Pin me!Sri Lanka is an island paradise with unbelievable selection. After years of civil battle, 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 smooth 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 on the lookout 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’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
For these with a watch 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 are usually not a lot 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.  
The best way 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 possibly can then simply take a tuk-tuk to Sigiriya or most homestays will supply a pickup service for an extra cost should 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 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 encompassing rice terraces that sweep the circumference under Pidurangala Rock.
Take a scorching air balloon experience early morning and look at the rock and surrounding greens of Dambulla from hundreds of toes above.
The place to remain:
Inexperienced Home Resort was probably the greatest visitor homes we stayed at throughout our time in Sri Lanka, with reasonably priced costs, nice selection of meals, contemporary and spacious rooms and so they even supply bespoke excursions to match your wants for exploring Dambulla.
2. Kandy and Ella
Apart from testing the beautiful botanical gardens of Kandy, the actual motive we have been right here was to catch the well-known practice experience between Kandy and Ella.
The best way 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, throughout the night the buses do get busy so we’d advocate arriving in loads of time or taking an early morning bus as a substitute! 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 beautiful Sri Lankan surroundings, it truthfully doesn’t come as thick, quick, and assorted because the practice journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya or Ella. Dubbed largely as “essentially the most scenic practice journey within the World” leap 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 should you simply can’t get sufficient of the tea valleys, vistas and vivacious curves of the hills that the practice 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 akin to 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 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 should you 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’ resulting from its colonial-era, 9 stone structural arches that kind its magnificence. Located inside deeply forested terrain, practice crossings are frequent, a sight to behold, and could be eyed from both the viewpoints at every finish of the monitor or from under the place you’ll discover native girls choosing Ceylon tea from the rolling tea plantations.  It’s like a scene from the flicks!
The best way 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 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 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 means 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 reasonably priced 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 look at the bridge by means of the palm timber with nobody else round to spoil the view.
four. Adam’s Peak and Little Adam’s Peak

No record of gorgeous locations is full with out a hike or a trek, however the views ready on the prime of Little Adam’s Peak might make the record 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 route to the beginning of the path from the flower backyard in Ella. Winding by means 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 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.
Fill up 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 accomplished it might probably let you know, it’s value it when you have the time. You possibly can learn extra about Adam’s Peak right here.
four. Arugam Bay and Tricomalee

Sri Lanka’s East coast tends to get far fewer guests than the south coast, however should you’re involved in browsing uncrowded waves and hanging in a bit fishing village with extra probabilities for native interplay, then contemplate heading to Arugam Bay. It would imply reducing out Mirissa should you’re on a decent schedule, but when it have been me, I’d be simply nice with that. For logistic’s sake, you’ll most likely have to choose both this cease or cease #5 under, except you’ve 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! 
The best way 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 proper 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 one of the best 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 each 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.
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 power and energy in such a delicate big, 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 natural world and a jeep safari by means of the terrain in quest of mild giants, in addition to uncommon fowl species and different mammals akin to water buffalo and golden jackal is a journey of a lifetime.
The best way to get there:
The quickest and best approach 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:
Organize an early morning or night jeep safari for one of the best 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
Lining the Indian Ocean on the japanese 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 without doubt one of the hottest nationwide parks in Sri Lanka, it’s also one of many largest, that means you would 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 one of the best 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.
The best way 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:
Preserve your eyes peeled for the three predominant 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 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 an entire sighting in itself. Be ready for a four.30am wake-up name nonetheless!
The place to remain:
Lodging could be discovered to swimsuit all budgets, from hostels to tented tenting, all of which may organize safari excursions to fit your necessities. For these trying to cool off in type after the day’s safari, Jetwing Yala offers the proper luxurious retreat.
eight. Mirissa
Whereas Mirissa stays the most well-liked 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 primary stretch of seashore. Like all stunning places akin to this, nothing is a secret eternally, and the spot has gotten more and more well-liked over the past 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 means of the leafy lush palms.
The best way 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 try 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 soak up the view of the surfers catching waves by means 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 you have 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 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 offers you loads of info for issues to do within the space, together with spots off the overwhelmed path.
9. Weligama
Weligama means sandy village, which is fairly apt actually! Weligama has made the record 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 make sure you verify it as quickly as you possibly can!
The best way 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 conventional fishermans bike, so strap your rucksack to your again and begin peddling! If you happen to don’t cease alongside the best way 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 means!
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.
Attempt the native fish curry as you watch the solar go down!
The place to remain:
The Spindrift Hostel is just two years new and provides each bunks and personal rooms relying on choice, situated inside strolling distance to the seashore and provides conventional fishing bikes to get round.
10. Ahangama
The great 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 approach 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.
The best way 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 hire a complete 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 seashore and though primary, who doesn’t need 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 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 could be greatest explored by boat such because the spice gardens of Cinnamon island.
The best way to get there:
We’re assuming after we’ve simply instructed you that you would be able to drive your personal tuktuk that thats precisely what you’ve accomplished, but when not, then rent an area to take you on the 20 minute journey.
What to do:
Organize 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 means 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 throughout 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’s 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 beneficial lodging that will help you plan your journey:

Whereas it’s loads to soak up, contemplating Sri Lanka is greater than meets the attention, you possibly can most likely see that there’s no dangerous place to go and no incorrect approach 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 way of life documenting their adventures over on Instagram, hoping to encourage future vacationers that something is feasible should you simply purchase that a method ticket … Go Stay!
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