Expenditure: 34,000/- INR (Including Flights and Visa)
Duration: 15 Days
However, I just couldn’t go somewhere and so, just 20 days before my Italy departure, I booked my tickets for Sri Lanka and applied for an E-Visa too. It was simple and my whole booking was done in just a couple of minutes, that is how I knew that this is where I was actually supposed to go. Although, I would highly suggest you to go in January, in fact it is rated as one of the best places to visit in January.
In this post, I will cover my itinerary and all the amazing places that I chose to explore in the 14 days of traveling.
Day 1: India to Colombo
Colombo Jumbo Hostel
I left India on 30th September and landed in Colombo around 11 a.m in the morning. I had to reach my hostel – Colombo Jumbo Hostel from the airport and since I was traveling on a low budget, I took a local bus to Colombo from just outside the Airport’s departure section. It cost me 130 LKR (60-65 INR) only to reach the city and took around 1.5-2 hours to reach the Colombo city bus stand. From the Colombo bus station, I had to take another bus to reach my hostel which cost around 10 LKR (4-5 INR) and took only 15-20 minutes.
Day 2: Colombo
Viharamahadevi Park to Wellawatte Beach
I wasn’t planning to stay another day in Colombo and it was just supposed to be a shortstop for my rest of the journey but then I got to know about a few places to explore in Colombo that I was tempted to see so I extended my stay here and headed to Viharamahadevi park, Wellawatte, Galle Face square, etc.
I took a bus to Wellawatte beach and witnessed a gorgeous sunset that was dipping into the wide ocean before me. It was truly a beautiful sight and as a sunset lover, I really enjoyed it.
Day 3: Colombo to Kandy
On my third day, I left for Kandy via train and found a really nice Uncle on the way who told me about the Srilankan culture and amazing places. He was very sweet and offered me his play for stay too but I already had a CS host waiting for me so I politely declined. I reached Kandy in the afternoon, around 3 p.m. and I was quite astounded by this place. Kandy was completely different from what I was expecting, it was cool and pleasant over there and it felt like a cross between a hill station and a small town.
Once I reached Kandy, I stayed with my Couchsurfing host who was really kind and generous. This was my first experience with CS host so I was quite nervous and excited at the same time. I really gelled well with my CS host and he helped me out with things to do in Kandy. We talked about many interesting things including Ayurveda, Palm reading, karma, etc. (I know it sounds all so philosophical but trust me, it was really fun).
Day 4: Kandy
Kandy Lake to Udawatta Kele Park
The next day, I got up early to explore Kandy and walked all around the city. Yes, it is quite possible to travel around all the places here even if you are on a tight budget, only if you are comfortable with walking. I personally love walking more than taking an auto so I did just that.
From the lake, I decided to walk to the Udawatta Kele Park here. To be honest, I don’t think the park was worth the entrance fee of 660 LKR (300-330 INR) but then again, I loved walking around the small enclosure. You will find another city viewpoint here and occasional deer. So, if you are interested in such kinda places then you can visit it else I would advise you to skip it.
Day 5: Kandy to Sigiriya to Kandy
Kandy to Dambulla
On my 5th day, I had planned to visit Sigiriya which is an ancient city in the center of Sri Lanka. So, I got up early and took the 8.30 a.m. bus to Dambulla, there is a direct bus at 8 a.m. to Sigiriya but if you leave after that then you have to take a bus till Dambulla. If you love historical places then you can also visit the Dambulla caves, unfortunately, I didn’t have enough budget to visit it so I decided to keep it some other time.
Dambulla to Sigiriya
Sigiriya is basically a town made by an ancient prince in order to protect himself from his brother after he betrayed him.
Overall, Sigiriya is a place to visit if you like history and trekking. You can easily spend an entire day here but if you are taking a bus then you would need to leave by 5 p.m. because the last bus from Sigiriya is around 5-5.30 p.m. to Dambulla.
I was so tired after the entire day but it was completely worth the exhaustion. Here is everything you need to know about climbing Sigiriya.
Day 6: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
On my sixth day in Sri Lanka, I took a bus to reach Nuwara Eliya. I couldn’t even anticipate the cold and the view that awaited my eyes.
Once I reached Nuwara Eliya, I contacted my Couchsurfing Host and had an amazing time in his restaurant Humbug Restaurants. I had a cup of hot chocolate with a chicken sandwich and I can’t even tell you how really amazing it was. Trust me, you have to try the Humbug restaurant when you are here, it has a warm and cozy atmosphere and an equally amazing food.
Day 7: Nuwara Eliya to Horton National Park to Nuwara Eliya
This was one of my favorite days in Sri Lanka. When I had first started looking for the places to visit in Sri Lanka, I came across the Horton National Park which boasted of a point known as World’s End and the photos look so amazing that I made up my mind to definitely visit this place. This was easily the most expensive leg of my journey and cost me around 3000 LKR (1500 INR) to go to the park and come back in an auto and the entrance ticket cost me around 4050 LKR (2000 INR). So if you don’t like the pictures then I would suggest you not to go.
Day 8: Nuwara Eliya to Ella
On my 8th day, I left for Ella via train. I had to change two buses in order to reach the railway station and then caught the afternoon train. Thankfully, the weather was nice and it was raining occasionally so I really enjoyed the journey.
I also met a cute Chinese kid, a Manipuri girl and a few Sri Lankan guys on the way which made the journey even more enjoyable. Trust me, this is one train ride that you don’t want to miss out on. As the train makes its ways through the numerous tunnels and several tea gardens, you just marvel at the beauty surrounding you.
Day 9: Ella
We were supposed to visit the mini Adam’s peak, Nine arches bridge, etc. but due to constant rainfall, we weren’t able to do it. So, we just headed out to the Ravana cave and Ravana waterfalls in the afternoon and then came back to the city for some light lunch.
In the evening it started raining again, so we just enjoyed the view from our place and then enjoyed the nightfall. I especially loved this Cafe called Jade Green in Ella where they were playing live music and had one of the most delicious pancakes and desserts. It was a high-end place but it was completely worth the price and for once, I didn’t mind splurging a little.
Day 10: Ella to Mirrisa
On the 10th day, I headed to Mirissa on a bus. There weren’t any direct buses to Mirissa so I had to take a bus to Matara and then get a local bus from there to Mirissa. You will find frequent buses to Mirissa from Matara which take barely 30-45 minutes to reach.
Mirissa is a quiet place and you won’t find a lot of people staying in this area, most people stay at Unawatuna or Galle. So, I enjoyed walking around the shore and just looking at the sunset from behind the hill.
Frankly, there isn’t a lot to see in Mirissa so you can go to other beaches for some fun and sightseeing. If you really love spending time on the beaches, then you could easily include some other great Sri Lankas beaches in your trip too.
Day 11: Mirissa to Unawatuna to Mirissa
On my second day in Mirissa, I headed to the Unawatuna beaches to inquire about the Scuba Diving course and just explore the area.
Unawatuna Beach to Blowhole
I took a bus from Mirissa to Unawatuna which cost me around 50-60 LKR (25-30 INR) and then came across the Diver’s Land Scuba Diving store. I booked my slot for the next day morning and then I just hung out at the Unawatuna main beach. It is quite beautiful and you can see a Japanese Pagoda in the distance.
Day 12: Mirissa to Unawatuna Beach (Scuba Diving) to Mirissa
That day was a huge day for me as I was going for my first Scuba Diving experience. You can know more about it on Scuba Diving in Sri Lanka post.
The sea was a little rough as a storm was approaching but supposedly it was a good condition for scuba diving so I geared up for the experience. I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences in my life and I am quite determined to complete the entire scuba diving course now.
Day 13: Mirissa to Midigama Beach to Unawatuna to Mirissa Lighthouse
Early morning, I left to visit the other places from Mirissa and stopped on my way at the Midigama beach but since it was burning hot, I just headed towards the Unawatuna beach to have a meal by the sea.
I just observed the crabs and the waves on the beach, mesmerized by their movement and really enjoyed myself there. Finally, after some time I could go and see the lighthouse. While the lighthouse is not extraordinary, the private beach certainly was but I am not sure if they allow everyone to just waltz in, I guess I was just lucky.
After that, I walked to the Mirissa beach waiting for the sunset but due to the clouds surrounding the sun, I couldn’t see it properly.
Day 14: Mirissa to Unawatuna to Galle Fort
I left for a hostel in Unawatuna and as fate would have it, it started raining the moment I reached (It seems that the rain was following me all the while I was in Sri Lanka). Finally, once the rain stopped, I caught a train to Galle and headed to the famous Galle Fort on foot. It started raining again in between but after some time it stopped so I was able to enjoy properly.
Day 15: Unawatuna to Galle Fort to Unawatuna
As usual, it was raining so I waited for the rain subside before leaving for Galle again. Again, I just roamed around and cover the other side of the fort city and just enjoyed myself. I saw the Galle Fort Lighthouse and several other structures. Make sure that you dedicate an entire day to this lovely place because you would really enjoy walking around on the streets.
If you happen to love photography then this is the perfect place for you, I am really not kidding.
Day 16: Unawatuna to Colombo to India
It was finally time to head back home so I took a morning bus to Colombo from Galle and reached the airport 3-4 hours before my departure.
Looking for some good accommodation options in Sri Lanka? Then, you can check out this article on accommodations in Sri Lanka to choose a stay which suits your budget!