Best of Sri Lanka

Trip Code: HPSH

Why we love it

Ride around the ancient ruins of Anuradhapura on a bike tour, cycling through the jungle to see the dagobas, palaces, and pools of a city abandoned over 1000 years ago., Climb the rock fortress of Sigiriya to the ancient ruins that lie atop the 200-metre-high summit and get panoramic views over the surrounding wilderness., Explore the divine city of Kandy, mingling with pilgrims at the Temple of the Tooth, touring a tea factory, and taking in the views of this lush lakefront town., Fall in love with Sri Lankan food and get to know locals during experiences like lunching with a Tamil tea worker and a home-cooking demonstration., Unwind on the sandy beaches of Mirissa, where the waters are clear and warm, and monkeys play in the swaying palms that line the shores.

Is this trip right for me?

The summer months in Sri Lanka are very hot with short, sharp monsoons in the southwest of the country. Please consider your suitability to the time of year you wish to travel and be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.

This trip includes hiking on Days 9 and 10, an awesome way to see the picturesque hill country and interact with the local Tamil people. The hike is over relatively flat ground and covers approximately 20 kilometres each day. We recommend a basic level of fitness as some have found the experience physically demanding. Parts of the trails are on rough ground which can be muddy and slippery if it’s been raining. If you feel you are not able to complete these walks, we can arrange vehicle transport for you.

The views from the top of Lion Rock in Sigiriya are spectacular, but getting there involves walking up uneven, narrow steps and navigating tight walkways. If you’ve got a fear of heights or conditions that affect mobility you may wish to sit this activity out.

The drive to Mirissa on Day 11 is downhill, windy and slow. Motion sickness has been an issue for some travellers in the past. If you believe you might be affected, speak with your GP before travelling about medication that can help.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 13 (Guesthouse) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. In the wet season, we occasionally need to alter the length and itinerary of the Hill Country hike due to weather conditions.
3. 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.
4. 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.

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. 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 and for your overnight hike into the tea plantations.

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 on the tea plantation hike. Please bring a light, warm waterproof jacket.  
- Hiking boots, socks and light hiking clothing such as synthetic T shirt styles that wick away moisture
- 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

Physical rating

3

Joining your group

Ruvisha Beach Hotel, 200, Poruthota Road, Palagathure, Negombo, SRI LANKA

Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Fairway Colombo, No. 07, Hospital Street, Colombo 01, Colombo, SRI LANKA, Phone: +94 112153153

A sophisticated, 'smart luxury hotel' situated in the heart of Colombo.
All rooms come equipped with 40 inch LED TV with a choice of local and international channels, IP phones, safety box, mini fridge, hot beverage facility, writing desks, motion sensor Air conditioners, luxury fitted shower areas and hi-speed Wi-Fi internet connections. The hotel boasts a rooftop bar and restaurant, gym, 24 hour coffee shop. Located within walking distance to restaurants, shopping malls, banks, pubs and bars.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 12

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 3

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

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.

In case of emergency

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

Accommodations

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.

Transportation

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.


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