Spectacular Sri Lanka: A 10-Day Itinerary for Wildlife Lovers

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Sri Lanka may be a small island but its riches go above and beyond its own borders. The country is enriched with history, culture, heritage, glistening beaches, clear blue seas, indigenous medicine, nature, wildlife, spiritual experiences, religious festivals and breath-taking landscapes at its core. Sri Lanka is a vast country with a variety of attractions in different areas and one cannot explore all of them in short period of time without a proper Sri Lanka tour package or a self-planned itinerary.
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places in the world, although it isn’t usually a destination high on people’s bucket lists. While there are various travelling and accommodation options available,many people prefer availing the services tour operators to visit some of the most breathtaking and beautiful places in Sri Lanka.
TIP: Visit Sri Lanka in January and enjoy sunny beaches, cool evenings and a higher chance of spotting a whale!
Here’s how to explore the magnificent landscapes, amazing wildlife and heavenly food of Sri Lanka in 10 days.
Day 1: Colombo
You only need to stay in Colombo for 1 night. There’s not much to do, but you’ll more than likely fly into Bandaranaike International Airport. Take a simple wander around Colombo or check in to your hotel and chill out before an early start the next day.
TIP: Colombo airport is actually closer to Negombo, but as the train to Kandy leaves before 9am, it’s best to stay closer to Colombo town centre.
Day 2 – 3: Kandy
Famous for historical Buddhist attractions, Kandy is the perfect place to learn about the local culture. It’s also home to the Ceylon Tea Museum, where you can be guided around. There’s a cafe on the top floor – choose your tea and enjoy a free cuppa.
Famous for historical Buddhist attractions, Kandy is the perfect place to learn about the local culture. It’s also home to the Ceylon Tea Museum, where you can be guided around. There’s a cafe on the top floor – choose your tea and enjoy a free cuppa.
You can also visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Temple of the Tooth and Kandy Lake.
Day 4 – 5: Ella
The journey from Kandy to Ella is meant to be one of the most gorgeous the world! Depending on the time of year you’ll encounter some unbelievable views. Unfortunately, if your trip falls in the inter, the mist might ruin the scenery so think about that when you’re planning! It takes around 6 and a half hours, and prices start from £3 for a second class seat.
TIPS: A second class seat is better than a third because you get given a seat number. It’s also better than first because you can open the windows and get great photos!
There are a few shops and restaurants in the centre, but be careful about travelling back to your hotel. Tuk-tuks don’t tend to run too late into the night – the restaurant owners had to give us a lift when we lost track of time!
Day 6 – 8: Tissa
Have you ever seen a wild leopard? We definitely hadn’t before we went to Sri Lanka, but we were incredibly lucky and saw THREE! Yala National Park has one of the highest leopard densities in the world, but you usually have to look really hard to spot one.
Book a private tour – our advice would be to take a 12-hour safari. It sounds very long but the time just flies when you’re seeking out new animals every minute!
TIPS: Book with Shehan Safari – we had a brilliant time and the lunch was incredible too!
You’ll probably arrive in the evening to relax and prepare for the long day and early start the next morning. Catch a bus or get a private car – share it with other travellers if you can. Leave early day 8 as you’ll need to get another bus to Mirissa!
Day 8 – 9: Mirissa
The bus from Tissa to Mirissa stops Matara, so jump off at the station and ask for directions for the right bus. Once you’ve arrived, put your bags down and head on down to the beach.
Sri Lanka has some very pretty beaches all over. Mirissa is more of a resort area where you can grab a coconut cocktail, sunbathe on loungers and eat the famous Sri Lankan curry.
One of the best things to do in Sri Lanka is to go whale watching! It’s best to pick the early morning slot, as the whales are the most active then. You’re likely to see huge blue whales, sperm whales and maybe even some playful dolphins
TIPS: Raja and the Whales were a great company. You can also contact them via Facebook, or email them.
Take a sea sickness pill an hour before your boat leaves – the sea does get quite rough! Be aware though – the tablets might make you very drowsy so might need to return to your accommodation for a nap!
A cooking class is a perfect way to get involved with the local culture. Considering how tempting and delicious Sri Lankan food is, you’d be mad not to sign up!
Day 10: Negombo
Take a train from Mirissa to Negombo, changing at Colombo. There are lots of taxis outside Colombo train station but they are priced incredibly high and it’s not that much of a shorter journey.
TIPS: Ask the station manager for a key if you need to use the toilets – they’re often for foreigners only so they’re locked!
There isn’t much to do in Negombo but it’s a nice enough beach town to stay in before you fly home.
Rent a bicycle (usually for free) from your hotel and take a trip along the beach. Grab a few bottles from one of the many many beer shops around, and enjoy one the best sunsets you’ll ever experience on the sand.
Our Sri Lankan itinerary didn’t cover everything but we certainly had a wonderful time. Fantastic food, friendly people and gorgeous animals – Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for your next holiday! Spend 10 days in Sri Lanka and we guarantee that you’ll enjoy every minute!
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Are you tempted enough to add Sri Lanka to your bucket list?
What would you change in our itinerary if you’ve already been to Sri Lanka?
#travelguides #adventuretravel #asia #wildlife
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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.
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