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Simply Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is jam-packed with ancient sites, fascinating cultures, beautiful wilderness and idyllic beaches and this eight-day Lonely Planet Experience will introduce you to the most memorable. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, climb Lion Rock at Sigiriya, and explore the monkey-filled mangrove forests of Unawatuna. We’ve sorted the nitty gritty so you can focus on soaking up Sri Lanka at your own pace, with plenty of optional activities and the guidance of your local leader to help you out when you’re not sure where to start. Are you an independent traveller who wants to explore Sri Lanka with like-minded people and a local? This is your trip.

Tour Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

  • Day : 1 (Negombo)
    Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to the international airport. You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5.30 pm. 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.

    Accommodation - Hotel
    Optional Activity - Negombo - Spirit of Negombo Urban Adventure - USD60

  • Day : 2 (Dambulla )
    After breakfast, leave Negombo and drive approximately 4.5 hours to Dambulla, arriving just after midday. In the afternoon you may like to relax at the hotel after check-in, or take an optional visit to a nearby wildlife reserve – a jeep safari excursion that takes you into elephant country. Which park is available to visit depends on the season, but both Minneriya and Kaudulla are within easy reach of Dambulla. Another option is the nearby Dambulla Caves with their magnificently decorated interiors.

    Accommodation - Hotel
    Optional Activity - Dambulla - Cave Temples - LKR1500
    Minneriya - Jeep Safari - LKR6500

  • Day : 3 (Sigiriya - Kandy)
    Early this morning, before the heat is too intense, head to Sigiriya (approximately 30 minutes). This ruined fortress is one of Sri Lanka's premier sights. Those who make it to the top are rewarded with astounding views. Make sure you are wearing sturdy footwear, as this is a very steep climb with some uneven slopes. Those unable to climb to the top can explore the gardens at the base of the rock and still get some fantastic shots of the fortress from below. Return to the hotel for breakfast before heading to Kandy (approximately 3 hours). On the way, there's the option of stopping at one of the region's wonderful spice gardens for lunch. In beautifully located Kandy, visit the Dalada Maligawa (aka Temple of the Tooth), Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist site, and mingle with the white-clad pilgrims who come here to worship.

    Included Activity - Kandy - Temple of the Tooth with pooja ceremony
    Sigiriya - Lion Rock

  • Day : 4 (Kandy)
    Today is a free day to explore Kandy, a pleasant city surrounded by lush countryside. It’s home to a picturesque lake, old shops, a bustling market and some great restaurants. It was once the capital under the last Sri Lankan king, and the area managed to resist European control for hundreds of years, long after the coastal areas surrendered. Perhaps walk through the town to take in the sights of Kandy – explore the citadel, or take a nature walk at Udawattakele Sanctuary, close to Kandy, which offers the chance to see flowers, birds and monkeys in 160 acres of tropical rainforest. There's also the chance to take a day trip to Nuwara Eliya along winding roads lined by green slopes of tea leaves. This old British hill station is the heart of the tea-growing industry and full of colonial charm.

    Optional Activity - Kandy - Private cultural dance performance - LKR1000
    Kandy - Botanical Gardens - LKR2000
    Kandy - Cooking Class in a Sinhalese Home - LKR1400

  • Day : 5 (Unawatuna)
    Journey south in a private vehicle to Unawatuna (approximately 6 hours). This fantastic stretch of beach has plenty of local restaurants and bars to relax in. There are no included activities today, so you'll have free time to explore Unawatuna and its surrounds. Perhaps take a walk through the monkey-filled mangrove forest off Galle–Matara road or unwind with an indulgent massage. 


  • Day : 6 (Unawatuna)
    Sleep in, relax on the beach, work on your tan or grab a cocktail under the shade of a beachside restaurant. Feel like something a bit more active? Today is a good opportunity to pop into nearby Galle for some sightseeing. The city is a memorable collection of Dutch-colonial buildings with boutique shops and cafes to visit. Walk around the perimeter of the Galle fort and cool off with an icy ginger drink in a cafe, then mosey on back to the beach for some more chillaxing.


  • Day : 7 (Colombo)
    Leave Unawatuna behind and make the journey to Galle, where you'll jump on a train to Colombo (approximately 4 hours). On arrival in Sri Lanka's capital, why not head out on an optional city walk with your leader? If you are lucky enough to be in Colombo on a Saturday, visit Good Market, a local market full of stalls showcasing social enterprises and responsible businesses. Tonight is free but your leader will suggest an optional group dinner.

    Included Activity - Colombo - Market Visit

  • Day : 8 (Colombo)
    This Sri Lankan adventure comes to an end after breakfast.

    Optional Activity - Colombo - Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure - USD55
    Colombo - Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure - USD55

Tour Highlights

Tour Highlights

  • Last modified (date) - 13 Oct 2021

  • Trip title - Simply Sri Lanka

  • Trip code - HPRS

  • Validity - Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

  • Introduction - Sri Lanka is jam-packed with ancient sites, fascinating cultures, beautiful wilderness and idyllic beaches and this eight-day Lonely Planet Experience will introduce you to the most memorable. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, climb Lion Rock at Sigiriya, and explore the monkey-filled mangrove forests of Unawatuna. We’ve sorted the nitty gritty so you can focus on soaking up Sri Lanka at your own pace, with plenty of optional activities and the guidance of your local leader to help you out when you’re not sure where to start. Are you an independent traveller who wants to explore Sri Lanka with like-minded people and a local? This is your trip.

  • Style - Basix

  • Themes - Lonely Planet Experience

  • Transport - Private vehicle

  • Physical Rating - 2

  • Joining point - #Waves By Tranquil (Lakwin Hotel)#160/9 Porutota Road #Negombo#SRI LANKA#Phone: +94 (03)12272936

  • Joining point description - Waves By Tranquil is lovely hotel located near Negombo beach. Enjoy the pool and licensed restaurant serving up local Sri Lankan dishes. Rooms have air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee facilities.

  • Joining point instructions - Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. Bandaranaike International Airport is located in Negombo, approx. 35km north of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer please collect your luggage and head towards exit number 1. Your transfer representative will be holding a signboard displaying the Intrepid logo. Please ask them to confirm your name. Once confirmed they will assist you to the vehicle for your onward transfer to your hotel. Note that neither the driver nor any representative should ask you for additional payment. If your flight is delayed or cancelled or if you have any trouble locating your transfer representative on arrival to Colombo airport please call the below numbers: +94 (0) 76 831 6000 +94 (0) 71 927 7676 Taxis in Sri Lanka are easy, safe and cheap. You can book a taxi from the set-fare service desk in the arrival hall or at the taxi service just outside. A taxi from Bandaranaike International Airport takes approx. 15 minutes and costs approx. 2,500LKR (20USD). If you are staying in Colombo prior to the tour it is approximately 30km from Colombo, which will cost about LKR5,600 (US$40). Uber is now available in Colombo.

  • Alternate Joining point - #For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point. #13 Nov 2021 (HPRS211113), 26 Dec 2021 (HPRS211226)#Oasis Beach Resort#No. 31, Poruthota Road Ettukala, #Negombo#SRI LANKA

  • Finish point - #Colombo City Hotel#33 Canal Row Fort#Colombo#01#SRI LANKA

  • Finish point description - Colombo City Hotel is located in the heart of Colombo right opposite to the World Trade Center Twin Towers and the old Dutch Hospital, now converted to a modern shopping complex. It is also walking distance from the Old Parliament. A short stroll from the hotel and you will find your self amidst historic buildings and the Colombo Port. The hotel has a wonderful rooftop restaurant/bar offering food & beverages. Colombo City Hotel is a 5-minute walk from Colombo Fort Railway Station and a 1-hour drive from Colombo International Airport.

  • Finish point instructions - A departure transfer is available to purchase. Please check with your consultant at the time of booking. Alternatively you can book a taxi locally for the trip to Bandaranaike International Airport through the hotel or with the assistance of your tour leader. The journey to the airport takes around 1 hour, but can be more in peak travel times.

  • Important information - 1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip and is valid for all nights on tour. PASSPORT DETAILS: Full passport details are required for the train journey. Without them we cannot purchase train tickets. Please advise them at the time of booking.

  • Group leader - All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

  • Safety - #Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.#https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines#CURRENT SITUATION: The recent terrorist attacks were a tragic event and have had a serious impact on tourism in the country. Intrepid has a strong commitment to our local staff and the communities we visit and are continuing to operate all our trips in Sri Lanka. While the security situation is now much more stable, you will still see a high police presence in towns and cities and many check points are still in place. We continue to follow government travel advisories and local authorities in operating our trips in Sri Lanka. We don't anticipate major changes to your itinerary at this time, however it’s important to be aware that the country is still recovering and things like travel times between destinations and time taken to go through security at the airport may be affected. POLITICAL TENSION: Demonstrations and large public gatherings can turn violent or be a target for politically-motivated attacks. Police have used tear gas and water cannons in response to protests. Curfews can be imposed at short notice. You should avoid all large public gatherings and follow advice of your leader. Some security forces maintain a visible presence, particularly in the northern and eastern provinces. Military and police checkpoints can be established and road closures can occur without warning. PETTY CRIME: Pick-pocketing, bag snatching and other petty crime occurs in Sri Lanka, particularly in crowded places such as tourist areas, markets and on public transport. Carry only what you need an always use hotel safes where available. Card skimming has been known to occur - only use ATMs attached to banks or at major hotels. Some tourists unwittingly buy counterfeit goods, particularly jewellery and gems - be aware you may not be buying the real thing. LOCAL LAWS: You must carry a form of official photo identification with you at all times - a copy of your passport is a good idea. Be aware that smoking and drinking in most public places is illegal. BICYCLE HELMETS: Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles. If you wish you can bring along your own.

  • Communications - Hotels in Sri Lanka generally have excellent WiFi connections. Most hotels offer free WiFi in public areas, with many also offering in room WiFi. Your tour leader will offer you the best advice on communications in remote areas of the country. You can purchase a local SIM card at the airport on arrival. Etisalat and Airtel are two of the bigger operators with the best nationwide coverage.

  • Visas - PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the passport details you provide are accurate. Any errors provided may result in extra fees for making corrections in bookings. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. COVID-19 ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, you must monitor your government's foreign travel advice for the most up-to-date border measures and entry requirements as they may change without notice. See Intrepid Travel Alert page for some commonly used government travel advice websites: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Entry requirements may include but not limited to the presentation of a vaccination certificate, a negative PCR test, health declaration form, passenger locator form, or proof of hotel or tour booking. Lack of any required documents may result in denial of entry. Airline boarding requirements may differ, or be in addition to, a destination’s entry requirements. Monitor your airline’s requirements regularly in the lead up to travel. Being allowed to board a flight doesn’t guarantee entry to a destination. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that extends to cover COVID-19 related expenses. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. SRI LANKA VISA 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 INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR SRI LANKA TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS Train tickets in Sri Lanka must be booked with passport numbers. Please make sure you provide us with your correct passport number no later than 60 days prior to departure. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number.

  • Why we love it - #Check out the awe-inspiring Sigiriya (Lion Rock), a 200-metre-high ancient rock fortress that lies smack-bang in the middle of evergreen jungle.#Wander through the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy, which houses one of Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relics – a tooth of the Buddha.#Spend two whole days on the gorgeous beach of Unawatuna, where you can either get active in the surrounding jungle or chill with a cocktail while lying under a palm tree.#This tour has the option of a 4WD safari through a park known for its wild elephant population. Seeing these big beauties in the flesh is unforgettable.#With Lonely Planet Experiences you get local knowledge, decades of on-the-ground operational experience and the freedom and independence to explore at your own pace.

  • Is this trip right for you - Though its equatorial position means fairly constant year-round temperatures, the summer months in Sri Lanka are very hot with short, sharp monsoons in the south-west of the country. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water. Beaches in Sri Lanka may be unpatrolled, so please seek local advice on where to swim safely.

  • Health - GENERAL HEALTH 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 manage and enjoy 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, we reserve 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 while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19 MOSQUITIO-BORNE ILLNESSES: All regions of Sri Lanka can experience outbreaks of dengue fever, with cases more prevalent in the west of the country. 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. If you have a fever or feel unwell, please let your leader know right away. Outbreaks of other mosquito-borne diseases (including chikungunya fever, Japanese encephalitis and filariasis) occur regularly. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses by taking measures to avoid insect bites.

  • Food and dietary requirements - SRI LANKAN FOOD: Sri Lankan food is, put simply, delicious! Here's some advice on the best local dishes to try: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/eat-like-a-local-in-sri-lanka/ https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/best-breakfasts-sri-lanka/ Vegetarians & vegans also won't go hungry: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/vegetarian-vegan-food-guide-sri-lanka/

  • Money matters - The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Rupee (LKR).There are many ATMs throughout Sri Lanka, which accept both Visa and MasterCard. Although this is a safe and convenient way to access money during your trip we do recommend that you carry some money in cash for when ATMs can not be accessed. Some money should be taken as US dollars cash in case of emergencies. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger shops and restaurants but only in the bigger cities. Some banks will allow cash advances against a credit card. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill. Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides. Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest $5-$6 for both bus and the staffs. Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$5 - US$6 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx US$10-US$12 per day of your trip to cover tipping. At your group meeting on Day 1, your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your group leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs. Suggested budget for meals not included approx USD200

  • What to take - #What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. A lockable bag or small padlock is useful. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. ESSENTIALS: - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing and warm layers. Long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes are useful. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Maybe bring a change of smart clothes for dinner in Colombo. Please also bring clothing that covers arms and pants/skirts that go past the knee for entry into local temples. For women, a light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when hot. - Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings. - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses RECOMMENDED: - The Hill country of Sri Lanka can be cold especially around Nuwara Eliya. Please bring a light, warm waterproof jacket.   - Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent. - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. - Camera / phone. OPTIONAL: - Ear plugs to guard against street noise, barking dogs and snorers. - A good book, journal and music player. LUGGAGE LIMIT: Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential. We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip. VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. BATTERIES/POWER: Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every day . We recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera and/or a small portable power bank. MORE! If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list. #https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

  • Climate and seasonal - SRI LANKA WEATHER: Weather in Sri Lanka can vary depending on the time of year and part of Sri Lanka you are travelling to. The monsoon season is December to March in the northeast and May to October in the southwest. Flooding and landslides can occur during this time, so be ready for some delays in land travel or some reroutes to avoid affected areas. The summer months in Sri Lanka are very hot with short, sharp monsoons in the southwest. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water if you are visiting during this period of the year. PERAHERA FESTIVAL This annual festival, held in July or August, is a 10 day period of evening processions to honour the Sacred Tooth, which is enshrined at Kandy's Temple of the Tooth. The event features a parade of more than 50 decorated elephants. Due to our stance on elephant cruelty we do not include the festival and cannot purchase tickets on your behalf.

  • A couple of rules - Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

  • Feedback - After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

  • Emergency contact - For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page: For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. Intrepid's local Operator: 0094 (0)768316000

  • Responsible travel - Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller LOCAL DRESS: When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong. BUDDHA IMAGES: Posing for a photograph next to a statue of Buddha is considered extremely disrespectful or even illegal as is mistreatment of Buddhist images, which can include the wearing of tattoos, jewellery or clothing associated with Buddhism. ELEPHANT PERFORMANCES & ELEPHANT RIDING: While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Intrepid does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including World Animal Protection, advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately, many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their well-being. While there is some merit in the argument that the money you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive-bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfare of these majestic creatures. Further information is available on the below link: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/elephants-welfare

  • The Intrepid Foundation - Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ *Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society supports the livelihood of communities and keeps elephants safe?. For over 21 years Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) has worked to find solutions to human elephant conflict. By working directly with communities, they established Project Orange Elephant which encourages farmers to cultivate oranges, a crop that elephants are not attracted to. At the same time, growing oranges helps rural Sri Lankan farmers to create a new, sustainable income while keeping both their families and wild elephants safe. Through their efforts, SLWCS is striving to help elephants and people coexist. https://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/sri-lanka-wildlife-conservation-society

  • Accommodation notes - OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. AIR CONDITIONING: Please note that while all hotels on this trip have fans, not all will have air conditioning.

  • Transport notes - MOTORCYCLES: Your travel insurance policy is unlikely to cover you when riding a motorcycle. We do not include or offer motorcycle activities on any of our trips in Sri Lanka. TAXIS: Use the taxi services from within the arrivals terminal at the airport or taxi services arranged through your booking agent. If you have a local SIM card, ride-sharing services, such as Uber, are available in major cities.

  • Travel insurance - Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

  • Your fellow travellers - As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

  • Itinerary disclaimer - ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Accommodation - Hotel (7 nights)

  • Departure Date

    Start Date 13-Nov-2021
    End Date 20-Nov-2021
    Availability 13
    Price £650.00
    Description
    Start Date 26-Dec-2021
    End Date 02-Jan-2022
    Availability 15
    Price £650.00
    Description
    Start Date 01-Jan-2022
    End Date 08-Jan-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 15-Jan-2022
    End Date 22-Jan-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 29-Jan-2022
    End Date 05-Feb-2022
    Availability 15
    Price £598.00
    Description
    Start Date 12-Feb-2022
    End Date 19-Feb-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 26-Feb-2022
    End Date 05-Mar-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 12-Mar-2022
    End Date 19-Mar-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 26-Mar-2022
    End Date 02-Apr-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 02-Apr-2022
    End Date 09-Apr-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 16-Apr-2022
    End Date 23-Apr-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 23-Apr-2022
    End Date 30-Apr-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 21-May-2022
    End Date 28-May-2022
    Availability 15
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 03-Jul-2022
    End Date 10-Jul-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 09-Jul-2022
    End Date 16-Jul-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 23-Jul-2022
    End Date 30-Jul-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 31-Jul-2022
    End Date 07-Aug-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 07-Aug-2022
    End Date 14-Aug-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 14-Aug-2022
    End Date 21-Aug-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 27-Aug-2022
    End Date 03-Sep-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 10-Sep-2022
    End Date 17-Sep-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 17-Sep-2022
    End Date 24-Sep-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 24-Sep-2022
    End Date 01-Oct-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 08-Oct-2022
    End Date 15-Oct-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 29-Oct-2022
    End Date 05-Nov-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 12-Nov-2022
    End Date 19-Nov-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 26-Nov-2022
    End Date 03-Dec-2022
    Availability 15
    Price £630.00
    Description
    Start Date 10-Dec-2022
    End Date 17-Dec-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £660.00
    Description
    Start Date 17-Dec-2022
    End Date 24-Dec-2022
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 25-Dec-2022
    End Date 01-Jan-2023
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description
    Start Date 31-Dec-2022
    End Date 07-Jan-2023
    Availability 16
    Price £680.00
    Description

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