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Sri Lanka & Maldives Escape

A tropical adventure from Negombo to Malé

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Travellers walking on ella little adams peak in sri lanka

Group Size: Max. 8

Trip code: ASLA

Duration: 18 days

2 Asian countries
Support local community projects
6 day Maldives cruise
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We’re really turning up the tropical vibes with this trip! Spend 12 days exploring Sri Lanka’s sparkling coast, stunning landscapes and sacred sites before hopping on a short flight to the turquoise waters and endless blue skies of the Maldives. You’ll see Sri Lanka’s most iconic attractions from Sigiriya Rock Fortress to Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth, as well as getting a real flavour for the island’s daily life with village visits, lazy beach days, and hikes around rural Ella. Round off with 6 days of pure barefoot paradise on our once-in-a-lifetime Maldives cruise. Glide through crystal-clear waters on a traditional dhoni boat, snorkelling, sunbathing, and stopping on secluded beaches where yours are the only footprints. Nights are spent laughing, drinking, and eating under the stars before being rocked to sleep by the waves. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit a tea plantation and learn how your fave cuppa is made in Nuwara Eliya
  • Hike to Little Adam’s Peak for the most incredible views over Ella’s misty mountain landscapes
  • Bliss out by day on Hikkaduwa’s golden sands and spend your nights partying under the stars
  • Climb to the top of Sigirya’s iconic Rock Fortress for ancient frescoes and valley views
  • Spend five days cruising through the jewel-like waters of the Maldives on a traditional live-aboard dhoni boat
  • Meet the locals on the Maldive’s Fulidhoo Island and enjoy an evening performance of traditional bodu beru music
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What's included
  • 17 nights’ accommodation
  • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 7 dinners
  • Tour guide
  • All on-trip transport
  • Welcome meeting
  • Spice garden and Ayurveda herbal centre visit
  • Digana guided village walk
  • Sthree Craft Cafe breakfast
  • Tea plantation visit
  • Little Adam’s Peak trek
  • Galle Fort tour
  • Hikkaduwa beach bar
  • Flight to Maldives
  • Traditional Maldives dhoni cruise
  • Maldives snorkelling
  • Maldives beach clean
  • Fulidhoo Island visit
  • Bodu Beru performance
  • Bodu Mora Island visit
  • Felidhu Island visit
  • 24-hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights to trip start and end points
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Some meals
  • Optional activities
Further trip information

Day 1: Negombo. Welcome to Sri Lanka! Our amazing adventure begins in the chilled-out beach town of Negombo. Land in Colombo and make your way to the hotel where you can cool off in the pool, or hit the palm-lined beach before a welcome meeting and a dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Negombo to Sigiriya. Head to Sigirya today, home of the legendary rock fortress. Opt to visit the fortress today for fresco filled caves and incredible views, or check out the Dambulla Cave for ancient Buddhist murals and statues. Spend the afternoon chilling in the hotel’s tropical gardens.

Day 3: Sigiriya. You’ve got a full day to enjoy Sigiriya at your leisure. If you didn’t visit the Rock Fortress or the Dambulla Caves yesterday we’d definitely recommend that you do. There’s also an optional visit to the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa on offer.  

Day 4: Sigiriya to Digana. Our first stop today is a herbal centre where we’ll learn about the art of Ayurveda before continuing to the village of Digana. Take a guided walk round the village and learn about local industry. 

Day 5: Digana to Kandy. Start the day off by having breakfast with views of the Victoria Reservoir before leaving for Kandy. Arrive in time for an afternoon of exploring. Opt to visit the Botanical Gardens, or take a tour of the sacred Temple of the Tooth. This evening, get your culture on with a Kandyan dance show.

Day 6: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. Share breakfast at a local community project designed to provide work for women and children living with disabilities. Then hit the road again to gorgeous Nuwara Eliya where we’ll pay a visit to one of the local tea plantations to see how our fave cuppa is made.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya to Ella. There’s an optional trek through mist-covered valleys into the Horton Plains this morning but if you’d prefer a lie in we won’t judge! This afternoon, cruise to the picturesque town of Ella where you’ll have a free evening.

Day 8: Ella. With misty forests, emerald tea plantations, and gushing waterfalls, Ella is dream trekking territory. We’ll take a leisurely hike up Little Adam’s Peak this morning for stunning views of the surrounding area. Join our optional trek to Ella Rock this afternoon or just chill by the pool.

Day 9: Ella to Hikkaduwa. Head to the southern coast today, stopping at Galle Fort on the way. After a healthy dose of history it’s time to live the beach life as we continue on to the beautiful coastal town of Hikkaduwa, known for its golden sands, clear blue waters, big surf, and even bigger nightlife.

Days 10 - 11: Hikkaduwa. You’ve got a full two days to bliss out in Hikkaduwa. Spend your days soaking up the sun, surfing, and dolphin watching. After dark, follow your tour guide to the best beach bars and get ready to go large – first drink’s on us.

Day 12: Hikkaduwa to South Malé Atoll (Maldives). Travel back to Colombo where we’ll hop on a flight to Malé, where our traditional dhoni boat is waiting. This is home for the next 5 days so slip off your shoes and grab a spot on the sundeck before setting sail on sapphire waters.

Days 13 - 17: South Malé Atoll to Felidhu Atolhu. We’ll spend the next five days cruising around the South Malé and Felidhu atolls. Each stop unveils secluded beaches, sprawling coral reefs, and expansive sand bars where ours are the only footprints. Spend your days relaxing on the sundeck, snorkelling with thousands of tropical fish, strolling down sugar-white sands, and meeting the local people on Fulhidoo and Felidhu Islands. Nights are spent with your new mates under the stars before being rocked to sleep by the waves.

Day 18: South Malé Atoll to Malé. Spend your last morning on the boat as we make the short crossing to Malé. We’ll drop you at Malé International Airport, where the tour ends.

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Cheapest: £352 April, 2024
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Arrival information

Arrive in Colombo Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) in Katunayake, Sri Lanka on day 1. Airport transfers are not included but it’s easy to get a taxi from the prepaid taxi counter in the airport to our starting hotel in Negombo. Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned until a welcome meeting (usually between 5 and 7pm) so arrive at a time that suits you. If you arrive after the welcome meeting, your tour guide will leave a note at reception with all the information you need.  

The trip ends on day 18 at Malé-Velana International Airport (MLE). We’d recommend that you book flights for later than 12:00 or arrange for an additional night of post trip accommodation to allow for any delays.

Accommodation & meals

Accommodation
17 nights’ accommodation is included on this trip. You’ll spend 11 nights in a mix of hotels and guesthouses in twin and double share rooms with en suite.

You’ll also spend 6 nights on a dhoni boat. This is a traditional fishing vessel in the Maldives. It has been modernised inside but space on board is tight. This means that sleeping quarters are kept to a minimum to maximise on communal space. You’ll sleep in twin / double bed cabins with small windows, roof-top pop outs, and en suite bathrooms. There’s also a covered dining room and large sundecks with outdoor seating areas. Please note that facilities are shared with the crew.

Single rooms may be available at an additional cost. Let us know if you’re travelling with a partner or friend and we can make sure you’re placed together.

Meals
8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners are included on this trip. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements. 

Minimum age & eligibility

You must be between 18 and 39 years old to take part in this trip.

You can get and pay for a Sri Lanka ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation’ (ETA) online, a few days before you arrive. You should get your approval notice within 24 hours, and you can use this to enter Sri Lanka. It is also possible to apply for a 30-day tourist visa on arrival if you land at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. However, the Department for Immigration strongly advise visitors to apply for an ETA before entry to Sri Lanka, as the approval of an arrival visa cannot be guaranteed and costs more than the ETA. To enter Sri Lanka, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the day you arrive. 

You will get a 30-day visa on arrival if you enter Maldives as a tourist. Your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least one month after the date you arrive in Maldives. Make sure your passport is not damaged or you may get stopped at immigration.

Please note: Visa rules are subject to change. You should check with the relevant embassies before travelling.

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