16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka itinerary planner

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Route & dates

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.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Nuwara Eliya road trip website.

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

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Wildlife Nature 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like World Buddhist Museum and Jayamali Batiks Studio. Udawattekele Sanctuary and Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get out of town with these interesting Kandy side-trips: Victoria Golf & Country Resort (in Rajawella) and Embekke Devalaya (in Handessa). There's much more to do: make a trip to Lankatilaka Temple, examine the collection at Kandy Brasswear Village, explore the activities along Kandy Lake, and take an in-depth tour of Raja Museum.

To see ratings, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Kandy trip planner.

You can drive from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Pinnawala.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Victoria Golf & Country Resort, Royal Botanical Gardens, Embekke Devalaya
Find places to stay Aug 31 — Sep 4:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Elephant Freedom Project and Siri Gautama Sambuddharaja Maligawa. National Railway Museum and Pinnawala Handicrafts Emporium are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Pinnawala: Dawson Tower (in Kadugannawa), Pinnawala Zoo (in Rambukkana) and Kurunegala (Ridi Viharaya & World's tallest granite Samadhi Buddha statue in Kurunegala). There's much more to do: stroll through Millennium Elephant Foundation, contemplate the long history of Aluth Nuwara Dadimunda Devalaya, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mahamevnawa Amadahara Buddhist Monastery Pinnawala.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Pinnawala trip itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Kandy to Pinnawala in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In September, daily temperatures in Pinnawala can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 29°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can go by car to Dambulla.

Things to do in Pinnawala

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kegalle, Kadugannawa, Kurunegala, Aluth Nuwara Dadimunda Devalaya, Pinnawala Zoo
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.
Head to Lakruka and Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centrefor plenty of shopping. Get some cultural insight at Golden Temple of Dambulla and Nalanda Gedige. Venture out of the city with trips to Ritigala Forest Monastery (in Anuradhapura), Matale (Euphoria Spice and Herbal & Aakarsha Gem House) and Arankelle Ancient Monastery (in Melsiripura). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dambulla Cave Temple, explore the ancient world of Rangiri Dambullu Maha Viharaya, explore the world behind art at Painting Conservation & Research Center, Painting Museum, and get engrossed in the history at Yapahuwa Ancient Kingdom.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Dambulla trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Pinnawala to Dambulla takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can go by car to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Matale, Yapahuwa Ancient Kingdom, Ritigala Forest Monastery, Kala Wewa Reservoir, 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.
On the 11th (Wed), tour the pleasant surroundings at Dhilip De Alwis, delve into the distant past at Sigiriya, then explore the galleries of Pethikada, then see the interesting displays at Sigiriya Museum, and finally browse for treasures at sigiri art gallery.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Sigiriya 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

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): admire the striking features of Velgam Vehera, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then stroll through Nilaveli Beach, and finally brush up on your military savvy at Sri Lanka Navy Museum.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read our Trincomalee road trip planning site.

Getting from Sigiriya to Trincomalee by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time 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
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nilaveli Beach ©
Nilaveli Beach
Sri Lanka Navy Museum ©
Sri Lanka Navy Museum

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Fri): examine the collection at Colombo National Museum, admire the masterpieces at The Galleries of Sapumal Foundation, examine the collection at Dutch Museum, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Panadura Beach, and finally admire the masterpieces at Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Lakarcade, see the interesting displays at Traditional Puppet Art Museum, then learn about all things military at Sri Lanka Air Force Museum, then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kalutara Bodhiya.

To find maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Colombo online tour planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Trincomalee to Colombo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In September, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Colombo

Museums Outdoors Wildlife

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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