Premium Sri Lanka

Trip Code: HPPS

Why we love it

Learn about the country’s colonial past first-hand during your Feature Stay at the gorgeous Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya – first established in 1891, this historic hotel has a modern outlook on sustainable practices., Discover the breadth of Sri Lanka’s food scene during Exclusive Experiences, including a cooking class in Galle, a tea plantation tour and a sophisticated high tea in Nuwara Eliya, and barbecue dinner in Dambulla., Search for crocodiles, elephants, monkeys and the ever-elusive leopards under the cover of darkness on an evening safari through the wild grasslands of Yala National Park., Uncover ancient treasures in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle as you explore the temples, ruins and stupas of Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy with the expert guidance of your local leader., Enjoy Exclusive Experiences that make a difference – dine at the Hela Bojun restaurant and visit the AMMA Textile Workshop, both focused on empowering and employing local women.

Is this trip right for me?

The Rock Fortress – or Lion Rock – of Sigiriya is spectacular. However, those with a fear of (or even an aversion to) heights may wish to sit the excursion out. Scaling the rock involves walking up lots of rough, narrow steps and tight walkways.

There are a couple of long travel days on this trip. Journeys may take up to five hours, but are a great opportunity to get to know locals, fellow travellers and the diverse scenery.

Tourism in Sri Lanka is booming, resulting in a huge increase in visitors to Yala National Park. Overtourism and lack of sustainable management practices are of major concern to Intrepid, so in order to reduce our impact on wildlife and the environment we are trialling visits in a less-touristed section of the park known as Block 5 or Veheragala. If we determine that Block 5 is also too crowded to visit responsibly, we will change our itinerary to visit Udawalawe National Park and Bundala National Park. Udawalawe is home to wild elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards. Bundala is home to crocodiles and birds.This is the same itinerary we follow from September to mid-October when Yala National Park is closed annually for infrastructure development and rejuvenation.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
3. Tourism in Sri Lanka is booming, and with it has come a huge increase in visitors to Yala National Park. In order to reduce our impact on wildlife and the environment we are trialling visiting a less touristed section of Yala. Should we determine that tourist numbers here also make it difficult to visit responsibly, we will change our itinerary to visit Udawalawe National Park.
4. Yala National Park is closed in September and October for infrastructure development and rejuvenation. During these months we visit Udawalawe National Park.
5. Train tickets are in very high demand. We always try our best to secure tickets, but on the rare occasion that we cannot book them, you will continue your journey by private vehicle.
6. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
7. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.

What to bring/pack

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. We recommend you pack as lightly as possible, ensuring that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Help will be on hand in most locations, but there may be times you need to handle your own luggage, for example in airports and train stations.

A lockable suitcase with wheels is ideal for this trip. It is recommended that you keep your main luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, jacket, etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below is a link to our ultimate packing list, a guide to get you started:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, 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.

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Pledge Scape Hotel, No. 5 Seneviratne Place, Kudapaduwa Negombo, Western 11500, Negombo, SRI LANKA

Pledge Scape Hotel is a design hotel located on the beach front near Negombo town. The hotel features comfortable, well designed rooms with a swimming pool, interactive kitchen, rooftop view bar and gym. It's only 10 mininutes' walk to the town, about 10 km to the airport and about 35 km to Colombo city.

Joining instructions

"Bandaranaike International Airport is located in a suburb of Negombo, approx. 35km north of the capital Colombo.
If you have booked an arrival transfer with us, then upon arrival please head towards the exit (on right hand side) passing the travel counters (passing the automatic doors) where you will see your driver waiting at the designated paging area with a signboard displaying the Intrepid logo. Please identify yourself to the transfer rep, they will assist you to the vehicle for your onward transfer to your hotel. 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) 75 696 2497

Taxis are easy, safe and cheap.
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)."

Finishing your trip

Cinnamon Lake Side, 115, Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha, 00200, Colombo, 00200, SRI LANKA, Phone: 011 2161161

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 13

Lunches included: 4

Dinners included: 4

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

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/

Climate & seasonal information

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.

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.

In case of emergency

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.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid's local Operator: 0094 (0)768316000

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties 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 or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation


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