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 struggle, the riches of this island nation had been left largely ignored by vacationers, however in recent times, an increasing number of folks have include inquisitive eyes to be enriched by the tender soul of the Sri Lankan folks, enchanting landscapes, golden seashores and among the most flavorful meals in South Asia, if not the World!  

Sri Lanka is correct up there for vacationers searching for 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’d advocate 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 an eye fixed 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 usually are 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) gives sweeping panoramas of each the Sigiriya rock column and the tropical terrain that surrounds it.  

Find out how 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 possibly can then simply take a tuk-tuk to Sigiriya or most homestays will supply a pickup service for an extra cost in the event you allow them to know your arrival time prematurely. Relying in your choice of ticket class, you possibly can count on 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 encircling rice terraces that sweep the circumference beneath Pidurangala Rock.
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  • Take a scorching air balloon experience early morning and consider the rock and surrounding greens of Dambulla from 1000’s of toes above.

The place to remain:

  • Inexperienced Home Resort was the most effective visitor homes we stayed at throughout our time in Sri Lanka, with reasonably priced costs, nice selection of meals, recent and spacious rooms they usually 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 gorgeous botanical gardens of Kandy, the true cause we had been right here was to catch the well-known prepare experience between Kandy and Ella.

Find out how to get there:

  • From Sigiriya, take a 20 minute tuktuk experience to the close by city of Dambulla. From right here you possibly can 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’d advocate 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 following prepare departure to Ella.

Sticking to gorgeous Sri Lankan surroundings, it truthfully doesn’t come as thick, quick, and diversified because the prepare journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya or Ella. Dubbed largely as “probably the most scenic prepare journey within the World” leap on a prepare from Kandy to the rolling tea valleys of Nuwara Eliya and you may 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 in the event you simply can’t get sufficient of the tea valleys, vistas and vivacious curves of the hills that the prepare experience gives, then select to journey an additional 2 and a half hours to the city of Ella.

What to do:

  • Make sure that to snack on Sri Lankan delicacies resembling vegetable samosas or coconut roti which might be supplied up by locals leaping on at every station. The right aroma to accompany your travels!
  • Sit within the open doorways of the carriages for one of the best 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 completely assure a ticket and board the 3am prepare for dawn views and fewer crowds, keep at Joyspring Hills Guesthouse, who will organize your early morning tuk-tuk switch to the station in the event 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 consequence of its colonial-era, 9 stone structural arches that kind 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 monitor or from beneath the place you can find native girls choosing Ceylon tea from the rolling tea plantations.  It’s like a scene from the films!

Find out how 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 need 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 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 magnificence of the prepare passing by 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 girls.

The place to remain:

  • 9 Arch View in Ella is each reasonably priced and has among the greatest balcony views of the bridge beneath. Perched atop on the hillside, awake to the sounds of the prepare crossing and consider the bridge by the palm bushes with nobody else round to spoil the view.

4. Adam’s Peak and Little Adam’s Peak

No checklist of lovely locations is full and not using a hike or a trek, however the views ready on the prime of Little Adam’s Peak may 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 fitting path to the beginning of the path from the flower backyard in Ella. Winding by the valley with a slight incline the trek doesn’t take lengthy, is comparatively straightforward 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 may need to plan to take extra time than anticipated to hike the path!
  • Unforgettable sunrises await those that can stand the early alarm clock.
  • Replenish 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 true Adam’s Peak, put together for an extended dawn trek, however one which’s definitely worth the effort. You’ll must work in a few further days to get there and again from Ella, however as anybody who has carried out it will possibly let you know, it’s value 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 in the event you’re all in favour of browsing uncrowded waves and hanging in a bit of fishing village with extra probabilities for native interplay, then take into account heading to Arugam Bay. It’d imply slicing out Mirissa in the event you’re on a good schedule, but when it had been me, I’d be simply effective with that. For logistic’s sake, you’ll most likely have to select both this cease or cease #5 beneath, until you could have a bit extra time and are prepared so as to add in a bit extra touring, which is all the time an journey in Sri Lanka! 

Find out how to get there:

Take the bus from Ella to Monaragala. From there, you possibly can 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 one of the best 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 need to maintain elephants captive to fulfill vacationer need, however this was one of many worst and saddest experiences in Sri Lanka, notably in Pinnawala. Irrespective of how a lot the locals attempt to persuade you that every one tasks 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 depart you mesmerized with reminiscences to final a lifetime. All of the power and energy in such a mild big, perhaps there’s one thing we may all study right here. Other than elephants, the park is a deeply forested space with lakes, jungle-like wildlife and a jeep safari by the terrain looking for mild giants, in addition to uncommon chicken species and different mammals resembling water buffalo and golden jackal is a journey of a lifetime.

Find out how to get there:

  • The quickest and best strategy 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 one of the best sitings.
  • Deliver 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, which means you may 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 one of the best 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.

Find out how 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 may count on to pay roughly $32.

What to do:

  • Hold 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 seaside. The stretch of seaside is secluded and gives sweeping views throughout the east coast all of the whereas nonetheless situated inside the nationwide park.
  • For one of the best sightings of leopards, go for a morning safari. The orange hues of daylight can 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 might organize safari excursions to fit your necessities. For these trying to cool off in fashion after the day’s safari, Jetwing Yala gives 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 person can deny how lovely Coconut Tree Hill is. It’s a 15 minute bike experience from the primary stretch of seaside. Like all lovely places resembling this, nothing is a secret endlessly, and the spot has gotten more and more well-liked during the last two years. Nonetheless, it’s nicely value a go to for the view. It’s virtually as if the view has been painted as you view the shore by the leafy lush palms.

Find out how 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 photograph 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 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.
  • Upon getting roamed the hilltop for some time, maintain strolling across the hill to discover a secluded stretch of seaside 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 truth! Weligama has made the checklist as the most effective 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 gaining popularity whereas the phrase of its coves and coast spreads, so make sure to examine it as quickly as you possibly can!

Find out how 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! In the event you don’t cease alongside the way in which on the many scrumptious meals stalls, you possibly can count on to reach inside 40 minutes!

What to do:

  • Hire conventional fishing bikes from the Spindrifters Hostel situated in the primary 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 significantly better for it.
  • Strive the native fish curry as you watch the solar go down!

The place to remain:

  • The Spindrift Hostel is just two years new and gives each bunks and personal rooms relying on choice, situated 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! 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 strategy to expertise the shores. The sleepy city gives secluded seashores, native jaunts and the chance to view the individuality of conventional stilt fishing famed all through Sri Lanka.

Find out how to get there:

  • In the event you don’t fancy grabbing your pushbike, tuk-tuks are a good way of getting round and you may 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.
  • Hire a self-drive tuk-tuk and discover the seashores of the Southern Coast

The place to remain:

  • Freeze On Seaside Hostel is situated straight on the seaside and though fundamental, who doesn’t need to get up in a comfy 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), make sure to 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 may be greatest explored by boat such because the spice gardens of Cinnamon island.

Find out how to get there:

  • We’re assuming after we’ve simply instructed you that you could drive your personal tuktuk that thats precisely what you’ve carried out, 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 palms will whip the fruitbats right into a sightseeing frenzy.
  • Take a journey by 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 situated 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 situated on the coronary heart of the lake.

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

Whereas it’s quite a bit to absorb, contemplating Sri Lanka is greater than meets the attention, you possibly can most likely see that there’s no unhealthy place to go and no incorrect strategy 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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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 way of life documenting their adventures over on Instagram, hoping to encourage future vacationers that something is feasible in the event you simply purchase that a technique ticket … Go Reside!

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