130 Kms from Mirissa
Explore the art scene in the city of ColomboThe charming capital is brimming with city lights. Situated on the shore, Colombo’s beaches are its greatest asset. One of the most happening cities in Sri Lanka, Colombo’s local art scene, nightlife, food culture and sights stand uncontested.Read More
Explore the art scene in the city of ColomboThe charming capital is brimming with city lights. Situated on the shore, Colombo’s beaches are its greatest asset. One of the most happening cities in Sri Lanka, Colombo’s local art scene, nightlife, food culture and sights stand uncontested.
Spend a day out at beachesKosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project lies an hour away from the Colombo city and makes for a perfect escape on the second day. A few kilometres away is Hikkaduwa, the surfing beach where you can indulge in other seaside activities.
Got up early today. The driver arrived on time around eight in the morning. I had my trip planned by the staff at the Regent Hotel. It is an eight-day road journey around the coast and northern area of Sri Lanka covering more than a dozen cities like Kandy, Trichnapali and many others. The road trip to Jaffna started smoothly. My driver, Joseph, spoke good English and was alert all the way. We stopped over at a few ancient Hindu temples on the way. The most remarkable thing I found was how distinctly different these temples and deities were from the ones I had seen in south Indian cities like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. The colours were very bright and vibrant. The sculptures of the various Gods, Devis and Divas also varied from the ones I had seen in, say, Kanyakumari and other south Indian cities. The domes of the temples carried the images of Devis and Divas in itself. Blue, pink and gold were the predominate colours used.
Day 1 - ColomboOur journey started with a late night flight from Mumbai. There are many options available in flights, to make the travel as economical as it can go consider travelling from Chennai and if money isn’t the concern then go for direct flights which ply 2 a day from Mumbai.For VISA, it is suggested you apply online @(http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/) as the on arrival VISA facility has been terminated.The VISA (ETA) is issued in 24 hours post you fill in the required details and make a payment of 20 USD.We reached at around 4.30 a.m, and just FYI the airport is in Negombo and buses for Colombo ply every half an hour from in front of the airport starting 5.30 a.m.The bus ride is approximately of 45mins and it would leave you at the Pettah bus depot. We reached Pettah at around 7 and took a Tuk Tuk to our Hostel at Galle Face, Colombo.Word of Advice - ~ You should try and book your stay near Galle Face in Colombo for it’s the most happening part of the city and positions you among the posh and main highlights the city has to offer~ Ensure you take a Tuk Tuk (autorickshaw in common language) that runs by meter and not otherwise We started on our mission of discovering the city only post grabbing some sleep at the hostel. Our first destination was a local mall - ‘Crescat’ for we were famished. The mall is small and boasts of many unseen Sri Lankan local brands, the food court is at the ground floor. Do not forget to feast on some Sri Lankan delicacies which a variety of stores there offer.Our next destination was the famous ‘Gangaramaya Temple’ of Colombo which boasts of a huge Buddha inside and a small floating monastery on the lake. Post grabbing some quick pictures, National Museum of Colombo became our next stop.
We were then outside our hotel and were busy negotiating with an Tuk-Tuk guy and I tried my luck talking in Tamil. To my surprise, the auto driver agreed to guide us the city tour with half the cost - just because I am from India and I spoke in Tamil. I was little hesitant with the generous offer and was not comfortable riding a Tuk-Tuk in an unfamiliar city fear of getting ransacked popping in my mind, after all we are all biased with prejudice and took an Uber ride (who took 200 LKR) to the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple patting myself on my back having taken a safer option.
After breakfast, proceed to ColomboEnjoy the drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. On arrival, check-in to your hotel.In the afternoon, proceed on a city tour of Colombo. It is a bustling metropolis that considerably generates 50% of nation's economy. Driving along the sweeping streets bordered by the race courses and World War II airstrip, Colombo is a tourist magnet. City's historical locales are transformed into modern day metropolitan area by lavish clothing, food and tea boutiques. Pettah is known for its floating market and the offbeat shopping experience it has on offer. It is worth strolling in the upcoming offshore city of Colombo Port featuring parks, commercial complexes and an F1 track. On your way to Bauddhaloka Mawatha, it is a must to witness the Independence Square Overnight in Colombo. (B)You can stay at-
After breakfast, proceed to Colombo. Enjoy the drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. On arrival, check-in to your hotel.In the afternoon, proceed on a city tour of Colombo. It is a bustling metropolis that considerably generates 50% of nation's economy. Driving along the sweeping streets bordered by the race courses and World War II airstrip, Colombo is a tourist magnet. City's historical locales are transformed into modern day metropolitan area by lavish clothing, food and tea boutiques. Pettah is known for its floating market and the offbeat shopping experience it has on offer. It is worth strolling in the upcoming offshore city of Colombo Port featuring parks, commercial complexes and an F1 track. On your way to Bauddhaloka Mawatha, it is a must to witness the Independence Square. Overnight in Colombo. (B, L, D)Request A Call Back
After spending a few hours on the beach, and having some sea food for lunch, I went back to Colombo for my train to Ella. Unlike India, you are not allowed to stay in the Railway Station. So for the first time, I slept on a bench near the beach with my bag as my pillow. I had good sleep with air from the beach. I had dinner at the Galle Face. It is the cheapest you can get in SriLanka. You can also get breads usually as breakfast or snacks.Day 3At 5 in the morning, I woke up, freshened in the Railway Station and took a beautiful train ride to Ella. It is in the Central part of SriLanka and is a hilly ride. I met a couple in the train. They taught me their own kind of "Poker", we played, took snaps of the train ride. Slept, Enjoyed the entire trip.
Day 1As the Airport is far away from the Colombo city and I reached very early. So, I took a shared mini van to Fort Railway Station. After around 1 hour of scenic travel through Negambo, I came out of the van. It was freaking hot. I never sweat like that before ever in my life, (damn humidity) though I live in the hottest part of the country. I poured some liters of cold water on me (literally on me) to ward off that sweat. I had to book a train ticket in advance to Ella. So i went there and asked a Window seat. And they gave it to me.
119 Kms from Mirissa
Explore the wildlife around Nuwara EliyaTravel to the central highland of Sri Lanka to the Horton Plains National Park that lies an hour away from the city of Nuwara Eliya. Another great outdoor adventure could be visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on the fourth day that is also a breeding ground for Asian Elephants.Read More
Explore the wildlife around Nuwara EliyaTravel to the central highland of Sri Lanka to the Horton Plains National Park that lies an hour away from the city of Nuwara Eliya. Another great outdoor adventure could be visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on the fourth day that is also a breeding ground for Asian Elephants.
Explore the best of Sri Lankan landscapes at Nuwara EliyaNuwara Eliya lies at a five hour distance from Colombo and makes for the next stunning destination on this trip. The misty hills here are covered in tea plantations was once a favourite destination of the British colonizers, who escaped to its cool shadows in the harsh summer. The small country houses, left behind by the British pop up in its green landscape, giving it a parallel identity of “Little England,” as it is popularly called. Nuwara Eliya is where the natural beauty of Sri Lanka Tourism is highlighted and celebrated.
To reach Nuwara Eliya: take LONG Distance# 1126 from Kandy – Nanu Oya
After breakfast, proceed on an excursion to Nuwara Eliya. Situated at around 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations, Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. Once a pleasure retreat of the European planters, the town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings. Nuwara Eliya is a good escape for those who miss cool breeze in tropical Sri Lanka at any time of the year. Local tourists flock to this town from March to May when it is the hottest duration for the town, April being the busiest. Nuwara Eliya offers many activities for tourists like tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and of course exploring the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Kandy. (B)You can stay at-
After breakfast, proceed on an excursion to Nuwara Eliya. Situated at around 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations, Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. Once a pleasure retreat of the European planters, the town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings. The distance from Kandy is 75km, approx 2 hour drive.Nuwara Eliya is a good escape for those who miss cool breeze in tropical Sri Lanka at any time of the year. Local tourists flock to this town from March to May when it is the hottest duration for the town, April being the busiest. Nuwara Eliya offers many activities for tourists like tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and of course exploring the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Kandy. (B, L, D)
Our first day in Nuwara Eliya was spent at the Tea factory and Tea plantations, including tea tasting at the Bluefield Tea Estate (100-yr old). We then interviewed people who saw Krishna grow from a Tuk Tuk (auto) driver to a certified tour guide, apart from winning Trip Advisor's certificate of excellence for 4 consecutive years. Stories of how the British exported tea from these Tea Estates and visit of Prince Charles were described to us on our way. We also did a couple of interviews of Krishna's mentor, brother and others who supported him. Hortons Plains - The fantasy land (Must Visit)
Being a hard core travel addict, i am game for any place that's new. In Dec 2016, i decided to travel to Sri Lanka. Like always, i had my homework right. Few places that was shortlisted as part of my journey includes Nuwara Eliya, Dambulla, Sigriya, Anuradhapura, Kandy & finally the capital Colombo to spend Christmas in town.I was mesmerised by the beauty of N/Eliya and decided to pen down a few words on this beautiful place that has the fresh breeze which touches every tea leaf, fresh veggies that is grown in abundance, trickling waterfall in every corner of the mountain. Wow, it was heavenly. It was hard for me to believe such a beautiful place still exist for someone who lives amidst concrete buildings and carbon mixed air.2 days is sufficient to cover the main attractions. The place is well connected from different parts of the city in lanka. It has gained its popularity through subtle tea plantation which attracts thousands of visitors, it has many water falls spread across different area, water from Lover's leap fall is used as the main source of drinking water by the locals.Temperature in December is typically between 12 -22* C, naturally it gets very chill by night, hence its advised to take warm clothing.Few places that i covered as part of this journey includes Seetha Temple, Hakgala Botanical Garden(entry fee is expensive), Mac wood tea plantation(got to taste the best tea in town here for free) Lover's leap waterfall(requires trekking of 2 kms up and down) Pedro tea estate( Entry fee is 200 LKR).I covered these places through local city bus which plies up and down with a frequency of 30 mins and decided to take leave from few other attractions which were difficult to reach as all the cabs and tuk tuk's knowingly comes with an expensive deal.If you are planning to visit Sri lanka, my advice is not to miss this beautiful place, not to forget, the locals ends their day within 8.00 PM, so remember to get back to base if you are dependent on local transport.
155 Kms from Mirissa
Things to do: Negombo is a popular spot for vacationers owing to its close proximity to the airport. The town lies 10km south to the airport. Resorts towards the south side of this town provide various commercial water sports activities such as jet skiing and banana boat rides. Between Jetwing Beach and Jetwing Blue Hotels, lies the water sports and diving centre. It offers equipment for hire and guided day tours for diving, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.Best time to visit: Negombo is ideal for windsurfing throughout the year. For experienced windsurfers, January to March is the best time to challenge the waves here.Read More
Things to do: Negombo is a popular spot for vacationers owing to its close proximity to the airport. The town lies 10km south to the airport. Resorts towards the south side of this town provide various commercial water sports activities such as jet skiing and banana boat rides. Between Jetwing Beach and Jetwing Blue Hotels, lies the water sports and diving centre. It offers equipment for hire and guided day tours for diving, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.Best time to visit: Negombo is ideal for windsurfing throughout the year. For experienced windsurfers, January to March is the best time to challenge the waves here.
So we landed in Colombo around afternoon and we decided to relax that day in Negombo itself and we had booked a bful Home Stay called Henderson Lake view residence. It was away from the main city therefore was a very quite place. We met the host family , had lunch and left to see Negombo beach which was around 5 kms from there. It was a nice beach and luckily the sky was extraordinarily stunning and we could capture that in out pictures. We took a speed boat ride, ate some snacks and went to the nearby market. When we came back, we met a lot of tourists from various countries who were staying in the same home stay and we decided to spend the evening listening to their travel stories . Below are few pictures of Henderson Home stay and Negombo beach
Day 1/31st December, 2015:Land at Bandarnaike Airport at about 9:30 P.M. and transfer to hotel in Negombo. Sea Drift, Negombo is a small house stay which is convenient to locate and is 100m from the main beach. The room was clean with mosquitoes net in place and clean bedding but the bathroom was a little cramped up. Considering the fact that the stay cost us only INR 2k (USD 30), it was not a bad deal at all. You may reach Negombo with a 20-30 min drive(pvt. taxi) from the airport or if you are travelling in the day time finding a Tuk Tuk or a local bus would not be a problem at all. Airport Taxis will charge you anywhere close to 1200-1300 LKR (600 INR/ 10 USD), a bus ticket would be way cheaper at 100 LKR (40 INR/<1 USD).We had bought 4 bottles (Malibu, Baileys, Smirnoff and Sheridan’s) for INR 6700 (100 USD) from the Airport because of which our pre-new year bash started in our room. We enjoyed new year’s party at a nearby hotel which over-looked the sea and we gate-crashed to the party, consequently paying zilch!
Day 1 -Negombo: Bandaranaike International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka and one of the most back packer friendly airports even at 2:00 am. You could land at this airport without a plan and within a few hours get everything done right from a local sim and connection to meeting people planning the same leg and to mapping your next few days with ease.
Others | 35kms north of Colombo lies Negombo, famed for its lagoon of the same name and a beach road stretch dotted with bars, cafés and many a lost hippy. Drop in to Dolce Vita (27, Poruthota Road, Ettukala.) for some tasty, hugely-sized Italian and European favourites; back in Colombo, Green Cabin (453 Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo 3) is an institution, with its outdoor garden leading to fronds of swaying palms.It’s a lovely spot for some home-style Sri Lankan food, including the ever-present white hoppers and devilishly hot curries and concoctions, including Achchi’s Chicken; staying in Colombo, 41 Sugar (41 Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7 | +94 11 268 2122) is a hip rooftop café that opens in the evening, and walks fashionably towards the night with a fine cocktail selection, lovely views, reasonable tapas collection, and a grown-up vibe; finally, Curve (1 Park Street, Colombo 2) serves up some mean cocktails, a sufficient variety of tapas, and memorable ice cream liqueur shots.THE DIGS
Colombo to negombo and airportWe have flight in early morning so we kept our luggage at airport and went to negombo beach. Which is near to international airport. You have to exchange 2 buses to reach beach from airport. We spent last evening of our srilanka travel at negombo beach. After that we spent our night at airport to avoid room charges.
Negombo is a Major city in Sri Lanka, on the West Coast of the Island and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon. With a stash of decent hotels and restaurants to suit all pockets, a friendly local community, an interesting old quarter and a reasonable beach.Its beaches, an old favourite with local and foreign visitors and lagoon famed for lobster harvesting. Negombo’s beach is very wide in places, but rather shabby compared to the more pristine resorts further south, although the surrounding resort area is often one of the liveliest places around the coast if you’re in search of cheap beer and late nights. A couple of miles south of the beach, Negombo Town offers an interesting introduction to coastal Sri Lankan life, with a lively fish market, a dash of old-world colonial charm of Dutch-Portuguese and hundreds of colourful wooden boats. Sprawling Negombo, is of interest mainly thanks to its proximity to the Bhandaranaike International Airport, just 10km down the road – many visitors stagger off long-haul flights straight into one of the beach hotels here, or stay here as a last stop before flying home.
214 Kms from Mirissa
Welcome to your 'Srilanka Tropical Paradise' tour! On arrival at the airport in Colombo you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Dambulla. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Dambulla.You can stay at-Read More
Welcome to your 'Srilanka Tropical Paradise' tour! On arrival at the airport in Colombo you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Dambulla. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Dambulla.You can stay at-
Welcome to your 'Super Saver Sri Lanka Summer' tour! On arrival at the airport in Colombo, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Dambulla. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Dambulla. (L, D) On to Dambulla- Distance, 129km approx 4 hours drive.
But keep in mind, if you travel from Dambulla, you have to take one of the buses which are going from Colombo to Malee. No bus service was available originating from Dambulla when I travelled. And most likely, you'll not get a place to sit immediately after boarding the bus. For Solo Women backpackers - I travelled in shorts and it was comfortable in the bus. I didn't face any incident where people teased me or anything. By the time I reached Malee town, it was 1 pm (I started at 8 from Dambulla and this includes a bus repair on the mid way) and I saw the small harbours with pristine blue water. They were picture perfect. I was almost thinking this is it, nothing can beat this in such a place. I took a public bus from Malee bus station to Upuveli (Neelaveli is further and apparently more expensive). It took me a while to look for the hotels but I found few. It's a cluster of 8-9 shacks/hotels/resorts in Upuveli or may be a bit more. And you'll find all options starting from $7 (for a private room with bathroom No AC) to $$$ in big resorts, along with mid ranged hotels with pool and decorated bar in $40-$50. I chose the $7 one and that place happened to be the best bar at nights! French Hostel is what I remember the name was. Now you got there, there are plenty of things to do. Long bike rides, in empty roads, drenching in short and quick rains, the mountain temples, feeding the monkeys, trip to Nilaveli, morning breakfasts in near by villages are possible with a rented bike. I paid 250 SL Rupee, I had to keep my passport with the lady as deposit. I did both scuba and snorkelling, rate varies based on time. Dolphin watching and fishing is also possible. No whale watching in Malee, it happens in Merissa. Food is amazing, in all the restaurants, I chose typical SL food, with fish costing around $1.5 every meal. I also went to Nilaveli, for one evening. It is beautiful but expensive than Upuveli. And somewhere I found Upuveli more serene, calm and less crowded. There are also small beaches here and there in the city. Take your bike and just ride. Dip in the ocean and come back. On the way get into some temple, pose with kids, get fruits as blessings and ride on.
Dambulla:From the city bus stand at Trincomalee, I took a bus to Dambulla which is around 3 hours away.#Stay:Dambulla city hostel: Very nice and comfortable hostel with many guests to talk to and share information, though the hostel is expensive with 2 nights at 3600 LKR with breakfast which is mostly bread jam and butter. You can cook your own food as well. Very nice and friendly Mario who would in every possible way, help you to plan your day.
268 Kms from Mirissa
Anuradhapura is historically rich and is a UNESCO heritage site and is in fact one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.Read More
The tourism industry in Sri Lanka is good and Sri Lanka offers amazing destinations for travelers and tourists alike. The Sri Lanka tour itinerary could be customized in line with your interests. Sri Lanka has more to offer on Diving, Cultural tourism in Anuradhapura, pristine coastal lines along Matara (a fishing hamlet), Arugam Bay and much more on eco-tourism. Experience the "Wonder of Asia".
While in Anuradhapura. I cycle around with a rented bicycle to visit the archaeological sites under the wonderful sun. I would say Anuradhapura is one of my favourite places to visit in Sri Lanka. The city is well organized. Tourist friendly place. You can clearly see and feel the city, it has its own charm without much effort put into it. I wish we stayed longer here..... oh well, travel must go on !
122 Kms from Mirissa
Day 4Woke up early, and went to Ravana Falls and Ravana Cave. You have pay some money to get to the Ravana Cave, temple. The cave is tough to walk, so go only if you have good shoes. It will be tiring but turn around your thirst will sway away by the Greenery. A Bottle is recommended though. At Noon, I went to a small trek to Mini Adam's Peak, this is a smaller version of Adam's Peak which is in NuwaraEllya. I met an Indian and Maldova couple. She met him in Rajasthan, and got married. They were nice couple and We reached the top, took some snaps enjoyed the cloudy chilly weather, and came back. For others, who want bit extreme, you can go to Ella Rock from the Railway Station. Then the next day, I left to Kandy. It is a long Journey with great scenic beauty. It passes through Nuwara Ellya, and by Evening, I went to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.Read More
Day 4Woke up early, and went to Ravana Falls and Ravana Cave. You have pay some money to get to the Ravana Cave, temple. The cave is tough to walk, so go only if you have good shoes. It will be tiring but turn around your thirst will sway away by the Greenery. A Bottle is recommended though. At Noon, I went to a small trek to Mini Adam's Peak, this is a smaller version of Adam's Peak which is in NuwaraEllya. I met an Indian and Maldova couple. She met him in Rajasthan, and got married. They were nice couple and We reached the top, took some snaps enjoyed the cloudy chilly weather, and came back. For others, who want bit extreme, you can go to Ella Rock from the Railway Station. Then the next day, I left to Kandy. It is a long Journey with great scenic beauty. It passes through Nuwara Ellya, and by Evening, I went to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
A key stop over on this roadtrip was the hike into the Ravana caves. According to legend based on the Ramayana, it is said that Ravana (who was the king of Sri Lanka at the time) had kidnapped princess Sita, and had hidden her in the caves behind this waterfall, now simply known as the Ravana Ella Cave. Maithili (me) has been named after Princess Sita so we all felt like I owed this unplanned climb in my flipflops to my name .Quick Tip: Talk to the locals and discover the hidden local spots, cafes and experiencesAs you approach the coast the greens change to shades of blue, you are welcomed by the breath of fresh air and the whiff of the salty sea breeze. As you hit Matara you drive by an expanse of powdery sand and crystal-clear water glitters in the sun. Driving is a pleasure in the country and I am definitey heading back for a full coast road trip
Ella, is a small town in the Badulla District of Uva Province, Sri Lanka governed by an Urban Council. It is approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft) above sea level. The area has a rich bio-diversity, dense with numerous varieties of flora and fauna. Ella is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations. The town has a cooler climate than surrounding lowlands, due to its elevation. The Ella Gap allows views across the southern plains of Sri Lanka
We sat on the edge of the mountain and talked for so long about England and Sri Lanka. It was peaceful, undisturbed and there was no one around except for an old uncle who served tea at a small set up under a tree. He said that people like Ella, as it is not crowded and had the best view ever from the top. All we could see, was green color everywhere, hills covered with trees and nature at its best. It was so mesmerizing, that we lost track of time and couldn't come down to catch the train at 11 am from the station back to Colombo. We had to take a bus and the journey was quite tiring by road.
75 Kms from Mirissa
After all the conference and Gala night at Taj Samudra, we packed our bags and headed to Bentota on a Sunday early morning, which is touted as the best water sport destination in Sri Lanka. It was a two hour drive from Colombo. We could literally experience the changes around us - with the city madness leaving behind and the rustic country charm creeping in, I know we are all for a treat.Read More
After all the conference and Gala night at Taj Samudra, we packed our bags and headed to Bentota on a Sunday early morning, which is touted as the best water sport destination in Sri Lanka. It was a two hour drive from Colombo. We could literally experience the changes around us - with the city madness leaving behind and the rustic country charm creeping in, I know we are all for a treat.
Things to do: This coastal town in the Southern Province is best known as the water sports hub for adventure enthusiasts visiting Sri Lanka. Some of the popular water sports activities for your Bentota vacation include water skiing, windsurfing, banana ride, wakeboarding, jet-skiing, tube rides, sea diving, snorkelling and surfing. If you're a beginner, various water sport centres operating on the beachside can provide guides and gear for your adventure.Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit Bentota for water sports is from October to April.
After breakfast, drive to Bentota. On arrival, check-in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Bentota. (B, L, D). distance- 179km approx 4 hour drive from Kandy.
Day 4 and Day 5 (Bentota)Be sure to be well rested because this will be the longest drive of all the 7 days you will be spending at Sri Lanka. Bentota is a beach town which is a 5 hour drive away from Anuradhapura, so its best to start early so that you can still reach Bentota by late afternoon/early evening, leaving you with some time for leisure. I stayed at the Taj Vivanta in Bentota and was here for Christmas, so there was a great dinner being hosted at the hotel itself. There are many other resorts as well where you can opt for a pleasant stay.
They say every morning is a new one, new beginnings and this was a day for all things pretty. We head out to the beach and it hits you….. smack in the middle of your gut. Golden sand, deep blue water and a never-ending expanse of intense green trees. Coconut water by the dozen, lots of amphibians I’ve never seen before happily merging with the grass. With my luck I was surprised I didn’t step on one of them, causing them instant death. The best part about Bentota could easily be the sunset, it’s stunning. We got lucky with a bit of rain and that rain and shine combination was well just beautiful. There is no better feeling in the world than to just float in the water with the evening sun upon your face, the sound of the waves, a song in your heart, eyes shut…. it’s your space, your little getaway corner, where all the problems in the world seem much smaller than they are, where you feel you must have done something right, to be here right this moment.
The next morning we headed out by Taxi (Rails are a cheaper option if you are ok with traveling local) to Bentota, where our hotel was located. We spent the next two days with local sights and food and made a lot of new friends to celebrate the new year with.
Ours was a three nights, four days trip, planned at a very short notice, but was fun nevertheless. The planned itinerary for this trip included a day’s stay at Colombo’s Taj Samudra, then a day at the beach in Bentota, followed in the end by a day river rafting in Kitulagala. But, we liked Bentota so much that we just cancelled Kitulagala plans and stayed in Bentota for an additional day. And that’s the first thing that we recommend for you – be flexible to the extent possible, with you schedule because you never know what will keep you hooked to a particular place in Sri Lanka.We landed in Colombo on the last morning, around 11:00 am and headed towards the city. Keep at least a 2-hours margin for your cab ride from the airport to the city, maybe a little more if you land during the peak hours. (Tip: Money exchange at the airport is costlier than from outside as taxi fares vary from one counter to the next; check prices at multiple counters before you board a cab). Our first impression of Sri Lanka was that of a very friendly country where everyone greeted us with a broad smile.
We started at Bentota Beach. Bentota beach was lovely. However there was no question of swimming out due to strong currents, we were happy to spend our evenings watching the sun go down in a deserted beach (being the off peak season) A short stop at the Bentota Sea- Turtle Rehabilitation center ( 15 minutes away from Amal Villas) is a must especially for those with children- you can take a peek at the endangered olive ridley turtles amongst others such as the odd green turtle that lost its flap.
225 Kms from Mirissa
No visit to Sri Lanka is complete without a visit to the “Lion Rock” Sigiriya and Cave temple of Dambulla that form part of the cultural triangle. Sigirya was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site forming the best example of ancient urban planning. The frescoes in the caves of the rock date back to the 3rd century BC were said to have been inhabited and painted by monks.Read More
No visit to Sri Lanka is complete without a visit to the “Lion Rock” Sigiriya and Cave temple of Dambulla that form part of the cultural triangle. Sigirya was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site forming the best example of ancient urban planning. The frescoes in the caves of the rock date back to the 3rd century BC were said to have been inhabited and painted by monks.
Can't remember exactly but after around 4-5 hours bus ride from Colombo to Dambulla, I checked into Blue Sky guesthouse before we call it a day after dinner. A good start of the journey with the tasty local Sri Lankan dish. Visited Sigiriya and Golden temple while there.
This magnanimous structure will blow you away because it is so overwhelming! The Lion Rock Temple at Sirigaya has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in Sri Lanka. It was constructed by a king who used this temple as his personal getaway, and after his death this temple was used as a Buddhist monastery. When you reach the top of the rock, you will have an incredible view to see!
Visit the enormous Lion Rock Temple at Sirigaya
Colombo to sigiriyaWe took train at 5 am in early morning to go to sigiriya rock.From train we step down at one of the station. From there we exchanged 2 buses to reach sigiriya village. I recommend to travel by bus as public transport is very cheap, very clean, helpful people. Even you have lots of luggage you can take buses as it is not very much crowded. So we reached sigiriya village around lunch time.From then we started to look for accommodation. We got it for 2000 slr for 3 people. In evening we started trekking on lions stone. Entry fees for indians is $15 each. Its very nice place to trek. It took around 1 hr to reach to top. You find many foreigners on the way. When you reach to top you can have 360' view. Its only heightened places there.
Things to do: Mirissa is best known for whale and dolphin watching. If you're up for a boat ride on a lazy afternoon, you can get lucky and spot spinner, striped, bottlenose or spotted dolphins that surround the waters around Mirissa. Operators also provide boats for 3 to 4 hours and fishing equipment for game fishing.Best time to visit: Whale watching in Mirissa starts from November onwards. The months between January to March are the best time to visit Mirissa.
On morning of 6th August we took train to go ella. Its like ooty and mussoorie in india. Its tea garden place. I recommend to take train to go to ella from kandy. As you can see very good landscape in route. I suggest to stay night at nuwara ella rather than ella. Nuwara ella is much cold than ella. We got room for 3 at 2000 slr near to public transport area as we have to take bus early morning to go to mirissa on next day. In ella we meet our friends from France. We spend evening together. we went to waterfall and caves together. This place is also very much famous for its tea. You can get flavored tea with strawberry chocolate flavor and many more.
Mirissa, a small fishing village known all over as a place where the exciting Whale-watching tours in Indian Ocean takes place regularly and is one of the must-do things in Sri Lanka
As we headed towards our final destination Mirissa we come across various small beach towns like Unawatuna which was earlier known among the beautiful beaches in the world before its shore was washed away by the tsunami and Weligama known for the tiny Toprabane Island. We met various locals on our way who were rallying for their next president of Sri Lanka and shared their thoughts about who should be their next leader and why India has always been their friend.
Costa can go a bit higher around these. Over past few years Mirissa has become a favorite. Do not restrict yourself within these few options try smaller and quieter beaches of Polhena and Nilwella. Buses are easily available all around the country and you will find direct buses to Matra and Tangalle from Colombo.
Another 4 hrs from Buttala got us to our next destination -- Mirissa. Mirissa is a beautiful sun kissed beach doted with many restaurants on the beach. We stayed in Mirissa only to catch a whale watching trip the next morning. The whale watching cruise is roughly around LKR 4000 onwards per person, you set out at 7 am and it's a 3-4 hour boat ride to see the whales. They offer you breakfast as well as a sea sickness pill if you are prone to sea sickness as the ride can get quite bumpy.
Mirrisa:There are frequent buses to Mirrisa from Galle for 60-70 LKR. Once you get down just head to the beach because that's what Mirrisa has to offer. This beach was recommended by lot of people so I assumed it can't be missed.The sea on west coast is rough during this season. There are many restaurant where you can keep your luggage and go and enjoy the sea , if you don't plan to take a room (like me as I had my flight in evening). You can do whale watching for local price of 2500 LKR and 6000 or 4400 (on discount) LKR if you book online. Just that these online options are more fancy and give you breakfast etc. As I had splurged money in Galle pampering myself, so whale watching was out of my budget. If you plan to do whale watching, you have to be in Mirrisa by 6 a.m. remember that the whale story might not be all that rosy...you just might see a whale which might not flip for you in the air.#Stay:If you would like to stay by the beach there are many options available. Also, you could stay in some places on the other side of the beach as well.#Food:The restaurant around beaches offer pizzas, burger etc. though I kept myself to still the local food of rice n curry which was nice as they served me the food they cooked for themselves.And then I headed back to Colombo. To save time I took bus till Galle and then express highway for 420 LKR from Galle. You can also go to Matara bus station and take the express highway bus as it takes much lesser time in express highway buses than the local buses. From express highway , take 138 to Petah and from there take express highwaybus.I wanted to board at 12 a.m. and it wasn't there but there are many local buses available. And voila! Your amazing solo trip comes to an end.Few pointers: Change your currency into USD or Lankan rupees outside the airport in India. At airport you get 1 RS = 1.5 LKR when outside its 1 RS = 2 LKR.NOTE: In Lanka you ll not be able to exchange INR.Booking online hotels is helpful but sometimes it made me inflexible as I couldn't change my itinerary in Dambulla and Galle. Also, I realised that booking.com is better than agoda.com as you can do booking without paying. If you can afford to , prefer to find places on the spot and then bargain. As suggested by a reader , you can also try airbnb.com for accommodation booking. Thanks blacksnowsurfer. There are buses to everywhere. Find your options before resorting to expensive tuk tuk or taxi.Solo women travellers: You will constantly hear hi, hello madam where are you going from the local tuk tuk people but they are absolutely harmless. If you involve in a conversation with them, they actually help you to move around in local places. A stern look or a yell is what it takes to get them away if they get on your nerves.This trip was originally published on Joey- my travels for your ease.
Ella to mirissa7th August we moved from mountains to beach again. Ella to mirissa beach. Unlike beach on east side where you don t have waves and calm sea, you have big waves on west side beach good for surfing. Mirissa is a good town. You can find many hotels and guesthouse around the beach. Enjoy on beach and take bicycle on rent and just explore the area. Climate is bit a hot on west side during august.