Sri Lanka, known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, is a small tropical country located in South Asia. It is home to an array of natural wonders, from beautiful beaches and lush forests to ancient temples and historic monuments. For travelers seeking adventure, culture, and relaxation, Sri Lanka is the perfect destination. In this essay, I will share my suggested Sri Lanka itinerary, including my favorite spots to visit, things to do, and where to stay.
Day 1-3: Colombo & Surroundings
Most international flights land in the capital city of Colombo, so start your journey here. Spend your first day exploring the city’s colonial architecture, street markets, and Buddhist temples. Visit the Gangaramaya Temple, the National Museum, and the Pettah Market, a must-visit destination for shopping and street food.
On day two, visit the nearby town of Negombo, renowned for its beautiful beaches and Dutch colonial architecture. Take a boat ride in the Negombo lagoon or enjoy a traditional Ayurvedic massage at a nearby spa.
On day three, head to the nearby town of Kandy, known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. Visit the Temple of the Tooth, the most sacred temple in the country, and take a stroll around the beautiful Kandy Lake. In the evening, admire a cultural dance performance showcasing the traditional dances of Sri Lanka.
Day 4-6: Ella & Nuwara Eliya
On day four, head to the hill country of Sri Lanka, where you will find jaw-dropping scenery and picturesque tea plantations. Ella is a small but beautiful town in the heart of the hill country, surrounded by mountains, forests, and waterfalls. Take a scenic train ride from Kandy or drive through the winding roads to reach Ella.
On day five, visit the Nine Arches Bridge, a popular tourist attraction located just outside Ella. Take a walk along the railway track for a great view of the bridge and the surrounding tea plantations. In the evening, hike to Little Adam’s Peak for a spectacular sunset view.
On day six, head to Nuwara Eliya, a town known for its cold climate and tea plantations. Take a tour of a tea plantation and factory to learn about the history of tea production in Sri Lanka. In the evening, stroll around the Gregory Lake and enjoy some fresh strawberries from the nearby farms.
Day 7-9: Yala National Park
On day seven, drive to the Yala National Park, one of the best wildlife reserves in Sri Lanka. Stay overnight in a jungle camp and enjoy a BBQ dinner under the stars.
On day eight, take a safari tour in the national park to see leopards, elephants, crocodiles, and other wildlife. Yala National Park is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.
On day nine, relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the national park before heading back to Colombo.
Where to Stay
Sri Lanka offers an array of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts. In Colombo, I recommend staying at the Galle Face Hotel, an iconic colonial hotel overlooking the Indian Ocean.
In Kandy, stay at the Earl’s Regent Hotel, a modern hotel with spacious rooms and excellent service. In Ella, opt for the Ella Rock House, a cozy guesthouse offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
In Nuwara Eliya, stay at the Grand Hotel, a colonial-style hotel with a beautiful garden and a scenic golf course. In Yala National Park, stay at the Leopard Trails camp, a luxurious glamping experience in the heart of the jungle.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country that offers something for everyone. From historical landmarks and cultural experiences to scenic natural wonders and wildlife safaris, Sri Lanka has it all. My suggested itinerary will take you to the most beautiful places in the country, offering a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the cinnamon trail of Sri Lanka.