38 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

38 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka trip maker

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

Start: New York City
Fly:  23 h
1
Nuwara Eliya
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
2
Colombo
— 5 nights
Taxi + Train:  1 h
3
Kandy
— 4 nights
Fly:  1 h 15 min
4
Unawatuna
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
5
Ella
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
6
Arugam Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
7
Polonnaruwa
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
8
Anuradhapura
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
9
Sigiriya
— 5 nights
Fly:  23 h
End: New York City

4
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Nuwara Eliya: Ramboda Waterfall (in Pussellawa) and Udawalawe National Park (in Udawalawe National Park). Next up on the itinerary: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Horton Plains National Park, head outdoors with Piduruthalagala Forest Reserve, appreciate the extensive heritage of Nuwara Eliya and Tea Country, and contemplate the waterfront views at Gregory Lake.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Nuwara Eliya trip planner.

New York City, USA to Nuwara Eliya is an approximately 27-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from New York City to Nuwara Eliya is 10.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Colombo.

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Ramboda Waterfall, Udawalawe National Park
Find places to stay Sep 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Horton Plains National Park ©
Horton Plains National Park
Hakgala Botanic Gardens ©
Hakgala Botanic Gardens
Ramboda Waterfall ©
Ramboda Waterfall

5
nights
Colombo

The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
Get out of town with these interesting Colombo side-trips: Negombo Beach (in Negombo), Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka (in Ragama) and Kalutara (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum). There's still lots to do: stroll around Galle Face Green, take in the spiritual surroundings of Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, and see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour.

For more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Colombo trip builder website.

Getting from Nuwara Eliya to Colombo by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In September in Colombo, expect temperatures between 88°F during the day and 78°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Colombo

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Kalutara, Negombo Beach, Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka, Sri Jayawardanapura City
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Safaris
Galle Face Green ©
Galle Face Green
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Dawson Tower (in Kadugannawa), Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (in Pinnawala) and Bambaragala Viharaya (in Teldeniya). There's much more to do: make a trip to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery, stroll through Elephant Freedom Project, and admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanical Gardens.

To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Kandy trip itinerary site.

You can do a combination of taxi and train from Colombo to Kandy in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Unawatuna.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Dawson Tower, Knuckles Forest Reserve, Elephant Freedom Project, Royal Botanical Gardens, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Kandy Lake ©
Kandy Lake

4
nights
Unawatuna

Unawatuna ©
Palm-fringed beaches with golden sand, turquoise water, and a colorful coral reef are enough to draw any beachgoer to Unawatuna, but there's plenty to do off the beach here as well.
Explore Unawatuna's surroundings by going to Kowilawatta Temple (in Balapitiya), Bentota Beach (in Bentota) and Mirissa (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Mirissa Beach). There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Galle Fort, don't miss a visit to Japanese Peace Pagoda, stop by Lak Gems & Jewellery, and kick back and relax at Hikkaduwa Beach.

To find photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Unawatuna trip itinerary app.

Fly from Kandy to Unawatuna in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 88°F in September, and nighttime lows around 78°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Ella.

Things to do in Unawatuna

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Mirissa, Kowilawatta Temple, Galle Fort, Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery - Habaraduwa, Nandana Tea Factory
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Nandana Tea Factory ©
Nandana Tea Factory
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort
Jungle Beach ©
Jungle Beach

4
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.
Explore Ella's surroundings by going to Haputale (Prabhawa Mountain Day View Point Haputale & Lipton’s Seat), Amba Estate (in Bandarawela) and Buduruwagala (in Yala National Park). The adventure continues: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Little Adam's Peak, stop by R. M. S Antique And Brassware, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mahamevnawa Monastery, and trek along Nature Trail Ella.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Ella trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Unawatuna to Ella takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Arugam Bay.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Haputale, Amba Estate, Buduruwagala
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Honey Bee Garden ©
Honey Bee Garden
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock

2
nights
Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay ©
On the 1st (Tue), get outside with Whisky Point, Sri Lanka, thenenjoy the sea views from Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse, thendelve into the distant past at Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil, and finally don't miss a visit to Muhudu Maha Vihara. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kudumbigala Monastery, thenlook for gifts at Rice & Carry Bags Shop, thencontemplate the waterfront views at Arugam Bay, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Arugam Bay tour builder website.

Drive from Ella to Arugam Bay in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

Outdoors Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 2:
Highlights from your plan
Whisky Point, Sri Lanka ©
Whisky Point, Sri Lanka
Spas
Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse ©
Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse

4
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Go for a jaunt from Polonnaruwa to Habarana to see Kaudulla National Park about 46 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: pause for some photo ops at Gal Vihara, delve into the distant past at Polonnaruwa Vatadage, take in the spiritual surroundings of Somawathiya Stupa, and contemplate the long history of Sathmahal Prasada.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Polonnaruwa tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Arugam Bay to Polonnaruwa by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Kaudulla National Park
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Polonnaruwa ©
Polonnaruwa
Kaudulla National Park ©
Kaudulla National Park
Gal Vihara ©
Gal Vihara

4
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.
Anuradhapura is known for historic sites, parks, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mihintale, admire the striking features of Ruwanwelisaya, don't miss a visit to Isurumuniya Temple, and admire the engineering at Tissa Wewa.

For photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Anuradhapura travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Polonnaruwa to Anuradhapura in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Mihintale ©
Mihintale
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Kalu Diya Pokuna Natural Black Water Pond ©

5
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sigiriya: Golden Temple of Dambulla (in Dambulla), Avukana Buddha Statue (in Kekirawa) and Matale (Euphoria Spice and Herbal, Aakarsha Gem House, &more). There's lots more to do: make a trip to Sigiriya, see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, steep yourself in history at kaludiya Pokuna, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Dhilip De Alwis.

For maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Sigiriya tour planner.

Traveling by car from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya takes 1.5 hours. You will leave for home on the 15th (Tue).

Things to do in Sigiriya

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Matale, Habarana, Golden Temple of Dambulla, Avukana Buddha Statue, Minneriya National Park
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Minneriya National Park ©
Minneriya National Park

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