Enjoy trekking, cycling , snorkelling and whitewater rafting on an action-packed adventure around Sri Lanka
For those who like variety in their adventures, we recommend this Sri Lanka mixed activity adventure. For 11 days, you’ll cycle, kayak, and whitewater raft your way around this striking country.
The interior is filled with beautiful mountains while the shores are lapped by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Climb Adam’s Peak, a famous Sri Lankan pilgrimage site, see Buddhist cities, and scout for elephants and leopards in Wilpattu National Park.
- Snorkel in the Indian Ocean
- View sunrise from the summit at Adam’s Peak
- Take in the awe-inspiring views after climbing up to the rock fortress at Sigiriya
This adventure includes cycling, trekking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, game driving, and snorkelling. Experience isn’t necessary for any of the activities – but you do need to be able to swim and ride a bike. A moderate level of fitness will help you enjoy all the activities fully, but your guides will be there to support and encourage you along the way.
You’ll visit Veyangoa, Kitulgala, Belihul-Oya, Kandy, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Kalpitiya Peninsula, and Negombo. And if those places are brand new to you now, get excited for the fact that after this adventure you’ll be familiar with all of them and sharing your favorites with loved ones back home.
Enquire today to save your spot.
Why We Love This Adventure
- Elephants and Sloth bears in Wasgamuwa
- Climb Adam’s peak for sunrise
- Ancient Polonnaruwa by bike and Knuckles Forest trek
Please make an enquiry and we'll send you the full itinerary for each day including meals, activities, travel and accommodation.
Start Colombo. Then transfer to the hotel in Kitulgala and check in.The rest of the day will be at leisure*Accommodation: *Aberdeen Falls Resort.
Wake up to the dawn chorus as we head to nearby Kitulgala village to start the jungle trek. We begin by deviating from the main road and head into the heart of the village along gravel roads on undulating terrain. If we are lucky we might catch a glimpse of some endemic birdlife. Upon entering the Makandawa Forest Reserve – a lowland evergreen forest – we will be greeted by a series of streams snaking through the lush green forest. One of the highlights of this trek is the climb up to the rocky outcrop of Lenthiriella – a towering waterfall that cascades down, breathing life into the forest!/Trek: approx 7km/ 3 ½ hours on undulating terrain/After lunch, there's the opportunity to take part in a whitewater rafting session on the Kelani River. We will be met by a a rafting team who will takes us through a safety briefing, guide us through the basics and talk us through our equipment; a helmet, life jacket and paddle. The rapids are grade 2 and 3 and we will pass the famous location of Bridge on the River Kwai! Please note the grade of the rapids relies on the water flow from the nearby dam so can differ throughout the year. *Accommoadtion: *Aberdeen Falls Resort or similar.
After breakfast we drive from Kitulgala to Dickoya in Nuwara Eliya province and pass through many tea plantations typical of Sri Lanka's hill country (approx. 50km/ 2 hours). In Dickoya we stay in a colonial-style tea planter's bungalow with a wonderful view of the Castlereagh Reservoir and an outline of Adam's Peak in the distance. After checking in we'll visit one of the working tea factories to learn the process from growing and picking the tea leaves right through to tasting the final product.The rest of the afternoon is free to relax and prepare for the climb that night, which starts around 1am. Adam’s Peak is so called as it is claimed to be the place where Adam first set foot on Earth after being cast out from heaven but is also known as Sri Pada (Sacred Footprint, left by the Buddha as he headed towards paradise), or perhaps most poetically as Samanalakande (Butterfly Mountain, where butterflies go to die). Legends attribute the huge ‘footprint’ crowning the peak to St. Thomas, the early apostle of India, or even Lord Shiva.The pilgrimage season begins on poya day in December and runs until the Vesak festival in May. In season, pilgrims and tourists alike make the climb up the many steps to the top. *Accommodation: *Upper Glencairn Bungalow.
We descend from Adam's Peak through the early hours of the morning and should reach the base around 9am. After a short rest and some refreshments we transfer to Kandy (approx. 100km/ 3 ½ hours) to arrive there around 2:30pm. Neck pillows will be provided for the drive so you can catch up on some sleep! We will check in to the hotel on arrival and the rest of the afternoon and evening will be free to relax and explore this beautiful lakeside town. *Accommodation: *Thilanka Hotel or similar.
Kandy is located by a small lake and we spend the full day in and around the town, starting with a visit of the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic. The Tooth of Buddha was taken from the funeral pyre in 543 BC and only found its way to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. There are literally hundreds of worshippers who visit the temple each day and in August the most spectacular ceremony takes place. Another highlight is the vast Peradeniya Botanical Garden home to many species of orchid endemic to Sri Lanka. There's also the arts and crafts centre and the main Buddhist monasteries Malwatta and Asgiriya that are worth a visit. In the evening we may have the chance to attend a performance of dancing and fire walking. *Accommodation: *Thilanka Hotel or similar.
After breakfast we drive to Atanwala in Knuckles Mountain Range (approx. 65km/ 2 ½ hours) for our trek. Atanwala is a great approach to Knuckles Mountain Range as the surrounding fields and paddy fields stretch for acres at the foot of Manigala Mountain. As we leave the village we'll pass the beautiful waterfall named “Wadda Pani Ella” before the trail begins in earnest. During the trek there will be some fantastic views of peaks within the range including Thunhisgala and Yahangala and towards the end of the trail as we near Illukkumbura, a view of the Moragahakanda reservoir, the Kalu Ganga reservoir, Walasgala and Wasgamuwa combine to create breathtaking views.We'll then board the minibus near Illukkumbura and transfer to Wasgamuwa - (approx. 45km/ 1 hour)The trek is approximately 8kms/ 5 ½ hours. *Accommodation: *Lavendish Safari or similar.
Wasgamuwa park is situated in the Matale and Polonnaruwa districts. It was opened to protect the displaced wild animals during the Mahaweli development project and is a paradise to nature lovers. It is widely known for its Sloth bear population as well as its elephants and large herds can be observed from November to May. We'll take part in a morning game drive with a packed breakfast so we can make an early start in order to maximise our chances of spotting wildlife (3-hour game drive).Later we'll head to Giritale and check in at our hotel (approx. 85km/ 2 hours). The afternoon is free to relax by the hotel pool or follow the path into the nearby village . *Accommodation: *Giritale Hotel or similar.
Our usual hotel here overlooks the scenic Giritale Tank. The island’s early inhabitants solved the dual problem of heat and lack of water in this dry area by constructing large tanks to act as reservoirs to cool the warm breeze. Nowadays they provide an important habitat for bird life, particularly from August to April. We begin the day with a bike ride from the hotel and head straight to Minneriya Junction. Taking the turning towards Hingurakgoda we'll head towards the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the 10th century capital of Sri Lanka and the ancient capital of the Sinhalese. Here there are many Buddhist relics and ruins dating from a thousand years ago when Sinhalese culture reached its zenith. The city flourished in the 12th century after the decision was made to move the capital from Anuradhapura, so it was further away from incursions from southern India. The ruins are therefore younger and better preserved than those at Anuradhapura. We visit many of the temples, palaces, huge dagobas (Buddhist stupas) and remarkable Buddhist sculptures. Unsurprisingly UNESCO has declared the ancient city a World Heritage site. After our visit we'll continue cycling on to a rural village where we will enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan lunch. In the afternoon we'll cycle back to Giritale to meet the bus to transfer to Sigiriya./Cycling Distance – 50km (3 hours). Terrain – Flat. *Accommodation: *Hotel Sigiriya or similar.
The 5th century rock fortress of Sigiriya is arguably the most iconic sight in Sri Lanka and we begin the day by climbing it. It's an imposing sight rising 600 feet from the surrounding plains and gives far‐reaching views from the top. Used as a safe haven from invaders, the route to the top follows a series of steep steps and gangways. From the base, where a moat surrounds impressive water gardens, we ascend 200m, passing an overhanging rock under which superb portraits of native maidens holding flowers and temple offerings still adorn the rock wall. Crowning the flat‐topped summit of the rock are extensive remains of the King's Summer Palace. As we begin the climb in the early morning to avoid the heat, we should be finished by 9:30am, in time for a late breakfast back at the hotel.In the afternoon there's a short drive (approx.30 minutes) to nearby Dambulla and its magnificent cave temples, for some a highlight of the island. There are over 80 caves in the complex, some of which are used for meditation by monks. The famous Rock temple has five separate caves containing 153 magnificent Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan monarchs and 4 Hindu deities. The Iron wood Forest (Namal Uyana), an ancient garden with a huge variety of plants, and the Rose Quartz Mountain range - 500 million years old -should not be missed! *Accommodation: *Hotel Sigiriya or similar.
A fairly long drive as we leave Sigiriya after breakfast and head to Kalpitiya on the west coast (approx. 180 km/ 3 ½ hours). On arrival we check in to our hotel and the rest of the day is free to relax on the beach or by the hotel pool. *Accommodation:* Ruwala Resort or similar.
If you love to explore pristine water, Kalpitiya is the place to be! Beautiful coral formations, bursting with colourful marine life unique to Sri Lanka's coast are there to be discovered. A short boat ride will take us to the best snorkelling site in Kalpitiya, whereupon we will be briefed on how to use the equipment and safety procedures. The activity lasts for about an hour and begins early in the morning , so we will take a packed breakfast with us. (seasonal Nov- Apr)In the afternoon we hop onto a boat to explore further afield and spot the migrant birdlife of the lagoon. There is a greater chance of seeing birds such as White Winged terns, Little Ringed plovers and Greater Crested terns during the peak bird-season, from October and March. (approx 3 hours). *Accommodation:* Ruwala Resort, Kalpitiya or similar.
The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport in time for their flight home.
- All breakfasts and 6 lunches
- All accommodation
- All transport and listed activities
- Tour leader throughout
- Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Trip Duration12 days
Average Group Sizemin 4, max 16
All breakfasts and 3 lunches are includedWe suggest allowing about £15-£17 (approx. US$24 – US$27.50) per day for all other meals. 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,’ and a handful of tiny poppadum’s – 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 that in Sri Lanka the availability of certain specialist food products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free, so if required 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 widely available, but drinking water is provided in a large container in the bus in order to reduce our use of plastic, so please bring your own water bottle with you to refill.
This adventure can also be booked with UK return flights by the operator – to get prices, dates and availability for the flight option please complete an enquiry form today and mention your flight interest in the message section. Thanks!
Dates & Availability
- 17 Feb 2019 – 28 Feb 2019
- 24 Mar 2019 – 04 Apr 2019
- 13 Oct 2019 – 24 Oct 2019
- 10 Nov 2019 – 21 Nov 2019
- 01 Dec 2019 – 12 Dec 2019
If you’re looking for a company with experience you can’t beat these guys. This operator started life in 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.
For the company, and people who work for them “it’s all about adventure” which is what they were founded on and what they are still about today. Their trips take place all around the world where they help travelers to delve into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to a country’ unique identity.
We love that their groups and guides travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise the impact, to ensure that every holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved.
Make a Booking
Get full details to book this trip.
Ask a Question
Ask a question about this trip.
Add this trip to your bucket list.