Sri Lanka: Hike, Bike & Kayak

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Sri Lanka: Hike, Bike & Kayak

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Description

Ride through tea plantations, kayak down rivers, and hike to ancient fortresses on this fitness focused adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is one of Asia’s most exciting destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled national parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. Explore the country’s premier sites while wandering through the wilds on this Sri Lankan experience.

Trip Name
Sri Lanka: Hike, Bike & Kayak
Last Updated
2019-07-19
Days
13
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Witness ritual devotion in the spiritual heart of the country during a visit to Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth.
  • Spot birdlife and watch as Sri Lanka's forested landscape shifts with the flow of the Kaluganga River on a three-day kayaking expedition.
  • Encounter Sri Lanka's rich plant life while hiking through the Knuckles Mountain Range, so named for it's fist-like appearance.
  • Soothe sore muscles while relaxing on Mt Lavinia's 'Golden Mile' of incredible beaches.
  • Visit Sigiriya's ancient carved-rock fortress, which rises dramatically above the surrounding plains.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Negombo
Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to the international airport. You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5.30 pm. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is best explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception.
Day 2 - Minneriya National Park
Travel by private vehicle (4.5 hours) to Sigiriya, and check into your accommodation. Once the evening rolls in, head out to the Minneriya National Park for a jeep safari. The park plays home to a mix of evergreen forest and scrublands, not to mention the sambar deer, leopards and elephants that can often be spotted roaming the wilds.
Day 3 - Sigiriya - Knuckles Mountain Range (Hike)
Sigiriya an ancient carved-rock fortress that rises dramatically above the surrounding plains. The near vertical walls elevate the ancient city of Sigiriya high into the air, keeping the secrets of the Kassapa kingdom inaccessible save for a rigorous climb along steep staircases. Take a morning visit to witness this monolith with your own eyes, then transfer onward to Illukkumbura. From here, take a half-day walk through the Knuckles Mountain Range, named because the peaks and folds resemble a clenched fist when viewed from certain angles. More than 34 per cent of Sri Lanka’s endemic trees, shrubs and herbs are only found in these forests, so keep an eye out for these various plants as you push along the trail. In the off chance that there is heavy downpour during the hiking portion of the itinerary you will stay in a local guest house instead of camping in tents. Should the rain be so severe that there is a risk of landslides, you will visit Project Orange Elephant located near Wasgomuwa National Park. Project Orange Elephant is finding sustainable solutions to overcome human elephant conflict in rural Sri Lanka. You will meet some the local farmers and learn about life for both the elephant and human inhabitants that live in the area.
Day 4 - Knuckles Mountain Range (Hike)
Continue on a rigorous full day trek through the Knuckles region. After winding through the forests and hillsides, perhaps stopping at villages along the way. Climb Manigala Rock where views of the valley below and adjacent peaks await.
Day 5 - Knuckles Mountain Range - Kandy (Hike)
Begin your hike out of Knuckles National Park (3 hours) before transferring to Kandy (2 hours). Lying in the hills of the Kandy plateau, this major city previously served as the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. Spend the rest of the day relaxing here – maybe find a spot by the scenic lake in the centre of town and while away the afternoon.
Day 6 - Kandy
Today we visit the golden roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Housed inside, the relic of the tooth of the Buddha has played an important role in local politics due to the belief that whoever holds the relic holds governance of the country. It’s because of both the temple and Kandy’s status as the last city of the Sri Lankan Kings that Kandy stands as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Afterwards, enjoy the rest of the day with free exploration of the city.
Day 7 - Hatton (Bike)
Travel on to Hatton today (3 hours). After arriving, continue on a mountain bike ride through the area. Pass by the vast tea estates lying in the flowing hills, dotted with few trees which stand like beacons over the plantations below. After roaming around the idyllic countryside, consider taking the hike up Adam’s Peak. The peak itself is often visited by pilgrims who climb a candle lit trail to the top in the evenings, passing shrines and food stalls along the way.
Day 8 - Bogawanthalwa - Balangoda - Ratnapura (Bike)
Drive to Bogawanthalwa. Once you arrive, jump on your mountain bike and continue on a ride across the central highlands towards Balangoda. Travel through the rich forests and sprawling fields of rural Sri Lanka before finally arriving at Balangoda, pushing through 55 kilometres (34 miles) and 720 metres (2362 feet) of elevation gain along the way. From here, travel by private vehicle and drive onwards to Ratnapura, the bustling capital of the Sabaragamuwa Province, where you’ll spend the evening.
Day 9 - Kaluganga River (kayak)
Wake up in the morning and stretch those arm muscles as you prepare for a big day of kayaking along the Kaluganga River, meaning Black River in Sinhalese language. The Kaluganga stretches an impressive 129 kilometres (80 miles) in length, reaching through many of Sri Lanka’s districts and provinces. As a result, the landscape and vegetation next to the river seems to shift the further you paddle along the river, listening out for bird calls as you quietly drift on. Stop off at a local village where you'll camp for the night.
Day 10 - Kaluganga River (kayak)
Depart from the village in the morning and continue paddling down the Kaluganga River, taking in more sights and sounds as you paddle onwards.
Day 11 - Kalutara - Mt Lavinia (Kayak)
Continue on your kayak adventure before arriving at Kalutara, where the river meets the sea. Once an important trading centre for spices, the town’s name is derived from the Kaluganga River and was temporarily made the capital by order of a South Indian prince. After a little bit of time looking over the beautiful beaches, board your private vehicle and depart to Mount Lavinia for the next stage of your journey (approx 1 hour).
Day 12 - Mt Lavinia
Located 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the Colombo city centre, Mount Lavinia is a suburb renowned for its “Golden Mile” of beaches. It’s one of the most liberal areas of Sri Lanka and plays host to the island’s annual Gay Pride and Rainbow Kite festival since 2005. With a free day to relax on the beach, wash yourself off after a big haul of physical exercise and calm your muscles down. Consider taking on an optional yoga class to knock off any extra tension, or even say goodbye to your fellow adventurers over a group meal, if you choose to do so.
Day 13 - Mt Lavinia
Today marks the end of your adventure and there are no activities scheduled after breakfast.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
11-08-201923-08-2019AUD $ 1,946-
01-09-201913-09-2019AUD $ 1,946-
08-09-201920-09-2019AUD $ 2,040-
22-09-201904-10-2019AUD $ 2,138-
29-09-201911-10-2019AUD $ 1,946-
20-10-201901-11-2019AUD $ 1,946-
17-11-201929-11-2019AUD $ 2,290-
22-12-201903-01-2020AUD $ 2,400-
05-01-202017-01-2020AUD $ 2,400-
16-02-202028-02-2020AUD $ 2,400-
08-03-202020-03-2020AUD $ 2,400-
05-04-202017-04-2020AUD $ 2,400-
26-07-202007-08-2020AUD $ 2,400-
09-08-202021-08-2020AUD $ 2,400-
06-09-202018-09-2020AUD $ 2,400-
20-09-202002-10-2020AUD $ 2,400-
27-09-202009-10-2020AUD $ 2,400-
18-10-202030-10-2020AUD $ 2,400-
08-11-202020-11-2020AUD $ 2,400-
20-12-202001-01-2021AUD $ 2,400-

Accommodation

Camping (basic facilities) (4 nights),Hotel (8 nights)

Transport

Private vehicle,Jeep,Taxi,Kayak,Bike

Map