known as Sri Pada (The Holy Footprint) is sacred to 4 religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. From the full moon in December to the full moon in May, streams of pilgrims make the ascent at night, climbing the rough trail and 3306 steps to the summit. During this time the trail is illuminated by street-lights and stalls are set up along the way selling tea, snacks and breakfasts, and there is an air of festival throughout the climb. Outside of the pilgrim season we will climb the peak by the light of our head torches and possibly alone. Either way, the aim is to be on the summit at dawn to witness the sunrise and we must start shortly after midnight. The climb takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. At the summit is a Buddhist temple which encloses the 5-foot long footprint of Buddha / Adam / Shiva - depending on your belief. During the season, a cacophony of horns erupts as the first rays of the sun crest the horizon. In the light of dawn, we descend from the peak in just a couple of hours and have a welcome breakfast at the guesthouse. Thus refreshed we now drive to Nuwara Eliya, the very heart of the Sri Lankan hill country. It is the home of the famous Ceylon Tea and most of the lower slopes of the mountains present a rolling carpet of velvety green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. The British tea planters turned a section of Nuwara Eliya into a replica of home and some of the houses here would not look out of place in a Sussex Village. This town is utterly charming and a must on everyone’s Sri Lankan travel itinerary. After checking in to our comfortable guest house accommodation the rest of the afternoon is free to explore the town or to rest and recover from the morning’s climb. Drive time: 3hrs.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bd

    • Time 5 hours

  • Trek from Horton's Plains to World's End. Drive to Bandarawela.

    After an early breakfast, we drive up onto the Horton Plains and set off on our trek to 'World’s End' and the beautiful Bakers Falls. Horton Plains is Sri Lanka's highest plateau, some 2200 metres (7200 feet) above sea-level and located in the central mountain country. Known locally as 'fen', the landscape hereabouts is spectacular, with an astounding variety of scenery from mountains to grasslands, from marshes to trout streams. Sri Lanka's best flavoured high-grown teas are found growing in the surrounding area. The dramatic drop-off at the edge of the plateau is particularly well demonstrated at 'World's End,' where there is a 300 metre (1000 foot) precipice. With a cool and bracing climate, this is excellent hiking country, with a distinctive flora, colourful butterflies and many rare highland birds. Returning to our vehicle we drive to our overnight accommodation which tonight is in the town of Bandarawela.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

    • Time 2 hours

  • Trek in the Namunukula Range. Visit the Monaragala Lake Monastery.

    We have a short transfer into the Namunukula Range where we enjoy a wonderful day of trekking starting out high on the the lush green slopes of Sri Lanka's 'tea country'. Walking mostly downhill we descend through villages and farms to the 'dry zone' at Hingurukaduwa in Uva Province. Our vehicle will be waiting for us at Hingurukaduwa and we now have a drive along a rough road to reach Monaragala Lake. There is a temple complex here which includes a school for young Buddhist monks. Here and we are invited to take part in the temple rituals and enjoy a meditation session before heading to our overnight accommodation. Drive time: 1 - 2 hrs.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 hours

  • Trek through the South Eastern 'Dry Zone'. Drive to Arugam Bay.

    Our trek today takes us through an unspoilt region heading through 'dry zone' towards the east coast. As we will now have realised the term dry zone is somewhat misleading thanks to the industry and engineering ability of the ancient Sri Lankans who built literally hundreds of miles of irrigation canals, and created a landscape of lakes and reservoirs. Thanks to their efforts the term ‘dry’ refers only to the lack of rainfall. Today's walk will take us through forests and besides lakes but also through local vegetable farms and orchards where we can enjoy some local hospitality and perhaps sample the fruits of the forest and field too. This part of Sri Lanka is much less visited than the more well known tourist spots and we are likely to receive an open and warm welcome here. This area is also teeming with bird and animal life and our guide will know the best places to see the local fauna. At the end of today's walk, we meet our vehicle and drive to Arugam Bay on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Something of a surfers' paradise especially during the big wave season from April to October, Arugam Bay is also a great place just to relax. Arriving at the bay we check into our hotel just a few steps away from the beach. After check-in we can go down to the beach or relax with a drink beside the hotel pool before taking dinner in the hotel restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hours

  • Free morning to enjoy the beach or explore the local market. Afternoon visit to Panama and nature walk.

    The morning is free to enjoy the beach or to explore the nearby town of Pottuvil with its local market. In the afternoon we drive south to the small fishing village of Panama located close to the northern edge of Yala National Park. During almost 30 years of bloody civil war waged between the Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese government, this part of the country was virtually cut off from the rest of the world and life here has evolved at an entirely different pace. In the company of a local guide we take a walk through the environs of the village and its fishing lake which is also the watering hole for many species of bird and animal life. Being so close top the national park we are also likely to see elephants on today’s walk. After our walk and visit with the people of Panama, we return to the hotel at Aurugam Bay for a second evening beside the Indean Ocean on Sri Lanka’s east coast.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Drive to Tissamaharama. Yala Wildlife Safari.

    Leaving the coast we now drive west to Buttala, often referred to as the 'rice bowl of Sri Lanka'. At Buttala we turn south again and follow a road through the Lunugamwehera National Park which is contiguous with Yala Park to the east. After a drive of 3 - 4 hours we arrive at the charming town of Tissamaharama where we check into our hotel. This afternoon we will drive approximately 20km to the entrance for the Yala National Park where we will take a jeep safari. 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 in Tissamaharama. Known locally as 'Tissa', this is a very pleasant rural township. 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 and 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. Drive time: 3 - 4 hrs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Visit the Shrine of Kataragama and the Kiri Vehera Stupa. Transfer to Katunayake.

    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. From here we drive to the south coast of the island 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 continuing our journey along the coast turning north now and continue to the group hotel situated near to the coastal lagoon of Negombo and very close to the international airport. After check in we can relax by the hotel pool or enjoy the excellent gardens. Drive time: 7 - 8 hrs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • Departure day. A single timed transfer to the airport in Colombo is provided.

    After an early breakfast, we drive north along the coast to the airport at Colombo where KE Land Only package services end. Drive time: 2 - 3 hrs.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking local guide
  • Single-timed Colombo Airport group transfer at the beginning and end of the trip
  • 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
  • A full service when trekking including food and all equipment (not personal equipment)

  • Travel insurance
  • Colombo Airport transfers (other than group transfers)
  • Tips for local staff
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - soft drinks and souvenirs etc.

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.

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 9.00 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 arrive at the airport by 8.00 am. If you are departing later the hotel can arrange an airport shuttle for a cost of around $10. Detailed joining instructions along with an emergency number and hotel contact information will be provided with your booking confirmation.

The altitudes attained on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude attained is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. You may ‘feel’ the altitude the first time you trek above 2000 metres but all that is required is a slower pace to compensate. You should pay particular attention to your hydration levels while trekking above 2000 metres.

The group will spend 2 nights near Sigiriya, in a hotel which comprises of a number of individual cottages, set in a large and landscaped garden area. There is a swimming pool, restaurant and all amenities at this hotel. In Kandy we will spend 1 night at a tourist standard hotel. For the 2 nights in the Knuckles mountains we will stay in simple chalets with shared facilities (note that these is limited accommodation in the chalets and in some circumstances we may opt to use tents, or the lodge dormitory here). We will spend 1 night in a simple hotel in Nuwara Eliya. The night before our early hours approach to Adam's Peak will be spent at a simple guest house. In Bandarawela we will stay at a relaxing mountain inn with comfortable rooms and a lovely sunny beer garden! On Day 9 we will stay at a simple guesthouse near to the Monaragala Monastery. At Arugam Bay we will spend 2 nights at a beach hotel. In Tissamaharama we spend a night in a tourist class hotel and our final night will be spent 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

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 trip 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 14. In addtion 3 lunches are provided during the hikes in the Knukles and the Namanukula. You will pay directly for other lunches. Dining out is not particularly expensive in Sri Lanka and we suggest a budget of £50 - £75 should adequately cover this.

Approximately £300 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc) changed into local currency (rupees), should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including tips for local trek and hotel staff, your lunches and a typical amount of beer, wine or soft drinks. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). 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.

The group will be led by an experienced English-speaking local guide / driver. Walks will be guided by a local guide. There will be an appropriate camp crew for the 2 nights when the group is staying in tents.

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 local staff we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. We recommend that tips to local staff are presented from the group as a whole and suggest a contribution of approximately £50 changed into local currency will provide a sufficient pool to provide good tips to all your local staff. If you are part of a small group you may wish to contribute more to the general pool.

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 your daypack.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

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.

A visa is required for all nationals (except from the Maldives and Singapore). You will need to apply for your visa PRIOR to arrival. Sri Lanka has an Electronic Travel Authorization system (ETA) which allows you to apply and pay for your visa online. You are issued with an ETA approval document which you must print and bring with you. You will present his document along with your passport at your port of entry to obtain your visa. Note that passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry. The cost of a 30 day double entry visa is $30.

For UK nationals, the ETA form can be accessed at

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

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:

  • Hiking boots
  • Trainers / sneakers or similar for traveling, sightseeing etc.
  • Sandals for the beach
  • Socks
  • Technical walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)
  • Spare laces
  • Trekking trousers pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • Thermal base-layer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Warm fleece gloves
  • Daypack: c. 30 litres
  • Torch / headtorch
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Insect repellant – (DEET)
  • Personal first aid kit, including: a broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Immodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite), glucose tablets, and multi-vitamin tablets are a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small towel
  • Travel clothes
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Camera / memory cards / batteries

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

Know before you go

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: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: 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.

It makes sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday, getting some additional exercise. Although the trekking on this holiday is at a moderate level and is not sustained, the fitter you are the more enjoyable you will find the experience. We suggest that you have a programme of excersise leading up to departure. Regular walking in hill or back country is the best execise but if this is not possible then joffing, running, swimming, squash etc. are good for developing your fitness. We would also suggest that you do some reading about the place you are about to visit, in particular to get to know about the culture and customs of the people you will meet there.

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 perfect for trekking with pleasantly warm days. At lower elevations and at the coast it can get quite hot around the middle of the day and evenings are generally pleasantly warm. 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.

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