23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg
Fly:  18​h 15​min
1
Colombo
— 3 nights
Fly:  1​h
2
Kandy
— 4 nights
Fly + taxi:  1​h 15​min
3
Mirissa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Hikkaduwa
— 4 nights
Fly + taxi:  2​h 45​min
5
Ella
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Dambulla
— 4 nights
Fly:  20​h 45​min
End: Johannesburg

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Negombo Beach and Mount Lavinia Beach. Colombo National Museum and Ganeshism Studio Gallery will appeal to museum buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Colombo: Sri Lanka Air Force Museum (in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia) and Kalutara (Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum, Kalutara Bodhiya, & more). There's still lots to do: get engrossed in the history at The Bandaranaike Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, explore the world behind art at Saskia Fernando Gallery, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Borella All Saints Church.

Plan my Colombo trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Johannesburg, South Africa to Colombo is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time to India Standard Time, which is usually a 3 hour difference. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Johannesburg in December since evenings lows in Colombo dip to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Colombo

Museums Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Kalutara, Negombo, Sri Lanka Air Force Museum
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Colombo National Museum ©
Colombo National Museum
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Royal Botanical Gardens and Kandy Lake. Appreciate the collections at World Buddhist Museum and Oak Ray Tea Factory & Museum. Explore Kandy's surroundings by going to Pinnawala (Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage & Pinnawala Handicrafts Emporium) and Nelligala International Buddhist Center (in Murutalawa). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery, examine the collection at Kandy Brasswear Village, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Asgiriya Maha Viharaya.

For ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Kandy trip builder site .

Traveling by flight from Colombo to Kandy takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to travel to Mirissa.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Pinnawala, Nelligala International Buddhist Center, Royal Botanical Gardens, Oak Ray Tea Factory & Museum
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ©
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

2
nights
Mirissa

Mirissa ©
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): stop by LAZY.RIDE, stroll through Mirissa Beach, and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon): see the interesting displays at Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex, then take in the exciting artwork at Art Batiks, then enjoy the sand and surf at Medawatta Beach, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For ratings, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read Mirissa tour planning website .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Kandy to Mirissa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Mirissa are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Hikkaduwa.

Things to do in Mirissa

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Matara, Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Mirissa Beach ©
Mirissa Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Spas

4
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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Galle Fort and Naga Viharaya. Relax by the water at Jungle Beach and Mihiripenna Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Hikkaduwa: Unawatuna (Sk Swarnakala & Scuba & Snorkeling) and Bentota Beach (in Bentota). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Hikkaduwa Beach, view the masterpieces at Tsunami Photo Museum, see the interesting displays at Community Tsunami Museum, and browse the exhibits of Sri Vijayarama Viharaya.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Hikkaduwa itinerary planner.

You can drive from Mirissa to Hikkaduwa in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in December, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Ella.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Unawatuna, Sri Vijayarama Viharaya, Bentota Beach, Tsunami Photo Museum, Galle Fort
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tsunami Photo Museum ©
Tsunami Photo Museum
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort
Jungle Beach ©
Jungle Beach

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Little Adam's Peak and Ella Rock. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like R. M. S Antique And Brassware and I Love Ceylon Gallery. Take a break from Ella with a short trip to Saga Travels & Tours Nuwara Eliya in Nuwara Eliya, about 1h 20 min away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the views from Demodara Nine Arch Bridge, stop by Ella Gem & Jewelry, admire the sheer force of Ravana Ella Falls, and admire the natural beauty at Ella Spice Garden.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Ella road trip planning site .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Hikkaduwa to Ella in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Dambulla.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Saga Travels & Tours Nuwara Eliya
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock
Ravana Ella Falls ©
Ravana Ella Falls

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Golden Temple of Dambulla and Mihintale. Visit Arankelle Ancient Monastery and Polonnaruwa for their historical value. Explore Dambulla's surroundings by going to Sigiriya (Pidurangala Rock & Pethikada) and Habarana (Dhilip De Alwis & Minneriya National Park). There's more to do: see the interesting displays at Sigiriya Museum and don't miss a visit to Dambulla Cave Temple.

Planning Dambulla trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Drive from Ella to Dambulla in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Habarana, Sigiriya, Arankelle Ancient Monastery, Polonnaruwa, Mihintale
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Mihintale ©
Mihintale
Polonnaruwa ©
Polonnaruwa

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