Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Sri Lanka Explorer tour
Amman Colombo Sri Lanka Explorer Trip
Cultural Culture Sri Lanka Explorer package
Adventure Historic sightseeing Sri Lanka Explorer package

Sri Lanka Explorer

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
12 days
From: $ 1,915 $ 160 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Considered to be off-limits for years due to the civil war, the gates to culture filled Jaffna are open to adventurers once more. Discover Tamil culture in this colourful city
  • Open skies, swaying palm trees and glittering waters – Trincomalee beach is a postcard-perfect landscape for relaxation. Kick back in the sun on this bright and sandy shoreline
  • Witness ritual and devotion in the spiritual heart of the country during a visit to Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth
  • Observe wild elephants from basic 'tree houses' and hopefully catch an outstanding sunset in Wasgamuwa National Park, one of the most biodiverse protected areas in Sri Lanka

Short Description

Drive along the road in Sri Lanka and you can pass Hindu temples, Buddhist shrines, churches and mosques all on the same stretch. This fusion – found in the history, the culture, the Arabian, Indian and European-inspired food – makes Sri Lanka a delicious melting pot to explore. From laid-back Negombo venture through ancient Anuradhapura to the lesser explored north, the secrets and hidden places of Jaffna, and on to the beautiful coastline of Trincomalee. Discover the spiritual heart of the country in the temples of Kandy, and enjoy the natural world too, in a country that overflows with plants and wildlife. Spend time with locals keen to share their homes, food, and stories on an adventure that will leave you with many of your own to tell.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Negombo
End City Colombo

Travel Theme

Cultural Adventure

Destinations

Sri Lanka

Attractions & Cities Visited

Amman Colombo Negombo

Activities & Interests

Culture Historic sightseeing

Age Requirement

15-99

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Negombo

Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to the international airport. You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5.30 pm. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is best explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception.

Day 2 Anuradhapura

Travel north by private vehicle (approximately 4 hours) to Anuradhapura. The grand ruins of Anuradhapura point to its status as Sri Lanka’s ruling city for almost one and a half millennia. Take a guided cycling tour of the large number of archaeological sites – the stupas, citadel and monasteries – and stop by the Bodhi Tree Temple, the second-most sacred site in Sri Lanka.

Day 3 Jaffna

Travel north (approximately 4 hours) to the coastal Tamil town of Jaffna, inaccessible for years due to the civil war. Journey around the Jaffna Peninsula, taking in Point Pedro (Sri Lanka’s northernmost point), the healing waters of Keerimalai Spring, the ruined dagobas of Kantarodai, and Nilawari, a bottomless well where it’s said that the Hindu God, Rama, shot an arrow to get water.

Day 4 Jaffna

Today we have plenty of time to explore more of Jaffna. Visit Nagadipa Temple on Nainativu Island, the only major Buddhist site in the north of the country (where Buddha himself is said to have visited to settle a dispute between two local kings) and accessible by local ferry. Just by the jetty is also the Naga Pooshani Amman Kovil, a colourful Hindu Temple dedicated to Meenakshi. Back in Jaffna, tour the city including the beautiful library that has been lovingly restored after being detroyed in the war, and the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, an important local Hindu site. In the evening, spend time with a local family and learn to cook traditional Jaffna cuisine.

Day 5 Trincomalee

Leave Jaffna today and travel to Trincomalee (approximately 4 hours). Discover the beach vibes of "Trinco", relax in the shade of a palm tree and try ‘toddy’ straight from its flowers. Trincomalee was one of the world’s finest deep-water harbours, attracting famous sailors like Marco Polo to its shores. There are no activities planned today, so there's plenty of time to relax around the pool or beach.

Day 6 Trincomalee

Take the free day to enjoy a range of optional activities like visiting the colorful and intricate Pathirakali Amman Hindu temple, or climb aboard a boat for some whale and dolphin watching in the bay. Don’t feel like doing anything? Then simply sit back, relax and enjoy the peaceful beach lifestyle.

Day 7 Habarana - Dambulla

Drive from Trincomalee towards Habarana (approximately 2 hours), a small but scenic village that serves as a base to exploring the colourful Anuradhapura district of Sri Lanka. Visit the Dambulla Cave Temple. This wondrous UNESCO Heritage-listed site is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, many of which are full of colourful, large statues and paintings related to Gautama Buddha and his life. After returning to Habarana, there’s the option of going elephant, sambar deer and leopard watching on a safari in the evergreen scrublands of Minneriya National Park.

Day 8 Sigiriya - Wasgomuwa National Park

Today we head towards Wasgomuwa National Park, one of the most biodiverse protected areas in Sri Lanka, by private vehicle (approximately 2.5 hours). En route, visit Sigiriya's Lion Rock, an ancient carved-rock fortress that rises dramatically above the surrounding plains. Spend the rest of the day at Project Orange Elephant, a local non-government organisation helping protect elephants in Sri Lanka while supporting farmers to develop sustainable incomes. Meet some of the local farmers and have the chance to see elephants and other wildlife that live in the area. Wasgamuwa National Park is home to wild Asian elephants, sloth bears, leopards and many other endangered wildlife.

Day 9 Kandy

Leave Wasgomuwa and head onwards to Kandy (approximately 3.5 hours), the last capital of Sri Lanka’s ancient kings era. As you continue on, a stop in at a spice garden might yield scents of cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, vanilla and more as you learn the secrets of cultivating these palate pleasers. After arriving in Kandy, visit a Kandayan dance show to experience the colourful traditional costumes and evocative performances live in action.

Day 10 Kandy

Start the day off in Kandy with a visit to the Giragama Tea Factory for an insight into local production techniques, then head to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This golden roofed temple is home to Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. Afterwards, enjoy the rest of the day with free exploration of the city. Perhaps take a walk around the beautiful lake in the centre of town, explore the local Buddhist temple or while away the afternoon amongst the trees and flowers of the Royal Palace Park.

Day 11 Colombo

Drive on towards Colombo today, the nation's capital. Stop by some of the city's main sights on a bus tour including Independence Square, Parliament, and past the National Museum, finishing with a shopping opportunity for a good cause at the Barefoot Fair trade Store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries. If you are lucky enough to be in Colombo on a Saturday, visit Good Market, a local market full of stalls showcasing social enterprises and responsible businesses. Tonight there's an optional final group dinner to celebrate your journey together.

Day 12 Colombo

There are no activities planned for day 12 and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. Additional accommodation is available through your booking agent at the time of booking your trip.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,915
Price Per Day: $ 160 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Dec-19-2021Dec-30-2021$ 1,970Yes12 spots left Reserve
Jan-02-2022Jan-13-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
Feb-13-2022Feb-24-2022$ 1,915No11 spots left Reserve
Mar-06-2022Mar-17-2022$ 1,915No12 spots left Reserve
Mar-20-2022Mar-31-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
Apr-03-2022Apr-14-2022$ 2,070No10 spots left Reserve
Apr-17-2022Apr-28-2022$ 2,070No11 spots left Reserve
Apr-24-2022May-05-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
May-15-2022May-26-2022$ 1,915No12 spots left Reserve
Jun-05-2022Jun-16-2022$ 1,915No12 spots left Reserve
Jun-26-2022Jul-07-2022$ 1,915No12 spots left Reserve
Jul-10-2022Jul-21-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
Jul-17-2022Jul-28-2022$ 2,070No12 spots left Reserve
Jul-24-2022Aug-04-2022$ 2,070No11 spots left Reserve
Aug-07-2022Aug-18-2022$ 2,070No12 spots left Reserve
Aug-14-2022Aug-25-2022$ 2,070No12 spots left Reserve
Aug-21-2022Sep-01-2022$ 2,070No12 spots left Reserve
Aug-28-2022Sep-08-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
Sep-11-2022Sep-22-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
Sep-18-2022Sep-29-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
Sep-25-2022Oct-06-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
Oct-02-2022Oct-13-2022$ 1,915No12 spots left Reserve
Oct-16-2022Oct-27-2022$ 1,915No12 spots left Reserve
Oct-30-2022Nov-10-2022$ 1,915No12 spots left Reserve
Nov-06-2022Nov-17-2022$ 1,915No12 spots left Reserve
Nov-20-2022Dec-01-2022$ 1,915No11 spots left Reserve
Dec-04-2022Dec-15-2022$ 1,995No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-11-2022Dec-22-2022$ 2,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-18-2022Dec-29-2022$ 2,070No10 spots left Reserve
Dec-25-2022Jan-05-2023$ 2,070No12 spots left Reserve
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Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

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.

3,854 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,889
Great 651
Average 127
Disappointing 62
Terrible 125
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Sri Lanka Explorer

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Company Reviews

I took my first intrepid trip to Greek isles

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
I took my first intrepid trip to Greek isles. Our tour guide Sylvia was awesome.
I loved the itinerary.
Overall a great trip.
I would definitely use Intrepid again.
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Great travel experience

5.0
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Great travel experience. Great way to travel. Saw so many amazing sights and already so many fond memories. Will definitely be using Intrepid many more times.
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Spectacular Explore Jordan Trip with Intrepid and Faisal (Our Tour Guide)

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I went on the Explore Jordan trip and had a fantastic time. Everything went exactly as planned and our trip leader, Faisal, went out of his way. He was organized and went above and beyond to ensure the trip went well. I would go on this trip again and am actively looking for more Intrepid trips for the future because of how much I enjoyed this one. Our group got along so well that even when we had free time we would coordinate group dinners and doing activities together. This was truly an amazing experience.
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Our tour guide Ivan took care of…

5.0
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Meals5.0
Our tour guide Ivan took care of everything, he was informative and clear on when & where to meet each day. He scouted great & inexpensive restaurant for our group dinners together every evenings. The experiences were excellent - walk around the wall of Old City in Dubrovnik, wine tasting and the amazing farm to table dinner at a winery outside of Hvar in a very excellent coach bus transportation. Also, really liked the islands of Korcula and Hvar via ferry. The accommodations at Split in the Diocletian Palace "Hotel Slavija" were lovely and centrally located , excellent staff, customer service, restaurant for breakfast or dinner.
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This trip was everything and more than we could have hoped for.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This trip was everything and more than we could have hoped for. Our first bike trip but not our last. A fantastic way to see Tuscany. Loved the route we took. Every stop just got better and better.
Our tour leader Kent was the best. He took such good care of us and was so knowledgeble about the history of each place. He did everything he could to make this trip special and make sure we were safe. Daniel who also took care of us could not have been a nicer person and couldn't do enough for us.
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Brilliant trip

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Brilliant trip - well organised and fantastic tour guide.

Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Private vehicle

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accomodations

Hotel (11 nights)

Guides

All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Fairway Colombo
  • No. 07, Hospital Street
  • Colombo 01
  • Colombo
  • SRI LANKA
  • Phone: +94 112153153

Trip ID#:

intrepid-HPSS

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