This two week Sri Lanka travel guide is perfect for anyone who is looking to plan a trip to Sri Lanka that covers (almost) the entire Country!
Sri Lanka is a Country that I’ve been wanting to travel to for a few years.
I settled on spending about two weeks there, which seemed like the right amount of time. I’ve put together a two week Sri Lanka travel guide to help you put together the perfect trip to Sri Lanka!
I traveled to Sri Lanka with my friend Jessica from Bontraveler. make sure to check out her blog for more great travel tips on Sri Lanka! (and many other destinations too!)
If you’re traveling from far, (specifically North America) then you likely want to spend at least 2 weeks on the ground, since the flight can be pretty long.
If you’re interested in spending some time touring, but also having some time for a beach vacation, I’d recommend spending 8-9 days in Sri Lanka and 4-6 days in the Maldives, which is only a short 1-hour flight away!
Here is my two week Sri Lanka travel guide:
Day 1-2: Kandy
Kandy is the cultural center of Sri Lanka. It’s a beautiful city with lots of personality. You’ll definitely get your dose of “city vibes” if you stay in this area.
The streets are busy with tuk-tuks, buses, and cars going around. There can be quite a bit of traffic at times as well, so make sure you’re prepared for that!
My time is Kandy was unfortunately very rainy, (Sri Lanka was hit with a tropical storm the first four days of the trip) so I missed out on some activities and photo opportunities.
While you’re in Kandy, you can enjoy hiking up to the big Buddha, visiting the local market & shops, go for a walk around the lake, visit the botanical gardens, or take a day trip out of the city. Make sure to also stop at cafe secret garden for a smoothie bowl!
Day 3: Nuwara Eliya
I took a taxi to Nuwara Eliya, which is up in the mountains of Sri Lanka. You can also take the train there, which is highly recommended for its stunning views by many travelers. (I sadly was unable to do this as the train was shut down completely because of the storm.)
Nuwara Eliya is often referred too as “little England,” and if you see it, you’ll know why! It really does look like you’re in the British Countryside. I’d only recommend staying for one night since there isn’t too much to do there other than visiting the tea fields and walk around the town. I visited Mackwoods tea fields on the drive in and enjoyed a free cup of tea there!
Day 4: Ella
The next stop on the trip was Ella. Also up in the countryside, and known for its stunning landscapes. Again I missed out on the train ride here because of the weather, but it is something I’d definitely recommend to do! Ella is a dream for the outdoors enthusiast.
Filled with waterfalls, mountains, hiking, and tea fields, there’s a lot of options for activities if you love being outdoors.
Make sure to visit the nine arches bridge, and hike up little Adam’s peak while your there. If you’re a more advanced hiker, you can also hike Big Adam’s peak at sunrise for some stunning views.
Don’t miss out on enjoying some lunch or dinner at Cafe Chill. They serve all types of foods and you can enjoy hanging out in one of their beanbag chairs in their upstairs terrace after a long day of outdoor activities! (I’d definitely recommend trying their famous mixed curry wrapped in banana leaf!)
Day 5 & 6: Yala National park x Chena Huts
Yala national park is Sri Lanka’s most famous wildlife park. The park is filled with tons of birds, peacocks, crocodiles, water buffalo, and many small animals. If you’re lucky you can see some elephants and leopards (a huge highlight of the park.)
I stayed at Chena Huts by Uga escapes for two nights, located right in the national park. This is definitely an experience I’d recommend coming to Sri Lanka for!
The huts themselves are beautiful, and really have that jungle safari feel to them. One of my favorite leisure activities to do here was take a hot bath and enjoy some tea after a long morning game drive.
The food was also great at the hotel, with a different menu each day for meals, and plenty of vegetarian options. One thing you have to try is a hopper for breakfast! It’s a local dish that is sort of like a crispy crepe, filled with curries and spices.
The hotel organizes the game drives for you, either an early morning option, (starting at 4:30 am) or an evening option (starting at 2:30 pm).
I did both an afternoon drive and a morning drive. Both are great options, however, you do have a better chance at spotting a leopard if you do the morning drive. (which I did!)
Although the morning drive is extremely early, I was so thankful that your the safari guides at the hotel made a point to be the first to enter the park. The park opens at 6 am and only allows 300 jeeps into the park in a day.
If you get there early before opening, your guide will grab your ticket, which holds your place in line to enter the park. We were #4, which allowed us to be one of the earliest Jeeps to enter the park, and one of the first Jeeps to find a six-month-old Leopard playing in a tree!
There are not many places to go if you are staying in or near the national park, so it’s great to book a hotel like Chena Huts that offers full board packages with great food, nice rooms to relax in, a spa, and a pool.
Day 7 & 8: Tangalle & Anantara
The next couple days of the trip I headed down to the southern province of Sri Lanka, where you can spend some time on the beach.
Tangalle is a pretty sleepy town, with not much to do besides relax or book some excursions out of Tangalle. If you do decide to travel here I’d recommend staying somewhere directly on the beach, like Anantara Peace Haven.
Anantara is a pretty large property, with several different types of rooms available. It’s also right on the beach and has its own private beach area, which was one of the prettiest beaches I saw during my time in Sri Lanka! It was also a great place to catch the sunrise.
The food was great at the hotel as well, and I’d definitely recommend trying the Italian restaurant, which was my favorite! (They serve roasted garlic with their bread which was so delicious!) There was also a ton of wildlife right on the property including monkeys, birds, and even a bunny and porcupine that live in the garden!
This couple days for me was really just some time to relax on the beach, hang out at the beautiful villa pool, and catch up on some time in the gym!
One highlight of Anantara was the sea turtles that come into the bay around 4:30 pm to swim around. If you hang out on the rocks you can see them swimming, and popping their little heads up for air.
Days 9 & 10: Mirissa Beach
Mirssa beach is like a little surfers paradise. Filled with endless surf shops, little restaurants, and bars along the beach, you can spend a few days just relaxing and being on the ocean in Mirissa.
I stayed just outside of Mirissa beach, in Weligama (just a 5-10 minute drive away.) If you’re really into lounging and surfing, you could spend a few days in Mirissa beach. Otherwise, I think two nights is the perfect amount of time.
Make sure to try a surf lesson, boogie board, or stand up paddleboard while you’re in Mirissa, and definitely check out Shady Lane for breakfast or lunch! (Amazing smoothie bowls and avocado toast!)
Day 11: Galle Fort
Galle Fort is one of the prettiest stops on the trip and a must see! The fort itself is pretty small, you can walk the whole thing in less than an hour. You can stay at a hotel directly in the Fort, or if you prefer you can stay in Unawatuna and tuk-tuk into the fort for an afternoon.
It’s a bit more of a touristy area but has beautiful buildings, shopping, and some nice restaurants. Make sure to check out Poonie’s kitchen for lunch, and the newly opened Isle of gelato. (Try the pistachio gelato, it’s amazing!)
Galle fort is also only a 15-20 minute tuk-tuk ride to Unawatuna area, where you can hang out on the beach or check out some other great restaurants, like la Boheme pizza.
Day 12 & 13: Koggala Lake
The trip ended with two nights at Tri Lanka on Koggala Lake. It was the perfect peaceful place to end the trip, just tucked away a short drive from Unawatuna. The property has yoga, bike tours, some boat tours, and a great pool with the most beautiful view.
I enjoyed one day just relaxing on the property, and one day taking a tuk-tuk into Unawatuna to hang out on the beach and go for lunch.
Dalawella beach in the area is my absolute favorite. The beach is beautiful and you can snorkel with sea turtles! There are tons of places on the beach to grab a coconut or a beer and just relax.
It’s also the location of the infamous rope swing! For 500 rupee you can swing as many times as you like. Just remember to hold on tight! I headed over to the swing for sunset, which I think is the prettiest time to go. There were some other people there, but it wasn’t overly crowded, and there was no line or wait if you want to swing.
Day 14: Colombo
I’m not much of a big city person when I travel, but I had one night in Colombo before my flight back home. I don’t have too much to recommend about the area but if you do have some time here make sure to head to the gallery cafe for lunch or dinner for a great meal!
I’ve also started an all travel Instagram page where you can follow my adventures!
If you have any questions about my two week Sri Lanka travel guide or are planning a trip to Sri Lanka feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!