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Bestseller
Bestseller
Holidays

Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
5 reviews
Available Departures: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Aug, Oct, Nov

14 days from

US$2,445

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

The finest walks, wildlife and wonders of Sri Lanka in a 2 week holiday

Trip Code: SLT
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka

Highlights
  • Watch the sunrise from the summit of Adam’s Peak and climb Lion’s Rock
  • Trek to World's End and in the pristine Kandyan jungle
  • Game drives and Wildlife viewing in Udawalawe and Wilpattu National Parks
  • Walk through tea plantations, ride the train to Bandarawela and take ‘high tea’ at The Grand
  • Relax on a stunning south coast beach and visit the walled city of Galle

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 16
  • 6 days walking
  • 6 days touring and sightseeing
  • Max altitude - 2243 metres
  • Join In Colombo

Accommodation & Meals
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 4 Lunches
  • 11 Dinners
  • 10 nights Hotel
  • 2 nights Ecolodge
  • 1 nights Guesthouse
Overview

With its emerald-green tea plantations, high mountain ranges, vast forest reserves, tropical coastline, and colourful hindu and buddhist temples, few places can rival the geographical and cultural variety of Sri Lanka. This two week walking and cultural discovery holiday in Sri Lanka takes in all the most famous sites and also takes us 'off the beaten track' to discover wild and secluded parts of this tiny paradise island. We've included walks in the Kandyan Jungle and time trekking through tea-country in the Namunukula range, across the famous Horton Plains to ‘World’s End, and a climb to the summit of the sacred Adam's Peak (2243m) to catch the sunrise. Sri Lanka is bursting with historical and archaeological highlights, so visits to the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the natural rock fortress of Sigiriya, the cave temples of Dambulla, the dutch fortress of Galle and the former capital of Kandy, home to the 'Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic', are also a shoo-in! Also included is some well-earned R&R time on the beautiful south coast beaches of Mirissa and wildlife safaris in two of Sri Lanka’s quieter National Parks, Udawalawe and Wilpattu. 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.

The aim of this holiday is to get out on foot and see the 'real' Sri Lanka and also to enjoy the best of the varied hiking the island has to offer. We will be walking on good jungle tracks and trails through tea plantations, forests and between villages. We may encounter some slippery conditions, and some tree roots, on the forest trails! There are 5 days when we do a reasonable amount of walking, averaging about 5 hours on each of these days. The ascent of Adam's Peak involves 4 hours up and 2 hours down on a challenging 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. In order to see as much of Sri Lanka as possible a reasonable amount of driving is unavoidable; the transfers are however generally short (2-3hrs) and scenic. 

Why KE?

New and Improved Itinerary!

In response to feedback from our travellers, we've recently improved our itinerary to allow more time walking, sightseeing, and exploring, and less time driving. Also requested was more time to discover the walled city of Galle, and a chance to visit some of Sri Lanka's most peaceful wildlife reserves. You asked and we listened.

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Itinerary

Meet at the group hotel in Anuradhapura. A single timed transfer from Colombo Airport is provided and the drive will take around 4-5hrs. After checking into our comfortable hotel, the rest of the day / evening is free to relax and recover from the long journey. Though the transfer is long, Anuradhapura is worth the journey. As a centre of great historical and religious significance it is the perfect place to begin our time in Sri Lanka.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

After breakfast we make the 30min drive to the Wilpattu National Park, where we can hope to have our first experience of Sri Lanka's abundant wildlife. We will have a morning game drive in private jeeps where we will be on the lookout for wild buffalo, wild boar, fishing cats, sloth bears, leopard, sambar and spotted dear, monitor lizards and hundreds of bird species including rollers, bee-eaters and king fishers! Wilpattu translates as 'Land of Lakes' and it is these natural sand-rimmed water basins that make it great for wildlife spotting. The park is larger and quieter than Sir Lanka's other national parks and so offers a more relaxed safari experience. In the afternoon we return to Anuradhapura where we have the chance to fully explore this UNESCO World Heritage site. Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka's first city from the 5th century BC through to the 9th century AD and during this period it was the centre of the island's Buddhist civilisation. It is home to the oldest historically documented tree on earth (over 2,200 years old), the Sri Maha Bodhi, reputedly grown from a cutting of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. The city also contains some of the world's oldest Buddhist shrines, dating back to the 3rd century BC, as well as stone carvings, pleasure gardens, ponds, reservoirs and canals. After spending some time at this endlessly fascinating place we return to our hotel in the early evening and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

This morning we drive for around 2 hours to Polonnaruwa, a stunning example of ancient Sri Lankan art and culture and another ancient capital city! Following the decline of Anuradhapura in the 10th century AD, Polonnaruwa arose as the new first city and remained Sri Lanka's capital for the over 200 years. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the entire area 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 here are 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 and the spectacular Gal Vihare complex of four massive images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite. We drive to our hotel in Sigiriya where we'll take lunch. In the afternoon we can climb to the top of the amazing fortress known as Lion Rock, which is close to our hotel. This spectacular natural stronghold is another 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 Sigiriya's glory period. We return to the hotel in plenty of time to freshen up for dinner. Drive time: 3hrs

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

We begin the day exploring the magnificent cave temples of Dambulla, the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. There are more than 80 caves in the surrounding area, we will try and visit the five main caves, which are crammed full of statues and paintings of the Lord Buddha and other religious iconography. After wards 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 2.5hr drive to the charming town of Kandy where we check into a hotel. An absolute must-see here is of course the famous 'temple of the tooth' where the Buddha's tooth, known simply as 'the relic' is kept. We should have some time this afternoon to explore this bustling town encircled by hills and tranquil lake at its centre at our own pace. In the evening we will head out with our guide to visit the 'Temple of the Tooth' and enjoy a Kandyan dance performance.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

After breakfast, we transfer to our eco-lodge accommodation, where we will be surrounded by nature. The lodge is set amongst a pristine environment, surrounded by nature. Wild boar, deer, porcupine, giant squirrels, monkeys, butterflies, bats, fire-flies, insects and over 60 species of birds, including 15 endemics, dwell in the surrounding jungle; making this a paradise for bird watchers. On arrival, we will meet the owner of the lodge who will give an introduction to the history of the area and the surroundings. We will then have the chance to take part in a traditional Sri Lankan cooking demonstration, using a firewood oven amid the jungle. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a 2hr walk to a nearby village where we will visit a traditional Kandyan Forest garden belonging to one of the villagers where we can learn about all the vegetables, fruit and spices grown used in cooking traditional dishes. We will also get to see how treacle and 'jaggery' (syrup and sugar blocks made from the sap of the palm tree) are made. We will be able to taste some of them at tonight's dinner, which will consist of local dishes prepared on a hearth in clay pots.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

Time

2 hrs walking

Today's walk begins at the lodge; our trail lead us up through a variety of jungle, forests, tea-pluckers villages and tea plantations. Today we will also be accompanied by local guide who will help us try and spot some of the endemic birds, such as the Yellow-eared Bulbul and the distinctive looking Greater Flameback, which can often be found in the forest. We will also learn about the trees we will pass on the way, such as cloves, pepper, nutmeg, coffee, cocoa, jack, bread-fruit, mango, passion-fruit, rambuttan, banana, papaya etc. We will come across several waterways and may need to ford some streams along the way! As we climb slowly up we'll enjoy some fantastic views of the mountains, jungle and valleys and we will make sure to find a good scenic spot to sit and enjoy our picnic lunch. In the afternoon we circle around to head back towards the lodge.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

Time

5 hrs walking

Distance

12 KM

After a relaxed breakfast we set of on 3-4hr drive to Maskeliya. Our accommodation here is at the base of Adam's Peak and we'll have an early dinner and some time for rest before our very early start tomorrow!

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B D

Standing alone from the central mountain massif of southern Sri Lanka, the dramatic 2243m high Adam's Peak would present an irresistible 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, as we will, 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. In the light of dawn, we descend from the peak in just a couple of hours and have a welcome breakfast at the guesthouse before we make the 3hr drive to Nuwara Eliya, the very heart of the Sri Lankan hill (and tea) 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. We check into our guest house accommodation. Those tired from the morning's climb might want to take some rest. This afternoon we have a real treat as we head to the glamorous colonial Grand Hotel to take high tea. High tea is served either outside on the lawn or in the open-sided tea lounge. Waiters in white livery will serve you buffet of triangular sandwiches and dainty cakes, which are all accompanied with a selection of different Sri Lankan teas. The rest of the day is free to relax and we may want to take the opportunity for an early night after what has been a jam packed day.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1000 M

Descent

1000 M

Time

5 - 7 hrs walking

Distance

11 KM

After an early breakfast we have the option to visit a tea plantation and factory to witness the process of turning raw green tea leaves into the familiar black/brown finished product. Afterwards we drive up onto the plateau of the Horton Plains National Park and set off on our trek to 'World's End' and the beautiful Bakers Falls. Horton Plains is Sri Lanka's highest plateau, some 2200m 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 precipice. With a cool and bracing climate, this is excellent hiking country, with a distinctive flora, colourful butterflies and rare highland birds. Then proceed to Pattipola Railway station to a scenic train journey to Bandarawela (railway station which is situated in the highest elevation and 25 minutes from the entrance of the Horton Plains). Seats are not reserved and Sri Lankan trains are usually crowded (and sometimes late!), but the experience is well worth the inconvenience as this is a real opportunity to gain an insight to local lifestyles and culture! Arriving into Bandarawela we check into our overnight accommodation.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

225 M

Descent

225 M

Time

3 - 4 hrs walking

Distance

8 KM

This morning we have a 1.5hr transfer into the Namunukula Range where we enjoy a wonderful day of trekking starting out high on the lush green slopes of Sri Lanka's 'tea country'. Walking mostly downhill we descend through grassland, villages and farms all the way down to the 'dry zone' at Hingurukaduwa in Uva Province where our vehicles will be waiting for us. This region is home to many Sri Lankan spice crops as well as medicinal fruit. As we walk we will see first-hand how the mountain people have found ingenious ways of farming the mountainous terrain. We'll stop en route for lunch. After the trek, we transfer to Udawalawe, a National park that guarantees elephant sightings around the year! The drive will take around 2.5hr. We check into our hotel in time for dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

800 M

Descent

950 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs walking

Distance

16 KM

Early in the morning we transfer to Udawalawe National Park, which is the best place on the island for seeing wild elephants. This impressive reserve area has enjoyed protected status since 1972 and is home to a large herd of elephants, several species of deer, wild boar, wild buffalo, jackal and the elusive leopard. Surrounded by mountain ranges, the terrain of the park is a mixture of grassland (rather like the savannah of Africa) and shrub jungle. Teak plantations, water holes, the large Udawalawe Reservoir and the Walewe River make this place special. Our exploration of the park by jeep should allow us to get close to wild elephants. We return to our accommodation for breakfast and to collect our baggage. We then visit the Elephant Transit Home. Baby elephants that are injured or orphaned in the wild are brought to the Transit Home where they are cared for and rehabilitated in a natural setting. Afterwards, we transfer to Galle, an old colonial Dutch port with an impressive fortified harbour, where we spend the afternoon sightseeing before driving further up the coast to our beach front hotel. Our base for the next few days is at Induruwa.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

This is the perfect place to recharge our batteries and relax after a busy couple of weeks discovering the wonders of Sri Lanka and so we have included a full free day here. You are free to take a walk along the beach, go snorkelling, or just lie back in a hammock with a good book and a fresh coconut.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

We have a relaxed breakfast, before transferring to Colombo for sightseeing and then on to Negombo, not far from the international airport. A total drive of around 2 hrs. After check in we can relax by the hotel pool or enjoy the excellent gardens.

Colombo, Sri Lanka's largest city, it is located on the west coast and draws together all the cultures, religions and influences in the country. The original traders and settlers - the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch and the British have left in their wake churches and monuments, names, religions, food and smatterings of their languages. Today, Colombo is a fascinating city - a happy blend of east & west, past & present, with a charm of its own. The main seaport of Sri Lanka is in Colombo & adjoining it, is Pettah, a local bazaar & trading area. Other places of interest are the beautiful Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, mosques and the historic Wolfendhal church.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

The holiday ends after breakfast. A single timed transfer to Colombo Airport is provided.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Peaks Peaks
Airport Airport
Point Point
Transfer

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualified tour leader
  • 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
  • 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.

The group will meet at the group hotel in Anuradhapura. A single timed transfer from Colombo airport will be provided on Day 1.

On the last day of the holiday there will be a single timed transfer back to Colombo Airport.

Anyone may join the group transfers by prior arrangement. Travelling as a group or on public transport saves energy. If this is not practical, we can provide private transfers at an additional cost.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All breakfasts, 4 lunches (3 packed lunches and one 'late lunch' of high tea at the Grand Hotel on Day 8) and 12 dinners are included in the holiday price. You will need ot pay directly for 2 dinners and 8 lunches. Dining out is not expensive in Sri Lanka and we suggest a budget of £50 - £75 should adequately cover none included meals.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. You should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Sri Lanka’s rich history includes several periods of colonisation and this has helped create an exotic cuisine, which includes influences from India, Portugal, The Netherlands, Malaysia and a host of other world flavours! 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 extremely 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 hotels and restaurants  it is also usual to find several international dishes offered on the menu, so there will be something here for everyone.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

We will spend 2 nights near Anuradhapura and 1 night near Sigiriya, in comfortable hotels with swimming pools.

In Kandy we will have 1 night a well located hotel, close to the Temple of the Tooth.

We will spend 2 nights at the comfortable Polwatha eco-lodge, set in the heart of the Kandyan Jungle, surrounded by nature.

The night before our early hours approach to Adam's Peak will be spent at a simple guest house close to the start of our walk, where we can take a few hours rest ahead of our early morning climb.

For our nights in Nuwara Eliya and Bandarawela we stay in a well located and comfortable hotels.

In Udawalawe we spend 1 night in a comfortable hotel, in picturesque surroundings, just 10mins from the park gates.

Our base for our 2 nights on the coast will be a stunningly located hotel right on the sea front.

Our final night will be spent in a comfortable hotel in Katunayake, near to Negombo Lagoon, and Colombo (Bandaranaike) International Airport.

Rooms are en suite throughout. All accommodation is twin share. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired with another single client of the same sex. Single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. If you are planning to extend your holiday, additional nights are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

The altitudes 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.

Approximately £200 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc) changed into local currency (rupees), should be allowed for tips, soft drinks, snacks, non-included meals and miscellaneous expenses. Alcoholic drinks and souvenirs are additional so you may wish to budget for these. It is not necessary to obtain local currency (the Sri Lankan Rupee) prior to departure. You can choose to take your money in pounds sterling, dollars or euros. There will be the opportunity to change money into local currency on arrival at the airport and your local leader can advise the best places to change money en-route. Additionally, you will be able to get currency from ATMs at the airport and in many of the towns that we will visit. Credit cards are useful and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency. 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 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.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage, which should be a soft duffle bag, and one daypack. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

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.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

UK passport holders require an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) to visit Sri Lanka. You can apply online at www.eta.gov.lk

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

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 transitted 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.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

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

Getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience.

You should be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking 3 to 6 hours for consecutive days. Hill walking, with a good amount of ascent and descent, is the best training. Running, cycling and swimming are also good for developing cardiovascular fitness and stamina.

 

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'.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. 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 FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Sri Lanka. Lonely Planet Guide.

  • Footprint Sri Lanka.Footprint Guides.

  • Sri Lanka: The Bradt Travel Guide.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please try to keep the weight of your baggage to a minimum. See the ‘baggage allowance’ section for further details.

You SHOULD bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Trainers or similar for traveling, sightseeing etc.

  • Sandals for the beach

  • Socks

  • 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

  • Sunglasses

  • Warm fleece gloves

  • Daypack: c. 30 litres

  • Torch or headtorch

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

  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets
  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Insect repellant – (DEET)

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

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • A smarter top (not complusary, just for those wanting to dress up a little for high tea at the Grand Hotel!)
  • Travel clothes

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

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Camera

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

NOTES

When visiting temples/sacred sites it is respectful to have your shoulders and knees covered. Please consider this when packing.

During sightseeing tours you will also be required to to go barefoot at many sites, so it is wise to pack some footwear that can remove easily.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 from 5 reviews

Stunningn Delicious and Amazing Sri Lanka ★★★★★

I have just returned from this trek and I cannot praise our guide - Nuwan - highly enough. He went above and beyond all expectations to ensure everyone had a memorable and fun Sri Lankan experience. Although we had a few days of heavy rain (and leeches) everything was fabulous. Standard of accommodation was excellent and food was delicious. Trekking was limited but we still made the most of what was on offer. Nuwan mixed it all up for us so we had variety, national parks, walks, mountains, beach es, trains, and local experiences. he loves his country very much and now we all love it too. It was a pleasure to have him as our guide.
By Wendy SPRINGFIELD LAKES | 09 December 2017

A cultural taster of Sri Lanka travelling by bus and with some walking ★★★★★

Excellent, informative guide, Nuwan Athapattu, who coped admirably with a diverse group of 16, and resourceful when confronted with the apparent shortcomings of Walkers Tours that had failed to book one hotel. Also he was flexible with the schedule given the adverse weather conditions and mixed abilities of the group. Plus he covered for what seemed a lack of funding by Walkers Tours for the Yala National Park safari. Future travelers need to take note of the itinerary that some days there is a lot of coach travel. Food excellent as was most accommodation.
By James Ruislip | 06 December 2017

Sri Lanka - absolutely fantastic experience! ★★★★★

Ayubowan to everybody here! I was there with Elanor from Murthly in that amazing and colourful country. I can confirm that every word she has written in her review on 05/09/2017 were absolutely true. Sri Lanka is a magical island. The stray dogs and cats walk and sleep among people with no fear of being hurt. The elephants knock to a bus window to say ‘’have you got a spare banana mate?’’ Sri Lanka people welcome you with a smile and curiosity, incredible flavorous food and best tea ever . ?There are still beaches with no row of plastic sunbeds and umbrellas but full of picturesque wooden boats and catamarans. There are places that are accessible by ancient tin buses only which can survive condition of a remote road. Sri Lanka – former Ceylon – is an interesting mixture of Portuguese, Duchy and British influence in the past. I have chance to clap eyes on a rare species of a rock dog, (only in area of The Lion’s Rock), absolutely wild elephants, giant peacocks, giant trees and of course very giant and magnificent monuments of The Buddha. I fell in love with tuk-tuks forever! Bohoma istusti to our relentless guide Nuwan, our driver Goian and assistant Lasante. ? I would recommend that trip to everybody, especially people who look for a real break from reality and western life. Iwona Minarik from Northamptonshire
By Paul Northampton | 07 September 2017

Sri Lanka, what a country, what a holiday ★★★★★

From Lions Rocks to the coastal resorts, the changing climate ,the many wild animals from the giant squirrel to the Elephant, the treks Adams Peak (this is a hard walk) the high lands, the valleys, Worlds end. And not forgetting our guide Nuwan Athapattu very knowledgeable and helpful. The train trip he arrange for us was unforgettable. Thank you KE and Nuwan. 10/10

By Paul Northampton | 07 September 2017

Very varied and a great insight ★★★★

I had a great time on this trip. It gave a good mix of walking, sightseeing and experiences. Being in the hill country was great as there are few tourists and the scenery is stunning. The contrast across the trip in climate and scenery was a pleasant surprise - make sure you pack that waterproof, hat & gloves from the equipment list (as well as the suncream)! It is a very busy schedule though so there isn't much free time to explore independently. The local guide was really enthusiastic to s how us different experiences and insights into Sri Lankan life. We were lucky to get a bonus train ride to experience the madness of hanging your legs outside a speeding train! If you get the chance, I'd recommend doing it, if only to give your daily commute a whole new perspective. Overall, it was a great two weeks. The walking is challenging at times; nothing too rough, but still giving good views (well, except for the clouds at Adam's Peak). The heat is a factor though so be prepared to sweat!
By Elanor MURTHLY | 05 September 2017

Traveller Reviews
4.8 out of 5 from 5 reviews

Stunningn Delicious and Amazing Sri Lanka
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have just returned from this trek and I cannot praise our guide - Nuwan - highly enough. He went above and beyond all expectations to ensure everyone had a memorable and fun Sri Lankan experience. Although we had a few days of heavy rain (and leeches) everything was fabulous. Standard of accommodation was excellent and food was delicious. Trekking was limited but we still made the most of what was on offer. Nuwan mixed it all up for us so we had variety, national parks, walks, mountains, beach es, trains, and local experiences. he loves his country very much and now we all love it too. It was a pleasure to have him as our guide.
By Wendy SPRINGFIELD LAKES | 09 December 2017

A cultural taster of Sri Lanka travelling by bus and with some walking
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Excellent, informative guide, Nuwan Athapattu, who coped admirably with a diverse group of 16, and resourceful when confronted with the apparent shortcomings of Walkers Tours that had failed to book one hotel. Also he was flexible with the schedule given the adverse weather conditions and mixed abilities of the group. Plus he covered for what seemed a lack of funding by Walkers Tours for the Yala National Park safari. Future travelers need to take note of the itinerary that some days there is a lot of coach travel. Food excellent as was most accommodation.
By James Ruislip | 06 December 2017

Sri Lanka - absolutely fantastic experience!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Ayubowan to everybody here! I was there with Elanor from Murthly in that amazing and colourful country. I can confirm that every word she has written in her review on 05/09/2017 were absolutely true. Sri Lanka is a magical island. The stray dogs and cats walk and sleep among people with no fear of being hurt. The elephants knock to a bus window to say ‘’have you got a spare banana mate?’’ Sri Lanka people welcome you with a smile and curiosity, incredible flavorous food and best tea ever . ?There are still beaches with no row of plastic sunbeds and umbrellas but full of picturesque wooden boats and catamarans. There are places that are accessible by ancient tin buses only which can survive condition of a remote road. Sri Lanka – former Ceylon – is an interesting mixture of Portuguese, Duchy and British influence in the past. I have chance to clap eyes on a rare species of a rock dog, (only in area of The Lion’s Rock), absolutely wild elephants, giant peacocks, giant trees and of course very giant and magnificent monuments of The Buddha. I fell in love with tuk-tuks forever! Bohoma istusti to our relentless guide Nuwan, our driver Goian and assistant Lasante. ? I would recommend that trip to everybody, especially people who look for a real break from reality and western life. Iwona Minarik from Northamptonshire
By Paul Northampton | 07 September 2017

Sri Lanka, what a country, what a holiday
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

From Lions Rocks to the coastal resorts, the changing climate ,the many wild animals from the giant squirrel to the Elephant, the treks Adams Peak (this is a hard walk) the high lands, the valleys, Worlds end. And not forgetting our guide Nuwan Athapattu very knowledgeable and helpful. The train trip he arrange for us was unforgettable. Thank you KE and Nuwan. 10/10

By Paul Northampton | 07 September 2017

Very varied and a great insight
★ ★ ★ ★
I had a great time on this trip. It gave a good mix of walking, sightseeing and experiences. Being in the hill country was great as there are few tourists and the scenery is stunning. The contrast across the trip in climate and scenery was a pleasant surprise - make sure you pack that waterproof, hat & gloves from the equipment list (as well as the suncream)! It is a very busy schedule though so there isn't much free time to explore independently. The local guide was really enthusiastic to s how us different experiences and insights into Sri Lankan life. We were lucky to get a bonus train ride to experience the madness of hanging your legs outside a speeding train! If you get the chance, I'd recommend doing it, if only to give your daily commute a whole new perspective. Overall, it was a great two weeks. The walking is challenging at times; nothing too rough, but still giving good views (well, except for the clouds at Adam's Peak). The heat is a factor though so be prepared to sweat!
By Elanor MURTHLY | 05 September 2017

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /05/24/
  • This trip begins on Mon 12 Aug and ends on Sun 25 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /06/24/
  • This trip begins on Mon 21 Oct and ends on Sun 3 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /07/24/
  • This trip begins on Mon 11 Nov and ends on Sun 24 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /08/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 21 Dec and ends on Fri 3 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 13 Jan and ends on Sun 26 Jan
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 3 Feb and ends on Sun 16 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 17 Feb and ends on Sun 2 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /04/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 24 Mar and ends on Sun 6 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /05/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 11 Aug and ends on Sun 24 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /06/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 20 Oct and ends on Sun 2 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /07/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 10 Nov and ends on Sun 23 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SLT /08/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 20 Dec and ends on Fri 2 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Single Supplement Price: US$670 - Includes all nights except except Day 5 & 6
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining Colombo. A single timed transfers are included.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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