20 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

20 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: New Delhi
Fly + Taxi:  5​h
1
Bentota
— 2 nights
Train:  1​h 30​min
2
Colombo
— 4 nights
Fly:  1​h
3
Kandy
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Sigiriya
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Ella
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  2​h 15​min
6
Unawatuna
— 4 nights
Taxi + Fly:  5​h 15​min
End: New Delhi

2
nights
Bentota

Bentota ©
The coastal town of Bentota boasts a number of seaside attractions to draw in guests.
Get outdoors at Bentota Beach and Ahungalla Beach. Community Tsunami Museum and Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Take a break from Bentota with a short trip to Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Galle, about 1h 30 min away. There's still lots to do: stop by Leather.lk and take in the spiritual surroundings of Kowilawatta Temple.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Bentota visit planning tool .

New Delhi, India to Bentota is an approximately 5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and train. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from New Delhi in December: highs in Bentota hover around 36°C, while lows dip to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can catch the train to Colombo.

Things to do in Bentota

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum, Leather.lk, Kowilawatta Temple, Ahungalla Beach
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Bentota Beach ©
Bentota Beach
Sinharaja Forest Reserve ©
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Ahungalla Beach ©
Ahungalla Beach

4
nights
Colombo

Colombo ©
The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Negombo Beach and Mount Lavinia Beach. Your inner history buff will appreciate Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple and St. Anne's Church. Change things up with a short trip to Sri Lanka Air Force Museum in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia (about 38 minutes away). The adventure continues: examine the collection at Colombo National Museum, admire the masterpieces at The Galleries of Sapumal Foundation, get some fabulous bargains at Noritake Factory Store, and get engrossed in the history at The Bandaranaike Museum.

To find other places to visit, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Colombo trip site .

Getting from Bentota to Colombo by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. December in Colombo sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 28°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Colombo

Museums Shopping Parks

Side Trips

Negombo, Sri Lanka Air Force Museum
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Colombo National Museum ©
Colombo National Museum
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©
Negombo Beach ©
Negombo Beach

4
nights
Kandy

Kandy ©
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Do your shopping at Prestige Selections - Batiks, Handicrafts and Gift Items and Sriya & Daya Curio Shop. Step out of the city life by going to Royal Botanical Gardens and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Venture out of the city with trips to Arankelle Ancient Monastery (in Melsiripura) and Aakarsha Gem House (in Matale). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, don't miss a visit to Degaldoruwa Temple, get curious at Natural Gems and Gemmological Museum, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read our Kandy sightseeing planner .

Traveling by flight from Colombo to Kandy takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can go by car to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Kandy

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Arankelle Ancient Monastery, Royal Botanical Gardens, Aakarsha Gem House, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ©
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

2
nights
Sigiriya

Sigiriya ©
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.
On the 12th (Thu), delve into the distant past at Sigiriya, view the masterpieces at Pethikada, and then explore the fascinating underground world of Golden Temple of Dambulla. On the next day, stop by Karu Arts & Crafts and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Minneriya National Park.

To find more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Sigiriya road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kandy to Sigiriya takes 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Ella.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Minneriya National Park, Golden Temple of Dambulla, Karu Arts & Crafts
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Minneriya National Park ©
Minneriya National Park

3
nights
Ella

Ella ©
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 the city and head to Little Adam's Peak and Prabhawa Mountain Day View Point Haputale. Head to R. M. S Antique And Brassware and Ella Gem & Jewelryfor plenty of shopping. Get out of town with these interesting Ella side-trips: Rakkhiththa Kanda Aranya Senasanaya (in Wellawaya) and Lipton’s Seat (in Haputale). Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape at Ella Rock, take in the views from Demodara Nine Arch Bridge, take in the dramatic scenery at Ravana Ella Falls, and expand your horizons at Honey Bee Garden.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Ella online trip planner .

You can drive from Sigiriya to Ella in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Unawatuna.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Haputale, Rakkhiththa Kanda Aranya Senasanaya
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock
Lipton’s Seat ©
Lipton’s Seat

4
nights
Unawatuna

Unawatuna ©
Head to Tsunami Photo Museum and Lak Gems & Jewelleryfor plenty of shopping. Get some historical perspective at Galle Fort and Unawatuna Devol Devalaya. Get out of town with these interesting Unawatuna side-trips: Mirissa (Mirissa Beach & Dolphin & Whale Watching) and Hikkaduwa (Saffron Robes Gallery and Studio & Hikkaduwa Beach).

To see other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Unawatuna online route planner .

Getting from Ella to Unawatuna by combination of taxi and flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in December, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Unawatuna

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, Galle Fort, Koggala Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery, Tsunami Photo Museum
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Tsunami Photo Museum ©
Tsunami Photo Museum
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort
Jungle Beach ©
Jungle Beach

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