This twin-centre itinerary offers the chance to discover the world-class diving sites of the Maldives, followed by time in Sri Lanka with its captivating mix of ancient architecture, rich culture and natural beauty.
The adventure begins in Malé as you embark your liveaboard for a week of diving in the Maldives. Here you can expect a variety of diving experiences and encounters with sharks, rays and turtles, as well as plenty of colourful marine life on the reefs.
The second week is spent discovering the exotic island of Sri Lanka. You will head north and split your time between Anuradhapura and Sigiriya - both long-established UNESCO World Heritage sites - visiting national parks renowned for spectacular wildlife viewing and ancient cities. It’s a journey of discovery!
The itinerary below is based on a week long ‘Best of Maldives’ trip on board the Carpe Novo Explorer. Please contact us for suggested itineraries on alternative liveaboards and ideas to create your tailor-made journey in Sri Lanka.
Day1: Depart the UK for the Maldives
Day2: Arrive Malé and transfer to liveaboard
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your chosen liveaboard. Check in to your cabin for a seven night diving adventure in the central atolls of the Maldives.
Days3-8: Dive the Maldives
Your diving package begins today. Enjoy up to three guided dives a day on a variety of sites in carefully selected spots during your itinerary, which is planned according to local conditions.
Expect plenty of diving highlights and excitement in this world-class destination including memorable encounters with whale sharks, manta rays and nurse sharks. In addition to this look out for a plethora of marine life large and small on the colourful reefs, overhangs and channels.
Day9: Disembark and travel to Sri Lanka
This morning you will be transferred back to the airport for your short flight to Sri Lanka. You will be met on arrival and transferred north to the Forest Rock Garden in Anuradhapura, for a three night stay. Rest of day at leisure.
Day10: Visit Wilpattu National Park
Up early to enjoy a 4x4 jeep safari to Wilpattu, a national park since 1938. The park features numerous lakes where many species of wildlife can be seen, most notably leopard and Sri Lankan sloth bear. In addition to these and other mammals, the park is home to a number of wetland bird species and reptiles such as the monitor lizard.
Day11: Anuradhapura and Mihintale Temple
Today you will visit Anuradhapura, the old capital and most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the city's greatest treasures and renowned relics, before continuing to Mihintale, considered by local Buddhists to be one of the most important and sacred places.
Day12: Transfer to Sigiriya
After breakfast you will be transferred to your next accommodation at the Aliya Resort & Spa in Sigiriya for a three night stay. Rest of day at leisure.
Day13: Visit Minneriya National Park
An early start today to enjoy a 4x4 jeep safari in Minneriya National Park. The park features a wide range of habitats, the most prominent being the Minneriya Tank, a huge reservoir and largest known meeting place of the Asian elephant. The dry season offers the best opportunity to observe large herds of these amazing animals as they come to bathe and graze.
Day14: Discover Sigiriya Rock Temple
Today you will have the opportunity to visit the famous fortress of Sigiriya, perhaps the greatest wonder found in Sri Lanka. Located in the centre of the island, the spectacular rock rises to a height of 150 metres above the surrounding plains, where a flat topped summit features the ruins of an ancient civilisation. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must visit.
Day15: Depart Sri Lanka
Enjoy your morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
Day16: Arrive UK
You should note: We feature a number of liveaboards in the Maldives and can tailor-make your Sri Lanka adventure to your personal needs. Please discuss your requirements and the options with your Dive consultant.
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 16 daysfrom £3,625 pp
When to go: Jan-Dec: May to Oct best for wildlife viewing in northern Sri Lanka
Included in the price/package:
Return flights from the UK
7 nights liveaboard (full board)
Up to 18 dives
Tanks and weights
6 nights hotel (half board)
Two 4x4 safari trips
Two cultural excursions
The central region comprises Malé and Ari atolls, Felidhoo, Faafu and the smaller Rasdhoo Atoll. It is the most popular area for both dive resorts and liveaboards, with excellent shore diving from house reefs and large pelagics on drift dives.
Ideal for viewing: whale shark, grey reef shark, napoleon wrasse, spotted eagle ray, reef manta ray
Excellent for: Liveaboard diving, Resort based diving, Group diving, Shark diving, Whale shark, Manta ray, Learn to dive, Shore diving, Snorkelling, Underwater photography
Wilpattu National Park is located on Sri Lanka's northwest coast close to the sacred city of Anuradhapura. The park features natural lakes and is home to 30 species of mammal, wetland birds and reptiles.
Ideal for viewing: Leopard, Sri Lankan sloth bear, spotted deer, purple heron, mugger crocodile
Excellent for: Diving & adventure
This small national park forms part of the elephant corridor in the north central plains of Sri Lanka and, with a wide range of habitat types, boasts a plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities.
Ideal for viewing: Asian elephant, purple-faced leaf monkey, Indian grey mongoose, Ceylon grey hornbill, rufous woodpecker
Excellent for: Diving & adventure
This itinerary is available on the liveaboard shown below.
Please contact us for further recommendations.
The latest edition to the Carpe Diem fleet, the luxurious Carpe Novo cruises the very best sites of the central and southern atolls of the Maldives throughout the year, offering exceptional service and diving experiences.
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
Surrounded by a lush verdant landscape, this modern property is located in the central province with uninterrupted views of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic monuments.
Located near Wilpattu National Park in the north central province of Sri Lanka, this boutique property is surrounded by natural wilderness, offering a tranquil environment and an experience like no other.