SRI LANKA’S BEST PLACES TO VISIT: The Good 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 unbelievable selection. After years of civil conflict, the riches of this island nation have been left largely ignored by vacationers, however lately, an increasing number of individuals have include inquisitive eyes to be enriched by the mushy soul of the Sri Lankan individuals, enchanting landscapes, golden seashores and among the most flavorful meals in South Asia, if not the World!  

Sri Lanka is true up there for vacationers searching for a barely off the crushed path vacation spot while nonetheless being simple to navigate, budget-friendly, and providing sensational scenes and sounds aplenty! To get an actual really feel for Sri Lanka, we’d advocate spending no less than two weeks exploring the island nation. Right here is an instance itinerary encompassing a few of our Sri Lanka’s finest 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 are usually not a lot better viewing factors than that atop the comparatively average, 45 minute climb as much as the summit of Pidurangala Rock. Whereas many climb the ever common Sigiriya Rock for the traditional ruins on the high, Pidurangala Rock (reverse and rather less common) gives sweeping panoramas of each the Sigiriya rock column and the tropical terrain that surrounds it.  

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 may then simply take a tuk-tuk to Sigiriya or most homestays will supply a pickup service for a further cost should you allow them to know your arrival time upfront. Relying in your desire of ticket class, you may anticipate to pay between $2 and $10 a method.

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 scorching air balloon journey early morning and examine the rock and surrounding greens of Dambulla from hundreds of toes above.

The place to remain:

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

sri lanka train journey
Other than trying out the beautiful botanical gardens of Kandy, the actual motive we have been right here was to catch the well-known prepare journey between Kandy and Ella.

Methods to get there:

  • From Sigiriya, take a 20 minute tuktuk journey to the close by city of Dambulla. From right here you may 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, in the course of the night the buses do get busy so we’d advocate arriving in loads of time or taking an early morning bus as an alternative! The city of Kandy may 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 following prepare departure to Ella.

Sticking to beautiful Sri Lankan surroundings, it truthfully doesn’t come as thick, quick, and assorted because the prepare journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya or Ella. Dubbed largely as “probably the most scenic prepare journey within the World” soar on a prepare from Kandy to the rolling tea valleys of Nuwara Eliya and you’ll be handled to among the most scenic valleys and plantations within the World. The journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is round Four hours, however should you simply can’t get sufficient of the tea valleys, vistas and vivacious curves of the hills that the prepare journey gives, 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 provided 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 common 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 should you 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’ as a result 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 will be eyed from both the viewpoints at every finish of the observe or from beneath the place you will discover native women choosing Ceylon tea from the rolling tea plantations.  It’s like a scene from the flicks!

Methods to get there:

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

What to do:

  • Ask an area for the following 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 obvious 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 reasonably priced and has among the finest balcony views of the bridge beneath. Perched atop on the hillside, awake to the sounds of the prepare crossing and examine the bridge by way of the palm timber 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 high of Little Adam’s Peak may make the checklist all by itself! Positioned in Ella, the realm is famed for its monumental mountain vary and Ceylon aromas dissipating from the tea fields. Any native will level you in the precise course 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 simple to navigate and gives 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.
  • Refill 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 well worth the effort. You’ll must work in a few additional days to get there and again from Ella, however as anybody who has achieved it might probably inform you, it’s price it when you have the time. You may 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 should you’re keen on browsing uncrowded waves and hanging in a bit fishing village with extra possibilities for native interplay, then contemplate heading to Arugam Bay. It’d imply reducing out Mirissa should you’re on a decent schedule, but when it have been me, I’d be simply effective with that. For logistic’s sake, you’ll in all probability have to choose both this cease or cease #5 beneath, until you’ve got a bit extra time and are prepared so as to add in a bit extra touring, which is at all times an journey in Sri Lanka! 

Methods to get there:

Take the bus from Ella to Monaragala. From there, you may 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 plenty of 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, through 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.

Nevertheless, in Udawalawe wild encounters are frequent and extra so poignant. These magnificent mammals will go away you mesmerized with reminiscences to final a lifetime. All of the power and energy in such a mild large, perhaps there’s one thing we may all be taught right here. Other than 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.

Methods to get there:

  • The quickest and best solution to get from Ella to Udawalawe Nationwide Park is by taxi. The journey is round 110km and can price you round $36. We’d advocate 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 points of interest within the Pinnawala space.

The place to remain:

7. Yala Nationwide Park

yala national park
Lining the Indian Ocean on the japanese 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 without doubt one of the hottest nationwide parks in Sri Lanka, it is usually one of many largest, which means you could possibly safari for hours with out one other jeep in sight. Go for an entire 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 seaside the place the salty air will freshen you up earlier than your afternoon jeep safari.

Methods to get there:

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

What to do:

  • Preserve your eyes peeled for the three major 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 seaside. The stretch of seaside is secluded and gives 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 be an entire sighting in itself. Be ready for a 4.30am wake-up name nonetheless!

The place to remain:

  • Lodging will be discovered to swimsuit 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 type after the day’s safari, Jetwing Yala offers the right luxurious retreat.

8. Mirissa

Mirissa coconut palms
Whereas Mirissa stays the most well-liked vacationer seaside throughout the south coast of Sri Lanka, no one can deny how stunning Coconut Tree Hill is. It’s a 15 minute bike journey from the principle stretch of seaside. Like all stunning places similar to this, nothing is a secret endlessly, and the spot has gotten more and more common over the past two years. Nonetheless, it’s nicely price a go to for the view. It’s virtually as if the view has been painted as you view the shore by way of the leafy lush palms.

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 air conditioning, so do because the locals do and attempt to seize your self a window seat!

What to do:

  • Arrive for a spectacular dawn to keep away from the picture op queue! You’ll have the place to your self for no less than an hour or so to soak up 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. Strive the native Kiribath (milk rice with banana) or coconut pancake.
  • After getting roamed the hilltop for some time, hold strolling across the hill to discover a secluded stretch of seaside to lap up the waves with not one other individual in sight.

The place to remain:

  • Hill Home Mirissa is without doubt one of the most worth for cash visitor homes we stayed at in Sri Lanka. A welcoming host awaits who provides you with 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 the truth is! Weligama has made the checklist as among the best examples of a fishing city in Sri Lanka which stays comparatively quiet in relation to its southern seaside counterparts, all of the whereas nonetheless providing guests numerous actions to maintain busy. Vacationers come for the surf, with retailers 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 examine it as quickly as you may!

Methods to get there:

  • Only a quick journey down the coast from Mirissa, there are such a lot of methods to get between the 2 cities! Our favorite manner 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 way in which on the many scrumptious meals stalls, you may 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 manner!
  • Hit the waves whether or not you’re a novice or a professional! The circumstances on the south coast don’t come a lot better for it.
  • Strive the native fish curry as you watch the solar go down!

The place to remain:

  • The Spindrift Hostel is simply two years new and gives each bunks and personal rooms relying on desire, positioned inside strolling distance to the seaside and gives conventional fishing bikes to get round.

10. Ahangama

Ahangama fishing village
The fantastic thing about Ahangama is the laid again lifestyle away from the vacationer cities! Positioned 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 solution to expertise the shores. The sleepy city gives secluded seashores, native jaunts and the chance to view the distinctiveness of conventional stilt fishing famed all through Sri Lanka.

Methods to get there:

  • When you don’t fancy grabbing your pushbike, tuk-tuks are a good way of getting round and you’ll even be your personal driver and lease 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 straight on the seaside 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 quick 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 will be finest explored by boat such because the spice gardens of Cinnamon island.

Methods to get there:

  • We’re assuming after we’ve simply advised you that you may drive your personal 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 journey 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 in the course of 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’s the chance to remain at Tri Lanka positioned on the coronary heart of the lake.

Right here’s a map with the entire spots talked about above, plus the advisable lodging that can assist you plan your journey:

Whereas it’s lots to soak up, contemplating Sri Lanka is greater than meets the attention, you may in all probability see that there’s no dangerous place to go and no mistaken solution to get pleasure from Sri Lanka. This itinerary has all of our favorites unfold over Three authors and three visits. We hope you get pleasure from Sri Lanka’s finest 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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In regards to 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 life-style documenting their adventures over on Instagram, hoping to encourage future vacationers that something is feasible should you simply purchase that a method ticket … Go Reside!

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