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Exploring Sri Lanka

East Coast Tour of Sri Lanka (April – Sept)


If you want to visit Sri Lanka from May to September you are more restricted by the weather than at other times of year. Luckily however, while the rain falls on the west coast, the less visited east coast experiences blue skies and calm seas. You can combine a beach stay here with a few days in the Cultural Triangle, which is located in one of Sri Lanka’s dry zones and a tea plantation bungalow in the hills where it rains all year anyway.

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Colombo

Arrive in Colombo and transfer immediately to Vil Uyana in Sigiriya (3.5 hours). Spend the rest of the day resting and exploring your hotel.

Day 2 - Minneriya National Park

Spend a leisurely morning at the hotel before departing in the afternoon for Minneriya National Park where you are likely to see wild elephants.

Day 3 - Sigiriya Rock & Village Tour

Wake for an early breakfast and then depart your hotel at approx. 07:45am to climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Once you descend the rock enjoy a local village tour during which you will be hosted for lunch by a local rice farmer.

Day 4 - Polonnaruwa Ancient City

Leave the hotel after breakfast and make your way to the east coast. Stop on route to explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa – by bike is our favourite way to get around!

Day 5-7 - Passekudah Beach

Enjoy 3 full days of relaxation on the beach at Passekudah.

The beaches in this area are wide and idyllic, and there are some excellent resorts at various price points around Passekudah.

And depending on your preferences we might suggest another spot along this coast. Head down to Arugum Bay if surfing is your thing, or up to Trincomalee if you want a chance to see the whales that migrate up the coast over these summer months. Discuss this with your specialist.

Day 8 - The Knuckles Range & Plantations

Leave the east coast and make your way towards Kandy where you can stay at Rangala House for two nights. Set on a working tea plantation you can visit the factory and tea fields as well as enjoy some stunning views.

Day 9 - Tea Factories, Trekking & Golf

Rangala House is located near to the Victoria Golf Course for those who play. Alternatively the hotel borders the stunning Knuckles Mountain Range which is extremely popular with walkers. Rangala House can provide maps or guides for you.

Day 10 - Kandy & Elephants

After an early breakfast depart Rangala House for a Kandy City Tour. Visit the Temple of the Tooth and Botanical Gardens, before making your way to an up-close elephant experience.

End your trip with a stay at the Wallawwa just 20 minutes from the airport.

What's included?

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There is only one word to describe Colombo and that is hectic! It can be fun with a handful of good shops and restaurants to explore but we wouldn't overly recommend it as the first point of call for newcomers to Sri Lanka. It isn't a must see. More
Kandy is 3 hours from Colombo and the religious heartland of Sri Lanka. It was made a world heritage site in 1988. The city's main attraction is the Temple of the Tooth, home to Sri Lanka 's most precious Buddhist relic which becomes the focus of a fortnight long festival known as the Perahera each July. Other points of interest include the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, Royal Botanical Gardens and the Commonwealth Cemetery. More
Originally a fishing town the long beaches of Negombo are nowadays dominated by tourists who like the short transfer times from Colombo International Airport. With a few good hotels, Negombo is a popular jumping off point for visitors but it is by far the most touristy town in Sri Lanka and so may not appeal to everyone. More
Bentota is just 2 hours from the airport and as such has a good range of facilities such as watersports and local restaurants. There are a number of larger hotels along the main beach, but your likely to have the smaller beaches to yourself. The area is ideal for families with elephant rides on the beach, banana rides year round and Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery nearby. More
Hikkaduwa is traditionally a surfer town and so has a number of laid back beachfront bars and restaurants, as well as two of the only discos on the island. We have a few accommodation options in Hikkaduwa and recommend it as a day trip from both Bentota and Galle for the glass bottom boat and chance to swim with turtles in the bay. More
Galle Fort
The Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its Dutch colonial past and makes a great day trip from a coastal villa. It has a real cosmopolitan feel due to boutique gift shops and hotel restaurants, mixed with Moorish, Portuguese, Dutch and British history. It is possible to stay in the fort and definitely fun for a few nights. It is approx 3 hours from the airport.
Adam's Peak
Adam's Peak at 7500 ft high is the most famous physical feature in Sri Lanka and a place of pilgrimage. Sri Lankans come mainly in the month of April to pay their respects to the mountains deity Sumana, while foreigners come to admire the sunrise. The climb takes several hours and is done at night, therefore only suitable for the physically fit. More
Yala National Park
Yala National Park on the southeast tip of the island is the most well known of Sri Lanka 's 15 wildlife reserves. Yala is prime leopard spotting territory, especially in August when the area is at its driest, but it is also home to a healthy population of elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, wild boar, buffalo, jackal and an abundance of bird life. More
Ella has one of the best views in Sri Lanka - through the Ella Gap to the Kirinda Lighthouse on the coast 1000m below. Ella can be reached by road or rail, 7 hours from Colombo. Home to some lovely waterfalls, working tea estates and mini Adam's Peak you can happily spend a few nights in this charming little hill town. More
Home to the Kelani River, Kitugala is a pretty riverside village dedicated to white water rafting, canyoning and kayaking. More
Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay on the east coast of Sri Lanka is a surf paradise, popular with backpackers during the months of April - September. Best avoided in the off season when most of the local businesses close down. More

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