Savour the sweet life in Sri Lanka
Days
11
Next group trip
23 Dec
Deposit
£200
Prices between
£1849 - £2659
  • Prices between £1849 - £2659
  • 11 days
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Trip Highlights

Yala National Park jeep ride Leopard Sri Lanka
Wildlife delights

Search for elephants, sloth bears and the elusive leopard on safari in Yala National Park

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Sigiriya Rock Fortress Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sunset hike

Climb 1,200 steps to the top of Sigiriya Rock Fortress and see the ancient wonder light up at sunset

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Beautiful landscape tropical beach. Release baby turtles in Sri Lanka
Turtle hero

Help release baby turtles from a sanctuary into the Indian Ocean, and watch a spectacular sunset

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Ancient Buddhist statues carved in rock at Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka Cycling towards Polonnaruwa
Temple biking

Cycle your way around the ancient temples of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Nine Arch Bridge - Ella, SriLanka; Flashpacker holding tree backlit by the sun
All aboard

Take one of the world’s most beautiful train rides through cloud forest from Nuwara Eliya to Haputale

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Woman picking tea leaves A cup of tea in the sun
Tea time and BBQs

Learn the art of tea-making in beautiful Hill Country, and tuck into a private beach barbeque dinner

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What's included

  • 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 8 dinners, including a private beach barbeque

  • 10 nights’ accommodation in twin-room boutique hotels

  • All activities, from fortress hiking to dawn safaris, included. Local Flash Pack guide and driver

  • Max 14 Flashpackers

  • Private airport transfers anytime on Day 1, country travel in private minibus, train to Ella

About the trip

From the dreamy mist-clad valleys of Hill Country to the golden beaches of the chilled-out southern coast, Sri Lanka is a country of dazzling contrasts.

Our adventure here offers an irresistible blend of wildlife, spiritual hikes and boutique hotels. We’ll climb 1,200 steps to the summit of Sigiriya Rock Fortress to watch the sunset, and cycle through the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa. We’ll look for leopards and elephants at Yala National Park, and help baby turtles on their way to freedom in a unique conversation project.

We’ll hop aboard one of the world’s most beautiful train rides from Nuwara Eliya to Haputale, before hiking through the cloud forest. We’ll watch the magic of tea-making at a hillside estate and gather round for a private beach-side barbeque. We’ll feast on street food in Kandy, and kick back by an infinity pool on the Indian Ocean coast.

Flashpackers, are you ready for a journey like no other?

Where you will stay

Melheim,
Haputale

Mountain lodge with stunning views of Beragala

Wake up to a chorus of birdsong and then head down to the Clouds restaurant for breakfast on the sunny terrace and lose yourself in the sweeping mountain views.

Why we stay here

The private decks make for a good bird-watching spot, while the outdoor pool and hot tub are a great place to station yourself after a day exploring the nature trails.

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Amaya Lake Hotel,
Dambulla

Eco-resort close to Kandalama Lake

Secluded, stylish and welcoming spa hotel tucked away in abundant foliage a short walk from the waters of Kandalama Lake.

Why we stay here

From sipping a King Coconut cocktail at the swim-up bar and watching hummingbirds dart across the lawns, to feasting on kottu and hoppers by candlelight in the gardens, this is the perfect Dambulla hideaway.

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Jetwing Lagoon,
Negombo

Ayurvedic spa hotel on Negombo Lagoon

Even the most intrepid travellers need a few days of sleeping in a plush bed and only having to decide between a day at the pool or a day at the beach.

Why we stay here

A great spot for R&R: order yourself a drink from the bar and get comfortable on one of the day beds that line the impressive 100-metre pool. Weary hikers should book the Paada Abhyanga, a revitalising Ayurvedic foot massage.

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The Flash Pack Promise

Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included), hand-pick stylish hotels and match you with like-minded people.

Itinerary

Day 1

Cocktails and pool views in Negombo

Touch down at Colombo International Airport where you’ll be met in traditional Sri Lankan style with an Ayubowan (“Long Life”) greeting. Be whisked away by private transfer to your first hotel in Negombo, a beautiful retreat on the shores of a lagoon that was once a trading port for the Portuguese and the Dutch. Spend your afternoon here relaxing at the pool (one of the largest on the island) or the sandy white beach (tough decision, we know). Then, meet your fellow Flashpackers and guide with a team briefing at around 5.30pm. As dusk descends, we’ll head out to see the city comes to life with handicraft stalls, quirky shops and the lively crowds that gather at the restaurants jostling for position on Lewis Place. Tuck into a hearty dinner and get to know your Flashpacker crew, before returning to the hotel to sleep off some of that pesky jet lag.

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Sri_lanka_infintiy_pool

Day 2

Sigiriya Fortress at sunset

Enjoy breakfast at your boutique hideaway before heading to the beach-side fish market in Negombo. If we arrive early enough, we’ll be able to observe how local fishing folk engage in negotiation with wholesalers over their daily catch. Afterwards, we’ll hit the road and head three hours inland to Dambulla to check into our lakeside hotel, keeping an eye out for wild elephants en-route. From here, it’s a short drive to one of Sri Lanka’s most famous attractions – the 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress. With its Water Gardens, the Mirror Wall, ancient graffiti and panoramic views, make sure you have your camera handy for this legendary sight. Bond with your fellow Flashpackers as you climb up the 1,200 steps in time for a picturesque pink sunset across the rolling plains. After descending, the rest of the evening can be spent drinking beer or, for the brave, some arrack – a traditional coconut spirit that will go down nicely in your tropical surroundings.

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Solo traveler sri lanka

Day 3

Temple-hopping Polonnaruwa by bike

Look lively, Flashpackers; we have a jam-packed schedule for today. First up, saddle up for a leisurely bike ride around the medieval city of Polonnaruwa. Cycle through the city’s ancient wonders, cruising past the mesmerising temples of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. All this pedal power is hungry work, so we’ll stop by a local farmer’s house for lunch overlooking the rice paddy fields. The afternoon is then yours to do as you please back at your hotel. This is often ranked as a Flashpacker favourite, thanks to its gorgeous pool and moreish cocktails. Relax and unwind in your lakeside surroundings. Come evening, we’ll be spoiling you with another delicious meal at a nearby village. Expect fire torches, hearty curries and plenty of singing and dancing.

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Flashpackers enjoying a local dinner

Day 4

Sacred sights and street food in Kandy

Wake up in a tapestry of green and rolling hills, and savour a tranquil start to the day. Late morning, after you’re fully loaded on carbs and coffee, we’ll check out and head to Kandy, with a fiery stopover at a Spice Garden in Matale to learn the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine (your curries will never be the same again). Then it’s onward to the sacred city of Kandy. As the hill capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings, this city holds an aura of grandeur, and colonial influences still remain (as well as some spectacular traditional dances!) Head into the city for a chance to explore its vibrant array of shops and architecture, alongside ornate temples. If you have time, we definitely recommend seeing the Temple of the Tooth. And don’t miss a taste of Kandy’s famous street food – we recommend kottu, a chilli-infused roti dish and one of the nation’s favourite snacks. Then for dinner, we are going local, to a secret and beloved spot just outside of town.

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Kandy Sri Lanka

Day 5

The world’s most beautiful train ride

This morning we’ll check out of Kandy and head to Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of the Hill Country. This drive takes a couple of hours, so bring some snacks and games, or simply drink in the soul-lifting views all around. Once we arrive, you’ll soon see why Nuwara Eliya is known as “Little England” with its cottages, rolling hills and a cooler breeze. Have an amble around and stretch your legs before we head onwards, hopping aboard a train ride known as one of the most scenic in the world. The route to Haputale takes us through the lush highlands of Sri Lanka’s interior, passing through hazy mist-clad valleys, with plantations and forestland spooling out for miles into the horizon. Our final destination is a quiet hamlet in the hill country, surrounded by mountains and tea plantations. Take a dip in the hotel pool or marvel at the evocative hillside scenery over a cup of local Ceylon tea.

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Train ride from Ella to Kandy

Day 6

Tea-making and mountain walks

After breakfast and a refreshing cup of tea at the hotel (we are surrounded by tea plantations, after all), we’ll explore the laid-back town of Ella. Perched on a mountainside and surrounded by spectacular landscapes, the area is popular with trekkers and hikers thanks to its cooler climate. We’ll then head through the jungle to the Demodara Nine Arch Bridge arches, an atmospheric railway spot in the heart of the valley. Walk along the train track as you soak in the scenery here – fear not, it’s perfectly safe to do so! Next up, we’ll visit a tea plantation and factory to watch the process of turning the raw green leaf into the familiar product we so know and love. Then enjoy a short hike to Little Adam’s Peak, where you can gaze upon the beautiful mountains surrounding Ella. After exploring this charming little town, tuck into dinner and well-deserved beers with your Flash Pack family.

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Tea-making and mountain walks

Day 7

The road to a Sri Lankan safari

Relax and enjoy a lie-in: you deserve it after all the exploring we’ve done on this epic trip so far. We’ll spend the morning feasting on a lazy al fresco breakfast overlooking hills coated in mist and tropical greenery. After a few hours of sunbathing, swimming or trekking to a nearby waterfall (completely optional but we suggest to do it!), we’ll start to head south and out of the Hill Country to Yala National Park. Along the three-hour route, we’ll stop at the amazing, rock-carved Buddha statue of Buduruwagala that towers majestically from the cliff-face. We’ll then drive towards our hotel near the edge of the world-famous Yala National Park. Take it easy tonight and make sure your camera is fully charged for our early start tomorrow morning. Safari hour is nigh…

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Walk Little Adams Peak in ELLA Sri Lanka

Day 8

Look out for leopards in Yala National Park

It’s an early start today but it’s worth it – we’re jumping into jeeps for an incredible morning game drive through the country’s second largest park, known for its elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles and wild boar. Yala also boasts the highest density of leopards in the world, so there’s a fair chance you may spot one of these elusive big cats. Have your binoculars handy as you peer across the plains and bushland: seeing these animals in their natural habitat is nothing short of magnificent. Afterwards, we’ll check out of our hotel and head for the coast, around four hours away. We’ll travel south to the port city of Galle where a relaxed walkabout awaits. This includes a wander around the Galle Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that brims with fascinating architecture and history. Take in the Dutch-influenced housing and shimmering sea beyond, before we head onward to our beach retreat in Kosgoda. It’s a hard life.

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Leopard Yala National Park

Day 9

Life’s a beach in Kosgoda

Sun, sea and sand are the order of the day today. Simply kick back on the golden beach overlooking the Indian Ocean and wallow in a day of barefoot luxury on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. Take a dip in the clear-green pool, just moments away from the sea, or book in for an aromatherapy treatment at the hotel’s Balinese Ayu spa. Grab a book and a beer before moseying your way through the warm, shallow surf. This is a great chance to fully unwind after a full-on trip, and you’ll soon be back in reality – so, make the most of your last few days of the sweet life (plus, those poolside Insta snaps will make your colleagues that bit more jealous…) A dusk stroll along the beach, with its wide skies and gently swaying palm trees, is not to be missed.

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Kalpitiya Sri lanka

Day 10

Become a turtle hero

Make the most of your shore-side surroundings this morning with a lazy breakfast and some beachside chillin’, before a late afternoon visit to rescue baby turtles. Yes, really. We’re visiting a sea turtle conservation project in Kosgoda where you’ll learn all about the plight of these lovely marine reptiles. Marvel at these incredible creatures and learn about their battle for survival against widespread marine pollution and the destruction of nesting areas. You may even get an opportunity to help release tiny baby turtles into the sea, an unforgettable experience as you watch them face the open ocean on their own. After wishing them well on their journey, enjoy a delicious beach barbeque by a fire next to the Indian Ocean. Savour the very best of home-cooked Sri Lankan fare, as you salute the sunset with your Flashpacker pals. The evening is long and the horizon’s wide. It’s your last night in Sri Lanka – go wild!

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Turtle releasing Sri Lanka

Day 11

So long, Sri Lanka

It’s time to say goodbye to glorious Sri Lanka and reluctantly take a taxi back to Negombo where this adventure all started. The airport is on the way so if you would prefer to be dropped off there, let your driver know. Fly back safe in the knowledge that you’ve had one seriously awesome adventure. You’ve cycled through temples, hiked misty hillsides and savoured dizzying views on one of the world’s most incredible train rides. You’ve forayed through the home of the largest population of leopards, helped to save baby turtles and passed plenty of wild elephants en-route. And you’ve learnt to make tea: a Sri Lankan rite of passage. Fancy one more slice of paradise? If you have an evening flight, we suggest getting dropped off at the Jetwing Lagoon Resort, where you can purchase a day pass for a last few rays of sunshine. Reality can wait.

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Chilling on vacation

On the map

Important notes
  • Fly into and out of Colombo International Airport (Bandaranaike International Airport).
  • When booking your flight home, do remember that Colombo airport is around 2.5 hours away from our end destination of Kosgoda, so a morning flight would mean a very early start. Therefore, please make sure your flight leaves after 12pm at the earliest.
  • Each year Yala National Park closes its gates to let the park recover. Typically this is between September 1 to October 15 but it changes slightly each year. If your trip coincides with these dates, please ask our team to find out what else we have up our sleeve.
  • Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh.
  • We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, click here to learn more.

Trip dates

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10 Nights
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