22 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

22 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka travel planner

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Route & dates

22 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly + Drive:  25​h
1
Kalutara
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 15​min
2
Galle
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly:  1​h
3
Kandy
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  2​h 45​min
4
Arugam Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Ella
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
6
Uda Walawe National Park
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 30​min
7
Dambulla
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly:  22​h 15​min
End: San Francisco

2
nights
Kalutara

Kalutara ©
A popular beachside getaway just an hour south of Colombo, Kalutara is as recognizable for its enormous white Buddhist stupa as for its inviting white-sand beaches.
You've now added Asya Tours to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 5th (Mon): see the top attractions with Asya Tours, then look for gifts at Wedage Gems, and then admire the masterpieces at Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Thudugala Ella waterfall, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Cross Church Kalutara, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kalutara Beach, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kalutara Bodhiya.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Kalutara day trip app .

San Francisco, USA to Kalutara is an approximately 25-hour combination of flight and car. Traveling from San Francisco to Kalutara, you'll lose 13 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from San Francisco in October, plan for somewhat warmer days in Kalutara, with highs around 88°F, while nights are warmer with lows around 77°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Galle.

Things to do in Kalutara

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Asya Tours ©
Asya Tours
Kalutara Bodhiya ©
Kalutara Bodhiya
Holy Cross Church Kalutara ©
Holy Cross Church Kalutara

4
nights
Galle

The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
Venture out of the city with trips to Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple (in Colombo), Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Mirissa) and Hikkaduwa Beach (in Hikkaduwa). Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Galle Fort, don't miss a visit to Japanese Peace Pagoda, look for gifts at Lak Gems & Jewellery, and kick back and relax at Jungle Beach.

To find maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the Galle trip itinerary tool .

Take a train from Kalutara to Galle in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In October, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 77°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Galle

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, Bentota Beach
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort
Sinharaja Forest Reserve ©
Sinharaja Forest Reserve

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 find plenty of places to visit near Kandy: Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (in Pinnawala) and Ridi Viharaya (in Kurunegala). And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery, look for all kinds of wild species at Knuckles Forest Reserve, and admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanical Gardens.

To see reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Kandy trip itinerary maker .

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to travel to Arugam Bay.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Knuckles Forest Reserve, Ridi Viharaya, Royal Botanical Gardens, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Kandy Lake ©
Kandy Lake
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens

2
nights
Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay ©
On the 14th (Wed), look for gifts at Rice & Carry Bags Shop, explore the activities along Arugam Bay, then enjoy the sea views from Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kudumbigala Monastery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Magul Maha Viharaya, delve into the distant past at Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil, don't miss a visit to Muhudu Maha Vihara, then contemplate the waterfront views at Pottuvil Lagoon, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

Plan a Arugam Bay trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Kandy to Arugam Bay in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Ella.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trip

Magul Maha Viharaya
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse ©
Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse
Pottuvil Lagoon ©
Pottuvil Lagoon
Muhudu Maha Vihara ©
Muhudu Maha Vihara

3
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Ella side-trips: Lipton’s Seat (in Haputale) and Mohini falls (in Nuwara Eliya). And it doesn't end there: take in the awesome beauty at Little Adam's Peak, hike along Nature Trail Ella, take in nature's colorful creations at Honey Bee Garden, and take in the dramatic natural features at Ella Rock.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Ella trip builder .

Traveling by car from Arugam Bay to Ella takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can go by car to Uda Walawe National Park.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Mohini falls, Lipton’s Seat
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock
Demodara Nine Arch Bridge ©
Demodara Nine Arch Bridge

2
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.
On the 19th (Mon), get to know the resident critters at Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Transit Home (ETH). Keep things going the next day: explore the striking landscape of Udawalawe National Park.

To see reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Uda Walawe National Park tour planner .

Getting from Ella to Uda Walawe National Park by car takes about 2.5 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Uda Walawe National Park can reach 90°F, while at night they dip to 76°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can travel to Dambulla.

Things to do in Uda Walawe National Park

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage
Find places to stay Oct 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Udawalawe National Park ©
Udawalawe National Park
Elephant Transit Home (ETH) ©
Elephant Transit Home (ETH)

4
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Dambulla: Minneriya National Park (in Habarana), Polonnaruwa (Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwa Vatadage, & more) and Pidurangala Rock (in Sigiriya). There's still lots to do: explore the fascinating underground world of Golden Temple of Dambulla, explore the ancient world of Sigiriya, make a trip to Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs, and identify plant and animal life at Dhilip De Alwis.

To see where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Dambulla travel itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Uda Walawe National Park to Dambulla in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and flight; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Habarana
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Minneriya National Park ©
Minneriya National Park

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