16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka vacation builder

Make it your trip
1
Colombo
— 1 night
Drive
2
Negombo
— 1 night
Drive
3
Dambulla
— 1 night
Drive
4
Anuradhapura
— 1 night
Drive
5
Trincomalee
— 1 night
Drive
6
Sigiriya
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Udawalawe National Park
— 1 night
Drive
8
Ella
— 1 night
Drive
9
Arugam Bay
— 1 night
Drive
10
Yala National Park
— 1 night
Fly
11
Kandy
— 1 night
Fly
12
Mirissa
— 1 night
Drive
13
Hikkaduwa
— 2 nights
Drive

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Colombo

— 1 night
The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. On the 22nd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chabad of Colombo, and then kick back and relax at Mount Lavinia Beach.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Colombo online trip planner.

Use the Route module to see travel options from your home to Colombo. In December, daytime highs in Colombo are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Negombo.

Things to do in Colombo

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Negombo

— 1 night

Little Rome

Located close to the international airport, Negombo has a reputation for being either the first or last taste of the country for visitors.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): stroll through Negombo Beach and then don't miss a visit to Angurukaramulla Temple.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Negombo trip planner.

You can drive from Colombo to Negombo in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of taxi and flight. December in Negombo sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Dambulla.

Things to do in Negombo

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

Dambulla

— 1 night
On a trip to Dambulla, visit the largest and best-preserved cave temple complexes in the country, declared a World Heritage Site.
On the 24th (Mon), enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour and then stroll through Golden Temple of Dambulla.

For where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Dambulla trip planner.

Getting from Negombo to Dambulla by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Dambulla

Tours · Outdoors · Nature · Parks

Anuradhapura

— 1 night
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.
On the 25th (Tue), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mihintale, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ruwanwelisaya, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.

To see more things to do, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Anuradhapura trip maker tool.

Drive from Dambulla to Anuradhapura in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can drive to Trincomalee.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites

Trincomalee

— 1 night
A center of Tamil culture and language, Trincomalee suffered greatly during the 30-year civil war, but the troubles haven't dimmed the natural and cultural charms of the place.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Nilaveli Beach, then stroll through Trincomalee Beach, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Koneswaram Temple.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Trincomalee itinerary planner.

Getting from Anuradhapura to Trincomalee by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Trincomalee

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Sigiriya

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Minneriya National Park. Keep things going the next day: explore the galleries of Pethikada, then stroll through Dhilip De Alwis, and then don't miss a visit to Pidurangala Rock.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Sigiriya travel route planning site.

Getting from Trincomalee to Sigiriya by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Udawalawe National Park.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trips

Udawalawe National Park

— 1 night
One of the primary nature reserves in the country, Uda Walawe National Park provides vital habitat for a herd of Sri Lankan elephants.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Sat): stroll through Udawalawe National Park.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Udawalawe National Park trip planning site.

You can drive from Sigiriya to Udawalawe National Park in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of flight and taxi. In December, daily temperatures in Udawalawe National Park can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to drive to Ella.

Things to do in Udawalawe National Park

Wildlife · Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Ella

— 1 night
The relaxing hilltop village of Ella benefits from a more temperate climate than much of the rest of country thanks to its high elevation.
On the 30th (Sun), take in the dramatic natural features at Ella Rock and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Little Adam's Peak.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read Ella road trip app.

Traveling by car from Udawalawe National Park to Ella takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Arugam Bay.

Things to do in Ella

Nature · Parks

Arugam Bay

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Mon): get outside with Outdoor Activities.

Plan a Arugam Bay trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from Ella to Arugam Bay in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. December in Arugam Bay sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to drive to Yala National Park.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Yala National Park

— 1 night
One of the most popular national parks in the country, Yala National Park boasts a wide variety of animals, and does important work in conserving and growing populations.
On the 1st (Tue), take an exotic tour of a safari tour.

To see ratings, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Yala National Park trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Arugam Bay to Yala National Park in 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in December, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Yala National Park

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors
Highlights from your trip

Kandy

— 1 night
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): don't miss a visit to Royal Palace of Kandy, see the interesting displays at National Museum Kandy, take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, then stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Kandy Lake.

To see photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Kandy route builder.

You can fly from Yala National Park to Kandy in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Mirissa.

Things to do in Kandy

Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks

Mirissa

— 1 night
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Mirissa Beach and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

Before you visit Mirissa, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can fly from Kandy to Mirissa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Mirissa can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to go by car to Hikkaduwa.

Things to do in Mirissa

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Hikkaduwa

— 2 nights
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.
On the 4th (Fri), tour the pleasant surroundings at Bentota Beach, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Center, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Hikkaduwa Beach. On the next day, view the masterpieces at Saffron Robes, then contemplate the long history of Galle Fort, and then stroll through Jungle Beach.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Hikkaduwa online day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Mirissa to Hikkaduwa takes 1.5 hours. In January in Hikkaduwa, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Sri Lanka travel guide

4.2
Sacred & Religious Sites · Beaches · Nature & Parks
India's Teardrop
Shaped like a teardrop and located just below the southern tip of India, lush Sri Lanka boasts some of the greatest biodiversity in the world. Unless you time your Sri Lanka holiday for monsoon season, you can expect bright blue skies and plenty of sunshine, perfect for exploring tropical forests, historic temples, colonial forts, and many other buildings dating back to Dutch rule. Popular things to do in Sri Lanka include swimming, sailing, and surfing, though a growing number of visitors come here just to eat their way around the country. Greatly influenced by nearby India, the national cuisine also features many elements of European cooking--a result of the Dutch and Portuguese colonial years. Of course, a trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without a cup of its world-famous Ceylon tea.