Sri Lanka & Maldives Adventure
About Sri Lanka
This 14-day combo trip brings together the best of Sri Lanka’s cultural highlights and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sail the islands of the Maldives aboard a traditional dhoni boat. Experience a safari in Udawalawe National Park, discover cultural treasures of Negombo and Kandy, and then spend an entire week cruising from one tiny and perfect atoll island to another, snorkelling in crystal-clear waters and stretching out on blazing white-sand beaches. From culture to paradise, this tour’s got it all.
Your G for Good Moment: Lunch at Sthree Craft Shop and Café, Kandy
Your G for Good Moment: AMBA Estate, Ella. Spice plantation visit. Kandyan cultural dance performance. Temple of the Tooth visit. Tea plantation visit and tasting (AMBA). Cooking demonstration. Barbecue and camp at Udawalawe National Park. Elephant Transit Home visit. Nature walk. Galle City and Fort tour. Seven days aboard a traditional dhoni boat (Maldives). Fulidhoo Island visit and Bodu Beru performance. Felidhu Island visit. Bodu Mora Island visit. Snorkelling equipment. Beach time in the Maldives. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Search for wildlife on a safari, spend the night at a local tea plantation and estate, cruise through some of the world’s most beautiful islands, uncover isolated beaches, swim and snorkel the vibrant coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, savour local cuisine
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. GEAR SIZE – CONFIRM AT BOOKING
Snorkelling gear is provided on the boat, Please let us know your shoe/fin size at time of booking so that we can ensure we have proper sized gear onboard for you.
USD, EUR, GBP and AUD are all accepted as payment for your beverage bill at the end of the tour. Maldivian Ruffiya are not accepted.
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 5th and June 4th, 2019. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can’t at that time.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 15 (land), 8 (boat).
11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Private vehicle, 4×4, local bus, walking, plane, traditional dhoni boat.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Standard hotels/guest houses (6 nts), tented camp (1 nt), traditional dhoni boat (6 nts).
My Own Room Exceptions
Days 4 & 5
A NOTE REGARDING SMALL SPACES ON BOATS: Please note that the rooming for these boats is done on a first-come, first-serve basis and no particular cabins nor berths can be guaranteed. Our skippers will pair up travel partners or if you are travelling single with someone of the same sex. Please be aware that as this is a traditional dhoni and not a cruise vessel, that the space on board is tight. You will be sharing a small room with one of your fellow passengers or travel partner and sharing all the facilities onboard. The sleeping quarters on boats are generally kept to a minimum size in order to maximize public space and performance. Some people are not comfortable with the type of close quarter arrangements typically found on boats, however if a real sailing experience on a real dhoni is what you are after, then this experience should more than make up for cramped quarters. Please note that the skipper will also be sharing the ship’s quarters and amenities with you.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
The airport in Colombo (Katunayake) is around 32km north of Colombo center. Taking a cab is the most convenient way to get to your hotel in Negombo. Taxi drivers are famous to overcharge, so we recommend to use the prepaid taxi service offered at the airport – you can make the arrangements at designated counters outside the baggage-claim area after passing through several Bank Counters.
You will be able to change money into the local currency (Sri Lanka Rupee) at exchange counters open 24 hours at the airport. The Airport Taxi service, supervised by the Airport & Aviation Services, operates a counter in the arrival lobby and accept Sri Lanka Rupees. Please hire the vehicle from this counter & make the full payment. They will provide you an official receipt. Unfortunately scammers have set up similar services, so make sure the counter is operated by The Airport & Aviation Services. Your destination, the time of your arrival and the amount of luggage determine the rate, which you pay in advance at the counter, but should be between SLRS 2000 to 3000 to Negombo. A person will escort you to the designated taxi. If the driver demands more rupees, politely refuse, if they have driven safely you may like to tip him around SLRS 100.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer providers directly at:
Tel.: (94)77 5222 800
Aitken Spence Travels
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Delhi)
G Adventures South Asia Manager, Rishab (Delhi, India)
>From outside of India: +91 99 7179 5447
>From within Delhi: 99 7179 5447
>From within India, but outside Delhi: 099 7179 5447
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +66-02-3815574
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
There is limited space on the yachts. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack. A good size daypack is also essential. Hard suitcases are very hard to store on board, and space is limited. Please be considerate if you are sharing a cabin, and note that large hard sided suitcases can take up a lot of space in the cabin. Soft sided luggage is strongly recommended. You will also need to be able to lift your luggage on and off the boat.
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
• External battery pack
• Motion sickness tablets
• Snorkel gear (optional) (Only if own equipment is preferred.)
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)
Train Travel (Optional):
• Slip-on shoes
• Small container with lid
• Travel cutlery
• Travel or camp cup
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: During the months of May-Jul is the rainy season, so please make sure to pack waterproof clothes.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
Most nationalities will require a visa to visit Sri Lanka. The fee is approximately $35 USD and an E-Visa can be obtained at the following website:
Please use the below name & address when filling out your visa-on-arrival form upon entering the Maldives:
Voyages Maldives Pvt Ltd
T +960 332 2019 l F +960 332 5336 l M +960 778 9229
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to major cities. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from USD1-2 per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD20-30 per person, per week can be used.
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEO are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our group CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer 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. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no short shorts. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Shorts should be knee-length. Singlets and tank tops are not acceptable. One piece bathing suits are recommended and topless sun bathing is unacceptable.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
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Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer, skipper/CEO, crew.
PRODUCT_LINE: ASSM, ID: 23613
Day 1 Negombo
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Negombo/Kandy (1B, 1L)
Drive to Kandy, visiting a spice plantation en route. Enjoy lunch at G Adventures-supported Sthree Craft Shop and Café. Later, explore Temple of the Tooth.
Spice Plantation Tour
Lunch at Sthree Craft Shop and Café
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Tour
Day 3 Kandy (1B)
Explore Kandy with a free day.
Day 4 Kandy/Ella (1L, 1D)
Livelihood opportunities in the valley of Bandarawela, Sri Lanka are limited for low income community members. Many rely on agricultural work, especially in the tea plantations, which can be arduous with little financial gain. Amba Estate came to the area with the purpose of promoting economic growth through their organic tea plantation, paying fair wages, sharing their profits with their workers, and creating opportunities for growth. Having established its place in the travel market, Amba is now ready to support community cooperatives as a means of better spreading the income of tourism throughout the valley.
Planeterra is working alongside Amba Estate by supporting the initial investment for the first community-led microenterprise that will work in partnership with Amba. Planeterra’s catalyst grant covers the equipment, training and setup costs for a group of six women to formally become a chutney co-operative. The chutney will be sold back to Amba Estate for travellers to consume, as well as sold to guests and in markets throughout Sri Lanka. G Adventures travellers began visiting Amba in July 2018. They now have the opportunity to eat the delicious chutneys, meet the women and see how it’s made!
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 80km)
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))
Day 5 Ella (1B, 1D)
In the morning, enjoy a tour through the tea plantation and learn about one of the nation’s most popular exports followed by a tea tasting. After enjoy free time to soak in the stunning scenery, opt to hike to Ella Rock, or visit Ella town by tuk tuk. This evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration of classic homestyle Sri Lankan dishes, a delicious mixture of savoury and sweet.
Tea Plantation Tour
Day 6 Ella/Udawalawe National Park (1B, 1D)
Depart Amba Estate in the morning after enjoying a delicious home cooked breakfast. Begin the journey to Udawalawe National Park and visit the Elephant Transit home before enjoying an afternoon wildife safari through Udawalawe National Park. Afterwards, head to a tented camp by the lake on the boundary of National Park and relax with a BBQ dinner around the campfire.
Udawalawe Reserve Safari
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 7 Udawalawe National Park/Unawatuna (1B)
After breakfast transfer from Udawalawe to Galle for a tour of the fort and city. Later, head to Unawatuna for some beach time and a final night with the group.
Galle Fort and City Tour
Local bus (0.50-0.75 hours)
Day 8 Unawatuna/South Malé Atoll (1D)
You will be met by airport representatives who will transfer you to the Malé town waterfront to meet our boat captain and crew. Once settled into our cabins, we will depart.
Cruise south for 2-3 hours through the Vaadhoo Canal to a nearby island in South Malé Atoll; probably Guraidhoo, a small inhabited island where the plan is to moor in (or just outside) the small harbour for the first night on board.
11m (37 ft) Traditional Dhoni (2.00-3.00 hours)
Day 9 South Malé Atoll/Felidhu Atholhu (1B, 1L, 1D)
Cruise to the southernmost point of South Malé Atoll before crossing the channel into Felidhu Atoll. The main industry here is fishing and there is typically an opportunity to see traditional boat-building on at least one of the islands.
Fulidhoo Island Visit & Bodu Beru Performance
Felidhu Island Visit
Bodu Mora Island Visit
Snorkelling in the Maldives
11m (37 ft) Traditional Dhoni
Day 14 South Malé Atoll/Male (1B)
In the morning, make the short crossing to Malé. The tour ends on arrival at Malé International Airport.
Your CEO can offer assistance with any onward travel you may require.
Departure Day (Activities)
11m (37 ft) Traditional Dhoni