Sri Lanka Explorer

Trip Code: HPSS

Why we love it

Considered to be off-limits for years due to the civil war, the gates to culture filled Jaffna are open to adventurers once more. Discover Tamil culture in this colourful city., Open skies, swaying palm trees and glittering waters – Trincomalee beach is a postcard-perfect landscape for relaxation. Kick back in the sun on this bright and sandy shoreline., Witness ritual and devotion in the spiritual heart of the country during a visit to Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth and stop by a local village to join the community in making a traditional Tamil meal., Observe wild elephants from basic 'tree houses' and hopefully catch an outstanding sunset in Wasgamuwa National Park, one of the most biodiverse protected areas in Sri Lanka.

Is this trip right for me?

Jaffna has opened up to tourism after being off-limits to visitors for the past 30 years, meaning it is quieter, less developed and services and accommodation are not yet quite up to the same standard as the rest of the country.

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.

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. The Perahera Festival is a 10 day period of evening processions to honour the Sacred Tooth, which is enshrined at Kandy's Temple of the Tooth. Each night features thousands of perfomers, including dancers, drummers, and a parade of more than 50 decorated elephants. Due to Intrepid's stance on elephant cruelty we do not visit the Perahera Festival and cannot purchase tickets on your behalf.
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.

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 occasionally cold. A light, warm waterproof jacket should suffice.  
- 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.
- swim wear

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

 
2

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.

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.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 10

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 1

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.

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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