Try and book an overnight flight to Sri Lanka. This ensures that you land first thing in the morning and gives you more time to enjoy your time in Sri Lanka.
Arrival at the Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport (CMB). Meet your driver whom will be waiting for you in the arrival hall, holding up a board with your name on it. Once you’re ready, head out first to Anuradhapura. Located in the north-central part of the Sri Lanka, it’s approximately 2 hours drive. On arrival in Anuradhapura get checked in to the hotel.
Anuradhapura is a peaceful countryside of Sri Lanka, where you can see massive stupas and dagobas jutted out in the distance. Before sunset, explore the sacred city of Anuradhapura. Admission fee is US$ 25 per person. It covers huge archaeology remains and impressive religious sites in Mahavihara, Abayagiriya and Jethwanaramaya. Although, Sri Maha Bodhi Tree is located in Mahavihara zone, you need to obtain a separate entry ticket of 200 Rupees per person (around US$ 1). The full excursion usually takes 5 to 6 hours by the car.
Days 2 to 4: Nilaveli – (3 nights)
If you don’t mind waking-up early and travelling a little further, our number one recommendation would be Wilpattu National Park. It’s just a short drive away from Anuradhapura. Wilpattu offers a variety of wildlife in its natural habitats. Tourist crowds in Wilpattu will be much lighter than other National Parks in Sri Lanka. For more genuine experience, you can do a half-day game drive from 6 to 10 am in a private safari jeep. So, your driver will collect you around 5 am from the hotel in Anuradhapura. On arrival, meet your private safari jeep driver at the park entrance. Wilpattu National Park entry cost USD 15 per person. A flat fee of 5500 Rupees (around USD 30) is cost to hire a private safai jeep.
Nilaveli beach is the next stop of your Sri Lanka in 10 Days Tour Itinerary. Located on the east-coast of Sri Lanka, Nilaveli is only 2 hours drive from Anuradhapura. Nilaveli is a good place to relax. There are many awesome places see in Nilaveli, Uppuveli and Trincomalee.
Day 5: Sigiriya – (1 Night)
After breakfast, head towards north-central to the Polonnaruwa. It’s just 2 hours drive by car from Nilaveli. Following the Anuradhapura era, Polonnaruwa is the second ancient capital of Sri Lanka. Entry ticket is US$ 25 per person that covers many archaeology remains, a number of dagobas and the museum. The site is smaller in scale, the ruins and temples are within a much more compacted area. So, it takes only 2 to 3 hours by car to explore the full site in leisurely pace.
After, head over to the center of the Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. Check-in to your next hotel.
Sigiriya Rock is on almost every visitor’s list when they travel to Sri Lanka. Perhaps, it’s one of the most photographed tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Many people tend to visit Sigiriya in the morning. Therefore, we suggest you to climb the Sigiriya around 4 pm. It’s less busy in the afternoon. Visiting at sunset also guarantees that you’ll enjoy some cooler weather on your descent, instead of the searing sun of the early morning hike. Entry ticket is US$ 30 per person. Actually, you don’t need any local guide to go up to Sigiriya Rock.
Day 6: Kandy – (1 Night)
Spend the morning at leisure. Check-out around 12 noon and head towards Kandy. You can stop in some nice places, such as spice gardens, batik factory and some local crafts en-route. However, please keep in mind that these stops and the places you’ll visit will depend on your driver. He knows the local people and usually decides where to stop on the road. That doesn’t mean your driver is taking you to places where local people scam you! The owners of these places would show you around free of charge. But you’re not obligated to buy anything that you don’t need!
The drive from Sigiriya to Kandy takes around 3 hours. At first sight, Kandy town seems noisy and heavy traffic. Yet, it’s worth stay for 1 night here. Kandy is a popular stop between Sigiriya and Nuwara Eliya.
One of the most well-known attractions in Kandy is the famous Dalada Maligawa. Another UNESCO listed heritage site in Sri Lanka. This temple receives many worshipers and tourists daily. Entry ticket cost 1500 Rupees (USD 8) per person.
Day 7: Train Ride
Today, you’re heading to Nuwara Eliya by train. After breakfast check-out from the hotel and drive to the Peradeniya railway station. It’s just a short drive away from the hotel in Kandy. Enjoy a relaxing and scenic 4-hours train ride to Nanu Oya station. Your driver will follow the train by car and meet you on arrival in Nanu Oya. As soon as you step off the train, head over to the hotel.
Day 8: Nuwara Eliya
There are many awesome places to see in Nuwara Eliya. Firstly, drive around the town with your driver. Then, visit one of the many tea plantations such as Pedro or Mackwoods. After, chase for extremely beautiful and scenic waterfalls in Nuwara Eliya.
Day 9: Katunayake – (1 Night)
The last stop of your Sri Lanka in 10 Days in Katunayake. It’s to gain easy access to the airport.
Day 10: Departure
You’re done! So, you will be transferred to the airport in good time for your flight home.