You need to fly into Colombo Airport, also known as Bandaranaike International Airport, where we will collect you and take you to your accommodation. This is only if you arrive on your start date.
If you are the type of person who is looking for a slightly different adventure, then Sri Lanka is a no-brainer. This beautiful country is still reasonably untouched by the mad tourist rush and offers a spectacle of amazing experiences. The food, the people, the culture, the beaches and the beautiful landscapes are an absolute treat.
Sri Lanka Epic 12 Day: Trip Highlights
THE LOW DOWN
Ok, so looking at joining us in Lanka, what is this trip all about exactly?
Well, imagine travelling around one of the most beautiful countries in the world, staying at some of the best accommodations that Sri Lanka has to offer, all your transport taken care of, experiencing a spectacularly rich culture, eating delicious Sri Lankan cuisine, witnessing some of the most picturesque landscapes on our planet and meeting like-minded fun people while doing it. Sounds great right?
Starting in Negombo and ending in Colombo, this tour of Sri Lanka will take you up into the misty mountain tops and all the way down to the sun-kissed beaches. Also, we explore the national parks in search of elephants! With our Epic Sri Lanka tour, you will experience a 12-day fun filled package taking you through the green and luscious gem of the Indian Ocean, where the smells of spices, tea and delicious foods will spark your senses and send you into a mind-altering experience.
SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS THAT YOU CAN EXPECT
- Piece of mind – Airport collection on arrival
- Meet like-minded solo travellers in your group!
- Visit the most beautiful temples you will ever see
- Learn to surf!
- Go on a safari and spot elephants monkeys, birds of prey and possibly even crocodiles!
- Camping in a national park, surrounded by wildlife
- Learn to make the perfect curry!
- Enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
- Witness some beautiful South Asian sunsets!
- Go Whale spotting!
- Visit a Turtle sanctuary!
- Local guide who can tell you about Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Epic 12 Day Photos
Arrive on day one and be greeted at the airport by your tour guide, who will load your luggage into a tuk tuk as you ride through the tree-lined and sunbaked streets of Negombo to your first hotel. Today is your day, explore the canals, the lagoons or get your base tan on the beach, for in the evening we meet as a group and hit the town for your welcome dinner and drinks.
Fill up on a delicious breakfast in the hotel before we hop on our private bus to take a quick tour around Negombo’s famous market and lagoon. Your local tour guide will amaze you with tales and secret information of Sri Lanka so you can really feed your sense of wonder. We then drive into the heart of the island, stop off for a delicious buffet lunch before checking into your stunning hotel in Sigiriya, the jewel of the Cultural Triangle. Take the afternoon to dip in the pool or walk the dusty streets, before we meet in the evening to explore the magnificent Dambulla Caves. History and religion bounce off every painted wall and stone Buddha statue, leaving you with a unrivalled sense of spirituality.
An early wake-up time today as we put on our hiking shoes, grab our camera and head out to climb the incredible Sigiriya Rock. Protruding proudly out of the earth, ruins of a grand palace provide evidence all around the grounds of a once violent and noble Sri Lankan history. View the ancient wall paintings, the sanskript marked mirror wall and the huge stone lion paws guarding the ascent to the summit. The views from the top are unrivalled as you travel through time examining the ruins. After descending we then head over to the quiet Buddhist monastery of Pidurangula to get an open and unobstructed shot of the rock you have just climbed. From here you can view the national parks of Minneriya and Kaudulla where elephants and leopards patrol the land and where you have the option to go explore in the afternoon. To fill those hungry bellies, we stop by a local family who prepare a traditional feast for us before taking a well-deserved rest on a lounger in the afternoon sun.
Today we say goodbye to Sigiryia and embark on our travels down south towards Sri Lanka’s second largest city, Kandy. We will stop at a spice garden on the way to learn about where our favourite spices come from. Here we traverse the hills that provide a stunning view of the artificial but now notoriously beautiful Kandy Lake. We will stay in a funky and modern hostel. In the afternoon we head to a village to have a cooking class and learn the secret to a perfect Sri Lankan curry. Here, our local chef, will teach you how to make 4 different curries, as well as poppadoms and coconut sambal (only for those who dare!). In the evening we will stroll around the lake and take the sights and sounds of this bustling city.
Eat your breakfast overlooking the hills of Kandy before we head into town to visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth. This is a religious shrine which is said to house the tooth of Buddha himself. We then jump on the bus and travel through the mountainous region of the hill country. The hills are ablaze with small green tea plants which Sri Lanka is famous for. We stop by a functioning tea factory to learn how the tea is processed and ends up in your cup at home, whilst actually learning how 7 different types of tea are made all from the same plant! A trip to Sri Lanka is not complete without experiencing life on the train and the journey from Nuwara Eliya to Ella is dubbed as the best journey in the world. 180 degree views of tea plantations, waterfalls, lakes and local villages pass on by as your train traverses the tracks cut into the mountainside. Try the sweet milk tea on board, converse with friendly locals and take pictures to make you the envy of all your friends back home. After we check into our hotel, we’ll head into Ella for dinner and drinks in everyone’s favourite mountainous town.
The morning is yours to do as you so please. Ella plays host to some of the best Ayurveda massage parlours in Sri Lanka. A thousand year old technique which removes any aches or pains you may have, or simply as an excellent way to relax. We will meet in the afternoon to explore the hidden gems of Ella, such as the 9 Arch Bridge, Ella Gap and then hike up Little Adam’s peak for sunset. We recommend bringing a drink or two, you’ll see why when we get to the top.
Today we continue our way down South and check into our campsite, 45 minutes away from the stunning Uda Walawe National Park. Our hosts will greet us with welcome drinks and cook us a delicious Sri Lankan buffet lunch whilst you take a well earned dip in the river. After lunch we jump into jeeps and go on safari, searching the wilderness for herds of elephants, buffalo, crocodiles, monkeys, eagles, hawks, peacocks, mongoose and if you’re lucky, leopards. Truly a once in a lifetime experience, your day in the national park will be a tough one to beat. After driving round the park, we’ll head back to camp where our hosts will have a BBQ dinner waiting for us, best way to end an amazing day.
Wake up early to take a walk on the wild side with your personal local guide. He will teach you all about the flora and fauna in the area, whilst the campsite dogs follow you through the fields. Monkeys, elephants and peacocks roam the fields around the campsite, so be sure to be on the lookout. After breakfast we’ll drive to the South West Coast, arriving at the stunning beach side town of Mirissa. A place where the world class waves hit the sand, where turtles inhabit the water, and where the beer is ice cold. After a week in the hill country, this is exactly what you need.
Today we wake up early and head to the beautiful golden sand beach. We jump on board one of THE best boats in the area to view the largest animals in the world. Watch as blue whales, jump, swim and dive around you and be blown away by their size. After an hour or two on the boat, we head back to relax for a while before heading to our second spectacular beach destination; Hikkaduwa!
After breakfast by the beach, we’ll drive down the stunning Galle Fort. A city encased in walls, with Dutch, Portuguese and British Colonial buildings still stand proud. The cobbled streets lead to the sea, where crazy Sri Lankan locals swan dive into the ocean. We start our bike ride through some beautiful local villages and rice fields, stopping to learn about how coconut rope is made, and drink a fresh king coconut in a secluded tropical garden. Afterwards, we’ll give you some time to take photos of the area or to buy souvenirs from one of the many boutique and unique stores. The perfect place to write a postcard and send it home with tales of your incredible time over the past 11 days.
After your breakfast, we will pack up our things for the 2 hour drive along the coast to the bustling capital city of Colombo. On the way we stop off at small turtle sanctuary, where baby turtles learn to take that first swim and injured adults are rehabilitated back into the wild. Across the road we’ll view the humbling 2004 Tsunami Memorial, where you can listen to survival tales and view pictures of the event. We then arrive into Colombo and check into our boutique hostel, you’ll have some free time to visit the national museum or art gallery close by, or take a tuk tuk and run around the manic streets of the Pattah Markets for some final souvenir shopping. We’ll then meet together in the evening for a final dinner together before partying the night away on one of the cities glitziest rooftop bars.
Time to say our final goodbyes with the friends you have just made over the course of an incredible 12 days. For some of you, this means continuing your holiday in Sri Lanka, for others, it’s either back home or to continue your travels. Whatever your next destination may be, we hope we have educated you on a country that provides so much, that possess incredible variation in exploration and we hope we have inspired you to explore more.
We know that the quality of your accommodation can have a huge influence on the overall enjoyment of your trip! So that’s why Xtreme have sourced some of the best accommodation in Sri Lanka – We have personally stayed at all of our accommodations and found some brilliant places to recharge our (and now your) batteries. From sleeping under the stars in a jungle camp deep inside a national park, to luxury beachfront properties in a quaint surf town, we have the perfect mix of hand-picked properties ready for you.
Check out our images!
*rooms are triples, twins, and 2 nights in boutique hostels
A Rough Idea of Price
All of our gap year holidays are completely customised to your needs and prices will therefore vary based on things like the time of year and level of accommodation; but we want to give you as good an idea of how much this itinerary will cost.
12 Days -Book Now
- Airport pickups*
- Legendary group leader
- All accommodation. From fancy hotels, hip hostels, local guesthouses, and safari camps
- All transport including private vans, tuk-tuks, and buses
- Welcome dinner
- Climb the UNESCO World Heritage Sigiriya rock fortress
- See the Buddhas of Dambulla
- Visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
- Trip on the ‘most beautiful train journey in the world’**
- Explore the spectacular tea plantations and pick some of your own with the locals
- Climb Little Adam’s Peak
- Stand at the Edge of the World in Horton Plains (option – own cost)
- Discover a spice garden in the mountains
- Learn the secrets of making the perfect curry in a local village
- Camp in Udawalawe National Park surrounded by wildlife
- Catch some waves in a surf lesson
- Get up close with elephants and wild life on a private safari
- Learn about baby turtles at a turtle sanctuary
- Party on tropical beaches
- Good times!
*Pickups available on day 1 only
**subject to availability
- International Flights
- Some Meals
- Travel insurance
Frequently Asked Questions
You will always need a visa to visit Sri Lanka and it must be organised before you arrive. Sri Lanka tourist visa charges USD $30 per person for NON SAARC countries & USD $15 for SAARC countries, can be obtained directly via this site. Payments can be done easily online and you’ll receive confirmation within 48hrs. Easy! Just remember – your passport has to be valid for at least six months from the day of arrival. You will also need to have proof of onward travel (flight tickets out of the country).
We advise you to check with your local Sri Lankan consulate or embassy to get the most up-to-date conditions. Xtreme cannot apply for your visa for you, so please make sure you have sorted it by the time you arrive!
The currency in Sri Lanka is the Rupee and AUD$1 is roughly R115. When you join an Xtreme trip, we like to keep extra costs to a minimum and include as much as possible to make it easier for you to budget. Luckily, Sri Lanka is a cheap country for most things! You will be able to feast on the freshest seafood and homemade curries for just a few dollars and buy fresh coconuts on the beach for pennies. An average local meal of rice and various curries will set you back around AUD$4. The local beer called Lion is delicious and costs around AUD $2 per pint.
Spending money all depends on the kind of person you are. Each person knows their own likes/dislikes and spending habits. You may like to drink cocktails in hip lounges by the beach, or crack open a local beer under a palm tree on the sand.
Tips are expected in Sri Lanka. They are not compulsory, but there is very much a tipping culture for hotels and restaurants for around 10% of the bill. We usually find it easier if your group leader says how much the tip should be and everyone can pitch in together.
You have nothing to worry about, in fact, most of our customers are solo or even first-time travellers. Our guide is always around for you and you have 24-hour support.
Well, the trip ends in Colombo, if you haven’t decided to stay longer and ad-on the Maldives extension, then your guide can help you organise a taxi or tuk-tuk back to the airport (own cost) in time for your flight home.
Sri Lanka Epic 12 Day Trip Dates
2017 Start Dates
Thursday; 23 November 2017 – Monday; 4 December 2017
Monday; 11 December 2017 – Friday; 22 December 2017
2018 Start Dates
Sunday; 14 January 2018 – Thursday; 25 January 2018
Wednesday; 31 January 2018 – Sunday; 11 February 2018
Saturday; 17 February 2018 – Wednesday; 28 February 2018
Monday; 5 March 2018 – Friday; 16 March 2018
Thursday; 22 March 2018 – Monday; 2 April 2018
Friday; 20 April 2018 – Tuesday; 1 May 2018
Tuesday; 8 May 2018 – Saturday; 19 May 2018
Wednesday; 30 May 2018 – Sunday; 10 June 2018
Saturday; 16 June 2018 – Wednesday; 27 June 2018
Wednesday; 4 July 2018 – Sunday; 15 July 2018
Saturday; 21 July 2018 – Wednesday; 1 August 2018
Thursday; 9 August 2018 – Monday; 20 August 2018
Monday; 27 August 2018 – Friday; 7 September 2018
Thursday; 13 September 2018 – Monday; 24 September 2018
Sunday; 30 September 2018 – Thursday; 11 October 2018
Tuesday; 16 October 2018 – Saturday; 27 October 2018
Thursday; 1 November 2018 – Monday; 12 November 2018
Saturday; 17 November 2018 – Wednesday; 28 November 2018
Tuesday; 4 December 2018 – Saturday; 15 December 2018
Thursday; 20 December 2018 – Monday; 31 December 2018