18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Colombo
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Unawatuna
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Ella
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Udawalawe National Park
— 1 night
Fly to Kandy, Taxi to Kandy
5
Kandy
— 1 night
Drive
6
Dambulla
— 2 nights
Taxi to Habarana, Train to Colombo
7
Colombo
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

Colombo

— 2 nights
The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: walk around Galle Face Green, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, and then take an in-depth tour of Colombo National Museum.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Colombo trip planner.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Colombo is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Gulf Standard Time to India Standard Time is 1.5 hours. Traveling from Dubai in December, things will get a bit warmer in Colombo: highs are around 36°C and lows about 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Unawatuna.

Things to do in Colombo

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Museums
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:

Unawatuna

— 4 nights
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 the numerous day-trip ideas around Unawatuna: Nandana Tea Factory (in Akuressa), Hikkaduwa Beach (in Hikkaduwa) and Bentota Beach (in Bentota). The adventure continues: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Jungle Beach, revel in the low prices at Sooriya Weaving, and steep yourself in history at Galle Fort.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Unawatuna trip planning website.

Drive from Colombo to Unawatuna in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Ella.

Things to do in Unawatuna

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:

Ella

— 4 nights
The relaxing hilltop village of Ella benefits from a more temperate climate than much of the rest of country thanks to its high elevation.
Take a break from Ella with a short trip to Horton Plains National Park in Nuwara Eliya, about 1h 55 min away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the awesome beauty at Little Adam's Peak, take in the dramatic scenery at Ravana Ella Falls, take in the dramatic natural features at Ella Rock, and savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Ella online itinerary planner.

You can fly from Unawatuna to Ella in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Udawalawe National Park.

Things to do in Ella

Parks · Nature · Classes · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 2 — 6:

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.
On the 7th (Fri), explore the striking landscape of Udawalawe National Park.

To see traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Udawalawe National Park travel route planner.

Drive from Ella to Udawalawe National Park in 2.5 hours. In January in Udawalawe National Park, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Udawalawe National Park

Nature · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:
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.
On the 8th (Sat), explore and take pictures at Royal Botanical Gardens, explore the activities along Kandy Lake, then look for gifts at Prestige Selections - Batiks, Handicrafts and Gift Items, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

To find maps, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Kandy trip maker.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Udawalawe National Park to Kandy in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Dambulla.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:

Dambulla

— 2 nights
On a trip to Dambulla, visit the largest and best-preserved cave temple complexes in the country, declared a World Heritage Site.
On the 9th (Sun), view the masterpieces at Pethikada, then delve into the distant past at Sigiriya Fortress, and then admire all the interesting features of Golden Temple of Dambulla.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the Dambulla trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kandy to Dambulla takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 10th (Mon) before leaving for Colombo.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Shopping

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 8 — 10:

Colombo

— 3 nights
Step out of Colombo with an excursion to Negombo Beach in Negombo--about 52 minutes away. See even more of Colombo: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, don't miss a visit to Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, stroll around Galle Face Green, and stop by Urban Island.

For other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Colombo trip itinerary planning website.

You can do a combination of taxi and train from Dambulla to Colombo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. On the 13th (Thu), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Colombo

Shopping · Museums · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:

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.