🇱🇰SRI LANKA

Sigiriya, Sri LankaAncient sites, tough but rewarding treks and gorgeous beaches await intrepid travellers in Sri Lanka. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Sri Lanka itinerary:

Luxury Galle, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Jetwing Beach  (Book >) All hotels >
Ease into Sri Lanka by starting your journey in Negombo, close to the airport yet beside beautiful, serene beaches. Book your private transfer from the airport here.
3 🚗Negombo to Habarana drive (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Cinnamon Lodge Habarana (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your driver and guide, who will drive you to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
4-5 Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. You’ll also have plenty of time for a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – arrive early to avoid crowds.
6 🚗Habarana to Kandy drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨The Secret Kandy (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the drive to Kandy. You may also want to ask your drive to stop at one of the fragrant spice gardens in Matale (the drive time has allowed for both stops). Travel times here can be a little slower than expected – I’ve built in extra time to reflect this.
7 🚗Kandy to Ella drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Ella Master Point Luxury Suite (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🚗Ella to Galle drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Aditya Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the drive to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.
Mid-range Dambulla Cave, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Cinnamon Red (Book >) All hotels >
Dive in to the bustling streets of Colombo, focusing on the colonial buildings in the Fort area Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
3 🚄Colombo to Habarana train (Book >) Dep: 15:05 Arr: 18:42 🏨Priya Home Stay (Book >) All hotels >
Take the train to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Book your train tickets as far in advance as possible. For the Colombo to Galle journey on day 8, buy your ticket in Colombo Fort station.
4-5 Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa (you can either take a taxi or train here). Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. If you’ve time go on a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – take a taxi to get there early and avoid the crowds.
6 🚌Habarana to Dambulla bus
🚌Dambula to Kandy bus
Dep: 08:11
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 08:52
Arr: 13:00
🏨Private Apt With Scenic View (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the way to Kandy. When you arrive into Kandy, drop off your bags then visit the New Ranweli Spice Garden. Take bus 48-16 from Habanara towards Colombo. From Dambulla buses leave for Kandy every 30 mins or so.
7 🚕Kandy to Dalhousie taxi (Book >) Dep: 16:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Slightly Chilled Yellow House (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🛺Dalhousie to Hatton tuk-tuk
🚄Hatton to Colombo train (Book >)
🚄Colombo to Galle train
Dep: 09:15
Dep: 10:39
Dep: 15:50
Arr: 10:15
Arr: 15:27
Arr: 17:34
🏨Aditya Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the journey to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.
Budget Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Miracle City Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Dive in to the bustling streets of Colombo, focusing on the colonial buildings in the Fort area Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
3 🚄Colombo to Habarana train (Book >) Dep: 15:05 Arr: 18:42 🏨Green Garden Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Take the train to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Book your train tickets as far in advance as possible. For the Colombo to Galle journey on day 8, buy your ticket in Colombo Fort station.
4-5 Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa (you can either take a taxi or train here). Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. If you’ve time go on a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – take a taxi to get there early and avoid the crowds.
6 🚌Habarana to Dambulla bus
🚌Dambula to Kandy bus
Dep: 08:11
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 08:52
Arr: 13:00
🏨No 26D (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the way to Kandy. Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Take bus 48-16 from Habanara towards Colombo. From Dambulla buses leave for Kandy every 30 mins or so.
7 🚄Kandy to Hatton train (Book >)
🚌Hatton to Dalhousie bus
Dep: 12:31
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 16:30
🏨Mountain Villa Adams Peak (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the New Ranweli Spice Garden before setting off for Dalhousie and an early night. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🛺Dalhousie to Hatton tuk-tuk
🚄Hatton to Colombo train (Book >)
🚄Colombo to Galle train
Dep: 09:15
Dep: 10:39
Dep: 15:50
Arr: 10:15
Arr: 15:27
Arr: 17:34
🏨Luna Beach Home & Cabanas (Book >) All hotels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the journey to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.