- Shark, squid, barracuda and hundreds of things with fins that nobody knows the name of – visit the sea-nsational Negombo fish market
- Practice sticking out your little finger and delicately holding a teacup with your thumb and forefinger. Why? To prep for a delicious cuppa in the tea-heartland of Kandy
- Leave the imprint of your face on the train window as you stare out wide-eyed from Kandy to Ella – it’s basically a 6-hour movie of amazing scenery
- Go on safari in search of leopards and elephants in Yala National Park
- Sri Lanka + Unawatuna's golden beach + blue ocean + three nights = the cure for (most) of life’s problems
- 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch
- All transportation via bus, taxi and train
- 10 nights hotel accommodation
- Ella - trekking
- Yala National Park Jeep safari
Day 1: Negombo
Welcome to Negombo, Sri Lanka. There are are no activities planned today so you're free to arrive at any time. A welcome meeting with your trip leader will take place at around 6 pm, so check with reception or the noticeboard for details. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these with you. Although Colombo is the commercial capital and by far the largest city in Sri Lanka, it's still relatively small. You won't be staying in the capital itself, but in a place by the beach. There are plenty of beach bars, pubs and restaurants available close by.
Day 2: Kandy
Head to the fish market in Negombo this morning. This can be quite an intense affair, but the variety of fish being presented by the locals is a great experience. From here, begin your journey by private vehicle to Kandy and visit a spice garden on the way, which should take around three hours in total (120 kilometres). On arrival to Kandy, there's an optional visit to the Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa), the most important shrine in the country. It's also worth attending a cultural show while in town - the Kandyan dance performances are awesome. The Royal Botanical Garden is just ten minutes away from your accommodation and there is access to the swimming pool of Kandyan Residencies (next door). Your evening is free to do as you wish.
Day 3: Kandy
Today is free to explore Kandy. If you didn't visit the Royal Botanical Garden yesterday, then take a stroll around it today. Perhaps organise a day trip to the famous palace of Sigiriya and Dambulla Caves Temple - discovering this magnificent cave complex. The World Heritage listed cave monastery has been a pilgrimage site for 22 centuries and for good reason. If you're feeling a little worse for wear in the afternoon, why not try an Ayurvedic massage to relax those weary muscles?
Day 4: Ella
This morning, say goodbye to Kandy as you hop on a train for around six hours to Ella. It’s a kinda long trip, but you can buy all sorts of yum treats from the onboard sellers. On arrival to Ella, check in to your accommodation which is within walking distance of the station. Once you've dropped off your luggage, perhaps head out for a visit to a local tea factory. If this doesn't take your fancy, go for dinner in one of the many local restaurants and bars.
Day 5: Ella
Venture out on an included half day's trek this morning, then stop for a spicy curry lunch and a pot of Ceylon tea in a local village. This is an awesome way of getting to know the area and a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals. In the late afternoon, cool off with a dip in your hotel's pool. Your evening is then free to do what you want.
Day 6: Tissamaharama
Today is going to be so cool. Head out of Ella in a private vehicle for around three hours to your resort on the edge of Tissa Lake. Once settled, you'll head out on a jeep safari where you'll come across the area's native wildlife such as elephants, leopards and aquatic birds. This is an amazing experience that you'll never forget.
Day 7: Unawatuna
Life’s a beach, so spend the day on one. With a book and a cocktail and a bottle of sunscreen. Today is a free day to explore, there are no included activities. Possibly organise a whale watching tour or take a day trip to visit the Galle Royal Dutch Fort. There is no entry charge for the fort. You'll be staying at a guest house on the beach tonight, so make use of the hundreds of beach restaurants and bars that surround you.
Day 8: Unawatuna
Journey west in a private vehicle for around three and a half hours to Unawatuna. This fantastic stretch of beach has plenty of local restaurants and bars to relax in. There are no included activities today, so you'll have plenty of free time to explore Unawatuna and its surrounds.
Day 9: Unawatuna
You have another free day beside the beach today. Take a towel and relax on the beach, sleep in, work on your tan or grab a cocktail under the shade of a restaurant. This is the perfect way to chill out and enjoy the Sri Lankan coast. Otherwise maybe today is the day to pop into Galle for some sightseeing. Walk around the perimeter of the fort, and grab an icy ginger drink in a cafe, then mosey on back to the beach for some more well-earned chillaxing.
Day 10: Colombo
Leave Unawatuna behind and make the short journey to Galle, where you'll jump on a train to Colombo (approximately four hours). On arrival to Sir Lanka's capital, why not head out on an optional city walk with your leader? If you'd rather pick up some last minute shopping, then pay a visit to the mass amounts of shops that are available. Tonight is free but your leader will suggest an optional final group dinner.
Day 11: Colombo
Have string hoppers and a super-black coffee for breakfast, then pull your saddest face as our trip comes to an end.
Start: Negombo, Sri Lanka
Finish: Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Can you feel that tingling in your fingers? That my friend is power! This trip puts it in your hands – there are few inclusions so you’ll have plenty of local choices to decide what you want to do.
- At 6 hours, the train from Kandy to Ella is the longest travel day. But the only reason you’ll want to get off this train is to charge your camera after what is basically one long amazing natural photoshoot.
- The drive from Ella to Yala goes down from the mountains to the coast on a very windy road, and while this means the going can be a little slow, it also means that you’ll get to see the awesome scenery from literally every angle.