18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: New York City
foot + Fly:  20​h 30​min
1
Negombo
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  2​h 45​min
2
Ella
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Nuwara Eliya
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 15​min
4
Galle
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  1​h
5
Kandy
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Sigiriya
— 4 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: New York City

2
nights
Negombo

Located close to the international airport, Negombo has a reputation for being either the first or last taste of the country for visitors.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sat): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Mary's Church, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Anne's Church. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Sun): see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Negombo travel route planning tool .

New York City, USA to Negombo is an approximately 20.5-hour flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to India Standard Time, which is usually a 10 hour difference. Traveling from New York City in August, Negombo is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 79°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Ella.

Things to do in Negombo

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Aug 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Spas

2
nights
Ella

Ella ©
The relaxing hilltop village of Ella benefits from a more temperate climate than much of the rest of country thanks to its high elevation.
On the 26th (Mon), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya, don't miss a visit to Demodara Loop, then pick up some new kitchen skills with Honey Bee Garden, and finally explore the galleries of R. M. S Antique And Brassware. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the fascinating underground world of Ravana's Cave and then stroll through Nature Trail Ella.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Ella driving holiday planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Negombo to Ella in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Negombo in August, you will find days in Ella are somewhat warmer (92°F), and nights are about the same (77°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can drive to Nuwara Eliya.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Honey Bee Garden ©
Honey Bee Garden
Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya ©
Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya
Ravana's Cave ©
Ravana's Cave

2
nights
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 28th (Wed): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Moon Plains, admire the sheer force of Mohini falls, and then tee off at Nuwara Eliya Golf Course. Keep things going the next day: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and then head outdoors with Devil's Staircase.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Nuwara Eliya holiday maker .

Traveling by car from Ella to Nuwara Eliya takes 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can travel to Galle.

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Outdoors Golf Nature

Side Trip

Devil's Staircase
Find places to stay Aug 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Nuwara Eliya Golf Course ©
Nuwara Eliya Golf Course
Moon Plains ©
Moon Plains
Spas

3
nights
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dutch Reformed Church and Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex. Get outdoors at Kayaking & Canoeing and Dalawella Beach. Explore Galle's surroundings by going to Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Center (in Kosgoda), Sea Turtle Hatchery (in Ambalangoda) and Ahungalla Beach (in Ahungalla). There's still lots to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and look for gifts at Stick No Bills Poster Gallery.

For where to stay, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Galle journey maker .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Nuwara Eliya to Galle in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. In August, daily temperatures in Galle can reach 88°F, while at night they dip to 79°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Galle

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Center, Sea Turtle Hatchery, Ahungalla Beach
Find places to stay Aug 29 — Sep 1:
Highlights from your plan
Dutch Reformed Church ©
Dutch Reformed Church
Ahungalla Beach ©
Ahungalla Beach

3
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 explore the less-touristy side of things at Elephant Freedom Project and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Popular historic sites such as Kandy Garrison Cemetery and Asgiriya Maha Viharaya are in your itinerary. There's much more to do: explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy War Cemetery, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, look for gifts at Prestige Selections - Batiks, Handicrafts and Gift Items, and see the interesting displays at Raja Museum.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Kandy planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Galle to Kandy takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Kandy

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Elephant Freedom Project, Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery Kundasale
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Freedom Project ©
Elephant Freedom Project
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery

4
nights
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.
Popular historic sites such as Lankathilaka Image House and Sathmahal Prasada are in your itinerary. You'll discover tucked-away gems like kaludiya Pokuna and King’s Council Chamber. Explore Sigiriya's surroundings by going to Polonnaruwa (Medirigiriya Vatadage, Thivanka Image House, & more). There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Dhilip De Alwis, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at sigiri art gallery, explore the galleries of Pethikada, and take in nature's colorful creations at Luck Uyana Herbal Medecines Garden.

To see photos, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Sigiriya travel route planning app .

You can drive from Kandy to Sigiriya in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Polonnaruwa, Luck Uyana Herbal Medecines Garden, Dhilip De Alwis
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Medirigiriya Vatadage ©
Medirigiriya Vatadage
Lankathilaka Image House ©
Lankathilaka Image House
Sathmahal Prasada ©
Sathmahal Prasada

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