location icon telephone icon facebook icon twitter icon instagram icon
location icon mail icon

Discover a world of spice and splendour on a two-wheeled trip across Sri Lanka.

Ride through tea plantations, quaint fishing villages, and swathes of lush green jungle on this cycling adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is gaining traction as 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 national parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. In between two-wheeled treks, laze on the beach, ride the rails (a must in Sri Lanka), explore the country’s premier Hindu and Buddhist sites, and taste the flavours of the tantalising night markets.

Package Includes
  • Round trip airfare to Colombo, Sir Lanka
  • 13 night guided cycling adventure
  • Accommodation: Hotels (11 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)
  • 21 meals: 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches
  • Included activities:
    Anuradhapura – Bodhi Tree Temple
    Anuradhapura – Ancient site
    Anuradhapura – Isurumuniya Temple
    Polonnaruwa exploration
    Kandy – Cultural performance
    Sigiriya – Lion Rock
    Kandy – Temple of the Tooth
    Yala/Udawalawe National Park – Wildlife safari
  • Transportation:Bicycle (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Support Vehicle, Train, Jeep
  • Airport transfers
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 16

 

 

April 17 – September 11, 2020 select departures
Vancouver from $4299 + $735 tax
Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton from $4599 + $735 tax

Per person based on shared accommodation.
My own room add $715 (will have own room for most nights)

Important notes
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. This trip has an option of an electric-motor assisted bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please enquire at 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. Train tickets from Kandy to Hatton (day 8) are in very high demand. We always try our best to secure tickets for this journey. Though on the rare occasion that we cannot, you will be provided with a private bus to take you to Hatton.

Map of Cycle Sri Lanka including Sri Lanka

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Negombo
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
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included: There are no meals included on this day.

Day 2: Anuradhapura
Rise early and enjoy some breakfast at the hotel. Start off with a test-ride through the city streets, from the hotel to the fish market. This gives you a nice insight into the daily working of the market and the dry fish industry. You will then cycle from Negombo to Chilaw (approximately 40 km). 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 Chilaw. Afterwards, hop aboard a coach and travel to Anuradhapura (approximately 90 km). Here you can settle into your hotel, relax and perhaps take a swim in the pool. 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.

Notes: The fish market in Negombo is closed on Sundays.

Riding distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles, mostly flat with approx. 170m/560ft of elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Anuradhapura
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. While you’re here you will visit the impressive Isurumuniya Temple. 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.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities: Anuradhapura – Bodhi Tree Temple, Anuradhapura – Ancient site, Anuradhapura – Isurumuniya Temple
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Polonnaruwa
Cycle from Anuradhapura to Ritigala, passing paddies, man-made water tanks and jungle patches (approximately 70 km). Sit down to some lunch along the way at a countryside kiosk. Make a visit to the beautiful Ritigala monastery, which dates back nearly 2000 years and is named after the mountain on which it sits.. After exploring the site and learning a thing or two about its local mythology, board a coach and travel to Polonnaruwa (approximately 60 km). Relax and unwind on arrival.

Riding distance: approx. 70km/44 miles, mostly flat with approx. 210m/690ft of elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities: Polonnaruwa exploration
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Dambulla
Saddle up for a morning ride to Polonnaruwa. For breakfast you’ll dine at a local village house. Arrive at the ancient site of Polonnaruwa, the second oldest of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, and do some exploring. Visit the likes of Vihara temple, Parakrama statue and Siva temple while you are here. Then cycle to Diyabeduma (approximately 45 km). Marvel at the scenery along the way – sanctuaries, man made channels and farm lands – before sitting down to a picnic lunch. Next, travel from Diyabeduma to Dambulla by coach (approximately 40 km). 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. 45km/28 miles, mostly flat with approx. 160m/530ft of elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Sigriya Rock & Kandy
This morning you will cycle approximately 15km from your hotel in Dambulla 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 breakfast, taking in the lovely views.

Afterwards, jump back on your bike and pedal your way through spice plantations and pleasant countryside (approximately 35kms) and reward yourself with lunch at a spice garden near Matale. Enjoy a rest in the support vehicle as we drive the final kilometres to Kandy. In the evening you will sit down to a traditional Kandyan dance performance – a riveting insight into an age-old culture.

Riding distance: approx. 50km/31 miles, mostly flat with approx. 150m/500ft of elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities: Kandy – Cultural performance, Sigiriya – Lion Rock
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Special Information
The visit to Lion Rock takes around 3.5 hrs. Start around 7am, reaching the lion paw around 8.30 am. On the way visit the water garden, boulder garden, Sigiriya Frescos and the mirror wall. After the Lion Paw its a steep climb with plenty of steps and walkways along the side of the rock. This part of the climb takes around 30 minutes.Those not wanting to go to the top can rest at the lion paw until the rest of the group return.

Day 7: Kandy
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 included food crawl.

Riding distance: none (optional cycling available)
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities: Kandy – Temple of the Tooth
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8: Hatton
Transfer to Kandy railway station after breakfast. From the station you will embark on a scenic train trip from Kandy to Hatton, then cycle from Hatton station to Maskeliya (approximately 40 km) through leafy tea plantations. For lunch, enjoy an authentic Tamil meal from a local kiosk. Check into your guesthouse, then relax. In the evening, there’s an optional climb of Adam’s Peak, a beautiful, conical, snow-capped mountain (2,243 m). The best time for this activity is from mid December to early May.

Riding distance: approx. 38km/24 miles, light climb near the start then mostly downhill with approx. 380m/1250ft of elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Special Information
Train tickets from Kandy to Hatton are in very high demand. We always try our best to secure tickets for this journey. Though on the rare occasion that we cannot, you will be provided with a private bus to take you to Hatton.

Day 9: Tissamaharama
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before cycling down from Bogawanthalawa to Balangoda (approximately 55 km). This is one of the most beautiful stretches of road in Sri Lanka – it follows a path along the tea plantations and passes lush pine forests. Have lunch at Balangoda on arrival, then transfer from Balangoda to Tissamaharama (approximately 100 km).

Riding distance: approx. 52km/32 miles, uphill at the start then mostly downhill with approx. 720m/2360ft of elevation gain.
Accommodation: Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included: Breakfast. Lunch

Day 10: Yala National Park
Cycle from Tissamaharama to Kataragama after breakfast (approximately 20 km each way). The holy city of Kataragama is a colourful and vibrant religious centre that rivals Adam’s Peak in terms of national importance. This is where the two-week Kataragama Festival attracts thousands, mostly Hindus, each year in July/August. Afterwards, take a jeep ride through the beautiful Yala National Park, home to elephants, crocodiles, and gorgeous waterbirds such as the great thick-knee. Yala also lays claim to one of the world’s highest concentration of leopards.

Riding distance: approx. 38km/24 miles, lightly undulating with approx. 170m/560ft of elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities: Yala/Udawalawe National Park – Wildlife safari
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Mirissa
After breakfast, cycle from Tissamaharama to Hambantota via the pretty Bundala National Park. After lunch at Hambantota, continue to Mirissa. Enjoy an afternoon of beach splendour in Mirissa. The beach itself is a long curve of sand with lovely clear waters for swimming – a great spot to watch the sunset. Consider cycling to nearby Weligama, where colourful fishing boats bring fresh fish to sell along the shore. The local cottage industry of lace products is also well worth a look.

Riding distance: approx. 39km/24 miles, flat with approx. 60m/200ft of elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Mirissa & Galle
Enjoy some time to relax with a free day that is yours to spend as you please. You might like to go whale-watching, which is more successful from November through to April. Later drive to Galle (approximately 50 km each way). Spend the evening exploring Galle, home to an impressive World Heritage-listed Dutch fort with extensive walls and many interesting old buildings. Enjoy a stroll around the historic fort and watch the sunset from the ramparts before driving back to Mirissa.

While the famous stilt fishermen casting lines from their traditional poles are an iconic sight unfortunately this activity has become a real tourist trap, with tourists expected to pay for the opportunity of taking a photo. We advise our travellers to use their best judgement before paying for a photo.

Riding distance: none
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 13: Colombo
Depart Mirissa after breakfast with a transfer to Colombo (approximately 3 hours). On arrival, check into your hotel and then take a city walk past the bustling Petta Bazaar, 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
Accommodation: Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14: Colombo
Your trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast and the hotel’s check-out time is 11am. For those who are staying on and want to explore Colombo further, check out our Urban Adventure day trips.

Riding distance: none
Optional Activities: Colombo – Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure – USD55, Colombo – Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure – USD55
Meals Included: There are no meals included on this day.

Passport and visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it’s important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

SRI LANKA:
Sri Lanka looking at potentially trialing a visa-free entry period from 1st May 2019 to 31st October 2019 for travelers from multiple countries around the world including the European Union, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia. Please check with the Sri Lanka Embassy or Consulate in your country for up-to-date visa information.

Travellers requiring a Sri Lanka visa prior to entry can apply online at the following website: www.eta.gov.lk

Medical and health information

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.

Terms & Conditions

All rates are per person, based on double occupancy in Canadian dollars (unless otherwise stated) New bookings only. Space and price may be limited and subject to availability at the time of booking.  Errors or omissions may occur on the above information with no guarantee of being honoured. Terms and conditions apply. Tax is not included in the above base fare. Above tax amount includes $30 per adult Booking Management Fee.  Not included in the above rates: Xpresspost fee, recommended medical, cancellation or baggage insurance. Child rate is applicable when travelling with 2 paying adults sharing 1 hotel room, using the existing bedding. Price Match Policy: Travel Best Bets makes every effort to remain competitive by offering our ‘Match or Beat Any Price’ offer however due to certain restrictions  there will be some product we cannot match or beat. Please note the star ratings found on www.travelbestbets.com are determined by Travel Best Bets based on a number of factors and may not match the star rating found in the Tour Operator’s brochure. Please view our star ratings by clicking here. Due to an increasing volume of disputed bookings, we will only accept payment for air only travel to India, the Philippines and the continent of Africa through the following means: book and pay cash in person or by direct deposit into our business account – once the transaction is verified and a copy of the receipt emailed or faxed to our office, we will confirm the booking. Please contact us for details on how to book using this method.Please note there maybe a tax increase when FREE connectors are added with Air Canada Vacations. Please contact [email protected] for photo credit information. BPCPA #3287