I know that it sound absolutely insane to be in a country for 17 days but on the brighter side, I got to enjoy the beaches, forest, cities and hills all in one go! My agenda for the trip was simple. I wanted to explore Sri Lanka and wanted to know how similar or different is it from the Indian culture. Another reason to visit Sri Lanka which is an obvious one was that Indian currency is powerful in Sri Lanka so this trip was not going to be an expensive one. Sri Lanka is divided in to four provinces – Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern. I began my trip from Colombo and then travelled to Beruwala, Bentota, Galle, Weligama, Hambantota, Hikaduwa, Yalla, Ella, Kandy, Dambulla and Sigriya. Read on if you want to know where to go and what to do in Sri Lanka because this is the ultimate travel guide to Sri Lanka to exploring beaches, forests, cities and hills!
Making an itinerary for 17 days doesn’t make sense because not many people have those many days to travel so I’m going to simplify this travel guide and tell you the minimum number of days you require to cover the destinations that I have mentioned above.
Day 1 and 2 : Explore The Capital City – Colombo
I was travelling from India, so I landed in Colombo. Without a doubt Colombo is a beautiful city where you can shop, eat local cuisine, go to the beach and of corse gamble! You can read things to do in Colombo here (coming soon). In two days you will be able to cover all major spots in the city and hit the casino during the night. Two days are more than enough to spend in Colombo.
Day 3, 4 and 5 : Visit Beruwala, Bentota, Galle, Kosgoda
You need to make sure that you keep travelling time in mind while planning your trip to Sri Lanka as most places take 4-8 hours and even longer when you are moving from one province to another. From Colombo the next destination I was headed to was Beruwala which is one hour and thirty minutes away. Beruwala is a small town where there are two beaches – Ventura Beach and Moragalla Beach, Brief Garden and Kande Viharaya Temple. You could explore Beruwala on the day you reach and then the next day you could leave for Bentota which is just 15 minutes away. At Kosgoda you can visit the turtle hatchery (it was a sheer waste of time though) or just leave for your next destination.
Day 6, 7 and 8: Relax At The Beautiful And Serene Beaches
You have to keep one day to explore Galle Fort, the Japanese Pagoda and just stroll in the street eating local delicacies. On the next two days you could go beach hoping and go to Weligama beach, Mirissa, Unawatuna, Hikaduwa et al.
Day 9,10 and 11
Take a day trip to Yala National Park where if you get lucky you can spot a Leopard. Else you can spot stunning Peacocks, Elephants, Wild Boars, Crocodiles et al during the jeep safari. The next day you can head to Ella where you could climb the Little Adam’s peak, go to the Nine Arch Bridge and take the scenic train ride from Ella to Kandy. On the last day you should head to Sigriya from Kandy and visit the Dambulla caves that will be on the way.
Day 12 : End Your Trip On A High Note (Literally)
On your last day you could hike up to Pidurangala Rock or the Lion Rock. But make sure that you decide well in advance of the trek you want to do first. You should do Pidurangala trek early morning and in the evening you could climb up to the Lion Rock. On day 13 you can head to Colombo and take a flight back to home!
I did manage to visit major spots in Sri Lanka but still there is so much that I missed during this trip. Depending on what your agenda is for the trip, you can plan your itinerary by referring to the places on this guide. In case you need my help in planning, please feel free to drop me an e-mail.