Places
Popular Trips

We are open 24/7 in case you’d like to speak to a travel specialist.

Give us a call at 1-866-266-8454

Messages:


Pure Sri Lanka

(From October 2022)

4.9
20 reviews
Train in Sri Lanka

The one that gives you the true taste of Sri Lanka, from villages & ancient temples to street food & coastal beaches.

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Learn about our travel styles.

  • Duration

    11 days

  • Places

    7 places

  • Meals

    10 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Private Coach + Train

  • Group Size

    Maximum 24 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager and Local Guides

Negombo, Sigiriya, Kandy, Ella, Udawalawe National Park, Unawatuna, Colombo

How Contiki works

  • us-homepage-icon-location

    STEP 1

    Pick your destination & book

    Picking where to go out of 150 countries worldwide is the hardest part. Booking is easy with complete flexibility, & confidence that your money is secure.

  • us-homepage-icon-no

    STEP 2

    Book 7 hotels, try figuring out public transport in a foreign language, get into an argument with your taxi driver, lose your passp…

  • us-homepage-icon-list

    STEP 2

    Turn up to your dream trip

    Everything has been sorted for you. Cool, convenient accom, smooth transport from place to place - plus a bunch of meals and travel experiences all locked in.

  • us-homepage-icon-happy

    STEP 3

    Have the time of your life

    Your Trip Host has designed every trip to be packed with incredible, local experiences, made even more amazing as you share it with other incredible 18-35 year old travelers.

About this trip

Say Ayubowan to Southeast Asia's gem, Sri Lanka. This adventure is going to take you all over – from national parks to beaches to ancient fortresses and temples, we’ve squeezed in all the highlights & a few lesser-known secrets to create the perfect 11-day trip. With hand-picked inclusions and extra free time add-ons, this trip delivers the best Sri Lanka has to offer

Book With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. 1 1 night

    Negombo

  2. 2 2 nights

    Sigiriya

  3. 1 1 night

    Kandy

  4. 2 2 nights

    Ella

  5. 1 1 night

    Udawalawe National Park

  6. 2 2 nights

    Unawatuna

  7. 1 1 night

    Colombo

DAY 1 - Arrive Negombo

Negombo

Our Sri Lankan adventure begins in Negombo. Find your feet in this diverse & laid-back town with coastal beaches, local fish markets and a working Dutch-style canal system. This evening you'll meet up with your Trip Manager and your team for a full brief of the travels about to unfold, before heading out for the first taste of some local delicacies.

Stay

Rani Beach Hotel

DAY 2 - Negombo to Sigiriya

Negombo

This morning we'll drive inland to Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress town in the Matale District.

Sigiriya

Home to palace ruins set on a giant ancient lava rock, and surrounded by ancient relics of gardens and reservoirs, Sigiriya is a hotspot of historical significance here in Sri Lanka. After checking in to our accommodation, we'll begin our explorations with a guided visit to Hiriwadunna village, a spiritually important site where Prince Siddhartha was said to have attained Buddhahood. We'll sit down for an authentic Sri Lankan lunch here at the village, surrounded by greenery and wildlife. After waving goodbye to Hiriwadunna, we'll head back to our hotel where we'll join together for an included dinner tonight.

Stay

Hotel - Habarana Village by Cinnamon (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Hiriwaduna Village visit

DAY 3 - Sigiriya

Sigiriya

We couldn't visit Sigiriya with exploring the incredible Sigiriya Rock Fortress that's been dominating the skyline ever since we've arrived, and morning is the best time to visit. After our included breakfast we'll take a trip to the fortress to check out the UNESCO-listed 'Lion's Rock', with it's 5th-century buildings, painted rock frescoes and massive pair of lion paws at the entrance. We're back on the road, this time to visit the nearby town of Dambulla where you'll have the chance to find your own lunch. Here we'll find another World Heritage Site, the sacred Dambulla Cave Temple, the largest best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka complete with five inner sanctuaries, 150 gilded Buddha statues, and Buddhist murals.

Stay

Hotel - Habarana Village by Cinnamon (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Morning Visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress

  • Visit Dambulla and Dambulla Cave Temple

DAY 4 - Sigiriya to Kandy

Sigiriya

Feel like a morning adventure? You'll have the opportunity to explore the Pidurangala Rock –a rite of passage for Sigiriya first-timers – on a sunrise trek. Otherwise, catch some extra sleep and save your energy for later. Awed by our time brushing with the ancient world in Sigiriya, it's time to move on to the vibrant cultural scene in Kandy.

Kandy

Today we're gathering to watch history and mythology explode into colour & rhythm at a traditional Kandyan Folkdance show. Then tonight, you can choose to tuck into some local street food on a tuk-tuk food tour. Ever tried a 'Hopper'? We promise you've never eaten a curry like this before, and you haven't really tried Sri Lankan street food until now.

Stay

Queen’s Hotel Kandy

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Witness a spectacular Kandyan cultural dance performance

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Pidurangala Rock Sunrise Trek

  • Taste all the flavours of Kandy on a tuk-tuk street food tour

DAY 5 - Kandy to Ella

Kandy

Today we head further into the hill country on the train, passing lush green hills and waterfalls enroute to Nuwara Eliya. This small town with colonial-era buildings is found in the heart of Sri Lanka's famous Ceylon tea industry. We'll stop to visit a tea plantation to find out how different teas are grown, plucked and packaged before continuing on to our next destination of Ella.

Ella

Stay

Oak Ray Ella Gap Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Local train journey from Kandy to Nanuoya

  • Sip some ceylon at a lush tea plantation in Ella

DAY 6 - Ella

Ella

The day is yours to explore the beautiful countryside and laid-back backpacker hub of Ella, nestled among green cloud forests and tea plantations. In the early morning, feel free to head to Horton Plains National Park and walk to "World's End", one of the highlights here. Or spend the day in Ella doing the local walks that show off the incredibly insta-worthy views down through the Ella Gap, including the cascading waterfalls this small town is famous for. If you're lucky, you might even get to meet one of the locals: the leaf-eating Langur monkey.

Stay

Oak Ray Ella Gap Hotel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hike to World's End in the Horton Plains highlands

    LKR 14460

DAY 7 - Ella to Udawalawe National Park

Ella

Our journey continues south, as we head down from the hill country into the southern plains where a rich abundance of wildlife awaits us.

Udawalawe National Park

Our first stop is at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, where orphaned baby elephants are cared for before being released back into the wild. In this unmissable experience that's sure to pull a few heartstrings, we'll get to watch the babies at feeding time, while you try to restrain yourself from adopting one then and there. But tear yourself away, because next we're heading to our Special Stay accommodation for the night: glamping alongside the Walawe riverbed in full Safari style, surrounded by the vibrant flora and fauna of the Sri Lankan jungle.

Stay

Athgira Riverside Glamping

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit orphaned baby elephants & learn about their rehabilitation into the wild at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home

DAY 8 - Udwalawe National Park to Unawatuna

Udawalawe National Park

Say goodbye to the wilderness, because today you're heading along the coast to the beachside town of Unawatuna.

Unawatuna

The South West coast of Sri Lanka is famous for its beaches, mangrove forests and picturesque colonial port towns set up in turn first by the Portuguese, secondly by the Dutch and finally the English, and Unawatuna is no exception. This afternoon we'll take a trip to explore the UNESCO-listed historic fort city of Galle, a must-see for its distinctly unique mishmash of European and South Asian traditional architecture. Check out the Portuguese Franciscan chapel, Dutch coat of arms and British Queen Victoria Jubilee Tower. Later this evening, you can opt to learn the ways of Sri Lankan cooking with our cooking demonstration and dinner.

Stay

Calamander Unawatuna Beach Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit the UNESCO listed port city of Galle

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Get a cooking demonstration and local dinner in Unawatuna

    LKR 4950

DAY 9 - Unawatuna

Unawatuna

The Southern tip of Sri Lanka is a favourite hangout spot for some of the most majestic creatures in the world: whales. We're heading to Mirissa, considered to be the best place to get a glimpse of the Blue Whale, Sperm Whale and dolphins, and this morning is your chance to head out whale-watching for an unmissable up-close encounter. After the morning's excitement, the afternoon is yours to unwind on the tropical palm-studded beach with clear turquoise waters, or opt in for a surf lesson at nearby Weligama Bay.

Stay

Calamander Unawatuna Beach Hotel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Weligama Surf School

    LKR 7690

  • Mirissa Whale Watching (seasonal)

    LKR 9520

DAY 10 - Unawatuna to Colombo

Unawatuna

Today we'll reach our final destination, the bustling capital city of Colombo. Enroute we'll make a stop to learn about the traditional art of balsa-wood mask painting, followed by a visit to the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation centre.

Colombo

Once we hit Colombo, the best way to continue is with a sightseeing tour of this sprawling, richly multicultural city. Marvel at the atmospheric temples & showstopping mosques, check out the rose-tinted colonial buildings and, if you're brave enough, pick up some hot cobra chillies or souvenirs from the truly authentic (and famously chaotic) Pettah Bazaar. Tonight you can put on your party pants, because we've already sussed out the best rooftop bars and we're going out in style - the perfect way to cap off the last incredible 9 days with your Sri Lanka crew.

Stay

Fairway Hotel Colombo

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Learn the traditional art of balsa-wood mask painting in Unawatuna

  • Visit the locally-operated Kosgoda Turtle Conservation centre & project, protecting turtle nesting sites

  • City tour of Colombo

DAY 11 - Depart Colombo

Colombo

Your Contiki trip finishes this morning in Colombo. Say goodbye to your new friends and plan a meet up somewhere in the world soon.

Top Experiences

11 included & 6 free time add-ons available to add later

  • Sip some ceylon at a lush tea plantation in Ella

    Included

    Kandy

  • Visit orphaned baby elephants & learn about their rehabilitation into the wild at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home

    Included

    Udawalawe National Park

  • Visit the UNESCO listed port city of Galle

    Included

    Unawatuna

Pure Sri Lanka (From October 2022)

11 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Hiriwaduna Village visit
  • Morning Visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Visit Dambulla and Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Witness a spectacular Kandyan cultural dance performance
  • Local train journey from Kandy to Nanuoya
  • Sip some ceylon at a lush tea plantation in Ella
  • Visit orphaned baby elephants & learn about their rehabilitation into the wild at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home
  • Visit the UNESCO listed port city of Galle
  • Learn the traditional art of balsa-wood mask painting in Unawatuna
  • Visit the locally-operated Kosgoda Turtle Conservation centre & project, protecting turtle nesting sites
  • City tour of Colombo

6 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Pidurangala Rock Sunrise Trek
  • Taste all the flavours of Kandy on a tuk-tuk street food tour
  • Hike to World's End in the Horton Plains highlands LKR 14460
  • Get a cooking demonstration and local dinner in Unawatuna LKR 4950
  • Weligama Surf School LKR 7690
  • Mirissa Whale Watching (seasonal) LKR 9520

Where You'll Stay

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • safari-style-riverside-glamping

    Athgira Safari & Riverside Glamping

    Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

    Athgira is located at the door step of Udawalawe National Park with views of Rakwana River, very close to Udawalawe reservoir and to the Elephant Orphanage

    1 night

  • 10 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    9 nights in Hotel, 1 night in Glamping - Luxury Camping

20 Reviews

powered by feefo logo
4.9
20 independent reviews
powered by feefo logo
Star rating
5
19
4
0
3
1
2
0
1
0

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

Our Brochures

We believe that travelling solo, shouldn't mean having to pay more. On many of our hand-crafted itineraries, you can enjoy up to 100%* off our standard single supplement free.

Download Brochure
travel-brochure-usa-canada
travel-brochure-europe