Sri Lanka in Depth + Maldive Dhoni Cruise

Sri Lanka in Depth + Maldive Dhoni Cruise

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22 Days From

$5180

$4775

Sri Lanka in Depth + Maldive Dhoni Cruise

22 Days Starting in Negombo and ending in Male

Visiting: Negombo, Wilpattu National Park, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Girithale, Minneriya National Park, Kandy, Nallathanniya, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Udawalawe National Park Safari, Galle, Unawatuna, Colombo, Malé, Vaavu Atoll, Meemu Atoll, Dhiggaru, Felidhoo, Fulidhoo

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

SLM

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 18

Physical rating:

Moderate

Age range:

16-

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour operated in:

English

Trip Styles:

Special Events

From: $5180 $4775 Operator discount: -$270 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$135

NB: Prices correct on 24-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Combine two of our favourite trips on a journey through enchanting Sri Lanka and the pristine Maldives. Our first two weeks are spent touring the cultural highlights of the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean' before cruising through paradise in the Maldives.

Wildlife in Sri Lanka - Search for leopards, elephants and sambar deer on game drives in the country's national parks
Culture in Sri Lanka - Wander through ancient capitals, painted cave temples and climb the dramatic 'Sky Fortress'
Maldives Dhoni experience - Spend a week cruising, snorkelling and relaxing amongst crystal clear waters

Highlights

  • Explore Sri Lanka's many highlights before a stunning 6-day Maldives cruise

  • Discover the Sri Lanka's ancient cities and wildlife-filled national parks

  • Snorkel through turquoise waters and idyllic atolls from our Maldives Dhoni vessel

Itinerary

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Day 1: Join Trip In Negombo

Location: Negombo

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel J

Arrive in Negombo, the famous coastal town famous for its fishing industry and golden sands. This relaxing beach resort is a short distance from Sri Lanka's capital city, and is the perfect place to spot locals bringing in the day's catch and watch the sunset.



For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Negombo at any time. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), which is 30 minutes' drive from our hotel. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.



If your flight arrives earlier in the day there is the option to head to the beach or make use of the hotel facilities which features a swimming pool and gardens overlooking the Indian Ocean.



Please note that a single room option is not available on the Maldives cruise section of this trip. This is due to the small size of vessel and limited number of cabins.

Day 2: Game Drive In Wilpattu National Park; Drive To Anuradhapura

Location: Wilpattu National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Lakeside at Nuwarawewa

Meals Included: Breakfast

A three-hour drive north takes us to Wilpattu National Park. En route, we will visit a nearby fishing village which uses traditional-style outrigger canoes, known as 'oruvas'. Along the way, depending on the season, we hope to spot the toddy tappers climbing tall coconut trees to collect sap from the flowers. This is used to make Arak - a local whisky-type spirit.



Despite the park's location in Sri Lanka's dry zone, it boasts nearly 60 lakes and is renowned for leopard, elephant and sambar deer spottings. We will go on a jeep safari in the hope of spotting the elusive leopard. We choose to visit this park, rather than the more touristy Yala National Park further south because we believe it offers our customers a better experience. The same animals can be seen here as in Yala, however it is less crowded, making our visit more enjoyable and responsible. Leaving the park, we drive to nearby Anuradapura, where we will spend the next two nights.

Day 3: Full Day To Walk Up Mihintale Mount And Explore Anuradhapura Ancient Citadel

Location: Anuradhapura

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Lakeside at Nuwarawewa

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we travel eight miles to the mountain peak of Mihintale. It is believed that this was the site of a momentous meeting between the monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa, introducing Buddhism to the country. Exploring Mihintale involves climbing a flight of 1,840 shallow stone steps, and a short final section with uneven steps and a hand rail leading to the summit of the Missaka Mountain. There are excellent views from the top looking back to Anuradhapura.



In the afternoon, we explore the ancient capital of Anuradhapura - a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its well-preserved ancient ruins. One of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, it was founded around 500 BC. Its golden age began around 260BC, when the King and his people converted to Buddhism. The city became vast, spreading over many miles. There were hospitals for the sick, hostels for travellers and artificial reservoirs to ensure a good water supply. Of great interest are the 2,200 year-old Sacred Bodhi-Tree; the Brazen Palace, once a nine storey residence for monks; the 4th century Smadhi Buddha masterpiece and the Ruvanvalisaya Dagoba - a 90 metre-high dome-shaped shrine towering over the surrounding countryside.

Day 4: Visit Dambulla's Cave Temples En Route To Giritale

Location: Dambulla, Girithale

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Giritale Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Travelling towards Giritale, we pause to view the magnificent Standing Buddha of Aukana, which stands 12 metres high. Sculptured in the 5th century by a master craftsman, it is still relatively isolated in its jungle setting.



Our next stop is Dambulla, where a great series of caves have been turned into temples dating from the 1st century BC. This World Heritage Site still attracts scores of worshippers. We will visit five separate caves, which contain a large number of Buddha images and a few sculptures of Hindu Gods. After enjoying a traditional Sri Lankan lunch of 'rice and curry', we reach the small town of Giritale - our base from which to explore Polonnaruwa. Total journey time today of approximately 3.5 hours. Our hotel for the night looks out over a large and picturesque 7th century man-made lake.

Day 5: Visit The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa And Drive To Sigiriya

Location: Minneriya National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Sigiriya Jungles

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which reached its height of glory in the 12th century, when it was a thriving commercial and religious centre. The city still maintains many of its spectacular buildings and monuments, with arguably the most impressive being the Quadrangle. This sacred precinct originally housed the tooth relic. It contains a superbly decorated circular shrine which is one of the most ornate buildings in the country. The neighbouring audience hall and bathing pool are also worth a visit. Close by, the curious round structure of the Circular Relic House has a beautifully preserved moonstone carved at the foot of a flight of steps. Another famous feature of this deserted city is the group of carved images of the Buddha, known as Galvihara. These four colossal figures are all hewn out of solid granite and the Reclining Buddha alone is no less than 14 metres long. We then continue driving towards our accommodation.



In the early afternoon, we drive 1.5 hours to Dambulla where we have the option to take a jeep safari in either Minneriya or Kadaula National Park, in search of herds of wild elephant. Your leader will be able to advise you of the likelihood of good elephant sightings at the time you are in the area. The parks are also home to a large array of birdlife, including painted storks.

Day 6: Climb Lion's Rock At Sunrise; Drive To Kandy

Location: Kandy

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Casamara Kandy

Meals Included: Breakfast

An early start this morning as we plan to climb Sigiriya Rock ahead of the crowds and whilst it is cool. The ruins of this 5th century 'Sky Fortress' are one of Sri Lanka's major attractions, a stupendous sight to behold and a feat of consummate engineering skill. Built in just seven years as a fortified palace to protect the reign of merciless King Kassapa, who had assassinated his father and deposed his brother, it is seen as one of the world's best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Unfortunately for the king, despite its impregnable reputation, he was defeated here by his brother after a reign of just 18 years.



A switchback series of steps and steel stairways ascend to the top. Halfway up, tucked beneath a sheltering overhang of rock, are the famous frescoes - the Sigiriya Damsels, their colours still glowing. Before our final ascent to the summit, we pass between a set of enormous lion paws carved out of the rock - all that remain of an ancient gateway that gave Sigiriya, the 'Lion Rock', its name. Once at the 200 meter summit, magnificent views can be enjoyed of the surrounding jungle and countryside.



This afternoon, a two-hour drive takes us to Kandy. En route, we stop to visit the woodcarving centre at Naula and a spice garden.

Day 7: Explore Kandy. Discover The Temple Of The Tooth

Location: Kandy

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Casamara Kandy

Meals Included: Breakfast

Sitting on a plateau 500 metres above sea level and 112km northeast of Colombo, Kandy is, in climatic and cultural terms, a world apart from Colombo. Serving as the capital of the last Sinhalese kingdom until falling to the British in 1815, it is a place of cultural and spiritual importance. Buddhists from all over the world come here specifically to visit the Temple of the Tooth, the Dalada Maligawa. The costly jewelled shrine of the Holy Tooth, said to be Buddha's left canine, is kept in the upper floor of the original building. This relic was brought from India 1,500 years ago and every year, at the time of the August full moon, it is paraded round the town with great pomp and circumstance. This morning's sight-seeing includes attending the Temple of the Tooth Ceremony and a visit to the serene Peradeniya Botanical garden. Your afternoon is free to continue your exploration of this highland town.



In the evening, we hope to have the opportunity to watch a performance by the famous Kandyan dancers, admiring their impressive costumes and graceful dances, accompanied by a thundering drum beat.

Day 8: Drive To Dalhousie For An Ascent Of Adam's Peak

Location: Nallathanniya

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Accommodation Name: Punsisi Rest Guest House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

After a free morning, we drive three and a half hours to Dalhousie in the foothills of Adam's Peak. Here, we have the opportunity to ascend this sacred peak, known locally as Sri Pada. A depression at the top of the peak is said to be Buddha's footprint and, each year, thousands climb to the top for sunrise. Setting off at around 2 am, we join pilgrims for our ascent. There is a stone staircase which we follow right to the top. It can be tough on the legs, and some may find it physically challenging, but you can go at your own pace, take your time and savour the experience shared with pilgrims. We reach the top in time for sunrise, when spectacular views all around us. The ascent involves around 900 metres of ascent and descent, with many flights of steps some of which are steep, and is about 5km in each direction. On busy days we will set out a bit earlier shortly after midnight.



For anyone not wanting to climb the peak, there is free time to explore the small town of Dalhousie, or relax at our guesthouse. A basic property, our accommodation in Dalhousie, the Punsisi Resthouse has clean and spacious rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Day 9: Stop At A Tea Plantation On The Way To Nuwara Eliya

Location: Nuwara Eliya

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: The Blackpool Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Returning from the peak this morning, we enjoy a well-earned breakfast before making our way to Nuwara Eliya on a scenic drive of around three hours. This part of Sri Lanka is also an important tea growing area and plantations stretch over rolling hills for as far as the eye can see, interspersed with the occasional tea-making factory. Along the way we hope to make a stop at an estate to learn about the process of picking the leaves and creating the perfect cuppa.



Known as 'Little England', Nuwara Eliya has some red telephone boxes, Victorian colonial architecture and pretty rose gardens - legacies from its era as a hill country retreat for any homesick British. The cool climate provided a sanctuary in which to immerse themselves in familiar pastimes, such as polo, golf, cricket and fox hunting.



We have free time for the rest of the day to explore.

Day 10: Take The Train To Demodara, Crossing The Nine Arch Bridge

Location: Ella

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Oak Ray Ella Gap Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

After a relaxed breakfast this morning we drive the short distance to Nanu Oyu to board our train for the scenic journey to Demodara. The train winds through tea plantations stopping for dramatic views of the valley below as we cross the Nine Arch Bridge, also known as the Bridge in the Sky. The approximately four hour journey is an ideal time to relax and take in the scenery before another short drive brings us to Ella, our stop for tonight.

Day 11: Drive To Udawalawe, Explore The National Park By Jeep And Visit The Elephant Transit Home

Location: Udawalawe National Park Safari

Accommodation: Tented Camp

Accommodation Name: Athgira River Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we visit the nearby Ravana Ella Falls, one of the widest waterfalls on the island, before continuing south through the hill country until we reach the plains. We will make a stop and walk a short distance to see a 51-foot image of the Buddha carved into the rockface, known as Colossi of Buduruvagala, rising majestically above us along with other Mahayana statues. Our journey continues with a two hour drive on to Udawalawe.



Designated a national park in 1972, Udawalawe covers some 31,800 hectares and is surrounded by mountains, a mix of rolling grasslands, teak plantations, rainforest and scrub. Renowned for its large herd of elephants, the park is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see them, and is also home to deer, wild boar, buffalo, jackal and leopard. The resident bird population is also second to none, including a magnificent collection of birds of prey, chief among them the impressive white-bellied sea eagle. The afternoon is spent exploring the park by jeep and visiting the Elephant Transit Home where orphaned elephants are cared for until they are old enough to be released back in to the wild.



Tonight we sleep in a fixed tented camp close to the banks of the Rakwana River. Twin beds, simple ensuite bathrooms and mosquito nexts make this a comfortable style of camping and waking up next to the river is ideal for a spot of early morning bird watching.

Day 12: Drive To Koggala Beach Via The Portuguese Fort At Galle

Location: Galle

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Koggala Beach Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Continuing southwards this morning, we descend through a huge region of rice paddies before reaching the coast. We travel through the small fishing port of Tangalle, home to a project supported by the Travel Foundation, where women learn to make traditional Beeralu Lace. Selling the lace helps them to become more self-sufficient. We will visit and learn a little of their craft and support these ladies who lost their breadwinners in the 2004 tsunami.



In the afternoon we'll visit the pretty coastal town of Galle passing through Koggala, where we stay for the next couple of nights, and may be lucky enough to see the famous stilt fisherman balancing precariously above the ocean. An important trading centre since ancient times, the fortifications that can be seen in Galle today were built by the Portuguese and then the Dutch from the 16th to the 17th centuries. The fort ramparts of this World Heritage Site protect the harbour and a myriad of fascinating old houses, churches and warehouses. Today, the town has a strong arts vibe, with foreign and local artists, writers, photographers, designers and poets drawing inspiration from their surroundings. Boutique shops and cafes around the town showcase their work. There is a lot to explore in the town and simply wandering its streets, soaking up its unique atmosphere is a great way to spend an afternoon. If you feel that you haven't spent enough time here on this afternoon's sightseeing tour, you have the opportunity to come back tomorrow.

Day 13: Free Time To Relax On Koggala's Quiet Beaches

Location: Unawatuna

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Koggala Beach Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today is free to relax on the beaches of Koggala, or explore more of nearby Galle. For those seeking pure relaxation, local Ayurvedic massages with natural, aromatic herbal oils are highly recommended. Alternatively, between the months of December and April, you might prefer to go on a whale watching trip in the hope of spotting humpback and blue whales.

Day 14: Early Morning To Relax On The Beach Before Driving To Colombo

Location: Colombo

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Fairway Colombo

Meals Included: Breakfast

Take some time to soak up the last few hours on the beach before we journey back to Colombo for our last night- a total travel time of just a couple of hours. Once in the capital we spend the afternoon exploring Sri Lanka's capital city. We'll wander around the historical 'fort' area, now the business district, whose buildings are like a slice through Colombo's colonial history and visit the Pettah neighborhood, famous for its bustling open air bazaars and markets. We will also visit the most important Buddhist temple in the capital, Gangaramaya, which is an oasis of calm in an otherwise frenetic city and end the trip by the Galle Face Green, an urban park along the sea front where locals gather to often play cricket and gather for other daily rituals.

Day 15: Fly To The Maldives And Join Trip In Male

Location: Malé

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mookai Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we fly to Male and after meeting up with our representative we'll transfer to our hotel. After checking in we'll go on a walking tour of the town, taking in the Mosque, to the fish market and strolling along the water's edge to watch the ferries coming and going.

Day 16: Sail To Vavuu Atoll And Explore Kuda Anbaraa Island

Location: Vaavu Atoll

Accommodation: Boat

Accommodation Name: Aboard Dhoni

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we walk to the waterfront to meet our moored dhoni and crew. As we take our breakfast the boat begins cruising south, passing through the Vaadhoo Canal to the South Male Atoll - a smaller and quieter neighbour to the more developed North Male Atoll. Here, many of the islands are inhabited simply by vegetation and white sand, surrounded by clear turquoise water and reef. Heading further south we cruise to the Vavuu Atoll, where we spend time exploring the uninhabited and picturesque islands of Kudiboli and Kuda Anbaraa. When exploring this and other islands in the itinerary, it isn't necessary to bring special footwear. Most customers seem to manage well in flip-flops, and these have the obvious advantage of being quick to get on and off - ideal for walking through sand. Our afternoon is spent snorkelling or relaxing on board. Over the course of the week, underwater fauna we are likely to see include green turtles, reef sharks and gigantic manta rays, as well as smaller sting rays and eagle rays. At each stop, we will also swim among a rainbow of small, colourful fish, including the famous Clown Fish. Our knowledgeable representative will be able to help identify many of the underwater species that we come across.



Today, and each day, afternoon tea with freshly baked cake will be served by our talented chef.



Every meal is included on the dhoni . Menus are likely to include freshly-caught fish each day, as well curries and pasta. Drinking water, tea and coffee are readily available, with alcoholic and soft drinks available for purchase on-board. US Dollars are accepted on the Dhoni and you can pay your bill for drinks at the end of your cruise.



Our cabins are compact, but with plenty of room for two people and luggage. However, many customers choose to enjoy the tranquillity of sleeping under the stars on deck for at least some of the nights.

Day 17: Snorkel In The Clear Waters Of The Meemu Atoll

Location: Meemu Atoll

Accommodation: Boat

Accommodation Name: Aboard Dhoni

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we sail south for a further two to three hours, crossing to Meemu Atoll - home to one of the longest stretches of reef in the Maldives. On this or other crossings, we may be lucky enough to be chased by spinner dolphins, who like jumping in our wake. We are also likely to see flying fish, sometimes leaping right over the deck of our dhoni. Meemu Atoll is made up of 34 islands, of which 25 are uninhabited. Some of the inhabited ones grow yams, and all of them are largely dependent on fishing. Here more than anywhere, we are likely to experience the true Maldivian way of life. Shortly after entering the atoll, we arrive at Fenboa Finolhu - another beautiful uninhabited island where we aim to base ourselves for the night. We will have plenty of time to enjoy the white-sand beach and to snorkel on the reef. This evening, we can look forward to a barbeque beach banquet in an idyllic spot on the island, laid on by the dhoni crew.

Day 18: Cruise To Dhiggaru Island For A Bodu Beru Display

Location: Dhiggaru

Accommodation: Boat

Accommodation Name: Aboard Dhoni

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a relaxed start, we head east to the inhabited island of Dhiggaru. Here, we drop our anchor by a particularly good snorkelling reef. Later in the afternoon, when it has cooled down a bit, we plan to go ashore to meet the island's inhabitants. We may be struck by the traditional, yet relaxed, way of life in the island's lively village. Very few tourist groups visit and we must remember to dress and act respectfully, removing our shoes when visiting a house or a mosque. In the evening, we hope to be invited to a performance of Bodu Beru (Big Drum) - the traditional folk music of the country.

Day 19: Visit The Traditional Village Of Felidhoo

Location: Felidhoo

Accommodation: Boat

Accommodation Name: Aboard Dhoni

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, we head back to Felidhoo Atoll and its administrative centre, Felidhoo. With a population of about 400, this is the least populated of all the country's administrative centres. Again, we take time to visit the village and have the opportunity to enjoy another Bodu Beru performance.

Day 20: Discover Hulhidhoo Reef Before Sailing To Fulidhoo

Location: Fulidhoo

Accommodation: Boat

Accommodation Name: Aboard Dhoni

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

By now, we are likely to be feeling completely relaxed, as our routine of reading, sunbathing and napping between island stops and snorkelling spots has become second nature. With a subtly different name to our previous day's stop-off, we break today's journey with a visit to Fulidhoo Island. Once again, we meet the locals and gain more of an appreciation of their life in this tropical paradise. After a further visit to the island of Hulhidhoo, we anchor by a large reef, where we can spend time snorkelling.

Day 21: Sail To Male Stopping To Snorkel At Embudhoo Reef

Location: Malé

Accommodation: Boat

Accommodation Name: Aboard Dhoni

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our last day on the boat sees us cruising back towards Male. We take the opportunity for some final snorkelling and swimming, before enjoying a farewell meal with our boat crew.

Day 22: Trip Ends In Male

Location: Malé

Meals Included: Breakfast

The trip ends after breakfast on our dhoni in Male.



There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Male at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at the airport for a cost of approx. $6 per item. If you would like an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Male International Airport (MLE).

What's Included

  • Fully Guided

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Accommodation

    6 nights simple boat

    14 nights comfortable hotel

    1 nights comfortable tented camp

  • Meals – Half Board

    Breakfast: 21

    Lunch: 7

    Dinner: 7

  • Game Drives on Safari

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Country Entry Visas

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

Why Book this Tour

This tour is the perfect way to explore the paradise island of Sri Lanka in depth and then relax and experience the real Maldives. You'll see wildlife, ancient ruins and bustling local life before an idyllic week of snorkelling, swimming and visiting traditional fishing villages.

Meals

Breakfasts: 21
Lunches: 7
Dinners: 9

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Check out our Q&As

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    Yes

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What is the maximum group size?

    16

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    Yes

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    No

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Susan  

Buddha's Island + Maldive Dhoni Cruise

This trip was a perfect Christmas treat - lots to

This trip was a perfect Christmas treat - lots to see and do in Sri Lanka followed by a chilled float around the Maldives. Thank you

Andrew  

Buddha's Island + Maldive Dhoni Cruise

A thoroughly enjoyable holiday with two very diffe

A thoroughly enjoyable holiday with two very different experiences. No hesitation in recommending this trip.

Andrew  

Buddha's Island + Maldive Dhoni Cruise (07-Dec-2019)

A thoroughly enjoyable holiday with two very diffe

A thoroughly enjoyable holiday with two very different experiences. No hesitation in recommending this trip.

Susan  

Buddha's Island + Maldive Dhoni Cruise (07-Dec-2019)

This trip was a perfect Christmas treat - lots to

This trip was a perfect Christmas treat - lots to see and do in Sri Lanka followed by a chilled float around the Maldives. Thank you

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Nov 03, 2024 - Nov 24, 2024
$5380 $5232

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 10, 2024 - Dec 01, 2024
$5180 $5038

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$142

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 17, 2024 - Dec 08, 2024
$5310 $5164

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$146

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 24, 2024 - Dec 15, 2024
$5180 $5038

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$142

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Dec 01, 2024 - Dec 22, 2024
$5240 $5096

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$144

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Dec 15, 2024 - Jan 05, 2025
$5650 $5495

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$155

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jan 12, 2025 - Feb 02, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jan 19, 2025 - Feb 09, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jan 26, 2025 - Feb 16, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Feb 02, 2025 - Feb 23, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Feb 09, 2025 - Mar 02, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Feb 16, 2025 - Mar 09, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Feb 23, 2025 - Mar 16, 2025
$5870 $5709

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$161

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Mar 02, 2025 - Mar 23, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Mar 09, 2025 - Mar 30, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Mar 16, 2025 - Apr 06, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Mar 23, 2025 - Apr 13, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Mar 30, 2025 - Apr 20, 2025
$5740 $5582

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$158

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 21, 2025 - Oct 12, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 28, 2025 - Oct 19, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 05, 2025 - Oct 26, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 12, 2025 - Nov 02, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 19, 2025 - Nov 09, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 26, 2025 - Nov 16, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 02, 2025 - Nov 23, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 09, 2025 - Nov 30, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 16, 2025 - Dec 07, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 23, 2025 - Dec 14, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 30, 2025 - Dec 21, 2025
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Dec 14, 2025 - Jan 04, 2026
$5370 $5222

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$148

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 70 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

Why book with tourhub?

Safe & Secure

Your money is protected in an external trust until you travel.

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100% Guaranteed Refunds if your trip is cancelled.


The safest way to make overseas, multi-currency payments.

Guaranteed Best Value

Industry leading discounts, we won't be beaten on price.


No cancellation or amendment fees from tourhub.

(Operator terms may apply)

Expert Knowledge

Reliable & unbiased advice from travel experts.


Direct contact with the tour operator via our messaging service.


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Don't just take our word for it...

"Tourhub: Friendliness, Professionalism & Integrity I would happily give tourhub a 6* review if I could..."

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