Itâs also famous for its snorkelling opportunities. Also, the area was heavily affected by a tsunami in 2004 which killed 30,000 people. Beneath the hulking behemoth of Lion’s Rock (AKA Sigiriya), is a relatively sleepy and tourist-lite village (comparatively to Sri Lanka’s other famous places to visit). Even reaching and experiencing Meemure (and laying eyes on that absolutely magnificent Lakegala) is a feat and reward together. There’s no good swell in Trincomalee if you’re chasing the ultimate surfing holiday in Sri Lanka, however, everything else is on point! You have two main varieties: Plug Type D and plug Type G. If youâre from the UK, then this means youâll find standard UK plugs in most places. If you’re feeling the temple/history burnout, you can leave Anuradhapura off your itinerary in Sri Lanka. Itâs excellent and we couldnât travel without it. Lonely Planet have long been the go-to provider of travel guide books for all countries around the world. All rights reserved. Check out Mango Mango for some cheap local cuisine in a restaurant setting. Mirissa is famous for its fabulous beaches, surfing and whale watching opportunities. Or… climb the nearby Pidurangala rock for about, Get an elephant tattoo (probably shortly after the safari). Yummy brekky, yummy dinner, bike rental (which is perfect for exploring Anuradhapura), and a damn nice room. When dining out, Itâs customary to tip 10%. Each of which youâll find loads of in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka used to be known as Ceylon, which is why youâll see the word âCeylonâ everywhere. If you want to see baby elephants then you can find them in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Kandy is about the right distance to Ella (roughly an 8-hour train ride plus the margin-of-error for the Asia effect), and there are a few extra spots you can stop along the way in Sri Lanka’s hill country if you can smush it all into your travel itinerary route. Negombo 3. Remember if you want to try a different safari experience other than Wilpattu youâve got lots of choices including Udawalawe National Park near Mirissa area, and Yala National Park near Arugam Bay. BUT, if you’re more the quick vacation type, say a budget for 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, $60 a day is a cool max. A cute little Sri Lankan bed and breakfast with a darling outlook of—yup, you guessed it—rice fields! Even if you’re a backpacker through-and-through but, perhaps (for example), one who’s grown into quiet living and out of many elements of the Southeast Asia backpacking scene, it still may not be your vibe. Kids will too! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Keep in mind the rough timing of seasons (and my even rougher attempt to break them down), and you’ll find that crafting a primarily dry itinerary for touring Sri Lanka will be easy. Generally speaking, buses in Sri Lanka are old, slow, cheap and donât have aircon. Realistically, the best time to visit Sri Lanka depends on where you want to go. Ella really is the ultimate detox to skip the bends leaving Arugam Bay. Either way, flying would still be the easiest and most convenient way to get to Sri Lanka. Backpacking in Sri Lanka – The Best 4 Week Itinerary. Just avoid the ‘Sadboi’ season; that shit sucks. We have a beautiful DJI Mavic Pro, heâs called âBaby Mavicâ. Then it’s kickass for a week. Itâs worth staying a night to gather any supplies you may need for your trip. Y’know, when I started writing this itinerary, I was all like “Man, itineraries are lame”. You’ll also probably catch a glimpse of the famous stilt fishermen of Sri Lanka here! Lavinia on the outskirts of Colombo by the coast is one such area with a few great and modern hostels on offer. Can you rent your own tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka? Youâll need a good quality jacket if youâre visiting the hill country, as it will be much colder than the rest of Sri lanka. 2-Week Sri Lanka Itinerary: The South In-Season, 3-Week Sri Lanka Itinerary: Culture Hotspots and Backpacker Sticky Places, Sri Lanka Itinerary – Travel Guide Tips and Pointers. Any and all times you can skip Colombo, do it. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and just plain sick. As mentioned earlier, alcohol isn't that cheap to buy in Sri Lanka, and there isn't a massive drinking culture in the country. You’ll find long sandy beaches lined with deckchairs and drinking holes. Sri Lanka Travel: The Ultimate 8-Day Backpacker’s Sri Lanka Itinerary. Itâs basically a bread type dish, and its typically served with some form of vegetable or meat. Either ways, hereâs a range of Sri Lanka itineraries, ranging from 1 week to 4 week routes through Sri Lanka. If youâre interested in catching some waves yourself, check out this guide on the best surf spots in Sri Lanka. I’m saying it’s a bonus stop because: It’s impossible to really understand Jaffna without knowledge of the history of Sri Lanka. Airports within Sri Lanka include: You now have the option to drive your very own tuk tuk around the country. We had the chance to dine under the stars, stay in a luxury tent and head out on a half day safari. Arugam Bay is the surf mecca of Sri Lanka as well as the backpacking mecca. Smack-bang right in the middle of the emerald sea of the hill country, Ella is surrounded by gorgeous tea plantations, stunning valley panoramas, and plenty of aimless wandering opportunities. Due to the British influence in Sri Lanka, they have a very well connected train system that will take you all throughout the country. It’s a Sri Lankan city through and through. 1. Anyone can go visit the dogs and donate. So, you can find ways to party and get drunk if you really want to. Elephant Foundation accepts volunteers too! If you travel like a backpacker, but it’s more of a holiday itinerary for Sri Lanka (as opposed to that sweet, sweet slow travel life), upwards of $40 a day should be plenty. We used Tuk Tuk Rental to hire our tuk tuk, as they are a social enterprise and offered full insurance (click here for a TukTuk Rental discount code). Itâs also incredibly cheap to learn to surf in these areas. Looking to get your surf on? Sri Lanka cuisine is quite similar to Indian cuisine, with one noticeable addition ... coconut. For more info, check out Bradâs guide on the best things to do in Sigiriya. There are so many incredible things to do in Unawatuna. You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy. If you happen to see a leopard too, congrats! In Yala alone, safaris are overbooked, traffic is frequent, drivers are reckless and endanger the wildlife, and wild animals are (and have been) killed as a result. A two week backpacking itinerary for Sri Lanka could more easily follow the same path outlined above. Another archaeological park with a $25 entrance fee and another archaic kingdom, however, this time it’s the cradle of Buddhism in ancient (Sinhala) Sri Lankan civilisation. Mirissa (South Coast Beaches) 8. Still the hill country 3. Bradley and I stuck to a budget of around $28-30 each day, our costs were a little higher than usual because we decided to rent a tuk tuk to get around the country. Plus there are some endearing strange ones kicking around town. Oh, and the iced coffees will blow your mind wide open. Honestly, it’s just a nice place to stay in Anuradhapura. Other than that, get out as quick as you can. Bandaranaike International Airport 2. Three weeks is an ideal length for a Sri Lanka route. Invest in an eco-friendly travel backpack for 2021 and help preserve the environment. Yup, the same as the 2-week Sri Lanka itinerary except in reverse! Polonnaruwa 5. These are perfect for keeping cool in the heat. Bandaranaike International Airport 2. The first stop on our backpacking itinerary around Sri Lanka is Negombo. It gives you a chance to enjoy it more and spend an extra day in your favourite places. The East coast of Sri Lanka is home to the beautiful beaches of Trincomalee. Therein lies the road to insanity. Right, so I’ve mentioned a lot of buses and trains, and the truth is that they’re simply the cheapest way of getting around Sri Lanka. Buy your sim card ahead of time with Klook! Aber keine Bange so viele Touris gibts dort auch wieder nicht. And here's the number one thing we discovered: it is incredibly unclear what the rules are! It’s a change in architecture to a more South Indian style and, if your spice palette has refined enough to notice the subtle differences, it’s a change in cuisine too. Unfortunately, it doesnât provide any information or insight. You’ve also got free breakfast here saving you the trek into town (although walking the train tracks into town is always a blast). It’s either the warm-up to Arugam Bay or the place to come down afterwards. So whether youâre just starting your love for snorkelling, or have been at it a long time, then here are some places to try. This one is allegedly reported, however, to abide by a strict set of environmental policies and be run by some upstanding peeps. It is one of the most underrated countries in the world due to the generalization people make about Sri Lanka that they are the same as India. You could also consider renting a bike in Sri Lanka. So, you have to leave very early to make it worth it. So if you have three or four days to spare, then get your license under your belt and take part in some amazing dives all around the country. I still recommend staying in Sigiriya and soaking that yumminess up though (potentially with some side-adventures to explore the local landscapes). Alternatively, check bus times at stations when you get there and book your departure bus there and then. People often ask what Sri Lanka is like in August. Drone early in the morning. We love elephants, so much so that we DO NOT RIDE THEM (hint, hint). Was the first date divine? So, by now you must be truly in love with the country, unable to hold in your excitement about backpacking Sri Lanka! Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle. Itâs a travel card that offers the best exchange rate on the market, and you get fee-free withdrawals up to Â£200 each month. Also, you can wear them whenever you visit temples and need to cover up. Share. Pretty much everything I said about Yala National Park still holds true here. The view is incredible, the bed is incredible, the visits from the local critter-cuties are incredible… the breakfast is super incredible! Besides, for the same cost as entry to Sigiriya Fortress or Polonnaruwa, you could rent a surfboard for 7-8 days. They also have their own beer, which is cheap: itâs called Lion Beer. Adamâs Peak is the highest mountain in Sri Lanka and itâs actually a pilgrimage site for many religions, with hundreds of steps leading up to a temple at the top. Cross the whole damn thing in your own mighty three-wheeling steed! If youâre looking for a Sri Lanka route that covers the world heritage sites and historic places, then this a good route to take. Close. We’re heading south towards the beach, but first, stop 4 and a disclaimer! 3. Regardless, you need to be aware that there are two monsoon seasons that run throughout the country. The pesky alternating monsoon seasons make planning a trip to Sri Lanka a wee bit more complicated. Though not as big or as difficult to travel as its bigger brothers further up the subcontinent, you’re still looking at slow transit times and unpredictable occurrences of deeply-structured chaos. Sri Lanka is pretty chill, and out of the three major backpacking destinations of the Indian subcontinent (Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka), I’ve found Sri Lankans (the Sinhala people specifically—maybe it’s the Buddhism) to be the most scrupulous and sincere. But if you’re wondering where to stay in Sri Lanka for 2-3 days after a whirlwind highlight itinerary route, it’s a very beautiful place to tie it all up with some fine-dining and a romantic moonlit stroll. 3 week backpacking Sri Lanka itinerary . It’s another place to stay in Sigiriya and a damn cool bit of accommodation in Sri Lanka—a treehouse! If youâre from the UK, then use this resource. See all there is to see, but also, remember to stop and smell the kottu. However, we had better luck in Mirissa and Unawatuna, both of which offer great waves from October onwards! Colombo> Kandy> Nuwara Eliya> Ella> Unawatuna> Colombo, Colombo> Sigiriya> Trincomalee> Kandy> Colombo. We started our Sri Lanka backpacking route in Colombo and travelled around the south coast to visit all the beautiful beaches first. It costs about 300LKR for 1 bodyboard for an hour. You honestly may just be busting to hit the beach after spending a week in the hot, humid, booze-less cultural epicentre of the island. Meemure Village. Wednesdays are also a party night, but it’s a dumb party and no one goes: Where to Stay in Arugam Bay: The Long Hostel. Since we’re already smushing a lot in, I’ll cover the extra places to go in the 3-week itinerary: check the hill country section. Again, check the guide. Buy your sim card ahead of time with Klook! More ethically questionable luxury glamping—woo! Expect good vibes. More information. 1. If there is a nature site you really want to drone, then head early before anyone is there. Or to get a driving licence if youâre going to drive a tuk tuk. This is because itâs a relatively small country which is easy to get around in a month or less. Plus, how many people get to say theyâve driven their own tuk tuk around an entire country? Either way, it’s good to know exactly where to go in Sri Lanka before you arrive. If you're preparing your Sri Lanka itinerary 2 weeks is a good amount of time to see some highlights but 3 weeks in Sri Lanka will give you a bit more time to soak up the beach scene or do some hiking in the mountains. Extremely shrewd. Some countries are significantly cheaper than others, but you can find your country and price on this list here. But, since you’re spending a few more days touring Sri Lanka, there are a few extra bonus day trips from Sigiriya you could consider: Where to Stay in Sigirya (again): Nethmini Leege Cottage. It may not be as hardcore as some other South Asian adventures (*cough* backpacking Pakistan *cough*), but it’s still the most hardcore thing and hidden place I could unearth on my trip to Sri Lanka. It’s a bit out of Sigiriya town (about 10 km) but absolutely worth the tuk-tuk fare (the family can organise you transport anyway). Unfortunately, we just missed the main surf season in Arugam Bay, but still found some beginner waves. I’ve chosen Colombo (Sri Lanka’s west coast capital) and Nuwara Eliya (the balmy capital of the mountainous tea country) to contrast the two distinct climates. But any way you swing it, this is undeniably a backpacker haven—anywhere the Israelis congregate en masse usually is. Sri Lanka is a great country that has countless beautiful sights. So, we decided to help you out and save you spending hours and hours searching through all of them in order to find great deals (like we did!). And it’s time for the beach! This makes backpacking Sri Lanka nice and flexible with the option of hopping to different locations on a whim. Or maybe you just want to explore it fully before you kick off to the next grand destination? Including Little Adams Peak, Ella Rock and an assortment of waterfalls. Can you bang in it? All the same though, it’s a pretty damn unique accommodation. Tuk tuks in cities are cheap. Even on my own personal backpacking trip to Sri Lanka, I saw multiple instances of animal abuse both inside and outside the tourism industry. And is just one of many awesome places to visit in Anuradhapura. Two weeks gives you a little more flexibility to choose to stay somewhere a few extra days so a fortnight is a good amount of time to spend in the country. Itâs also a necessary place to be if you need to extend your visa. We covered a lot of ground in 1 month, but there is still much more to see. We would have stayed longer, but our visa run out! Arugam Bay in its 30s when it started showering regularly and stopped sleeping with everything with a pulse. This is why you have to at least pass through Kandy: the train to Ella. You’ll get quiet vibes and a soundproof room with the option to transfer to the Beach Hostel if you wanna partake in family dinner. Have a look here for a 10-day Sri Lanka itinerary! Alternatively, just do both! 5. Unless you are from the Maldives, Seychelles or Singapore, you will need a visa for Sri Lanka. Book it here.Â. The tl;dr is that there are actually two subgroups of Sri Lankan people—the Sinhala and the Tamils. The family holiday area of Sri Lanka’s south coast (and now essentially an overseas Russian territory). Outside the fort in Galle city things make sense in that they make no sense: the typical South Asia craziness ensues. Itâs from Kandy where you can take the famous âKandy to Ella train rideâ, supposedly one of the most beautiful journeys in the world. Allein Neuschwanstein zieht mehr Besucher an. Well, that’s a lie—there is one thing that’s pretty dope: Sri Maha Bohdi. It’s cheap there, and the best damn mosquito repellent I’ve ever used! Generally speaking, Sri Lanka is a relatively safe country. Arugam Bay is one of those places that people get stuck. Sri Lanka has a breathtaking range of beautiful beaches, safaris, street food, mountains and temples. The train actually alights closer to the centre of town where you almost definitely won’t want to stay considering all those beautiful Sri Lankan beaches hanging around. Trincomalee 9. Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered. For up to date info, check with your nation's health bureau. That’s how I feel about Hipster’s Hideout Lounge. The second highlight of day 2 is a Safari at Minneriya National Park near the city of Habaran. Sweet wonderful vacuous meaningless backpacker sex. This is a blessing in disguise. The historical sites in Sri Lanka are dope, no doubt, but every traveller I met at the beach or in Ella expressed regret over not having gotten there sooner. The unquenchable, untameable, and unabashed Knuckles Mountain Range hiding Sri Lanka’s most remote village—Meemure. We go into more depth below about eating and drinking in Sri Lanka. You wonât find a Starbucks in Sri Lanka. Where to Stay in Jaffna: Sky Park View Guesthouse. From Kandy, I’m only going to tell you to catch the train every time. It also doesnât charge you to send money, receive money, or use your card in stores. The real draw of Ella is everything around the bubble. It’s a normal but pretty city where normal people do normal boring things. If you still wish to fly a drone in Sri Lanka, then here are a few guidelines you should follow: Top tip: we use Revolut for all our travelling. It was crazy fun and actually felt safer than any other mode of transport. Aww, yeahhh—and now we’re talking about the best way to travel in Sri Lanka. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Just ask around, and you’ll be fine. Both a part of South Asia and an island paradise, time has a certain way of taking its own flow here—locals lovingly refer to it as ‘Sri Lanka Time’. You know when something is not particularly special, but it just kinda appeals to you. From here, you can go on day trips to a couple of national parks and also visit Unawatuna. 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