Sri Lanka: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Trip Code: HPXM

Why we love it

Kayak down the sparking Gin River, taking in Sri Lanka’s ever-changing landscape. Float past forests, sandbanks and plantations while keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way., Encounter Sri Lanka's amazing scenery and biodiversity while hiking through the Knuckles Mountain Range and on to the ‘Mini World’s End’., Cycle a mostly downhill route through the green heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country in ‘the Golden Valley of Ceylon, Slip down a few gears in the laidback coastal town of Weligama, where inviting sandy beaches offer a welcome break for sore muscles, and fantastic waves give you the chance to stay active., Come face to face with one of Sri Lanka’s most storied sites as you hike to the ancient carved rock fortress of Sigiriya, rising dramatically from the surrounding plains., Get to know the layered history of Galle during a cycle and walking tour, uncovering the city’s maze of streets, colonial buildings and famous 17th-century fort.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip requires a good level of fitness to be able to enjoy the physical activities included.

While the activities are diverse, they are all run at a relaxed pace and do not require a high level of expertise/experience to participate in. All travellers will need to be competent swimmers to take part in the kayaking section of this trip.

The weather in this region varies seasonally. Be prepared to get sweaty, and for the occasional rainstorm which may require a change of plans. Drink plenty of water and remember a good quality hat and sun block.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 3 & 4 (Camping). Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. In case of weather conditions leading to cancellations or delays in the included outdoor activities, this trip will operate on an alternate itinerary.
3. You do not need to bring a sleeping bag or sleeping mat. Your luggage will transported by vehicle and will meet you at the camp site.
4. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking 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.

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

This trip involves multiple and diverse activities and a good general level of fitness will help you enjoy the trip. The terrain of Sri Lanka is naturally hilly and the climate generally hot and humid which can at times exaggerate the level of difficulty, however the activities are operated at a pace to enjoy rather than challenge, and most can be cut short if required. There is a support vehicle on the cycling legs, and frequent rest stops built in to both the hiking and cycling activities. The kayaking is generally flat water and relaxed, with no prior experience required.

Joining your group

Ruvisha Beach Hotel, 200, Poruthota Road, Palagathurei,kochchikade, Negombo, SRI LANKA, Phone: +94 31 2030900

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. 5000 LKR (15 USD).
If you are staying in Colombo prior to the tour, it is approximately 30km from Colombo, which will cost about
LKR 10,000 (30 USD)

Finishing your trip

Fairway Colombo, No. 7, Hospital Street,, Colombo 01, Colombo, SRI LANKA, Phone: +94 (0)112153153

The Fairway Colombo is a sophisticated, 'smart luxury hotel' situated in the heart of Colombo. All rooms come equipped with a TV (with local and international channels), safety box, mini fridge, hot beverage facility, writing desks, air-conditioning and hi-speed Wi-Fi internet connections. The hotel boasts a rooftop bar and restaurant, gym and 24 hour coffee shop. The hotel is located within walking distance to restaurants, shopping malls, banks, pubs and bars.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 9

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 2

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

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

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.

This trip includes 2 nights of camping (days 3 & 4) in the Knuckles Mountain Range. Facilities are basic but clean, and the tent will be put up for you.

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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