Trip to Sri Lanka for 5 days : My Itinerary

Recently I went for a short trip to Sri Lanka  - the gem shaped island in the Indian Ocean. This is truly the land of many Buddhas
There is so much to see in this country from beaches to hills to culture, and we wanted to cover most of it - but time was less, so we planned a perfect itinerary offering a bit of everything.
Sunset at the Bentota Beach
I will write a series of blog-posts starting with the itinerary, detailing each destination, places to visit, hotels and my experiences.

Sri Lanka, also known as Ceylon in the earlier days is gaining visibility onto the tourist maps after the civil war ended and it is known for its beautiful beaches and wildlife. While doing our research, we jotted down all the famous destination that we can plan while in Sri Lanka :
Many Buddhas
Beaches : Mt Lavina (near Colombo); Bentota (resort town) , Arugambay (for surfing), Galle (famous for its Dutch fort), Mirrissa (known for whale watching)

Wildlife: Pinnavala (for Elephants); Yala National park (Leopards); Udawalawa wildlife

Culture : Kandy, Sigriya (Lion rock) ; Dambulla (Caves); Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa ancient kingdoms

There is so much to see there but since we only had limited time, we covered Bentota, Pinnavala, Kandy, Sigriya, Dambulla and Colombo.
View of Kandy from hotel room
How to go :
We were travelling from Bangalore - there is a direct flight by Sri lankan airways which is 1hour and 20 minutes. The Bandarnaike Airport is 30kms from Colombo.

Bangalore (0325 hrs) --> Colombo (0500 hrs) = 1hr20 mins flight - the cost of flight is really cheap - it is around 10K for a roundtrip journey.
Taxi and land commutation is kind of expensive in this country. We had booked a cab (Toyota SUV) along with driver for 5 days and it costed us almost 5K per day. The driver was awesome and he knew all the destinations and places in Sri lanka.

When to Go : We love to visit places in off-season as the rates are cheaper and the tourist places are not too crowded. We visited in July which is just post-monsoon season. Sri Lanka has 2 monsoon seasons - the Southwest monsoon runs through May-June affecting Colombo and Galle regions. The Northeast monsoon comes in Oct-Nov and is very heavy affecting the entire country. So the best time to travel is Dec-March.
Old City of Sangria - Lion Rock
Detailed Itinerary :

Day 1: Catch an early morning flight from Bangalore to Colombo.
0325 hrs --> Reach Colombo by 0500 hrs -> Finish immigration formalities by 0530 --> Travel to Bentota (2.5 hours) and reach by 0800 hrs

Had a nice breakfast and waited for hotel check in. Checked into the resort Cinnamon Bey beach resort and slept until noon.
Got ready .. visited Turtle Hatchery and had lunch at the nice restaurant in Bentota.
Afternoons are a bit hot, so I slept. Evening went to the beach to enjoy the waves and watch the beautiful sunset
Beruwala Beach
Day 2 : Checkout after breakfast and proceed to Pinnawala elephant orphanage. Pinnawala is on the way to Kandy - so you can also skip it, but it is highly recommended place
Bentota to Pinnawala (3.5 hours) --> Spend 2 hours watching elephants feeding and bathing

Pinnawala to Kandy (1.5 hours) --> Reach Kandy at around 4 pm - check into the hotel. Freshen up and go for the Cultural show and the famous Buddha Tooth Relic temple
Elephants bathing @Pinnavala
Day 3 : Leave early.
Kandy to Sigriya Rock (2.5 hrs) - Climb the Sigriya lion rock - it takes around 2 hours.

After lunch proceed to Dambulla.
Sigriya to Dambulla Cave temple (30 mins drive) - You will be dead tired after Sigriya, but please don't miss the Dambulla Caves, these were the highlight of my trip. Grab some juice and start climbing the Rock caves.
Dambulla Caves
Back to Kandy. Overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 4 : Check out from hotel. Go to Kandy bazaar for some shopping. You can also visit the Paradeniya botonical gardens on the way (we skipped it) to Colombo.
Kandy to Colombo City (3.5 hours)
Check into the hotel. Freshen up and go for the Buddhist temple or Galle beach area

Day 5 : This was only reserved for some shopping. So first we went to the Independence square and then to Odel mall, Paradise street, House of Fashion etc.
Lets march @Independent square
Proceed to Airport.
Flight from Colombo (1850hrs) to Bangalore (2030 hrs). Back home late in the night.
**Many people have reached out to me asking about the car booking, you can ping me on fb or connect with me on my gmail id, I will send you the driver's / agency phone number.

Other Blog posts in the Sri Lanka Series:
1. Bentota - Beach town
2. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
3. Kandy
4. Sigiriya.. Ravan's fort
5. Dambulla.. Caves and Golden temple
6. Colombo Trip Part 1
7. Colombo Trip Part 2

P.S - All pictures are original and taken from my Iphone 6 and Nikkon 5300 DSLR camera


  1. Sri Lanka is gorgeous, isn't it? Did you manage to visit the tea plantations?

  2. Loved to read your post. Amazing pics.

  3. That is an extremely smart written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

  4. Amazing blog. Sri Lanka is South Asian beauty queen. Last year I visited Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, Kandy, Horton Plains National Park, Ohiya, Dutch Reformed Church, Galle, St. Clairs Falls, Tawalantenne, Dehiwala Zoo, Dehiwala etc. You can book affordable beach hotels in Sri lanka.. thank you so much for sharing such an informative travel story.