- The tour begins in Galle (usually 8 am pick up) with a leisurely 3-4 hour drive across the beautiful southern coast of Sri Lanka towards the wilderness of the Deep South.
- After lunch (at your expense) in the hotel, at around 2 pm, head out on a 4WD jeep for a half-day safari at Yala National Park in pursuit of elephants, leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, wild buffaloes, monkeys, deer, wild boars, peacocks and various other species of birds.
- Checkout around 9 am for a 2-3 hour drive to Ella, a laid-back town in the Sri Lankan highlands, surrounded by scenic hills and serene tea plantations
- Along the way, make a stop at the cascading Rawana Waterfall to take in the scenes.
- See the majestic Nine Arches Bridge, a colonial-era railway construction marvel. Watch the afternoon train go by from close proximity for an unforgettable memory that will take you back in time!
- Afterwards, climb up (45-minute uphill hike) to Little Adams Peak for spectacular views of the mountain and valleys of the region.
- Choose an optional activity: hiking Ella Rock (4 hours) or visiting Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory for a guided tour about the history of Ceylon Tea
- Enjoy breathtaking views of the Ella sunrise from the hotel through the Ella Gap, followed by a relaxed breakfast (included) soaking in the fresh mountain air.
- Take a picturesque 4-5 hour train ride from Ella to Hatton through tea carpeted hills and lush green mountain jungles that define these majestic highlands. This is an epic journey not to be missed!
- After lunch, drive 1.5 hours to Kitulgala (a small village) to a river eco lodge for a late afternoon arrival. A unique living experience in harmony with nature awaits you at the lodge, which is located on the banks of the Kelani River.
- Option #1: Enjoy a 60-90 minute session of white-water rafting in the white waters of the Kelani River at an additional cost of USD 25 per person plus tips (weather and water conditions permitting).
- Option #2: Visit the many craft centers (e.g., wood carving, gem craft centres, batik manufacturing sites, silk and hand craft shops, etc.), which Kandy is famous for. Multiple lunch (not included) choices available (driver can recommend).Check in to hotel by late afternoon. Relax by the hotel pool or refresh in the room.
- Around 5:30 pm, visit the Sacred Temple of Tooth Relic, a famous Buddhist temple and UNESCO world heritage site located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha. Local guide included.
- Visit Balana Village, for a historic village walk (2-2.5 hours long) to get a taste of Sri Lankan village life. Local guide included.
- Drive towards Sigiriya. On the way stop at a local spice garden. Have lunch (at your expense) at the restaurant there followed by an insightful tour of Ceylon Spices and Ayurveda. Local guide included (approximately 1-1.5 hours long).
- After the spice garden (leave by 3:15 pm latest), optional visit to Golden Cave Temple in Dambulla, another UNESCO World Heritage site regarded as the largest and best- preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Explore the impressive series of caves full of paintings and images of the Buddha in many different postures and styles!
- Visit Sigiriya and “Lion Rock” – an ancient rock fortress located in the Central Province – a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres high.
- Explore Sigiriya , a fortified city complex, walk through its beautiful gardens and climb up to the summit to see the remains of the palace complex and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding plains.
- Visit Negombo, a beach-town near Colombo airport and enjoy the last night of the tour with a relaxed and comfortable stay by the beach.
- In the morning, after breakfast, check out and be driven to Colombo International Airport to catch your flight
- OR carry on to your second week and volunteer with the turtles!
- Cleaning and refilling the turtle tanks with fresh sea water
- Feeding the turtles
- Painting and drawing in and around the wall about turtles.
- Cleaning the project premises and the relevant beach area.
- Taking care of the nesting area
- Cleaning the turtle’s shells.
- Collecting turtle eggs and bringing them to a safe location for them to hatch (only seasonal)
- Re-releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea (dependant on number of hatchlings)
- Taking the turtles out of their tanks to spend time with them on the beach
- Vocational and public outreach- educating fishermen children, local schools and making tourists aware of turtles and protecting marine life
- On the Sri Lanka tour, you’ll stay in a variety of accommodation, including:
Sky Green Resort: Includes non-air-conditioned room (single or shared), lunch & breakfast (next day).
Ceylon Adventure Eco Lodges: Includes non-air-conditioned room (single or shared), dinner & breakfast (next day).
Oak-Ray Serene Garden Hotel: Includes air-conditioned room (single or shared), dinner & breakfast (next day).
Oak-Ray Elephant Lake Hotel: Includes air-conditioned room (single or shared), dinner & breakfast (next day).
Rani Beach Hotel: Includes air-conditioned room (single or shared), dinner & breakfast (next day).
- In your second week, you’ll stay at your own volunteer house in Galle.
- The house has a separate kitchen, dining room, recreation area, front lawn and private terrace that can accommodate up to 40 volunteers at a time.
- The house is located in the neighborhood of Katugoda, a laid-back peaceful area surrounded by lush greenery and tropical beauty.
- It is only 8-10 minutes from historic Galle Fort and Unwatuna beach (just a 5 min walk to the nearest beach). The house is equipped with 7 CCTV cameras, several fire alarms and secure iron main gate for safety.
- The office is located on the ground floor and we have a full operational team consisting of a program manager, an operations manager, various project coordinators, in-house chef that cooks 3 fresh meals a day, cleaning staff, van and driver.
- Bedrooms in the Apartments in the villa have 6 bunks each, and two rooms share one bathroom and fridge and communal area.
- There are also communal areas downstairs for eating and chilling!
Double room guarantee: (in case couples or people travelling in pairs want their own double room)Single room upgrade available
- Most of your meals are included; except on some aspects of the tour, where we will inform you of costs beforehand.
- 27th October 2018
- 10th November 2018
- 1st Dec 2018
- 9th February 2019
- 02 March 2019
- 23 March 2019
- 13 April 2019
- 04 May 2019
- 15 June 2019
- 13 July 2019
- 03 August 2019
- 24 August 2019
- 21 September 2019
- 12 October 2019
- 09 November 2019
- 07 December 2019
- Each tour will be done with a minimum of 2 people (and a maximum 16 people) per trip. If we only get one person for a given trip, we can either 1) work with that person to find an alternative project tour for the budget available or 2) cancel the trip and refund the fee.
- The standard tour price is based on triple (or double) room occupation depending on number of participants. So, for example, if there are 3 participants on the tour, and if neither pay a supplement, then they will be put in a triple room with a shared bathroom (with their own beds of course). If there are 4 participants, it will be two double rooms.
- This tour can be done either in addition to one of our volunteering programs or on a standalone basis .
- The turtles week can be swapped for our Sri Lanka Teaching week instead