Woman snorkelling in the Maldives with island in the background.
Brand New!

The Ultimate Adventure in Sri Lanka and the Maldives

14 nights
Moderate

Combine wild hikes, cultural immersion, wildlife encounters and tropical beaches on this epic two-country adventure in the Indian Ocean

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with expert, local, English-speaking guides

All accommodation

11 nights in hotels and eco-lodges, 2 nights glamping, 1 night in a mountain guesthouse

Meals

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 9 dinners

Internal Flights & Transfers

All airport transfers, local transfers, and a flight from Colombo to Male

Equipment & Permits

All your cycling, surfing, yoga and snorkelling equipment. All park permits and entry fees are taken care of.

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 14 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

Woman snorkelling in the Maldives with island in the background.
Sunrise view to Sigiriya (Lion Rock) from Pidurangala Rock in Sri Lanka.
Aerial view of the surf beach at Hiriketiya, Dikwella, Sri Lanka
Train ride in Sri Lanka.
View of Sigiriya and Pidurangala, Sri Lanka

Hike the tropical wilds of Sri Lanka, from iconic Sigiriya to the Pekoe Trail and the pristine forests of Gal Oya – home to Sri Lanka's last indigenous community

Spot wild elephants, practice yoga surrounded by exotic birds and snorkel incredible reefs teeming with marine life

Unwind in hand-picked eco-lodges, wild glamping sites, hidden nature retreats and a small-scale Maldivian beach hotel on the local island of Fulidhoo

This is an extended version of our Ultimate Adventure Through Sri Lanka, allowing you to extend your trip with a fantastic tropical escape

Key Information

Day 1

Touchdown in Sri Lanka

Fishing boats in Negombo, Sri Lanka.

Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your journey starts in the charming town of Negombo, not far from Bandaranaike International Airport. Your host will greet you and escort you to your beach hotel, the ideal spot to unwind and refresh by the pool after your flight. This afternoon, you'll meet your guide and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing. If you're up for it, take a leisurely stroll along the bustling main street and immerse yourself in the vibrant local atmosphere.

Day 2

Pidurangala Rock: Sigiriya's most incredible viewpoint

Sunrise view to Sigiriya (Lion Rock) from Pidurangala Rock in Sri Lanka.

Hiking

1.5hrs · 3km · 200m up · 200m down

Driving

4hrs

Rise and shine, ready to embark on the most incredible adventure through Sri Lanka. Begin with a quick visit to the bustling fish market of Negombo, spotting fishermen returning from the sea with their catch of the day, before kicking back for a scenic four-hour drive to Habarana, located in the heart of the Cultural Triangle. This afternoon, venture out to climb Pidurangala Rock, one of Sri Lanka's most underrated gems. Navigate some steep steps and boulders as you climb, pausing to catch your breath at an ancient Buddhist temple along the way. At the summit, bask in the golden glow of sunset with 360-degree views of Sigiriya fortress, the surrounding countryside, and distant mountains.

Day 3

Cycle and climb Lion Rock and glamp in remote Gal Oya

Pool at Gal Oya Glamping, Sri Lanka.

Cycling

2hrs · 15-20km · 100m up · 100m down

Hiking

2.5hrs · 5km · 350m up · 350m down

Driving

4hrs

Get up at sunrise to escape the heat, setting off on two wheels to explore the backroads of Habarana and Sigiriya. Pedal along quiet country lanes, passing through rural communities where daily village life will be going on all around you – farmers working in their rice fields and children heading to school. Off the bike, get ready to clamber up Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock. This impressive 5th-century fortress is Sri Lanka's most iconic UNESCO-listed site. Enter through enormous lion's paws carved from stone, and take on the 1200 steps to the summit, where breathtaking panoramic views of the lush Sri Lankan jungle await. In the afternoon, relax your legs with a drive to the remote Gal Oya, the most pristine of Sri Lanka's wildlife sanctuaries. Your accommodation for the next two nights is a stunning glamping site nestled in wild Rathugala, a majestic village surrounded by mountains and home to the Veddas, the last indigenous people of Sri Lanka.

Day 4

Forest hike with the Vedda people

Forest hike in Gal Oya, Sri Lanka

Hiking

6-7hrs · 15km · 450m up · 450m down

Surrounded by pristine savannah, medicinal forests, and mist-draped mountains, you’ll wake up to the soothing sounds of nature. Today, you'll embark on an extraordinary adventure with the indigenous leader of the Vedda people, exploring a pristine forest brimming with wildlife. As you hike through exotic flora, you'll hear the calls of rare birds and might catch glimpses of elusive creatures such as wild elephants. The Vedda people, who have lived, foraged, and hunted in this region for centuries, are expert navigators of the dense jungle. They will share valuable insights into the natural history and cultural heritage of this remote part of Sri Lanka. Cool off with a refreshing dip in a stream, a welcome relief from the tropical heat, before enjoying a traditional meal prepared on-site by community members. Afterwards, return to your luxurious glamping site for the night.

Day 5

Elephant spotting and jungle yoga

Views of forested mountains and an elephant by the river in Sri Lanka.

Wildlife Watching

2-3hrs

Driving

4hrs

Yoga

1hr

Rise at dawn and spend the morning exploring Gal Oya's untouched wildlife sanctuary, home to over 150 vibrant bird species and 32 species of mammals, including elephants, sloth bears, wild boars, water buffalo, and deer. Starting from Senanayake Samudra Reservoir, embark on a boat for the only wildlife tracking experience in Sri Lanka conducted from the water. As you explore the animals' habitats, you might be lucky enough to see elephants feeding or bathing along the lake shore. Later in the day, you'll head to Kandy to check in at Polwaththa Eco-Lodge. Nestled in a pristine environment, this lodge offers a unique jungle experience. With a focus on nature and the local community, it promotes authentic experiences and responsible tourism. Take some time to refresh before enjoying a late afternoon yoga session in the wooden jungle shala, accompanied by the sounds of monkeys and exotic birds.

Day 6

Waterfall dips and forest hikes

Woman swimming in a waterfall, Sri Lanka.

Hiking

3-4hrs · 10km · 100m up · 100m down

Awake to the sound of birdsong in your cabin nestled deep in the jungle. Take a 10-minute walk through the forest to the yoga shala, roll out your mat, and greet the monkeys as you ease into your (optional) morning yoga session. After breakfast, set off on a hike starting from the Kandyan forest gardens, where villagers go about their daily chores. Depending on the season, you might be invited to visit their homes and learn how they make treacle and jaggery (palm tree sugar). Walk amidst fragrant fruit trees and spice plants, ending the trek with a picnic lunch and a refreshing dip in the jungle waterfalls. Back at your lodge, relax for a few peaceful hours before enjoying an authentic Sri Lankan dinner, cooked in clay pots and served with a smile.

Day 7

Take the train into the tea hills of Nuwara Eliya

Train from Kandy, Sri Lanka.

An early morning transfer will take you to Kandy's railway station, marking the start of one of the world's most breathtaking train journeys. Settle into your coach to enjoy sweeping views of lush tea plantations, rolling hills, dramatic viaducts, verdant valleys, and dense jungle, all while exchanging smiles with locals along the way. Originally used during colonial times to transport tea from plantations to Colombo, the train now primarily serves local commuters and travellers. The journey lasts about 4-5 hours, providing ample time to soak in the vibrant panoramas. Disembark at Nuwara Eliya, the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country, to visit one of the oldest and most renowned tea factories. Discover the tea-making process and sample some of the finest brews in the world. Retire early to rest up for a remote trekking adventure the next day.

Day 8

Hike the Horton Plains and the Pekoe Trail

Group of hikers along the Pekoe Trail in Sri Lanka.

Hiking

6hrs · 15km · 200m up · 550m down

Head to Horton Plains National Park to explore the highest and most isolated plateau in Sri Lanka, tucked away in the Central Highlands. Situated at an elevation of 2100m-2300m, this protected area of montane grassland and cloud forest is teeming with endemic plants, insects, and birds. You might also spot large herds of Sri Lankan sambar deer – it's also home to the occasional elusive leopard. Take in the breathtaking views from the 'World's End' viewpoint, with a sheer drop of 1050m, before hiking a substantial section of the Pekoe Trail, Sri Lanka's newly launched long-distance trekking route. Enjoy numerous stops to appreciate this unique natural environment. Descend via the famous Devil's Staircase, admiring the views from Sri Lanka's highest tea plantations. Tonight, you’ll stay at a local guesthouse, a simple accommodation surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and untouched greenery, completely isolated from any town (the nearest is about an hour's drive or a three-hour walk away).

Day 9

From the highlands to the Indian Ocean

Aerial view of the south coast of Sri Lanka.

Hiking

5-6hrs · 14km · 315m up · 300m down

Driving

4hrs

Lace up your boots for another day of hiking along the Pekoe Trail, following a mountainous path seldom explored by other travellers. Trek through remote tea plantations, spotting the friendly community busy with tea-picking as you go. Then, weave through an incredibly diverse landscape that includes pine and eucalyptus forests, misty tea estates, leafy valleys, and dense jungle trails. With luck, you might spot some rare wildlife such as toque macaques, purple-faced langurs, Sri Lankan spotted chevrotains, or grizzled giant squirrels. After your trek, unwind during a four-hour drive south to Talalla, Sri Lanka’s most serene protected beach and the gateway to a pristine cove with turquoise waters fringed by lush jungle. Settle into beach life on the golden sand, catch a sunset, and enjoy a few drinks and dinner by the ocean.

Day 10

Surf the Golden Coast of Sri Lanka

Aerial view of the surf beach at Hiriketiya, Dikwella, Sri Lanka

Surfing

3hrs

Yoga

1hr

On your last day in Sri Lanka, enjoy an exhilarating morning of surfing in the picturesque Hiriketiya Bay, an ideal location to either learn to surf or enhance your skills. Unlike many other surf spots in Sri Lanka, the vicinity around Talalla offers exceptional surfing conditions suitable for all skill levels throughout the year. Instruction will be personalised to your level of experience, so feel free to join even if you're a complete novice. Afterwards, return to shore for a beachside lunch and several hours of relaxation, or indulge in a massage at the hotel's spa. Later, participate in a yoga session held in a serene open-air shala overlooking the ocean.

Day 11

Fly to the Maldives and hit the remote tropical paradise of Vaavu Atoll

Aerial view of boats in the sea around Fulidhoo island, Maldives

Driving

3hrs

This morning you'll be transferred to Colombo Airport in time for your included flight (which takes approximately an hour) to the Maldives. Upon arrival at Male International Airport, you will be greeted by your local Maldivian guide and hop on a speedboat (around 1hr 15m journey) to the stunning island of Fulidhoo, your base for the remainder of the trip. This tiny, remote island is home to just 300 people who are proud of their remarkable culture, and longstanding fishing and music traditions. Settle in at your comfortable beach hotel after a long day of travelling, then take your first steps on the sands of this tropical paradise and enjoy your first Maldivian sunset.

Day 12

Reef snorkelling and island exploration

Underwater view of a person snorkelling with a turtle, Maldives.

Snorkelling

2-3hrs

After breakfast, get ready to experience the marine wonderland of the Maldives. Your guide will provide a safety briefing on responsible snorkeling and act as your ‘spotter’ during the experience, pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. Marvel at vibrant corals, encounter sea turtles, stingrays, and perhaps even a lucky glimpse of a shark. Back in Fulidhoo, join your local guide as the afternoon cools down to explore this vibrant island on foot. Immerse yourself in the daily life of the island and stop at a local café for a quintessentially Maldivian experience – evening tea, accompanied by hedhikaa (fried snacks).

Day 13

Free day in paradise and optional diving

Turquoise blue Indian ocean at Fulidhoo island, Maldives.

After twelve action-packed days of travelling, you've certainly earnt a free day to just slow down to island time. Spend the day unwinding at the idyllic beaches of Fulidhoo, surrounded by palm trees and calm, crystal-clear water. Perhaps hop down to Turtles Beach on the southern side of the island for more snorkelling and swimming, or opt to hire a SUP or kayak to paddle around the island's shores. Another option is diving, which can also be booked locally (if you do not already hold your PADI diving certification, you can choose to take your first steps by booking a Discover Scuba Dive experience – see the FAQ below on budgeting for extra activities).

Day 14

Swim and relax on a sandbank

Sandbank and turquoise water in the Maldives.

Swimming

2hrs

Hop on a speedboat and travel to an untouched sandbank emerging from crystal blue waters, where you'll spend a few relaxed hours swimming, snorkelling and soaking up the sunshine. Later, you'll return to your island where the remainder of the day is free, giving you the chance to participate in more optional watersports – including perhaps a second dive. Come nightfall, you'll enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow adventurers as it's almost time for goodbyes tomorrow!

Day 15

Time to head home

Underwater shot of a sea turtle among coral.

You'll rise early this morning to catch the scheduled speedboat back to Male. Unless you're extending your trip independently, your host will transfer you to Male International Airport in time for your flight home. That's your epic tropical adventure completed!

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Glamping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Rainforest Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Rainforest Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Boutique Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Spa Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Spa Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 11 – Day 13

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 14

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 15

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Dishes of Sri Lankan food on a wooden table

Sri Lankan cuisine is a fascinating reflection of the island’s heritage: a fusion of fresh local produce with spices brought to the island over the centuries. Contrasting flavours of coconut, chilli, curry leaves, cinnamon and garlic are dominant in the main dishes as well as the variety of deep fried tasty snacks. 'Rice and curry' is the Sri Lankan staple, which in reality means a huge variety of curries, dhal and vegetable dishes, often served with roti style flatbreads. There is also an abundance of fresh seafood and fish, usually cooked in curries with coconut and fresh herbs.

Traditional Maldivian food usually involves fish (particularly tuna), chilli and coconuts. White rice and roshi (a flour-based flatbread) are also staple items. You'll get the chance to taste the typical evening tea called hedhikaa, which includes strong black or milk tea with savoury fried snacks. Most meals are not included during your stay in the Maldives, but a range of very affordable options will be readily available in the restaurants or cafés of the guesthouses in the island, which often serve Western food too. Local supermarkets/convenience stores may have limited items, so if there is something particular you are going to want, we would encourage you to bring it with you. Please note: Maldivians, as Muslims, are prohibited by law from consuming alcohol. This means that there is a restriction on the availability of alcohol in all local islands and even in Male. Please do not bring alcohol through the airport, as it will be confiscated and returned to you when you depart.

In Sri Lanka, vegetarians and vegans are well catered for along with most dietary requirements. In the Maldives, vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for but it is worth noting that over 95% of these products would be imported. Fruit and vegetables, whilst available, are limited and given that fish is a key component of the local diet, you will find your vegetarian or vegan diet quite limited. If you have any doubts, just speak to your host upon booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Camelot Beach Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka
Negombo, Sri Lanka

On the first night, you'll usually stay at the comfortable Camelot Beach Hotel, situated on the golden belt of Sri Lanka's west coast with the Indian Ocean glistening on the horizon. Accommodation is on a twin-share basis. The hotel has two outdoor pools, a bar, a restaurant and a spa, as well as direct access to the beach.

Chalet at The Other Corner in Habanara, Sri Lanka
Habanara, Sri Lanka

You’ll usually spend the second night of the trip at an off-grid retreat and wildlife sanctuary called The Other Corner in Habanara. Accommodation will be in twin-share chalets, huts or tree houses immersed in the greenery. There is also a pool and restaurant surrounded by the lush natural environment. On some departures, subject to availability, you may stay at an alternative comfortable hotel with spa and pool, situated facing the magnificent Sigiriya rock in the midst of a small village named Digampathaha.

Wild glamping in Gal Oya, Sri Lanka
Gal Oya, Sri Lanka

You’ll spend two nights in a spectacular site called Wild Glamping Gal Oya. It's located near the Gal Oya National Park, a wildlife sanctuary boasting 150 species of vibrant birds and 32 species of mammals, including elephants. This wonderful site was built with the help of the local indigenous community during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of the villagers now work at the site and farm. The property was built using locally sourced materials and uses solar for most of the electricity. You'll stay in lavishly designed tented lodges and there is also a pool. The restaurant serves mouth-watering dishes prepared using fresh vegetables harvested from the local organic farm, and lake fish caught from the fresh waters.

Polwaththa eco lodge, Sri Lanka
Kandy, Sri Lanka

Spend two nights immersed in a pristine jungle environment at ​Polwaththa Eco Lodges. The local community are at the heart of operations here, with a strong focus on responsible tourism. The property purchases all ingredients from within 5km, and they also run their own reforestation program. Accommodation will be in twin-share cabins, lodges or huts built from a variety of resources found on the land (such as wood, clay and brick). You'll be totally at one with the forest, coexisting in harmony with wild boars, deer, porcupines, giant squirrels, monkeys, butterflies, bats, fireflies and over 60 species of birds.

Room at Galway Heights hotel, Sri Lanka
Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

You'll stay one night at the 4-star Galway Heights Hotel, featuring charming living spaces, stylish design and nestled among the rich greenery of Sri Lanka's central hill country.

Acacia Inn, Ohiya, Sri Lanka
Ohiya, Sri Lanka

You'll spend one night at the simple but cosy Acacia Inn, a guesthouse in an untouched location surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. Far from everything, it's a pretty remote place, but that's the beauty of it! Accommodation will be in twin- or triple-share rooms, with ensuite bathrooms and hot showers. Beds come with fresh sheets, pillows and blankets.

Talalla Retreat, Sri Lanka
Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka

Your final two nights in Sri Lanka will be spent at the secluded Talalla Retreat on a pristine white-sand beach lapped by turquoise water, away from the busier areas of southern Sri Lanka. Accommodation is in twin-share rooms, which include open-air marble bathrooms, private patios, and great views of the lush gardens, pool or the Indian Ocean. The hotel's facilities include a 20m freshwater lap pool, three custom-built yoga pavilions, an Ayurvedic spa, and a gourmet open-air restaurant serving the freshest, healthiest meals with organic vegetables from their own garden.

Thundi Beach View Hotel in Fulidhoo, Maldives
Fulidhoo, Maldives

The final four nights of the trip will be spent at the small-scale beach hotel Thundi Sea View, in the tiny Maldivian island of Fulidhoo. The property is only a few steps from sea and next to a small beach, the perfect place to relax after your busy Sri Lankan adventure. The simple but comfortable en suite rooms feature sea views, and come with air conditioning and free WiFi access.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price and request this at the time of booking. Please note that due to the limited size of some of the properties used, availability is restricted and it's only possible for 13 nights of the trip: accommodation at Acacia Inn on Day 8 will be in twin or triple share rooms only.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Male International Airport, Maldives

09:30 on Day 15

Transfers

Your Sri Lankan host will meet you on arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo and transfer you to your beach hotel in Negombo. Three scheduled transfers from the airport are included on Day 1 and your host will let you know your allocated pick-up time, provided you have supplied your flight details in advance. If you arrive on a very early flight, please note that check-in may not be available until 14:00 – so if you wish to access your room earlier, contact your local host to request an early check-in (fee applicable; subject to availability). At the end of the tour, your Maldivian host will transfer you from the island back to Male International Airport on Day 15, usually by 09:30. For this reason we recommend booking a return flight leaving Male not earlier than 11:30.

Please note that the flight from Colombo to Male is included in the cost of the trip and will be arranged by your local host (usually with SriLankan Airlines or FlyDubai). This means you do not have to book any internal flights during the trip, and are responsible only for your international flights to Sri Lanka on arrival, and out of the Maldives at the end of the tour.

If you would like to arrive early in Sri Lanka, your host can arrange private airport transfers and additional accommodation for an extra cost. See the Optional Extras section for details. In the Maldives, you may want to add on a bit of luxury and stay some extra nights at a local resort (this will need to be arranged independently).

Travel options

There are regular flights to Sri Lanka from major airports across the UK and Europe, including direct flights from London to Colombo with SriLankan Airlines. There are direct flights from Male International Airport to London Heathrow with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, as well as direct routes from other airports across Europe. If you wish to travel on direct flights, you may have to purchase two different tickets and flights with different airlines. If you wish to book your flights with their same airline, your best option is Emirates, usually flying via Dubai.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What equipment is included?

All equipment for cycling, yoga, surfing in Sri Lanka is included, and for snorkelling in the Maldives.

However, although snorkelling gear is included/available while in the Maldives, we strongly recommend that you bring your own mask and snorkel – not only for better comfort, but you'll also be able to use them during your free time throughout the itinerary.

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Main luggage (a suitcase, backpack or duffel is fine but not too big as luggage will be packed on the bus with you)
  • Daypack (30 litres - for daily essentials and overnight use on the Pekoe Trail)
  • Drybag for all water-based activities

CLOTHES

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirt (light long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended for jungle hikes and safari)
  • Lightweight, casual, non-synthetic clothing for the Maldives
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks (leech socks will provided when you hike along the Pekoe trail but you may want to bring an additional pair for the other jungle hikes)
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots or shoes (worn-in)
  • Sandals and flip flops

OTHER

  • Dive certification card and log book, if you intend to participate in SCUBA diving
  • Playing cards
  • Sea sickness tablets or wristbands
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Plenty of high-factor, reef-friendly sunscreen (pack more than you would for a normal beach holiday), aftersun lotion and personal hygiene products. Check out this blog for more information
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Additional night in Negombo Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional night in Negombo Single Room

Additional night in Negombo Twin/Double Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional night in Negombo Twin/Double Room

Optional Private Room Upgrade (13 nights)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (13 nights)

Private Arrival Transfer Colombo Airport - Negombo Hotel (1-2 pax)

Payable Before Departure

Private Arrival Transfer Colombo Airport - Negombo Hotel (1-2 pax)

Private Arrival Transfer Colombo Airport - Negombo Hotel (per person, 3+ pax)

Payable Before Departure

Private Arrival Transfer Colombo Airport - Negombo Hotel (per person, 3+ pax)

Per Person

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 826kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip is designed for those of average to good fitness, but none of the activities are hugely strenuous.

No previous yoga or surfing experience is needed, as these activities will be also tailored to first-timers. You also don't need to be an experienced hiker, although you should be able to trek for up to 6 hours across uneven terrain or dense jungle. You should also feel comfortable riding a bike for a couple of hours along flat ground. You need only carry a small day rucksack with any personal belongings, water, snacks, suncream etc. Please note that the climb up to Sigiriya does involve some sections of steel stairs and metal staircases clinging on the exposed side to the rock.

In the Maldives, an introductory briefing will be provided for snorkelling – the only requirement is that you must be comfortable in the water and able to swim. The hot, humid weather can be challenging to adapt to, so plenty of free time has been built into the itinerary to allow you to rest and avoid too many hours of sun exposure.

There are a few long drives (up to 4 hours), a train journey (4-5 hours) and an internal flight to Male, but these will be a great chance to rest your legs while taking in dazzling views along the way. There are several early starts in order to avoid the heat and maximise the wildlife-spotting opportunities, so a sense of adventure and willingness here is key to enjoying the experience. However, there is also some leisure time built into the trip so you can fully enjoy the serene environment as you wish – reading by the pool, taking optional walks into local villages and slowing down to the pace of nature.

Marta Marinelli, raised in Italy’s serene Prosecco Hills, dreamt of global adventures, inspired by her father's travel stories. Her passion evolved into a career, backed by a decade of studies including degrees in international tourism and destination management. She’s worked in the adventure travel sector since 2012, living in Italy, the UK, and now sunny Portugal.

Over twenty years, Marta has explored over 55 countries, visiting remote areas like Ghana, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Haiti and Nepal’s Upper Mustang region. As a Senior Adventure Expansion Manager at Much Better Adventures, she focuses on creating life-changing experiences, ranging from multi-activity adventures, challenging treks to ultimate adventures in iconic places. She loves the challenge of finding the best local adventure hosts around the world, collaborating on adventures that offer genuine immersion, pushing beyond the beaten path and working on exclusive itineraries that challenge your comfort zone.

What makes her tick? Enabling people to live adventure-rich lives while positively impacting and empowering local communities around the world, generating sustainable opportunities for both the host, guides, community, and the environment.

If you've never tried surfing or yoga, we recommend giving these a go, as tuition will be tailored to first-timers. However, we appreciate that yoga and surfing are not for everyone so if you prefer to opt-out from these activities, it's absolutely fine – you can just enjoy some extra leisure time in the jungle or on the tropical beaches.

On the trip you'll spend a day with the Veddas, the last indigenous people in Sri Lanka. Many Veddas nowadays have ventured into agriculture so traditional hunting is fading away, but the Veddas you'll meet still live following authentic traditions. Through this cultural exchange, you'll be playing an active part in the maintenance of indigenous culture through its celebration.

You'll also visit remote rural villages – a fantastic opportunity to learn about local culture, history, and the adaptation of remote communities to contemporary life.

We have selected a number of extraordinary accommodation providers who practise responsible tourism in the true sense of the word. Here, food is locally sourced, construction materials are mostly natural and have been chosen to respect the environment. Local operations are also managed by the communities themselves, a successful example of how community-based tourism can be beneficial when done sensitively.

The tap water in Sri Lanka and the Maldives is not always friendly on the stomach. You may find purified water in some of the accommodation which you can use to fill up each morning, so be sure to pack a reusable water bottle or two. To avoid plastic waste where filtered water is not available, we suggest bringing water purification tablets (or an alternative purification system) for extra safety.

In the Maldives, your guide may recommend that 5L bottles of water are purchased and used to fill reusable water bottles. In this case, these bottles will all be returned to Male and handed over to a trusted local recycling project run by Parley.

It may sound clichéd, but Sri Lanka is a year-round destination – although December to mid-April is considered to be peak season and will be a bit busier as a result.

Temperatures are fairly constant, with coastal regions enjoying average temperatures of 25-30°C, and the highlands 15-18°C. As this trip covers a lot of ground, it also straddles what have been considered different monsoon seasons (four, depending on which region you travel in). This means that throughout the year you are likely to encounter plenty of sunshine, some short, sharp downpours, fairly high humidity and plenty of blue skies, regardless of whether it has traditionally been called 'monsoon' or not. These categorisations are proving harder to predict, so an open mind and expecting every type of weather is a must! Rainproof gear is strongly recommended at any time of year.

With a tropical climate, plenty of sunshine and temperatures around 30°C throughout the year, there is never a really bad time to visit the Maldives. There are two distinct seasons: the dry season (northeast monsoon) from January to March and the wet season (southwest monsoon) from mid-May to November. 'Wet season' doesn't mean it rains all the time, but during this period there is more rain than during the dry season. This may be a daily heavy shower but it's very rare to have days and days of rain in succession or even for a full 24 hours. There is usually more wind during this season, but this helps keep the temperatures at a nice level and you can still expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine.

Like many places in the world today, the climate and weather patterns are changing and historical data is becoming less reliable as an indication of what to expect. As the islands are situated so close to the equator it is possible to get sunburn even on a cloudy day, so sunscreen should be applied as a matter of course.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. We recommend to tip the following for the whole trip:

  • USD $30-35 per person for your your Sri Lankan leader
  • USD $10-12 for each member of the bus crew in Sri Lanka (usually 1 or 2 drivers)
  • USD $45 total per person for the activity guides in Sri Lanka – your leader will collect this in the form of a kitty and distribute it among the 25 local guides and assistants who provide their service during the trip (local hikes, bike ride etc.)
  • USD $15-20 per person for your your Maldivian leader

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality – a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We recommend checking out the country specific information and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Sri Lanka, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages.

To secure your visa for Sri Lanka (Electronic Travel Authorization or ETA) apply via the official government website. Usually, the visa is granted within 48 hours of application – make sure you print a copy or take a screenshot of the approval page for when you clear security on arrival.

Maldives Immigration issues on-arrival visa to all tourists, if the entry requirements are complied. A traveller declaration must be filled in and submitted by all travelers travelling to and from Maldives, within 96 hours prior to your travel. You may submit the form electronically via IMUGA.

Your local host will do their best to operate the itinerary as communicated; however, for your safety and comfort some changes may be required based on the weather and or sea conditions. In the Maldives, all boat transfers are operated by independent companies and although they operate at scheduled times, services can occasionally get delayed or cancelled at short notice due to weather conditions, public holidays or mechanical failure. In the event of a cancellation, your guide will make alternative arrangements and reschedule any of the inclusions whenever possible.

In the unlikely event of significant itinerary changes which involve substantial extra costs (such as extra nights in hotels etc.), this would need to be borne by the customer to be claimed back via your travel insurance.

Ramadan will take place from 28th February to 31 March 2025. Ramadan is an Islamic festival where all Maldivians do not eat or drink during daylight hours. While this is a really interesting time to travel, you can expect some business hours will be shortened, and local cafes or restaurants will generally not open during daylight hours. Possibly the timings of local ferry and speedboat transfer services will change too. Activities for local people tend to be limited during the day and the nights are very active with family gatherings and lots of different foods being sold and consumed. However, in hotel restaurants and tourist areas food and drink are served as normal and Ramadan will not affect the inclusions on your trip. Your guide will adjust the timings of your itinerary if necessary. Although there are no restrictions for non-Muslims during Ramadan, it is respectful to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public areas during daylight hours.

High temperatures and ever-present sunshine mean that locals and visitors alike prefer dressing in lightweight materials. Cotton t-shirts, skirts and shorts with sandals or flip-flops are the best options for staying cool.

Please note that the Maldives are a Muslim nation, therefore care needs to be taken regarding dress on small islands and in local communities. Whilst it is acceptable for men to wear t-shirts and shorts/swimshorts, women should avoid causing offence by maintaining a more conservative approach. T-shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulders, loose shorts that cover the thighs, or sundresses with a sarong around shoulders are advised. Whilst the islands you'll visit are more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, women should NOT wear swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, sandbank, private tourist bikini beach (available on all islands you'll stay on) or snorkelling/dive boats. Your guide will advise when and where this is possible. It is common practice for both local women and female visitors to swim from local public beaches wearing a t-shirt or rash vest with shorts or leggings.

When visiting the home of a local family or where you may have access to mosques, shoulders and legs should be covered fully by both men and women out of respect for local customs.

Whilst snorkelling equipment is included on this trip, we would advise bringing along your own mask and snorkel where possible. Not only will you be assured the mask fits your face properly (making it more comfortable and less likely to leak), it's also more hygienic. A mask and snorkel are small and light, so they should take up very little space in your suitcase!

Due to the ocean current and wind conditions in the Maldives, the use of fins is essential for almost all snorkelling and these are included in all snorkelling activities. However, if you want to ensure a perfect fit, you are always welcome to bring your own.

It's advisable to exchange a small amount (around $50) at the exchange desk in the airport. Please note that it is not possible to exchange currency to USD, only to MVR. MVR can only be exchanged back to the original currency prior to your departure if you have a receipt for an arrival exchange from the Bank of Maldives exchange counter in the airport.

The US Dollar is generally accepted as legal tender. All major credit cards can be used (and are preferred) at resorts, hotels and shops. On smaller islands, it is usually only hotels, guesthouses, shops and larger restaurants which accept credit cards, and cash is generally preferred. Small restaurants, cafes and activity providers will generally request payment in cash. Most restaurants and shops will accept USD in payment, but will provide change in local currency.

Your guide will provide a full briefing on responsible snorkelling prior to your trip. As a general rule, fish, ray or shark feeding should be avoided. It is harmful to marine life, to the ecosystem, and potentially to the people in the water (whether it be snorkellers, swimmers, or divers). Hand-feeding marine life promotes a behaviour called conditioning, where the animals learn to associate humans with food. When fish start to anticipate meal times with humans, it interferes with their natural feeding cycles. As a result of behavioural conditioning through fish feeding, unprovoked marine animals may attack (bite) humans, thinking they will receive food or mistaking fingers and other body parts for food.

Please also make sure you do not touch corals or marine life. Simply touching animals or coral can be as damaging in the long run as intentionally killing or catching them. Many animals, including turtles, rays and many species of sharks, can become vulnerable to harmful bacteria through human contact, leaving them susceptible to disease.

Unfortunately, like many coral reefs around the world, the Maldives reefs have been impacted by bleaching. However, there is still an abundance of marine life and in areas not subject to high levels of reclamation and development (which adds stress to the reef's rejuvenation) there is positive evidence of coral rehabilitation. The impact of bleaching varies from atoll to atoll, therefore you may observe great corals in one location but poor ones in another. Your local host is involved in a number of coral reef projects with NGOs, including Coral Doctors, Save the Beach and Maafushi Eco Dive, who support coral planting in areas where the reefs have been significantly impacted.

It is impossible to say exactly what you will need during your island stay as this varies depending on personal preference, the number of extra optional activities you choose and any souvenirs you may like to purchase. While on the islands, approximate prices are as follows:

Snack lunch: $5 – $10 Evening meal in guesthouse or local restaurant: $10 – $25 Tea/coffee: $1 for Nescafe, to $5 for barista-style coffee Soft drinks: $1.50 Water 1.5L: $0.50 General excursions: from $25 – $100 per person Watersports: from $10 per person for 60-minute non-motorised rentals Discover Scuba Dive: $65-85 per person, including equipment Certified Dive: $70-90 per person, including equipment and tax Two-hour Guided Snorkel: $60 per person, including equipment

*rates for services provided locally and payable direct to the provider remain subject to change.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

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DEPARTURE DATES

January 2025

Saturday • 4th January 2025

to Saturday • 18th January 2025
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