A country of tea, temples and trails - Sri Lanka had always been on my bucket-list and once I was there, I loved everything about the country so much so that I visited the place twice - once on a solo trip and the second time with my husband. Although, the itinerary for both the trips was somewhat similar, I think the trip with my hubby was hassle free and turned out to be much better due to the prior experience in this island and because of obvious reasons as well :P
Sri Lanka has a plethora of different landscapes to choose from; ranging from beaches to mountains, from temples to wildlife and from lagoons to rivers. We, however, decided to explore the west coast of Sri Lanka, concentrating mostly on the beaches and coastal life and excluded the temple town of KANDY and the hills of Nuwara Eliya which I had covered in my last trip.
Sri Lanka is the perfect recipe for true love - warm and friendly people, delectable cuisine and a tropical climate. Moreover, it is the most suitable destination for both budget friendly travellers and those who are looking for a more extravagant one!
Day 1 (Kalutara):
Flight from New Delhi To Colombo: It is fairly easy to get to Sri Lanka from India. Sri Lankan Airlines (also many local airlines like Air Inida, Indigo, Spicejet, GoAir) fly direct from almost all the metro towns of India to Colombo, with the to & fro airfare being as low as INR 13,000 per person to INR 26,000 per person. We boarded the Sri Lankan Airlines and it took us 3 hours and 30 minutes from the New Delhi Airport to reach Bandarnaike International Airport in Colombo.
There are good local taxi and tour operators in Colombo offering both the pick and drop as well as tour packages for transport, accommodation and activities such as wild life safaris, whale watching, bird watching, white water rafting and much more at reasonable rates. We would suggest you pre-book these services. We had booked this particular operator - Sanki leisure's taxi service for our entire duration that would include airport transfers, transfer between cities and sightseeing for 5 days. The whole plan cost us somewhere around 345 USD which is roughly around INR 23,000. Not that costly right?
Our drivers name was Chaminda, became more of friend and guide to us and to our much delight, knew little bit Hindi as well. He picked us up from the airport and took us to our first pitstop - our beautiful resort, The Tangerine Beach Hotel, in Kalatura. It is a grand beachfront hotel overlooking the Laccadive Sea and offers access to various amenities - a garden, white-sand private beach, an outdoor pool with a swim-up bar, plus an Ayurvedic spa, a beauty salon and sports courts. It cost us INR 7,000 per night including breakfast, which was quite reasonable. We made most of our bookings through Booking.com or MakeMyTrip.com and were lucky enough to get some good deals.