So you’ve made the greatest decision of your life, to join the TruFam and explore Sri Lanka with us for the next 10 days. Hey, we can tell we’re going to get along already. Sure, mentally prepare for the early starts but trust us though, it’s going to be worth it as soon as you see this stunning landscape for all of its beauty. Our advice? Get yourself dirty, get yourself involved, throw yourself into every opportunity you’re faced with and make some incomparable memories with your new best mates.
When we say classic, we mean the perfect balance of culture, adventure, beaches and parties. High number of inclusions, low cost. Tru-ly authentic experiences from home-stays & hostels to beach huts, hotels and boats. A classic tour means maximum adventure, minimum hassle. Built for backpackers by backpackers.
You made it! Just like long lost relatives, we’ll be waiting, waving at the Colombo airport to collect you and drive you to our little home from home, a boutique hotel in Negombo. To give you a taste that we don’t do things by halves, we’ll be having a beachfront welcome dinner and drinks at sunset, the perfect start to your adventure. Then hey, get your head down. You’ve got an enormous 9 days ahead of you.
Keeping things local, we’re heading into the heart of Sri Lanka to explore the local culture, history and heritage. We’ll take you to the Dambulla Cave Temple, a sacred temple carved deep into the rock face, then up to the Golden Buddha, a giant (aptly named), majestic, golden statue on a picturesque hilltop. After a fair bit of walking (- you’re doing great btw), we’ll head to our next accommodation stop in the evening, check-in and scope the spectacular views of Sigiriya Rock. Best get eyeing up your route as we’ll be climbing the face of it in the morning. Yep! Night!
So it’s your first early start. Are you ready for this? Pack your bag and get a wiggle on, as this morning we’re heading to the top of one of Sri Lanka’s most famous landmarks - Lion Rock (known locally as Sigiriya Rock). This proper beauty is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so we best be on our best behaviour. A giant rock formation standing nearly 700ft tall (that’s enormous, FYI), an ancient fortress, with mind-blowing views from the top; well worth the trek up. Now we know you’ve been up since the crack of dawn and you haven’t had your Weetabix yet but RELAX. We told you we’d look after you. Once we’ve scaled our way back down, it’s time for a feast back at the hotel before heading back out to explore the town. There ain’t no rest for the wicked, hun. Now, we promised you some wholesome activity and we weren’t lying. As night falls, we’re heading to a beautiful, authentic, local farming village to be spoiled rotten and have our dinner cooked by the loveliest villagers. Enjoy a mouth-watering, authentic meal around a crackling bonfire with our locals as they welcome you too, into their homes and our community. Big #blessed vibes.
Who fancies a spy of our royalty? Today we’re getting another taste of the rich history of Sri Lanka as we travel to Kandy to visit the Temple of the Tooth, located in the Royal Palace complex. Note the significance of the royal temple, which bears great ancient political power and the famous relic which is believed to hold the governance of the country. Finally, we’ll enjoy the evening view of Kandy city and Lake, with a few beers (FINALLY) from a restaurant or our hotel on the mountainside.
First things first, let’s just double-check that you have your phone charged, cameras packed and tissues at the ready as today’s journey is sure to bring a tear to your eye. We’re talking, Lion King sobs, like when Mufasa dies. Today’s journey is a real looker. 10/10 would ‘Gram. So we’re driving through the beautiful town of Nuwara Elia to spend the early bird morning at a local tea plantation, where we’ll learn all about the tea brewing process, from leaf to cup. It’s an early start, so get that caffeine in. We’ll then spend some time at a local family-run cooking school, where we’ll be taught how to cook some of Sri Lanka’s best dishes. Belly full, heart full. Perfect, it’s time to have your breath taken away. It’s time to board ‘the most scenic train journey’ - and they weren’t lying when they named her that. She is a LOOKER. We’ll board the famous train from Nuwara Eliya to the chilled town of Ella. Keep an eye out for cascading waterfalls, roaming wildlife and another glimpse at the locals.
Don’t stress - you won’t need to rush out the door at the crack of dawn today, BUT we are going to work for it on a hike to one of the best views in Ella. Enjoy a lush climb up Little Adams Peak, for a stunning view of Ella Gap - a gorge full of beautiful waterfalls and stunning backdrops. We’ll have a hearty lunch in Ella town, before stopping off at Nine Arch Bridge, where we’ll walk the tracks (not the plank) and watch the train pass through.
Another scorcher of a day, as per. So we’re starting things off with a visit to the neighbouring waterfalls ahead of a day at Udawalawe National Park. Now that’s how to start a day. The bucket list moments don't stop there because our next activity is a Safari! This isn’t the trip of a lifetime for nothing. Scope out Elephants, Monkeys and Buffalos to mention just a few. After that incredible experience we’ll check into our glamping tents for the evening, with some more wholesome activities and some questionable behaviour will commence. Don’t forget to look up as the stars are pretty spectacular.
After a jam packed day of waterfalls and animals yesterday today it's only right that today we through in a bit of history too! The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the oldest living forts in the world. There's so much to discover here with a blend of modern and historic sites so get ready to explore the day away. In the afternoon we will head back to the hotel, to chill, maybe play some cards and process the tour so far with the Trufam!
You’ve done so good, so wake when you like today. Graze, laze, take it as you like. Then once the team is awake and refreshed, we’re walking through the jungle to the stunning golden sands of the beach on the other side. Soak up some Vitamin D, have a swim in the sea and enjoy the simple pleasures and beauty of the shore. What a life! Once you’re all sun-kissed, we’ll head back to the hotel for our farewell dinner. We hope you’ve still got those tissues. It’s been magic.
So you’ve extended your family, it’s Tru. We’ll be over to kiss your Nan on Christmas Day, but for now, it’s time to say goodbye. What a ride. We’re here to help plan the next steps of your adventure, whether it’s onwards, homebound or back to bed for a week of catching up on those early starts. We’ve loved having you and can’t wait to hear what’s next. Big love!
Our 3-star hotel in Negombo is a nice and stylish place in a great location, a few minutes walk to Negombo beach. If hangin' by the pool is more your thanggg though, no problem as the hotel has an outdoor pool and a great sun terrace where you can lay out and start working on that tan. There's free WiFi in public areas.
The rooms are modern and have a flat-screen TV, air-con, and en-suite bathrooms.
Our hotel in Sigiriya is right next to some great restaurants and attractions - in fact, the Pidurangala Rock (the famous Sigiriya landmark) is just over a mile away so it's the perfect base for our TruTravellers.
The rooms are air-conditioned and come with free WiFi.
Next up, we head to Kandy! Our hotel has an impressive terrace, where you can have breakfast and enjoy views of the mountains and is located just a few minutes walk to the famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - the main reason that tourists go to Kandy!
Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, free WiFi and a private bathroom with a bath or shower. Some rooms even have views of the lake or city!
Our 4-star hotel in our next stop, Ella, is perfectly situated next to Little Adam's peak and has panoramic mountain views... dreamy right!?
Rooms have a private bathroom with a bath or shower and a spacious private balcony, so you can enjoy the beautiful views. There's also free WiFi in all the public areas.
Talk about being close to nature... in Udawalawe we stay somewhere a little different. We stay at a responsible luxury eco campsite! Definitely one of the most exciting ways to sleep, next to the Rakwana River, listening to the sounds of the animals! It's an amazing place to relax and spend the day too, watching the birds and wild animals is incredible!
Last but certainly not least, our hotel in Unawatuna is a modern and stylish place, which is just a 10-minute walk from the beach. It also has an outdoor pool so whether you're more of a beach goer or you prefer lounging by the pool (we know this can be the easier option if you've had a few too many the night before!), then we've got you covered! The hotel has a barbecue and sun terrace, so you can lounge and chill all day. There's Free WiFi so you can upload all your Insta pics and make everyone at home jealous of the amazing last 10 days you've had.
Each room is air-conditioned and has a flat-screen TV.
WHICH AIRPORT DO I NEED TO FLY INTO?
You will need to fly in to Colombo Airport (Bandaranaike International Airport) CMB.
WHAT IS THE CLOSEST AIRPORT TO THE END DESTINATION?
The closest airport to the end destination is Colombo Airport (Bandaranaike International Airport) CMB.
HOW DO I GET BACK TO THE START DESTINATION AND IS THIS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE? IF NOT, HOW MUCH IS IT?
No it is not included but we can assist you with booking it all. If you want to get back to Colombo you can take a taxi which takes around 2-3 hours.
ARE THERE ANY MEALS INCLUDED ON THIS TOUR?
All your breakfasts are included on this trip and you also get a Welcome & Farewell Dinner. We'll also have lunch after cooking up a storm in the cooking class! Food in Sri Lanka is cheap and you can usually pick up a meal for less than £7 in most restaraunts.
WHAT KIND OF ACCOMMODATION IS INCLUDED ON THIS TRIP?
The majority of the accommodation on this trip is twin share although we do use triples rooms on occasion.
HOW MUCH IS A PRE NIGHT’S ACCOMMODATION?
Pre-Night accomodation costs £65 per room per night.
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY?
The currency in Sri Lanka is Sri Lanka Ruppee (LKR)
Are there any COVID precautions in place for my trip?
Yes! We’re doing everything we can to make your trip as safe and stress- free as possible. All trips are run with enhanced safety and hygiene protocols advised by the FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office) & WHO (World Health Organisation) including only working with partners who uphold the same standard and are taking the maximum amount of precautions. From switching to private transport where possible to offering private room upgrades, we’ve got all areas covered to ensure your trip is an amazing one!
What happens If I can’t travel due to COVID?
We’re only operating in countries that are open without quarantine and are safe and easy to travel in. That being said if you could no longer travel due to COVID or if something were to arise our TruCrew are always here to give you some TLC and to go through your options. Think of us as ya BFF’s, the fun auntie/uncle of the family who loves a drink or your travel guardian angels. Were not fussed.
Is my money protected?
Yep! You will never lose your money. You’re protected. TruTravels is both ABTA and ATOL registered meaning your money is safe. We also offer 1 free date change before 60 days of your departure date.