Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation in South Asia with a rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and diverse wildlife. Whether you’re interested in mountains, beaches, history, wildlife, adventure, or relaxation, there’s something for everyone in Sri Lanka. Here are a few themed itineraries to help you plan your tour in Sri Lanka.

  1. Serene Mountains
  2. The Cultural Triangle
  3. Wildlife at National Parks
  4. Stunning Beaches
  5. The Northern Region

1.      Serene Mountains

Hatton – Nuwara Eliya – Horton Plains – Ella – Belihul Oya

Endless mountains, lush tea plantations, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking scenery is what the roads of Sri Lanka’s hill country will display. Begin this Sri Lankan tour from Colombo or the Bandaranaike International Airport and proceed towards Hatton. Observe the transformation from hustle bustle to a calm and serene environment. The Castlereagh Reservoir and the Aberdeen Falls are worth exploring in this area.

Moving on to Nuwara Eliya, this beautiful town is abundant with scenic views of green mountains, and remnants of the British rule. Explore Lake Gregory, Victoria Park, St. Claire’s waterfall and a tea factory when in Nuwara Eliya. You can also go for a hike at the Horton Plains National Park and visit the World’ End viewpoint there. Proceed to Ella for more of these stunning views, particularly at the peak of Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock. End your mountainous road trip to Sri Lanka with a stop at Belihul Oya. The Pahanthuduwa waterfall is a must-visit here, along with a camping experience in the hills.

2.      Cultural Triangle Tour in Sri Lanka

Kandy – Anuradhapura – Polonnaruwa – Sigiriya – Dambulla

Begin your tour in Sri Lanka with the hill capital of Kandy, which is also very abundant with history and culture – The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandyan dances, Esala Perahera, etc. You can then make your way to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa – two of the most ancient cities in Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya make up the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Observe dagobas, Buddha carvings, ancient temple remains, bathing tanks and more well-preserved ruins of the prehistoric era.

Adding to the excitement of history lovers, the Lion’s Rock in Sigiriya is a must-visit destination. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Sri Lanka tour attraction boasts remnants of a rock fortress. Built by an ancient King of Sri Lanka, the climb offers a gorgeous view from the top. When in Sigiriya, Dambulla Cave Temples are just a short drive away. A beautiful site where temples are built within caves at the top of a rock. These caves are decorated with gorgeous Buddha statues and paintings of the ancient era.

3.      Wildlife at National Parks

Sinharaja – Udawalawe – Yala – Gal Oya

The relatively small size of this remarkable island nation doesn’t diminish the incredible diversity of wildlife it offers. Begin this tour in Sri Lanka from the Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve – a UNESCO recognized site renowned as a biodiversity hotspot. From wild animals to birds, insects and a variety of flora, this rainforest reserve will give you an ideal wildlife camping experience. Your next Sri Lanka tour destination should be the Udawalawe National Park offering a plethora of wild elephants. Being the 6th largest animal sanctuary in Sri Lanka, it also offers incredible bird watching opportunities.

Moving on, Yala National Park is a not-to-miss destination on a wildlife tour of Sri Lanka. Enjoy a jeep safari through the most popular National Park in Sri Lanka and spot some of the most beautiful leopards, deer, sloth bears, water buffalos, jackals, and more! Your final road trip destination will be the Gal Oya National Park, one of Sri Lanka’s lesser-known but highly unique and ecologically significant national parks. One of the park’s highlights is the vast Senanayake Samudraya reservoir, which is the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka. Visitors can enjoy boat safaris on the reservoir, which is a unique way to observe wildlife, including elephants swimming between islands, crocodiles, and various waterbirds.

4.      Stunning Beaches Tour in Sri Lanka

Bentota – Galle – Weligama – Mirissa – Arugam Bay

For a tour of Sri Lanka’s beaches, drive through the gorgeous southern coast, all the way up to the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, and experience the most exotic beach life that the island nation boasts. Stop at Bentota for a day or two to indulge in some adrenaline-rush kind of water sports such as jet skiing, banana boat rides, water skiing, deep-sea diving, and para gliding. Explore the Galle Fort, a historic and picturesque fortress, well-preserved and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a popular tourist destination.

Moving on further south in this Sri Lanka tour, try stilt fishing in Weligama, and stop in Mirissa for a night or two. Whale watching is a popular activity in this lively coastal town that offers an amazing beach. Also known as ‘surfer’s paradise’ is the final destination – Arugam Bay in the east coast. Make the most of your surf boards here while also capturing memories of the stunning sea view and indulging in some delicious sea food and cocktails by the beach.

5.      The Northern Region

Negombo – Anhuradapura – Wilpattu – Mannar – Jaffna

The Northern province of Sri Lanka has a unique and complex history due to its involvement in the Sri Lankan Civil War. Lasting for nearly three decades, this region only became accessible after it concluded in 2009. The best route for this Sri Lanka tour would be to start by exploring the Dutch remnants and vibrant fishing industry in Negombo (Western Province). Then move on to the ancient city of Anuradhapura for a feel of the temples and stupas of the pre-historic era.

A touch of wildlife in Wilpattu will add to the excitement of your tour in Sri Lanka. Go for a jeep safari game drive through the Wilpattu National Park and try to spot as much of the wild animals as you can. The ancient city of Mannar would be your next destination. Here you can visit the popular pilgrimage site – Ketheeswaram Temple, and several other ramparts of the Dutch era. The northern region of Sri Lanka has some beautiful and less crowded beaches with jaw-dropping views of the Indian Ocean. Many of these are found in Mannar Island and Jaffna. More to explore in Jaffna is the fort, Nallur Temple, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the archaeological museum.

Interested in planning a themed tour in Sri Lanka? Get in touch with our team of travel consultants to help plan a tailor-made holiday package for you!