Walking Trails of Sri Lanka

15 days
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Small Group Tour
When the typical tourist route takes in dazzling beaches, fragrant spice gardens, emerald tea hills, safari wildlife and a glut of Unesco-listed landmarks, it’s no wonder few leave the well-worn path in Sri Lanka. But go beyond the classic circuit and you’ll discover a wealth of beauty and intrigue that you don’t need to share with anyone else. This two-week ...
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$4,455
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Overview

Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Highlights

    • Walk through paddies and tea plantations
    • Explore trails rarely taken by tourists
    • Visit the beautiful lakeside town of Kandy
    • Enjoy sunrise on Adam's Peak (seasonal)
    • Search for leopards in Yala National Park

What's this trip about?

    When the typical tourist route takes in dazzling beaches, fragrant spice gardens, emerald tea hills, safari wildlife and a glut of Unesco-listed landmarks, it’s no wonder few leave the well-worn path in Sri Lanka. But go beyond the classic circuit and you’ll discover a wealth of beauty and intrigue that you don’t need to share with anyone else. This two-week walking adventure combines the can’t-miss highlights, including the Sigiriya rock fortress, sacred Adam’s Peak and the wildlife of Yala National Park, with the lesser-visited trails of the Knuckles Mountain Range, where we pass rice paddies and villages virtually undiscovered by the tourist hordes. Journey off the tourist track to discover a lesser-seen side to the teardrop island

Details

Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeSmall Group - max of 16 people
Age range16 years and up
Flights and transportN/A
Start CityDambulla
End CityColombo

Travel Themes

  • Hiking & Walking
  • National Parks
  • Nature & Wildlife

Destinations

  • Asia
  • Sri Lanka

Attractions

  • Ella

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Wildlife viewing

Trip includes

    • All breakfasts, five lunches and one dinner included
    • All accommodation
    • All transport
    • Entrance fees for listed activities
    • Tour leader throughout

Popular Trips

Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1 Start Dambulla

The group flight arrives at Colombo's Katunayake Airport and we transfer to our hotel at Dambulla (100mi/160km, four hours' drive). Those not flying with the group can meet us at the hotel or the airport in time for the transfer. Please be aware, if you are meeting th...

Day 2 Visit Dambulla Caves, village walk towards Sigiriya; afternoon visit to Lion Rock fortress

After breakfast, we visit the magnificent Cave Temple at Dambulla, one of the most impressive sights in Sri Lanka. There are colourful, well-preserved paintings and statues of Buddha inside, dating to the first century BCE. We then have a short, gentle, warm-up walk t...

Day 3 Drive to Illukkumbura; walk the Manigala Trail in the Knuckles Mountain Range

The next two days takes us across the Knuckles Mountain Range. We start early with a three-hour drive to the start of our walk, where we begin with an easy descent past paddies and through the villages of Pitawala Patana and Etanwala. Descending to the river, we cross...

Day 4 Walk through forests to Meemure; transfer to Orutota

We begin with a half-hour drive to the Narangamuwa Temple at Ranamuregama. Starting our walk, we pass paddies and coconut groves before we enter a heavily forested area. The trail climbs gently for an hour and then levels out before undulating though this lush forest....

Day 5 To Kandy; visit the Temple of the Tooth

We enjoy a relaxing morning in the hotel garden and pool. Mid-morning, we have an 11mi (18km) drive to Kandy and the afternoon to explore. The town is located around a small lake and we can walk round to look for water birds and large water monitors. Later, we visit t...

Day 6 - 7 Ascend Adam’s Peak

This morning, we drive to Dickoya (three hours), where we stay for two nights in a simple summer house with a wonderful view of the Castlereagh Reservoir. On a clear day, we can see the outline of Adam’s Peak in the distance. In the pilgrim season (December to May), ...

Day 8 Drive to Nuwara Eliya; optional walk to explore the town

This morning, we have a wonderful drive through tea plantation districts to Nuwara Eliya. This was the favourite hill station during the British era, situated in the cool highland air. Known locally as Little England, it is dotted with British-style houses, hotels and...

Day 9 Early morning to Horton Plains; walk to World's End viewpoint; to Ella by train

Today we drive to Horton Plains, a large plateau more than 6,560ft (2,000m) above sea level, overlooked by the second and third highest peaks in Sri Lanka. The scenery is beautiful and best explored on foot. We trek through the rolling grasslands, seeing forest and un...

Day 10 Morning trek to Ella Rock; Free afternoon

This morning, we set out to ascend the iconic Ella Rock, the highest point in Ella standing 3,743ft (1,140m). The round trip to Ella Rock takes about four to five hours. Starting off gently with flat trail where you walk through farm land, passing by locals as they ge...

Day 11 Drive to Yala National Park; afternoon game drive

We now head south of the hills to Tissamaharama down the plains. On the way, we stop at Ella Gap where the most of the southern part of the island is in view and the shimmering silver of the ocean is visible on a clear day . We continue on our journey visiting the spe...

Day 12 Walk around Yodakandiya Lake; transfer to the coast.

This morning, we drive to the beautiful Yodakandiya Lake in Tissamaharama where we walk for approximately 3hr 30min (approximately 3mi/5km). This is an opportunity to see the day-to-day life of the local people plus a range of birdlife. In the late afternoon, we drive for approximately four hours to the coast and your beach front hotel. Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar)

Day 13 Free day to relax on the beach or optional activities including whale watching (November to April)

We have a free day to relax on the beach or by the pool. There are also numerous optional activities including a boat ride through mangrove swamps to a cinnamon plantation or you can go whale watching off Dondra Head from November to April. This is one of the best places in the world for seeing blue and sperm whales. Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar)

Day 14 To Galle; transfer to Colombo

We drive along the coastal road to the historic port of Galle, which dates to the 17th century and is 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 th...

Day 15 End Colombo

Today is the end of your journey. If you are travelling on the group flight we will have a morning transfer to the airport for the daytime international flight. The arrangements for those not flying with the group ends after breakfast. If you would like to continue the adventure with our post-trip extension to the Maldives or a beach stay in Ahangama, speak to your sales representative.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $3,300
Price per day$220
Last Updated: 5/22/2024
Departure Date
Finish Date
Double Standard
Availability
20 Oct 2024
03 Nov 2024
$3,300
10 Nov 2024
24 Nov 2024
$3,300
18 Dec 2024
01 Jan 2025
$3,675
12 Jan 2025
26 Jan 2025
$3,675
09 Feb 2025
23 Feb 2025
$3,675
16 Feb 2025
02 Mar 2025
$3,675
09 Mar 2025
23 Mar 2025
$3,675
23 Mar 2025
06 Apr 2025
$3,675
17 Apr 2025
01 May 2025
$3,675
19 Oct 2025
02 Nov 2025
$3,675

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Exodus Travels.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Exodus Travels Reviews & Ratings

4.7/5  Excellent
Excellent
12,481
Great
3,226
Average
603
Disappointing
138
Terrible
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A

Anonymous

Aug 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Excellent

This was one of the best trips I have ever done. The country was beautiful and very varied with excellent walking. The superb local and historical knowledge of our...

A

Anonymous

Aug 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Discovery Sri Lanka 25/02/2017

Were can I begin as this was the most amazing holiday I have ever had . From the beginning to the end there was so many great things I did, everyday was so differe...

A

Anonymous

Aug 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Highlands of Sri Lanka

A thoroughly enjoyable group tour of the southern half of Sri Lanka. Highlights included an overnight ascent of Adam's Peak and whale watching off the south coast....

A

Anonymous

Aug 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

A Great Experience

A fantastic experience. The weather wasn't always with us, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. The treks were varied and very interesting. The whale watching trip is ...

A

Anonymous

Aug 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Highlands of Sri Lanka

A wonderful experience in a beautiful country. The welcoming smiles of the Sri Lankan people. Sujee was excellent - caring, helpful and knowledgeable with a passio...

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Exodus Travels

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It is all about adventure. That is what Exodus was founded upon and what the company is still all about. Discovering countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles; exploring this amazing planet we all live on.

At Exodus, we know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, we always remember that we are only guests. So we travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise our impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved.

This is a philosophy we take with us around the world, helping you reach some incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across over 90 separate countries. We also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as we possibly can, making it simple for you to experience a very different holiday.

Exodus started life on 4 February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments.

All our office staff have a passion for travel and adventure, and between us we’ve notched up experience that spans 171 different countries. That’s not all. In their former lives, our team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus – so no-one is better placed to create tours that appeal to a wide range of specialist interests.

Their care in putting all the details in place really shines through too. Extensive planning, research, fact-finding and training are a sign of our commitment to providing a holiday where your enjoyment, value for money and safety come first. It’s a telling reason why we remain one of the leading worldwide adventure tour companies. It is no exaggeration to say that our tour leaders can make a world of difference to the enjoyment of your holiday – so we choose them carefully. The result is that, in 2013, 93% of our clients stated that their leader exceeded their expectations. Where possible, we train and employ local leaders because they can provide invaluable insights that enrich the trip. What’s more, this investment in local staff really helps us benefit both them and their community.

Why we love this operator
With a huge range of trip styles and themes, they cater to basically every type of traveler out there- even those with super specific interests.
What they’re known for
Global trips to both classic and exotic destinations with a focus on themed adventures, exciting physical activities and discovery of local culture.

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Logistics

What's excluded

    • Travel insurance
    • Single supplements are available on request (not available for three nights)
    • Visas or vaccinations

Accommodation

,You will stay 13 nights in hotels, all with twin-bed rooms. There will also be one night of full-service wild camping. For the one night camping, you will be in a remote area with limited facilities. The tents provided have two camp beds with bedding which your local team will prepare for you in advance. There is a toilet tent with a sit-down toilet and a shower tent for basic washing provisions. A cooking team will prepare all meals, which are usually served outside. Worth Knowing: There is no access to wifi or charging facilities (phones/cameras etc) at the campsite. Hotels in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly busy and, occasionally, we must find alternatives to the ones we typically use. We endeavour to find the nearest alternative with a similar standard of rooms. The standards and styles of hotels on this trip vary. Some of our selections are based on location and what is available in the area or the character and atmosphere at the premises. Some properties in the hill region may not have air conditioning in rooms and instead have fans. This is due to the cooler climate. Single supplements are available on request (not available for three nights). Paying the single supplement may not mean 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 one-person room may be allocated.
Cancellation policy

The cancellation policies of this trip when booked through Travelstride are determined by the stated policies of the tour operator - Exodus Travels.

If you or any other member of your party decides to cancel a confirmed booking you must notify Travelstride in writing. Your notice of cancellation will only take effect when it is received in writing by Travelstride and will be effective from the date on which we receive it.

If You Cancel Your Holiday
You, or any member of your party, may cancel your travel arrangements at any time. Written notification from the lead name or your travel agent must be received at our offices. 

Since we incur costs in canceling your travel arrangements, you will have to pay cancellation charges as follows (see also the exceptions below): 

  • More than 42 days - No cancellation fee. Deposit can be transferred to a new booking departing within 2 years of date of travel of original booking. Any remaining balance will be refundedThis excludes all non-refundable costs as set out in clause 4 above (for example international and domestic flights and local services).
  • Between 41 and 21 days (inclusive) - No cancellation fee. Balance and deposit can be transferred to a new booking departing within 2 years of date of travel of original bookingThis excludes all non-refundable costs as further explained in clause 4 above (for example international and domestic flights and local services).
  • Between 20 and 15 days (inclusive) - 80% of the holiday cost
  • 14 days or less; or failure to join the holiday (inclusive) - 100% of the holiday cost

Certain trips may involve different cancellation charges; you will be advised if this is applicable to your holiday during the booking process.For Polar holidays, the following cancellation charges will be made for all Polar holidays. Period before departure in which you notify us: 

Cancelation charge

  • More than 133 days - Deposit only
  • 133 days or less (or failure to join the holiday) (inclusive) - 100% of the holiday cost

Notes (i) Your deposit is non-refundable, even if the cancellation charge calculated is lower than the deposit amount paid; (ii) If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges; (iii) certain travel arrangements may be subject to higher cancellation charges and could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements from the moment the booking is confirmed.

If You Change Your Booking

If, after our Booking Confirmation has been issued, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, for example your chosen departure date or accommodation, we will do our utmost to make these changes but it may not always be possible. Any request for changes to be made must be in writing from the lead name or your travel agent. You will be asked to pay an administration charge of $60, and any further cost we incur in making this alteration (including those charged by third party suppliers who provide the component parts of your booking).  You should be aware that these costs could increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made and you should contact us as soon as possible. Note: Certain travel arrangements may not be changeable after a reservation has been made and any alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.

You can transfer your booking to another person, who satisfies all the conditions that apply to this booking, by giving us notice in writing at least 7 days before departure provided that the new lead passenger accepts the transfer and these Terms and Conditions. Both you and the new traveler are responsible for paying all costs we incur in making the transfer. Please bear in mind that certain airlines and other transport providers treat changes as a cancellation and charge accordingly, up to 100% of the cost for that part of the arrangement. Where applicable these charges will be passed on to you.

If We Cancel Your Booking

Exodus reserves the right to cancel an itinerary before departure for any reason whatsoever, including too few participants ,logistical problems, a Force Majeure Event (as defined in Section 8), or any other circumstances that may make operation of the trip inadvisable. All trip payments received will be promptly refunded, and this refund will be the limit of Exodus’s liability without any further obligation on Exodus’s part. Exodus is not responsible for any expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for the trip, including non-refundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets, special clothing, visa or passport fees, or other trip-related expenses.

If We Change Your Booking

  1. Changes to the price. We can change your holiday price after you’ve booked, only in certain circumstances. Changes in the price of the carriage of passengers resulting from changes to the cost of fuel or other power sources, the level of taxes or fees imposed by third parties including tourist taxes, landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports, or exchange rates mean that the price of your travel arrangements may change after you have booked.

  2. Changes other than the price. It is a term of your booking that we are able to make changes to any aspect of your booking. If the change is insignificant, we will ensure that you are notified about it. Examples of insignificant changes include alteration of your accommodation to another of the same or higher standard. If we are forced by circumstances beyond our control to alter significantly any of the main characteristics of the travel services that make up your package you will have the rights set out below.

    2.1 - We will contact you and you will have the choice of accepting the change or having a refund of all monies paid. You can also accept an alternative holiday, where we offer one (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). We will tell you the procedure for making your choice. Please read any notification of changes carefully and respond promptly as if you do not respond to us within the timescale given your booking may be canceled.

    2.2 - If you choose to accept a refund then that is the only liability we have and we will not be liable for any further sums, compensation or otherwise and you are advised to adequately insure yourselves against cancellation for any reason

Please note that insurance premiums and amendments charges are not refundable in any circumstances. 

Once you have put down a deposit for a tour, you are unable to cancel and re-book within a promotional period and we reserve the right to amend the pricing on any new booking you make within that time. If you cancel a tour and book the same tour under a promotional code, we reserve the right to decline the booking.

Important Note: Certain arrangements may not be amended after they have been confirmed and any alteration or cancellation could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements in addition to the charge above.

If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges.

Where possible, we will deduct the cancellation charge(s) from any monies you have already paid to us.

For more additional details, see the booking conditions of TruTravels at the following web address: https://www.exodustravels.com/us/about-exodus/exodus-booking-conditions.

Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance alongside your travel package to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances such as medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other contingencies. It offers you peace of mind and ensures you are prepared for unexpected events that may occur before or during your journey
Visa requirements
Visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin and your country of destination. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the relevant requirements. For a handy tool that can help you quickly find the requirements, please visit this link .
Meals Included
All breakfasts, five lunches and one dinner are included. We suggest allowing about 7,000 rupees (US$23) per day for lunch and dinner. You can eat out very cheaply in Sri Lanka and your leader will provide recommendations for where to eat locally however, the options may not always be suited to larger groups. Some locations you stay may have limited local restaurant choice, in which case meals will be at the hotel. Hotel meals are generally buffets; the majority offer an à la carte menu, but service can be slow. Where suitable, your tour leader will be happy to arrange a shuttle transfer into the local town or, if you prefer to be more independent, take a tuk tuk or taxi. Your leader can help recommend some good places to eat. 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 (condiments), and a handful of tiny poppadum – 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, the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent in Sri Lanka. For example, wheat- or dairy-free options outside of hotels are limited. 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. Mineral water is provided by our local operator in large containers throughout the trip so please bring a bottle with you to refill. Please note, restaurant service can be quite slow.
Age Requirements
16 years and up
Additional Information
  • 13 nights in hotels, one night full-service camping
  • Eight full- and half-day walks
  • Full porterage throughout
  • Maximum altitude: 7,360ft (2,243m); average: 2,955ft (900m)
  • Maldives and Sri Lanka beach extensions available
Trip ID
exodus-TGY

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