Sri Lanka’s natural and cultural diversity is simply astonishing. It is only size of Ireland, yet has mountains cloaked in pristine forests, rolling tea plantations, wild coastlines, sublime beaches, ancient ruins, old colonial cities and a host of national parks. One of the world’s bio-diversity hot spots, 13% of the country is protected as parks, reserves, sanctuaries and jungle corridors . The wildlife is profuse, including 6000 free roaming wild elephants and a high number of endemic species of mammals and birds. The society is multi-ethnic and multi-religious, the country is now at peace, and there is a newly elected and liberal president making great changes. Sri Lankans are warm, friendly and hospitable, and always pleased that outsiders are interested in and appreciative of their home. It’s also a very well organized and clean country, with very little garbage.
The cultivation of many types of spices, rice, vegetables and fruit, and the influence of various cultures over the centuries makes for a varied and interesting cuisine. On our trip we try the local delicacies such as string hoppers, lamprais, the every popular ‘rice and curry’ and of course the local fish. And we also sample fine dining from around the world, made from locally sourced foods.
It starts in Negombo, which is close to Bandaranaike International Airport. It ends in Galle Fort. We provide airport transfers on the first and last days of the trip, to Negombo and from Galle Fort.
To reach Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport from North America you can route through the Middle East with Qatar Airways, Emirates or Etihad Airways; though India with Virgin Airways or Jet Airways; through the UK with Sri Lanka Airways (direct) 0r British Airways via Delhi or Bombay.
The cycling is very easy on flat roads. Most of the walking and hiking is gentle. If you wish to opt out of any activities, such as the longer hike to World’s End, or the walk up numerous steep stone stairways of Lion’s Rock, that is no problem, and we can come up with nice alternatives!
This is not a problem on any of our trips; you just need to let us know in advance what you can and can't eat. In Sri Lanka there are so many wonderful vegetables, fruit and varieties of rice, you will always be satisfied!
We can expect an array of weather as we move through the country. Along the west and south coast it will be hot and dry, with temperatures up to 30°C. In the highlands it will be cooler, ranging from 16° to 20° and with a good chance of showers.
Yes, and it is very straightforward to get it. At least two weeks before your departure you should get an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) via this link: http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/visainfo/center.jsp?locale=en_US
Medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, is mandatory on all our trips. We also strongly advise you to purchase trip cancellation insurance which should be done within a few days of making your booking.
Your routine vaccinations (tetanus/diphtheria, polio, etc.) must be up to date. Another general precaution for travelers anywhere in the world is a hepatitis A and possibly a typhoid vaccination. Please consult with your physician or local travel health clinic.
Malaria is present in many areas of Sri Lanka, so please consult with your local travel clinic about suitable malarial medication. Dengue fever is also present in Sri Lanka. This is mosquito-borne, and the only preventative is to protect yourself by covering up with shoes, socks and long pants and using mosquito repellant. NOTE: mosquitoes are attracted by dark colors, so it’s best to wear light colored clothing. They also like to hide in dark places in rooms and especially in luggage, so make sure you always close your bags when they are not in use.
Airport transfers on the first and last days of the trip, all tour guiding, excursions and entrance fees, all accommodation, all meals, and water.
International flights, airport transfers not on the first or last days of the trip, soft and alcoholic drinks, personal insurance and gratuities.
ATMs are available throughout Sri Lanka.
When you sign up for the trip, we will provide you with a comprehensive clothes and equipment list.
Absolutely not. We have many guests who travel with us on their own. They appreciate the camaraderie of our Hidden Places groups, and usually go home with newfound friends.
Of course. Just ask and we will be happy to put you in touch with one of our Hidden Places guests.