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.
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.
Arie Lagoon or alternative accommodation in the area
We depart after breakfast and for approximately 4 hours' drive 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).
Aliya Resort & Spa or alternative accommodation in the area
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.
Aliya Resort & Spa or alternative accommodation in the area
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 do not wish to participate you can hire a tuk tuk locally for approximately £10 and follow the group but not cycle). 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.
Deer Park Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area
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.
Grand Kandyan Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area
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 eating.
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.
Grand Kandyan Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area
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 around midnight on day 8 and drive to the base of the peak. The drive takes approximately 2 hours. 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).
St Andrew's Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area
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.
St. Andrew's Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area
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. Please note that at times, particularly in peak season, the train may be extremely busy and as a result we cannot guarantee that the group will be allocated seats together for this train ride. We get off at Bandarawela, a town relatively untouched by tourism.
Bandarawela Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area
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
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'll 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. Continuing on to Ahangama in the afternoon we arrive at our coastal hotel and you can relax for the rest of the day.
Amari Galle or similar
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.
Amari Galle or similar
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.
Ramada or similar accommodation
The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport in time for their flight home.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.
I was well impressed with Sri Lanka - charming people, friendly and calm perhaps due to the widespread effect of Buddhism. Our well planned route took us inland, through the mountains and round the south coast with expert guide Nalaka, so we got a great overview of the island. Lovely hotels, most with pools, and superb food - buffets with the chance to try everything mixed with home cooking on banana leaves. We had the opportunity to travel in different ways - rafts, bikes, jeeps and trains; we saw wildlife close up, especially elephants of course, crocodiles, monkeys and a wide range of birds; and we explored some incredible historic sites. A very memorable and fun trip with a lovely group.
From tropical beaches, through steaming jungles to Scottish moorlands Sri Lanka has it all. Where else can you grow where they grow pineapples, coconuts and cashew nuts a few miles down the road from tea, potatoes and leeks? Fantastic scenery, great food and wonderful people.
We were a mixed bunch of travellers from mainly the UK, aged from 24 to 76, single and partnered. Roshan was our tour guide - he'd been doing it for over 10 years, so there was a certain repetition in his recommendations. Sometimes we were simply let loose to explore without guidance. We enjoyed his descriptions about social life in Sri Lanka and his take on politics but he was reticent about the current situation and we learned little about his private life. He was very helpful at all times. Some days were full of activity and others were more relaxed. Sigirya was my favourite hotel. We were there over the New Year's holiday so some activities such as the Tea factory visit, were not as illuminating as they would otherwise be. The buffet food was excellent and the hotels left little to complain about. Unfortunately our trip ended on Easter Sunday, when over 250 people were killed in Colombo. Exodus were very good at organising transport to the airport despite the curfew.
A tour to be thoroughly recommended, covering all aspects of Sri Lanka and it’s lovely people. Busy, lots of early starts and some long journeys but so worth it. The trip notes were accurate and we were also able to see sights at their most opportune moments, I.e. climbing Lion Rock before breakfast and before the crowds, Temple of the Tooth while a ceremony with drumming was on, Horton Plains early before the heat and the mists descended. Having lunches cooked by villagers and our guide stopping and buying us bananas, watching curd (yogurt) making and tasting it, eating freshly sliced Jack fruit at the roadside. We enjoyed every minute.
Without going into the interesting detail of the trip notes, this tour was well lead by Sujan who was very funny and knowledgeable. Compared to other Exodus holidays it is quite laid back with more time off on most days and reflects the laid back feel of Sri Lanka. The elephant safaris were wonderful and we saw 60 elephants in all.....a bit of excitement!!! had when one rammed the jeep in front, whale watching was fabulous too with 17 sightings of Blue Whale and some mating turtles. The cycling was very relaxed seeing plenty of interesting village life along the river. The hotels were mostly luxurious, always a welcome drink, barely had to move a suitcase as porters dealt with them all, most with pools and a feast for breakfast. Although it was very often only an omelette and fries or club sandwich option for lunch. Most evenings the dinners were in the hotels so this meant you could eat and go to bed when you felt like it. In Late March with 38 degrees and great humidity it was boiling but the air conditioned coach helped tremendously and there were no mosquitos. Do take an umbrella for sightseeing to keep out the sun as a hat didn’t feel enough. Drives that were set to be three hours turned out to be interesting stop and start drives as things were pointed out along the way, A trip I can recommend.
Deservedly one of the top selling trips to a country that prides itself in welcoming visitors. The design of the trip includes much of the green and exciting scenery which highlights the Buddhist nature of the people. The simple act of picking up a caterpillar from the path to avoid killing it, simple but touching. Excellent hotels chosen for their location were another great feature.
This holiday met my expectations and more, It really does live up to its title of ‘Discover Sri Lanka’. The itinerary is comprehensive and varied. In two weeks it looks at the culture and history of this truly beautiful island as well as there being many opportunities to observe its bird and wild life, The hotels on this trip are comfortable and it was good to have a number of stays lasting more than one day. Although I was unable to take part in some of the activities, thiose who did thoroughly enjoyed them. The tour leader was excellent.
Two weeks packed with variety of scenery, wildlife, culture on this beautiful island. The itinerary is well balanced to enable you to experience so many highlights yet still have relaxation time. The hotels, apart from the Orient, were a very high standard and in great locations. I travelled on my own yet always had an enormous double/twin room and felt safe. Our guide Nala and the driving crew were superb, everything was well organised yet flexible enough to allow us to enjoy 'local experiences' which added to our fun. You will return from this trip with so many happy memories.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with very friendly people. We experienced so many different things and visited so many places that gave us an insight into life in Sri Lanka. It was very well organised and it would be hard to see as much as we did without such a tour
Very much recommend this trip to people who like a huge variety of experiences on holidays. The trip notes are very accurate and you will travel through, walk through and stay in many different scenic places ranging from small villages, paddy fields, national parks, hill plantations and beach locations. You have opportunities to see and get close to a range of wild animals, bird life and to have contact with local people and their lives during walks and other activities. There are UNESCO world heritage sites and a range of towns to explore. Above all, there are the lovely, smiley Sri Lankan people to meet.
The holiday was an excellent mix of activities - walking, cycling, exploring wildlife and looking at cultural sights. The hotels, with the exception of the Sevonra Garden, were excellent with good service and helpful staff. The food was great across the hotels, again with the exception of the Savonra Garden, with plenty of Sri Lankan dishes to explore. The changes I would make would be to have longer in Galle as it was such an interesting town and we only had a couple of hours there which was not long enough. Also to factor in less time in the woodcarving shop.
This was my first Exodus trip and was booked to celebrate a big birthday and make wonderful memories and I certainly did that! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as a single traveller but the holiday was fantastic, I needn’t have worried - I was in safe hands with our wonderful guide Ruwan and surrounded by a lovely group of friendly travellers. We did such a lot! Everyday was packed with new experiences from climbing Lion’s Rock to whitewater rafting to watching a snake try to eat a bat!
This was an awesome trip from start to finish. Great way to see a lot of the country, people, wildlife, culture, history whilst taking on board some really fun activities such as white water rafting, walking to World's End at Horton Plains, cycling through villages and paddy fields, looking at amazing views on a train journey seeing elephants, monkeys, boar, deer, crocodiles, many types of birds and even a leopard!
Great holiday with varied activities.
Full of wonderful experiences made even better by our Tour Guide - Sujee. Rice & Curry is delish!
Following Exodus's usual formula of maximising a tour around a country to experience its cultural and history with the added benefit of premium hotels throughout (well one had and enchanting feel of colonial days but that was just one night) I experienced a fab time.
A wonderful 15 day trip which matched/exceeded all our hopes & expectations. It was a very full itinerary but well worth the effort. We have always been independent travellers & this was our first ‘group experience’, one which we thoroughly enjoyed - the mixed group added to enjoyment. The trip was helped by the lovely leader Samith (see our comments below) and having such a stunning island to explore. The history, culture , scenery & diversity of Sri Lanka was well showcased by the structure of the tour.
A couple of friends had been on this trip and recommended it but it so exceeded my expectations. An amazing variety of experiences around a beautiful island with a fabulous guide and a great group of travelling companions.
This was an excellent introduction to Sri Lanka which included a wide range of activities, from visiting Buddhist temples to safari trips in two national parks, white water rafting and cycling in the beautiful Sigirya region. We travelled through contrasting regions and were also given opportunities to meet a number of Sri Lankans who were not involved in the tourist trade and try some authentic Sri Lankan food. The hotels were of a high standard and a number had good quality swimming pools. We were impressed by the diversity of Sri Lanka wildlife- we saw so many different birds, as well as monkeys, water buffalo, crocodiles and lizards as well as the elephants and even (luckily) a leopard! Generally, a varied and well thought out itinerary.
This is a wonderful adventure to a beautiful island. It's busy, with some early starts and long journeys, but so worth it, to see so many Unesco Heritage sites, and many unexpected stopovers outside the comprehensive itinerary.
This tour will take you to the main ‘must see’ places in Sri Lanka. However - if you want to go off the beaten track then this isn’t the trip for you. There is free time where you can explore on your own but obviously limited as to where you can go. The standard of the hotels vary - but mostly are ‘tourist’ class with other tour groups staying. Opportunity to eat locally is limited - pressure from guide to eat the hotel buffet. We ordered off the menu - much cheaper - and more than enough food. Breakfasts varied from very good to poor. Be prepared to see lots of rubbish in the towns and along the side of the road.
This is an enjoyable trip with a good variety of activities. If you have been to India before you will find Sri Lanka surprisingly different. If this is your first trip to the sub-continent it is an excellent introduction. We didn’t climb Adam’s Peak, but the other activities on the trip were all good, including the traditional Sri Lankan games that we had been apprehensive about, but which were great fun. The accommodation was generally good apart from the Giritale Hotel which is undergoing building work and our initial room was unfinished. At Nuwara Eliya the group didn’t stay at the Hill Club, but at the Mirage King’s Cottage, which was very pleasant and a little way out of town with lovely fresh air and gardens. The food on the trip was fine, we particularly liked the midday meal on the cycle ride day. Exodus arranged for the group to refill our water bottles from a large container on the minibus, which worked well and helped minimise plastic waste.
Loved this trip, made extra special by our tour guide, Ruwan, whose thoughtful additions to the standard trip made the whole experience even more memorable. There was a good balance of visits to temples, encounters with local people, walking, information about Sri Lanka, its history and culture and seeing wildlife.
The tour leader Sujee; the driver Madhawa and assistant Kalinda made this 15 day holiday and experience never to be forgotten. I for one will never forgot the moments when the bus would suddenly stop to speak to the ladies picking tea, the farmers drying the sweet corn on a road; visiting the potter and his wife; buying and trying fruit from a young lass who was watching the stall for her father, who wants to go to university; to watching the wild life and views. Listening to Sujee telling us about the country, the people, the wonderful education system, the rural areas, the cities and the religions. Stopping on route to get lunch from a local person or place, simple and lovely. Visiting Temples, walking up to Lions Rock early in the morning going through the water gardens. Going to Hurulu Eco Park, on an Elephant Safari, fabulous well worth paying that little extra. The walks, just brilliant, particularly the Horton Plain, worlds end 6 mile walk, down ravine like paths, waterfalls, views and yes it was warm. It did take me a few minutes to realise I had to pace myself as the air goes get bit thinner at 14,000 feet. The cycle ride along the rivers, seeing people working, stopping off for tea etc; Kandy was lovely and we did get free time to wander and enjoy the sights ourselves including a ride on Tuk Tuk and 'fried' ice cream (wow). Oh and the Spice and Herb Garden with back massages at the end! Up into the highlands of Sri Lanka and the stay at a rather quaint old colonial gentlemans club. Then down the Indian Ocean for a couple of days swimming and relaxation. Finally the food, just fabulous mind you we were catered for and they did dumb down the chilli, beautiful flavours and the Samosa we had in a tiny place in the middle of no where was one I will never forget A highly recommended trip and no I didn't do Adams Peak, I enjoyed my nights sleep instead:)
What a wonderful way to experience the wonders and beauty of Sri Lanka. Days spent visiting cultural sites, wildlife safaris were we got up close to elephant, sadly we didn't see the elusive leopard. Visits to isolated villages were we enjoyed local food cooked and eaten in the Sri Lankan way Cycling through the countryside seeing the local way of life. So many experiences that made sure you never had a dull moment. Plus a guide, Nalaka, who gave us such wonderful insight into the cultural past and the present way of life in Sri Lanka. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the island then this is the trip for you.
The trip was very well organised & the tour leader was efficient & knowledgeable. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, I would definitely return. Although this was advertised as a ‘premium’ trip a few of the hotels we went to were nowhere near what I’d describe as premium. (Although the majority of the hotels were very good).
A good mix of cultural and historical experiences with a beach holiday thrown in for good measure.
great mix of types of activities. culture, geography, local colour and adventure. some aspects quite physically demanding. needs a couple of extra days to make a bit more relaxed
This trip is very varied and introduces the highlights of Sri Lanka. There was a great mix of culture, nature and adventure.
An absolutely fab holiday. It exceeded all my expectations. Top top top class Sri Lankan tour guide was one of the highlights. Very well paced. Fantastic variety of activities , often x 2 per day, as well as plethora of places to visit .Activities sometimes meant being organized to get up at 6am to climb up a beautiful rock or spent walking three hours to the ‘world’s end’ , to cycling, water river rafting under the bridge built in 1956 for the movie ‘Bridge over the river Kwai, to taking a train journey from a height of nearly 2,000 meters to just under 1,000 M. Whale spotting, beach side hotel to relax in, a long day on Safari seeing everything BUT the elusive Leopard. We had x 3 days in the lovely town of Kandy and saw their splendid Botanic gardens as well as visiting a gem shop to learn about their famous Sapphires from a gemologist - Princess Di’s ring came from here. Interesting diversion to an Aryuvedic herbal clinic where we had an interesting talk from a long qualified herbalist as well as neck, shoulder and face massages,, Got to sample locally made Sri Lanka curries made by a family almost in the middle of the jungle. Also had a meal in one of the houses that Exodus built for people who lost homes in the 2004 Tsunami when 50,000 Sri Lankans perished. I almost forgot - a trip to a tree plantations/factory is also organised and yes, you will definitely wish to bring some home - prices v reasonable! Very comfortable bus to ride on and all 9 hotels, bar 1, were top class. Our tour guide was immensely informative on all aspects of Sri Lankan life, culture, history as well as past and current politics. He was also extremely kind and attentive and looked after each person,s needs, no matter how diverse or demanding!! Yes, a trip I shall have fond memories of for many a year. I highly recommennd it if you relish adventure, activity and good fun.
This was our first Exodus tour and it certainly won’t be our last. We saw so much of the country and had an amazing guide (Sujan) who was passionate about not only his job but more importantly his country. Seeing wild elephants (not only in the national parks) was our highlight of the whole trip. One negative was the gem factory visit, where the staff were quite pushy in gaining a sale. Be warned - you can get the same jewellery in the hotel shop at a much better price.
An excellent trip, made by a wonderful leader. A really good variety of visits and activities. We gained a very good impression of Sri Lankan life, history, culture, natural history and politics.
2 weeks of ‘Heaven’ - a full on and busy trip with ‘free’ time if needed - the trip included a bit of everything - temples, Buddhist sculptures, tea plantations, ancient cities, history, religion, hiking, wildlife and amazing scenery etc. I loved meeting the tsunami victims and the local farmers and I loved the variety of transport - coach, jeeps, tuk tuks, cycles, tractor, train and ferry. The hotels were outstanding although the Bandarawela Hotel did not reach anywhere near the standard you would expect on a Premium trip - it was a very dated, tired hotel - luckily we only stayed there for one night.
a great, well organised trip - The hardest thing i needed to do was to wake up on time - everything else was taken care of. Loved the safaris, bird watching, village walks/cycling, train journey, whale watching and more. Hotels were great too.
This two week trip of Sri Lanka covers a lot of ground & various experiences & really gives the traveller a great taste of what this wonderful country has to offer. We had cultural experiences in Dambulla & Sigiryia , saw elephants & leopard on safari ,experienced hiking, biking, white water rafting, tea plantations, cities like Kandy & Galle, colonial experiences in Nuwara Eliyia , super food & the services of Ruwan an exceptional guide.
Great trip. Good balence of culture, wildlife and activities. Our guide Ruwan was fantastic; always smiling and had any problems sorted before they occurred. All hotels were of a high standard and the food was good (although we would have liked to eat at local restaurants) transport was excellent, our coach was clean, comfortable and roomy. We definitely had the best driver in Srilanka. I would highly recommend this trip.
An excellent holiday with a good tour leader, excellent driver and helper and fun holidaymakers.
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
An excellent holiday with so much to see and do.
An excellent holiday with so much to see and do.
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.
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.
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.
We had a great holiday and were very well looked after by our tour Guide: Ruwan Balasuriya
It was amazing to discover this beautiful country. The locals, temples, scenery, nature, smells... loved it loved it loved it!!
Amazing trip around Sri Lanka
We had an amazing and enchanting tri to Sri Lanka everything was wonderful. The hotels, the guide, the food and most of all the beautiful scenery.
Smiling people, beautiful scenery, wildlife, culture, history, delicious food and great company; our trip to Sri Lanka ticked so many boxes and we absolutely loved it.
This was a wonderful holiday experience Beautiful lush country Abundant wildelife The locals were very kind and helpful- never felt unsafe Sights and scenes were so varied and the itinerary so diverse each day something new and exciting to experience Cycle on local tracks to sample a village lunch - very tasty Safari - elephants, leopards Whale watching Temples Tea plantation Train journey Sandy beaches The warm Indian Ocean The food/ delicious I could go on... Our tour guide - neelaka - fabulous so knowledgeable and enthusiastic with humour This is a must holiday who loves to explore and sample new cultures and environments Can’t enthuse enough about it Thank you exodus!!
Great trip with a busy itinerary. But also a few hours free to do what you want also. Well balanced trip. Weather was very hot some days and the 5 mile bike ride was too hot for some. Jungle walk was also very humid. Luckily Sigiri Rock was cool that am, but if it had been high 90s weather that am, then that would also be a tough climb for some. Whale watching was an optional extra but it was absolutely brilliant, we saw lots of whales. Being a bird watcher, I counted 83 different species throughout the holiday. Along with 100+ elephants in Kaudula National Park and the whales, the trip had lots of wildlife for people like me to see and enjoy. All in all, a great trip, but if you don’t like the heat, then be aware, that Sri Lanka is a hot country. There are a few early am wake up calls, but was always worth it. Lastly, the guide Sujeeva, was absolutely brilliant. He took us to some amazing restaurants (and family homes) to eat every evening. The Red Snapper on the beach was absolutely stunning. I would recommend this holiday for anyone thinking of going to Sri Lanka.
I thought the trip was very well organised and our guide Ruwan was excellent
We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this trip. It was very varied in experiences from Buddhist temples to a taste of the local culture and life of the villagers. The contrast of the busy noisy towns to the tea plantations , national parks & forest areas. The whole experience was made extra special and interesting by our excellent guide' Bob'( his Sri Lankan name is impossible to pronounce), who explained clearly the history, culture & life of Sri Lanka, illustrated by his own personal stories. Hotels were of a good standard and the food & service were on the whole good. The train ride was an experience, expect to stand for 2 hours, though some local women made a small seating space for me and I enjoyed hearing their life stories and they generously wanted to share their snacks with me! Yala national park was very good and we did see a leopard however, the game drive in Kaudulla National park was too crowded with other viewers.
An absolutely wonderful trip. Full of enjoyable activities and varied, excellent and interesting hotels. Would definitely recommend.
A superb trip with so many varied experiences and one which although most of the major sites were visited also included chances to see day to day Sri Lanka and meet the people whose ever smiling personalties are one of the hallmarks of this beautiful country.
A superb trip with so many varied experiences and one which although most of the major sites were visited also included chances to see day to day Sri Lanka and meet the people whose ever smiling personalties are one of the hallmarks of this beautiful country.
My overall experience of the holiday was fantastic and I was most impressed with Exodus as a company and will certainly be using them again. All members of the group of 16 were included in all activities and no-one was left out. It is a great way for singles to go on holiday and be assured of good company.
If you think India might be too much but really want to discover a different culture, this is the perfect trip to do. Full on and busy every day but with 'free time' just when you need it. So many experiences in 2 short weeks, cultural, home based, incredible climbs, bike rides, white water rafting, incredible views, ancient cities, spice garden tour with an expert, turtle hatchery, visiting a tea factory, and that is just to mention a few of the things we did. Our guide was so knowledgeable and soon became part of our group of 16, the bus driver was brilliant as was his support, we felt safe every time we went anywhere, Our Guide Nalaka was charming and always available to us and answered our numerous questions with charm and knowledge. All the hotels were of a high standard, only two were not that good but for one night they were fine, but throughout the tour we were given 5* treatment and courtesy.
We have just returned from our first trip with Exodus and must say we were very impressed with all aspects of the holiday. The administration and trip documentation were top class. The tour leader was brilliant....nothing seemed to faze him and he organised day-to-day activities superbly. The coach driver and his helper were also excellent and the tour coach was first class. The itinerary was comprehensive, with a nice blend of iconic and historical sites, cultural and physical activities, and nicely varied transport and accommodation.
If you want the see some of the main essential sites of Sri Lanka in a week this is the tour for you. It is not too full on compared with some other Exodus trips and you do have time to take in the beauty of some of the wonderful places you see and stay.
This was a wonderful trip, full of colour and variety. We travelled all over the country and saw so many interesting places and had fantastic experiences, but also had time to relax along the way. The tour leaders in Sri Lanka were the winning leader team in the Exodus leader awards in 2016 and I can see why.
What a fantastic trip! Travelled with my new wife on our Honeymoon and although I had high hopes of Sri Lanka the tour went far beyond our expectations. A guided tour of 16 with a real mixture of people we visited many sights and places and overall was a very well balanced trip that comprised of history, culture, tradition and a bit of R&R. The tour allows you to experience the different provinces of Sri Lanka that provides its unique vibe.
A wonderfully varied trip. We did so much. I'll try not to repeat what Karen said but will add a few thoughts. The Sri Lanka we saw was surprisingly diverse. We went from low, hot and humid, by the Indian ocean near Colombo, up into the beautiful hill country, with its expanses of tea plantations, then down to the semi arid coast in the south. A great start was meeting the group. They were all positive, punctual and friendly. We laughed a lot. I loved the food. So much choice! Buffets offered salads, curries, fruit and more for around £6. I didn't feel the need that some felt for sandwiches and chips instead. I'm not vegetarian but found the veggie choices in the buffets to be the best options. We had great 'village meals' on two occasions, plus the opportunity to try mannioc and drink tea from coconut shells.
This was an amazing trip, well organised the right amount of activities and free days. Sri Lanka is a truly beautiful country and the people are very hospitable and very friendly. On this tour you get to see and do so much looking back on our 15 days don't know how we managed to fit it all in. on the whole the hotels are of a very good standard, you do get a bit tired with them mostly serving buffet meals but they are of good quality this and plentiful. There is generally an Al a Carte menu but don't worry not like the over priced ones in the U.K just standard food and price .
If you want a truly diverse trip with a range of cultural and wildlfe experiences which gets you under the skin of the country then this could be the trip for you! We went with an open mind and some expectations, but they were suppassed. You get to see some beautiful architecture and scenery, enjoy the diverse flora and wildlife (yes wild elephants are amazing!), meet friendly locals and enjoy fantastic food. I have travelled to a number of different countries and as a vegetarian have often struggled with the choice of food, but not in Sri Lanka. We were helped at every turn by our amazing guide, Sujan, so we could sit back and enjoy every bit of the experience!
Two weeks of absolute bliss. A group of 15 gelled magnificently considering age range was between 28- 72! Starting in the capitol, Columbo we ventured north to Dambulla + Sigiriya taking in Cave temples and climbing the impressive Lion Rock- what views! Something we would get used to over the course of the fortnight, each different view offering us an awesome insight to the lush, green island before us. Game parks - herds of elephants- not the odd one or two - dozens. Along with multitudinal birds of all colours , shapes, sizes and other animals( although the Leopard did not make an appearance this time )- Sri Lanka is a nature lovers paradise. Temples, architecture, stupas, sculptures in abundance enough to satisfy the cultural aspect of the trip. Cycling through paddy fields, white water rafting , whale watching all achieved and even if you were not athletically inclined the majority of luxurious hotels had a pool to lounge by and an informal game of cricket on the beach caught the imagination of even the most non sporting amongst us. Trips to a gem factory , woodcarving store, spice garden were also on the itinerary. There was something for everyone. Food was delicious - curry and rice but other 'western' food available. Beer relatively cheap. shopping in Kandy was a must - this definitely the place to get any souvenir or just to treat yourself. Can't believe we did so much and saw so much - the time flew by - even the 'free days'. Thoroughly recommend.
Highly recommended. It's an amazing country and Sri Lankan's in general have a very chilled and relaxed attitude to life/work. Which is a nice to see when you come from a big city. The country itself is lovely and picturesque. The mountain region in particular has some amazing views.
A great trip in a beautiful country. The people are very courteous, friendly and glad to see you. The wild life is prolific with many colourful birds, a great place for a bird watcher. It was very hot so be prepared and take lots of sun cream!
Excellent tour - a good mixture of wildlife, great scenery, local interest, buddhist shrines, a good range of cycling from easy to challenging - comfortable hotels - and friendly companions.
I knew when I booked this tour that the food would be a problem as I can't eat spicy food. I managed to go the whole trip with no problems, and no Imodium either! Also I have some mobility problems but again, I was prepared not to be able to take part in all the activities. So food aside this was a full on tour, very enjoyable and varied, with good company.
This was a great, 'full on' trip. Our guide, Roshan, was superb and our group got on very well together. The range of activities made an interesting holiday.
We had heard such good things about Sri Lanka and were very much looking forward to the trip. We chose to book through Exodus as we had been to Cuba with them and were impressed by the whole organisation, combined with the knowledge of the local Guides. This trip did not disappoint. It was full on, but gave us a wonderful insight into this beautiful country and its people.
Sri Lanka proved to be a gentle country with the pervasive influence of Buddhism--the traffic is amazingly considerate and vehicles devoid of the dents that one associates with most emerging economies. The hotels almost invariable exceeded our expectations. While the timetable did include a number of early wake-up calls, these were always underlain by sensible reasons. The indigenous fauna, especially, the birds are agreeably different though less impressive than Africa. Our tour was very professionally organized throughout.
Fabulous trip, well organised with a huge variety of places. We were well looked after by our gracious guide, Bop, his love of his home country was shared with intelligence and humour. It was a gruelling agenda, and would only recommend for fit people. We were a great group of 15, which gave us space to sleep on route in the bus, which we needed, many morning leaving our hotel at 7am. Last night at 2am.....
Discover Sri Lanka - does exactly what it says on the tin! I really did get a good feel for this beautiful country - the people, the culture and amazing wildlife. Our trip was extremely well put together and provided a wide variety of experiences, sights and encounters that made me fall for the place hook, line and sinker. There was not a single problem - everything went like clockwork and as a lone traveller I felt very safe and secure. It was a delight from start to finish - my best holiday ever. Thanks Exodus.
We really enjoyed our recent trip to Sri Lanka. This was our fifth Exodus holiday and did not disappoint. However, the weather was really bad for the first 8 days. This is not usual but it was a shame. We still enjoyed the activities and when the sun did finally appear, we really appreciated it. The trip is varied ...some enjoyable walks, interesting scenery, fantastic wildlife and lovely people both on the trip and in Sri Lanka generally. The local people are very friendly and we always felt safe wandering about in the towns. The standard of accommodation was very good..some were excellent.
Beautiful and varied country with a lovely laid back and fascinating culture. The trip manages to combine a good mix of scenery, culture and history in a relaxed manner with outstanding food if you like moderately spicy curry. The logistics and transport were excellent. The hotels were superb except for one which we understand Exodus will not use in future.
Lovely country, lovely people. Trip had good variety of culture, scenery, wildlife and walking/cycling/rafting. Fairly active trip but with times to relax. Group mixed well which made the trip more enjoyable. Hotels good except at Kitulgala. Drives not too long - able to spread out in coach (driver and mate really good).
This was my first exodus holiday and I am already searching for my next. We safely explored Sri Lanka well looked after in our mini bus by our tour leader, driver and his helper. It was a busy and varied tour and really gave us a taste of the island. We travelled by bus, boat, train, tuk tuk, bike and foot, saw temples, wildlife, tea, cities, gems, you name it, I want to go back again already!
What an amazing experience from beginning to end and would recommend this to anyone wanting a well structured, well organised and extraordinarily interesting holiday. Hundreds of miles and lots of activities ranging from the cultural to the natural and all handled in the most professional way. Although it would take a long time to understand another country in depth, I got a sense of the way Sril Lanka ticks by the environment, the variety and the information provided by the tour leader.
Overall the tour was excellent. We had a beautiful group and the best tour leader I have had in over 20+ years of small group adventure touring. Roshan was exceptional and a credit to Exodus. He is a keeper and never let him go. All his explanations gave you enough information without bombarding you with facts and figures than can easily be forgotten. He was patient and kind and you could tell that he LOVED to share his knowledge of a country that he loves and is passionate about. So professional and a great communicator. Thank you sooo much Roshan, you made our trip so memorable.
This holiday provides a really good overview of the highlights of Sri Lanka
One of the best holidays I've taken. Everything went smoothly and this was in no small part due to our amazing leader Suresh, more of whom later. With it's great variety of destinations and activities you really feel that you get to see and appreciate the country without the travelling being too onerous. The coach was very comfortable with plenty of space for everyone, the driver brilliant, and we generally arrived at each hotel with enough time to relax and enjoy the facilities.
A really varied tour with something for everyone - exactly as promised. Beautiful country, great people, delicious food (and if they say 'hot', they mean it!).
A fascinating introduction to this beautiful country
We really enjoyed this trip which was well thought out and very varied. The hotels were generally of a good standard and some of them were positively luxurious. Most had pools which we enjoyed using. The guide and drivers were excellent and we had a big coach for 16 people so we were able to spread out when travelling. We saw an awful lot of different things but still had some free days and afternoons to relax or do our own thing.
I had an amazing time on this trip. It was a very varied itinerary with a good combination of temples/ruins, wildlife, walking and city /town exploring.
A well thought through trip agenda that gave us a great chance to see a wide variety of aspects of Sri Lankan life and culture. This covered wildlife, temples, tea plantations, city and village life, with several opportunities to meet Sri Lankan families. The trip was well supported by our tour leader and his team.
This holiday surpassed our expectations. The country has varied terrain and its wildlife, especially the bird life is spectacular.
A good insight into the culture, wild life, landscape and of course food of the country.
A great holiday, very busy, lots of activities and varied landscapes. Wildlife and birds in abundance, plus we felt we experienced more of the people and their lives than the usual package tour. Not for the faint hearted, some early starts and full days but well worth it. Hotels were better than expected with some lovely swimming pools. The hotel food became rather repetitive as hotels have the ubiquitous buffet. Our guide and his team were outstanding and looked after us in every way. Highly recommend but avoid Chinese New Year!
A busy but not too strenuous 2 week discovery-tour of Sri Lanka, taking in a wide range of sights and experiences. 16 in group all very friendly. Mix of couples and singles. Excellent guide, Neelaka, with good knowledge of history, geography and wildlife. Also efficient, and calm, with good sense of humour.
We chose this trip with my parents as we wanted to see Elephants, explore a country we had never been, and have a range of activities. We all thoroughly enjoyed the trip and each day brought something new. Sri Lanka is a fascinating country-historically and culturally. The days were busy but not exhausting. Staff were fantastic and communication was spot on. You really do discover Sri Lanka.
Plenty of variety - walks, wildlife parks, cycling, visiting temples. Hotels of a good standard. Tended to be rather too many buffets - it would have been good to eat at a few more local resturants
Exactly what it says on the tin - a really good insight into the variety Sri Lanka has to offer.
This trip - met the title - Discover Sri Lanka - it was an introduction to the country - discovering the country really well. This was my first Exodus trip (or similar adventure travel trip) I have undertaken. It was excelled all expectations. The trip was very carefully thought through; a mix of cultural sites (not all there was to see in Sri Lanka and not over doing it), learning about the country, its people (illustrated by a bicycle ride through rural Sri Lanka; eating lunch at a village and another lunch provided by a family affected by the Tsunami), history, wildlife (3 half day trips into national parks and whale watching); relaxation - some fantastic holes; a very little bit of city; finally a bit of beach - all assisted by an excellent leader - Roshan. We had a great group - 7 of us - and we gelled really well. The accommodation was excellent. I have never stayed in such luxurious hotels before; for me they could have been more basic to reduce the price (if they would have a significant impact on the cost of the trip)
A fantastic trip to Sri Lanka. A busy 2 weeks, but we saw and learned so much about the culture, food, history, etc of this beautiful country. The people were so friendly and the food was amazing.
Good trip. Covered all the main places of interest in Sri Lanka
The holiday offers an opportunity to see a wide range of what Sri Lanka has to offer - including ancient sites (some 2,000+ years old), national parks, a wide range of wild animals and birds, temples, churches and other historic buildings, and magnificent trees and scenery.
The holiday far exceeded my expectations in many ways. The hotels, the organisation, the variety of activities and the tour leader.
The best holiday we have ever experienced. Not only were all the activities wonderful, Sujan and his team made every effort to make it a trip of a lifetime.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 14 night guided walking holiday includes:
All breakfasts and 1 lunch
All accommodation (see below)
All transport and listed activities
Tour leader throughout
Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Arrival & departure transfers
How to book:
We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website. Please contact us for further details.
This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
14 nights premium hotels, all en suite
Travel by private bus
Additional travel by train, bicycle and jeep
Some long drives