Best of Sri Lanka Group Tour - 12 day Backpacking Trip in Sri Lanka
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Best of Sri Lanka - 12 Days

Negombo to Unawatuna

5 star review 213 Reviews

Best of Sri Lanka - 12 Days Best of Sri Lanka - 12 Days
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Best of Sri Lanka - 12 Days

Negombo to Unawatuna

5 star review 213 Reviews

£1 deposit
From £1199
Almost Everything Included
Awesome Accommodation (2 per room)
Perfect for Solo Travellers
Book Now Schedule a Call Back
Watch the video
Watch the videoWatch the video
£1 deposit
From £1199
Almost Everything Included
Awesome Accommodation (2 per room)
Perfect for Solo Travellers
Book Now Schedule a Call Back

Trip Highlights

Come and join us for the best 2 weeks of your life on our 12 day/ 11 night Sri Lanka group tour. This trip gives you the perfect balance of culture, adventure, chill time and nightlife. This clockwise roadtrip of Sri Lanka will not stop giving; visit ancient ruins, pick tea in the highlands, ride the world famous train to Ella before taking an open jeep safari to witness wild elephants first hand. The chilled vibes of the South Coast are the ideal way to finish off this incredible adventure, you’ll have time for yoga, surfing, shopping, partying and if you’re lucky we’ll find some turtles during our sunset snorkelling. This unforgettable backpacking tour in Sri Lanka will leave you with a lifetime of memories and a bunch of new travel buddies!

What’s Included

Accommodation? Check! Activities? Yep. Guides? Of course! Meals? We threw in a bunch to keep you going!

We’ve got you covered 😉

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Sri Lanka Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Negombo

All packed and ready to go? Woop woop! It’s time to leave all those worries behind and head to the airport. We’ll be waiting for you at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) with a sign with your name on it. Like all our other group tours, the first day is all about settling in and finding your bearings. We suggest arriving in the middle of the day to give you time to freshen up, soak up the sun around the pool or just catch up on some sleep. This evening, we’ll head out for dinner and drinks at one of our favourite spots!
📍 Location: Negombo
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Airport pickup, getting settled in, dinner & chilled drinks

Day 2: Markets, local flavours and ancient temples 🛺

We start all our trips with a relaxed welcome chat where our team will answer any questions and set the expectations for the trip ahead. After breakfast, we'll hop in tuk-tuks and explore the local markets. We soon bid farewell to Negombo and head towards the Golden Cave Temple in Dambulla, where we learn about the cultural significance of this sacred temple that has been hand-carved into the face of the rock. We finish the day by heading to our super comfortable accommodation, ready for a sunset dip in the swimming pool… just magical!
📍 Location: Negombo & Dambulla
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Tuk tuk ride, local markets & Dambulla Golden Cave Temple

Day 3: It doesn’t get much more local than this!

We begin the day with an adventure to Pidurangala for some of the most incredible views of the Sigiriya Lion Rock fortress. Then, we make our way to Sri Lanka's largest produce market before enjoying lunch and heading to our hotel for a relaxed afternoon by the pool. We conclude the day with a secret local evening experience… shhh, don’t tell anyone 🤫
📍 Location: Dambulla & Sigiriya
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Pidurangala rock, views of Sigiriya & local village experience

Day 4: Today we head to Kandy 🙏🏼

We begin the day with a leisurely morning and bid farewell to Dambulla as we welcome Kandy. Home to the Temple of the Tooth and the giant white Buddha, Kandy holds significant cultural and historical importance within the heritage of Sri Lanka. We visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site during the evening ceremony before heading out for dinner and drinks at one of our favourite spots overlooking the lake.
📍 Location: Kandy
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Temple of the tooth visit & evening ceremony

Day 5: Tea plantations, waterfalls & the train to Ella

Rise and shine... It's time to hit the road as we head up through the mountains and surround ourselves with endless tea plantations and cascading waterfalls. After a brief stop at the Ramboda Falls, we'll be learning to pick, brew, and enjoy some of Sri Lanka's finest tea. Then, we'll board one of the world's 'most scenic train journeys' as we travel to the chilled town of Ella. Once we arrive, we'll get checked in and head into town for a night out, such vibe!!
📍 Location: Kandy & Ella
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Waterfall (seasonal), tea plantation & scenic train to Ella

Day 6: Little Adam’s Peak & 9 Arches Bridge

Today, we'll start by soaking up the laid-back vibes of Ella with some free time for brunch or simply sleeping in. In the late morning, we'll put on our trainers and embark on an easy to moderate hike to the summit of Little Adam's Peak. We'll be greeted by 360° views of the famous gorge known as Ella Gap. Did you capture the shot? Well, don't put the camera away, our next destination is the iconic 9 arches bridge.This Instagram-famous spot will soon be all over your TikTok! You should expect to have some free time today to wander, shop, or perhaps arrange an Ayurvedic Massage.
📍 Location: Ella
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Hike to Little Adam’s Peak & 9 Arches Bridge

Day 7: Ella Rock sunrise & Udawalawe National Park

If yesterday's hike wasn’t enough, join us as we tackle Ella Rock at the crack of dawn. This adventurous trail is much more natural and challenging, but you’ll feel that sense of achievement when you reach the top. After descending the mountain, we head south towards Udawalawe where we spend the night in glamping-style bungalows in the National Park.
📍 Location: Ella & Udawalawe
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Ella Rock, Ravana Falls (seasonal) & Glamping

Day 8: Open jeep safari & Hiriketiya Beach

For most, today is the day you've been waiting for... we'll cruise the national park in search of elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, buffalo, and maybe even leopards. After filling your hearts with love, it's time to head to the salty shores of Hiriketiya for a laid-back afternoon on the beach. Tonight, we'll indulge in some of the best Rice ‘N’ Curry in Sri Lanka!
📍 Location: Udawalawe, Hiriketiya & Mirissa
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Open jeep safari and beach time

Day 9: Learn to surf like a local in Weligama

We start the day as we mean to go on with some surf-ready yoga overlooking the ocean. Once we are all warmed up and ready to go, we meet our friendly surfer friends who introduce us to the waves of the South Coast. It doesn’t matter if you're a seasoned pro or an absolute first-timer… this beach break is perfect for all levels. The afternoon is free for shopping, chilling, or exploring. We’ll meet up later for sunset at Coconut Tree Hill and a night to remember at the legendary spot - 'The Doctors House’. It's time to put on that party shirt and grab yourself an icy cold mango daiquiri 🍹
📍 Location: Weligama, Mirissa & Madiha
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Yoga, surf lesson & party night out

Day 10-11: Turtles in Unawatuna & Cricket in Galle

From one beautiful beach town to another, it’s time to head further down the coast and explore the local beachside town of Unawatuna. We’ll go snorkelling in the shallow waters of Dalawella Beach with giant sea turtles and swing from palm trees for that perfect Instagram shot. Leaving without introducing you to Galle? No chance! Let's wander the quirky streets of the Dutch Fortress, pick up those last-minute souvenirs, and get involved with the locals playing cricket. It’s the perfect place to enjoy our final sunset together and end an epic trip with dinner and drinks!
📍 Location: Unwatuna, Dalawella Beach & Galle
🍽️ Included meals: 2 x Breakfast
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Snorkelling, galle visit & cricket

Day 12: It’s time to checkout and say your goodbyes 👋🏼

It’s not going to be easy, but today is checkout day and the time to bid farewell after an incredible 12 days. I'm sure you'll be reminiscing over breakfast and trying to piece all those happy emotions together before you set off on your journey home or to your next destination. Just like when you arrived, Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is where you’ll be aiming to fly out. We suggest leaving around lunchtime at the earliest to give you a more relaxed departure. The final day doesn’t have any plans, so you can leave anytime that works best for you!
📍 Location: Unwatuna
🍽️ Included meals: Breakfast
🙌🏼 Key highlights: Check out & onward travel

Sri Lanka Best of Sri Lanka - 12 Days Map

Where We Stay

We pay close attention to safety, comfort and convenience to give you the best possible stay in every spot we visit. Our Sri Lanka trip will be twin-share hotel/guesthouse accommodation with 2 people per room. If you’re travelling with a friend or partner, be sure to make this clear on the booking form, and we’ll make sure you are sharing together. If you’re travelling solo, you’ll be paired up with another traveller of the same sex.

Twin/Double Share

Twin/Double Share

Travel in Style

Travel in Style

Private Room Upgrades

Private Room Upgrades

Trip Details

What’s Included

Start: Negombo Finish: Unawatuna
Tour Length: 12 days
Travel Style: Fully Guided
Avg Group Size: 12 - 16
Age Range: 18 - 39
No. of Activities: 20+
No. of Included Meals: 15
Tour Price: From £1199 per person

What’s included for the price:

  • All activities & local experiences
  • Secret unique stops along the way
  • Twin/double share accommodation
  • Local Guides & a Western Group Leader
  • Airport pickup on arrival
  • Group transport while on tour
  • Private WhatsApp group
  • No Hidden Costs!
  • Return airport transfer
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas & Vaccinations
  • Flights to/from Sri Lanka

Included Activities & Experiences

  • Locally guided city orientation in Negombo
  • Tuk tuk ride in Negombo
  • Visit the Dambulla Golden Cave Temple
  • Sunset chill at the pool in Dambulla
  • Pidurangala Rock with view of Sigiriya
  • Learn about the Lion Rock Fortress
  • Local village experience by boat
  • Secret evening experience… shhh 🤫
  • Traditional Cooking Demonstration
  • Free time to explore Kandy
  • Visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth
  • Witness the evening ceremony at the temple
  • Trek up to the Ramboda waterfall (seasonal)
  • Visit a colonial tea plantation
  • Learn about the process of making tea from leaf to cup
  • Ride the world famous train to Ella
  • Trek to the summit of Little Adams Peak
  • Visit the instagram famous 9 Arches Bridge
  • Spot elephants on an open jeep safari
  • Enjoy a chilled afternoon at Hiriketiya Beach
  • Pre-surf yoga in Weligama
  • Learn to Surf on the south coast
  • Sunset at Coconut Tree Hill
  • Experience some of Sri Lanka's best nightlife
  • Fingers crossed for spotting turtles in Unawatuna
  • Enjoy an afternoon in the Galle Fort
  • Play a friendly game of cricket with the locals

Trip Preparation

Do I need a visa?

For most travellers, Sri Lanka is an easy country to visit with a simple ‘Visa on Arrival’ process. This visa is issued for a duration of 30 days and can be arranged by applying online here. It’s important that you apply for this prior to travel, as you may be asked at check-in when arriving at the airport.

There is an FAQ section on the official Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) website. It's your responsibility to ensure you've ticked all the necessary boxes to enter Sri Lanka hassle-free.
*You must check your visa eligibility as we are not visa experts. The information above is general in nature. Here’s a blog that we put together to help; ‘An Unofficial Visa Guide to Asia & Australia’.

Do I need a visa?

For most travellers, Sri Lanka is a very easy country to visit with a simple ‘Visa on Arrival’ process. This includes a long list of different countries* including; the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and most of Europe. The ‘Visa on Arrival’ allows you 30 days when entering Sri Lanka by air. If you don’t qualify for the ‘Visa on Arrival’, you can apply for a visa here.
*You must check your visa eligibility as we are not visa experts. The information above is general in nature. Here’s a blog that we put together to help; ‘An Unofficial Visa Guide to Asia & Australia’.

What vaccinations do I need?

Similar to visas, we are not medical professionals and would hate to give you false or misleading information. We recommend you book an appointment with your doctor or local pharmacy to discuss your travel plans and what precautions you need to be aware of. They will provide up-to-date official guidance and will no doubt have your vaccination and immunisation history on file. All destinations and areas we travel to are generally low risk but best to be on the safe side. Click here for a useful resource provided by the UK NHS website.

What about COVID-19 travel restrictions in Sri Lanka?

It's always a good idea to check whether your destination or airline requires you to be COVID-19 vaccinated or tested to travel. It's your responsibility to stay up-to-date and ensure you join us on the Sri Lanka tour without any issues. Click here for a useful resource provided by the UK government.

Is travel insurance compulsory?

Travel insurance is an essential part of your trip preparation. It’s not only a smart idea to get covered, but it will also give your loved ones peace of mind. We actually require all customers to show proof of coverage at the beginning of the tour. We’ll need to see your name, area of cover and dates that the insurance is valid. It’s a good idea to get this sorted ASAP to ensure you’re covered for all eventualities.

Will I receive a packing list?

You sure will, once your trip is confirmed, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a bunch of useful information, including an ‘Arrival Guide’. Within this guide, you’ll find a packing list, safety and cultural information and some useful tips to prepare for your trip.

Should I bring a backpack or a suitcase?

Most people do prefer travelling with a backpack, and it’s generally easier when moving around, but it’s not uncommon for some travellers to bring a suitcase. We suggest bringing something you are comfortable with carrying and lugging around. It’s also important to bring a small day bag that can hold enough for an overnight trip or those travel essentials. Click here to read a blog we wrote on this, ‘Backpack vs Suitcase - What is best for travelling?’

Is there a limit to my luggage weight?

We suggest not going crazy with the packing and keeping it simple. Try and bring loose/floaty clothing that isn’t too thick or heavy. No need to bring heels or walking boots. Bring a few warm layers during Dec and Feb, as it can get a little chilly in the north. We limit the luggage to 20kg per person. Best to leave the kitchen sink at home 🤣

Are there laundry services on tour?

There will be a few opportunities to do laundry throughout the trip, but we always suggest bringing enough underwear and essentials for the full trip. Your Group Leader will let you know the best time to do laundry, but this usually doesn’t happen until 4 or 5 days into the tour.

Do I need to bring a towel?

There are towels provided for showering and freshening up at all the hotels we stay at. We suggest buying a microfibre towel or large sarong as they are small and dry fast for use on the beach and swimming.

How much spending money do I need?

Once you've booked your flights, paid off your trip and got some solid travel insurance, you'll be all set for that Sri Lanka adventure. We suggest bringing no less than £300/$400, but this should be the bare minimum. We suggest working from an average of £400-500/$500-700 over 2 weeks, this will cover things like shopping, drinks, extra meals and anything else you fancy treating yourself to... maybe a few massages!?

What's the best way to manage my money?

We always recommend having a few different options when managing your money while on the road. Having your everyday bank/ATM card with you as a backup is always a good idea, but we strongly suggest signing up for a travel/currency card. Most of these cards can be managed through an easy, easy-to-use app. There are ATMs throughout the trip, and we suggest grabbing some local currency when you arrive at the airport.

Will there be a Whatsapp group?

You’ll receive a final email with useful information to help with your arrival approximately 2 weeks before the trip. This includes a link to a private Whatsapp group for the tour date that you’ll be travelling on. It’s a great place to chat with the rest of the people on the tour and your Group Leader. If you’ve not already, click this link and join the ‘Feel Free Family’ Facebook Group. The FB community is ideal for discussing how things work with past and future travellers. Add yourself to the group and make a post asking who else has booked or thinking about booking the same date as you.

Your Arrival

When should I arrive on Day 1?

We suggest aiming to arrive during the middle of the 1st day, it’s not essential, but it will give you time to freshen up before we head out for dinner and drinks. You’ll be grateful for that little extra time to relax, soak up some afternoon sun or just go for a wander and explore the local area.

Can I arrive a day or 2 early?

Absolutely! We actually recommend arriving a day or 2 early to give you more time to recharge and enjoy a bit of ‘me time’ before the tour begins. There might be experiences on your bucket list that we don’t include on the trip, this is the perfect time to fit them in.

Will I get an airport pickup?

Anyone arriving on Day 1 or who decides to book pre-tour accommodation with us will be picked up by our trusted drivers when they land. They’ll be standing waiting at the airport with a Feel Free Travel sign, so you’ll have no issues finding them 🙌🏼

Which airport should I fly into?

You’ll be glad to know there is only 1 big international airport in Colombo CMB and it’s ‘Bandaranaike International Airport’. The airport itself is much closer to Negombo where we start the tour than it is Colombo.

How do I know where to meet at the airport?

We’ll email everyone up-to-date arrival instructions 2 weeks before the trip with exactly where to meet the driver. Once you get picked up, we’ll get you back to the hotel and check-in. If your flight is running late, don’t worry, we’ll be tracking your progress on Google and will be waiting for you to arrive.

What’s the plan for Day 1?

The first day is the ‘Arrival Day’, there isn’t a huge amount planned. It’s the perfect day to relax, catch some sun and get your bearings. In the evening, it’s time to meet your new travel family, as we’ll be taking you all out to one of our favourite spots for dinner and chilled drinks.

After the Trip

What time does the tour finish?

All our tours finish on the morning of the final day, this will give you plenty of time to get back to the airport ready for that flight home or onto your next destination.

What happens after my tour?

It really depends from group to group… sometimes we’ll have a whole bunch of people hanging out once the tour has finished, travelling for days, weeks or even months together. But in others, you’ll have many people going their separate ways. As the trip unfolds, you’ll soon learn about each other's travel plans and share ideas for what adventures lie ahead. The hardest part is saying your goodbyes and giving your last big hugs to the people leaving straight after the trip ends.

Can I get help with return airport transfers?

You sure can, our Group Leaders are available throughout the trip to chat about your onward travel plans. They will be there to offer help and assistance when it comes to booking flights, taxis, buses, and ferries. It’s always a good idea to get your flights booked before you arrive, including any internal flights after your tour.

When should I book my return flight?

We always suggest booking your return flight later on the final day. This will give you plenty of time to get back to the airport and enough time to say your goodbyes and leave without any stress or worries. The airport is approximately 2-3 hours from the hotel in Unawatuna in a private car/taxi.

Can I stay longer and extend my trip?

You sure can, we don’t offer the option to extend your stay, but our awesome Group Leaders are eager to help and support your onward travel plans. You’ll no doubt get ideas from other group members as the trip unfolds, so keep those ideas to yourself until you meet the group.

I’m doing more than 1 trip, how do I book my connecting flight?

We suggest booking those connecting flights soon after booking your big international flights. We’ve written a whole blog to help when planning flights, click here to read more.

Do I get help with onward travel?

Whether you’re on a short break from work or a slightly longer backpacking adventure, our Group Leaders will help with everything from return airport transfers to giving you a bunch of ideas for the rest of your time in South East Asia and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there Wifi on tour?

Almost all the places we stay on tour have free WIFI allowing you to stay connected with friends and family back home. There are certain places we visit that don’t, but we will always give you a heads up in advance so that you can prepare and let your loved ones at home know you may be unreachable.

Can I travel solo/come alone?

Absolutely! Our trips are built for solo travellers, and believe us… sharing new experiences with a group of new friends is one of the best things you can do. A large majority of the people that travel with us are 1st-time travellers doing it alone, so don’t worry, you’ll never be alone with us.

What’s the average age of people on these trips?

Our trips are specifically targeted towards individuals who are young at heart. If you’re between the ages of 18-39 and keen on a new adventure, you’re welcome to join us. We’ve found that the average age of our travellers is 22-32, we also get young travellers straight out of school as well as working professionals in their mid to late 30s.

How big are the group sizes?

We keep our group sizes small, with an average of 12-16 people per group, so that everyone gets to know each other and experience things at an enjoyable pace.

What’s included in the price?

We include most of the big ticket items like accommodation, activities, local experiences, secret stops, local guides, a western group leader and a bunch of meals. We also include an airport pickup on arrival!

What should I expect from the included meals?

You should expect almost all your breakfasts to be included to allow us to get the best out of each day. You’ll also get a few lunches on day trips and the odd dinner. We try and find a good balance between including meals and giving you the flexibility to eat what you fancy.

Do you cater for specific dietary/allergy requirements?

We make every effort to prepare for all dietary requirements and will do our best to support you during mealtime. Please provide clear information during the booking form and chat with your Group Leader during the first few days.

What’s not included?

You’ll just need to sort your international flights, travel insurance, visas and spending money 🙌🏼

Do we stay in hostels or hotels?

The accommodation on our trips is something we do better than anyone else, and our tours definitely wouldn’t be the same without the awesome places we stay. We’ve handpicked these places to give you the perfect balance of comfort, security and convenience. We really do love where we stay, and so do all our happy travellers 😍

Who will I share a room with?

All solo travellers will pair up with other travellers of the same sex… girls with girls & guys with guys. If you are travelling with a friend, let us know, and we can put you together… same if you are travelling as a couple, we will arrange a double room where possible. You can upgrade during the booking form if you’d like your own room.

Can I combine more than 1 trip together?

It’s common for our travellers to combine 2 or more of our trips. Our trips have been specifically programmed to allow you to do just that. You can often finish 1 trip on the same day another trip is just starting. After all, flight tickets are not cheap, you might as well maximise your experience if you have the time!

How do I book?

Booking your trip couldn’t be easier, find a trip that takes your fancy, pick a date, reserve your spot with a deposit and get that flight booked…

We always recommend reserving your spot before booking your flight. When our trips are full… unfortunately, they are FULL 😬 Check out our ’How it Works’ page for more information on booking your trip!!

This all seems too good to be true, how do I know it’s legit?

This is a question we recently added to our FAQs as we hear it time and time again, so we wanted to give you all a few ways to verify who we are;

Is This For You?

We understand that travelling solo can be nerve-racking and often overwhelming. If you’re looking for a hassle-free experience from the moment you land, this is the Sri Lanka trip for you! Most people travel solo, or some come with a friend/partner, either way, by the end of this adventure, you’ll have a bunch of new buddies for all those future travel plans!

If you’re all set and can’t wait, join us on this Sri Lanka group tour... Book Now and reserve your spot with a small deposit of as little as £1.

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