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Cycle Sri Lanka: North

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highlights
  • Cycling allows you to get closer to the real Sri Lanka, with a visit to the temple complex of Anuradhapura and a scenic train trip taking the sightseeing to the next level. 
  • From the sensational seafood of Negombo to the pulsing night markets of Colombo, Sri Lanka a feast for the senses. Optional ‘food-crawls’ in most locations connect you with the best local street food. 
  • Step back in time as you explore Sri Lanka’s most important religious and heritage sites, including the Temple of Tooth Relic and Anuradhapura. 
  • Relax and unwind along the undiscovered sandy beaches and azure waters of Sri Lanka’s northern coast.
The Cycle Sri Lanka: North tour starts in Negombo and ends in Colombo. The Cycle Sri Lanka: North is a Bicycle Tour that takes 14 days taking you from Negombo to Colombo and through other destinations in Asia.

Avoid Sri Lanka's south west monsoon rains and ride north to beautiful beaches, past quaint fishing villages, and swathes of lush green jungle on this cycling adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is one of Asia’s most exciting new destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. In between the amazing cycling, laze on the beach, explore the country’s premier Hindu and Buddhist sites, and taste the flavours of the tantalising night markets.
Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo which is located close to the international airport. You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5:30 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where the meeting will take place. 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.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Riding distance: none
Rise early and enjoy some breakfast at the hotel. Start off with a test-ride through the city streets then cycle from Negombo to Mahawewa (approx. 35km) with the Laccadive Sea your constant companion. Along the way, you'll encounter quaint fishing villages, the scenic Dutch canal, coconut plantations and various tile factories.

Sit down to a picnic lunch on arrival in Mahawewa. Afterwards, hop aboard the support vehicle and travel to Anuradhapura (approximately 140km/3hrs). Here you can settle into your hotel, relax or grab a well earned beer (or tea). You have the option of joining a 'food crawl' through the streets and markets of Anuradhapura – a great chance to sample some tasty local cuisine.

Riding distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles, mostly flat with approx. 170m/560ft of elevation gain.
After breakfast, cycle to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Anuradhapura (approximately 20 km each way). Enjoy a guided bicycle tour of the ancient city. Among the ruins you'll see the sacred old Bo Tree – a spiritual reminder of the beginnings of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and the inspiration for Anuradhapura's great buildings. The ruins themselves are spread over quite a large area, with some in woodland settings and others appearing more cultivated with columns and ponds dotted about. Pay a visit to the Anuradhapura museum, then enjoy a local lunch. Return to the hotel and enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon.

Riding distance: approx. 37kms/23 miles, mostly flat with approx. 130m/430ft of elevation gain.
Take the train (approx. 4hrs) to the very north of Sri Lanka and the delightful city of Jaffna. This city was only recently reopened to tourism after the Sri Lankan Civil War and has a strong southern Indian influence which you can see on the streets and in their food. Despite it's more recent trouble this colonial port town has a rich 2000 year history and boasts a vibrant Tamil culture, Dutch and Portuguese influenced architecture, buzzing markets, beautiful nearby beaches and golden-hued temples.

Enjoy an evening ride around the city to get a better feel for a city that very few travellers get to experience.

Riding distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles, mostly flat with approx. 140m/470ft of elevation gain.
Today is an early start as we start cycling (approx. 35kms) early from the city to the Kurikadduwan Jetty, the jump off point to the nearby islands. Take a boat to Delft Island, named during Dutch colonial times and enjoy a ride around this fascinating isalnd. The colonial legacy remains with the limestone and coral Portuguese/Dutch fort and the free roaming wild horses, as well as ruins of 3 ancient stupas dating back to the 14th century.

Kick back and relax for a while on one of the white sand beaches then take the boat to the island of Nainativu and walk to the nearby Nagadeepa Buddhist Temple, considered one of the 16 holiest Buddhist Sites in Sri Lanka. From here we transport by vehicle back to Jaffna.

Riding distance: approx. 45kms/28 miles, mostly flat with approx. 130m/420ft of elevation gain.
Optional Activities
  • Jaffna - Cooking class & family visit
Leave Jaffna and cycle (approx. 40kms) the flat coastal roads and causeways south to your first real 'climb' on the trip, the Sangupiddi Bridge that separates Palk Bay from the Indian Ocean. Continue on to the small town of Pooneryn then take the support vehicle for the long drive (approx. 3-4hrs) to the east coast and the charming coastal town of Trincomalee.

Surrounded by wildlife, hilltops and rock formations laid back Trincomalee offers beautiful white sand and nearby Nilaveli is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. From March to August it is also famous for whale watching, or for more dramatic views check out Koneswaram Temple, built on the very edge of an ocean cliff.

Riding distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles, mostly flat with approx. 100m/320ft of elevation gain.
Today is chance to rest those cycling legs and enjoy a free day to sit back and enjoy the laid back atmosphere or get active by exploring the town and surrounds. For a close up ocean view why not take a snorkeling trip out to the clear waters surrounding Pigeon Island, one of only two marine National Parks in Sri Lanka, with some of the best remaining coral reefs in the country.
Optional Activities
  • Trincomalee - Kanniya Hot Springs - Free -
  • Snorkelling at Pigeon Island - USD 40
  • Mangrove Birdwatching - USD 30
  • Dolphin watching - USD 75
Enjoy a leisurely cycle (approx. 35kms) to the oddly named Naval Headworks Sanctuary, a forty-thousand acres reserve rich in dense forest and biodiversity.

From here drive inland to Habarana (approx. 1.5 hrs) a popular destination for safari lovers in the nearby Habarana jungle and Minneriya sanctuary, which is heavily populated by elephants, then continue to Dambulla where you spend the evening.

Riding distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles
This morning you will cycle (approx. 17km) to Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress perched among lush greenery that strikes an awesome pose against the skyline. Hike to the top and enjoy some well-earned rest, taking in the lovely views over the surrounding countryside.

Afterwards, jump back on your bike and pedal your way through the pleasant countryside (approx. 23km) to Dambulla and enjoy some free time on arrival. In the evening you'll visit the Dambulla wholesale vegetable market, where there's an option to join in on a food crawl.

Riding distance: approx. 40km/25 miles
Cycle back into Dambulla and visit the famous Buddhist rock cave temple before riding on to the small town of Nalanda on the shores of the Bowatenna Reservoir, home of the ancient Nalanda Gedige stone temple and once considered 'the centre of Sri Lanka'.

Riding distance: approx. 35km/22 miles
Cycle approximately 40kms through the heart of Sri Lanka along quiet palm tree-flanked roads, passing through small villages and on to the town of Rattota. Climb back into the support vehicle and avoid the increasing traffic as you drive on (approx. 1hr) to the ancient 'royal' city of Kandy. Surrounded by towering hills and centred on the serene Kandy Lake it is also home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most revered places of worship in the Buddhist world.

Riding distance: approx. 40km/25 miles
Optional Activities
  • Kandy - Cooking Class in a Sinhalese Home - LKR 1400
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens - LKR 1200
  • Kandy - Cultural performance - LKR 1000
After breakfast at the hotel you have the option to either head out for some extra cycling in the Hanthana Mountain Range (weather/time permitting) or stay in Kandy and explore. Later in the morning the group will head to Giragama (approximately 15 km) for a guided tour of a tea factory. This is a great chance to learn about how Sri Lanka's best-known beverage is made. You will also sample some of the delicious varieties on offer. Enjoy an afternoon of free time to relax. In the evening you will visit the Temple of Tooth Relic, the most important Buddhist site in the country. Explore the complex that surrounds it, then return to town for an (optional) food crawl.

Riding distance: none (optional cycling available)
Depart Kandy after breakfast with a transfer to Colombo (approx. 3 hrs). On arrival, check into your hotel and then take a city walk past Independence Square, Parliament, and the National Museum. Your walk finishes with a shopping opportunity at the Barefoot fairtrade store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries. Tonight there's an optional final group dinner to celebrate your journey. This comes in the form of a food crawl along the city's tantalising market stalls.

Riding distance: none
Your trip comes to an end today. For those who are staying on and want to explore Colombo further, speak to your booking agent about arranging extra accommodation and check out our Urban Adventure day trips.

Riding distance: none
Optional Activities
  • Colombo - Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure - USD 55
  • Colombo - Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure - USD 55
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Hotels (12 nights), guesthouse (1 night)
Meals
  • 12 Breakfast, 8 Lunch
Transport
  • Bicycle (e-bike option available , subject to availability) , Support vehicle , Train , Boat
Included Activities
  • Anuradhapura - Ancient site
  • Anuradhapura - Bodhi Tree Temple
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Negombo and from Colombo are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Cycle Sri Lanka: North tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 14 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 16 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Negombo/ Colombo
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Cycle Sri Lanka: North
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Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 22 July 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Cycle Sri Lanka: North tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Cycle Sri Lanka: North tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Cycle Sri Lanka: North tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    22 May 2019

  • Trip title

    Cycle Sri Lanka: North

  • Trip code

    HPXN

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

  • Introduction

    Avoid Sri Lanka's south west monsoon rains and ride north to beautiful beaches, past quaint fishing villages, and swathes of lush green jungle on this cycling adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is one of Asia’s most exciting new destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. In between the amazing cycling, laze on the beach, explore the country’s premier Hindu and Buddhist sites, and taste the flavours of the tantalising night markets.

  • Style

    Original

  • Themes

    Active Adventures,Cycling

  • Transport

    Bicycle (e-bike option available,subject to availability),Support vehicle,Train,Boat

  • Physical Rating

    3

  • Physical preparation

    PHYSICAL PREPARATION
    There are regular rest breaks each day, however it is important to note that you will be riding over multiple and consecutive days in a climate and terrain that may be unfamiliar. While it can be tempting to start out riding as hard and fast as you can (we get it!) we recommend taking it easy on the first few days while your body gets used to the rides and the climate.

    As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential!

    It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle, both solo and in a group environment.

    CYCLING DISTANCES:
    The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.

  • Joining point description

    The Rani Beach Resort has 34 rooms each with air-conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi, 24 hour room service and tea/coffee facilities. There is a fully licensed bar and restaurant.

  • Joining point instructions

    Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure.

    Bandaranaike International Airport is located in Negombo, approx. 35km north of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer please collect your luggage and head towards exit number 1. Once outside, please board a shuttle bus (departing every 10 minutes) to Naikanda car park (approx. 500m). Please identify yourself to the transfer representative, who will be holding a signboard displaying the Intrepid logo. They will assist you to the vehicle for your onward transfer to your hotel. Note that neither the driver nor any representative should ask you for additional payment.

    If your flight is delayed or cancelled or if you have any trouble locating your transfer representative on arrival to Colombo airport please call the below numbers:

    +94 (0) 76 831 6000
    +94 (0) 71 927 7676

    Taxis in Sri Lanka are easy, safe and cheap. You can book a taxi from the set-fare service desk in the arrival hall or at the taxi service just outside. A taxi from Bandaranaike International Airport takes approx. 15 minutes and costs approx. 2,500LKR (20USD). If you are staying in Colombo prior to the tour it is approximately 30km from Colombo, which will cost about LKR5,600 (US$40).

    Uber is now available in Colombo.

  • Finish point description

    The Fairway Colombo is a sophisticated, 'smart luxury hotel' situated in the heart of Colombo. All rooms come equipped with a TV (with local and international channels), safety box, mini fridge, hot beverage facility, writing desks, air-conditioning and hi-speed Wi-Fi internet connections. The hotel boasts a rooftop bar and restaurant, gym and 24 hour coffee shop. The hotel is located within walking distance to restaurants, shopping malls, banks, pubs and bars.

  • Finish point instructions

    We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details. If you have booked a departure transfer please ask your tour leader to confirm your pick up time.

    Colombo's airport is located to the north of the city, 34 kms from the hotel. Depending on the time of day and traffic the drive can take between 20 minutes to 1 hour, so please ensure you ask the hotel staff or your tour leader for advice on departure time if booking a taxi. The hotel will be able to assist with ordering a taxi and you can expect to pay around LKR2100. Note that due to increased security at the airport you will be dropped off 75 metres before the departure terminal. There are sufficient trolleys and porters are available to assist with your luggage.

  • Group leader

    All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

    Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

  • Is this trip right for you

    The recent terrorist attacks were a tragic event and have had a serious impact on tourism in the country. Intrepid has a strong commitment to our local staff and the communities we visit and are continuing to operate all our trips in Sri Lanka. While the security situation is now much more stable, you will still see a high police presence in towns and cities and many check points are still in place. We continue to follow government travel advisories and local authorities in operating our trips in Sri Lanka. We don't anticipate major changes to your itinerary at this time, however it’s important to be aware that the country is still recovering and things like travel times between destinations and time taken to go through security at the airport may be affected.

    This itinerary is only available from May to June, when the south west monsoon makes cycling our regular route too challenging. See 'Cycle Sri Lanka' for the regular itinerary running July-April.

    To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.

    While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the terrain of Sri Lanka is naturally hilly, so you’ll need to be reasonably fit, especially given the warm climate. The support vehicle will always be there if you need to take a break for an hour, or a day.

    As the riding is mostly on sealed roads, with the occasional gravel path, there are no technical cycling skills required. But some downhill practice is a great idea before your trip.

    There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – perhaps a puncture here and there – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure.

    The weather in this region varies seasonally. Be prepared to get sweaty, and for the occasional rainstorm which may require a change of plans.

    Sri Lankan summers are very hot. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.

    If you have issues with heights, you might like to opt out of climbing the Lion Rock at Sigiriya (Day 6). There are lots of rough, narrow steps and tight walkways to be overcome.

    If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort we have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

  • Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

    DENGUE FEVER:
    Instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.

    CYCLING HEALTH

    Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues.

    By far the most common issue is that of dehydration. While this is most common on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration while cycling. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride.

    Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity. This is especially important on days when you are drinking a lot of the bike.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

  • Climate and seasonal

    SRI LANKA WEATHER:
    Weather in Sri Lanka can vary depending on the time of year and part of Sri Lanka you are travelling to. The monsoon season is December to March in the northeast and May to October in the southwest. Flooding and landslides can occur during this time, so be ready for some delays in land travel or some reroutes to avoid affected areas.

  • A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

    Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

    The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

    By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

    If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

    While we do accept children under 18 on this trip we do have a couple of rules. From a safety and enjoyment perspective they should be confident and competent cyclists capable of completing the riding part of the itinerary without additional assistance. Minors under 18 years old must always be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. This includes when the minor rides in the support vehicle.

  • Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

    TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
    Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on our different trips than your own.

    CHECK-IN TIME
    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

    AIR CONDITIONING:
    Please note that while all hotels on this trip have fans, not all will have air conditioning.

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
    A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    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.

  • Accommodation

    Hotels (12 nights),guesthouse (1 night)

  • Important information

    This itinerary is only available from May to June, when the south west monsoon makes cycling our regular route too challenging. See 'Cycle Sri Lanka' for the regular itinerary running July-April.

    1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
    2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
    3. An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed bookiing. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.
    4. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
    5. Due to Intrepid's stance on elephant cruelty we do not visit the Perahera Festival and cannot purchase tickets on your behalf.
    6. Due to recent safety incidents in Sri Lanka we are unfortunately unable to take the train until further notice. These journeys will be completed by private vehicle.

  • Money matters

    The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Rupee (LKR).There are many ATMs throughout Sri Lanka, which accept both Visa and MasterCard. Although this is a safe and convenient way to access money during your trip we do recommend that you carry some money in cash for when ATMs can not be accessed. Some money should be taken as US dollars cash in case of emergencies. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger shops and restaurants but only in the bigger cities. Some banks will allow cash advances against a credit card.

    SPENDING MONEY:
    When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

    Budget for meals not included: 180.00

    CONTINGENCY FUNDS:
    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

    TIPPING
    If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.

    The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.

    Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest $4-$5 for both bus and the staffs.

    Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$7 - US$8 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    In addition we have a bike assistat guide and a bike truck driver. We recomend US$5 per person per cyclig day and US$ 2- US$3 for the bike truck driver per day.

    In total, we recommend you budget approx US$15-US$16 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

    At your group meeting on Day 1, your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your group leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.

    Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

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  • Custom Destination: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].destination}}
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  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
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How our Travel Expert Service Works
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
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The Advantages of Bookmundi
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  • Secure Online Payment and Financial Guarantee Each and every trip is required to go through Bookmundi's secure payment platform, powered by Stripe and supported by SSL. All payments are therefore carried out in secure manners. We are furthermore member of the Danish Travel Fund which gives you a 100% financial guarantee for any money you pay on Bookmundi, even if we went bankrupt (which we we will not!).
  • Trip Replacement or 100% Reimbursement Bookmundi has hand-picked your local travel expert. Our role, as your trusted third party, is therefore to make sure that your entire experience runs as seamless and secure as possible. We guarantee to you that in the unlikely event where a local travel expert cancels your trip after your deposit or full payment has been made, we commit to replacing these services with another equally qualified agency so that your trip can go ahead as planned, or failing to replace it, we will give you a 100% reimbursement.
New customised trip enquiry by {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}:
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  • Accommodation Option: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].accommodation_option}}
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  • Trip Planning Stage {{myRequest.trip_planning_stage}}
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Hi ,
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We've noted down your trip requirements below. You can easily them.
  • {{myRequest.title}}
  • Country: {{!!tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation?tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation:myRequest.country}}
  • Destination: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].destinations.join(', ')}}
  • Activity: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].activity.join(', ')}}
  • Custom Destination: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].destination}}
  • Custom Activity: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].activity}}
  • Group Size: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{myRequest.group_type=='Single'?'1 Person':myRequest.group_type=='Couple'?'2 People':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
  • Tour Type: {{myRequest.tourtype | tourtypefullName}}
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  • Type of Tour: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].type_of_tour}}
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  • Budget Per Person: USD {{myRequest.approx_budget_amount}}
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  • Trip Details: ... Read More Read Less
How our Travel Expert Service Works
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
  • 3 When you feel that your trip is exactly per your wish, you'll be able to book the entire trip here on Bookmundi.
The Advantages of Bookmundi
  • Selected Local Travel Experts All our local travel experts have been chosen based on rigorous selection criteria. In fact, we reject 98 out of 100 local travel agencies, and thereby giving you access to the top 1-2% local travel experts.
  • Secure Online Payment and Financial Guarantee Each and every trip is required to go through Bookmundi's secure payment platform, powered by Stripe and supported by SSL. All payments are therefore carried out in secure manners. We are furthermore member of the Danish Travel Fund which gives you a 100% financial guarantee for any money you pay on Bookmundi, even if we went bankrupt (which we we will not!).
  • Trip Replacement or 100% Reimbursement Bookmundi has hand-picked your local travel expert. Our role, as your trusted third party, is therefore to make sure that your entire experience runs as seamless and secure as possible. We guarantee to you that in the unlikely event where a local travel expert cancels your trip after your deposit or full payment has been made, we commit to replacing these services with another equally qualified agency so that your trip can go ahead as planned, or failing to replace it, we will give you a 100% reimbursement.
New customised trip enquiry by {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}:
  • Title: {{myRequest.title}}
  • Country: {{!!tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation?tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation:myRequest.country}}
  • Destination: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].destinations.join(', ')}}
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  • Custom Destination: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].destination}}
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  • Group Size: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{myRequest.group_type=='Single'?'1 Person':myRequest.group_type=='Couple'?'2 People':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
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  • Type of Tour: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].type_of_tour}}
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  • Budget Per Person: USD {{myRequest.approx_budget_amount}}
  • Budget Flexibility {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].budget_flexibility}}
  • Trip Planning Stage {{myRequest.trip_planning_stage}}
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