16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Bengaluru
Fly + taxi:  9​h
1
Nuwara Eliya
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Kandy
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Pinnawala
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Dambulla
— 3 nights
Drive:  30​min
5
Sigiriya
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
6
Trincomalee
— 1 night
taxi + Fly:  3​h 30​min
7
Colombo
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Bengaluru

few
hours
Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya ©
Sitting high up in the hills, the green and pleasant Nuwara Eliya offers both a rich history and proximity to pristine natural areas.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Sat): explore the striking landscape of Horton Plains National Park and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Nuwara Eliya and Tea Country.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Nuwara Eliya trip planner.

Bengaluru, India to Nuwara Eliya is an approximately 7.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) so you can drive to Kandy.

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Nature Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Aug 31 — Sep 1:
Highlights from your plan
Horton Plains National Park ©
Horton Plains National Park

4
nights
Kandy

Kandy ©
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Museum-lovers will appreciate World Buddhist Museum and Raja Museum. Discover out-of-the-way places like Jayamali Batiks Studio and Ceylon Tea Museum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kandy: Embekke Devalaya (in Handessa) and Victoria Golf & Country Resort (in Rajawella). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, see the interesting displays at Highway Museum Nanuoya, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the Kandy tour itinerary maker website .

Traveling by car from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy takes 2.5 hours. On the 4th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Pinnawala.

Things to do in Kandy

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Victoria Golf & Country Resort, Embekke Devalaya, Royal Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay Aug 31 — Sep 4:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
World Buddhist Museum ©
World Buddhist Museum
Udawattekele Sanctuary ©
Udawattekele Sanctuary

3
nights
Pinnawala

Pinnawala ©
The main attraction in Pinnawala is undoubtedly its elephant orphanage.
Get some cultural insight at National Railway Museum and Pinnawala Handicrafts Emporium. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Elephant Freedom Project and Pinnawala Jumbos. Venture out of the city with trips to Pinnawala Zoo (in Rambukkana), Siri Gautama Sambuddharaja Maligawa (in Polgahawela) and Dawson Tower (in Kadugannawa). And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at Millennium Elephant Foundation, make a trip to Ridi Viharaya, pause for some photo ops at World's tallest granite Samadhi Buddha statue in Kurunegala, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Mahamevnawa Amadahara Buddhist Monastery Pinnawala.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Pinnawala tour itinerary tool .

You can drive from Kandy to Pinnawala in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a train. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in September, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Dambulla.

Things to do in Pinnawala

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kegalle, Kurunegala, Kadugannawa, Pinnawala Zoo, Siri Gautama Sambuddharaja Maligawa
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Freedom Project ©
Elephant Freedom Project
Millennium Elephant Foundation ©
Millennium Elephant Foundation
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ©
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

3
nights
Dambulla

Dambulla ©
On a trip to Dambulla, visit the largest and best-preserved cave temple complexes in the country, declared a World Heritage Site.
Get some cultural insight at Ritigala Forest Monastery and Nalanda Gedige. Explore hidden gems such as Dambulla Cave Temple and Painting Conservation & Research Center, Painting Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Dambulla side-trips: Matale (Euphoria Spice and Herbal & Aakarsha Gem House), Lakruka (in Arangala) and Arankelle Ancient Monastery (in Melsiripura). There's still lots to do: stroll through Golden Temple of Dambulla, contemplate the waterfront views at Kala Wewa Reservoir, pick up some local products at Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre, and explore the ancient world of Rangiri Dambullu Maha Viharaya.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Dambulla travel planner.

You can drive from Pinnawala to Dambulla in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Matale, Lakruka, Kala Wewa Reservoir, Dambulla Cave Temple, Arankelle Ancient Monastery
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Ritigala Forest Monastery ©
Ritigala Forest Monastery
Dambulla Cave Temple ©
Dambulla Cave Temple

1
night
Sigiriya

Sigiriya ©
The historic rock of the same name dominates the landscape of World Heritage-listed Sigiriya, where the steep and striking lava plug contains the ruins of an ancient empire.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Dhilip De Alwis, make a trip to Sigiriya, then take in the exciting artwork at Pethikada, then examine the collection at Sigiriya Museum, and finally take in the exciting artwork at sigiri art gallery.

To see ratings and more tourist information, read Sigiriya road trip planner.

Sigiriya is just a short distance from Dambulla. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Trincomalee.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Historic Sites Museums Wildlife

Side Trip

Dhilip De Alwis
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Sigiriya Museum ©
Sigiriya Museum
Pethikada ©
Pethikada

1
night
Trincomalee

Trincomalee ©
A center of Tamil culture and language, Trincomalee suffered greatly during the 30-year civil war, but the troubles haven't dimmed the natural and cultural charms of the place.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): delve into the distant past at Velgam Vehera, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then stroll through Nilaveli Beach, and finally learn about all things military at Sri Lanka Navy Museum.

To see photos, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Trincomalee trip planner .

Traveling by car from Sigiriya to Trincomalee takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Colombo.

Things to do in Trincomalee

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Nilaveli
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Nilaveli Beach ©
Nilaveli Beach
Velgam Vehera ©
Velgam Vehera

3
nights
Colombo

Colombo ©
The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): get engrossed in the history at Colombo National Museum, admire the masterpieces at The Galleries of Sapumal Foundation, see the interesting displays at Dutch Museum, then look for all kinds of wild species at Panadura Beach, and finally explore the world behind art at Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum. Keep things going the next day: look for gifts at Lakarcade, examine the collection at Traditional Puppet Art Museum, learn about all things military at Sri Lanka Air Force Museum, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kalutara Bodhiya.

To find reviews, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Colombo route builder app .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Trincomalee to Colombo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in September, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Colombo

Museums Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Kalutara, Negombo, Panadura Beach, Sri Lanka Air Force Museum
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Colombo National Museum ©
Colombo National Museum
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kalutara Bodhiya ©
Kalutara Bodhiya

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