21 Day Road Trip in Sri Lanka

WHY we need you in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka mountain view

Why Involvement Volunteers International?






  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required


Embark on a captivating 3-week journey to uncover the vibrant country of Sri Lanka. Begin your adventure in Kandy, a city steeped in rich tradition. Immerse yourself in the fragrant spice gardens, bustling local markets, and serene Buddhist rituals in ancient temples.

In the second week, embark on a picturesque train ride to Ella. Explore the charming town on foot, trekking to scenic viewpoints and indulging in delicious local cuisine. Return to Kandy for some relaxation before embarking on a cultural excursion to Dambulla and the UNESCO-listed Sigiriya Rock.

The third week brings you to Ambalangoda for a meaningful sea turtle conservation program. Responsibilities include tending to turtle tanks, caring for these majestic creatures, and ensuring the cleanliness of the beach. Activities may vary depending on weather conditions.

This program blends cultural discoveries, scenic sights, with wildlife conservation efforts. 


Kandy, is an amazing destination high up in the hills approx 3 hours drive from Colombo with incredible views, dense forests and a buzzy atmosphere with locals and tourists. Kandy is the last royal capital of Sri Lanka and is famous for it’s culture and temples such as Temple of the Tooth and plenty of others. The city has bustling markets with all kinds of interesting and diverse goods and services from unique handicrafts, exotic foods, arts, music and dance. Kandy has a really cool vibe and is somewhere you can happily explore for an extended period of time.

Ambalangoda is a coastal fishing town located in the Galle District, in Southern Sri Lanka. This small town has a very local feel, with markets, supermarkets, banks and several shops to eat out at. Ambalangoda is known as a Buddhist town, with most of the locals following this religion. It has some pretty golden beaches that are not frequently visited by tourists, giving it a real authentic feel. The area is also known for puppet shows, moonstone, antique furniture and devil dancing.

Project Tasks

This program aims to connect you with the genuine essence of Sri Lanka. Engaging in various projects and activities will allow you to deeply immerse yourself in the culture, customs, and everyday life of the country.

Food & Accommodation

You will be accommodated in one of our centers which are located 2-4 kilometers away from Kandy center, with 2-10 people per room. Furthermore, there is a refrigerator which you are welcome to use to store food and beverages. Accommodation in Ella and Sigiriya will include a guesthouse stay. Accommodation in Ambalangoda will be in single-gender shared rooms with bunk beds. 

3 meals per day are provided during weekdays and 2 meals per day on weekends. Safe filtered drinking water is provided along with tea and coffee. You can expect meals with rice, coconut, spices, roti, lots of vegetables & sparing amounts of meat. 


- 21 Day Road Trip

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $2760
Vol House
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion



If you are looking for an all-in-one experience with a combination of travel, culture, and volunteering, then yes! 🙂

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Bandaranayake International Airport (CMB). You must arrive between the hours 05:00 to 21:00 on Sunday.

If you arrive outside the pickup times, you can book a private transfer for an extra fee.

If you want to book any extra nights before or after your program, you can do this for an extra fee.    

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).

From the airport to the Kandy accommodation, it takes around 3-4 hours by road and to the Ambalangoda accommodation, around 3 hours.  

Week 1

Arrival: Sunday

  • Upon arrival, immerse yourself in the beauty of Kandy as we transfer you to this enchanting city, setting the stage for an incredible adventure.

Day 1: Monday

  • Welcome/Introduction to the Program/collection of documents
  • Explore Spice Garden, Tea Factory, and the vibrant city of Kandy.

Day 2: Tuesday

  • Explore a Local Market
  • Engage in a Sri Lankan Cooking Lesson
  • Enjoy Lunch
  • Craft Sri Lankan Lanterns
  • Visit a Local Temple for Buddhist Rituals

Day 3: Wednesday

  • Introduction to Buddhism and Meditation
  • Explore the Ancient Ranawan Temple
  • Savor a Local Lunch
  • Visit the White Buddha Statue
  • Explore the Main Local Market in Kandy

Day 4: Thursday

  • Explore the Tooth Temple
  • Visit a Traditional Sri Lankan Batik Factory
  • Marvel at the Kandy Viewpoint
  • Enjoy Lunch
  • Visit a Local Handloom Weaving Center

Day 5: Friday

  • Visit Ambuluwawa Peak
  • Discover the Gem Museum
  • Tour a Silk Factory
  • Immerse in a Sri Lankan Cultural Show

Day 6: Saturday

  • Explore the beauty of nature at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Day 7: Sunday

  • Enjoy some leisure time to relax and explore the city of Kandy at your own pace.

Week 2

Day 8: Monday

  • Embark on a train ride to Ella, renowned as one of the most picturesque train rides in the world.

Day 9: Tuesday

  • Discover Ella by foot
  • Hike to Little Adam’s Peak for stunning views
  • Visit the Nine Arch Bridge for its architectural beauty
  • Stroll through Ella town and enjoy local cuisine

Day 10: Wednesday

  • Travel back to Kandy via train and unwind by the pool, enjoying a relaxing day.

Day 11: Thursday

  • Journey to Dambulla and explore the iconic Sigiriya Rock. Sigiriya Rock, also known as Lion Rock, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. It’s an ancient rock fortress rising dramatically from the surrounding plains.
  • Climbing to the top offers breathtaking panoramic views and a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich heritage.

Day 12: Friday

  • experience the sunrise atop Pidurangala Mountain, explore Riverston, and then journey back to Kandy.

Day 13: Saturday

  • Saturday: Unwind and enjoy a relaxing day in Kandy.

Day 14: Sunday

  • Catch an early morning train to Ambalangoda.

Week 3

Day 15 – 19: Monday to Friday

  • Join activities at the sea turtle conservation program in Ambalangoda
  • The activities change according to the beach weather conditions and the number of participants but spending time with these marvelous creatures is the main aim of our participants’ involvement.
  • This program requires your dedication and support. Cleaning the turtles and their tanks at the turtle conservation center is the main thing you have to do. That is because it is vital to have a clean and hygienic center for these animals.
  • Typical activities during the week would include,
  • Feeding the turtles (every other day)
  • Cleaning the tanks
  • Cleaning the turtles
  • Cleaning the beach
  • Helping with the weekly release of over 100 newborn turtles into the ocean (depending on the weather and season).

Day 20: Saturday

  • Departure

***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***

Here are a few things you can do in Sri Lanka!

Royal Botanical Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are situated around 5. km to the West of Kandy. Once being only for the Kandyan royalty, they are now open to the public to wander around at their leisure. There’s 60 hectares of beautiful garden to explore, where you will see a huge Javan fig tree, pretty orchids and even monkeys!

Knuckles mountain range

This stunning mountain range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts many walking trails. You will find small villages, beautiful waterfalls, numerous native wildlife and rice fields. This is the perfect place for people who love the outdoors and adventurous hiking trails.

Sigiriya (Lion Rock)

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this ancient rock is situated around 91km North from Kandy and is very popular with tourists, who can climb up to the top for some seriously stunning views. Along the way you will see antient rock carvings and paintings on the walls of this sacred rock. It will take roughly just over an hour to climb up.

Yala National Park

Located on the South coast of Sri Lanka, this stunning park hosts one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Not only that, you can also spot elephants, monkeys, birds, buffalo and more. There are numerous tours in Yala, from day tours to over several days of safari.

Adam’s Peak

Around 91km South of Kandy you can climb to the top of this sacred sight, just as the locals do for pilgrimage. It’s a bit of a trek up in the dark but totally worth it to see the sun coming up over the clouds, mountains and lush forest. You will be greeted by stunning views to reward your efforts!

Hortons Plains National Park

You can trek through this beautiful national park to ‘World’s End’, a 9.5km round loop trail, taking around 3 hours. This is a pretty easy walk, but you will be greeted with amazing views out over the countryside and above the clouds! It’s best to visit here early (before 10am) as the clouds can roll in after that and block the incredible views.

Udawatta Kele Reserve

Situated near the Kandy lake, this nature reserve is complete with monkeys and birds- fantastic for wildlife and nature lovers. Here you will find wooded forests, over 400 species of plants and 70 bird species. You can trek through the forest for a relaxing break away from the city.

Tea Plantations

Kandy and Nuwara Eliya are both popular places to visit a tea plantation, for a refreshing taste of some of Sri Lanka’s best fresh tea! Not only do they produce great tea, the landscape is stunningly green, with endless hills rolling off into the distance.

Additional Requirements

  • Participants below the age of 18 should have parental consent.
  • Participants above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.

Additional Equipment

  • Shoes suitable for hiking
  • Towel and blanket
  • Insect repellent
  • Cap/hat
  • Sunscreen

For information on holidays and any programs affected, please see the following link: LK – Holidays – All Programs

With a population of 20 million, the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka, formally known as Ceylon is a tear drop shaped island off the south eastern coast of India. Steeped in over 2000 years of history, the culture is unique to Sri Lanka and known for it’s export of tea, holistic medicines, cinnamon and gemstones including a unique blend of music, dance and visual arts.

Colinised by the British, Dutch and Portugese, there is a multi-culturalism with distinct Sri Lankan flair that feels similar to India, only a whole lot more chilled out! Sri Lanka, better known as the “nation of smiling people” is predominently buddhist (approx 80%) with some Hindu, Muslim and Christianity.  

Sri Lanka has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and given it’s size it’s easy to experience them all in a short period of time. From the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, to the colonial architecture of Colombo, to the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, to lush natural forest, picturesque cities, thousand year old temples, and ancient civilation ruins there are really so many reasons to visit this amazing land.  

Sri lanka has a tropical climate with distinctive wet and dry seasons. Temperatures vary and it can get much cooler in the mountains than it can on the beach.

On average temperatures in Sri Lanka vary from 28- 32 degrees, but in the mountain regions this can go to as low as 16 degrees. 

From mid-April to September the Southwest moonsoon rains come, affecting the West, Southwest coastline and the Hill Country. On the East coast, the monsoon rains start from November to March but are not quite as severe. 

December to March are the best months to visit the West or South coastline and the Hill Country. For the East coast or the North, the best time to visit is from April to September. 

Sri Lanka and known for it’s export of tea, holistic medicines, cinnamon and gemstones including a unique blend of music, dance and visual arts.

Colinised by the British, Dutch and Portugese, there is a multi-culturalism with distinct Sri Lankan flair that feels similar to India, only a whole lot more chilled out! Sri Lanka is predominently buddhist (approx 80%) with some Hindu, Muslim and Christianity.  

There are many festivals in Sri Lanka. Here are the dates for some of them!

  • January: Duruthu
    Celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. During Duruthu, thousands of people attend colorful parades, which consist of three processions on the nights before the full moon. The processions consist of fireball performers, drummers, dances, decorated elephants and the most important – a gigantic tusker treading a white carpet.
  • April 13th or 14th: Avurudda (New Year)
    Avurudda celebrates the Sinhalese New Year in Sri Lanka. According to Sinhalese astrology, the new year begins when the sun changes from Meena Rashi (Pisces) to Mesha Rashi (Aries).
  • June: Poson Festival
    Poson Festival takes place on the full moon day of June and celebrates the arrival of Buddhism, which occurred when Arahat Mahinda, the son of the emperor of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.
  • October or November: Diwali (Festival of Lights)
    Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, and good over evil. It is celebrated with millions of lights shining over houses, temples, and buildings. 

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Sri Lanka?