SRI LANKA’S BEST PLACES TO VISIT: The Excellent Itinerary

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A perfect Sri Lanka itinerary with 11 spots you cannot miss. Use this itinerary to plan your way through Sigiriya, Ella, Adam's Peak, Arugam Bay and some other off the beaten path places in the country where you will have gorgeous beaches all to yourself! Tips on getting to each spot, accommodation and best things to do in each area included. Click to read now! #SriLanka
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Sri Lanka is an island paradise with unimaginable selection. After years of civil conflict, the riches of this island nation had been left largely ignored by vacationers, however in recent times, increasingly folks have include inquisitive eyes to be enriched by the delicate soul of the Sri Lankan folks, enchanting landscapes, golden seashores and a few of the most flavorful meals in South Asia, if not the World!  

Sri Lanka is correct up there for vacationers in search of a barely off the crushed path vacation spot while nonetheless being straightforward to navigate, budget-friendly, and providing sensational scenes and sounds aplenty! To get an actual really feel for Sri Lanka, we might suggest spending a minimum of two weeks exploring the island nation. Right here is an instance itinerary encompassing a few of our Sri Lanka’s greatest locations to go to!

1. Sigiriya, Dambulla

Sigiriya rock Sri Lanka
For these with a watch for landscapes and topography, Sri Lanka is residence to manicured leafy lawns that unfold for as deep as the attention can penetrate the horizon, and there should not significantly better viewing factors than that atop the comparatively reasonable, 45 minute climb as much as the summit of Pidurangala Rock. Whereas many climb the ever well-liked Sigiriya Rock for the traditional ruins on the prime, Pidurangala Rock (reverse and rather less well-liked) provides sweeping panoramas of each the Sigiriya rock column and the tropical terrain that surrounds it.  

Easy methods to get there:

  • Taking the prepare – From Colombo Fort Station, take prepare quantity 6011 at 06:05am, arriving into Habarana Station at 11:16am. From Habarana Station, you’ll be able to then simply take a tuk-tuk to Sigiriya or most homestays will provide a pickup service for an extra cost if you happen to allow them to know your arrival time upfront. Relying in your choice of ticket class, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay between $2 and $10 a technique.

What to do:

  • Climb Pidurangala Rock for sensational dawn or sundown views, and climb Sigiriya Rock for a peek into the previous.
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  • Discover the encompassing rice terraces that sweep the circumference beneath Pidurangala Rock.
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  • Take a sizzling air balloon experience early morning and think about the rock and surrounding greens of Dambulla from hundreds of ft above.

The place to remain:

  • Inexperienced Home Resort was probably the greatest visitor homes we stayed at throughout our time in Sri Lanka, with inexpensive costs, nice selection of meals, recent and spacious rooms and so they even provide bespoke excursions to match your wants for exploring Dambulla.
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2. Kandy and Ella

sri lanka train journey
Apart from trying out the beautiful botanical gardens of Kandy, the actual cause we had been right here was to catch the well-known prepare experience between Kandy and Ella.

Easy methods to get there:

  • From Sigiriya, take a 20 minute tuktuk experience to the close by city of Dambulla. From right here you’ll be able to catch a bus pretty simply to the city of Kandy from Dambulla Bus Terminal. The buses depart each 30 minutes and the journey takes round Three and a half hours. Tickets for the bus price round $1, nonetheless, through the night the buses do get busy so we might suggest arriving in loads of time or taking an early morning bus as an alternative! The city of Kandy could be very small, when you arrive, ask one of many pleasant native tuk-tuk drivers to take you to the station in time for the subsequent prepare departure to Ella.

Sticking to beautiful Sri Lankan surroundings, it truthfully doesn’t come as thick, quick, and various because the prepare journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya or Ella. Dubbed largely as “essentially the most scenic prepare journey within the World” soar on a prepare from Kandy to the rolling tea valleys of Nuwara Eliya and you may be handled to a few of the most scenic valleys and plantations within the World. The journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is round Four hours, however if you happen to simply can’t get sufficient of the tea valleys, vistas and vivacious curves of the hills that the prepare experience provides, then select to journey an extra 2 and a half hours to the city of Ella.

What to do:

  • Ensure that to snack on Sri Lankan delicacies similar to vegetable samosas or coconut roti which can be supplied up by locals leaping on at every station. The proper aroma to accompany your travels!
  • Sit within the open doorways of the carriages for the most effective seats in the home.
  • Board the much less well-liked prepare at 3am from Kandy for dawn views away from the crowds!

The place to remain:

  • To utterly assure a ticket and board the 3am prepare for dawn views and fewer crowds, keep at Joyspring Hills Guesthouse, who will prepare your early morning tuk-tuk switch to the station if you happen to want it!

3. Ella

nine arch bridge
Operational railway bridges don’t get any extra epic than that of Demodara Bridge in Ella, generally known as ‘9 Arch Bridge’ or “Bridge In The Sky’ on account of its colonial-era, 9 stone structural arches that type its magnificence. Located inside deeply forested terrain, prepare crossings are frequent, a sight to behold, and may be eyed from both the viewpoints at every finish of the observe or from beneath the place you’ll find native women choosing Ceylon tea from the rolling tea plantations.  It’s like a scene from the films!

Easy methods to get there:

  • From the city of Ella, take a tuk-tuk to the 9 Arch Bridge. The probabilities are, the locals know precisely the place you wish to go earlier than the phrases have even rolled off your tongue. We might suggest hiring a tuk-tuk driver for the day, who may also present you Little Adams Peak and a few of the many waterfalls close by!

What to do:

  • Ask an area for the subsequent prepare crossing and wait and watch the class of the prepare passing by way of the valley.
  • Stroll the tracks as soon as the path is evident of the prepare and peer over on the jungle environment.
  • Discover the tea plantations beneath and strike up a dialog with one of many tea women.

The place to remain:

  • 9 Arch View in Ella is each inexpensive and has a few of the greatest balcony views of the bridge beneath. Perched atop on the hillside, awake to the sounds of the prepare crossing and think about the bridge by way of the palm bushes with nobody else round to spoil the view.

4. Adam’s Peak and Little Adam’s Peak

No checklist of gorgeous locations is full with no hike or a trek, however the views ready on the prime of Little Adam’s Peak might make the checklist all by itself! Situated in Ella, the world is famed for its monumental mountain vary and Ceylon aromas dissipating from the tea fields. Any native will level you in the correct route to the beginning of the path from the flower backyard in Ella. Winding by way of the valley with a slight incline the trek doesn’t take lengthy, is comparatively straightforward to navigate and provides sensational sundown or dawn spots to view the peaks, ridges and craggy mountainscape with unparalleled 360 diploma views.

What to do:

  • Take loads of pictures! There are such a lot of spots to shoot the panorama you would possibly wish to plan to take extra time than anticipated to hike the path!
  • Unforgettable sunrises await those that can stand the early alarm clock.
  • Top off on some native snacks together with egg hoppers or vegetable roti and take a picnic to the height. Eat and drink within the panoramas.

If you wish to hike the actual Adam’s Peak, put together for an extended dawn trek, however one which’s definitely worth the effort. You’ll should work in a few further days to get there and again from Ella, however as anybody who has achieved it might let you know, it’s value it in case you have the time. You possibly can learn extra about Adam’s Peak right here.

4. Arugam Bay and Tricomalee

Sri Lanka East Coast

Sri Lanka’s East coast tends to get far fewer guests than the south coast, however if you happen to’re inquisitive about browsing uncrowded waves and hanging in somewhat fishing village with extra probabilities for native interplay, then think about heading to Arugam Bay. It would imply chopping out Mirissa if you happen to’re on a good schedule, but when it had been me, I’d be simply fantastic with that. For logistic’s sake, you’ll in all probability have to select both this cease or cease #5 beneath, except you have got a bit extra time and are keen so as to add in a bit extra touring, which is all the time an journey in Sri Lanka! 

Easy methods to get there:

Take the bus from Ella to Monaragala. From there, you’ll be able to take a direct bus to Panama which stops in Arugam Bay. 

What to do: 

  • Be taught to surf within the waves. 
  • Make a journey to Tricomalee to take a look at Pigeon island. 

The place to remain: 

Hideaway Arugam Bay has the right vibe and many backpackers to hold with. 

Click on right here to learn extra about Sri Lanka’s East Coast. 

6. Udawalawe Nationwide Park:

koggala lake boat sri lanka
All good issues are wild and free. Undoubtedly the most effective place to eye elephants within the WILD is in one of many Nationwide Parks, during which there are 15 of them in Sri Lanka! Sadly, there stays a want to maintain elephants captive to fulfill vacationer want, however this was one of many worst and saddest experiences in Sri Lanka, significantly in Pinnawala. Regardless of how a lot the locals attempt to persuade you that each one initiatives have been created with the elephants’ wellbeing on the forefront, we discovered this to be unfaithful. A tragic elephant equals a tragic expertise.

Nonetheless, in Udawalawe wild encounters are frequent and extra so poignant. These magnificent mammals will depart you mesmerized with recollections to final a lifetime. All of the power and energy in such a delicate large, perhaps there’s one thing we might all study right here. Apart from elephants, the park is a deeply forested space with lakes, jungle-like wildlife and a jeep safari by way of the terrain looking for light giants, in addition to uncommon chook species and different mammals similar to water buffalo and golden jackal is a journey of a lifetime.

Easy methods to get there:

  • The quickest and best technique to get from Ella to Udawalawe Nationwide Park is by taxi. The journey is round 110km and can price you round $36. We might suggest utilizing Taxi Sri Lanka for any journeys inside Sri Lanka.

What to do:

  • Prepare an early morning or night jeep safari for the most effective sitings.
  • Carry a pair of binoculars to get nearer to the motion.
  • AVOID unethical elephant sightings, particularly any sights within the Pinnawala space.

The place to remain:

7. Yala Nationwide Park

yala national park
Lining the Indian Ocean on the jap shores of Sri Lanka, Yala Nationwide Park is a 978.Eight km² forested space residence to a few of Sri Lanka’s most wanted wildlife sightings together with elephants, crocodiles and the king of Yala, the leopard. Though Yala Nationwide Park is among the hottest nationwide parks in Sri Lanka, it is usually one of many largest, that means you can safari for hours with out one other jeep in sight. Go for a complete day safari and you’ll enter the park because the solar peaks above the horizon for the most effective time of the day to identify the leopards and cease for lunch on the seashore the place the salty air will freshen you up earlier than your afternoon jeep safari.

Easy methods to get there:

  • Once more, we might suggest taking a taxi between Udawalawe and Yala Nationwide Parks for the quickest and best routes. The journey time is round 2 hours and you may anticipate to pay roughly $32.

What to do:

  • Maintain your eyes peeled for the three fundamental sightings the park has to supply, the sloth bear, an elephant herd and naturally the leopard.
  • Go for a safari that gives lunch on the seashore. The stretch of seashore is secluded and provides sweeping views throughout the east coast all of the whereas nonetheless positioned throughout the nationwide park.
  • For the most effective sightings of leopards, go for a morning safari. The orange hues of daylight can also be a complete sighting in itself. Be ready for a 4.30am wake-up name nonetheless!

The place to remain:

  • Lodging may be discovered to go well with all budgets, from hostels to tented tenting, all of which may prepare safari excursions to fit your necessities. For these trying to cool off in model after the day’s safari, Jetwing Yala offers the right luxurious retreat.

8. Mirissa

Mirissa coconut palms
Whereas Mirissa stays the preferred vacationer seashore throughout the south coast of Sri Lanka, no person can deny how stunning Coconut Tree Hill is. It’s a 15 minute bike experience from the principle stretch of seashore. Like all stunning areas similar to this, nothing is a secret ceaselessly, and the spot has gotten more and more well-liked during the last two years. Nonetheless, it’s properly value a go to for the view. It’s nearly as if the view has been painted as you view the shore by way of the leafy lush palms.

Easy methods to get there:

  • Take a tuktuk to the close by city of Tissamaharama, this could take round 20 minutes. From the bus terminal right here, buses depart to Mirissa each 30 minutes and take round Four hours. These buses are native buses and most don’t have aircon, so do because the locals do and try to seize your self a window seat!

What to do:

  • Arrive for a spectacular dawn to keep away from the picture op queue! You should have the place to your self for a minimum of an hour or so to absorb the view of the surfers catching waves by way of the palms. 
  • After dawn, head to the native jaunt on the backside of the hill to have breakfast in a cabana with the view of the shore and the sloping palms lining the façade. Attempt the native Kiribath (milk rice with banana) or coconut pancake.
  • After getting roamed the hilltop for some time, maintain strolling across the hill to discover a secluded stretch of seashore to lap up the waves with not one other particular person in sight.

The place to remain:

  • Hill Home Mirissa is among the most worth for cash visitor homes we stayed at in Sri Lanka. A welcoming host awaits who offers you loads of data for issues to do within the space, together with spots off the crushed path.

9. Weligama

Weligama bike ride
Weligama means sandy village, which is fairly apt in reality! Weligama has made the checklist as probably the greatest examples of a fishing city in Sri Lanka which stays comparatively quiet in relation to its southern seashore counterparts, all of the whereas nonetheless providing guests numerous actions to maintain busy. Vacationers come for the surf, with shops providing surf classes for novices with a sprawling view of the shoreline to match. Weligama is rising in popularity whereas the phrase of its coves and coast spreads, so be sure you verify it as quickly as you’ll be able to!

Easy methods to get there:

  • Only a brief journey down the coast from Mirissa, there are such a lot of methods to get between the 2 cities! Our favorite approach of journey alongside the south coast is on a conventional fishermans bike, so strap your rucksack to your again and begin peddling! When you don’t cease alongside the best way on the many scrumptious meals stalls, you’ll be able to anticipate to reach inside 40 minutes!

What to do:

  • Lease conventional fishing bikes from the Spindrifters Hostel positioned in the principle city and discover the city and sprawling stretch of sand the native approach!
  • Hit the waves whether or not you’re a novice or a professional! The situations on the south coast don’t come significantly better for it.
  • Attempt the native fish curry as you watch the solar go down!

The place to remain:

  • The Spindrift Hostel is barely two years new and provides each bunks and personal rooms relying on choice, positioned inside strolling distance to the seashore and provides conventional fishing bikes to get round.

10. Ahangama

Ahangama fishing village
The fantastic thing about Ahangama is the laid again way of living away from the vacationer cities! Situated within the Southern Province and about 20 minutes from the favored city of Galle, Ahangama is a much less visited stretch of shoreline within the South providing a extra native technique to expertise the shores. The sleepy city provides secluded seashores, native jaunts and the chance to view the distinctiveness of conventional stilt fishing famed all through Sri Lanka.

Easy methods to get there:

  • When you don’t fancy grabbing your pushbike, tuk-tuks are an effective way of getting round and you may even be your individual driver and hire a whole tuk-tuk to discover the south coast!

What to do:

  • Stroll the shores of the city to view conventional stilt fishing.
  • Make a journey to Koggala Lake.
  • Lease a self-drive tuk-tuk and discover the seashores of the Southern Coast

The place to remain:

  • Freeze On Seaside Hostel is positioned immediately on the seashore and though primary, who doesn’t wish to get up in a comfortable cabin or tree home to the sights of dawn and sounds of the waves kissing the shore!

11. Koggala Lake, South Coast:

koggala lake boat ride

Whereas many go to the South Coast for its golden stretches of sand (and rightly so), be sure you make the brief distance inland from the shore and expertise the majesty and magnificence of Koggala Lake. Penetrated by misty jungle, the lagoon outflows to the Indian Ocean and is made up of eight ecologically wealthy islets, a few of which may be greatest explored by boat such because the spice gardens of Cinnamon island.

Easy methods to get there:

  • We’re assuming after we’ve simply advised you you could drive your individual tuktuk that thats precisely what you’ve achieved, but when not, then rent an area to take you on the 20 minute journey.

What to do:

  • Prepare a ship experience across the lake and take within the sights and sounds of “fruitbat island” the place a rhythmical clap of arms will whip the fruitbats right into a sightseeing frenzy.
  • Take a journey by way of Sri Lankan spices on Cinnamon Island and have the chance to take a style of Sri Lanka residence with you from coriander, spice powder or aloe vera produce.
  • Go to Tri Lanka Resort through the day to sip within the views with a drink in hand of their open lounge or take a dip within the infinity pool with sweeping lake views.

The place to remain:

  • Sanford Visitor Home is positioned close by in Ahangama and arranges boat excursions and transfers to the lake, or for these with a deeper pocket, there may be the chance to remain at Tri Lanka positioned on the coronary heart of the lake.

Right here’s a map with all the spots talked about above, plus the really useful lodging that will help you plan your journey:

Whereas it’s loads to absorb, contemplating Sri Lanka is larger than meets the attention, you’ll be able to in all probability see that there’s no dangerous place to go and no fallacious technique to take pleasure in Sri Lanka. This itinerary has all of our favorites unfold over Three authors and three visits. We hope you take pleasure in Sri Lanka’s greatest locations to go to. 

Traveling to Sri Lanka? Here are 11 things you must not miss! this perfect itinerary covers the most loved areas in the country, as well as some off the beaten path spots that see little tourists. Get tips on transportation, accommodation, and the best things to do in each area. Click to read now! #SriLanka
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Concerning the Authors: Charlie and Charlotte are the wanderlusting couple behind The Wanderlovers. Three years in the past they ditched their metropolis jobs and have turned their ardour for journey into a way of life documenting their adventures over on Instagram, hoping to encourage future vacationers that something is feasible if you happen to simply purchase that a technique ticket … Go Dwell!

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