Your tour of Sri Lanka must include a day excursion to Kitulgala!

Why so?

It provides a fantastic opportunity to explore the lush natural beauty and engage in adventurous activities. Kitulgala is a small town located in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Moreover, it is known for stunning rainforests, pristine rivers, and the famous Kelani River, which played a significant role in the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

Where is Kitulgala?

Kitulgala is approximately 95 kilometers (approximately 2.5 hrs drive) from Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. The town is renowned for its beautiful natural surroundings, including lush rainforests and the Kelani River. It also offers opportunities for outdoor adventures such as white-water rafting, hiking, and birdwatching. It’s a popular destination for both local and international tourists seeking outdoor recreation and a peaceful escape into nature.

How to get to Kitulgala on your tour of Sri Lanka?

Get in touch with Travel Treasures Sri Lanka to arrange your Kitulgala day tour of Sri Lanka. As a result, you can enjoy a hassle-free way to visit Kitulgala and enjoy the activities without worrying about transportation logistics involved in other public transportation methods.

Tour of Kitulgaga – Itinerary

Here is a suggested itinerary for a day excursion to Kitulgala:

Start your day early by leaving your accommodation in Colombo or another nearby city. Considering Kitulgala is approximately a 2.5 to 3-hour drive from Colombo, plan your day accordingly.

Firstly, arrive in Kitulgala by mid-morning and enjoy the cool and refreshing climate, which makes it an ideal atmosphere to start your day.

Activities included in a Kitulgala day tour of Sri Lanka:

  • White Water Rafting:
    Kitulgala is renowned for its white-water rafting opportunities on the Kelani River. You can join a guided rafting tour, which usually takes a few hours, depending on the chosen route. The town’s location on the Kelani River, with its varying rapids makes it an ideal destination for rafting enthusiasts and adventure seekers, amidst stunning rainforest scenery.

The advanced rafting course covers 5 major rapids & 4 minor rapids – recommended for rafters with basic/moderate rafting skills above the age of 12 years. In addition to the activity itself, the service providers also offer changing rooms, safety tools and equipment, and a boat. The duration of rafting experience can vary depending on the route you choose. On average, it can take around 2 to 3 hours, including preparation and safety briefings.

  • Canyoning

A 1km trek into the wilderness of Kitulgala will bring you to Kataran-Oya – Where you will be greeted with a truly beautiful sight & the soothing sound of water gliding down a rocky terrain. There are 7 natural pools that you have a chance to experience & test your confidence. You are able to take part in 4 different jumps & 3 different sliding courses at this reserve. These activities are often referred to as cliff jumping and waterfall sliding.

  • Waterfall Abseiling

This is an adrenaline pumping activity that has you scaling a waterfall that is 105 feet high! This experience is not for the faint hearted! Available at Sadun Ella, Kitulgala – A waterfall hidden away in the lush greenery of nature, it also offers a breathtaking view of the rainforest at the peak of the fall. A small hike to the top is required to get to the falls, and you will be all set to begin!

  • Belilena Cave
    In close proximity to the waterfall lies Belilena, a well-known large cave that has recorded evidence of prehistoric human presence. Dating back to as early as 32,000 years ago, this Cave is a popular attraction for locals & international visitors alike.

Optional Activities:

  • Bird Watching: Kitulgala is a hotspot for birdwatching. If you’re a bird enthusiast, consider bringing binoculars and spending some time observing the local avian species.
  • Relaxation: If you prefer a more relaxed day, you can spend more time by the river, unwind, and soak in the natural beauty of Kitulgala.
  • Rainforest Exploration: Take a guided walk through the lush rainforests surrounding Kitulgala. You can learn about the diverse flora and fauna while enjoying the serene environment.
  • Downhill Mountain Biking: This exciting adventure begins with an expert briefing and training at a biking center, where you will learn essential techniques and safety measures. Once prepared, let gravity power your ride as you descend from the mountaintop and immerse yourself in stunning scenery along the way! Suitable for all levels of riders, lush jungles, cascading waterfalls, and towering mountains are a common sight during this activity.

The above activities during your Kitulgala day tour of Sri Lanka can be broken down into before and after lunch as per your preference and level of fitness.


Kitulgala has several restaurants and eateries that serve traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. Enjoy a delicious meal to refuel for the afternoon activities.


As the day comes to an end, depart from Kitulgala and return to your starting point. The drive back to Colombo will take a few hours, so plan your departure time accordingly.

Remember to check the availability of activities and make any necessary reservations in advance, especially if you plan to visit during the peak tourist season. Additionally, it’s advisable to hire a local guide for certain activities to ensure safety and to get the most out of your tour of Sri Lanka and the Kitulgala day excursion.