Sri Lanka Spice Gardens & Seasides with Maldives Cruise
About Sri Lanka
Take a whirlwind tour in Sri Lanka, throw in a cruise on a traditional dhoni boat and beach time in the Maldives, and mix together for good vibes and great memories. You’ll cross white sand beaches, snorkel amongst spectacular corals, discover beautiful ruins, and so much more. Join this adventure with a group of like-minded travellers and you’ll head home with some new friends and new perspectives.
Your G for Good Moment: Tamarind Gardens Farm, Digana
Your G for Good Moment: Breakfast at Sthree Craft Shop and Café, Kandy
Your G for Good Moment: Maldives Plastic Clean Up
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends
Your Big Night Out Moment: Hikkaduwa Beach Bar, Hikkaduwa. Local Village lunch. Spice garden visit. Tea factory tour. Little Adam’s Peak hike. Galle Fort tour. Arrival transfer in Male. Fulidhoo Island visit and Bodu Beru performance. Felidhu and Bodu Mora Island visit. Snorkelling equipment. Beach time in the Maldives. Seven days aboard a traditional dhoni boat. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Uncover isolated beaches, swim and snorkel the vibrant coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, trek through luscious green hills, inhale local flavours at a spice garden, savour local cuisine
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. Some culturally significant sights in Sri Lanka may not allow entry to people wearing hats or hijabs, or to those with covered faces. Examples of cultural sites with such restrictions may include, but are not limited to, the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree section or the Anuradhapura Cultural Site, the Dambulla Cave Temple and Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.
2. Displaying body art or wearing clothing that includes an image of the Buddha is illegal; please be culturally sensitive and respect the law and should you have any such tattoos, keep them covered at all times.
3. Traveling by road in Sri Lanka is certainly not what people are use to in Western countries. Many road ways are single lane, rules are not always followed, drivers appear to speed, do not stay in their lanes, and overtake in seemingly dangerous situations. Although their are some improvements in the works to the road infrastructure, there is a lot more to be done. As a result, some of the roads are poorly maintained, and this gets even more pronounced during and after the monsoon. As a result, travel time covering relatively short distances is very long in comparison to Western countries.
4. Gear Size – Confirm at time of booking
Snorkelling gear is provided on the boat, Please let us know your shoe/fin size at time of booking so that we can ensure we have proper sized gear onboard for you.
USD and EUR are accepted as payment for your beverage bill at the end of the tour. Maldivian Rufiyaa are not accepted.
USD is accepted on the islands for souvenirs. Ensure USD notes/bills are new and/or in good condition.
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between April 12th and May 11th, 2021. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally, our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose-fitting clothes, that cover knees, and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public out of respect for those who can’t at that time.
Please note that this tour combines two G Adventures tours together. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may leave halfway through or arrive halfway through, depending on which sections of this tour they have booked.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 8, avg 8.
8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
For the Maldives cruise portion: Food is a major part of this sailing adventure. You will enjoy many home-cooked meals lovingly prepared by our on-board chef. Portions are generous and will include seafood, typical dishes, and even the occasional breakfast fry up. Dietary needs can usually be accommodated, please provide info at the time of booking. Drinking water is provided. Beer, wine, and soft drinks are available to purchase onboard – US Dollars, Euro, Visa cards, Mastercards, and American Express are accepted. Please note that for credit card payment, an additional 5% will be charged.
Private vehicle, walking, traditional dhoni boat.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels/guest houses (10 nts), homestay (1 nt), Traditional dhoni boat (6 nts).
My Own Room Exceptions
For the Maldives portion of this tour, a note regarding small spaces on boats: Please note that the rooming for these boats is done on a first-come, first-serve basis and no particular cabins nor berths can be guaranteed. Our skippers will pair up travel partners or if you are travelling single with someone of the same sex. Please be aware that as this is a traditional dhoni and not a cruise vessel, the space on board is tight. You will be sharing a small room with one of your fellow passengers or travel partner and sharing all the facilities onboard. The sleeping quarters on boats are generally kept to a minimum size in order to maximize public space and performance. Some people are not comfortable with the type of close quarter arrangements typically found on boats, however, if a real sailing experience on a real dhoni is what you are after, then this experience should more than make up for cramped quarters. Please note that the skipper will also be sharing the ship’s quarters and amenities with you.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
The airport in Colombo (Katunayake) is around 32km north of Colombo center. Taking a cab is the most convenient way to get to your hotel in Negombo. Taxi drivers are famous to overcharge, so we recommend to use the prepaid taxi service offered at the airport – you can make the arrangements at designated counters outside the baggage-claim area after passing through several Bank Counters.
You will be able to change money into the local currency (Sri Lanka Rupee) at exchange counters open 24 hours at the airport. The Airport Taxi service, supervised by the Airport & Aviation Services, operates a counter in the arrival lobby and accept Sri Lanka Rupees. Please hire the vehicle from this counter & make the full payment. They will provide you an official receipt. Unfortunately scammers have set up similar services, so make sure the counter is operated by The Airport & Aviation Services. Your destination, the time of your arrival and the amount of luggage determine the rate, which you pay in advance at the counter, but should be between SLRS 2000 to 3000 to Negombo. A person will escort you to the designated taxi. If the driver demands more rupees, politely refuse, if they have driven safely you may like to tip him around SLRS 100.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer providers directly at:
Tel.: (94)77 5222 800
Aitken Spence Travels
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Delhi)
G Adventures South Asia Manager, Rishab (Delhi, India)
>From outside of India: +91 88 5180 6614
>From within Delhi: 88 5180 6614
>From within India, but outside Delhi: 088 5180 6614
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +66-02-3815574
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer, bearing in mind the limited amount of space on the Dhoni and on transportation around Sri Lanka. Hard suitcases are very hard to store on board and take up a lot of space in your shared cabin. Soft-sided luggage is strongly recommended. You will also need to be able to lift your luggage on and off the boat. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items around Sri Lanka. There is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage throughout the tour.
Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Rubber gloves
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. There are no laundry facilities onboard the dhoni. You may hand wash items as needed. Detergent is usually available or you can bring a travel-size non-polluting/biodegradable detergent.
Visas and Entry Requirements
Most nationalities will require a visa to visit Sri Lanka. The fee is approximately $35 USD and an E-Visa can be obtained at the following website:
For the Maldives:
Please use the below name & address when filling out your visa-on-arrival form upon entering the Maldives:
Voyages Maldives Pvt Ltd
T +960 332 2019 l F +960 332 5336 l M +960 778 9229
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
In Sri Lanka, there are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to major cities. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.
In the Maldives, there are no ATMs outside of Malé. Travellers should ensure they bring sufficient funds. US dollars are the best foreign currency and can be exchanged at resorts and banks. Most restaurants and shops will accept USD for payment and provide change in local currency.
Be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked, or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
The Maldives has a non-convertible currency – Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) – this cannot be purchased beforehand. Note that MVR can only be exchanged back into original currency prior to departing the Maldives, and only if you have a receipt for an arrival exchange from the airport Bank of Maldives exchange counter.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
There are several times during the Sri Lanka portion of the trip where there is an opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from USD1-2 per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however, as a guideline USD20-30 per person, per week can be used. For the Maldives portion of your trip, if you felt your G Adventures CEO and crew did an outstanding job, a guideline of USD10-15 per CEO/crew member, per week is recommended (or USD50-75 total).
- Dambulla Cave Temple Visit (12USD per person)
- Sigiriya Rock Fortress Visit (30USD per person)
- Polonnaruwa Ancient Capital Visit (25USD per person)
- Temple of the Sacred Tooth Tour (10USD per person)
- Kandyan Cultural Dance (3-5USD per person)
- Royal Botanical Gardens Visit (10USD per person)
- Tamarind Farm Duties
Horton Plains Nature Reserve
- Horton Plains Trek (25USD per person, 35USD per group)
- Spice Garden Cooking Class (2500LKR per person)
- Trek to Ella Rock
- Dolphin Watching Tour
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEO are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia, pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our group CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which are the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
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In Asia, the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting small rural communities or visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites as this may restrict your entry.
Sri Lanka is conservative and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline shoulders and knees should be covered at all times. The wearing of shorts is not allowed as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes. A light water and windproof jacket are useful and a hat essential.
Beach attire is appropriate when on the beach.
NB: During our trip, there will be many opportunities for you to meet with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country, etc.
For the Maldives, when off the boat and on the islands, conservative dress means covering shoulders and no short-shorts. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. On land, shorts should be knee-length. Singlets and tank tops are not acceptable. One-piece bathing suits are recommended, while bikinis and topless sunbathing are unacceptable.
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Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
PRODUCT_LINE: ASLA, ID: 25505