Pin me!Sri Lanka is an island paradise with unbelievable selection. After years of civil struggle, the riches of this island nation have been left largely ignored by vacationers, however in recent times, 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 a few of 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 overwhelmed 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 no less than 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
For these with an eye fixed for landscapes and topography, Sri Lanka is house to manicured leafy lawns that unfold for as deep as the attention can penetrate the horizon, and there should 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) presents sweeping panoramas of each the Sigiriya rock column and the tropical terrain that surrounds it.  
Methods to get there:
Taking the practice – From Colombo Fort Station, take practice 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 prematurely. Relying in your desire of ticket class, you’ll be able to count on 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.
Discover the encircling rice terraces that sweep the circumference under Pidurangala Rock.
Take a sizzling air balloon experience early morning and consider the rock and surrounding greens of Dambulla from 1000’s of ft above.
The place to remain:
Inexperienced Home Resort was the most effective 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.
2. Kandy and Ella
Except for trying out the gorgeous botanical gardens of Kandy, the true cause we have been right here was to catch the well-known practice experience between Kandy and Ella.
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, nevertheless, in the course of 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 following practice departure to Ella.
Sticking to gorgeous Sri Lankan surroundings, it actually doesn’t come as thick, quick, and diverse because the practice journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya or Ella. Dubbed largely as “probably the most scenic practice journey within the World” bounce on a practice from Kandy to the rolling tea valleys of Nuwara Eliya and you can 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 practice experience presents, then select to journey an extra 2 and a half hours to the city of Ella.
What to do:
Be sure to snack on Sri Lankan delicacies resembling vegetable samosas or coconut roti which are provided up by locals leaping on at every station. The right aroma to accompany your travels!
Sit within the open doorways of the carriages for the perfect seats in the home.
Board the much less common practice at 3am from Kandy for dawn views away from the crowds!
The place to remain:
To utterly assure a ticket and board the 3am practice for dawn views and fewer crowds, keep at Joyspring Hills Guesthouse, who will organize your early morning tuk-tuk switch to the station if you happen to want it!
three. Ella
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’ attributable to its colonial-era, 9 stone structural arches that type its magnificence. Located inside deeply forested terrain, practice crossings are frequent, a sight to behold, and will be eyed from both the viewpoints at every finish of the monitor or from under the place you can find native girls 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 probabilities are, the locals know precisely the place you wish to go earlier than the phrases have even rolled off your tongue. We’d suggest hiring a tuk-tuk driver for the day, who may present you Little Adam’s Peak and a few of the many waterfalls close by!
What to do:
Ask an area for the following practice crossing and wait and watch the magnificence of the practice passing by way of the valley.
Stroll the tracks as soon as the path is obvious of the practice and peer over on the jungle environment.
Discover the tea plantations under and strike up a dialog with one of many tea girls.
The place to remain:
9 Arch View in Ella is each inexpensive and has a few of the greatest balcony views of the bridge under. Perched atop on the hillside, awake to the sounds of the practice crossing and consider the bridge by way of the palm bushes with nobody else round to spoil the view.
four. Adam’s Peak and Little Adam’s Peak

No listing of gorgeous locations is full with out a hike or a trek, however the views ready on the high of Little Adam’s Peak may make the listing 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 proper 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 presents 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 wish 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 should work in a few additional days to get there and again from Ella, however as anybody who has completed it may possibly let you know, it’s value it you probably have the time. You possibly can learn extra about Adam’s Peak right here.
four. Arugam Bay and Trincomalee

Sri Lanka’s East coast tends to get far fewer guests than the south coast, however if you happen to’re considering browsing uncrowded waves and hanging in a bit of fishing village with extra possibilities for native interplay, then contemplate heading to Arugam Bay. It’d imply chopping out Mirissa if you happen to’re on a good schedule, but when it have been me, I’d be simply fantastic with that. For logistic’s sake, you’ll most likely have to choose both this cease or cease #5 under, except you will have a bit extra time and are keen 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’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 Trincomalee 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:
All good issues are wild and free. Undoubtedly the perfect place to eye elephants within the WILD is in one of many Nationwide Parks, wherein 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 every 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 go away you mesmerized with reminiscences to final a lifetime. All of the energy and energy in such a mild large, perhaps there’s one thing we may all be taught right here. Except for elephants, the park is a deeply forested space with lakes, jungle-like natural world and a jeep safari by way of the terrain seeking mild giants, in addition to uncommon chicken species and different mammals resembling water buffalo and golden jackal is a journey of a lifetime.
Methods to get there:
The quickest and best method to get from Ella to Udawalawe Nationwide Park is by taxi. The journey is round 110km and can price you round $36. We’d suggest utilizing Taxi Sri Lanka for any journeys inside Sri Lanka.
What to do:
Prepare an early morning or night jeep safari for the perfect sitings.
Convey 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
Lining the Indian Ocean on the jap shores of Sri Lanka, Yala Nationwide Park is a 978.eight km² forested space house 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 likely one of the hottest nationwide parks in Sri Lanka, additionally it is one of many largest, which means you might 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 perfect 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.
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 count on to pay roughly $32.
What to do:
Preserve your eyes peeled for the three principal 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 presents sweeping views throughout the east coast all of the whereas nonetheless situated inside the nationwide park.
For the perfect sightings of leopards, go for a morning safari. The orange hues of daylight can be a complete sighting in itself. Be ready for a four.30am wake-up name nevertheless!
The place to remain:
Lodging will be discovered to swimsuit all budgets, from hostels to tented tenting, all of which may organize safari excursions to fit your necessities. For these seeking to cool off in fashion after the day’s safari, Jetwing Yala gives the right luxurious retreat.
eight. Mirissa
Whereas Mirissa stays the most well-liked vacationer seashore throughout the south coast of Sri Lanka, no one 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 resembling this, nothing is a secret without end, and the spot has gotten more and more common over the past two years. Nonetheless, it’s effectively 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.
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’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. Attempt the native Kiribath (milk rice with banana) or coconut pancake.
After getting roamed the hilltop for some time, preserve 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 likely one of 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 overwhelmed path.
9. Weligama
Weligama means sandy village, which is fairly apt in reality! Weligama has made the listing as the most effective 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 varied 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’ll be able to!
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 means of journey alongside the south coast is on a standard fishermans bike, so strap your rucksack to your again and begin peddling! If you happen to don’t cease alongside the way in which on the many scrumptious meals stalls, you’ll be able to count on to reach inside 40 minutes!
What to do:
Lease conventional fishing bikes from the Spindrifters Hostel situated in the principle city and discover the city and sprawling stretch of sand the native means!
Hit the waves whether or not you’re a novice or a professional! The situations on the south coast don’t come a lot better for it.
Attempt the native fish curry as you watch the solar go down!
The place to remain:
The Spindrift Hostel is simply two years new and presents each bunks and personal rooms relying on desire, situated inside strolling distance to the seashore and presents conventional fishing bikes to get round.
10. Ahangama
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 method to expertise the shores. The sleepy city presents secluded seashores, native jaunts and the chance to view the individuality of conventional stilt fishing famed all through Sri Lanka.
Methods to get there:
If you happen to 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.
Lease a self-drive tuk-tuk and discover the seashores of the Southern Coast
The place to remain:
Freeze On Seaside Hostel is situated instantly on the seashore and though fundamental, 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:

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 will be greatest explored by boat such because the spice gardens of Cinnamon island.
Methods to get there:
We’re assuming after we’ve simply informed you which you can drive your personal tuktuk that thats precisely what you’ve completed, 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 house 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 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 advisable lodging that will help you plan your journey:

Whereas it’s quite a bit to soak up, contemplating Sri Lanka is larger than meets the attention, you’ll be able to most likely see that there’s no unhealthy place to go and no improper method 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 greatest locations to go to. 
Pin me!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 if you happen to simply purchase that a method ticket … Go Stay!
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