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The Ultimate Adventure Through Sri Lanka

Get to the heart of Sri Lanka via jungle trails and wildlife reserves, hiking to spectacular viewpoints, rural villages and tropical beaches

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Trip Ref #10674

The Ultimate Adventure Through Sri Lanka

Get to the heart of Sri Lanka via jungle trails and wildlife reserves, hiking to spectacular viewpoints, rural villages and tropical beaches

DURATION
10 nights
LOCATION
Sri Lanka
ANNUAL LEAVE
8 days off work
SEASON
Year round
GROUP SIZE
Up to 14 people
MEETING POINT
Bandaranaike International Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Comfort

Hotel · Chalet · Glamping · Rainforest Lodge · Boutique Hotel · Mountain hut · Spa Hotel

OVERALL RATING

4.9

Based on 9 reviews
DIFFICULTY
Moderate

This trip is designed for adventurous people with average fitness, but none of the activities are hugely strenuous

Clamber up the iconic Lion Rock of Sigiriya, tackle part of the long-distance Pekoe Trail, and hike to waterfalls near Kandy

Trek through remote, pristine forest in Gal Oya with the Vedda people – Sri Lanka's last indigenous community

Spot wild elephants bathing, practice yoga surrounded by exotic birds and ride the train to the tea hills of Nuwara Eliya

Unwind in hand-picked eco-lodges, wild glamping sites and hidden nature retreats, then learn to surf on the golden coast

Day 1

Touchdown in Sri Lanka

Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, just a short drive away from Bandaranaike International Airport. Your host will collect you on arrival and transfer you to a comfortable beach hotel, the perfect place to recharge and relax by the pool after a long flight. Later this afternoon, meet your guide and fellow adventurers for a welcome briefing, and if you have energy head out for a short walk along the lively main street, getting aquainted with the vibrant local community.

Day 2

Pidurangala Rock: Sigiriya's most incredible viewpoint

View of Sigiriya Sri Lanka. Photo: GettyImages-1446397331

Hiking

1.5hrs · 3km · 200m up · 200m down

Driving

4hrs

Rise and shine, ready to set off on the most incredible adventure through Sri Lanka. Pay a quick visit to the buzzing fish market of Negombo, watching fishermen returning from the sea with their catch of the day, before enjoying a scenic four-hour drive to Habarana, in the heart of the Cultural Triangle. Your base today is a peaceful retreat immersed in lush greenery. This afternoon you'll head out to climb Pidurangala Rock, one of Sri Lanka's most underrated gems. Navigate some steep steps and boulders, catching your breath at an ancient Buddhist temple on the way up. You'll reach the top just in time for sunset, with 360-degree views of Sigiriya fortress, the surrounding countryside and distant mountains, all bathed in a golden glow.

Day 3

Climb Lion Rock and head to remote Gal Oya

Gal Oya Wild Glamping, Sri Lanka. Photo: Hotel/Gal Oya Wild Glamping

Cycling

2hrs · 15-20km · 100m up · 100m down

Hiking

2.5hrs · 5km · 350m up · 350m down

Driving

4hrs

Wake at sunrise to beat the heat, heading out on two wheels to explore the backroads of Habarana and Sigiriya. Following quiet country lanes, pedal through rural communities and witness village life as you spot farmers working in their rice fields and kids walking to school. Out of the saddle, get ready to climb Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock. This majestic 5th-century fortress is Sri Lanka's most iconic UNESCO-listed landmark. Make a grand entrance through massive lion’s paws carved out of stone then tackle the 1200 steps all the way to the top, where dazzling panoramic views of lush Sri Lankan jungle await. This afternoon, rest your legs as you drive to remote Gal Oya, the most untouched of all of Sri Lanka’s wildlife sanctuaries. Your home for the next two nights is a spectacular glamping site nestled in wild Rathugala, a majestic mountain-locked village inhabited by the Veddas — the last indigenous people of Sri Lanka.

Day 4

Forest hike with the Vedda people

Vedda community, Sri Lanka. Photo: Host/Best of Lanka

Hiking

6-7hrs · 15km · 450m up · 450m down

Cocooned by pristine savannah, medicinal forests and mist-draped mountains, you'll awake to the sound of nature. Today, you'll join the indigenous leader of the Vedda people for an extraordinary experience among pristine forest teeming with wildlife. Hike amidst exotic flora, hear the calls of rare birds, and catch glimpses of elusive creatures including wild elephants. The Vedda people have lived, foraged and hunted in this region for centuries, so are adept at navigating the dense jungle, and they will provide valuable insight into the natural history and cultural heritage of this remote corner of Sri Lanka. Take a refreshing dip in a cool stream, a welcome respite from the tropical heat, before enjoying a traditional meal cooked on-site by members of the community. You'll then head back to your lavish glamping spot for the night.

Day 5

Elephant spotting and jungle yoga

Gal Oya Boat Safari, Sri Lanka. Photo: Hotel/Gal Oya Wild Glamping

Wildlife Watching

2-3hrs

Driving

4hrs

Yoga

1hr

Wake at dawn and spend the morning exploring Gal Oya's pristine wildlife sanctuary, which boasts over 150 vibrant species of birds and 32 species of mammals – including elephants, sloth bears, wild boars, water buffaloes, and deer. Setting off from Senanayake Samudra Reservoir, jump on a boat and enjoy the only wildlife tracking experience in Sri Lanka that takes place from the water. Explore the animals’ habitats, and with a little luck you may spot elephants feeding or bathing at the lake shore. Later in the day, you'll be driven to Kandy to check in at Polwaththa Eco-Lodge. Secluded in a pristine environment, this gives you a unique experience of life in the jungle. Both nature and the local community are at the heart of operations here, promoting authentic experiences and responsible tourism. Take some time to refresh, then enjoy a late afternoon yoga session on the wooden jungle shala, accompanied by the sound of monkeys and exotic birds.

Day 6

Forest hikes and waterfall dips

Trekking in the jungles surrounding Kandy, Sri Lanka. Photo: Hotel/Polwaththa Eco-Lodge

Hiking

3-4hrs · 10km · 100m up · 100m down

Awake to birdsong in your cabin nestled deep in the jungle, and take a 10-minute walk through the forest to the yoga shala, roll out your mat, and say hello to the monkeys as you stretch into your (optional) morning yoga session. Fuel up on breakfast then set off on a hike, beginning from Kandyan forest gardens where villagers go about their daily chores. Depending on the season, you may be invited to visit their houses and see how they make treacle and jaggery (sugar blocks made from palm tree nectar). Walk amidst scented fruit trees and spice plants and end the trek with a picnic lunch and refreshing dip in the jungle waterfalls. Back at your lodge, relax for a few tranquil hours before tucking in an authentic Sri Lankan dinner, cooked in clay pots and served with a smile.

Day 7

Epic train ride to the tea hills of Nuwara Eliya

Train journey in Sri Lanka. Photo: Host/Best of Lanka

An early morning transfer will take you to Kandy's railway station, the start point of one of the world's most epic train journeys. Sit comfortably in your coach to experience the sweeping views of lush tea plantations, rolling hills, dramatic viaducts, verdant valleys and dense jungle – giving a smile to locals along the way. Historically, the train was used during colonial times to transport tea from the plantations to Colombo, but these days it’s used mainly by local commuters – as well as travellers, of course. The total journey time is around 4-5 hours, so you'll have plenty of time to take in the colourful panoramas. Jump off at Nuwara Eliya, the very heart of Sri Lanka's tea country, to visit one of the oldest and most renowned tea factories. Learn about the tea-making process and taste some of the finest brew in the world, before bedding down early to prepare for a remote trekking adventure ahead.

Day 8

Hike the Horton Plains and the Pekoe Trail

Photo: Marta Marinelli

Hiking

6hrs · 15km · 200m up · 550m down

Head to Horton Plains National Park and venture into Sri Lanka’s highest and most isolated plateau, hidden away in the Central Highlands. At an elevation of 2100m-2300m, this protected area is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest which is rich in endemic plants, insects and birds. Large herds of Sri Lankan sambar deer as well as elusive leopards are also occasionally spotted. Contemplate the scenic views from the 'World's End' viewpoint – a sheer drop of 1050m – before hiking a sizeable section of the Pekoe Trail, Sri Lanka's newly launched long-distance trekking route, with plenty of stops to enjoy this unique natural environment. Descend via the famous Devil's Staircase as enjoy the views from the highest tea plantations in Sri Lanka. Your base tonight is a local guesthouse, a simple accommodation surrounded only by mountains, waterfalls and untouched greenery, totally cut off from any town by about 1hr drive or 3hr walk.

Day 9

From the highlands to the Indian Ocean

Talalla Retreat, Sri Lanka. Photo: Hotel/Talalla Retreat

Hiking

5-6hrs · 14km · 315m up · 300m down

Driving

4hrs

Lace up your boots for a second day of hiking along the Pekoe Trail, following a mountainous path rarely explored by other travellers. Hike via remote tea plantations and see the friendly community busy with tea-picking. Next, zig-zag through an incredibly diverse landscape ranging from pine and eucalyptus forests, misty tea estates, leafy valleys and dense jungle trails. If you are lucky you may even spot some rare wildlife such as toque macaques, purple-faced langurs, Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain, or grizzled giant squirrels. With your trek over, relax into a four-hour drive south towards Talalla, Sri Lanka’s most peaceful protected beach and the gateway to a pristine cove of turquoise water fringed by lush jungle. Kick back into beach life on the golden sand, catch a sunset and enjoy a few drinks and dinner by the ocean.

Day 10

Surf Sri Lanka's Golden Coast

Surfing in Sri Lanka. Photo: GettyImages-1131547061

Surfing

3hrs

Yoga

1hr

Your final day features an epic morning of surfing in the picturesque Hiriketiya Bay, the perfect spot on which to learn (or improve) your surf skills. Unlike many other surf spots in Sri Lanka, the area around Talalla has amazing surfing conditions for any skill level, year-round. Tuition will be tailored to your experience, so you're welcome to join even if you are a total beginner. Head back to dry land for a beach lunch and a few hours of relaxation or a massage at the hotel's spa, then join a final yoga session held in a tranquil open-air shala overlooking the ocean – the perfect way to contemplate the end of this incredible adventure.

Day 11

Goodbye paradise?

Talalla Retreat, Sri Lanka. Photo:  Marta Marinelli

Driving

3hrs

If you decide to leave today, you'll be transferred to the airport after breakfast in time for your flight home. Alternatively, you can opt to extend your Sri Lankan stay at Talalla Retreat or join one of their week-long yoga or surfing programs. If you fancy an unforgettable marine adventure in this paradisiacal area of the world, you could also consider flying out to the Maldives, just one hour away, to join our exhilarating island-hopping adventure – you won't regret it!

Included

Guides

Expert, local, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

7 nights in hotels and eco-lodges, 2 nights glamping and 1 night in a mountain hut

Meals

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 8 dinners

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in between

Equipment

All your cycling, surfing and yoga equipment

Permits

All parks permits and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Tips for your guides

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Chalet · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Glamping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Rainforest Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Rainforest Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Boutique Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Spa Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Spa Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 11

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Sri Lankan Food. Photo: Getty

Sri Lankan cuisine is a fascinating reflection of the island’s heritage: a fusion of fresh local produce with spices brought to the island over the centuries. Though Sri Lankan food has some similarities with the South Indian cuisine, it remains distinctively unique. Contrasting flavours of coconut, chilli, curry leaves, cinnamon and garlic are dominant in the main dishes as well as the variety of deep fried tasty snacks. 'Rice and curry' is the Sri Lankan staple, which in reality means a huge variety of curries, dhal and vegetable dishes, often served with roti style flatbreads. There is also an abundance of fresh seafood and fish, usually cooked in curries with coconut and fresh herbs.

Vegetarians and vegan are well catered for along with most dietary requirements, just speak to your host upon booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Camelot Beach Hotel. Photo: hotel's website
Negombo

On the first night, you'll usually stay at the comfortable Camelot Beach Hotel, situated on the golden belt of Sri Lanka's west coast with the Indian Ocean glistening on the horizon. Accommodation is on a twin basis. The hotel has two outdoor pools, a bar, a restaurant and a spa, as well as direct access to the beach.

Chalet the other corner, Habanara. Photo: hotel's website
Habanara

You’ll spend one night at an off-grid retreat and wildlife sanctuary called The Other Corner in Habanara. Accommodation will be in twin-share chalets, huts or tree houses immersed in the greenery. There is also a pool and restaurant surrounded by the lush natural environment.

Tent at Gal Oya wild glamping, Sri Lanka. Photo: Gal Oya Facebook
Gal Oya

You’ll spend two nights in a spectacular site called Wild Glamping Gal Oya. It's located near the Gal Oya National Park, a wildlife sanctuary boasting 150 species of vibrant birds and 32 species of mammals, including elephants. This wonderful site was built with the help of the local indigenous community during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of the villagers now work at the site and farm. The property was built using locally sourced materials and uses solar for most of the electricity. You'll stay in lavishly designed tented lodges and there is also a pool. The restaurant serves mouth-watering dishes prepared using fresh vegetables harvested from the local organic farm, and lake fish caught from the fresh waters.

Kandy

Spend two nights immersed in a pristine jungle environment at ​Polwaththa Eco Lodges. The local community are at the heart of operations here, with a strong focus on responsible tourism. The property purchases all ingredients from within 5km, and they also run their own reforestation program. Accommodation will be in twin-share cabins, lodges or huts built from a variety of resources found on the land (such as wood, clay and brick). You'll be totally at one with the forest, coexisting in harmony with wild boars, deer, porcupines, giant squirrels, monkeys, butterflies, bats, fireflies and over 60 species of birds.

Room at Galway Heights hotel, Sri Lanka. Photo: hotel's website
Nuwara Eliya

You'll stay one night at the 4-star Galway Heights, featuring charming living spaces, stylish design and nestled among the rich greenery of the central hill country.

Photo: Marta Marinelli
Ohiya

You'll spend one night at the simple but cosy mountain guesthouse Acacia Inn, in an untouched location surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. Far from everything, it's a pretty remote place, but that's the beauty of it! Accommodation will be in twin-shared or triple share rooms, with en suite bathrooms and hot showers. Beds come with fresh sheets, pillows and blankets.

Talalla Retreat. Photo: Facebook
Talalla Beach

The final two nights of the trip will be spent at the secluded Talalla Retreat on a pristine white-sand beach lapped by turquoise water, away from the busier areas of southern Sri Lanka. Accommodation is in twin-share rooms, which include open-air marble bathrooms, private patios, and great views of the lush gardens, pool or the Indian Ocean. The hotel's facilities include a 20m freshwater lap pool, three custom-built yoga pavilions, an Ayurvedic spa, and a gourmet open-air restaurant serving the freshest, healthiest meals with organic vegetables from their own garden.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price and request this at the time of booking. Please note that due to the limited size of some of the properties used, availability is restricted and it's only possible for nine nights of the trip: accommodation at Acacia Inn on Day 8 will be in twin or triple share rooms only.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Bandaranaike International Airport

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Bandaranaike International Airport

10:30 on Day 11

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo and transfer you to your beach hotel in Negombo. Arrival transfers from the airport are included no matter what time you arrive on Day 1, provided you have supplied your flight details in advance. If you arrive on a very early flight, please note that check-in may not be available until 14:00 – so if you wish to access your room earlier, contact your local host to request an early check-in (fee applicable; subject to availability).

At the end of the tour, your host will transfer you back to Bandaranaike International Airport on Day 11, usually by 10:30.

If you would like to arrive early or extend your stay, your host can arrange private airport transfers and additional accommodation for an extra cost. See the Optional Extras section for details.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Sri Lanka from major airports across the UK and Europe, including direct flights from London to Colombo with SriLankan Airlines.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Main luggage (a suitcase, backpack or duffel is fine but not too big as luggage will be packed on the bus with you)
  • Daypack (30 litres - for daily essentials and overnight use on the Pekoe Trail)

CLOTHES

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirt (light long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended for jungle hikes and safari)
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks (leech socks will provided when you hike along the Pekoe trail but you may want to bring an additional pair for the other jungle hikes)
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots or shoes (worn-in)
  • Sandals

OTHER

  • Playing cards
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Additional Night in Negombo Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Negombo Single Room

Per Night

Additional Night in Negombo Twin/Double Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Negombo Twin/Double Room

Per Night

Additional night in Talalla Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional night in Talalla Single Room

Per Night

Additional night in Talalla Twin/Double Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional night in Talalla Twin/Double Room

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade (9 nights - price valid for Jul-Aug departures)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (9 nights - price valid for Jul-Aug departures)

Optional Private Room Upgrade (9 nights - price valid for Sep-Jun departures)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (9 nights - price valid for Sep-Jun departures)

Private arrival transfer Bandaranaike Airport - Negombo (1 pax)

Payable Before Departure

Private arrival transfer Bandaranaike Airport - Negombo (1 pax)

Per Person

Private arrival transfer Bandaranaike Airport - Negombo (2+ pax)

Payable Before Departure

Private arrival transfer Bandaranaike Airport - Negombo (2+ pax)

Per Person

Private Departure transfer Talalla - Bandaranaike Airport (1 pax)

Payable Before Departure

Private Departure transfer Talalla - Bandaranaike Airport (1 pax)

Per Person

Private Departure transfer Talalla - Bandaranaike Airport (2+ pax)

Payable Before Departure

Private Departure transfer Talalla - Bandaranaike Airport (2+ pax)

Per Person

Sally H.
Beautiful Sri Lanka adventure

Exceeded all my expectations. Everything ran smoothly, all the places we stayed were diverse and good quality ecolodges. The hikes were all varied and coming face to face with elephants in the jungle and yoga in the tree tops were both highlights. Our Guide was very passionate about Sri Lanka wildlife and enjoyed seeing so much of this amazing country

Allison R.
Awesome trip

This was my first Much Better Adventure trip and I loved it. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and had been on my wish list for some time. I’m so pleased I picked this tour though as probably the only times you felt you were on the typical tourist route was at Lion rock and on the train but these are both iconic so you wouldn’t want to miss them out. We had a full day in the jungle & 2 days on the Pekoe trail where it was only our group which felt really personal and special. Our local Pekoe trail guide invited us in to his home for lunch at the end which was another highlight this kind of trip can provide. Our main trip guide, John, was hugely experienced and great at his job. He was also really funny, happy to join in our banter and took teasing very well! Laksitha was so kind, mild mannered and extremely knowledgeable on all things wildlife, he was a real asset to our group and team photographer! But most of all what made the holiday for me was the group. Right from the start everyone was so friendly, inclusive, up for embracing the group experience, incredibly funny, I haven’t laughed so much in ages. Thanks so much guys I would love to holiday with you all every year, so life affirming. In summery, I would certainly recommend this trip but it is busy from the outset which means you experience such a lot in 10 days but I had a few days in Marissa beforehand to get in to the time zone & relax which was probably a good idea if you have the luxury of some extra time.

Christian M.
Off the beaten track adventure

This was a great adventure to explore Sri Lanka and we wasn’t disappointed. Although at times the early starts was more challenging than the hikes, so if you’re expecting to take it easy and come away well rested, I’d add a few beach days afterwards like we did.

The activities were generally great such as hiking with the Vedda people was a unique experience, sunset on Pidurangala Rock with monkeys and swimming at the highest water in Sri Lanka were memories to take away. There were some additions that had that were great surprises and I’d recommend (gem museum, spice factory and Udawalawe NP), but you’ll need to ask. There’s a few days that I was less keen on though and felt like fillers, but this was definitely off the beaten track as some days we only saw locals.

The food and accommodation was overall better than I expected and I’ve even going to try and make the aubergine moju it was the standout dish of the tour.

As for the guides, John and Lakshitha were great. Dealing with any issues that we had and making sure that everything ran smoothly.

Finally, this was probably the best group we’ve been on, so friendly and fun and glad we shared this experience with you!! The WhatsApp group before the start was a great idea.

Laurence P.
Amazing adventure in Sri Lanka

We were looking for a real adventure in Sri Lanka and we got it! Some of the hikes were a bit harder mostly due to the unsteadies path but nothing non achievable. The support received from our guides John and Lakshitha was amazing. They were always there to answer any of our numerous questions and adapt to our needs/special requests. We loved as well to share this trip with such a good group of likeminded well traveled adventurers from uk, Singapore, France and Australia. Accommodations and foods were above my expectations all along the trip.

Juliette J.
What a blast! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

We had unquestionably the best crew of humans. Shoutout to John and Lakshitha – stellar tour guides.

We were after an off-the-beaten track Sri Lankan adventure and that’s exactly what we got. The tour started strong with breathtaking views from Pidurutalagala Rock. Next day, we loved cycling to Lion Rock, the Glamping site in Gal Oya was simply magical and the hike with the Vedda people was truly an unforgettable experience. The rest of the tour included waterfall swims, pristine nature, and trails unknown even to the locals. We managed to squeeze in a tour of the Udawalawa National Park to see elephants and a gem museum pit stop (I think both should be added to the standard itinerary).

Bonus: rare sightings of tourists – exactly what we all dreamed of!

Jessica M.
Sri Lankan Adventure

Having not done anything similar before I wasn’t totally sure what I had signed up for however, our Sri Lankan adventure surpassed all expectations and was truly a holiday of a lifetime. Both our guides John and Lakshitha were knowledgeable, friendly and great fun to spend time with. This trip is not for those who just want to sit by a pool for a week. It is full to the brim with activities including hikes that will take you into the jungle for ten hours at a time without site of another person, waterfall swimming (including in Sri Lanka’s tallest fall) and visits to some of Sri Lanka’s famous cultural sites. Some of the hotels were on the more basic end of the spectrum however little time is spent in rooms and usually our evenings were spent chatting away over (quite spicy!) Sri Lankan curries. Travelling solo I never felt on my own and was lucky enough to meet and make 6 fabulous new friends who made the trip extra special. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is up for an incredible adventure (and enjoys early mornings!).

Umesh K.
Amazing trip

This was a great trip with a wide range of activities and fantastic food and accommodation throughout. I really enjoyed all the activities including the hiking, yoga classes, surfing and some beach time. Our lead guide John and his team did a great job on the organisational aspects and were always on hand to deal with any individual queries and issues. They were very accommodating and went out of their way to ensure we all had a good time. I would highly recommend this trip to others. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with a great deal of diversity making it an ideal travel destination.

Alison H.
Great trip, well organised . Beautiful country

Although the weather did cause a few issues with some unseasonable wet days, the overall experience was amazing. Our guides and drivers were great, helping us through the intricacies of SriLankan culture and climate. Even when one part of the Pekoe Trail was closed due to landslides, the guides and the MBA team were able to re-jig our itinerary and change hotels at short notice. The local SriLankans we met were truly friendly and genuinely keen to help. Food throughout the trip was excellent, especially given some of the slightly more remote locations we visited. We finished our trip wanting to return for more - always a good sign!

Felicity G.
A unique and unforgettable way to explore Sri Lanka!

An amazing trip with just the right balance of seeing what Sri Lanka is most known for whilst also exploring roads less travelled!

The guides and hotels couldn’t have been more welcoming and the forest hike with the Vedda people was truly unforgettable and not something you can find just anywhere!

If you’re after a trip filled with wildlife, adventure and wonderful culture then this is the one for you ☺️

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 494kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip is designed for those of average to good fitness, but none of the activities are hugely strenuous.

No previous yoga or surfing experience is needed, as these activities will be also tailored to first-timers. You also don't need to be an experienced hiker, although you should be able to trek for up to 6 hours across uneven terrain or dense jungle. You should also feel comfortable riding a bike for a couple of hours along flat ground. You need only carry a small day rucksack with any personal belongings, water, snacks, suncream etc. Please note that the climb up to Sigiriya does involve some sections of steel stairs and metal staircases clinging on the exposed side to the rock.

There are a few long drives (up to 4 hours) and a long train journey (4-5 hours) but these will be a great chance to rest your legs while taking in dazzling views of Sri Lanka along the way. There are several early starts in order to avoid the heat and maximise the wildlife-spotting opportunities, so a sense of adventure and willingness here is key to enjoying the experience. However, there is also some leisure time built into the trip so you can fully enjoy the serene environment as you wish – reading by the pool, taking optional walks into local villages and slowing down to the pace of nature.

If you've never tried surfing or yoga, we recommend giving these a go, as tuition will be tailored to first-timers. However, we appreciate that yoga and surfing are not for everyone so if you prefer to opt-out from these activities, it's absolutely fine – you can just enjoy some extra leisure time in the jungle or on the tropical beaches.

On the trip you'll spend a day with the Veddas, the last indigenous people in Sri Lanka. Many Veddas nowadays have ventured into agriculture so traditional hunting is fading away, but the Veddas you'll meet still live following authentic traditions. Through this cultural exchange, you'll be playing an active part in the maintenance of indigenous culture through its celebration.

You'll also visit remote rural villages – a fantastic opportunity to learn about local culture, history, and the adaptation of remote communities to contemporary life.

We have selected a number of extraordinary accommodation providers who practise responsible tourism in the true sense of the word. Here, food is locally sourced, construction materials are mostly natural and have been chosen to respect the environment. Local operations are also managed by the communities themselves, a successful example of how community-based tourism can be beneficial when done sensitively.

If you wish to extend your Sri Lanka beach stay, we recommend adding extra nights at the Talalla Retreat – the ideal place to learn surfing or practice yoga (please see the Optional Extras for more info). The hotel also offers complete yoga and surf packages on request (check their website for further info). Alternatively, you can take advantage of the short direct flights from Colombo, and head out to the Maldives for an incredible marine adventure. The dates of this trip have been set to match with most of our scheduled departures of Island Hopping Adventure in the Maldives.

The tap water in Sri Lanka is not always friendly on the stomach. You may find purified water in some of the accommodation which you can use to fill up each morning, so be sure to pack a reusable water bottle or two. To avoid plastic waste where filtered water is not available, we suggest bringing water purification tablets (or an alternative purification system) for extra safety.

It may sound clichéd, but Sri Lanka is a year-round destination – although December to mid-April is considered to be peak season and will be a bit busier as a result.

Temperatures are fairly constant, with coastal regions enjoying average temperatures of 25-30°C, and the highlands 15-18°C. As this trip covers a lot of ground, it also straddles what have been considered different monsoon seasons (four, depending on which region you travel in). This means that throughout the year you are likely to encounter plenty of sunshine, some short, sharp downpours, fairly high humidity and plenty of blue skies, regardless of whether it has traditionally been called 'monsoon' or not. These categorisations are proving harder to predict, so an open mind and expecting every type of weather is a must! Rainproof gear is strongly recommended at any time of year.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. We recommend to tip the following for the whole trip:

USD 30-35 for your your leader USD 10-12 for each member of the bus crew (usually 1 or 2 drivers) USD 45 activity guides - your leader will collect this in the form of a kitty and distribute it among the 25 local guides and assistants who provide their service during the trip (local hikes, bike ride etc.)

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Sri Lanka, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Your main luggage will be stored securely on the bus when you're on the move and you'll have access to it on a daily basis except for one night during the Pekoe Trail. If there's anything that you don't need with you during the tour you can also store excess luggage at your local host's office in Colombo. During the activities, you'll only need to carry a personal day rucksack with your essential items.

To secure your visa (Electronic Travel Authorization ETA) apply via the official government website here. Usually, the visa is granted within 48 hours of application and make sure you print a copy or take a screenshot of the approval page for when you clear security on arrival.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

March 2024

Wednesday • 20th March 2024

to Saturday • 30th March 2024
Fully Booked
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 17th April 2024

to Saturday • 27th April 2024
12 Booked • 2 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 22nd May 2024

to Saturday • 1st June 2024
7 Booked • 7 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 19th June 2024

to Saturday • 29th June 2024
2 Booked • 12 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 17th August 2024

to Tuesday • 27th August 2024
2 Booked • 12 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 21st August 2024

to Saturday • 31st August 2024
2 Booked • 12 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 27th November 2024

to Saturday • 7th December 2024
6 Booked • 8 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Thursday • 12th December 2024

to Sunday • 22nd December 2024
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 25th December 2024

to Saturday • 4th January 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 8th January 2025

to Saturday • 18th January 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 22nd January 2025

to Saturday • 1st February 2025
1 Booked • 13 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 12th February 2025

to Saturday • 22nd February 2025
1 Booked • 13 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 19th March 2025

to Saturday • 29th March 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 2nd April 2025

to Saturday • 12th April 2025
1 Booked • 13 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 21st May 2025

to Saturday • 31st May 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 18th June 2025

to Saturday • 28th June 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 9th July 2025

to Saturday • 19th July 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 6th August 2025

to Saturday • 16th August 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 20th August 2025

to Saturday • 30th August 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 26th November 2025

to Saturday • 6th December 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 10th December 2025

to Saturday • 20th December 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 17th December 2025

to Saturday • 27th December 2025
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 31st December 2025

to Saturday • 10th January 2026
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

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