Sri Lanka Active Group Tour | Surf, Raft, Hike | The Dragon Trip

Active Sri Lanka Tour: Surf, Raft, Hike

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November 22, 2024
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13 days Colombo to Colombo

13 Day Sri Lanka Group Tour

Embark on an exhilarating journey through Sri Lanka! From exploring vibrant city life in Colombo to hiking ancient rock fortresses in Sigiriya, encountering the best of Sri Lanka's wildlife on Safari to taking to the waters for surfing, each day offers thrilling activities, for an unforgettable adventure!

Experience a myriad of captivating experiences during our two-week Sri Lanka group tour. From the majestic mountains of Ella to the serene southern beaches, explore the diverse landscapes of this stunning country. Our knowledgeable local guides will immerse you in Sri Lanka’s vibrant culture through a variety of included activities. From mountain hikes to thrilling white-water rafting and surfing adventures, there’s never a dull moment. Indulge in delicious cuisine and embrace the warm hospitality of one of the world’s friendliest nations. All set against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty, this journey promises unforgettable memories.

What's included

Hostel Icon

Including hostels, guesthouses, & 1 night camping

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Adventure Leader

Local, bilingual Adventure Leaders throughout the trip

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Local transport

All transport within Sri Lanka is provided

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Meals & Activities

Tonnes included & optional activities can be added
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Itinerary & map

Sri Lanka Group Tour

Day 1: Welcome to Colombo 

On the first day of your Sri Lanka group tour, meet your Adventure Leader in the lobby of the Colombo hostel. You’ll drop off your luggage and have a pre-departure briefing, where you’ll discuss the itinerary and get to know your fellow travellers.  

After this, take an evening walking tour around the old town of Colombo and discover the rich history and culture of the city.  

Day 2: Negombo & Dambulla 

Kick off your morning with an early trip to Negombo to check out the famous fish market, known locally as ‘Lellama’. Located along Negombo beach, this fresh fish market is the ideal place to interact with local fisherman and witness the daily fish auction. 

After, you’ll all head to Dambulla – here, you’ll visit the Dambulla Cave Temple complex, one of Sri Lanka’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites. Discover a series of caves – turned into temples almost 2,000 years ago, before checking into your hostel for the evening. 

Day 3: Sigiriya 

After breakfast, head northeast to another of Sri Lanka’s iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites – the ancient city of Sigiriya. Here, you’ll climb the ancient rock fortress – home to ruins of the capital built by King Kashyapa I during the reign of 477 – 495 – and enjoy amazing views of the surrounding lowlands.  

Spend the afternoon exploring Sigiriya at your leisure or join us on an optional visit to the old city of Polonnaruwa – another magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the ruins of this medieval capital city by bicycle, taking in the beauty of its monuments, statues, royal palaces, temples, and pagodas.  

After an active day, there is nothing left to be done other than wind down at your guesthouse in Dambulla for the evening with a glass of arrack – a traditional Sri Lankan spirit distilled from the sap of the coconut flour.  

Day 4: Knuckles Mountain Range

After breakfast, we’ll head south to the Knuckles Mountain Range – a geographical formation renowned for its unique recumbent folds and peaks that resemble the knuckles of a clenched fist. We’ll hike along the scenic Manigala Trail, taking in the rich diversity of flora and fauna in this cloud forest, before settling down for a packed lunch with some serious views. 

Late afternoon, bid farewell to the mountains and head to Kandy – the hill capital and Sri Lanka’s second largest city. Take the rest of the day to explore the vibrant mix of both ancient and modern architecture that this city has to offer, before taking a visit to the local pub. 

Day 5: Kandy

After breakfast, start the day with a visit to one of the nation’s most iconic sights: The Temple of Tooth. Formerly the royal palace of the Sri Lankan King, it is now a temple – considered the most sacred in the country as it houses the tooth relic of Lord Buddha himself.  

You can either spend your afternoon exploring the city some more under your own steam, or you can opt for a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. Roughly 5.5km west of Kandy, these gardens make for the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle. Keep your eyes peeled for its famous collection of orchids. 

Come late afternoon, we’ll pay a visit to Kandy Lake – the centrepiece around which the city is built. This makes for an unforgettable setting during golden hour! After, you and your fellow travellers can enjoy a relaxing evening in Kandy, exploring as you please, before heading to your hostel for the night.

Day 6: Kurunegala

After breakfast, depart to Kurunegala where you’ll spend the day at The Sputnik Centre – where you’ll witness, first hand, some of the nation’s exciting efforts to engage with their youth community. Sputnik has been providing language courses, community programs, and table tennis classes for over two decades and plays host to some inspirational volunteers.

After, transfer back to Kandy and enjoy some downtime with your fellow travellers.

Day 7: Kitulgala

Bid farewell to the nation’s hill capital and transfer to your next destination on this Sri Lanka group tour – the hillside town of Ella. However, not before taking part in some adrenaline-pumping, jaw-dropping activities on the route

In the morning, we’ll head 2 hours south for an exhilarating white water rafting journey through the Kitulgala rainforest – swiftly followed by a hearty Sri Lankan lunch. After, we’ll travel to Hatton to hop on board the afternoon train to Ella. Far from your average journey, this is considered one of the most beautiful train routes in the world and certainly, a must-do when in Sri Lanka. This scenic journey takes you through tea plantations, forests, and villages in the central hills of this beautiful country. 

Spend the evening exploring Ella at your own pace, with plenty of shops, pubs, and restaurants to choose from.  

Day 8: Ella

Kicking off day 8 of this Sri Lanka group tour is a 4-hour round hike to Ella Rock at sunrise. Though an early start is required, this will not be without the reward of stunning views! You will be met at the top by a sea of rolling mountain landscapes and valleys, all glowing golden as the sun rises over the horizon – a truly unforgettable moment. 

Following the hike, we’ll take a short drive to Ravana Falls. This stunning geographical feature is known for its cascading waters and rock pools which make for the perfect afternoon swim (weather permitting). 

For the rest of the afternoon, explore Ella on your own time. Or better yet, take your pick from a local Sri Lankan cooking class or a yoga lesson – both optional activities.  

Day 9: Ella & Udawalawe

It’s time for your second scenic sunrise of the trip with a hike to Mini World’s End. This spectacular viewpoint offers spectacular panoramic views with a touch of adrenaline mixed in – its sheer drop of 1192 metres in the reason for its name. 

After returning to the hostel to freshen up, we’ll then be on our way to Udawalawe – home to some of Sri Lanka’s most incredible animals. But not before visiting Buduruvagala Ancient Temple – an incredible Buddhist complex, set in a tranquil forested area. The temple is renowned for its remarkable collection of seven statues carved into a rock face, dating back to the 10th century.

Following, we will check into our campsite, before heading out on a jeep safari around Udawalawe National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for wild elephants, crocodiles, spotted deer, an array of birdlife, and more.  

Day 10: Handunugoda & Unawatuna

Sri Lanka is widely known for its production of delicious tea, so it wouldn’t be right to leave without visiting a tea plantation. After breakfast, we’ll head 2 hours southwest to the Handunugoda Tea Estate where you’ll learn about the tea-making process – from field to cup. Then, pay a visit to the historic tea factory and museum, before settling down to enjoy a freshly made cup of tea at the end of the tour. 

From there, we’ll head 30 minutes along the stunning southern coastline to Unawatuna – one of the many world-class beach destinations. Take some time in the evening to explore this vibrant, surfing town before relaxing in your hostel. 

Day 11: Unawatuna

Today, it’s all sun, sand, sea, and surfing! Take some well-deserved, relaxing time on the beach, before taking to the waves for a surfing lesson. (NOTE: Sri Lanka’s surfing season is from December to April – we expect most surfing sessions to run as normal, but should the conditions not be deemed suitable, travellers will receive a full refund for this activity.)

The afternoon comes with the option to get creative! Try your hand at some mask painting – a traditional Sri Lankan craft which, once created, are thought to have healing and protective powers.

Day 12: Galle 

Today kicks off with a tuk-tuk ride to Galle – Sri Lanka’s busiest southern city and home to Galle Fort City, another captivating UNESCO World Heritage site. The fort, built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, is a phenomenal historic feature that demonstrates the interaction between architectural styles and South Asian traditions. 

The fort ramparts, including a lighthouse, clock tower, houses, churches, and other various buildings are well-preserved – most now playing host to chic restaurants, private villas, boutiques, and guesthouses – without, of course, compromising on the authenticity of the fort.  

After exploring the city on foot, you and your fellow travellers will be able to enjoy the sunset on the fort’s ramparts, before heading back to Unawatuna.  

Day 13: Colombo

Today marks the final day of your Sri Lanka group tour package! We will start our journey back to Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo, where you will bid farewell to your new friends and prepare to head home! 

On our way, we will stop by a temple where you will meet a Buddhist priest and take part in a pooja (blessing ritual) prior to the end of your journey. 


Our Sri Lanka group tour package includes the following features:

  • A bilingual, epic Adventure Leader throughout the entire trip
  • All transport within Sri Lanka
  • Accommodation (including hostels and guesthouses)
  • The following meals are provided: 11 breakfasts & 2 lunches

Please note: Accommodation is in dorm rooms as a standard on our Sri Lanka group tour.
Upgrade options (to single or twin rooms) are available, please contact us for more information.

Our included activities on our Sri Lanka tour package:

  • Evening walking tour of the old town of Colombo (Colombo)
  • Negombo to visit the fish market (Negombo)
  • Dambulla Cave Complex (Dambulla)
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress hike (Sigiriya)
  • A glass Sri Lanka’s favourite alcohol, Arrack (Dambulla)
  • Hike along the scenic Manigala Trail (Knuckles)
  • Visit to Dalada Maligawa a.k.a. The Temple of the Tooth (Kandy)
  • Sunset visit to Kandy Lake (Kandy)
  • The Sputnik Centre (Kurunegala, Kandy)
  • White Water rafting (Kitulgala)
  • Train from Hatton to Ella (Ella)
  • Ella Rock hike at sunrise (Ella)
  • Visit Rawana Falls (Ella)
  • Hike to Mini-worlds end at sunrise (Ella)
  • Visit the Buduruvagala Ancient Temple (Ella to Udawalawe)
  • Jeep safari into Udawalawe National Park (Udawalawe)
  • Visit to Handunugoda Tea Estate (Handunugoda)
  • Surf lesson (Unawatuna)
  • Tuk-tuk ride to Galle, for Galle Fort City (Galle)
  • Visit temple to meet a Buddhist priest and take part in a pooja (blessing ritual) (Unawatuna – Colombo)



The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the tour as per our terms & conditions.

Unless specified otherwise, food and drinks throughout the tour are not included.

Activities that aren’t included:

  • Arrival/departure transfer (Colombo) – approx. 58 USD for up to 2 people in a car
  • Any activities during free time in Sigiriya
  • Excursion to the old city of Polonnaruwa (Sigiriya) – USD 55 per person (includes transport to site & back)
  • Any activities during free time in Kandy
  • Excursion to the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya (Kandy) – USD 30 per person (includes transport to site & back)
  • Any activities during free time in Ella
  • Cooking class (Ella) – USD 20 per person
  • Yoga lesson (Ella) – USD 25 per person
  • Any activities during free time in Unawatuna
  • Traditional mask painting (Unawatuna) – USD 38 per person (includes activity & transport)

deposit is required to make a reservation on our Sri Lanka tours, with the balance due 70 days prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply).

The deposit is 10% of the group tour price (unless stated otherwise). If you book on to our Sri Lanka tours less than 70 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.

No bookings can be accepted within 40 days of a trip departure date.

Room Upgrades

If you’d like to upgrade your room for this Sri Lanka group tour, the prices are listed below. The upgrade fee is for the room, not per person.

  • Room upgrade to single – £205
  • Room upgrade to twin – £73
  • Room upgrade to double – £73

Please note: room upgrades are not available in Ella.

Additional Services

We can book additional nights accommodation at the start and end of your Sri Lanka tour to allow for some time to relax as our tours are fast-paced. Prices are listed below:

  • Pre/post-night dorm – £14
  • Pre/post-night private (double) – £37
  • Pre/post-night private (single) – £34

We can also arrange for airport transfers upon request for £58 per car. If you would like this organised, please email

Visit our FAQs page. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us.


The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the Sri Lanka adventure tour as per our terms & conditions.

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