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Discover Sri Lanka

Spend two weeks exploring the delights of this diverse and inspiring island



At a glance

* 14 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite
* Travel by private bus
* Additional travel by train, bicycle and jeep
* Some long drives

Spend two weeks exploring the delights of this diverse and inspiring island

Lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a natural
paradise with a landscape of verdant mountains, rainforests, paddy fields,
tumbling waterfalls and sweeping gorges. From ancient Buddhist temples, the
fortress of Sigiriya, the towns of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya in the hill
country, the wildlife of Yala National Park (which has one of the highest
concentrations of leopards in the world), to the idyllic palm-fringed beaches
of the south coast, this small island offers incredible variety, made extra
special by its laid back atmosphere and hospitable people.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/ail_2.jpg?t=1DSsdN

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All breakfasts and 1 lunch
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

Food:
All breakfasts and 1 lunch is included.

We suggest allowing about £15-£17 (approx. US – US.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 products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free.
Please be prepared for this and 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.

Start destination: Veyangoda

End destination: Colombo

Cycling profile

Day 1

The group flight arrives at Colombo’s Bandaranaike Airport and we transfer to
our hotel approximately 30 minutes away. Those not flying with the group will
meet us at the hotel.
*The Covanro or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 2

We depart after breakfast for the drive (approx. 4 hours) through lush green
countryside (a mix of coconut palms, paddy fields and banana plantations)
through Kurunegala to Dambulla. Here we visit the magnificent Cave Temple,
for some, the most impressive sight in Sri Lanka. There are colourful, well
preserved paintings and statues of Buddha inside the caves, which date back
to the 1st century BC. After lunch we continue to Sigiriya where we stay for
the night. From our hotel we can see Lions Rock rising up from the plains
(occasionally we may stay nearer to Dambulla due to hotel availability).
*Hotel Sigiriya or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 3

This morning we drive to the foot of the Lions Rock at Sigiriya. The imposing
5th century rock fortress of Sigiriya rises 600 feet from the plains
overlooking the surrounding countryside and giving far-reaching views. Used
as a safe haven from invaders, the route to the top goes via 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.
During the afternoon there is a chance to enjoy an optional game drive in
either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park or the Hurulu Eco Park to see
elephants in their natural habitat. For those who don’t want to take part,
there is time to relax at the hotel.
*Hotel Sigiriya or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 4

This morning we have a short drive to Giritale where our usual hotel
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 and cool the warm breeze. Nowadays they
provide an important habitat for bird life, particularly from August to
April. Today we take to bikes and cycle at a leisurely pace through a series
of small villages and lakes (if you don’t want to cycle you can follow the
group in the support vehicle). We should see plenty of bird life including
Egrets, Brahmany kites, Kingfishers and Bulbuls. Stopping for lunch in a
traditional village will break up the journey. In the late afternoon we
return to our hotel in Giritale.
*Giritale Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 5

After breakfast we take a short drive to the 10th century capital of Sri
Lanka; Polonnaruwa, 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.
After lunch we head into the hills to the picturesque town of Kandy. On the
way we stop at a spice garden near Matale where we can see various spices and
herbs growing, and there is a chance to stock up on massage oils, spices and
Ayurvedic medicines. This is a long but fascinating day and we arrive at
Kandy in the early evening.
*Hotel Thilanka or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 6

Kandy is located by a small lake and we spend two full days in and around the
town. On the first day we will visit 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. Some of our
trips in August should coincide with the Kandy festival, but the exact dates,
decided by priests, are not known until 5 months prior to the event. After
our visit we drive to a beautiful viewpoint over Kandy overlooked by a huge
Buddha, and visit a gem museum where you can see the products of the
traditional methods of gem extraction. Another highlight is the vast
Peradeniya Botanical Garden with species of orchid that are endemic to Sri
Lanka. In the evening we may have the chance to attend a performance of
dancing and fire walking.
The second day is free to explore this wonderful town. The surrounding hills
are wonderful, offering fantastic views of the town below and there are many
handicraft stores and antique shops in which to browse.
*Hotel Thilanka or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 7

Leaving Kandy early, we have a spectacular drive through the countryside on
the way to Kitulgala. Here we have the opportunity of going on a walk through
the jungle or local villages followed by an optional white water rafting
excursion. The rafting costs extra (see the Optional Excursions section),
lasts a maximum of 1.5 hours and there is a choice of gentle or wild water
(grade 3 rapids) depending on your preference. Those of us who do not wish to
go rafting will be able to freshen up and relax by the water until the
rafters return in time for lunch. Afterwards we will drive to our hotel in
Nuwara Eliya.
(Please note that from the full moon day of December to the full moon day of
May it is possible to climb Adams Peak. This is optional and you need to be
very fit to attempt this. You would leave Nuwara Eliya at 11pm on day 8 and
drive to the base of the peak. From here it is a strenuous 4 hour climb to
the top in time for sunrise. We then return to Nuwara Eliya to join the group
for lunch on day 9).
*Hill Club Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 8

This morning we will have free time to explore the beautiful town of Nuwara
Eliya. Nuwara Eliya was a popular hill station during the British era and is
situated in the cool highland air at 1890m. Known locally as ‘Little England’
it is dotted with British style houses and parks and features a golf club and
a racecourse! Following lunch we will visit a nearby tea factory and learn
about the process of tea production.
*Hill Club Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 9

We have an early start this morning and take a 30km drive south to Horton
Plains, a large plateau over 2,000m high, overlooked by the second and third
highest peaks in Sri Lanka. The scenery is beautiful and the best way to
explore is on foot. We take a guided walk through the rolling grasslands
where we hope to see such as the Sambur and Purple Faced monkey. We also
visit ‘World’s End’ which is one of the most stunning sights in Sri Lanka
where the ground drops 1050m to the plains. Following this we catch a train
from the highest railway station in the country – within an hour and a half
we drop from 1889m to 1097m. The train travels through the cloud forest into
the tea plantations, with breath-taking views of the lush valley below.
Although the train can be very busy on occasion, this is still a great
experience. We get off at Bandarawela, a town relatively untouched by
tourism.
*Orient Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 10

Today we continue on to Ella Gap where we have spectacular views of the
coastal plain nearly 1,000m below. Almost the entire southern part of the
island is in view and on a particularly clear day the shimmering silver of
the Indian Ocean is visible. Heading south out of the hills we travel to
Kataragama on the plains; this is our base for visiting Sri Lanka’s best
known national park, Yala. The park is popular for elephant, leopard, bear,
crocodile and Wild boar. At 97,800 hectares, this is the second largest of
Sri Lanka’s national parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for
elephants for many years, but recently the park has also become better known
for leopard. The park, which is primarily shrub jungle with several salt and
fresh water lagoons, has one of the highest concentrations of leopard per
square kilometre in the world. (Please note that the sanctuary may be closed
for 4-6 weeks from September to October allowing the park authorities to
check the welfare of the animals. We therefore go to an alternative area
close by, usually Udawalawe National Park).
*Mandara Rosen or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 11

Today we leave for the coast, with its beautiful palm fringed bays. Stopping
on the way at Hambantota and walking to a nearby farm house where you be
offered tea in a coconut shell along with a local snack. We will mix with
real Sri Lankan life and take part in some traditional Sri Lankan games,
returning to our bus in tractors used by the farmers. We have the option of
enjoying lunch at one of the houses that we built for Tsunami victims; this
may be one of the best curries of your trip! Continuing on to Ahangama in the
afternoon we arrive at our coastal hotel and you can relax for the rest of
the day.
*Insight Resort or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 12

Today is a free day to relax on the beach or by the hotel pool. There are
also optional activities during the day including a boat ride through
mangrove swamps to a cinnamon plantation or, from November to April you can
go whale watching off Dondra head, one of the best places in the world for
seeing Blue and Sperm whales. Huge pods of dolphins are also often seen
playing alongside the boats.
*Insight Resort or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 13

We set off today and drive along the coastal road to the historic port of
Galle, visiting a turtle hatchery on the way. Galle dates back to the 17th
century, and now a UNESCO world heritage site. We take the express way to
Colombo reaching our hotel in the late afternoon.
*Hotel Mirage or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 14

The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be taken to
the airport in time for their flight home.
**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-01-212018-02-04

Trip code: AIL180121

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Price: €1845

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Date: 2018-01-242018-02-07

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Date: 2018-01-282018-02-11

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Date: 2018-01-312018-02-14

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Date: 2018-02-042018-02-18

Trip code: AIL180204

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Date: 2018-02-072018-02-21

Trip code: AIL180207

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Date: 2018-02-112018-02-25

Trip code: AIL180211

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Date: 2018-02-142018-02-28

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Date: 2018-02-182018-03-04

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Date: 2018-10-282018-11-11

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Date: 2019-01-062019-01-20

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Date: 2019-06-232019-07-07

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Date: 2019-11-102019-11-24

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Date: 2019-11-172019-12-01

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Date: 2019-11-242019-12-08

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Date: 2019-12-152019-12-29

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Customer Feedback

An Amazing Tour of Sri Lankan Highlights

Summary:
If you want the see some of the main essential sites of Sri Lanka in a week
this is the tour for you. It is not too full on compared with some other
Exodus trips and you do have time to take in the beauty of some of the
wonderful places you see and stay.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The mornings cycle ride was great fun as was the lunch we had with a local
family, the Sri Lankan’s are such friendly people. The elephant safari was
just amazing, highlighted by seeing a week old baby elephant. Also a
personal achievement and highlight for me was getting to the top of the
Sigiria Rock, I don’t do heights and the stairs around the side were quite
an experience – but I made it! The views were breathtaking.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Dileepa our tour leader was just brilliant. He was funny, very informative
and obviously loved his country. Dileepa always made sure everyone had
everything they needed and went out of his way to achieve this. We could not
of asked for a better tour leader.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Just go, having travelled to India last year and Cambodia/Vietnam the year
before this would of been a good place to start as not so much of a cultural
shock. The Sri Lankan’s are such friendly people and it is a beautiful
county.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
We stayed on 5 nights near Galle after the tour to fully unwind and do a
little of our own touring.

Read full review

Discover Sri Lanka Sept 2017

Summary:
This was a wonderful trip, full of colour and variety. We travelled all over
the country and saw so many interesting places and had fantastic experiences,
but also had time to relax along the way. The tour leaders in Sri Lanka
were the winning leader team in the Exodus leader awards in 2016 and I can
see why.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
I enjoyed all of it! However I particularly liked the Polonnaruwa ruins and
loved our visit to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. The countryside was so
colourful and lush, and we saw lots of animals and birds even outwith the
parks. To my surprise I also enjoyed the white water rafting which I had
never done before.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Sujan Weerakoon was an excellent tour leader. He knows the country inside
out and was a mine of interesting information but delivered in small
digestible chunks. He was very well organised and gave us lot of helpful
advice re what to take/wear/expect each day. Everything was taken care of
for us and we were able to relax. He was friendly with everyone and had a
good sense of humour. He judged the mood of the group well and on one
memorable occasion was able to conjure up tea and chocolate cake just when we
were all running out of energy.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Do take up the offer of the leader to organise the tipping kitty. Everyone
expects a tip in Sri Lanka and it would have been a complete nightmare to
manage this ourselves. Sujan did this for us and kept meticulous records and
it smoothed our path through the country.
Many of the activities are optional and opting out does not cause a problem.
I did not do the cycling and was able to follow the group in the support
vehicle.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
As this tour is so well established, it runs like a well oiled machine. I
can see why it is popular – it is very varied with something for everyone,
and great fun. Go for it!

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Discover Sri Lanka

Summary:
What a fantastic trip! Travelled with my new wife on our Honeymoon and
although I had high hopes of Sri Lanka the tour went far beyond our
expectations.

A guided tour of 16 with a real mixture of people we visited many sights and
places and overall was a very well balanced trip that comprised of history,
culture, tradition and a bit of R&R. The tour allows you to experience the
different provinces of Sri Lanka that provides its unique vibe.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
So many to choose from. Seeing wild elephants on the roadside and a leopard
on the safari to watching the sunset over the plains at Giritale. The bike
ride was great fun where we were greeted with wide smiles by the village
children. Every day was memorable.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
I cannot speak highly enough of Sujan, our group leader. Friendly,
knowledgeable, funny and very professional. He made everyday run like
clockwork. An example of this was that he told us exactly where to stand
within the Temple of the Tooth. When the ceremony began we had perfect
location.

Further, he appeared to be on very good terms with all staff at every hotel
and excursion personnel which helped to create a friendly atmosphere.

Sujan also went the extra mile for us both knowing it was our Honeymoon and
managed the tipping process perfectly.

Absolute asset to Exodus and his country.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Definitely remember a jumper AND raincoat. Can get chilly when in altitude
and weather in the tea plains is just like Britain. Comfy walking shoes also
a necessity.

A towel for the rafting also otherwise an uncomfortable trip in the bus back
to the hotel.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Overall best overseas experience of my life. The group was fantastic and the
country is something EVERONE should travel. Thank you Exodus and especially
Sujan for a remarkable journey.

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Highly recommended introduction to Sri Lanka

Summary:
A wonderfully varied trip. We did so much. I’ll try not to repeat what Karen
said but will add a few thoughts.
The Sri Lanka we saw was surprisingly diverse. We went from low, hot and
humid, by the Indian ocean near Colombo, up into the beautiful hill country,
with its expanses of tea plantations, then down to the semi arid coast in the
south. A great start was meeting the group. They were all positive, punctual
and friendly. We laughed a lot.
I loved the food. So much choice! Buffets offered salads, curries, fruit and
more for around £6. I didn’t feel the need that some felt for sandwiches and
chips instead. I’m not vegetarian but found the veggie choices in the buffets
to be the best options. We had great “village meals” on two occasions, plus
the opportunity to try mannioc and drink tea from coconut shells.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
It’s tricky to choose from so many. If it has to be a moment, perhaps I’ll
choose diving into an empty pool at 7am at the lovely Mandala Rosen in
Kataragama. Music played underwater, then I came up to the quiet of birdsong
as blossom floated down from the trees.
More widely, it was the gentle smiling people and the beautiful countryside,
especially in the hills.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Neelaka is a Sri Lankan gem. He looked after us with his unfailing cheerful
calm. He must have been paddling hard beneath the surface to keep everything
running so smoothly. At every hotel we were greeted with a cool cloth and a
drink, while our cases were whisked away to our rooms. An absolute godsend
was his dealing with tips and small payments. Without this we’d have been
burdened continuously, as everyone needs tipping!
We loved his little extra treats which included introducing us to fruit and
veg we’d never heard of, let alone tasted. He guided us to interesting
restaurants, took us to special places when we expressed interest and told us
about local culture and behaviour, as well as describing in detail the places
we visited. We learned about puberty rituals, which prepared us for the
ceremony we saw scheduled in our last hotel, plus the surprising dependence
of Sri Lankans on astrologers.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Activities are optional. As the group slow coach, I didn’t complete the Lion
Rock climb. I went part way and then waited and watched as the stream of
visitors climbed the uneven steps. I also didn’t complete the Horton Plains
walk in torrential rain. (NB – make sure you have a good waterproof. Some
didn’t. Sri Lankan rain is serious!)
If you have to stay at the Hill Club, don’t eat there. Go next door to the
Grand. If you do have to eat there, definitely avoid the set meal. Don’t buy
spices at the spice place if you want a good price. A sarong or similar could
be very useful in many ways. You can buy one out there. Cash can be changed
in many places, with your guide’s local knowledge. Check hotel bills are in
rupees, not £s or you’ll be paying a hotel’s exchange rate instead of the
bank’s.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I agree with Karen about the grim Hill Club. The elephant safari was great
for seeing elephants but the jeeps weren’t good (cf at Yala) and there were
far too many. The turtle hatchery may be doing good conservation work but was
a very sad place to visit.
The Indian ocean is beautiful, but it’s not for swimming. Too rough. The
optional boat trip was interesting for those of us who didn’t view sunbathing
as an activity. It was fascinating to visit the cinnamon island to see the
lengthy handwork that goes into producing the spice.

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discover sri lanka 12th august

Summary:
This was an amazing trip, well organised the right amount of activities and
free days. Sri Lanka is a truly beautiful country and the people are very
hospitable and very friendly. On this tour you get to see and do so much
looking back on our 15 days don’t know how we managed to fit it all in. on
the whole the hotels are of a very good standard, you do get a bit tired with
them mostly serving buffet meals but they are of good quality this and
plentiful. There is generally an Al a Carte menu but don’t worry not like the
over priced ones in the U.K just standard food and price .

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
This was such a good trip to many to pick just one , one of my highlights
was getting to the top of lions rock by 9 am in the morning and seeing that
view, breath-taking.
The elephant safari was very crowded too many jeeps but did see some
magnificent elephants, even better when we got to our hotel (The Lake) we
saw the elephants in the distance coming down to the water for and evening
drink totally on their own while we were laying by the pool what a sight!!
The bike ride and lunch that followed again such a lovely day, white water
rafting is a must, great fun.
The temples and history was fascinating. The traditional games we played on
one of the days was great fun, we were a group of 16 mixed ages from 17 to
70from solo travellers to 1 family of 4 we just hit it off from day one and
were like one big family.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our leader Neelaka was fantastic, nothing was too much trouble, everything
was explained to us about the history, temples, best way to see things, he
new exactly were and when we had to be somewhere to get the best view,
experience on each day, this did mean a few early starts but well worth it,
his knowledge and passion for his country showed in everything he did.
One of the group had a birthday which none of us new about, Neelaka organised
a card for us all to sign. decorated the bus with balloons and streamers and
arranged a cake for our meal that evening what a special day.
He stopped off on the side of the road to show us things, brought fruits for
us to try, corn on the cobs, drink queen coconut milk and stopped off to see
a family who produce more things from a coconut than you would ever think
possible, non of this was on the itinerary .

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Just go and see this beautiful country for your selves before it gets ruined
by tourism.
Be prepared for many changes in temperature and weather we went from 33
degrees to 14 and back to 36 degrees sun and rain, and make the most of every
day.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
There are a couple of places that I think should be missed out, The Hills
Club Hotel is not nice, cold damp dirty and very archaic at the moment this
is on the itinerary for a 2 day stay my advise is don’t bother to eat there
go the the hotel next door The Grand has a fabulous Thai restaurant meal and
drinks for about £12. there is a lovely coffee shop for snack lunch or just
a drink and a Indian restaurant we didn’t try this but wish we had eaten
there one of our nights.

The turtle hatchery is not great, large turtles kept in very small tanks and
not much hope of release.

This was my first solo holiday both Exodus and the group I was with made it a
truly memorable time, if this is your first solo trip all I can say is go for
it and you will be looked after every step of the way.
Can’t wait to plan next years adventure with Exodus.

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Inspiring Sri Lanka!

Summary:
If you want a truly diverse trip with a range of cultural and wildlfe
experiences which gets you under the skin of the country then this could be
the trip for you! We went with an open mind and some expectations, but they
were suppassed. You get to see some beautiful architecture and scenery, enjoy
the diverse flora and wildlife (yes wild elephants are amazing!), meet
friendly locals and enjoy fantastic food. I have travelled to a number of
different countries and as a vegetarian have often struggled with the choice
of food, but not in Sri Lanka. We were helped at every turn by our amazing
guide, Sujan, so we could sit back and enjoy every bit of the experience!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Standing on the top of the rock at Sigiriya and appreciating the ambition and
achievements of the people that had built it and the surrounding buildings so
long ago. On the jeep safari looking at my watch and realising that we had
been out for more than 3 hours and I hadn’t realised that the time could pass
so quickly.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Sujan was amazing, professional, friendly – all round super star!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
It a beautiful and inspiring country. Great tour that is well organised and
tries to cater for everyone.

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DIscover Sri Lanka

Summary:
Two weeks of absolute bliss. A group of 15 gelled magnificently considering
age range was between 28- 72! Starting in the capitol, Columbo we ventured
north to Dambulla + Sigiriya taking in Cave temples and climbing the
impressive Lion Rock- what views! Something we would get used to over the
course of the fortnight, each different view offering us an awesome insight
to the lush, green island before us. Game parks – herds of elephants- not the
odd one or two – dozens. Along with multitudinal birds of all colours ,
shapes, sizes and other animals( although the Leopard did not make an
appearance this time )- Sri Lanka is a nature lovers paradise. Temples,
architecture, stupas, sculptures in abundance enough to satisfy the cultural
aspect of the trip. Cycling through paddy fields, white water rafting ,
whale watching all achieved and even if you were not athletically inclined
the majority of luxurious hotels had a pool to lounge by and an informal game
of cricket on the beach caught the imagination of even the most non sporting
amongst us. Trips to a gem factory , woodcarving store, spice garden were
also on the itinerary. There was something for everyone. Food was delicious –
curry and rice but other ‘western’ food available. Beer relatively cheap.
shopping in Kandy was a must – this definitely the place to get any souvenir
or just to treat yourself. Can’t believe we did so much and saw so much – the
time flew by – even the ‘free days’. Thoroughly recommend.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
I loved the white water rafting and floating down the river kept afloat by
life jacket.
Swimming in Indian ocean also high on hit list

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Neelaka has the broadest grin ever. He was so knowledgeable about all sorts,
plants, animals, birds, temples, history, religion, geography- like many
guides has a repertoire of anecdotes. He had time for everyone, no ‘problem’
was too small and was sorted immediately. Definitely made the holiday – a
good group leader, one of best I have encountered

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take a prepaid card for money. ATMs available and cash can be exchanged at
airport.
Buy goods in Kandy – best prices here.
Laundry available in some hotels – you do not need to take loads of clothes.
Try all the food – even curry for breakfast – has to be done
Be aware the train may be mega crowded

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
One of the most enjoyable trips I have been on with Exodus.
Try everything – even eating your food with fingers!
Take lots of photos- you will do sooooooo much you will not remember – oh
don’t forget the tuk tuk transport

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Discover Sri Lanka – Excellent!

Summary:
Highly recommended.

It’s an amazing country and Sri Lankan’s in general have a very chilled and
relaxed attitude to life/work. Which is a nice to see when you come from a
big city.

The country itself is lovely and picturesque. The mountain region in
particular has some amazing views.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
– Elephant trip : was optional but I would highly recommend you go to this.
Everyone on my tour went and came away with a massive smile and loads of
photoes. It’s can be dusty, hot and bumpy ride – but it’s not a “drive
though” zoo – its a real life national park.

– Sri Lanka Housing Project : amazing story and even better food

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Rowan was brilliant and very passionate about Sri Lanka, it’s history, it’s
culture, the environment and wildlife. Always attentive and ready to help out
when we need help (above and beyond in some cases during our trip).

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
– Take a hat if you are folically challenged!

– Money wise I took pounds with me and changed only around £150 just for me
at the airport. But througout the trip I changed further pounds (only once in
Kandy), used the ATMs and my debit card to pay for larger hotel bills. If I
was to go again I wouldnt bother with ATMs (some worked but many didn’t);
instead I would convert more pounds at the airport and use the debit card at
the hotels or where easy.

– Only Adams Peak needed proper walking boots I think. I would get some
decent walking sandals next time.

– Out of the optional trips I did the :
— Elephant trip (best thing I have done in a while)
— Whiteriver Rafting (excellent – but will soon disappear due to ongoing
engineering projects to build a massive dam)
— Adams Peak (excellent – brilliant views but can be difficult to walk as
steps can be uneven)
— Whale Spotting (good – we saw a few whales and a killer whale – but I
would not go if you can’t get a “private” boat with enough Exodus members [10
people] . If you go on the “public” boats you are karted on and cannot move
around freely. The “private” boat is all yours and allows you to move around
to different parts of a boat. Whales come up when they want and having
freedom to move around means you can see it)

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Discover Sri Lanka

Summary:
A great trip in a beautiful country. The people are very courteous, friendly
and glad to see you. The wild life is prolific with many colourful birds, a
great place for a bird watcher. It was very hot so be prepared and take lots
of sun cream!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
There were many inspirational moments:
The jeep drive to see the elephants at the watering place was amazing, we
were quite close to many of the wild elephants and saw about 150 in one large
group.
One day we walked through a Botanical Gardens and witnessed thousands of
Fruit Bats flying about just over our heads, they were huge with wing spans
of over 1 metre. I expected David Attenborough to appear from behind a tree
like in one of his wildlife documentaries!
The optional Whale Watching Boat Ride was great – we saw mother and baby Blue
Whales spouting and diving, followed later by hundreds of Dolphins around our
boat.
On our bike ride we were invited by a local family whose home we passed to
join in with their New Year celebrations and offered many home made snacks.
The drive through Yala National Park was also great and we saw many animals
and birds. The driver on that trip was very helpful and spotted many of them
for us.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our leader Neelaka Iddamalgoda was excellent. He was very friendly;
knowledgeable; and helpful. We have been on many Exodus trips and he is right
up there with the best.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be prepared for the heat and humidity. Take binoculars and a camera.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
We enjoyed the holiday immensely and would recommend it, but there were one
or two things we were disappointed with:
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country but is blighted by the “huge” amounts of
litter spread around the countryside, in many places we would be admiring the
view in the distance whilst noting the litter on the roadsides.
The train ride was “awful” it was excessively crowded and we were packed in
like sardines. Most of the group could not see anything through the windows.
We had to stand motionless throughout the journey due to the crowding and I
was so closed in it was like an oven and I felt physically ill by the end of
the journey. My wife also ended up in a carriage on her own. I was able to
see into the 1st class section and there were many free seats in there. In
future Exodus should ensure that all our group are booked into 1st class on
this trip.
Sri Lanka needs to invest in the creation of local Waste Water Treatment
Plants and General Sewerage Systems – in many areas we were conscious of the
smell of raw sewage and it was especially strong in one restaurant whilst we
were eating a meal – it was not pleasant

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Great tour in Sri Lanka

Summary:
Excellent tour – a good mixture of wildlife, great scenery, local interest,
buddhist shrines, a good range of cycling from easy to challenging –
comfortable hotels – and friendly companions.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The early morning downhill from Ella to the waterfall

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Suresh was excellent – really experienced – well organised – very informative
– arranged stops which introduced local topics and people – cooking lessons
with good recipes to pass on – clearly enjoys his role !

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Consider taking the bus on the last section up to the tea plantations – the
climb is continuous and very long.

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Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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