19 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

19 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

19 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Durban
Fly + Drive:  23​h 45​min
1
Anuradhapura
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Polonnaruwa
— 3 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  4​h 15​min
3
Uda Walawe National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Netolpitiya
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Hikkaduwa
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 15​min
6
Kandy
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  22​h 30​min
End: Durban

3
nights
Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura ©
Explore the well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization and its former capital at Anuradhapura, a World Heritage Site and erstwhile center of Theravada Buddhism set amidst peaceful green parks.
Sri Maha Boodhi Temple and Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi will appeal to history buffs. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Isurumuniya Temple and Jethawanaramaya Dagoba. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Dagoba of Thuparama, explore the ancient world of Moonstone or Sandakada pahana, pause for some photo ops at Abhayagiri Dagoba, and don't miss a visit to Mihintale.

To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Anuradhapura day trip website .

Durban, South Africa to Anuradhapura is an approximately 24-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Durban to Anuradhapura is 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Isurumuniya Temple ©
Isurumuniya Temple
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Ruwanwelisaya ©
Ruwanwelisaya

3
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Polonnaruwa Archaeological Ruins and Lankathilaka Image House will appeal to history buffs. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hurulu Eco Park and Polonnaruwa Vatadage. Get out of town with these interesting Polonnaruwa side-trips: Kaudulla National Park (in Habarana) and Sigiriya (Pethikada & Sigiriya Museum). There's lots more to do: admire the landmark architecture of Polonnaruwa, explore the ancient world of Weijantha Prasada, and appreciate the history behind Gal Vihara.

To see traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Polonnaruwa trip maker app .

You can drive from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa in 2.5 hours. On the 23rd (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Uda Walawe National Park.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Sigiriya, Habarana
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage
Lankathilaka Image House ©
Lankathilaka Image House
Kaudulla National Park ©
Kaudulla National Park

3
nights
Uda Walawe National Park

Uda Walawe National Park ©
One of the primary nature reserves in the country, Uda Walawe National Park provides vital habitat for a herd of Sri Lankan elephants.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Udawalawa Safari and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Transit Home. On the next day, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Udawalawe Nationalpark Elefant Trail.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Uda Walawe National Park holiday builder tool .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Polonnaruwa to Uda Walawe National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to travel to Netolpitiya.

Things to do in Uda Walawe National Park

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trip

Udawalawe Nationalpark Elefant Trail
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Transit Home (ETH) ©
Elephant Transit Home (ETH)
Udawalawe Nationalpark Elefant Trail ©
Discover Sri Lanka by Lakpura LLC ©
Discover Sri Lanka by Lakpura LLC

2
nights
Netolpitiya

Netolpitiya ©
Most people take a trip to Netolpitiya to enjoy a classic beach holiday.
Get some cultural insight at Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara and Indika Art Gallery. Discover out-of-the-way places like Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa) and Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary. Step out of Netolpitiya with an excursion to Bundala National Park in Hambantota--about 52 minutes away.

To see maps, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Netolpitiya day trip website .

Traveling by car from Uda Walawe National Park to Netolpitiya takes 2 hours. January in Netolpitiya sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Hikkaduwa.

Things to do in Netolpitiya

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Tangalle, Bundala National Park, Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Bundala National Park ©
Bundala National Park
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Tangalle Lagoon ©
Tangalle Lagoon

2
nights
Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa ©
One of the most scenic beach resorts in Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa features a number of long white sand beaches with palm trees and gentle waves.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Mon): view the masterpieces at Tsunami Photo Museum, then examine the collection at Community Tsunami Museum, then stroll through Ahungalla Beach, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project. On the 30th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Mary's Church, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Dutch Reformed Church, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Hikkaduwa trip planner .

Getting from Netolpitiya to Hikkaduwa by car takes about 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Galle, Ahungalla Beach, Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project, Spas & Wellness, Tsunami Photo Museum
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tsunami Photo Museum ©
Tsunami Photo Museum
Ahungalla Beach ©
Ahungalla Beach
Dutch Reformed Church ©
Dutch Reformed Church

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.
Visiting Udawattekele Sanctuary and Elephant Freedom Project will get you outdoors. Ceylon Tea Museum and Nature & Wildlife Tours are good opportunities to explore the local culture. The adventure continues: stroll the grounds of Commonwealth War Cemetery, don't miss a visit to Kandy view point, and see the interesting displays at World Buddhist Museum.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Kandy trip planner.

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Hikkaduwa to Kandy in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trip

Elephant Freedom Project
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery
Elephant Freedom Project ©
Elephant Freedom Project
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery

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