10-day trip of Sri Lanka - Dec 13 - Dec 22, 2019
The hotels selected by the local specialist Shalindra were all good quality and value options. The driver organised through the local specialist was a very experienced driver and a great tour guide with good local knowledge of the history and customs of the area. The trek to the Knuckles Mountain Range was a highlight, we had the expertise of a local guide, tracker and medic all accompany us on the tour. The visit to the local village was a little unorganised, the bike tour was short and not very well explained by our guide, but we had a great lunch in the village and the food was exceptional. We were a little disappointed by the tour of Kandy, which took in a gemstone factory and wood making workshop, which were not part of our original itinerary and were not of interest to us, so felt like a bit of a waste of our time, as we had not requested these stops and would have liked more time in the city. We also were unsure around tipping throughout the trip, as we had spent a significant amount of money already on hotels and food, to then be told by the driver that tipping at least $1000 RP per tour guide was expected this was annoying as we had assumed all tours and guides had already been pre-paid. I would suggest that the tour company should be more upfront about these additional costs, other it seems like there are many hidden costs, that although the tipping is voluntary, we were not made to feel like this was the case. Overall we were happy with the itinerary and tour organizer, but more detail from them around what was covered in the costs and the tours would have been invaluable before we arrived.