Discover Sri Lanka

16 days
from
£2,099
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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 167 reviews >
Trip code: 
AIL
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Spend two weeks exploring the delights of this diverse and inspiring island

Lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a natural paradise with a landscape of verdant mountains, rainforests, paddy fields, tumbling waterfalls and sweeping gorges. From ancient Buddhist temples, the fortress of Sigiriya, the towns of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya in the hill country, the wildlife of Yala National Park (which has one of the highest concentrations of leopards in the world), to the idyllic palm-fringed beaches of the south coast, this small island offers incredible variety, made extra special by its laid back atmosphere and hospitable people.

Highlights

  • The magnificent cave temples at Dambulla

  • Cycle through rice paddy fields

  • Take a train journey through tea plantations

  • Search for leopard in Yala National Park

  • Climb the rock fortress at Sigiriya for breathtaking views

Key information

  • 14 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite
  • Travel by private bus
  • Additional travel by train, bicycle and jeep
  • Some long drives

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 lunch
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

 

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    The group flight usually departs in the evening from London Heathrow.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Colombo; transfer to Veyangoda.

    The group flight arrives at Colombo's Bandaranaike Airport and we transfer to our hotel approximately 30 minutes away. Those not flying with the group will meet us at the hotel.
    The Covanro or alternative accommodation in the area

  • Day 3

    Visit cave temples at Dambulla; to Sigiriya.

    We depart after breakfast for the drive (approx. 4 hours) through lush green countryside (a mix of coconut palms, paddy fields and banana plantations) through Kurunegala to Dambulla. Here we visit the magnificent Cave Temple, for some, the most impressive sight in Sri Lanka. There are colourful, well preserved paintings and statues of Buddha inside the caves, which date back to the 1st century BC. After lunch we continue to Sigiriya where we stay for the night. From our hotel we can see Lions Rock rising up from the plains (occasionally we may stay nearer to Dambulla due to hotel availability).
    Hotel Sigiriya or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Morning climb to the rock fortress; optional afternoon game drive.

    This morning we drive to the foot of the Lions Rock at Sigiriya. The imposing 5th century rock fortress of Sigiriya rises 600 feet from the plains overlooking the surrounding countryside and giving far-reaching views. Used as a safe haven from invaders, the route to the top goes via a series of steep steps and gangways. From the base, where a moat surrounds impressive water gardens, we ascend 200m, passing an overhanging rock under which superb portraits of native maidens holding flowers and temple offerings still adorn the rock wall. Crowning the flat-topped summit of the rock are extensive remains of the King's Summer Palace.

    During the afternoon there is a chance to enjoy an optional game drive in either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park or the Hurulu Eco Park to see elephants in their natural habitat. For those who don’t want to take part, there is time to relax at the hotel.
    Hotel Sigiriya or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Giritale; bike ride through country villages.

    This morning we have a short drive to Giritale where our usual hotel overlooks the scenic Giritale Tank. The island’s early inhabitants solved the dual problem of heat and lack of water in this dry area by constructing large tanks to act as reservoirs and cool the warm breeze. Nowadays they provide an important habitat for bird life, particularly from August to April. Today we take to bikes and cycle at a leisurely pace through a series of small villages and lakes (if you don't want to cycle you can follow the group in the support vehicle). We should see plenty of bird life including Egrets, Brahmany kites, Kingfishers and Bulbuls. Stopping for lunch in a traditional village will break up the journey. In the late afternoon we return to our hotel in Giritale.
    Giritale Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Visit ancient capital of Polonnaruwa; drive to Kandy via spice garden.

    After breakfast we take a short drive to the 10th century capital of Sri Lanka; Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital of the Sinhalese. Here there are many Buddhist relics and ruins dating from a thousand years ago when Sinhalese culture reached its zenith. The city flourished in the 12th century after the decision was made to move the capital from Anuradhapura, so it was further away from incursions from Southern India. The ruins are therefore younger and better preserved than those at Anuradhapura. We visit many of the temples, palaces, huge dagobas (Buddhist stupas) and remarkable Buddhist sculptures. After lunch we head into the hills to the picturesque town of Kandy. On the way we stop at a spice garden near Matale where we can see various spices and herbs growing, and there is a chance to stock up on massage oils, spices and Ayurvedic medicines. This is a long but fascinating day and we arrive at Kandy in the early evening.
    Hotel Thilanka or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 7-8

    Free time in Kandy to explore or relax.

    Kandy is located by a small lake and we spend two full days in and around the town. On the first day we will visit the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic. The Tooth of Buddha was taken from the funeral pyre in 543 BC and only found its way to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. There are literally hundreds of worshippers who visit the temple each day and in August the most spectacular ceremony takes place. Some of our trips in August should coincide with the Kandy festival, but the exact dates, decided by priests, are not known until 5 months prior to the event. After our visit we drive to a beautiful viewpoint over Kandy overlooked by a huge Buddha, and visit a gem museum where you can see the products of the traditional methods of gem extraction. Another highlight is the vast Peradeniya Botanical Garden with species of orchid that are endemic to Sri Lanka. In the evening we may have the chance to attend a performance of dancing and fire walking.

    The second day is free to explore this wonderful town. The surrounding hills are wonderful, offering fantastic views of the town below and there are many handicraft stores and antique shops in which to browse.
    Hotel Thilanka or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    To Nuwara Eliya via Kitulgala; optional Adams Peak climb (Dec-Apr only).

    Leaving Kandy early, we have a spectacular drive through the countryside on the way to Kitulgala. Here we have the opportunity of going on a walk through the jungle or local villages followed by an optional white water rafting excursion. The rafting costs extra (see the Optional Excursions section), lasts a maximum of 1.5 hours and there is a choice of gentle or wild water (grade 3 rapids) depending on your preference. Those of us who do not wish to go rafting will be able to freshen up and relax by the water until the rafters return in time for lunch. Afterwards we will drive to our hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

    (Please note that from the full moon day of December to the full moon day of May it is possible to climb Adams Peak. This is optional and you need to be very fit to attempt this. You would leave Nuwara Eliya at 11pm on day 8 and drive to the base of the peak. From here it is a strenuous 4 hour climb to the top in time for sunrise. We then return to Nuwara Eliya to join the group for lunch on day 9).
    Hill Club Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Free morning in old colonial hillstation of Nuwara Eliya. Visit tea factory in afternoon.

    This morning we will have free time to explore the beautiful town of Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya was a popular hill station during the British era and is situated in the cool highland air at 1890m. Known locally as 'Little England' it is dotted with British style houses and parks and features a golf club and a racecourse! Following lunch we will visit a nearby tea factory and learn about the process of tea production.
    Hill Club Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Early morning to Horton Plains; walk to World's End viewpoint; to Bandarawela by train.

    We have an early start this morning and take a 30km drive south to Horton Plains, a large plateau over 2,000m high, overlooked by the second and third highest peaks in Sri Lanka. The scenery is beautiful and the best way to explore is on foot. We take a guided walk through the rolling grasslands where we hope to see such as the Sambur and Purple Faced monkey. We also visit 'World's End' which is one of the most stunning sights in Sri Lanka where the ground drops 1050m to the plains. Following this we catch a train from the highest railway station in the country - within an hour and a half we drop from 1889m to 1097m. The train travels through the cloud forest into the tea plantations, with breath-taking views of the lush valley below. Although the train can be very busy on occasion, this is still a great experience. We get off at Bandarawela, a town relatively untouched by tourism.
    Orient Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Scenic drive through Ella Gap to Kataragama; game drive in Yala N.P.

    Today we continue on to Ella Gap where we have spectacular views of the coastal plain nearly 1,000m below. Almost the entire southern part of the island is in view and on a particularly clear day the shimmering silver of the Indian Ocean is visible. Heading south out of the hills we travel to Kataragama on the plains; this is our base for visiting Sri Lanka's best known national park, Yala. The park is popular for elephant, leopard, bear, crocodile and Wild boar. At 97,800 hectares, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka's national parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has also become better known for leopard. The park, which is primarily shrub jungle with several salt and fresh water lagoons, has one of the highest concentrations of leopard per square kilometre in the world. (Please note that the sanctuary may be closed for 4-6 weeks from September to October allowing the park authorities to check the welfare of the animals. We therefore go to an alternative area close by, usually Udawalawe National Park).
    Mandara Rosen or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Drive to Tangalle and walk through rice paddies; coastal drive to Ahangama; optional lunch at Tsunami house.

    Today we leave for the coast, with its beautiful palm fringed bays. Stopping on the way at Hambantota and walking to a nearby farm house where you be offered tea in a coconut shell along with a local snack. We will mix with real Sri Lankan life and take part in some traditional Sri Lankan games, returning to our bus in tractors used by the farmers. We have the option of enjoying lunch at one of the houses that we built for Tsunami victims; this may be one of the best curries of your trip! Continuing on to Ahangama in the afternoon we arrive at our coastal hotel and you can relax for the rest of the day.
    Insight Resort or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Free day to relax on the beach or optional activities including whale watching (Nov to April).

    Today is a free day to relax on the beach or by the hotel pool. There are also optional activities during the day including a boat ride through mangrove swamps to a cinnamon plantation or, from November to April you can go whale watching off Dondra head, one of the best places in the world for seeing Blue and Sperm whales. Huge pods of dolphins are also often seen playing alongside the boats.
    Insight Resort or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    To Galle; visit old fort; transfer to Colombo.

    We set off today and drive along the coastal road to the historic port of Galle, which dates back to the 17th century, and now a UNESCO world heritage site. On the way we stop at a small folk museum inspired by the local writer Martin Wickramasinghe. The museum is a typical house from the Koggala region and is set amongst beautiful gardens. We continue along the expressway to Colombo reaching our hotel in the late afternoon.

    Hotel Mirage or alternative accommodation in the area

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Fly to London.

    If you are travelling on the group flight we will have a morning transfer to the airport for the daytime flight to London. The arrangements for those not flying with the group ends after check out.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Maldives

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note we can arrange a visit to the Maldives for you.

The flight from Colombo is around 1 hour and upon arrival you will be transferred by speedboat (approximately 20mins) to the Paradise Island 4* resort. Paradise Island is a beautiful coral island with a total land area of 178,900 square metres, covered with lush tropical vegetation, numerous palm trees, surrounded by a wide sandy beach and the crystal clear waters of an azure lagoon.

 You can choose to add on as many extra nights to your trip as you wish; your time on the island will be at leisure for you to do as you wish. The accommodation used has a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, room service and all rooms are air‐conditioned and have en suite facilities. As well as the modern amenities of the resort there is also access to scuba diving and snorkelling or for the less active the chance to swim in these wonderful, calm waters. Either way it is a veritable paradise and a memorable end to the trip.

 If you choose to take advantage of this opportunity then we can arrange flights for you to Malé as well as booking the hotel and speedboat transfer to the island.

Essential Info

Visas

Sri Lanka

A visa (Electronic Travel Authorisation) is required if you are British and for most other nationalities. If you do not hold a British passport, please check the visa requirements with your local Sri Lankan Embassy or the ETA website www.eta.gov.lk. Passengers should also be aware of local laws and customs in Sri Lanka (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sri-lanka/local-laws-and-customs). The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is an offence; please note that people have been refused entry to Sri Lanka because of visible tattoos of Buddha.

Vaccinations

Sri Lanka

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

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 for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 lunch is included.

We suggest allowing about £15-£17 (approx. US$24 - US$27.50) per day for all other meals. Sri Lankan cuisine is a fascinating reflection of the island’s heritage; there is a unique fusion of fresh local produce with spices brought to the island over the centuries by Malays, Arabs, Indians as well as the Dutch, Portuguese and English. Despite (or perhaps because of) these influences, Sri Lankan cuisine is often referred to as simply ‘Rice and Curry’. This is the staple dish in most restaurants and is usually a serving of rice accompanied by assorted meat and vegetable curries as well as various pickles, ‘sambols,’ and a handful of tiny poppadum’s – all using the contrasting flavours of coconut, chilli, curry leaves, cinnamon and garlic.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Sri Lanka the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free. Please be prepared for this and you may need to bring these from home. Spicier food can be avoided easily and lots of the hotels will serve Western options alongside traditional food.

Weather

Generally, you should expect rain at some time but with plenty of sunshine. On the plains, day and night time temperatures are warm to hot with Colombo having an average daytime temperature of 30ºC. The temperatures drop as we go higher into the hills and especially at Nuwara Eliya and Horton Plains where daytime temperatures are between 10º - 15º C and night time temperatures will be chilly (about 8º C minimum) and a warmish jacket will be needed.

Kandy

Is this trip for you?

This is not a demanding trip although there are a few long drives, on bumpy and twisty mountain roads. The buses that we use are comfortable and air-conditioned. Temperatures can vary between the tropical heat of the coast to the cool of the mountains.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

You will spend 14 nights in en suite hotels. Hotels on this trip are generally of a good standard, most with swimming pools and good facilities. The standards and styles of the hotels do vary however and some of our selections are based on location and what is available in the area or the character and atmosphere at the premises.

The hotel that we typically use in Nuwara Eliya has been selected for the character of the premises and the appearance of its grounds but the level of service is not always at the standard of the other hotels on this itinerary.

The Hill Club in Numara Eliya was originally set up as a private  members’ club. Some traditions are still in place and so occasionally rooms  are blocked off for a members’ conference.  It might be that in the months of April , June , July , September or December we are not able to secure rooms at the hill club. If this is the case we will accommodate your  group in a similar standard hotel in Nuwara Eliya, though the hotel  may not have the same kind of ‘old style’ character.

The hotel that we typically use on the south coast for two nights has been selected because it has a good beach location, where it is possible to swim in the sea most of the time, there are good photo opportunities with the stilt fisherman nearby and it is within close proximity to the optional excursions. Although service at the hotel can sometimes be rather slow it is a small property so the staff and management are flexible and cater for our group’s needs.

Please note that hotels in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly busy and occasionally we have to find alternatives to the ones that we usually use. We will endeavour to find the nearest alternative that provides a similar standard of rooms.

Single accommodation available on request.

Please  note paying the  single supplement may not mean that you receive a double or twin room for sole use. The room you are allocated may differ from hotel to hotel , and on some nights a  smaller room for ‘one person’ may well be allocated.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Nigel Camille

    Discover Sri Lanka

    The discover Sri Lanka trip offers a great mix of learning, seeing and experiencing what Sri Lanka has to offer, mixed ample opportunities to simply relax by the pool trying to decide what mixer to have with your large glass of Arrack

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed visiting Lions Rock, which after getting your breath back after climbing all the stairs offers wonderful views of the surrounding area, as well as an insight to Sri Lanka history. I also enjoy the unscheduled visit to Little Adams peak, after rain meant that Hortons plain was not viable, this was a great alternative and offered beautiful views of Sri Lanka

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan, was great, he gave a very good in depth introductory talk on the first day and provided us with an excellent history lesson of Sri Lanka, as well as being very knowledgeable in terms of the fauna and flora of the various regions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is very little street food or dining out culture in Sri Lanka with the exception of Kandy and less so Nuwara Eliya, therefore you will be eating the vast majority of your meals in hotels, with buffets being the easiest choice but it does make it more expensive. A la Carter is an option at most places but service tends to be slow and therefore often requires pre-ordering.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Due to the fact that so many meals are eaten at the hotels, to make things easier I would have included these the trip price. I think that during the introduction clients and guide should set up a WhatsApp’s group, one for the sharing of info, but also to help with the running of the trip, I.e. start times after free days extra or arrange numbers for optional extras
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Hilda Dumpleton

    Discover Sri Lanka review

    An excellent holiday with so much to see and do.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many inspitational moments but if I had to select one it would be seeing the procession in Kandy. Excellently arranged by our guide even to sorting our evening meaL. The fire dancers and highly decorated elephants were a sight to behold. The drommers and dancers added to the occasion.I will never forget it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was superb. He was highly skilled in getting the group to see as much as possible of his country. He was also quite relaxed letting us have enough time to see the sights e.g. around the temples and the statues of the Buddha. His instructions were always clear and explanatory. But most of all he was fun! An absolute brilliant guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take clothes to cover up but only needed for temples. But dress respectfully at other times.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Hilda Dumpleton

    Discover Sri Lanka review

    An excellent holiday with so much to see and do.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many inspitational moments but if I had to select one it would be seeing the procession in Kandy. Excellently arranged by our guide even to sorting our evening meaL. The fire dancers and highly decorated elephants were a sight to behold. The drummers and dancers added to the occasion.I will never forget it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was superb. He was highly skilled in getting the group to see as much as possible of his country. He was also quite relaxed letting us have enough time to see the sights e.g. around the temples and the statues of the Buddha. His instructions were always clear and explanatory. But most of all he was fun! An absolute brilliant guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take clothes to cover up but only needed for temples. But dress respectfully at other times.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Bryan Mason

    Fabulous variety and rich culture

    A very broad tour of the principal cultural and wildlife sights. Fantastic sights ranging from Buddhist sculptures, tea plantations to leopards and elephants in their natural habitat. Great food, landscapes and experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best moments include visiting the Buddha’s tooth relic in Kandy, spotting leopards in Yalla National Park and travelling on a packed train from the Hill country to the valley while viewing stunning scenery through the (open) train carriage door.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Neelaka was consistently upbeat, exceptionally informative about the country and always on hand to smooth out any issues and enable the tour to get on with enjoying the country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the rain and cold In Nuwara Eliya, to eating a lot of delicious food and to open your eyes to an extremely wide range of scenery, climate and wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We did travel in a large coach, unlike the usual minibuses used on other Exodus holidays and occasionally this gave the impression that we were on a coach tour rather than an adventure holiday. Most hotels were very good and the food in some - especially Sirigaya, Manders Rosen and Bandarawela was excellent. Some welcome rest time was built in and we loved lazing around for one whole day at the coast.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    sarah shorter

    Sri Lanka Summer 2018

    In 2 weeks we managed to see most of the main sights in Sri Lanka. It was going full tilt mostly staying one or two nights in each place. We really enjoyed all the places that we visited and found them very interesting (apart from the gem museum which was very dull and boring and high pressure sales). The accommodation was more luxurious than we expected, having been on tours with other companies. The nice thing about this was that almost all hotels had pools and very pleasant surroundings. The downside of this was that they were often outside the population centres so that you forced to eat there and had less scope for exploring local towns and villages and using their shops and restaurants. It also therefore added to the expense of the trip. The transport was comfortable (coach) and the driver did a really good job in such adverse and hectic driving conditions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our favourite moment was watching the elephants splashing and playing at the waterhole at Kaudulla national park. This trip was optional but we all did it. It was actually a better trip than Yala which is included in the itinerary. We saw crocodiles there which don't move (no leopard) and loads of birds at both but there was more birdlife at Kaudulla. The most enjoyable activity was walking on Horton Plains, looking at plants, wildlife and the amazing view.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent. He went out of his way to explain about the history and natural history of the island, using his own visual aids! Nothing was too much trouble and he was constantly looking out for our welfare, from health and safety to making sure that we were served the drinks we had ordered. He also helped us to organise our onward travel at the end of the Exodus trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sri Lanka is an amazing place full of friendly people but in most places there are no pavements or streetlights so if you are out after dark, take a torch and/or flag down a tuk tuk (very cheap). Not all ATMs will give very much money - some restrict it to less than 40,000 rupees (£200). Hatton National Bank (HNB) will give you up to 200,000 rupees and charge 200.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sri Lanka is a fantastic and varied country and 2 weeks is a very short time to spend there.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Kathryn and Peter Murray

    Experiencing this ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’

    In 15 days we enjoyed many varied experiences that enabled us to gain new insights into this exciting, challenging place. Our accomodation was mostly very luxurious, the food tasty if somewhat predictable in hotels; eating food prepared and served by locals in villages was enjoyable as was playing some traditional village games. Cycling in the countryside and taking to the water gave us a different perspective again. July was a great time to travel and we saw very little rain ; the temperatures on the west coast were high but the hill country pleasantly cooler - no need for jumpers or coats at all. Although we missed seeing a leopard at Yala N.P. elephants, warthogs, water buffalo, spotted deer, monkeys, crocodiles and many different birds made up for that. We even saw a mongoose.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Elephants coming right up to our hotel’s electric fence was a highlight. Walking on Horton’s Plains was special as was exploring the ancient sites of Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya and watching festivals and ceremonies.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had an excellent guide who gave us relevant detail about the country’s cultural, political, socio-economic and geographical situation. We felt we learned much about this fascinating country. However, the amount of plastic waste littering the country was a cause for concern.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind but don’t expect to be able to do much walking in smaller towns or on beaches near Colombo, which are polluted and not always accessible. Tuk Tuks are the easiest form of transport. Check whether you need to worry about dengue fever when you travel. We didn’t in July so could have had more short sleeves and shorts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our group was very cooperative, welcoming and mostly like minded although we came from 4 different countries.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Melanie Clark

    Ups and Downs

    I wasn't bothered about only having breakfasts included as assumed there would be places to explore and eat out most nights. Very wrong to assume!! However nice the food in the hotels is, for me I can eat hotel food in the UK. For me Sri Lanka lacks something that I have experienced in other places and that is SOUL. I'm still not sure what Sri Lanka is all about on a day to day basis. I was quite disappointed with the rubbish all over the beaches, it is not the 'Paradise Island' Sri Lanka states it is. The trip itself is fine (somewhat underwhelming) but for me too many temples and too many hotel restaurants. Most of the group seemed happy with the hotel in the evenings but for me the holiday could have been way richer with more of the 'real Sri Lanka' being shown. Elephant and normal Safari are fine if you like lining up with MASSES of other trucks to see one illusive Leopard or family of elephants. Personally I like one off experiences with limited people... More of a bespoke feel...which is exactly what I got when I did Namibia with Exodus. For me the trip felt commercialised and over crowded which is not for me.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I do not feel inspired by Sri Lanka....maybe the views on the way to the tea plantations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, what a hard job!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are a seasoned traveller this trip will seem a bit too 'organised' and not free flowing enough for you. Very bland in comparison to other places, its a 'nice' trip...not awesome or exciting.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Mike Brooks

    Sri Lanka

    We had a great holiday and were very well looked after by our tour Guide: Ruwan Balasuriya

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When the elephants swam across the lake and came ashore. They were within a few metres of the hotel. Absolutely wonderful!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic. He took great care of us and was a wonderful source of information about all aspects of Sri Lanka
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Sonia Rios

    Amazing Sri Lanka

    It was amazing to discover this beautiful country. The locals, temples, scenery, nature, smells... loved it loved it loved it!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing Adams Peak, elephant safari.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was THE BEST! So helpful, knowledgeable, kind, funny. It was a pleasure to spend two weeks with him and his team. Thank you Gamini, Nisha and Roshan for such an enjoyable trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy and be open minded.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Julie Hohmann

    AIL 180415

    Amazing trip around Sri Lanka

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing all the wild animals in the Yala National Park. We even saw a Lepard with her babies having lunch. It was just amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujan was a great tour guide. He knows his county by heart, is sharing all his knowledge (he was even teaching us some local words). He has great humour and was always there to help if needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a lot of sunscreen and insect repellant :) The best is to change your cash at the airport. There are not that many ATM possibilities during the trip

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is the best trip if you want to discover Sri Lanka in 2 weeks. Most of the places we've visited were full of natives, giving the feeling that we were not just visiting touristic places. The trip has a great balance between temples, sportive activities, free & relaxing time. It's an amazing trip to meet people from different countries.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Maldives Extension

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note we can arrange a visit to the Maldives, just 1 hour flying time from Colombo

For more details on this particular extension please go to page 4 of the Trip Notes. Alternatively, you can call one of our Sales team, who will be happy to assist you.

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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